Kazan Model Dynamics has been releasing some exceptional aftermarket detail sets, including a few for 1:48 scale F-14 Tomcat kits. The work exquisitely designed and the casting and detail is exceptional in quality and accuracy. In this recent release, Kazan Model Dynamics offers a new HybridCAST landing gear set for the 1:48 scale Tamiya F-14A/B/D kits.
This set (KLG4814TAM; MSRP: $39.99) contains 47 cast resin parts. This is a retooled and improved version of the now sold-out KLG4802TAM F-14 Landing Gear set. These are complete replacement parts for the Tamiya F-14’s nose gear and main gear and they are designed to be drop-in replacements. They are designed and cast with such precision that various parts can be snapped into place with a solid “friction fit” to make gluing with CA and assembly a whole lot cleaner. The Tomcat’s landing gear are rather complex, and this set reproduces them to the point that these are the most exquisitely detailed and accurate F-14 gear that I’ve seen in any scale.
Starting with the gear bodies themselves, both nose and main gear are cast around a solid metal core – hence the “HybridCAST” label. These parts will more than sufficiently tolerate the weight of the model. Unlike a solid resin casting, these physically cannot and will not bend or distort over time. It’s impressive! Another nice feature (and rather ingenious when it comes to the molding and production process) is that the silver oleos (the metal cores themselves) are left exposed and do not require any painting.
The nose gear is redesigned here as a single-piece mount, and it also includes as separate parts the catapult bar, the approach indicator, two styles landing lights, of the nosewheel hydraulic steering cylinder, oleo scissors, holdback attachment point, and the retraction drag brace. The electrical lines to the landing light and small hydraulic lines to the nosewheel steering cylinder are included. The nosewheel tires capture the tire tread perfectly, and the “Michelin Air” imprimatur is perfectly reproduced on the outboard tire sidewalls. Note that in this new set, the left and right nose gear torque links are a 3-D printed parts (not cast) and require a little different approach to how they are removed (see instructions).
The left and right main gear are similarly accurate and detailed. The main mount, the big side brace, the brace actuator, scissors, and even the hydraulic lines mounted on the scissors are included here. The surface detail especially on the main gear is outstanding, and it captures in very fine detail hydraulic lines, braces, and tie-down rings just perfectly. The circumferential tire tread, disk brake assembly, and “Goodyear Aircraft Rib” imprimatur on the outboard main gear tire sidewalls all look great. The three styles of F-14 main gear wheel hubs are also provided in this set that span those of the first jets to the final hub style that emerged in the 1990s. Contrary to some sources out there, these styles were not variant-specific, but time period-specific. These different hub shapes and details, each intricately and subtly different in their own ways, are accurately represented here.
The Tamiya kit parts are good, but the main gear especially is simplified and missing some details. This set contains all those details and is further light years beyond the kit parts. A meticulous attention to detail is evident for all to see. Detail-oriented builders will love it, and Tomcat fans will geek-out with this set.
Sincere thanks are owed to John Bubak at Kazan Model Dynamics for the review sample. You visit them on the web at https://www.kazanmodeldynamics.com where you order this set directly (or their F-14A/B/D Upper Fuselage Access or Wing Box Sets, and any of their other items), follow their blog, and read their build articles.
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale