One of the benefits of the Kazan Landing Gear (KLG) line is its level of detail, and to make that level attainable by the end user, the engineering that goes into these sets. The components of the sets that require gluing are resin, and so we are essentially limited to cyanoacrylate (CA) glues. The fine detail and size of the parts further limits us to using the thin variety, which cures instantly. That's why it has been marketed as 'instant glue'. Using anything thicker increases the possibility of creating a bit of a 'mess', killing the detail benefit. Some of the finest details involve the torque links, and that's where the engineering comes in. They are designed to fit onto their attachment points and hold in place (and correct position) to allow you to get close enough to apply a drop of the CA. Using the thin stuff allows capillary action to suck the glue into every nook and cranny without obscuring the fine detail, and pretty much eliminating the likelihood of you gluing your fingers to the landing gear set.
This is particularly beneficial with the Spitfire gears, because they are small. The links have small, angled holes thatt correspond to pegs in the main strut. The intent is that they are held between your thumb and index finger, and unless you apply way too much pressure, the assembly maintains its correct orientation. Then, an application of a drop of the CA takes over, and you are left with a clean assembly that complements, and is complemented by, the look of the metal oleo piston.
The idea is the same with the F6F Hellcat gears. Here, the biggest issue with the torque links is that they need to be cleaned up a little as they are removed from their casting block. There is a slight bit of flash around the ends of the links that allows these ends to come out of the mould without breaking. Cleanup is easy with a new knife blade.
The placement procedure is similar to that of the Spitfire set, though in either case, there is no reason not to use Microscale's Liquitape to hold the torque links in place.
A reminder of the metal oleo pistons. These don't need to be masked. Primer, paint and clear coats can be easily scraped away with your x-acto knife, and scuffing the piston would require serious intent on your part to do so. The legs are actually not that fragile.
The F-14 gears are extremely detailed and go together very well. Being F-14 legs, they have quite a few more parts, but the same level of engineering has been applied across the board. The parts count includes the retraction struts of the main gear in both locked and unlocked options, and both options include the metal retraction piston. It also includes printed parts for the sway braces of the front gear, as these just could not be cast to any satisfactory degree. We made the decision to provide this (if you look at the instruction link on the set's product page, it is Part 29) as a single unit to ensure left/right symmetry, but that made casting in resin a bloody nightmare.
Most of the detail parts of this set are large enough that they literally snap into place and require no gluing at all, a very useful feature. All parts were designed with assembly in mind.
If you are interested in purchasing any of our sets, check out the availability at Sprue Brothers or Hannant.s for the North American and European markets respectively, and we are currently also shipping from within the EU. As always, any and all questions will be answered, so feel free to drop us a line.
The four new sets that have just been released cover the Spitfire Mk.VIII, Mk.IX and Mk.XVI, and there are two sets, one with a forward facing torque link, the other with the more rare aft facing links. Both include four and five spoked hubs. The Hellcat set includes full wheel wells, length corrected struts and three types of tires (channel, '+' and brick pattern tread). These three sets are designed for the Eduard line of kits, and are in 1:48th scale, as indicated by the product codes. The fourth set covers the Tamiya F-14A, B and D models, and are completely retooled. They still include all three main hub patterns (early, mid-production and late), but have vastly improved detail, are easier to use, and include clear printed parts for the landing/taxi light. The detail has been enhanced to a new level. The nose strut is a full length affair now, too. These sets can be purchased via our e-shop.
....a roller coaster of a ride. The Covid-19 epidemic has been hard on us,mostly because of what it has done to the mail system, world-wide. We have had to postpone our development of the European studio, due to complications brought on by local restrictions, and the move back to Canada that it precipitated. However, things are gearing back to development and production of new sets. The one thing that has not suffered is development of new items, and this has been brisk.
A couple of major new developments have been the decision to begin offering sets with wheel wells to go with them. Some of these will be of obvious advantage, such as with the landing gear set for Eduard's 48th scale Hellcat, and with the set for the Academy F-4s.
The production of both is nearing, but some raw materials are still in extended transit, delaying things in an unpredictable way.
Here is a sample of the nearly completed art for the Hellcat:
The set includes full main landing gear units and everything associated with them, including HybridCAST oleos and three tire options, allowing a choice of various combinations.
The F-4 sets are being finalized (mostly with wheel well fit confirmation) and this set includes the HybridCAST oleos and retractions struts for the main and nose gears, and as a bonus, includes full speedbrakes as well. Retraction struts with lock collars are included as well. 3D printed clear lights are a major plus.
Wheels, of course, are included, and the wheel well walls are a single piece affair replacing Academy's five piece units. Needless to say, the detail limitations of the kit units are beautifully overcome in these sets. Three initial sets are being developed, covering the Academy F-4B/N, F-4J/S and F-4C/D. These are also being drawn to be used with the SWS kits (including their upcoming F-4E), and the old but very much liked Hasegawa kits. Scaling up to 1:32nd scale is slated through the fall.
the F-14 kit is redesigned. It is still designed for the Tamiya kit, but a new casting system has specifically been developed for this set, and is being used in all the others. Much of the assemblies are a 'snapfit' (they are in all of these sets, actually) and this greatly facilitates gluing. The parts stay in place of their own accord, and this greatly eases assembly. This set won't be offering the wheel sells, but does include clear parts for the lights, and includes a nose strut that is there in its full length, and does not use the upper portion of the Tamiya kit.
So, despite the pandemic and the complications that go with it, development at Kazan has not taken it lying down. These sets, among others, will be available shortly.
....and are available for immediate shipping. The first review samples have been published by AeroScale and can be seen here:
so....what's a model without a great set of legs?
Essentially, Darwinism tells us that man's age old pursuit of the perfect set of legs is normal and natural! Kazan Model Dynamics proudly introduces an innovative new approach to an aspect of modelling aircraft that often falls well short of the standard of a finished build, and addresses several annoying shortcomings of what is currently available and possible. The manufacturing process culminates in landing gear legs and retraction struts with exposed metal oleos and pistons that look incredibly realistic, have no mould seams, and only require masking. Even the masking is not entirely necessary, as a gentle scraping of any paint applied will remove it without scuffing the metal. Below is our first set, covering the 1:48th scale Eduard Bf 109G-5 and Later.
What you see here is the collection of eight components making up the set. In this photo, the main leg, Part No.1, has the torque links attached, but they are not glued in place. The initial concept, which has been preserved as an integral part of the product's success, required making sure that a buildable product was being sold, and part of this was deemed to be some form of deflection of those that like to use the term 'fiddly' in connection with modelling. The line between 'fiddly' and 'fidelity of detail' is clouded and overlapping, but is often used, and always used in a derogatory way. Our approach to addressing this was to make, wherever possible, any attachment of parts, especially the smaller ones, a 'friction' fit, if not an outright snap fit. This allows for very clean and tidy gluing, as well as greatly easing the process, reaping unsurpassed detail as the main benefit. The parts are still small, but that is a function of scale, and we take no responsibility for that.
Above left (or top photo on your phone) is the Bf 109G, and to the right (below), the P-51D. Both are very similar in concept, but the '109 is a simpler affair. Each Bf 109 gear is made up of four parts (the fourth is the wheel hub, not visible in this shot) and the brake line is cast integrally with the leg. Several ideas were tried; this was by far the best. There is a film inside of the brake line loop and it is very easily removed due to the nature of the resin, which is non-brittle. Actually, without this resin and its pluses, this concept would've died a quick death very early on, because, for one, the torque links would have been impossible to do.
In each of the above two shots, the metal forms the main bearing material, and the resin picks up the rest. The gear was load tested over extended periods of time to 300% finished model weight to ensure that the resin (love that stuff!) resisted creep where bending moments were generated. To top it off, the tests involved resin only prototypes (with no metal) and at 300% weight, the legs themselves bent, but no movement whatsoever was registered where, intuitively, the bending moment should have manifested itself. Of course, the metal that reinforces the gear and replicates the oleo piston prevents the bending that was observed in the tests. The metal extends the length of the leg, but not into the casting block, meaning no metal needs to be cut when assembling and prepping the gear. That would be mean.
This is the complete First Set for the Eduard P-51. It has the catalog number KLG4803EDU and includes three different tire patterns. The tire patterns were included to make various combinations possible from one set, and combinations for the P-51 were common in reality. Parts 3 and 4, in the foreground, are the main door retraction struts, also featuring a metal piston.
The second P-51 set, differing from the first by having three tread patterns differing from those in the First Set. This set is numbered KLG4804EDU.
The fourth and final new release in this line this month covers the F-14A/B/D, designed to fit Tamiya's masterpiece of a kit. This one is a little different in its complexity, but that is defined by the fact that it is the F-14...this ain't no '109. It has a grand total of 42 parts spread over three legs, two main, one nose and most of it is snap fitting...If this sounds high, bear in mind that twelve parts of that total account for the tires and hubs alone.
The legs feature all the brake and other hydraulic lines, and the exposed metal oleos speak for themselves. The centre picture shows the part as cast, and features the flat piece designed to ease demoulding and extend mould life, and subsequently, keep production costs down. It is designed for easy removal, though, and is attached to easily accessed (and cleaned up) sections of the leg, and is otherwise attached to the leg with a 60 micron film. This is easily removed and is limited to the inside edge of the leg. The nose gear was a little more complicated and as much as possible, the corresponding flat films were cast with the leg itself, in an effort to keep parts count low (ish). Most of these corresponding films (not seen here) are limited to running down the metal oleo, and clean up is not difficult at all. Again, using resin that is not brittle at all helps in this immensely. As shown, the nose gear has ten (of twelve) parts in the shot above right, and none are glued in place....
An indication of the type of engineering that went into these kits....here's the F-14 main gear leg. This is eight parts (of twelve) and only one is glued in place. The main arm is a snap fit just above the torque links (also snapped in place) and the smaller retraction strut that connects the main arm to the leg halfway up is also snapped in place. These are all free to pivot in place, prior to some nice, clean gluing. That smaller strut also features a metal piston, and frankly, these shots do not do it justice.
All of these sets are carefully designed to fit a specific kit, and that includes the locking brace for the F-14, not visible in this shot. incidentally, the F-14 set includes early, mid and late production rims, making them viable for the F-14A, B and D.
The first four sets cover, as mentioned, the Bf 109G-5 and up (Eduard), the F-14 (Tamiya), and two sets for the P-51 Mustang (Eduard). The next round of releases in February will cover the Spitfire Mk. VIII, IX and XVI (Eduard - 2 sets), the F6F Hellcat (Eduard, and will include a gear length correction), the Eduard Fw 190A, and naturally, the P-38 from Tamiya. March will see the release of our next F-14 set (non-landing gear) featuring the avionic bays. This is expected to be a really good seller, and we will take advantage of the cash flow cushion by releasing some slightly more niche landing gear sets, including the MiG-3, unspatted Stukas and some Japanese types, as an experiment to see what the market desires. Of course, you can always get in touch with us directly and let us know yourself!
The first four sets are in limited production now, and will go into full production second week of January. We, or at least those mutineers that work for me, are taking a Christmas break til then. We will begin taking pre-orders starting Christmas, and all orders will go out in order of receipt from the third week of January. Final prices are yet to be set, but, for the first four, they will range from $24.99US for the Bf 109G-5 to $34.99 for the Tomcat set.
After a long, often frustrating development, we are on the verge of releasing a new product line that will appeal potentially to every aircraft modeller who is building, or planning to, a model with landing gear. The idea and technique are innovative and original, and we think you will like what you see. Stay tuned.....
We still have a few of each of the F-14 sets available and in stock, but, being out of production and much bigger projects on the horizon and coming fast, we are clearing out all of our stock with free shipping worldwide. Enter the code FreeShippingNow! at checkout to take advantage! Offer good only while supplies of KAZ005HAS, KAZ006HAS and KAZ007HAS last.
...this week. There is some stock of both, but this was a learning curve and some things, from a production point of view, should've been done differently to make it easier to produce. As well as with production, it also has a lot to do with stock organization, which was becoming a nightmare....so as happy as we are with the physical sets, they are going out of production and focus will shift to new things. If you are interested in these sets, they won't likely last very long.....
A big thanks to all those who ordered and took the time to comment. All comments about the sets were amazingly supportive, and the only gripes ended up being about one specific (nameless, here) country's postal system. Those issues were, however, resolved. As always, just because it's going out of production, doesn't mean we won't support our product. If you have it, and you should run into any issues whatsoever, please contact us.
...and the first part of it is now published on the site. The menu item is the Wing Box Set.
The Wing Box set is now in production and being shipped. It is available in the e-shop both on its own and in a discounted promotion combo with the Spine set (go to Now Shipping to chose which), the Combo item is KAZ007HAS). All items are currently in stock, and the web article on its assembly will be up shortly.
The Wing Box set includes both complete boxes, left and right with more than what is shown here. The instructions can be viewed from the product page in the e-shop and downloaded as a pdf.