Well it is here and in 1/32 - what a winning combination! Indeed I own the kit and I am extremely impressed with it – but on doing a bit of research I did however find out that there indeed were a few areas of consternation with the kit with the general public – the wings - riveted or not?, injection marks in the MG bay doors and a little issue about the landing gear – well on a kit so good these aren’t such a big deal – but on a kit so good why not shoot for the moon and make everything the best it can be? Let’s see if these metal landing gear replacements from Scale Aircraft Conversions make this into the perfect kit which we all hope to own...
I could watch this all day!
Scale aircraft Conversions 1/32 P-51 Landing Gear (Tamiya kit)
For: 1/32 Tamiya
Kit No: 32054
Kit type: White Metal
MSRP: $ 16.95
Available from: Scale Aircraft Conversions Webshop
The kit is made up of white metal for strength and malleability – no snapping or legs bending under the strain (as we will look at with the He-111 later) and the ability to be worked with a drill or sandpaper easier. With the malleability comes sometimes parts that are bent in shipment but this is easily corrected with some care.
Quality wise the replacement parts had only the smallest of clean-up to be done on them both as we all have seen roughly cast metal legs before and no one likes to have to get the big file out! Pleasantly surprising. For U.S. $ 16.95 you get:
· Main gear struts
· 2 x oleo scissors
· A new tail wheel strut
· Four (2 x pairs) main strut cover attachment arms
If you lightly sand these they shine up and look like polished ally
Now just to make this clear you can leave your attachment arms coupled up to each other or separate them – SAC sent them out attached which is the easier option – you don’t need to separate them like I (and many others I see) have done.
The main gear goes right onto the main strut cover via a hole in the metal which you just position onto the notch coming out of the kit – it sits there straight as you can just glue either side the strut cover attachment arms either side (remember leave the bit in the middle) the metal legs are a complete drop in replacement on the main gear and the tail wheel – and these fit perfectly.
The main wheel axles fits – but you have to just – only about a millimetre or so – ream out the inside of the wheel hub. Once that minor adjustment is made you will have a lovely strong main strut which still has all of the holes and attachment points for the kit lines and wires to sit into snugly.
The tail wheel is also a direct replacement for the Tamiya kit part although it is a little thinner than the kit part which needs to be strengthened – well the white metal has its own metal insides and this sits very nicely on the hub of the wheel with no adjustments needed.
It is as accurate if not better when compared to drawings I have compared them against (who can trust those thought) and to me it seems the more scale correct because of its thinner structure.
SAC on the left - Tamiya on the right
The wheel fits snugly
All in all I think this is a good likeness to a very well researched kit but going one or two better in that it will be a stronger while thinner replacement. Well done SAC for improving on an already great kit!!
Thanks to Scale Air Conversions for this review kit