MiG-29 Fulcrum Landing Gear

Published: October 26th, 2017     
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1/72
Price: $13.95
Product / Stock #: 72142
Product provided by: Scale Aircraft Conversions

Over the past couple of years, Trumpeter has released four new MiG-29 "Fulcrum" kits, the Model 9.12 Fulcrum A, the Model 9.13 Fulcrum C, the Model 9.51 Fulcrum B trainer to the Model 9.13 MiG-29 SMT. While there are some significant differences between the various versions of the Fulcrum, the landing gear is essentially the same on all four of these variants.

Earlier this year Scale Aircraft Conversions released a replacement set for the Trumpeter MiG-29 kits. The set is comprised of five parts, two main landing gear legs, a two-piece nose strut, and the nose strut retraction actuator. As with many other SAC sets, the first step is to remove the slight mold/cast seam on each of the parts. I first scraped the seam down using a Xacto blade, then I polished each part using a wire wheel in my battery operated Dremel tool, at low speed. This results in a smooth, shiny finish on the parts and highlights the excellent castings.

Like most other SAC sets, the set is intended to provide drop-in replacements for the kit parts, however, this is the first set I have encountered where SAC mounted the small landing gear doors that cover the retraction struts on the struts before casting them as a single unit. This ensures a solid join between these parts as they are now one part, but it will require a little bit of masking on the modeler's part to get the outside of these gear doors painted the undersurface color of the kit you are building.

One shortcoming of the Scale Aircraft set results from the casting limitations of white metal. In Trumpeter's kit the main section portion of the nose gear strut is hollow at the lower end and the upper end of the part with the oleo section on it is extra-long and you have to insert the oleo strut into the lower end of the nose strut until the nose gear scissor link slides into place between its mounting brackets. Unfortunately, the end of Scale Aircraft Conversions' nose strut only has a shallow hole, due I am sure to casting limitations, so you will need to take a pin vise and a tiny drill bit and drill out the end of the strut to allow the oleo section to be inserted. I used a #62 .039) bit to do this. Take your time to make sure the hole you are drilling is straight and check the depth frequently until you are able to slide the oleo section in and both the scissor link and the thin bar at the back of the strut slide into place. Once I had the hole drilled out, I set the parts aside for painting as I assumed it would be easier to paint the oleo section chrome silver before it was mounted to the main strut.

The Fulcrum is unusual in that the main gear struts are actually angled forward when fully extended, instead of being vertical like most other aircraft. Trumpeter has captured this look well and does so by splitting each main strut into two pieces. There is a small stub strut that is installed before the engine intakes are installed and then the rest of the main gear leg is attached to this stub. Scale Aircraft Conversions set requires you to use the kit stub parts and then replace the main gear legs with the SAC parts. As shown in the parts comparison photos, for some reason the angle between the main gear retraction struts and the main gear legs is slightly shallower than the one on the kit parts, so you will need to carefully adjust the retraction struts to match the kit parts otherwise your main gear legs will not be straight when compared to the stubs you installed previously. SAC did a great job matching up the attachment arrangement between the stubs and the main gear legs such that the replacement gear legs fit just like the kit parts, once up have adjusted the angle of the retraction struts.

Other than not having to attach the gear doors on the retraction struts, assembly of the SAC parts mirrors that of the kit parts, but super glue must be used instead of normal plastic cement. The set only includes the basic landing gear parts, so there are a couple of additional kit parts that will need to be added to the nose gear strut before it is painted and installed.

I have found that some paints adhere directly to the metal parts, while others do not, so just to be sure, I always paint the white metal parts with Tamiya white primer before applying the final color(s). The struts painted up very nicely and with the kit wheels added, they look great.

Highly recommended. Thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for the review set and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

  • Landing gear parts included
    Landing gear parts included
  • Comparison with kit part
    Comparison with kit part
  • Comparison with kit part
    Comparison with kit part
  • Comparison with kit parts
    Comparison with kit parts
  • Finished landing gear
    Finished landing gear
  • Finished main gear
    Finished main gear
  • Finished nose gear
    Finished nose gear

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