Planet Models 1/72 SA-2 'Guideline'


MV 016






Scott Van Aken


Resin with small photo etched fret


The S-75 surface to air missile (NATO code SA-2 'Guideline') is probably one of the best known and most widely used missile systems of its type in the world. It was initially developed in the late 1950s for use as the Soviet Union's premier missile defense network. It is a relatively long range missile, capable of reaching high altitudes to reach the intended target.

Its first success came in the shooting down of Gary Powers in his unmarked CIA operated Lockheed U-2 in 1960, though it took more than one missile to finally get him! Later, this same system was set up in Cuba, several Middle Eastern countries and in North Vietnam. It is claimed that in 1967, over 60 US aircraft were shot down by this missile. However, the North Vietnamese admit to using over 3200 of them to obtain that score. The SA-2 was not an easy missile to miss seeing. American pilots referred to it as a 'flying telephone pole' because of its size. This size also made it difficult to maneuver and many missed their targets thanks to the ease at which US planes could outmaneuver it. Pilots stated that if they could see it, they could get it to miss. It was the one they didn't see that got them!

Despite its obsolescence, the system is still being used in a number of countries around the world.


  Planet Models has been quietly producing a number of interesting non-aircraft models in 1/72 scale, including this particular one. Thanks to the demise of the Airfix mold for their SA-2 kit, it was seen that there was a demand for it so one was produced in resin. Unlike the Airfix version, this one does not have the transporter, but is molded to be set up in firing position.

As with all of Planet Models kits of this type, the packaging is very good with parts segregated into smaller compartments. This helps to prevent breakage of bits during shipment and storage. All the bits are molded in Planet's usual medium buff resin and though there is flash, only a few air bubbles were noticed. Quality of molding has always been very high with Planet Models resin products, and the detailing on this kit is up to those standards.

The majority of the kit is devoted to the launch stand as you might expect. All of the photo etched bits are for this construct and mostly consist of steps and hand-holds. The mount is not designed to swivel though the launch arm can be set at any desired angle. The missile itself consists of 17 resin parts, most of which are fins. Though no weight is needed, it wouldn't be a bad idea to position the missile so that it is over one of the legs of the launch base. That is a lot of resin to have hanging out on one side so stability may be an issue.

Painting instructions would have you paint the missile overall light grey with the launch mount in either dark green or sand. From images I have seen of North Vietnamese SA-2s, many of them were camouflaged in a rather ragged and haphazard manner, and obviously using a brush!



If you can't get (or afford) an Airfix SA-2, then this kit would seem to be a logical replacement. Frankly, I'm surprised that one of the Eastern European companies that makes Soviet and Russian military equipment in 1/72 has not come out with a S-75 kit .  As resin kits go, this one looks to be straight-forward enough for those with even a minimal amount of resin experience.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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