Ladder for F-22
Plusmodel is located in the Czech Republic and when you visit the company website you are given the option of an English language version. The links above go to that option.
To get some idea as to what products are offered by plusmodel, select the Catalogue option on the home page. The Catalogue lists hundreds of items that can be used as stand-alone models or items, such as the Ladder being reviewed, to enhance a model. My modeling experience with plusmodel products includes only a dozen or so of the aftermarket-type items, and I have been pleased with each of those items.
The F-22 ladder, in 48th scale, is no exception, although it is a bit more complex than some other “ladder” kits such as the F-101 ladder and the MiG-29 ladder. This kit is packaged in a sturdy cardstock box measuring 5 inches by 3.5 inches. The box top shows an F-22, with the canopy open, and with the ladder in place, awaiting the pilot. The backside of the box serves as the “instruction sheet”. The illustration shows that there are 11 parts included in the box. There are six “steps” or rungs, two foot grates that are basically foot pads with a greater surface area than the rungs, a piece of material that protects the fuselage from wear and weathering as the pilot climbs into the cockpit, and then the right and left ladder supports to which all the other parts are attached.
I found that there was a small amount of flash on various parts, so having a piece of medium sandpaper or a medium grit sanding stick is handy. It is important to note that there are six ladder rungs but only five of those rungs serve as steps as the pilot ascends the ladder. The six “rung” is attached between the triangular support arms that are on the backside of the ladder, the “backside” being the side of the ladder that is next to the aircraft when the ladder is in place.
Also, it is important to note that the left (forward) and right (aft) ladder framework are not the same. The aft ladder framework (if the ladder were attached the aircraft it would be the framework that is toward the aft of the aircraft) has a noticeable “hook” where it would be engaged with the cockpit, thus holding the ladder firmly in place. Be sure to consult the “instructions” on the back of the box to identify the “aft” framework part.
Assembly of this “mini-kit” is rather simple. I began by gluing each of the five ladder steps in place on one of the ladder framework pieces. You’ll note that there are tiny locating holes molded into the ladder framework pieces. I chose to use Super Glue with the setting liquid that causes it to bond instantly. Once I had the five ladder steps attached, I then attached the two foot grates, which are small rectangular parts with the upper surface molded with some interesting detail. The sixth ladder rung was then attached. Because I used super glue and setting solution, I was able to immediately attach the 2nd ladder framework to the sub-assembly.
It took about 5 minutes to clean the flash off the parts where I found it to be necessary, and then about 10 minutes to assemble the ladder. And yes, I did glue my finger to the ladder but removed it without mishap to my finger or the ladder.
A pair of tweezers was helpful when manipulating and then holding the small parts, as was the super glue with the instant setting solution.
This product is highly recommended for its detail, price, eye-catching appearance after assembly. Thanks to Plusmodel for supplying this item for review by IPMS.