Many thanks to Mr. Ross MacMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to try this neat conversion and replacement set for the Minicraft PBM-5A. I am delighted to report on another sweet add-on.
The seven white-metal parts arrive in a blister pack, backed by the distinctive SAC company logo. The parts have a very noticeable heft. The main and nose gear mounts are loose in the package and the four retractor arms are attached to a metal sprue. The struts are nicely polished, and require little buffing and cleanup. The gear struts of the Minicraft PBM-5A are directly replaced with the SAC parts. The main mount actuators are included, and provide a nice bit of flexibility when installing the main mounts in the gear well. The arms fit into small holes deep in the wheel well. Their ability to gently flex is a plus. I found that seating the nose gear retractor arms on the nose strut was also helpful for aligning and positioning. I used Bare Metal Foil ultra-bright chrome to represent the exposed hydraulic rams.
This SAC conversion set is essentially a kit part replacement. Other than polishing and detailing a bit, the parts are ready to drop in. The additional weight provides more stability to the model. I recommend this set as an effective add-on to a great kit.
I also discovered that I really enjoyed using these parts because they fit without any difficulty. As modelers, we often grumble about part fit and other challenges, not-scale issues. But these parts just work, and work well. This result alone makes the parts worth their cost!
Again, my sincerest gratitude to both Mr. Ross MacMillan of Scale Aircraft Conversions and the IPMS Reviewer Corps for providing me this conversion set for review. It is a great privilege, thank you.