Every so often as a reviewer, you end up with a product that wasn’t quite what you thought it was. Thus was the start of this, where I had volunteered to review this new set from Aires covering A-7 landing gear bays in 1/48. However I thought they were for the Hasegawa kit, but alas, they are for the Hobbyboss kit! Knowing this occasionally happens to us as modelers, where we walk out of store with the latest aftermarket treasure only to find it’s for the other manufacturer’s kit, I set about to see how this set would fit in the Hasegawa 1/48 A-7E.
As a devotee of SciFi and the related genres, I was always a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. It had a great cast with George C. Scott, James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers and many more including the subject of this diorama, Slim Pickens as Major “King” Kong who most notably rides a nuclear bomb out of the bottom of a B-52 to detonate in Russia. I could go one more but you really need to watch is to appreciate the subtle and extensive humor thrown around.
Wow, just looking at this piece has given me a re-found respect for you Braille-scale builders! I don’t see how you can do it. I have enough troubles bending and gluing photo-etched parts. I will learn to start soldering them soon. Can’t even imagine trying to do it 1/72 scale. That is an issue anyone that buys this kit will need to overcome.
Mini World appears to be a relatively new company or at least a new off shoot from a company in the Ukraine. There were many companies that carried their line (all overseas) but only Hannants had this particular item listed on their website. Mini World does not have a website of its own. Their items are pretty impressive. They currently have 18 different machine guns on the market. Most are for WWI aircraft but I did also notice two different DShK kits available as well.
I have heard some ask “Why pay for landing gear that’s already in a kit?” The simple reason to use SAC gear comes down to basic physics: Metal gear makes for a robust structure that doesn’t fail under the weight of a model. Resin models are where metal gear is required (but sometimes not provided); on large plastic models, this requirement is particularly noticeable on aircraft with offset main gear such as the Hawkeye, weight distribution is outside of the gear centerline, and the wheel/tire assemblies tend to splay out over time, or outright break off.
Most Dragon models today are a collection of old sprues and new sprues added to create a new kit variant. In this case, Dragon has done so and in this case, redid the areas that had zimmerit applied. This being said, you have many options that need to be reviewed and decided on before you start this kit.
Steps 1, 2, & 3 - Lower Hull
As with most armor kits, the first step is the running gear. Remember those choices I mentioned in the paragraph above, well, here is the first one. You have a choice of two slightly different drive sprockets. The second choice is between the end caps over the bogie springs, and the third is the choice of mufflers.
The instructions give you two sets of muffler and you will need to drill out some locating holes depending on which muffler type you have chosen.