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SA-2 Guideline Missile
on Launcher




S u m m a r y

Stock Number and Description Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit No. 00206; SA-2 Guideline Missile on Launcher
Media and Contents: 159 parts (118 in olive drab styrene, 40 in grey styrene, 1 section of copper wire)
Price: MSRP USD$21.95
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: First styrene kit of this missile in this scale; elegant details with the kit; launcher able to be posed
Disadvantages: No wheel assemblies provided for the launcher base; no radar!
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all missile and "Duck Hunter" fans


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

Model built by Chris Wauchop

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F i r s t L o o k


"Ban Roi Tai Cho! Bat Xong Giac Lai!" In 1972, that was the motto of the Vietnamese Peoples' Air Force Air Defense: shoot down the airplanes on the spot! capture the pirate pilot alive! And the weapon that gave that to many VPAF units was the S-75 air defense missile system firing the V-750 surface-to-air missile the SA-2 GUIDELINE to NATO, the "Flying Telephone Pole" to US pilots.

The S-75 was created by the USSR in the mid 1950s in response to a requirement to create a B-52 killing mobile missile system in which a battery could be set up (radar, fire control van, and six launchers) in less than 4 hours and ready to engage the enemy in no more than 9. The first system, the SA-75 "Dvina", was a fixed system accepted for service in December 1957. Later, first the mobile S-75 "Desna,", was accepted for service in May 1959, and an improved version, the S-75M "Volkhov," followed in April 1961. All of them used first the SM-63 and later the SM-90 launcher mount, developed by TsKB-34, and based upon an antiaircraft artillery platform.

There were a number of different versions of the missile produced: V-750 (1D), V-750V (11D), V-750VN (13D); V-755 (20D/20DP), and 5Ya23. All were approximately the same size with different warhead sizes (the 5Ya23 was reportedly a bomber formation killer with a nuclear warhead) and ranges. The S-75M had a range of engagement from 7 to 43 kilometers and an altitude of engagement of 100 to 30,000 meters. Targets were engaged by the radar (FAN SONG to NATO) and 1 to 3 missiles could be fired at a single target.

The missiles had to be guided to the target by the radar, and hence when the USAF developed the "Wild Weasel" that shot back with the Shrike or Standard ARM missile it became a game of "Guts" as to who would win. The Shrike had to have an active target, so the trick was to see who figured his missile would hit the other guy first; if the radar shut down the Shrike would usually miss, but if the radar shut off the missiles would never hit their intended aerial target.

Most SA-2s are out of the inventory except in many third-world nations, and the Chinese have worked to continually improve their CSA-1 versions of the missile. But during the 1960s and 1970s, the SA-2 was the most widely exported and used surface-to-air missile in the world.

Trumpeter has now released a gorgeous pair of kits the SA-2 missile on its launcher, and an SA-2 on a reloader/transporter trailer towed by either a Chinese truck or a Soviet era ZIL-157L. The ground kit appears to represent the basic model of the V-755 "Volkhov" version of the system and the SM-90 launcher mount. Both are very nicely done and an impressive amount of parts is provided to build both the launcher and the missile.

The missile consists of 40 parts, and is built in sub-assemblies of missile and booster. The missile is complete down to the external control actuators for the airfoil controls and main engine gimbals . A very nicely done decal sheet provides all of the Cyrillic stencils used by the Soviets, so it pretty much limits the missile as it comes out of the kit to a Soviet-built version. (Some export models had text in English; this isn't one of them.)


The launcher is very well detailed and provides a lot of moving parts to ensure that it faithfully duplicates the original. There are a large number of hydraulic pistons, and this requires care as the directions are a bit breezy about what they are and where they go. The kit indicates the elevation arm elevates, but as everyone who has ever built a model with working parts and weight at the end of an action arm knows, you need either friction or a lock to hold it in place. There is also a gear assembly (Part P16) as part of the elevation mechanism that is cemented in place, but as I have not assembled the kit yet I do not know if it functions as a friction snubber or or not.

Alas, no bogies are provided for the carriage, so there is no way to show the launcher and a racked-up missile in transit, or to show the launcher during emplacement or being prepared to move. Trumpeter also does not offer the FAN SONG radar van, but that may be just as well: a full fledged SA-2 battery site in 1/35 scale would be about 30' in diameter, not something easily shown to one's friends or taken to competitions!

Overall this is a great kit, but I think Trumpeter has a rather ironic sense of humor releasing it at the same time as a 1/32 scale F-105D one of the SA-2's main targets in Vietnam!

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2003 by Cookie Sewell
Model by Chris Wauchop
Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 07 November, 2003
Last updated 07 November, 2003

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