Corporal Missile and Launcher
1:35 Revell Classic Kits
Incline your head 90o to the right to view this picture correctly
The Corporal Missile was America's first surface to surface missile on a par roughly with Germany's V2, and was approved for carrying nuclear warheads, despite having a less than 50% hit rate. As well as being "used" in the US forces, a further 113 of the later Type II were approved for supply to the UK, together with all the ancillary equipment necessary to transport and launch the missiles.
A very scary time - made scarier by such an appalling accuracy rate, especially if battlefield nuclear weapons had been used.
Moving on to the kit, the box is a retro-looking affair, with a silver Classic Kits logo, and a stated scale of 1:35. Measuring the body of the missile itself, it scales out closer to 1:40, which is borne out by comparing the supplied figures to true 1:35 figures, against which they appear quite diminutive.
Inside the box, the retro theme continues, with the missile parts moulded in white, and the launcher parts moulded in a rather translucent khaki color. The age of the kit is also given away by the unenclosed sprues, and the rather comical over-acting by the three supplied crew figures, all of whom have a large sink hole in their backs.
The rest of the kit is actually surprisingly nicely moulded, with only the odd plastic and raised part numbers moulded on a great many of the parts. Fortunately, most of these will be hidden during construction, but a few will doubtless have to be sanded or scraped off. Flash isn't excessive given the kit's age, and there are some quite fine raised panel lines and filler caps on the body of the rocket.
The missile is provided in two stages so that it will fit in the box, each made of 2 parts and separated by a single cylindrical section that was presumably added to make alignment easier. The rocket is completed by adding a separate nosecone, simple depictions of the rocket nozzles and two of the fins that aren't moulded to the lower stage.
The launcher is a small square contraption with 2 vinyl tyres that is made up of many parts, with 4 struts holding the missile in the vertical position. A rather 60s Dr Who control unit with dish antenna on top is also provided for the crew figures to sit at whilst gesticulating wildly at something - maybe it's panic at the last launch going hopelessly astray, or he's tuned into some funky music?
Decals are provided for a generic launch vehicle, with the obligatory red chequer pattern as well as US Army emblazoned vertically down the body of the missile. A few stencils are also supplied, plus a black band for the lower section of the missile, and an instrument panel decal for the control unit.
It's a surprisingly endearing kit, and despite scaling out a little short to be true 1:35 scale, I think I'll be building it pretty soon. It's interesting and unusual, and hails from a rather Heath-Robinson era where the former Allies were desperately trying to catch up and overtake the German rocket technology they had found at War's end.