Trumpeter 1/35 scale
Russian SAM-6 Antiaircraft Missile (00361)
Russian SAM-6 Anti-Aircraft Missile
by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description
||Trumpeter 1/35 Scale Kit No. 00361; Russian
SAM-6 Anti-Aircraft Missile
|Media and Contents:
||321 parts (304 in grey styrene, 12 etched
brass, 2 steel springs, 1 section large vinyl hose, 1 section small
vinyl hose, 1 section twisted copper wire)
||retail price US $24.95
||First kit of this vehicle in styrene;
nicely done parts breakdown permits a number of detailing options
||Missiles are out of proportion
||Recommended for all Soviet equipment fans
and air defenders
In 1958 the Soviet Union began work on an overlapping and
interlocking system of air defense for their motorized rifle and
tank divisions. Each project received a covername, and the one
chosen for the division level missile system was "Kub" – cube. (The
Army level one was the 3M8 "Krug" – circle – which became known in
the West as the SA-4 GANEF when it came into service.) The system
was designed by OKB-15 under V. V. Tikhomirov. Testing began in 1961
but was unsatisfactory, and it was not until 1967 that the system
was accepted for service. The missile was dubbed the 3M9, and the
launcher, based on a GM-578 chassis, was dubbed the 2P25. NATO
dubbed the new system the SA-6 GAINFUL.
The missile system was fielded in regiments of 20 launchers each,
divided up into five batteries of four launchers and a 1S91 radar
system each. The 1S91 (dubbed STRAIGHT FLUSH by NATO) was
data-linked to each of the launchers, and controlled both their
launches and the missiles themselves once in the air. The original
missiles had an engagement envelope of 6-12 kilometers. Later, as
the system evolved, a new missile was designed, the 3M9M, which had
a much broader envelope – 4-25 kilometers.
The missile itself was unique – it used a solid-propellant booster
to launch the missile, but then had a solid-fuel ramjet engine for
its sustainer. This was fed by four intakes located around the
missile airframe and was controlled by the rear set of fins. The
missile had a 57 kilogram warhead and was very dangerous to modern
aircraft, as the Israelis found out to their detriment during the
1973 Yom Kippur war when the Egyptians claimed to have shot down 63
aircraft with the 3M9.
Eventually more than seven versions of the 3M9 missile were built
and sold abroad under the covername "Kvadrat" (square) to 25
different nations. More than 500 launcher systems were built.
All 3M9 missiles shared the same dimensions, and only minor external
differences provided any clue to which version of the missile was
being used. Later, the new SA-11 missile replaced the SA-6 and the
launchers were modified to fire that missile in place of the 3M9.
The SA-6 has been a popular subject for a number of years, and at
least three different resin conversion kits for the DML ZSU-23-4 (on
the closely related GM-575 chassis) were offered over the years. Now
Trumpeter is the first company to offer the 2P25 series launcher as
a kit and it is quite impressive.
The model is designed for modelers who love to detail as it comes
with most of the top panels and hatches as separate items, and also
comes with the more popular "link and length" track set with only 33
parts required to install the complete track run on each side.
Detail is excellent and matches up well with an Iraqi 2P25 "Kvadrat"
launcher belonging to the ADA Museum at Fort Bliss, Texas. There are
some minor detail differences; however, as there were four different
SA-6 launchers produced (called 2P25, 2P25M, 2P25M1, and 2P25M2 by
the Soviets) there is no really good way to say which specific
version was used.
Alas, the same cannot be said of the missiles. Comparing them with
notes and Russian books on the 3M9, the missiles provided with the
kit intend to represent a 3M9M or later variant. The difference is
that the 3M9 had mass balances on the forward fins and the 3M9M has
them on the tips of the rear ones. That being said, the dimensions
on the missile are not right when compared with Russian sources:
Measurement Source Data 1/35 Scale Kit Dimensions
Diameter 330 mm
Wing span 928mm
Fin span 1200mm
The overall effect is of a very skinny missile that does not look
right. This is unfortunate as the launcher is close to spot on, and
it is unknown if the Chinese used dummy or "parade" missiles instead
of the normal 3M9M missiles for their measurements. My best
suggestion is to simply remove 5mm from the airframe in front of the
ramjet intakes and let it go; if not, you will have to scratchbuild
all of the airfoils to get the shapes right as there is no way to
simply trim off 1-3mm from the back end and have them look right.
The model comes with a nice color broadside covering three different
launchers: one Polish, one Czech and one DDR. Markings are also
included for a Soviet one with Guards badges but no information is
provided for colors or locations.
The directions are an interesting adventure in themselves, as the
authors are obviously English as a Second Language writers. On the
launch rail assembly (Step 14) which is called "Launch Pad Assembly"
they cite six parts as "Early"; what the authors meant was "Assemble
these parts first." Other interesting turns of phrase included Step
12, "Guided Bomb Assembly" (the missiles), Step 17, "Immobility Rack
Assembly" (travel lock), Step 18 "Attaching Transport State"
(missiles in travel position) and 19 and 20 – "Attaching
Transport/Launching State Handrail" (missile protective guards in
transport and firing positions.) It could have been worse, but it
does remind me of Japanese motorcycle directions of 40 years ago
("For vibrating of front wheel please to be turning the handle
dumper" being my favorite.)
Overall this is a nice kit, but it's a shame that the focal point –
the missiles – are off the mark. Hopefully they will also release
the impressive 1S91 (STRAIGHT FLUSH) to go with it.
Steve Zaloga for the review sample.
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Page Created 08 March, 2006
Page Last Updated
24 March, 2006