CB Model Products Scale Aircraft Wheel Sander First-Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of First Look||March 2011||Manufacturer||CB Model Products|
|Subject||Scale Aircraft Wheel Sander||Pros||Great way to precisely flatten your aircraft tires|
|Cons||Nothing noted||MSRP (USD)||$25.00 + shipping|
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. In this case, trying to create properly flattened tires for scale aircraft can be a problem. If you've been to a few model displays or contests, you may have seen how a beautifully detailed model will have perfectly round wheels as if there is no weight upon them. You will never see perfectly round wheels on a real flightline unless the aircraft is up on jacks or the wheels are not installed.
Some folks will simply hand-sand their wheels, but keeping the wheels perfectly angled while sanding or filing is very difficult and usually leaves a curved rather than a flat surface. There are many aftermarket 'weighted wheels' available, but too many of them have the tires bulging on the bottom and any good crew chief will tell you that it is time to change those tires!
CB Model Products has produced a simple answer to that problem. Here is an aluminum clamp that you insert your wheel into, adjust the wheel where only the part where you want to flatten portrudes from the bottom of the clamp, tighten the three thumbscrews, and sand. You can see in the images below that there is a black knob that will allow the clamp to be rotated so you can set the angle as well as the depth of your sanding. Where most aircraft wheels sit vertically on the gear, some aircraft like the Bf 109 have their wheels offset at an angle. Trying to flatten Bf 109 wheels is enough to make a Spitfire modeler out of you!
If the wheels have hubs that extend out beyond the tires that would be damaged in the clamp, this tool also includes a variety of rubber 'O' rings and pads to protect the hubs while holding the wheels firmly in place.
This is an interesting solution to a constant challenge for aircraft modelers and will render the need for most aftermarket wheels a thing of the past.
You can purchase one of these fine tools by emailing CB Model Products at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My sincere thanks to CB Model Products for this review sample!