by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
historyThe AIM-7 Sparrow is an American, medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile operated by the United States Air Force, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, as well as other various air forces and navies. Sparrow and its derivatives were the West's principal beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile from the late 1950s until the 1990s. It remains in service, although it is being phased out in aviation applications in favor of the more advanced AIM-120 AMRAAM.
25,000 AIM-7Es were produced, and saw extensive use during the Vietnam War, where its performance was generally considered disappointing. The mixed results were a combination of reliability problems (exacerbated by the tropical climate), limited pilot training in fighter-to-fighter combat, and restrictive rules of engagement that generally prohibited BVR (beyond visual range) engagements. The Pk (kill probability) of the AIM-7E was less than 10%; US fighter pilots shot down 59 aircraft out of the 612 Sparrows fired. Of the 612 AIM-7D/E/E-2 missiles fired, 97 (or 15.8%) hit their targets, resulting in 56 (or 9.2%) kills. Two kills were obtained beyond visual range.
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a short-range air-to-air missile developed by the United States Navy in the 1950s. Entering service in 1956, variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces after five decades. The United States Air Force purchased the Sidewinder after the missile was developed by the United States Navy at China Lake, California.
The majority of Sidewinder variants utilize infrared homing for guidance; the AIM-9C variant used semi-active radar homing and served as the basis of the AGM-122 Sidearm anti-radar missile. The Sidewinder is the most widely used missile in the West, with more than 110,000 missiles produced for the U.S. and 27 other nations, of which perhaps one percent have been used in combat. It has been built under license by some other nations including Sweden. The AIM-9 is one of the oldest, least expensive, and most successful air-to-air missiles, with an estimated 270 aircraft kills in its history of use.
The Mark 82 (Mk 82) is an unguided, low-drag general-purpose bomb, part of the U.S. Mark 80 series. With a nominal weight of 500 lb (227 kg), it is the one of the smallest in current service, and one of the most common air-dropped weapons in the world. Although the Mk 82's nominal weight is 500 lb (227 kg), its actual weight varies considerably depending on its configuration, from 510 lb (232 kg) to 570 lb (259 kg). It is a streamlined steel casing containing 192 lb (89 kg) of Tritonal high explosive. The Mk 82 is offered with a variety of fin kits, fuzes, and retarders for different purposes.
in the boxThis set contains external ordnance for an early Vietnam F-4 Phantom fighter/bomber loadout, with 4 of each of the Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles and 18 500lb Mk-82 bombs.
Packed in a smallish box the weapons are packed in individual sets in five re-sealable bags. The bags are then wrapped in bubble wrap for extra protection. Three sets of instructions, five decal sheets and two small photo etch sheets make up the contents.
Casting as ever from Eduard is superb with no discrepancies found in the resin.
AIM- 7E Sparrow
The bag contains 20 dark grey resin parts. Detail is pretty good with some raised detail and a each missile has a single mounting lug.
The missiles are made up of six parts each, with the missile body and tail fins as one piece, with the casting block attached to the tail fin end. The four forward wings have locating tabs for each fin. Care will need to be taken when removing the small casting block as the locating tab is connected to the block.
The 6th part of the missile is a small photo etch exhaust.
The Sidewinder missiles have the same amount of detail as the Sparrows, but have two raised mounting lugs each.
Construction is slightly more complex than the larger Sparrows as each Sidewinder can be built with a clear resin seeker head or a resin cover for the head.
The main missile body with the tail fins are one part and Eduard have supplied four spare forward fins.
The forward fins have a photo etch jig for the correct placement, which looks to be a handy little addition as the forward fins are very small.
A photo etch exhaust for the tail finishes the missile off.five
A nice touch is some Remove before flight pennants as part of the photo etch sheet.
Mk 82 bombs
Three sets of Mk 82 bombs are supplied for this weapons set giving you a total of 18 bombs.The parts are cast in light and dark grey resin, with the 18 tail units in light grey and the bomb casings and fuses in dark grey. Raised and recessed details are present on the bomb casings, and the fins are thin and unwarped.
The fuses are more detailed than if they were injection moulded, although I am a little surprised that Eduard has decided not to provide additional photo-etched details for the fuse tips. Three different fuses have been supplied, of which there are 18 of each length.
So its best to check your references to make sure you use the right fuses for the bomb-load you’re modeling.
instructions, markings and decalsThe three separate instruction sheets fold out to a postcard size sheet with the part placement shown as one picture. The front of the sheet has the stencil decal marking guide. The main body colour is given with Aqueous and Mr Color paint numbers.five
The five small decal sheets has the stencils for each missile or bomb, of which the bombs have three sheets, and although most are not legible they will improve the overall look. The decals are well printed, in register and look to be easy to apply
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