This release by SAC provides replacement white metal landing gear for the Kitty Hawk 1/48 Su-34 kit. While white metal is softer than cast brass, the main struts and nose struts are quite sturdy in this set and will hold up if a lot of weight is added to the model. This release by SAC is a replacement for the kit landing gear, both the main gear and the nose gear. These parts are not a copy of the kit parts it is engineered from build-ups of the kit parts and then cast. As a result, this set has fewer parts than if you built the landing gear out of the box. The gear is engineered to incorporate some plastic parts from the Kitty Hawk kit. Unlike past SAC sets I have reviewed in the past, these parts have been cleaned up and do not show any mold lines.
The replacement main gear comprises 6 parts and replaces kit parts as indicated:
- Main strut – left gear B17, B23, & D41 (right gear B24, B11 & D40)
- Cross arm supporting carrying the main wheels – left gear B31 & B34 (right gear B32 & B33)
- Oleo scissors – left gear F27 & B18 (right gear F27 & B24)
- Parts of the retraction mechanism – left gear F4 & D18 (right gear D19 & F4)
The replacement nose gear comprises 7 parts including the boarding ladder, and replace kit parts as indicated:
- Nose strut – B9 & B15. SAC detached the retraction strut and cast it as a separate piece
- Strut stabilizers (cast together) – B3 & D47 and B14 & D48
- Oleo and wheel mount – D6 & D17
- The components which come from the kit - C12 & D53 which must be added before the wheel mount is added
- Other components added from the kit – D3 & D62
- The boarding ladder is cast in a single piece and replaces D45 & D46
SAC does not provide instructions and while the build-up of replacement components can be pretty intuitive, in this case, there were two parts I could not identify as to their location. A note to SAC and they responded that the cylinders are for the nose gear mudguard. Mystery solved!
This is a quality replacement set which reduces some of the assembly required by the kit. While this kit is not regarded as a heavy model, and some may question the need for replacement landing gear, it is interesting that Kitty Hawk is going to provide cast metal landing gear in their next release of the kit. If you already have the first release, as I do, this SAC set is a welcome addition in aftermarket detail.
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