F4F Wildcat Landing Gear
Tamiya’s Wildcat has been around for a while and it is an excellent kit. Scale Aircraft Conversion has produced a set of metal landing gear to use on the kit. The set includes all the gear parts including the portions up inside the nose. A new tail wheel is also included. The metal parts are well made and are drop in replacements for the kits parts, but are made of metal. The metal is stiff but retains its malleability. Some cleanup will be needed to free it from the molding sprues and I recommend a razor saw for this work.
Several modelers have asked me “why metal gear”? I agree, that this kit is not particularly heavy and my answer is twofold. First, have you ever lost a part? I have and while you can get the parts for most kits, getting these sturdier parts is much easier and it may be cheaper that the alternative of buying an entire sprue to get a part or two.
Secondly, with the advent of aftermarket, you can add quite a bit of resin to the kit with cockpits, engines, gun bays and my favorite, wing folds. I happen to be lucky enough to have a couple sets of Dangerboy all resin wing folds. These are awesome and solid resin. They are also heavy and with the investment in resin, photoetch and the kit and time, a set of sturdy gear is cheap insurance.
Lastly, having had to move my entire collection three times has done some damage. Heck, even going to contests, shows, or chapter meetings can put a strain on the kit. Metal landing gear (and pitot tubes, etc.) really beef it up and minimize damage to small things like the tail wheel.
So, saying all of that, the metal sets are great and I love having them, and Scale Aircraft Conversion does a nice job. This set is recommended for all the reasons listed above. My thanks to Ross and the fine people at Scale Aircraft Conversions for the review sample.