The new 1/32 scale B-25 Mitchell needed a few bits and bobs to make it a truly great kit – first of all that I would have added were some metal landing gear to strengthen up the stance of this massive beast of a kit – well G-factor have entered their own set of legs for your consideration – let’s have a look at them in our review.
G-Factor Kit 32056 1/32 B-25 landing gear.
For: 1/32 HK kit of the B-25
Kit No: 32056
Kit type: is
Available from: Ernie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
(They have a website coming soon at) http://www.g-factormodels.com/
The H.K. Models kit of the B-25 had an impact on the modelling community and the few things you need to transport it from being a good to a great kit were some new props and governors (more on that next week) a nose weight or tow and some strong metal landing gear.
I saw the original kit which had metal landing gear – I can only think that it was a cost issue as to why they weren’t issued with the kit when HK released it. I suppose they thought it was the straw that broke the bank? Anyway the weight of the kit and the dispersal of that weight really did warrant metal landing gear.
Well Ernie of the legendary G-factor Models has come to your rescue. Before seeing these for myself I had heard of the almost mystical quality of Ernie’s work – well now I can say I have that “legend” in my hand – is it as good as they say?
The landing gear came from the states to my doorstep in just a few days – wrapped in bubble wrap securely fastened – I was more than happy as well with the customer service given by G-factor – they should be commended for that.
The oleos themselves come in a zip-loc plastic bag with the logo and package information on front – no mess no fuss – once I got them out I was instantly impressed with the finish of them – I have owned many metal wheels in the past and I can say these are THE cleanest I have ever had the pleasure of owning. They are far ahead of others I have owned actually – I did give a little “Wow” when I had a good look at them. This gear is meant as a direct replacement of the original gear and fits into all of the same holes as the injection moulded counterparts. I personally like the fact these are one piece - the non structural parts then can just be assembled ONTO the load bearing part and not a part of the structural strength. ( as riggers always say hang it off the piece not what's hanging off the piece)
The nose gear or the “auxiliary gear” as the USAAF called it, comes in one long piece of metal and is a great representation of the real thing. Those sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that the towing hole isn’t there – thought the strut that “safeties” onto it is - I am sure this is more of a strength issue than a lack of a hole! Notable is the alternate arrangement of the oleo scissors just like the real thing. The holes of the kit piece to plumb into are there on the clean face of the landing gear.
The real thing
Also the cylindrical dampener used to stop the nose wheel from turning too much is supplied with the kit so no need to make another here – the rear supporting strut is also supplied with the kit as well. The long stalk supplied here will take all of the nose weight so everything else coming off the wheel is dressing. The kit needed strength in the nose more than anything.
The main landing gear is supplied in the form of two single piece oleos complete with scissor linkage shock absorbers and tiny tie down holes supplied which are correct to scale. The strut – like the front gear is very strong and it didn’t at any time look like breaking or bending on me which I know is the case with softer metal gear.
The real main gear
The gear surfaces is very “clean” again – I found only one piece of metal bog on all three of these wheels which took just a second or two with a tiny file to remove, as well as this there is a small seam running down the main gear legs. I would feel a lot more confident working on these to get one or two bits of excess off than some other wheels I have tried. Although these are very rigid wheels the texture can be buffed up with some small sandpaper looped around the oleos, then an undercoat and some chrome paint. I think the finish would be excellent.
The main gear comes as just the main oleo again. There are plenty of holes for the kit arts to join onto them; these kit parts are again just for the detail. The strength lays in the G-factor gear.
So to sum up – there were one or two tiny blemishes and the “whole” gear is not supplied – BUT the parts you really need are – and they are of a detail and a quality I have not seen in metal landing gear before owning these. I can say that these will be a really welcome addition to my B-25 and ill feel confident in moving it once it is completed. They are strong, accurate and without a lot of clean up – great work Ern!
Thanks to G-Factor models for these wheels – you can get them from Ernie directly at email@example.com
(they have a website coming soon at) http://www.g-factormodels.com/)