Kazan Model Dynamics has been releasing a number or exceptional aftermarket detail sets for the Hasegawa 1:48 scale F-14 Tomcat. Not only is their work exquisitely designed, but the casting and detail is exceptional in quality and accuracy. In this new release, Kazan Model Dynamics offers a new set: F-14A/B/D Landing Gear for the Tamiya kits.
This set contains 42 cast resin parts. 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, designed and cast with such precision that various parts can be assembled with a “friction fit” (but of course, I always recommend CA glue!). The Tomcat’s landing gear are rather complex engineering affairs, 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 all there, from the catapult bar to the approach indicator, the nosewheel hydraulic steering cylinder, oleo scissors, holdback attachment point, and the retraction drag brace. The nosewheel tires capture the tire tread perfectly, and the “Michelin Air” imprimatur is perfectly reproduced on the outboard tire sidewalls. All that you can add are the electrical lines to the landing light and small hydraulic lines to the nosewheel steering cylinder.
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 amazing, 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. This is light years beyond the kit parts.
A nice touch here: there are three styles of main gear wheel hubs provided in this set. For those outside of the the F-14 community you might be surprised that there were different wheel hubs on the Tomcat, but early production and mid/late-production F-14A/Bs had different wheel hubs, and the F-14D wheel hubs were completely distinct as well. These different hub shapes and details are each intricately and subtly different in their own ways, and are accurately represented here. The only thing that one might critique about this set is that the manufacturer’s imprimaturs on the tire sidewalls seem a little too elevated, exaggerated slightly in their vertical dimension and their scale physical height. Still, when painted and drybrushed, the human eye will probably have a hard time seeing this issue. In the end, it should not be a big deal.
Overall, this landing gear set is awesome. It gets a solid “bravo-zulu” rating from me. The meticulous attention to detail is evident for all to see, and these are the most faithful and accurate F-14 landing gear that I’ve seen in any scale. Detail-oriented builders will love it, and Tomcat fanatics… errr… I mean, “specialists,” will geek out with this set. I surely did!
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