Maquette 1/72 SA-2 Guideline

KIT #: MQ 7270
PRICE: $6.49 MSRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  

BACKGROUND

For some background info and a look at the kit in the box, please visit the preview. This is the third small scale SA-2 that I know of. The Airfix 1/76 scale kit is the oldest and includes the transporter, but this is one of the four 'lost and never to be found' Airfix molds as it has never been reissued. The other is the very nice, but a bit pricey $25 Planet Models resin kit. Like this one it is a missile and launcher, but unlike this one, the detail level is higher. Contest builders will probably want the Planet Models kit. The rest of us who want a pretty quick build with choose this one.

CONSTRUCTION

Since it isn't exactly brimming with parts, the construction phase is going to be relatively quick. Removal of the parts is pretty easy as the plastic is soft, so clean-up is not difficult. I found most parts had a touch of flash and some had sink areas to fill.

I first started with some of the bigger pieces. This included the 'side pods' for the launcher, the launcher bar itself, the base of the launcher and the missile body itself. I found that I had to do some trimming of the molded on missile fins due to a mold mismatch. This mismatch caused some problems getting the body halves together, but thanks to using a 'hot' glue, the mismatch was somewhat melted away and the body halves fit. The missile body and launch bar needed filler for sink areas and the seams. Once the launch bar was filled and sanded, the elevation gear was glued in place.

Once that was done, the build veritably zoomed along. The lower launch platform was quickly assembled with its two bracing feet and two upper pivot points. The side sections had their additional pieces added, which consist of a rear plate and some small canister looking things on the side. Both of these suffered from mold mis-match, which is a problem with all similar parts of this kit.

While that was drying, I assembled the rest of the missile. This basically consisted of gluing on fins. The large ones fit quite well. I found the openings on the body for the smaller fins to be oversize so I had to be quite careful not to get them crooked. In the case of the very small ones in the front, I had to be sure not to have them disappear into the missile body itself!

With the missile body drying, I returned to the launch pad. The two side pods are to be glued together, trapping the pivot join between them. I had to make sure that the launch bar was also trapped at this time. I had to shave off some of the attachment points on the launch bar as it was too wide. Once trapped, I glued the elevation gear to a handy attachment point. This had the launch bar at full elevation. I then used some filler on the large seam that you can see where the two side pods attach. The last part to glue on is the flame deflector and its little feet. Attaching the deflector was no problem, but there is no area marked out for the little stand at the back. I just had to guess at it and make sure that the rear stand was glued on while the assembly was on a flat surface and then flood it with glue to make sure it sticks.

COLORS & MARKINGS

I'd thought about doing a camouflaged version from either Vietnam or from Egypt/Syria, but instead, I went for the aluminum missile and dark green launcher. For the launcher I used up the rest of some already mixed Xtracolor NATO Green. It looks very much the part. The missile was painted with Alclad II Aluminum and shows every tiny scratch I left when sanding. But this isn't a contest model so I really didn't sweat things that much. There is a grey band around the nose that I masked off and painted Neutral Grey. The exhaust I painted Burnt Iron, though I image it was probably steel or something like that. Just had to break up all that aluminum.

As sometimes happens, the Xtracolor took days to dry, so it gave me lots of time to apply the decals. These are well printed and thin. They went on fine in several sessions, but they tear very easily so much care has to be taken when handling them. In fact, you need to treat them with kid gloves even when they are on and have been treated with setting solutions. It may be that the Alclad surface had something to do with it, but when I wiped down the missile to remove glue and solvent residue, several of the decals also departed the kit.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

Uh, basically it was the old 'glue the missile on the launch bar' deal. I did dry-brush the launch assembly before attaching the missile just to make things a bit less monochrome. For that, I used RLM 02 as using aluminum would have been a bit too much. Overall effect turned out just fine. The launch platform was then sprayed with a matte clear to cut down the shine from the Xtracolor paint. Oh yeah. I should also mention that I managed to keep glue off the pivot point and the launcher does rotate on its base!

CONCLUSIONS

You can thank me for expending a huge amount of money to bring this pretty neat little kit to you. Considering how quickly they sold out at the local hobby shop, I'm sure that Maquette will be making a considerable number of these. This is probably as close to a week-end build as I'll ever get and thanks to the pretty simple build, this is a kit that just about anyone can build and enjoy.

August 2004
# 1328 in a series

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