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Russian 9K79 Tochka (SS-21 Scarab) IRBM (85509) 1:35


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Russian 9K79 Tochka (SS-21 Scarab) IRBM (85509)

1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models

 

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Mobile launch systems are a method for deploying missiles in such a way that makes tracking them down by the enemy more difficult, ensuring that launches take place before they are destroyed due to their location being known in advance.  The Soviet Union had a number of such types in their inventory, which were able to move, set up and fire in short order, then escape retaliation by packing up and moving again, at least in theory.  This system is known in the West as the SS-21 Scarab, with the suffix A, B or C used for improved variants over time that could reach further into enemy territory.  The missile is capable of carrying high explosive, nuclear, biological or fragmentation warheads and is more accurate than its larger predecessors, with better inertial guidance, and solid propellant that makes it easier to handle and launch than equivalent liquid options.

 

The carrier and launch vehicle is a BAZ 5921 built by KB Mashinostroyeniya with the designation 9K79, and it carries the missile in a recess that runs down the length of the chassis that has a protective warhead "cup" at the front behind the crew cab.  When setting up, the missile is raised pivoting at the rear on a short platform, with corner steadies deploying from the underside to reduce instability.  The chassis has 6 wheels on three axles and is fully amphibious, with water jet propulsion at the rear, and a set of long lift-and-slide doors that cover the missile when on the move.

 

The system has been in use since the mid-70s, and still serves with the Russian military in an upgraded capacity today, as well as former Soviet states and sympathetic countries.  It has seen use most recently in the ongoing Syrian conflict, causing concern and an aborted reaction by neighbouring Israel.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tool from Hobby Boss, and pretty much the first injection moulded kit of the type that I could find online.  It arrives in a fairly large box, which is divided internally to hold the hull parts and missile safely, with ten sprues in sand yellow styrene, plus the five larger parts that have already been removed from sprues before packing.  There is a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) parts, six black rubberised tyres, two decal sheets, a sheet of die-cut masks, and a short length of braided thick brass wire.  It's a full interior kit, so the instruction booklet is a fairly long affair, and the painting guide includes photos of the interior built up and painted.  The level of detail is excellent throughout and the exterior surface is very crisp, fitting snugly to the underside part with no adjustment.

 

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The instructions begin with the drive and steering units, of which there are six, built up in pairs due to their location on the hull.  The tyres are slipped over the two-part hubs, and glued to the axles, while various small parts are fitted around the underside before it is flipped over to accept the main chassis rail.  This large part sits in the space between the wheel arches down the full length of the hull, and has additional drive parts added to the inner rail, cross-members fitted between the halves, and a small deck at the rear of the frame.  When it is placed in the hull, transfer boxes a fitted inside, and the basic cradle parts for the front of the missile are put in place, including the rear pivot-points.  The big 300bhp engine is incorrectly mislabelled when it is built up as E-E, and later as G-G when it is installed in the chassis, so it may be worthwhile altering the instructions to remind yourself.  It sits low behind the crew cab, and as joined by a number of other assemblies, such as the receivers for the rams that power the steadies, which can be fitted deployed or stowed as you see fit.  The ancillary power unit is also built up from a substantial number of parts, along with the cab bulkhead with radio gear, the water jet system in the rear, the launch rail for the missile, various equipment, plus a protective shroud for the main power plant.  A whole host of other equipment is made up and installed in a flurry over the next few pages of instructions, with controls for the missiles, stowage, equipment boxes and all manner of other tanks, receptacles, and of course the crew compartment, which has seats, instrument consoles and pedals fitted, plus the remainder of the parts, and even more equipment being fitted to the inside of the hull top.

 

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The missiles can be built up either ready to launch or stowed for transport, with two included so you can take your pick.  The fins fold closed, and the steering baffles can be fitted to the exhaust ring open or folded up parallel to the rocket body, and it latches to the launch rail by four small tangs that fit into corresponding recesses on the sides of the missile body.  The folding nose-cone shroud is attached to the chassis and can be left open or closed as is appropriate to your build option.  Although it looks like you can build two missiles, they are slightly different from each other, and there are only one set of fins and baffles supplied.

 

Turning to the upper hull, this is detailed with the aforementioned internal parts, plus the door mechanism for the missile trough, the doors themselves with separate hinges, external vents that are fitted from the inside, the top crew hatch, and of course the windscreen parts, which are actually fitted from the outside (don't forget to mask them!).  Externally there are a set of pioneer tools, some PE mesh vents, side windows, hooks, light clusters, wing mirrors… the list goes on!  The final act brings the two halves together, which would probably be best done before you add all the greeblies for fear of knocking them off during handling.  The back page of the instructions show the two display options, either all locked away for transport, or in a deployed mode with doors open, steadies down and the missile at a jaunty angle.

 

 

Markings

Someone at Hobby Boss quite likes this subject, as they have included six decal options for the kit, and most of them are quite attractive camo options in varying colours, and only one boring Russian Green version for the camo-phobic.  The missile is always a medium green however, but some options sport a bright red tip, and others have decal stripes added to the sides.  As usual with Hobby Boss however, you don't get any additional information of where and when these schemes were used, so you'll have to make an educated guess based on the decals, or surf the net to pick up some comparables.

 

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Decals are printed in-house and have good enough registration, clarity and sharpness for the job, and the smaller sheet includes lots of decals for the interior equipment, with dials and so forth for instrument panels.

 

 

Conclusion

Nicely detailed and quite petite for a mobile missile system, this should look cool in your cabinet if you choose one of the camo options, needing only a little extra headroom if you decide to portray it in the launch position.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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