ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale SCUD B w/MAZ-543 TEL

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale Kit No. 3520; SS-1c 'SCUD B' w /MAZ-543 TEL; 355 parts (354 in grey styrene, 1 sheet of clear styrene); pr
ices varies from US$29.95 in Shanghai Dragon releases to US$69.95 in its cu rrent release
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene, simple, eas y to assemble
Disadvantages: now 22 year old molds have not aged well; some parts trickie r than others to assemble
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet missile and Cold War fans
    Back in 1976 I scratchbuilt a model of the Soviet SS-1c SCUD B missile sys tem while I was living in Virginia. It was not very good as I had no idea o f the accurate dimensions of the vehicle and its components. I was disappoi nted with the results.
    But three years later, on 1 January 1979 I started on a second one with so me good photos and good dimensions of the missile and launcher. It took nea rly five months but at the end of that time I had an accurate model of the SCUD B and the 9P117 launcher for the missile. It had an engine, all doors operated, the missile elevated and rotated on its launcher, and it was also able to demonstrate the self-loading option of the original launcher.
    The model did well at shows and won many awards, and also doubled as a tea ching tool for explaining Soviet tactical nuclear delivery systems. The las t time I placed it in a competition was in 1991 at the Association of Milit ary Modelers show in Aberdeen, Maryland. Attending that show were Freddie L eung, head of Dragon Models, and Tony Chin, who at that time was the head o f the Marco Polo office that imported Dragon kits into the US. Both of them liked the SCUD B model and Freddie noted that they were preparing a kit of it but had some problems they had not worked out on the model. I gave them the SCUD B model, which I had nicknamed "Bruce" after the mechanical shark in "Jaws". They bought a tackle box, carefully packed it up and took it ba ck to Hong Kong.
    This kit appeared the next year (1992) and has remained in production on a nd off ever since. At the time of its introduction it was an impressive mod el and could be made into a very good representation of the actual vehicle and missile. At that time its parts count of over 350 was an exception to t he rule and imposing.
    So what has happened over the last 22 years. Plenty. First off the Soviet Union collapsed and after a time all of its SCUD launchers were scrapped. O ther countries sold theirs off and first the Budge Collection and then IWM Duxford inherited one from the Czech Republic (another went to the Littlefi eld Collection) with the result that the launchers and missiles were now av ailable for open study. New molding methods and demand for more details cha nged the direction of model kits in general and armored vehicles in specifi c.
    In short the kit has been somewhat passed by time. The basics are still th ere to make a good model but it will take work and after market additions ( generally new wheels/tires and etched metal) to bring the kit up to speed.
    What you get in the box is the 9P117M version of the launcher, which did a way with the self-loading features (big boxes and hydraulic arms on the sid es of the elevation cradle) and made some minor changes to the central modu le of the vehicle (one porthole per side).
    The kit provides separate doors for the cabs and the central module, but d etail is a bit sparse by today's standards (at the time only long-range sho ts of open doors were seen so nobody had a close-up view of the inside). Th e cabs were painted a seafoam green inside whereas the processing cabins in the central module were an orangish color. (We now know all systems are co lor coded - e.g. electric, fuel, water, air pressure and hydraulic lines ar e all painted different colors).
    The model is assembled by modules - chassis with wheels, cabs/engine hood, service module, central module, launcher module, cradle and missile. Each one is pretty straightforward and the only major parts to leave off until t he end are the intra-module fenders (parts E8) in order to get them all to fit on the chassis. The modules attach to the chassis in the order launch, central, service and cab/hood. Once they are in the fenders may be cemented between the central and service modules.
    A separate base is included for the missile and it may be displayed by its elf if desired.
    Technical assistance was provided by Cookie Sewell (e.g. me), Steve Zaloga and Barry Beldam.
    Five different finishing options were provided with the kit: Iraqi (sand w ith Arabic numerals); USSR (three color green/black/sand camouflage); Polan d (green with national insignia on service module); Czech SSR (green with C zech roundel on cab door) and East Germany (green with national marking on service module). A decal sheet is provided but is missing all of the extens ive markings found on the missile itself
    Overall it still can be made into a good model but it will take some work. Missing from this kit are all of the cables that connect the missile to th e launcher (six of them) so you will need some fine black tubing to make th em. The cabs need extra details and an R-123 radio set so some resin bits o ther than new wheels are needed. Also, some etched metal will add snap to t he details of the model. A good set of after-market decals or transfers wil l spark up the missile a great deal. But at the end of the day, this kit ha s only one-third the number of parts of at least one of the new release SCU D kits so anyone who wants to build a good enough SCUD system should consid er this kit.
Cookie Sewell
NOTE: I never reviewed this kit when it was released, and with two new kits coming wanted to provide a baseline comparsion for the new kits.
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