IM-99 BOMARC Ground–to–Air Guided Missile
During the 1950’s, Boeing Aircraft Company (BO) teamed up with the Michigan Aeronautical Research Center (MARC) to create the U.S. Air Force’s first nuclear-armed surface-to-air missile. Combining both entities and shortening Boeing created the name of the new missile – BOMARC.
Revell has reissued its classic kit of the IM-99 BOMARC missile. This kit dates back to 1958, and has some features common to that era, such as operating parts and oversized “rivets”. In this case, the missile launch rail moves up and down, and the nose clamps on the rail open and close. Considering the age of the kit, the fit of the parts was pretty good, with very little putty and sanding needed after assembly. However, there is a moderate amount of flash on many parts.
Be warned though – the missile in the kit comes covered in oversized “rivets” and “bolts” that would be several inches in diameter on the real item. Oddly, all the panel lines are engraved into the plastic rather than being raised. I sanded off all the rivets and bolt heads off of my example, which also toned down the panel lines. Another modification that I did to the basic kit was to thin out the main rocket exhaust nozzle and open up the mounting bulkhead for the nozzle on the fuselage (this is the center nozzle seen on the kit).
The launch platform can be tricky to assemble – pay particular attention to how part number 16 (bottom of launch assembly frame) lines up to part number 17 (top of launch assembly frame) as it is very easy to put part 16 on backwards.
If you wish to have the operating features work, the ram (parts 21R and 22L) needs to be sanded slightly larger in diameter, while the piston (part 28) will need to be sanded down until it slides smoothly in the ram.
The kit comes with three paint schemes: one U.S. Air Force test missile, one operational U.S. Air Force missile, and one Canadian operational missile. I finished my BOMARC as an example that the Pima Air Museum had in the early 1980’s that had a slightly different paint scheme.
Overall, this is a nice kit of an unusual subject, even though the kit itself is in an odd scale, especially when placed next to either a 1/48 or a 1/72 model. I found it to be a fast, fun kit to put together, and I highly recommend this kit. Thanks go out to Revell for providing the review sample.