Trumpeter 1/35 SA-2 Guideline




$21.95 MSRP




Scott Van Aken


missile and launcher



Anyone who has flown combat sorties in the last 40 years probably knows all about the SA-2 "Guideline". This rather large surface to air missile has been used by Soviet Bloc countries since the mid-1960s. It was probably most successful over the skies of North Vietnam, mostly due to the number of sorties flown by Allied forces. In fact, so heavy was the use of the SA2 that the North Vietnamese actually ran out of missiles. Thanks to skillful diplomacy of North Vietnamese negotiators in Paris, the wool was pulled over the eyes of the Americans and there was a bombing halt. During this time the North Vietnamese were able to resupply, all without American forces realizing how perilously close they were to being able to attack targets in the north with relative impunity. It only goes to show you that politics and war do not mix!!

The SA-2 V750VK anti-aircraft missile required ground tracking of the target and was not a 'fire and forget' type of missile. Once the missile got close enough to the target, a proximity fuse exploded the warhead and shrapnel from the missile then spread all over the sky. Hopefully for the defending forces, this shrapnel would damage the aircraft enough to bring it down.

Fortunately for the Americans, an SA-2 was captured intact by the Israelis in the 1967 war with Egypt. This enabled countermeasures to be developed. It was also a rather large missile, likened by pilots to a 'flying telephone pole'. As such it was possible to outmaneuver the missile and cause it to lose lock. SAM suppression aircraft (wild weasels) were also developed along with tactics for destroying the guidance sites for the missiles as well as the missiles themselves.

Nonetheless, the SA-2 can lay claim to being the first truly successful Surface to Air missile system.



Ever since the loss of the Airfix molds for the 1/76 SA-2 and transporter, there has been a low level of clamoring for a Guideline kit. Planet Models released a 1/72 version with launcher which was very popular and sold out quickly. Noting that this missile might be a good seller in 1/35, Trumpeter has released three versions. Two include the truck and trailer in Chinese and Russian versions. This kit has the ground launcher but with no truck. Frankly, that is fine with me as it not only saves nearly $40 over the truck version, but it provides what I'm most interested in and that is the missile.

Typical of Trumpeter kits it comes in a very sturdy box and each set of sprues is individually bagged. A very nice touch. You get a lot of pieces for your $22 with the missile in light grey plastic and the launcher in an olive drab (undoubtedly to help in painting).

The detail level of the parts is excellent. It seems as if they have been listening to us as I noted few if any instances of ejector pin marks in areas that will be seen after building. There is no flash and there were no sink areas. The plastic itself is of the slightly rough texture that seems to be more common with kits nowadays and will undoubtedly disappear under the first coat of paint. There are also many very small bits that will require care when removing the parts from the sprues. A length of copper wire is also provided to act as hinges. The kit is designed to be able to adjust the azimuth and elevation of the launcher. I hope it works well as this would be very cool.

Instructions are quite good and offer the usual well drawn construction sequences. Many of the parts are named. No painting information is provided until the final decal stage. The colors given there are both Model Master and Gunze references. One has a choice of two color options: one is Egyptian with the launcher in Desert Yellow and the missile in Light Nary Grey (yeah, there are a number of interesting spelling errors), stian (whatever that is) in white aluminum. The Russian version has a Russian Green launcher and Light Grey missile. The guide also mentions that the North Vietnamese version is in these colors, but there are plenty of references that show that the North Vietnamese camouflaged their equipment. The decal sheet is very well printed and has all the usual data markings.


Frankly, I'm rather psyched about this kit as I've been awaiting a nicely done SA-2 for many years. If your tastes are in the same area, then I'd grab this one as the places I've seen selling them have sold out rather quickly.

Kit courtesy of my impulse buying!

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