F-35A Landing Gear for Tamiya

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Tamiya F-35
Company: Detail & Wonder - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Detail & Wonder - Website: Visit Site

Detail and Wonder is a new aftermarket company; they currently list The F-35 (Tamiya), F-4 (Meng), and recently the F-16 heavyweight (for later F-16C variants, Tamiya and by default, Kinetic) as target improvements for their products, producing landing gear with integral Wheels/tires/struts, Exhaust Nozzles, and some intake/exhaust FOD (Foreign Object Damage) prevention plugs. The subject of this review is the F-35A landing gear set; IPMS USA appreciates D&W providing us this set for review!

The packaging is frugal but effective; no parts breakage was noted on my set, and opening them revealed three strut assemblies encased in protective foam inserts to prevent movement and crushing.Included in the box are two main gear struts, two main gear brake and oleo assemblies, a nose gear in two parts, and a Photoetch fret (with floating parts internal to the fret and retained by adhesive protective cover plastic… no attachments to cut or clean up! YAY!)

This fret has the aircraft name, the D/W company logo, a tiny cover plate for the nose gear taxi light, and a metal “c-shaped” support bracket insert for strengthening the nose gear offset strut assembly. This last bit of kit was ingenious…

Also included are six cut-to-proper length metal rods, and three shiny “Oleo” strut tubing parts. These are inserted or slid around/into the main struts and the brake assemblies, including two rods for the main gear axles.The printer resin is an almost-black color, and the wheels are medium gray.

Instructions are provided in English, with colored “remove these parts” diagrams for cleaning the parts of support struts and rods. Cautious use of high-end nippers released the parts from their protective cages; the cages are a nice touch to ensure complete protection of the parts. The removal and cleanup took me all of 15 minutes, and light use of a sharp #11 ceramic blade for the final removal of a few “too close to the detail” attachment points provided clean, uber-detailed parts with brake lines and electrical wiring.

The painting was with Mig AMMO flat white primer, then finished with Vallejo white for an opaque final coat. The paint adhered well to all parts.

The offset strut fork insert tolerance was tight but allowed the support bracket to be slid into a slot in the nose strut and retained by the oleo strut tubing, which itself nested into the strut swivel trunnion with no problem. See the photo for more details, it’s pretty obvious how this works.

They even make a note to increase the diameter of the nose gear strut attachment trunnion points on the nose-gear wheel well-side walls with a metric drill bit to ensure the parts fit.

The main gear was assembled with the same ease, and a touch of superglue was used to keep everything together.

Wheel covers and nose gear wheel halves were provided on a separate 3-D print “slag”, and are extremely finessed… the tires are one-piece affairs with tread and sidewall lettering included, and the “on-ground” flats are integral; just carefully remove with a sanding block so you don’t over-flat the tires.

All three tires were painted with black Rustoleum rattle-can primer black, removed from their pour stubs, and the wheel covers and hubs (Previously painted with white) were carefully superglued into place.

(A note here to some; Rustoleum is a company name, and their paint is a “hot” lacquer primer that does a great job of painting on plastic and Resin in particular if you use it correctly with mist coats on a clean surface… I’ve been doing it for close to 20 years now).

One point: Tamiya designed the nose gear so it could be installed with the upper nose gear strut retracted and then extended when all the work on the model is complete so the gear won’t be broken off. D&W designed their strut with the extension/retraction arm in place, so I opted to remove this arm and then install the nose gear retracted to prevent damage later. It’s an easy thing to attach with dollops of superglue Gel at the end of the build sequence.The main gear can be inserted at the very end of the build as well.

I was very impressed with the ease of assembly these items provided, and the resulting gear is just that much better than the already “almost perfect” Tamiya F-35 kit gear. The only kit part used was the clear light housing for the taxi light; everything else is provided by D&W.

On their website, D&W has a model with their gear being tested by some heavy weights to show how durable these items are. Pretty cool… Nobody can guess the shelf-life of these plastics, but short-term strength appears to be high.

I give these items a full “ten” of ten for all the right reasons; reasonable cost, perfect fit, and ease of assembly and implementation on the model. Welcome Detail and Wonder to the fold… IPMS USA sincerely appreciates your support of our organization and the hobby and we look forward to future releases!


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