ARM: Review - Trumpeter 1/35 scale 2P19 Tracked SCUD B Launcher

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 scale Kit No. 01024; Ex-Soviet 2P19 Launcher w/R -17 Missile (SS-1C SCUD B) of 8K14 Missile Complex; 825 parts (598 in grey
styrene, 180 in light brown styrene, 23 etched brass, 20 clear styrene, 4 s teel pins); retail price US$169.99
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene; provides a number of options and a full cab interior; very petite details on brush gua rd/protective cradle
Disadvantages: very picky small details will annoy some modelers; no cablin g for the missile!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Cold War missile fans
    In the early 1950s it soon became apparent to both superpowers that strate gic nuclear warfare had no future, but that it may be possible to carry out tactical nuclear warfare with smaller warheads and shorter range delivery systems. At that time the US was developing the Corporal, Sergeant and Reds tone missile systems for that purpose, but the Soviets only had the R-1 and R-2 missile systems which were too cumbersome for effective tactical use.
    Their first attempt at a tactical nuclear delivery system, the Article 803 or "Filin" (FROG-1 in the West) launcher, was not a very useful system as it had very poor accuracy and very short range. It also needed a huge amoun t of manpower to field and operate.
    The other problem they had was how to fit tactical nuclear weapons into th eir doctrine. The Soviets divided up battlefields as tactical, operational- tactical, operational, operational-strategic, and strategic zones. The firs t was about 0-50 kilometers in depth, the second 50-300, the third 300-600, the fourth 600-1200, and the latter worldwide. The goal was then to produc e weapons systems to meet each need.
    The operational-tactical missile system was initially answered by the 8K11 (also called SS-1b SCUD A in the West) missile system using the 8U218 (Art icle 804) missile launcher system. This was a inertially guided missile wit h a maximum range of 170 kilometers (warhead dependent) that used a special ly built launcher chassis using the power layout of the IS-2 tank but fitte d with updated components from the T-10 series heavy tanks. The missile was carried on a cradle which could be erected and also fixed on its launch ta ble, so once erect the cradle could be lowered and the missile fired from t he launcher. While it still took a large number of support vehicles, the mi ssile could now be emplaced and fired by a crew of six or seven men.
    This system was initially fielded in regiments of three launchers with eac h launcher forming one firing battery. But as things began to develop - and NATO fielded the Honest John tactical rocket and Sergeant operational-tact ical missile systems - the Soviets realized they needed more launchers and longer range missiles. They went back to the Yangel' bureau (who designed t he 8K11) and asked for a better missile with longer range. The result was t he 8K14 missile which now had a range of 300 kilometers, better "throw weig ht" and more accuracy. This went into service starting in 1960.
    The new missile, also called the R-300, provided a total of three differen t nuclear options (5, 30 or 100 kilotons) and an HE warhead called the 8F44 . They tripled the number of launchers and now called the units brigades - three battalions of three launchers each or nine per brigade. The system wa s soon offered to the Warsaw Pact and at least East Germany, the CSSR, Pola nd, and Bulgaria used this version. But the tracked vehicle - while offerin g high mobility and access to sites that would be difficult to locate prior to launch - also tended to shake the electronics on the launcher (transpor ter/erector/launcher or TEL) apart as well as damage some of the internal c omponents in the missile. Thus after seven years (1967) the 2P19 was replac ed by the 9P117 using the MAZ-543 8 x 8 truck chassis for a smoother ride. There is no reliable figure on how many 2P19s were produced but estimates a re less than 200 total. Some were used as reserve launchers but most were l ater scrapped.
    At least one exists in the West, as it was sold to the Budge Collection by the Czechs in the early 1990s and with the liquidation of that collection went to Littlefield in California.
    This system is an iconic one from the early Cold War nuclear armaments per iod, and as such was a subject for a ROCO HO scale model in the early 1960s . But other than a few very expensive and complex resin kits, nobody has tr ied to proffer a kit of the tracked system until now. Thankfully Trumpeter has matured, and this kit is truly a state of the art version of the system .
    It appears that this model is based on the ex-Czech system as it comes wit h what is clearly a training missile - the decals even indicate it is an 8K 14-1 UT (UT is uchebno-trenirovka or practice trainer in Russian) missile w hich is a downrated missile using non-combat components (e.g. if you try an d launch it the missile blows up in your face!)          The kit comes with a very complete interior with seats for the crew of six , the missile fire control and monitoring station, an R-113 radio set, and all essential components. The launcher and cradle are moveable, but you hav e alternate parts for which position you want - march order, partially erec t, or fully erect. The jacks flip up and down so you can choose either posi tion.
    Construction starts with the lower hull and suspension, which is conventio nal for most seasoned armor modelers. All of the torsion bar locks and joun ce stops are separate components, and IS-2 fans will note that the hull is quite similar - not notched like the IS-3 or T-10.
    Step 3 is where the construction of the interior of the control cab begins and the color callouts are tucked into the edges of the directions. Most o f the interior is white with some dark grey on the floor. Seats in the Budg e vehicle were black leatherette but the directions call for them here to b e khaki, so your choice.
    Step 4 are the tracks; while I prefer "link and length" the kit comes with single links - out of 180 provided you need 170 or 85 per side. The upper hull assembly also begins here with the instrument panel and most of the ex ternal details at the rear of the hull.
    Step 6 completes the external parts of the upper hull; oddly enough the co ntrol panel for missile elevation and leveling (at the left rear of the TEL ) is a solid box so you cannot show the controls in the operating position. Note that the access ladders (parts B21/22 and PE-11) do not have any rung supports for the etched brass treadplates so will be quite fragile.
    The hull sections are joined in Step 7 and then assembly turns to the insi de of the cab section. Decals are provided for all of the dials and panels. For the window sections Trumpeter kindly provides diecut masks so you can assemble the parts and then still paint them after assembly.
    From the components in the kit it also appears that Trumpeter plans to do the earlier 8U218 SCUD-A version of the launcher, as parts are provided for some of the differences between the A and B TELs. This one uses the twin c ompressed air cylinders on the sides of the cab, but the single ones are on the parts trees as well.
    Steps 10 and 11 finish off the cab, to include the fragile and complex pro tective guards for the headlight assemblies (PE-5/8). Bending jigs (K30/31) are happily included in the kit!
    The missile cradle is a very sturdy assembly made up of some 26 parts but it is the brush guard assembly which is what most modelers remember about t he tracked SCUD launchers. The one in the kit comes packed in foam padding and is installed in Step 13. This will take care as although the parts are not that many they are complex shapes and fragile until completely assemble d.
    The launch table and frame are next; unfortunately it does not rotate. Fou r small steel pins are used to provide stability to the missile when mounte d on the launch table.
    The missile is next and includes the guidance fins (parts E11) inside the motor nozzle; the SCUD is guided like a V-2 by vanes in the rocket efflux t o steer the missile in the desired direction under power. Note that the mis sile comes with all of the travel locks (parts B19, K2) which would be remo ved prior to launch. The elevating pistons are assembled and slipped togeth er as you need to insert either parts B25 for partial elevation or B13 for full elevation if desired; for march order they simply slip into each other for folding down to travel lock.
    Oddly enough the model doesn't seem to offer an option of having the missi le in launch order with the cradle in the lowered position, but by leaving off the travel locks this doesn't seem to be a problem.
    Once again like their 9K72 version of the SCUD-B (No. 01019) before it thi s model comes with NONE of the cables running to the missile from the TEL! Reports are some of the components for both kits are found in the new Trump eter SCUD crew set which offers a full 9K72 crew of seven plus two new warh eads and other details of which cable connectors are included, but for $50 extra that is a bit much to ask on top of $170 kit!
    Finishing directions are included for one launcher in a Guards unit with b ort number 259 and another in Moscow parade markings with white trim. A ver y detailed map for the markings for the missile is provided as there are a lot of stencils that go on the training missile and all of them are provide d in the kit. Fins are number I, II, III and IV of which I is theoretically supposed to be pointed in the direction of flight (not possible here with the fixed launch table). A relatively complete decal sheet is provided.
    Overall this is a tremendous effort and beats trying to assemble one of th e expensive and complex resin kits. But for the life of me I cannot figure out why Trumpeter leaves out the cabling.
Cookie Sewell
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