AIM-9L/M/N Sidewinder Seeker Head Covers with RBF tags (early)

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$6.00
Product / Stock #
480 025
Base Kit
any 1/48 fighter with Sidewinder missiles
Company: Aires Hobby Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Aires Hobby Models - Website: Visit Site
Parts Package

If you enjoy modeling your aircraft parked, loaded, and tagged, then this set is for you. Aerobonus, a child company of Aires, has released a set of seeker head covers with Remove Before Flight (RBF) tags for early model AIM-9 Sidewinders.

In the Box

The hanging bag with enclosed card backing comes with a single resin pour stub, in a light yellow color, with six covers. The light yellow resin is a perfect color for the actual covers, so no painting is needed. Casting is perfect, with crisp detail as we would expect from anything done by Aires. RBF tags are on a printed pre-cut, self-adhesive material. A small piece of fine wire is also included.

Assembly

These must be the easiest RBF tags I have ever done. The tags are printed on some extremely thin self-adhesive material which is pre-cut and scored. Simply use the tip of an X-acto blade to lift one corner, and then remove from the backing using tweezers. The scored line makes folding them in half simple and fast, and nearly foolproof. Once folded in half, look for the end with the pre-cut punch out for the hanging wire, and pop this out with a needle or similar pointed object.

With the flag made, loop some wire through the hole and simply fold and twist the wire on itself. Yes, it’s a small operation, and will require tweezers. You can also use the flags without the wire if you choose.

The resin part is simply cut from the pour gate, and a few swipes with a file will restore the rounded end. Now, take the opposite of the wire that the flag is attached to and loop it through the molded hole in the cover. With that, the assembly is complete and ready to be used. I would suggest brushing or spraying some clear flat on the flags to kill the vinyl sheen. I have yet to experiment with some slight heat to twist and deform them a little for a varied appearance, but I think it wouldn’t take much and would make them even more realistic.

I tested the cover on both Hasegawa- and Monogram-molded AIM-9L/M/N Sidewinders. In both cases, the covers fit snugly and the missile needed no modification.

Conclusion

I am a bit ecstatic about this release, not only for its ease but also price. The global economy has taken its toll on everybody’s hobby budget, and it’s small sets like this that are very cost-effective, yet high quality. Kudos to Aires for seeing the need and then filling the void with this and many other products within the Aerobonus range. For those who are interested, the RBF tags are also available separately to complement the rest of the aircraft you hang the Sidewinders on.

Our thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity, and Aires for the review sample, and please keep these kinds of sets coming!

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