F.4/F-86 Landing Gear
Scale Aircraft Conversion’s F.4/F-86 Landing Gear for the Airfix kit contains four pieces, three landing gear struts and a weighted replacement upper intake piece, sealed in a blister pack. The pieces were all nicely molded and detailed; however, they had a bit more grain than the original kit parts.
I started construction with the weighted upper intake. After weighing both parts on my (perhaps imprecise) kitchen scale, I found that the replacement intake weighed only one gram more than the original. The instructions called for a total of three grams to be placed above the intake. Therefore, I added a bit of additional weight to be on the safe side.
The upper intake adhered well to the lower portion with super glue. I also found it easy to sand the joint between the white metal and plastic parts once assembled. The landing gear were direct replacements of the kit parts and also adhered quite well with super glue.
The wheels fit on very easily; however, there was a small amount of adjustment necessary on the white metal parts in order for the plane to sit completely level.
I did have to bend the white metal nose gear into shape upon removing it from the package. Interestingly, when removing the original kit nose gear from the sprue, it actually broke. The nose gear is a very spindly part, and I was happy the SAC part held up to the handling required for installation as I gently bent it back into place.
I primed all of the parts with Tamiya primer, which adhered well on the white metal and diminished most of the grain present on them. I followed the primer coat up with a Testor’s spray enamel. This left each of the replacement parts with a nice aluminum lacquer finish.
The kit’s original landing gear, although not as sturdy as the SAC parts, are very well done. This makes the switch to white metal more of a personal preference than it might be in a larger scale model, in my opinion.
However, if you are looking to simplify the setup of your plane’s final stance, this would be a good choice to replace the standard kit parts, as it is very easy to tweak the overall geometry of the landing gear.
My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for providing the parts and IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.