AIM-54A Phoenix

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Company: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Eduard - Website: Visit Site

For fans of US Naval Aviation and those fascinated with the Cold War, an incomparable weapon system and platform pairing was the F-14 Tomcat with the AWG-9 radar and the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. The AIM-54 was the long range fangs of the F-14 that gave the aircraft the capability to engage the Soviet Naval Aviation threat and its vast arsenal of anti-ship cruise missiles at very long range. It is ironic that the weapon system developed for the F-111B should end up in the Tomcat, the plane Grumman designed to supplant the faltering Navy F-111. There was and has been no equal to the missile. The Iranians used it to deadly effect in the Iran-Iraq war and it was so highly regarded, it was copied by the Soviet Union for pairing with the Mig-31.

To date the options for Phoenix missiles in 1/48 scale have been the missiles provided in the various F-14 kits and the Hasegawa weapons set. These missiles varied in detail, with the Hasegawa offering perhaps being the best. Now in steps Eduard Brassin producing a 1/48 resin version, of not only the AIM-54A but the later C variant. The early A model is the subject of this review.

Eduard’s package provides 4 missiles and their boosters in resin with a small but comprehensive decal sheet of stencils. The components are wrapped in separate bags and a color instruction sheet is provided. My missiles arrived slightly damaged, surprising since the missiles are cast in durable gray resin. The pour stubs must be removed before assembly and thoughtfully they are located on the mating surface. The resin is far superior to any of the injection molded missiles, which come only with the most basic markings, if any at all. I particularly like the fact that the rocket motor nozzle is well molded.

Assembly is straight forward. I removed the pour stubs from each component, being careful to cut straight so that the mating surfaces don’t mess with the missile alignment. I used CA for the assembly and as filler in a few places where I didn’t cut so straight. Ensure that the fins align fore and aft as well. Once the missiles were assembled, I scrubbed them to remove the mold release agent using detergent and then lacquer thinner. Even then I had minor problems with fisheyes forming during priming. I used Tamiya white primer from the can to prepare the missiles. The early missiles were white with white radomes. I then used Tamiya Gloss White from the can to paint the missiles. I brush painted the details with Testors enamel paints:

  • Nose cone band, base ring, and rail guides – silver from the Testors ¼ oz bottle
  • Electrical contract plate – Model Master Insignia Red
  • Rocket motor cone – Model Master Rust

After the paint had cured, I set about decaling the missiles. Eduard provides markings for both warshots and training rounds. I opted to decal the missiles as training rounds with blue bands in all positions. There are a lot of decals so I decaled in relays, working similar decals on each missile. The decals were easy to use, they could be moved around on the model, sit down well and settled down with Microsol. A keen eye will notice a mistake in decaling - the aft blue band is out of position it should be forward of the after rail guide.

The end result is a very realistic Phoenix missile, superior to anything available in injection molded plastic. I highly recommend this set for lovers of the F-14!

Thanks to Eduard for providing the review sample and to IPMS for allowing me to do the review.


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