The F-4 Phantom II has long been a very popular subject among scale aircraft modelers. Tamiya’s recent F-4B kit is by far the best Phantom II in 1:48 scale and probably the best in any scale. However, there are a few areas where detail has been notably simplified or omitted in the Tamiya F-4B, such as with the gear wells and the landing gear. Kazan Model Dynamics currently produces what your reviewer feels are the best detail sets in a market that already has a high bar. Kazan Model Dynamics recently released a super-detailed gear well set for the Tamiya F-4B (which we reviewed HERE), and now, we take a look at their latest work: a landing gear set for the Tamiya F-4B/N.
This set (#KAZ48012TAM: F-4B/N Landing Gear [for the Tamiya kit]; MSRP $49.99) contains twenty-six 3-D printed parts and six stainless steel tubes that that serve as complete replacements for the kit landing gear. The printing of these parts is at such a high resolution that they are visually indistinguishable from the highest quality cast resin. The detail is exceptional, capturing with high precision and accuracy every detail of the F-4’s landing gear. Starting with the nose gear, it is rather stunning. Details such as the nosewheel hydraulic steering cylinder, tie-down ring, and wiring are beautifully executed. As nice as the printing and detail is, a truly elegant touch involves how Kazan incorporates a stainless-steel tube designed to run right up the center of the 3-D printed nose gear strut. Not only does this confer the necessary strength to the nose gear, but its exposed section is the nose gear oleo, and thus, requires no silver paint to make it look realistic. Alternate 3D-printed and stainless-steel tube parts are provided to depict the nose gear retraction strut with and without its locking collar. The nose gear tires look great, featuring the Michelin Air imprimatur on the tire sidewalls, a circumferential tread, and separate outboard wheel hubs that drop into the tire.
The main gear are similarly eye-watering and replete with detail, from hydraulic lines to tie-down rings. The main gear also get the stainless-steel tube treatment for strength and simulating their oleos. Alternate parts are provided once again for retraction struts with or without the locking collar. The main gear tires have the Goodyear imprimatur on the tire sidewalls, depict a circumferential tread, and have separate inboard and outboard wheel hubs that drop into the tire. The left and right main wheel cover doors and left and right outer main gear doors are provided as well. The detail on the doors go way beyond that of the kit parts.
The complete nose and main landing gear are designed to drop right into the kit gear wells. However, if you are using this set in conjunction with Kazan’s gear well set, shortening the retraction struts ever so slightly will be needed.
This set is a little costly, cost in this case translates directly into the high value and outstanding detail that you can bring to Tamiya’s 1:48 scale F-4B kit. These parts represent an impressive aftermarket upgrade that is very easy to incorporate into this great kit. Scale modelers hoping to add even more to their F-4B need to look no further. If Tamiya should ever release a 1:48 scale F-4N or if the scale modeler wishes to conduct a conversion, the gear are identical in the F-4N. This detail set will be used in my Tamiya F-4B build without a second thought.
Many 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 (and any of their other items), follow their blog, and read their build articles.
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale