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Airplanes are nice and all, but what would you do when the Soviets decide to send masses of bombers towards the West? You'll send up missiles the size of a bus with a nuclear warhead, of course! This clearly sounded like a good idea to many countries in the period between the 1960's and 1990's, and now Freedom Model Kits let's you build a model of it in 1/35. Revell did one way back in the day, in 1/40-ish, but this is the first modern kit of the Nike Hercules. It comes with the launcher, and can be posed horizontally or in the raised position, and you can even combine kits to build a full launching assembly.

 

There are two boxings, one with Taiwanese markings, and one with US Army, other NATO countries, Japan and South Korea, including one in fancy MERDC colours, which is the boxing I have.

 

Q5u31mz.jpg

 

JJNVtRN.jpg

 

ECKzWmG.jpg

 

I plan to build one in Dutch markings, with the green booster and the white missile body. These were based at various locations in West Germany between 1959 and 1988, when they were replaced by the Patriot system.

 

It's going to look something like this:

 

yUoRomK.jpg

 

And if you're wondering how fast a missile weighing almost 5 tons gets off the ground, here's a clip:

 

 

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Hi,

 

Thanks for the clip.

I'll also follow this with interest.

I remember that we fired our last one in Crete in 1988. Well, other Belgians did, I wasn't there.😉

Ours were in the Air Force. In the 1960's some of our squadrons didn't get new aeroplanes, but became Nike Hercules squadrons in Germany. I think No 27 Sqn of the 10th Wing at Kleine Brogel was one of them. After the F-84F, No 23 and No 31 got F-104's and No 27 went to Germany as a SAM squadron. 

 

Cheers, Stefan.

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Nice one Pete! A truly fantastic subject and it's all going on in that box-art :o I'm delighted to see a SAM getting some attention in our GB.

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I got the booster almost glued together. First impression so far is good. Nice detail and decent fit. I will spray the area around the nozzles first, before adding the cover around them with the fins.

 

S2R83Np.jpg

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Good to see you getting started with this one Pete. Sounds to be a nice kit so far :)

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An interesting project indeed.

I grew up in the Chicago area in the '60s, and the city was literally ringed with Nike sites...including, at one point, one visible from a public beach on the lake shore (though I believe that particular site had been moved or inactivated by the time I lived there). There was a site, however, concealed deep in a wooded area less than ten miles from our house.

Dead-keen to follow your build!

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Thanks guys. It's nice to see some of you have a personal connection to the Nike Hercules. When ours were retired, I was only 8 years old, and they were based far away anyway, so I've never seen them "live".

 

I've added the fins, and just glued the missile body together and fitted it on the booster. Fits like a glove.

 

WKJ4aHe.jpg

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A brilliant choice Pete :thumbsup2:

It's triggered great memories for me too, but of a slightly more tenuous nature. 

As a lad I had a whole series of 'How and Why Wonder Books', including this one.

 

How+and+Why.jpg

 

As you can see it was very US-centric and included a section on exotic American missiles that I'd never heard of - the Nike Hercules being one.

It obviously made a lasting impression on me!

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I have added the fins to the missile body, so that one is pretty much done. Now I'm working on the assembly of the launcher and the structure around it. There are many subassemblies that form the launcher, so I'm building those step by step and put them in a box with the number of the step in the instructions. These parts do require some cleaning up, there are mold seams everywhere, especially on the larger bits. Some putty is required here and there as well. It all feels a bit like an older Italeri armor model. Oh well, the detail is nice, and the fit is not that bad overall.

 

O62pINo.jpg

Figure to give an idea of size is from a Tamiya Challenger 1, poorly painted 18 years ago. :rolleyes:

 

Launcher bits:

E30caRH.jpg

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The launch rail and erector have been glued together, except for some smaller fragile bits. The erector was a bit difficult to fit together, I made an error on one of the large beams, so the things that are glued to that beam, don't fit too well.

 

s407F9p.jpg

 

Next up are the rails and support on either side of the launcher.

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Everything has been painted, apart from a few small details. Those will be done next, along with the decals. Sadly, these aren't that great, so I will use roundels from a Flevodecal sheet instead.

 

7bUUAm5.jpg

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That's looking rather good Pete and deserves some good quality decals :speak_cool:

Is the launcher positional or fixed in one pose?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/4/2020 at 7:35 AM, Col. said:

Is the launcher positional or fixed in one pose?

Thanks! It is moveable, but I think I will glue it in about a 45 degree angle. Got the decals on. As I said, I used roundels from a Flevodecals set because the kit ones are not the greatest, color wise. The stencil decals are a bit too bright as well, I might spray some heavily thinned olive drab over them. We'll see.

 

PiAz1TN.jpg

 

If all goes well, I should be able to finish this one before the end of the year.

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Looks great!!

Wonder how effective those missiles were. Somilar to the Sa2,? Rather fine against high alt bombers but less so against lower or smaller fighterbombers?

 

After re-reading my statement above.... I guess that is generally true for SAMs... ;)

 

 

 

 

 

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That is looking great although you're right about the stencils being a bit stark; a very light coat of paint will certainly tone them down nicely :) 

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Well, it's done. It is rather large, so it doesn't quite fit my usual photography set up, and the contrast between the white and olive drab makes it a bit hard to take pics of, so I will try some with daylight outside tomorrow. Here's a pic for now.

 

PkVlfK9.jpg

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