|Kit #: MQ-7202||
- Al Magnus
I have to start this review with a confession that, on the whole, I am not a big fan of Eastern Europe/Russian kits. About the only manufacturer worth its salt is the MPM family. Most other manufacturers tend to produce rather low quality kits. With that said, I must admit that this one was quite a surprise. I had heard that this was a reboxing of the Gran SA-2 Guideline, and I had read reviews that the Gran version was decent, so I decided to give this kit a try.
Overall the quality is good, with decent fit and not too much flash present. There are a total of 32 pieces in soft light greyish plastic spread over two sprues. There is a comprehensive decal sheet containing numerous glossy images for airframe stenciling. Except for the fins, all the joins are butt joins.
The parts have no locating pins to make alignment during construction easier.
Construction was straightforward. I built the kit as two sub-assemblies: one being the missile itself, the other the launcher.
The kit was basically built straight from the box.
The only trouble spots of any mention came from the separate fins (parts 3, 5, 6 & 7). They are to be glued into slots in the fuselage, but the slots were slightly larger than the tabs, which left small indents that needed to be filled and sanded afterwards.
Some filling needs to be done on the body around the nose cone at the probe (the probe is integral with part 1 and not shown in the parts diagram but is shown on the box top picture). On the whole, seams were not too bad, and the only place they posed a problem was around the tail near the exhaust cone, where room to work is tight, and on the launch rail (parts 19 & 20) where there is quite a large seam to remove.
The only modification of note is that I added a bottom to the blast deflector (part 21) using some thin Evergreen plastic sheet.
When it came time to paint the kit I had already decided I was not going to use the decals supplied with the kit. The images were glossy and well printed, but you could tell from just looking at them that they were going to be chancy to work with. Besides, the scheme is supposed to overall natural metal, and I am not comfortable with metallic schemes. I decided that if I could avoid any markings, I would, so I searched the internet and checked my references and decided on a North Vietnamese scheme, in overall medium green camouflage with dark green/black squiggles. For the green I used Testors B-52 dark green, and the squiggles were applied with a fine brush using Testors flat black. The white lines on the nose were from the spares box. The launcher was painted a dark olive drab green, and weathered slightly with thinned black and brown acrylics.
Following a coat of Aeromaster acrylic flat, the missile was super glued to the launch rail.
For the price this is a good value kit. It is reasonably easy to build and makes a nice facsimile of the real thing when finished.
Review sample purchased by the author.