This is the Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) white metal landing gear replacement option for the Special Hobby 1/32 Yak-3 kits. If you have built in 1/32 scale you have probably wondered at some point if the kit provided plastic landing gear will adequately support the model’s weight. These SAC items are primarily intended to address any strength concerns, but there are two other advantages to using white metal landing gear: You can very slightly bend the main strut into perfect alignment once installed, and the oleo can be fine sanded to a very shiny and realistic finish.
These Yak-3 SAC landing gear pieces match very closely the kit molds. The main struts are slightly but noticeably shorter when compared directly to their kit counterparts, but it seems the smaller supporting strut pieces are proportionately shorter as well - so this should not ill affect the resulting angle of the gear or final stance of the aircraft.
The only piece that suffers detail when compared to its kit counterpart is the separate scissor link for the rear strut, but this should clean up just fine with a little work.
I did read a concern on-line regarding the malleability of white metal and its potential to warp over time if introduced to too much weight. Even if this is a legitimate concern it will most certainly not be a problem for the Yak-3. It is such a small fighter that I doubt the kit struts will have any problem supporting this plane – especially with the way the wheel bay covers attach to the struts – which should further strengthen the kit landing gear constructs. However, if you are intending to use an aftermarket resin cockpit (weight increase), or any of the other current resin upgrade options coming out of Russia, or desiring the post-mount adjustability of white metal or its oleo polishing benefit and look, these SAC pieces are a good option. In any case, it is terrific to have these options available to use - in whole or in part - depending on your intentions.
My sincere thanks to Scale Aircraft Conversions for providing these items for review via the IPMS USA Reviewer Corps.