AMX Landing Gear

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$18.95
Product / Stock #
48305
Base Kit
Kinetic
Provided by: Scale Aircraft Conversions - Website: Visit Site
Parts set

I must confess that I have been somewhat intrigued by the idea of using metal landing gear on my aircraft models for sometime now, but have just never followed through with a purchase. I initially felt the only time metal gear would be truly advantageous with a model that has spindly legs (like the F-105 Thunderchief) or if a particular model is quite heavy with the addition of resin parts or a good deal of nose weight. I am convinced those are the best reasons. However, I am open-minded on the issue.

When I had the opportunity to review a set of the SAC landing gear for the 1/48th scale Kinetic AMX I had to give it a go.

Contents Description

The parts are packaged in a clear blister pack and have no instructions. Many of the parts are cast as part of a metal sprue and will require cutting with side cutters or a fine saw to remove the metal parts.

This particulare set is furnished with a metal nose gear well and from the web page we have this information: "The nose wheel bay has been altered to allow proper alignment of the nose strut and retraction arm. The main gear retraction struts have been altered to fit the corresponding wheel bay attachment points."

The Kinetic kit (number K48026) may be built as either the Aeritalia-Aemacchi- Embraer A-1A or the AMX. The kit is furnished with two separate nose sections, two halves each. A test fit of the SAC nose gear well shows the metal part fitting perfectly in either nose section. Being metal the SAC well may supplement the necessary nose weight required for this build. Both kit nose sections are rather small, and the space available for adequate weight is somewhat limited, so the metal nose well is a welcome addition.

Once the Package is Opened...

Before separating the metal parts from the sprue I compared them to the kit parts. The metal set has 11 parts, including the nose gear well, while the kit has 16 parts. The kit wheels and the nose gear landing light will be used with either the metal or plastic parts.

The metal parts, like the kit parts, willl require some cleanup to eliminate casting seams.

I used the kit instructions to determine the configuration of each gear assembly. The nose gear has two parts: the wheel fork and the main strut. The fork has a male end that fits into the main strut female opening. The female opening was deepened for a solid fit of the fork portion. Once the parts fit together properly a bit of Gorilla Super Glue bonded everything in place.

The AMX main gear are complicated with several parts being installed in different steps in the build. The kit instructions were confusing when it came time to assemble the main gear. The various views were small and busy, and the confusion was often compounded by the views being rotated 180 degrees as the build progressed. Parts are located with a directional arrow but the finished location is not clear at all. Care must be taken to assure the gear in level and not toed in or out.

I used Formula 560 Canopy Glue to hold both the SAC and kit parts in temporary locations while the various parts were fitted in place. I used Gorilla Super Glue to assemble the SAC parts and Tamiya thin cement for the kit parts. Both assemblies will be rather delicate and will require care to avoid damage. I generally hold off on the final placement of the landing gear until the model is fully assembed and painted. Hopefully the delicate nature of the landing gear will not cause me grief in the future.

Conclusion

The complicated nature of the AMX gear is reflected in the kit parts. The kit parts are more numerous than the metal parts and must be assembled first to determine how the SAC parts go together. Follow the kit instructions and test fit both metal and plastic parts repeated to assure the correct arrangement and alignment.

SAC offers landing gear sets for aircraft model kits a several scales with sets available after the issuance of new kits. A big thank you to SAC for sending IPMS/USA another set of metal landing gear for a recently issued kit, and thanks also to IPMS/ USA leadership for allowing me to review this product. SAC gear can make the difference for many kits like this.

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