Soviet Training Unit UZR-60 Missiles with Transport Box
The R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) is a Soviet/Russian short range infrared (IR) homing air-to-air missile. It has been fielded for 35 years and is widely used by a variety of Soviet/Russian manufacturer aircraft. For attack aircraft, it is their primary means of self-defense. The UZR-60 is the training variant of the R-60, distinguished by its lack of rear delta fins and the three black bands designating a training shape. It is a captive training shape that does not leave the missile rail. The UZR-60 has an active IR seeker, and interfaces with the aircraft’s weapons system to allow the pilot to determine when the missile has IR acquisition.
There are a lot of R-60 missiles in 1/48 of varying detail and quality; Plus Model even makes a set similar to this one. This is the first training shape that I have seen by any manufacturer. What is included in this set are three missile shapes, two missile rails, and a transport box with removable lid which includes a prototypical work stand for missile preparation. The Aero Line provides some nice features in this set, including clear seeker heads, seeker covers, and a PE fret including electrical connection cords (first I have seen by any manufacturer).
This set builds up nicely but requires a steady hand and a bit of time to detail the components fully. I started by cleaning up the missiles, leaving them on the pour block but removing the pour gates along the sides. Once done, I added the PE missile fins, using a pin-vise to deepen the locating holes. There is no jig, so take care in ensuring alignment of the fins to ensure you end up with a cruciform final product. I added a cover to one missile and opted to not install the optic windows on the other 2 missiles until later in assembly. I also left off the electrical connection cords. I used Model Master Classic White, which dries glossy, to paint the missiles.
After removing the pour stub from the box, I then assembled the missile box. I elected to glue the missile supports in the upright position and added the PE locking mechanism. I painted the missile box interior and the interior of the lid flat black to replicate the insulation. Once that had dried, I painted the exterior Flint Gray and hand-painted the details. Next, I cleaned up the missile rails, removing a lot of flash but leaving them on the pour stub. These are very detailed castings, far nicer than other missile rails that I have seen. I painted them a light blue. Next, I applied the decals after applying a gloss coat of Future. There are a surprising number of small stencils for such a small kit! The decals are thin and lift from the paper as soon as it gets wet. They also tend to curl when handled. The best option is to lay the paper near the point of application, then slide them off the paper into place. Fortunately, spares are provided. The instructions are clear in placement, but the numbers are 7 digits to high on the instruction sheet. So where the instructions call for 16, the actual decal is 9; 17 is 10, and so forth. I set the decals with Solvaset, but Microsol works just as well. I then sealed them with Future.
Final Assembly. The missiles did not take much to finish. I removed the missiles from the pour block and touched up the tail ends. I then painted and added the electrical connection cords. I opted not to drill and insert the optical window – instead, I simulated it by painting a dab of Tamiya Smoke on the nose of two missiles; the effect is convincing and a lot easier. I painted the cover red on the third. I left the missiles glossy. I applied a flat finish of Dull Coat to the storage box and glued the capped missile in place. I left the missile rails glossy, since I don’t have plans for them yet. Fortunately, it is not uncommon to see dissimilarly painted missile rails on Soviet/Russian built aircraft.
This is a great set, providing some different visual interest to your aircraft models and airfield dioramas. The detail is very nice. Highly recommended.
Thank you to Plus Model for supplying the review sample, and to IPMS/USA for allowing me the opportunity to review it.