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 next major advance in IR Sidewinder development was the AIM-9L ("Lima") model which was in full production in 1977. This was the first "all-aspect" Sidewinder with the ability to attack from all directions, including head-on, which had a dramatic effect on close in combat tactics. Its first combat use was by a pair of US Navy F-14s in the Gulf of Sidra in 1981 versus two Libyan Su-22 Fitters, both of the latter being destroyed by AIM-9Ls. The subsequent AIM-9M ("Mike") has the all-aspect capability of the L model while providing all-around higher performance. The M model has improved capability against infrared countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. Info from Wikipedia
In the box
Packed in Eduards clear blister pack, the Sidewinder set has four missiles. The main body and the seeker head covers are cast in resin, with the fins and rocket exhaust in photo etch.
The only difference in the kit for the M and L Sidewinder is the inclusion of a very small photo etch part which goes onto the main body for the L version.
Casting as ever from Eduard is good with raised detail on the missile body. The rear fins have some very fine detail cast into them.
Each missile has a pour plug attached to the rear of the fins, so care will need to be taken removing the plug. The seeker head covers are all on one pour plug.
Each missile is comprised of the main missile body, four photo etch forward fins, a photo etch exhaust, one photo etch part if modelling the L version and an optional seeker head cover. Three spare fins have been supplied, incase the Carpet monster is feeling peckish.
If you wish to attach the seeker head cover then you have to remove the seeker section of the missile.
Decals and instructions
A small set of stencils is supplied. Printing is pretty good, with good colour registration and very little carrier film present. Some of the stencils are tiny, so be warned.
A small set of instructions are supplied which has a very easy build sequence, and a painting a decal guide. Paint numbers are for the Mr Color and Aqueous range of paints.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A nice detailed set.Lows: noneVerdict: A nicely detailed and easy to build set of Sidewinder ML missiles to hang off any 1/72nd aircraft the carried them.
About Andy Brazier (betheyn) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM
I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...