Revell 1/40 Nike Hercules SAM

KIT #: 0011
PRICE: $23.95 MSRP
DECALS: One option
NOTES: Reissue of Revell 1958 Nike Hercules Kit, only 5000 units produced


The Nike Hercules MIM-14 was an upgrade to the Nike Ajax SAM and it’s mission was to engage targets at mid to high altitude including certain missiles.  The Nike Hercules SAM was a two stage solid fuel rocket equipped with either a conventional warhead or a small nuclear one (designed to blow up an entire formation of bombers) and had semi-active radar guidance meaning that it was guided to target via ground radar.


Some 25000 were built and used by various NATO countries (nuclear and conventional), Japan and South Korea (conventional only.)  The missile served with the US Army/NATO from 1959 till the mid 80s.  Most if not all CONUS missile units were disestablished in the mid 70s in large part to the huge cost of maintaining the SAMs and the sites while those located in Germany remained operational till the introduction of the Patriot SAM in the mid 80s.  Many of the foreign operated sites remained active until the late 1980s/collapse of the Soviet Union.  Japan used an upgraded version known as the Nike J till the 1990s when it was replaced by the Japanese version of the Patriot SAM.  South Korea is the only current operator of the Nike Hercules (and developed a surface to surface variant) although there have been major reliability and maintenance issues in the past decade.

Nike Hercules is roughly equivalent in performance to it’s USSR counterpart and contemporary SA-2 Guideline SAM that gave US pilots grief  in the early days of the Vietnam War.


Nike Hercules Specs (From Wikipedia)

Length 41 ft (12.53 m) overall 26 ft, 10 in (8.18 m) second stage

Diameter 31.5 in (0.80 m) booster 21 in (0.53 m) second stage

Fin span 11 ft, 6 in (3.50 m) booster 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) second stage

Weight 1065 lbs (4850 kg) at launch 5500 lbs (2505 kg) second stage

Max speed Mach 3.65 (ca. 2750 mph or 4,470 km/h)

Range 90 miles (140 km)

Ceiling 150,000 ft (45,700 m)


Warhead conventional T-45 HE warhead weighing 1106 lb (500 kg) and containing 600 lb (272 kg) of HBX-6 M17 blast-fragmentation


Warhead nuclear initially W7 (2.5 or 28 KT) and later W31 nuclear 2 kt (M-97) or 20 kt (M-22)


It is the old Revell 1/40 scale model that was introduced in 1958 and re-released every 15 or so years since the early 80s.  This time it has been re-released by Revell AG/Germany.


The kit consists of 60 parts in dark green plastic (including three figures if you want to make a diorama) and shows its 50+ year age as it is full of flash, surface imperfections and sink marks in the parts.  The missile is also covered in lots of more than obvious rivets to show detail while the actual missile has a pretty featureless surface.


The model is essentially two kits.  One is the actual Nike Hercules SAM while the other is the launcher which also has a working feature of going up and down which wouldn’t last long due to the delicate nature of the parts.  The decals seem to be okay and are based on the original kit’s markings while the instruction sheet is in the standard Revell AG format with 28 steps and the color callouts in Revell AG colors (so it will take a bit of internet searching to get the right colors for the launcher.)


I suspect that kit will be a lot of work and require a decent amount of modeling skills to build according today’s standards especially if you want to remove the 6 scale inch rivets.



This is pretty much the only game in town if you like the Nike Hercules or like to indulge in some nostalgia (aka playing with the “working” features.)


As it is, I like rockets (manned or otherwise) and look forward to building this kit.


The kit courtesy of my now thinner wallet.

Dan Lee

July 2009

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