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SA-2 Guideline Missile

by David Jenkins



Trumpeter's 1/35 scale Sa-2 Guideline Missile is available online from Squadron.com




This is Trumpeterís brand new SA-2 Guideline Missile ďSAMĒ, kit number 00206. I think Trumpeter should be congratulated for making a well executed, easy to build and inexpensive kit of this long ignored subject - Well Done!

Anyone who is familiar with the air war over Vietnam during the 1960ís and 70ís would have read the many terrifying pilots stories of multiple SAM launches against their aircraft. So it surprises me that this subject has been ignored for so long. The Airfix SA-2 kit has been a collectorís item for as long as I can remember and building one was only really a dream.

The kit offers you three options; Russian, North Vietnamese (basically the same) and an Egyptian used in 1973 Yom Kippar war against Israel. The Missile paint scheme is the same for all three, with the Launcher being painted either Russian Green or Desert Yellow.

Coincidence is a funny thing! The night I bought the model a story came on the news concerning live munitions left lying in and around Bagdad after the recent war. Cut to a couple of children playing in front of a disused SA-2 Battery in a residential area of Bagdad! What immediately grabbed my attention was the Missiles paint scheme, not the boring overall light grey but a two tone light grey and blue grey scheme on the desert yellow launcher. My kits fait was sealed!





This kit is really two kits in one, the Missile and the Launcher. Construction is simple and reasonably strait forward.

The missile is quite simple. A little bit of filling and sanding along the main seam may be needed. If you wish to paint a simular scheme to one I have chosen I would recommend leaving off the main fins on the Missile and Booster until after painting.

The launcher is a little more complicated, but goes together well. The only things of concern were the crew grab handles along the top of the main body of the launcher and the angle of the launch arm. The grab handles were easily replaced with brass wire, which makes them much tougher.


I wanted to depict the Missile in the ready to launch position. The angle of the launch arm is dictated by a drive cog on the main part of the launcher body, this was too stiff to move so you must work out the appropriate angle before gluing the two halves of the launcher together. Another thing that needs to be considered is a hydraulic piston that attaches from the back of the launch arm to the blast deflector. It took a bit playing around to get the arm angle looking right and the piston holding the blast deflector flat to the ground.

Apart from these small niggles the model goes together well, even with some amusing English along the way.



Painting and Markings


The launcher was painted overall Desert Yellow (Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow). From the reference pictures I could find on the net they did not seem to carry much camouflage.

The early SA-2 Missiles came in an overall light grey. Some countries like the North Vietnamese camouflaged them in green with a dark green mottle. For SA-2ís in the Middle East most seem to be the basic light grey, some were given a light mottle of a slightly darker grey.

The two tone grey would appear to be a factory finish and also appears to be used on the SA-3 Missiles. It may signify that the Iraqis SA-2ís are from late 70ís or 80ís production.

The missile was painted a base coat of light grey / white which was masked with Tamiya Masking tape. The dark blue grey (Hobby Color H56 Intermediate Blue) was then sprayed over the rest of the model. On the Missile and 1st stage Solid Rocket Booster the fins were left off and painted separately.



Weathering and Finishing Touches


I have found reference photos of Middle Eastern SAMís showing well established boarder air defence sites that look like they have been in place for many years. This would mean that the launcher was subjected to all the extremes of desert weather as well as the manhandling of crews. I donít know the service cycles for these SA-2 Missiles but assume they would receive regular maintenance.

Accordingly, weathering on the Missile was kept to a minium, and really amounted to pre-shading and a fine wash of black to bring out any hatch or panel lines.

The Launcher having a much harder life was given the full treatment of pre-shading, different coats of the base colour.

Vallejo 995 German Grey was used to simulate paint chips and a lead pencil was then run along any exposed metal edges.

Depth in the weathering was added with a sprayed wash of highly thinned black / red brown mix.





This was a great project, simple, quick and with an impressive result. It must have been truly frighting to be chased around the sky by a couple of these things.

David Jenkins




Kit: Trumpeter SA-2 Guideline Missile - Kit (No. 00206)

Airbrush: Model Master 50601 airbrush

Paints: Desert Yellow (Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow).
Light Grey (Tamiya X - 2 White + a small amount of black).
Dark Grey (Hobby Color H56 Intermediate Blue
Vallejo 995 German Grey


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by David Jenkins
Page Created 18 December, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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