C-133 Landing Gear
The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was the only turboprop powered strategic airlifter for the US Air Force. The 50 C-133s in service were built from 1956 to 1960. They were designed to carry large and heavy cargo and were superior to the preceding C-124 Globemaster in that they were faster, easier to load and could carry larger loads. One of the duties of the C-133 was delivery of strategic missiles, the Atlas, Titan, and Minuteman, being faster and safer than over the road. C-133s also delivered Atlas, Titan, and Saturn missiles to the launch pads for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
When the C-5 came out in 1971, the C-133s were quickly taken off inventory, as most of them had reached their service limits for hours flown.
The Scale Aircraft Conversions Set
The SAC parts are direct replacements for the Roden landing gear parts. The white metal is very sturdy, and the fine parts can be carefully shaped to allow decent fit with the kit.
Since the original kit parts were painted silver, there was no painting to do. The metal SAC parts looked great.
Usually, I hold off installing the landing gear until late in the project. But the fairings had to be installed, and fitted before the rest of the aircraft could be painted.
The SAC parts need a little prep. There are number tags attached to 4 of the main gear legs. These need to be removed, of course. Gear installation follows the Roden instructions. It was necessary to install the wheels before putting the gear in place. I had to drill holes for the axles in the kit wheels.
I then did the installation of the main gear, using gel-type CA and an accelerator.
The installation of the main gear fairings turned out to be a problem area. The fairings were pretty difficult to place over the previously installed wheels and gear. And when they were in place, there were fit issues between the fairing and the fuselage. I wound up sanding down the rectangular supports for the main gear until I got a decent fit.
I heard from another modeler that he had fit problems like this using the kit parts. I suspect that SAC’s usual mode of doing a direct copy was a problem because the Roden parts didn’t fit well. So I tend to point to Roden rather than SAC for the fit issues.
I didn’t install the nose gear or the gear doors until I did the decal work. The decals are fairly finicky, and I didn’t want to have to reinstall these parts. As it turned out, I did manage to knock two sets of the main gear wheels loose, one from each side, but thanks to the SAC durability, they were simply glued back in place, no harm no foul.
Once the decals were on, I installed the main and nose gear doors.
Another note on the main gear doors. The doors have small struts which connect the doors to the gear legs. The kit parts have a heavy connection to the sprue, and every one that I cut off had a V shape. I wound up making replacements from stretched sprue, cut to length.
Very highly recommended. The SAC metal parts are much more robust than the kit parts, and more immune to problems caused by handling the kit during construction and decals.
Thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for providing the aftermarket parts and IPMS/USA for giving me a chance to use them on an interesting project.