J 29F Tunnan Landing Gear
Scale Aircraft Conversions has released a nice set of replacement landing gear for the Pilot Replicas 1/48 Saab J 29F Tunnan. The nice part about Ross McMillan’s set is that it will fit any J 29 Tunnan from Pilot Replicas, and they have designed their kit to be able to issue all versions of the Saab Tunnan. The eight parts supplied include the nose gear strut, nose gear mud guard, nose gear torque arms, main gear stuts, and main gear retraction arms. A side by side evaluation of all the SAC parts shows the similarity with the kit parts. There are no supplied instructions; you simply swap out the kit provided plastic parts with the new white metal items. The SAC landing gear may need to be slightly adjusted to be straight (a benefit of using metal is that you can bend it slightly). Smooth jaw needle nose pliers work wonderfully.
Ross McMillan has combined the torque links with the main gear strut easing assembly. He has also added a bit of detail to the brake pads as can be seen in the attached photographs. Both the Pilot Replicas’ and the Scale Aircraft Conversions main gear fit the same in the main gear wells, just a tad loose. You will need to be careful about alignment. The main gear strut attachment to the large main wheels will also need care in centering. The Pilot Replicas instructions contain a scrap drawing showing the center of the main gear tires should be 46mm apart once mounted – time for a jig!
Ross McMillan has also combined the nose gear strut torque links but you will still need to add them to the nose gear strut. You will want to be extra careful removing the mud guard from the sprue as one of the attachment points are the small loops that fit on the nose wheel axle and they are quite thin. The nose gear mud guards will need to be assembled to the nose wheel axle and then inserted into the nose gear strut yoke. Once you get that sorted out, the torque links will fit on fine. Like the main gear strut, the nose gear strut fit into the nose gear wheel well is a bit loose for both the SAC and the Pilot Replicas’ parts.
You will want to be careful when removing the parts from the sprue. I have found that by snipping the sprue at the corners, you can minimize any bending of the parts. Then it’s a matter of snipping closer to the parts and then removing the rest of the sprue with an #11 razor blade. This will help assure that the main gear retraction struts and the nose wheel mud guard are not damaged by trying to remove the sprue from the part right off the bat.
This replacement set will provide stronger landing gear that won’t sag over time, and are somewhat adjustable if necessary to obtain proper alignment. Even with zero previous experience in using white metal parts, this set will provide an upgrade that most modelers will have no problem installing. Scale Aircraft Conversions does not use lead in their white metal mix, so the builder does not have to be concerned with that perceived hazard.
Before painting, you may wish to remove and polish the mold seam lines. I used a Dremel to polish up the parts. Although most paints will adhere to white metal alone, I would recommend that you prime the parts first. The landing gear will need to be installed with your favorite CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the white metal.
Ross McMillan has delivered a winner here by solving a major alignment issue with the main landing gear.
The SAC pieces fit quite well and are a significant improvement in strength over the original parts, and will keep your landing gear from sagging over time. My thanks to Ross MacMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great set of replacement landing gear.