RA-5C Vigilante Landing Gear

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Base Kit
Provided by: Scale Aircraft Conversions - Website: Visit Site

Scale Aircraft Conversions has released a set of white metal replacement landing gear for Trumpeter’s 1/72 RA-5C, the Vietnam-era nuclear bomber turned reconnaissance aircraft. SAC’s conversion set includes four parts: the nose gear strut, a separate nose gear torque link, and the two main landing gear struts.

The SAC nose gear strut is cast in two pieces, separating the torque link from the main strut. This should aid in painting the moving portion of the oleo strut. The casting is very nice, although the surface texture (on all of the struts) is slightly grainier than the kit part, but should aid in paint adhesion. The torque link and strut will both need a bit of very minor cleanup. As with the kit strut, a clear landing light and a small bit of equipment (a brake booster or steering pump?) will need to be attached to the strut. SAC’s replacement retains the mounting holes for these parts. The strut’s keyed mounting tab fit easily and snugly into its receiver on the cockpit floor.

SAC’s main landing gear struts were also very nicely cast. The kit’s struts are attached to the sprue with massive attachment points, and getting the parts cleaned without destroying the strut detail would be a huge undertaking. Fortunately, the SAC parts eliminate the need for this cleanup. SAC’s struts fit into the keyed slots in the main landing gear bays as nicely as the nose gear strut did. Each main gear strut requires several secondary links to be attached between itself and the wheel bay. These links are not replaced by the SAC set, but the main gear struts retain the mounting holes and tabs required to attach them.

Overall, this is very nice metal landing gear set. The parts were nearly drop-in replacements, and they offer a good deal of added strength. The other major advantage is the ability to easily tweak the gear’s straightness thanks to the pliability of the white metal. This replacement set is a solid upgrade and highly recommended.

My thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for supplying this set, and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.


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