Sunday, November 19

Review: ResKit 48th scale F-35 Lightning II improvement sets Pt. II - Cans & Wheels...

We have seen two resin aftermarket sets from ResKit in review from Gary already. Today he takes a look at the 'burner cans & wheel sets for the 48th scale Lightning II in another detailed review...
RESKIT is a well known & respected Ukrainian aftermarket company, focusing on aircraft detail sets in cast resin and more recently 3D printing. In this review I'll take a look at several new sets they have designed specifically to enhance the new tooled Tamiya 1:48th scale  F-35A.

We have already looked at their new cockpit, pilot seat and pilot, so today we examine:
F-35 (A, C) "LIGHTNING II" Exhaust Nozzle for Tamiya Kit - RSU48-0261
F-35 (A,B) Wheels Set - RSU48-0185

RESKIT - F-35 (A, C) "LIGHTNING II" Exhaust Nozzle for Tamiya Kit
From ResKit
1/48th scale
Kit No #RSU48-0261
Set 0261 offers a resin 3D printed/cast exhaust tube and nozzle designed specifically to fit only the Tamiya 1:48 F-35A (and if they eventually do a C).

The external Reskit nozzle consists of two parts, an inner (R2) and outer (R1) sleeve. This differs from the Tamiya plastic parts which are molded as five petal segments rather than a single piece. The benefits of 3D printing are put to good use here.
The F-35 is powered by the Pratt & Whitney F135, an afterburning turbofan producing around 28,000 lbf (125 kN) of thrust and 43,000 lbf (191 kN) with afterburner. The F135 incorporates a stealthy augmentor where traditional spray bars and flameholders are replaced by thick curved vanes coated with ceramic radar-absorbent materials (RAM). Afterburner fuel injectors are integrated into these vanes, which block line-of-sight of the turbines, contributing to aft-sector stealth. The axisymmetric nozzle consists of fifteen partially overlapping flaps that create a sawtooth pattern at the trailing edge. This creates shed vortices and reduces the infrared signature of the exhaust plume.
The patterned surface of the inner petals have been accurately captured by the Reskit designers and when mated with the outer sleeve form a secure join.
The Tamiya nozzle is assembled using 5 matched segments which interlock onto a circular bracket. The engineering and fit of this rather complex looking sub-assembly is pure Tamiya.
When assembled both the Reskit and Tamiya nozzles look very good. As expected the 3D printed parts out shine the kit plastic in terms of detail and sharpness.
The Tamiya kit afterburner jet pipe is pretty typical, being assembled from two halves. As with any tube that has two halves you are going to have an internal seam that is next to impossible to remove.
As modellers we learn to live with two piece jet pipes (much like two piece intake trunking), but cast and 3D printed parts offer an alternative, single piece jet pipes with no seam. It does have the disadvantage of making painting more challenging but not having that visible seam is worth the extra effort. Reskit have also included more surface detail on the inside of the jet pipe when compared next to the Tamiya parts.
A final test fit confirms that Reskit are on the money once again. You can leave the nozzle off and attach at the end of the build which always makes me happy.
The Reskit assembly instructions are simple and clear.

RESKIT - F-35 (A,B) Wheels Set 
From ResKit
1/48th scale
Kit No #RSU48-0185
The last set in this review is a set of F-35 wheels suitable for any 1:48 kits. Two main wheels and a single nose is provided with hubs and tires molded separately. A favourite subject of many aftermarket companies over the years, replacement scale wheels often offer more detail than the kit plastic parts in terms of raised surface tire sidewall and hub detailing. The very best replacement wheels also provide realistic sagging on the bottom of the tire to simulate the effect of weight.
Like most modern military aircraft, the F-35 employs high pressure tires with an anti-lock braking system. The wheels appear to be universal across the F-35 fleet.
Even the most cursory comparison of the Reskit and Tamiya wheels shows the obvious improvements offered by the resin. The wheels are cast resin but a very close look at the detail seems to indicate the masters were most likely 3D printed.
The interior side...
The nosewheel of the F-35 is fairly unremarkable in design, but is a very visible part of any finished model so attention to detail will be rewarded here.
As with the main wheels, Reskit has provided sidewall raised details and slightly more realistic hub.
The reverse side...

CONCLUSION - Reskit 1:48 F-35A Detail Sets
Reskit are a well established powerhouse in the scale aircraft aftermarket scene. They have rightfully earned a reputation for excellence in terms of accuracy and detailing. Each of these four new sets for the Tamiya F-35 show they continue to innovate with the use of 3D printing and 3D decal technology, keeping them firmly positioned as king of the mountain.

I'll be putting each of these sets to good use when I start my Tamiya F-35A build. Highly recommended.

Gary Wickham

You can see more of this kit and purchase these if you like them directly from the Res-Kit Website...
You can see more of Gary's model making on his website