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Trumpeter 1/35 scale Russian SAM-6 antiaircraft missile

Kit: No. 00361
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Trumpeter, from Stevens International, 856-435-1555,
Price: $24.95
Comments: Injection-molded, 366 parts (12 photoetched metal, 2 springs, 1 wire), decals
Pros: Good detail on vehicle, fine photoetched parts
Cons: Sparse detail and no decals for missiles, missile fins fit poorly, vague color information
Trumpeter is rapidly releasing 1/35 scale military vehicles that were only available in resin or in conversion form. This formidable vehicle is the latest welcome addition, notable for successfully downing a vaunted F-117 stealth fighter in Serbia.

The kit is molded in light-gray plastic and exhibits good surface detail. Mold parting lines and a bit of flash were easily removed.

I moved the assembly steps around a bit, preferring to assemble the top and bottom hull before adding the smaller parts to each. A small gap at the rear of the hull was easily filled with super glue. The engine cover (C40) required a little trimming to fit correctly. The sturdier parts, such as hatches, were then added, leaving off the photoetched parts and grab handles until the end of assembly to prevent breakage and loss.

The suspension arms have a square attachment pin to help in positioning, but still have some play in them. Don't use too much glue or the square attachment pin will dissolve, making alignment more difficult.

The directional tracks were assembled in top and bottom runs on the vehicle, then removed for painting. Ejector-pin marks had to be cleaned up.

The missiles have little surface detail, and seams show inside the exhaust cones. The fins have small attachment points and do not fit tightly to the body of the missile.

The launch platform assembly is straightforward. The joints of the square launcher box required some filler. The provided springs slide over the vinyl tube to add texture to the hoses connecting the two sections of the launch platform. This is a good time to decide if you want the launcher to be in the launch or travel position. Repeated elevating and tracking the launcher may break the hose attachments. When assembling the missile travel lock, note parts A24 and A23 are reversed on the directions.

The kit includes a color sheet showing three paint schemes for Polish, Czech, and East German machines, but the two camouflage schemes show only side views. I went with the monochrome East German choice, painting the vehicle with Model Master medium green and the missiles with Tamiya dark gray. Not much direction for detail painting is given other than the overall color scheme. The decal sheet includes marking for five vehicles but no markings for the missiles. The decals went on without problems.

It took 25 hours to finish this kit. Detailed references are scarce, but the model has the look of the real thing to my eye. Useful references are Tankista: Armor of Modern Russia and The Former Soviet Union, and Trumpeter's SAM-6 should be a hit with anyone who builds Russian armor.

- Mike Scharf


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