F4D-1 Skyray Landing Gear
Scale Aircraft Conversions celebrated their Silver Anniversary last year, and now have over twenty-five years of supplying resin and white metal parts to model builders. This is the sixth landing gear set from SAC that I have reviewed, and once again, they have provided an excellent metal option for kit-supplied landing gear. This set is intended for the 1/72 scale F4D-1 Douglas Skyray that was released by Tamiya in 1998 (kit 41 of the 1/72 scale War Bird Collection). The purpose of this replacement set is to provide stronger landing gear that is adjustable if necessary to obtain proper angles. Even with no previous experience in using white metal parts, this set will provide an upgrade that most modelers will have no issue installing.
The beauty of the white metal used by Scale Aircraft Conversions for their gear is that it will hold up to the weight of larger aircraft, and the metal is soft enough to allow for some final positioning if that is needed to square up the gear. Scale Aircraft Conversions does not use lead in their white metal mix, so the builder does not have to be concerned with that hazard. In looking at the company’s web site, the intent is to provide stronger landing gear, not to make better-looking gear, if the kit is already accurate.
There are no directions contained within the set, you simply swap out the kit provided plastic parts with the new white metal items. It is easy enough to find the corresponding kit parts for the items included in this set. The kit main gear parts are items B13 and B23 along with braces B1 and B2, while the front gear consists of parts B16 and B17 along with brace B18. In addition, there is a forward landing gear bay meant to replace kit part A3. White metal can be cleaned like plastic with files and sanding sticks, or your abrasive of choice. Although paint will adhere to white metal alone, it is recommended that you prime the parts first, and the parts will need to be installed with your favorite CA or epoxy.
For my hits of this landing gear set, I will start by mentioning that the folks at SAC do a nice job with their level of detail, as it can be challenging to get reasonably crisp detail in white metal. The items in this set are mostly clean (the parts will only require some mold line removal), and should not be a challenge to install into their proper places on the Tamiya kit. For this review, I photographed the SAC parts next to the items that they will replace in the Tamiya kit to allow the reader (and potential buyer) to see how they compare.
I did not identify any misses on this release from SAC.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this landing gear set from Scale Aircraft Conversions to anyone owning the 1/72 scale Tamiya F4D-1 Skyray kit. The ease of installation should make the set user-friendly for nearly any model builder wanting to add landing gear with improved strength to their project.
I would like to thank the folks at Scale Aircraft Conversions for providing this detail set to the IPMS-USA for review, and to Dave Morrissette, who runs the review corps, for selecting me to assess this detail set. I also want to recognize the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps, who keep things running smoothly, and finally I send my appreciation to all who take the time to read my comments.