We’ve all tried weighting our planes with fishing sinkers, lead shot, plaster, nuts & bolts (and probably a few other things I haven’t thought of). I started off with sinkers, but hated having to cut them up (or grind them down) in order to get them to fit into the desired areas. And on more than one occasion, I misjudged the amount of weight needed, and ended up with a teeter-totter. More recently, I have used lead shot cemented with C/A, and have found it to be an effective, though less than pleasant, way of balancing my aircraft models. I dislike the need for care in placing the glue – too much and some hard-to-reach detail gets trashed. Not enough, and pieces of shot break loose and rattle around (and usually end up in some highly visible, but inaccessible location). Then there were the times I managed to glue my own fingers together, or worse, smudge the kit. Basically, I just hated the muss and fuss.
I discovered that Terry Dean offers a reasonable solution in the form of cast lead, made from recycled lead automobile tire weights. They are mostly for Revell-Monogram but there are some for Pro-Modeler, AMT, Hasegawa, HobbyCraft and Italeri – and are designed with a high degree of accuracy.
I test-fit the pair of weights designed for the Hasegawa P-38J, and discovered that they fit perfectly. Given that they are made of solid lead, I’m relatively certain this will provide enough weight to prevent the kit from becoming a “tail dragger”.
The B-25 weight can easily be altered to fit the AM kits (Terry did a bunch of them for Don Fenton last year). The A-20 weight will fit all of the AMT A-20/ P-70 kits. The F89 weight fits both the F89D/J kit and the F-89C kit, the B-24 weight set fits all of the Revell-Monogram kits(B-24D&J & the PM kit). The sets for the Hasegawa P-38’s are for the Hasegawa kits only. The other P-38 set fits the Revell-Monogram and Academy/Minicraft kits. Terry also advises that the F-86D weight will fit in the F-14. Several new weights are in the works… they will be for the Revell-Monogram F-80 and F-86D. Another for the Revell-Monogram A-10 is still in the “head-scratching” stage. In addition, a series of 1/72 scale weights is under consideration. If anyone has any ideas for weights not on the list, please feel free to send Terry suggestions.
TD Casting’s weights can be a real time saver, and are offered at modest prices; see the price list below. For me, at least, the convenience more than makes up for the cost. You can see more photos (and get another opinion by checking out Scott Van Aken’s multi-page product review at Modeling Madness. The most up to date price list on the internet for these weights was posted below on Modeling Madness in May of 2012:
Updated to include new prices in July of 2013