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Soldering Tamiya Metal Undercarriage Legs

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I am planning on modifying the nose wheel leg on a Tamiya F-15E to correct the over-length strut from the bottom of the oleo to the wheel hub axle.

 

Can anyone tell me whether it is possible to solder or braze these metal legs or a way that they have succeeded in fixing two parts together please?

 

I haven't done any cutting yet but have worked out a way to do it. Just need a bit of information before I commit to the task.

 

Happy modelling.

Peter

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Hi Peter

 

I cheated on mine by increasing the depth of the location points. This does not alter the oleo length but does improve the "sit" of the model quite a bit. Unless someone has soldered the Tamiya struts successfully, I would be cautious of going that route. On my next Tamiya F-15C I will cut the oleo and then drill and pin  it with a small steel pin down the center. I think that would be stronger.

 

Nick

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If you solder, I would test first.  Is there any extra metal with the gear leg, like an attachment runner it came on?  You would want to see what the melting point of the metal is and get a solder that melts below that temp.  A variable temp soldering iron is essential also so you can keep total heat low enough not to damage your metal.

TAmiya white metal is some sort of relatively hard white metal.  For example my experience is that is harder and more solid than what SAC uses for their gear.  However Tamiya’s metal parts melting point is probably still below the working temp of typical off the shelf solder. 

Edited by cbk57

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8 hours ago, Cheetah11 said:

 

Hi Peter

 

I cheated on mine by increasing the depth of the location points. This does not alter the oleo length but does improve the "sit" of the model quite a bit. Unless someone has soldered the Tamiya struts successfully, I would be cautious of going that route. On my next Tamiya F-15C I will cut the oleo and then drill and pin  it with a small steel pin down the center. I think that would be stronger.

 

Nick

Thanks Nick. The issue is not the oleo but the part below the oleo to which the wheel axle is attached. A consequence of reducing the size of the connecting piece, which is too long, will be an increase in the length of the oleo, which I can accomplish by cutting the oleo off, drilling suitable holes and inserting a tube or rod to make the new oleo. The issue is really cutting the bit below the oleo and then re-attaching a suitable axle attachment point that is strong enough to support the model and to allow for transport to shows.

You are spot on about finding out about soldering, I am not going to start cutting until I know that it can be done. Thanks for your input, it is greatly appreciated. Happy modelling.

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6 hours ago, cbk57 said:

If you solder, I would test first.  Is there any extra metal with the gear leg, like an attachment runner it came on?  You would want to see what the melting point of the metal is and get a solder that melts below that temp.  A variable temp soldering iron is essential also so you can keep total heat low enough not to damage your metal.

TAmiya white metal is some sort of relatively hard white metal.  For example my experience is that is harder and more solid than what SAC uses for their gear.  However Tamiya’s metal parts melting point is probably still below the working temp of typical off the shelf solder. 

Thanks CBK, that is just what I need to find out. I don't have any spare legs to test though at this stage. I will ask around at my club and see if anyone there has a spare one. Thanks again, much appreciated.

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I don't think the Tamiya legs are white metal but rather some sort of zinc alloy much like diecast Matchbox cars. 

 

The way the Tamiya metal looks, feels, weighs and its rigidity make me think this. Not being a metallurgist I can't say for certain. 

 

I have a spare MLG legs if you want to experiment on something first. 

 

Carl

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1 hour ago, BloorwestSiR said:

I don't think the Tamiya legs are white metal but rather some sort of zinc alloy much like diecast Matchbox cars. 

 

The way the Tamiya metal looks, feels, weighs and its rigidity make me think this. Not being a metallurgist I can't say for certain. 

 

I have a spare MLG legs if you want to experiment on something first. 

 

Carl

Thanks Carl. I agree with your assumption, they do feel like matchbox cars. I will wait until after our next meeting to see if someone local has a spare or broken leg to experiment on. Your kind offer is appreciated and I may well get back to you.

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Hi Peter

 

I had a look at my F-15E and C. The E is complete but the C still needs to be build and I am interested in how you solve this as I also want to fix it on my C. Looking at the parts I have a solution for you which will not be totally accurate but will address the relative positions of the wheel and the strut. The wheel is centered on the brake assembly and you could move the locating hole in the brake assembly down by the requires amount and then chop off the bottom 1 mm off the strut if necessary. I hope I have been clear. If you need a photo of what I meant , just shout.

 

Nick

 

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Hi Nick, yep that is the plan. Cut the bottom of the strut off and re-drill the axle hole. But then attach a brass tube ( my idea was to solder it) to keep the wheel hub at the correct distance from the strut.  The oleo just needs to be cut off at both ends and a brass or aluminium tube, longer by the same length that the strut is shortened, with the leg drilled at both ends to accept the new oleo. Seems simple enough but I don't want to start if I can't be sure of a strong fit of any of it. Thanks for your comments, very helpful mate.

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