Italeri’s 1/48 S-2 Tracker: Part And Pieces, Pieces And Parts

The S-2 Tracker is slowly grinding to a finish. It’s not a bad kit, or a difficult kit, by any stretch. But it is a tedious kit. Lots of little antennas, drains, and other such projections dot its surface. Gear doors, weapons bay doors, wing fold parts- all must be accounted for. 

The only major components left to deal with are the landing gear struts, the wing fold parts, and a few additional projections from the fuselage.

The landing gear parts have taken a little bit more work than I anticipated. As I’d noted previously, this model has required an inordinate amount of nose weight to avoid tail sit. So the strength of the landing gear will be important over time.

The commission model build client asked for me to use Scale Aircraft Conversions (SAC) white metal landing gear, assuming that the “metal” would mean they were stronger.

I will admit I am a bit puzzled by the popularity of SAC’s “white metal” landing gear. I’ve been asked to use them on several previous kits, and have found them to be generally no better than the kit parts, and in the case of this S-2, inferior to the kit parts.

For one, apart from one instance that appeared to correct the length of the gear strut, the SAC parts generally seem to be a copy of the kit part. I haven’t worked with an example where the detail present on the SAC part appears to be any sharper than the kit parts.

And the whole “white metal” thing is a misnomer. It’s pewter, essentially. The thinner parts have little more rigidity than lead solder. In the case of this S-2- which has very thick struts- the white metal parts seem to be less rigid than their plastic counterparts.

For this kit, I’m actually opting for the plastic parts for the main gear. I have far less faith in a pewter to pewter glue bond holding up long term than I do the plastic parts, which will essentially be fused together with Tamiya Extra Thin cement. I do think the metal part may be a bit better for the nose gear- but only because it will be easier to bend back to shape if it does experience some “sag”.

Anyway…. I know many people love to buy these parts, but I don’t get why.

So apart from sorting out a few more dangly bit, this one is almost to the finish line.

One comment

  1. Loving this build Jon – it looks cracking.

    I do like the Tracker, it’s such a nice looking aircraft – one of these days I really must build a twin!

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