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Revell 1/69 V-2 World's First Ballistic Missile Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2011 Manufacturer Revell
Subject V-2 World's First Ballistic Missile Scale 1/69
Kit Number H560 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat V-2 model with transport trailer Cons Odd scale may not appeal to some
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


The V-2, or more properly the A4 rocket was used extensively against London in 1944 and later against Allied supply and communications centers in Brussels and Liege. It was the first operational use of an intermediate range ballistic missile, and represented the turning point in modern warfare.

Although much of the basic research in liquid propelled rockets had been done by an American, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, in the years following World War I, it remained for the Germans, working to evade the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, to develop rocketry as a military weapon. Germany had been prevented by the Treaty from rearming, but the prospect of rockets as a possible military threat had not been considered by the men who drew up the treaty, an therefore were not mentioned. This loophole was not overlooked by the German Military. By 1942, the first of the test models of the A4 were ready.

Standing 40 feet high, with a diameter of 5 ½ feet, the V-2 weighed 28,000 pounds. In it's warhead was 2,000 pounds of Amatol, and three fuses. The instrument compartment contained batteries, compressed air cylinders, steering gyros, and radar equipment. In the main central section were the alcohol and liquid oxygen tanks, and in the tail section were the propulsion unit and all of it's various pumps, as well as the stabilizing and control fins.

The rocket was placed vertically on it's launching stand, an four seconds after lift off began to tilt about one degree per second, until it reached an angle of 41 degrees. During the powered phase of the flight, the rocket was controlled by two gyroscopes which indirectly controlled the steering vanes. The alcohol and liquid oxygen were fed into the combustion chamber by turbo pumps which were driven by steam generated by combining hydrogen peroxide and potassium permanganate.

Twenty-five tons of thrust was generated during the burning time of sixty seconds, and at the end of the propelled part of trajectory the rocket had attained a velocity of 3,800 miles per hour, or mach 6. The cut off of power was by radio signal at an altitude of 17 miles, and the rocket then coasted up to about 70 miles. When the missile re-entered the atmosphere it heated up to 1,002 degrees F.

By the end of the war, approximately 3,300 V-2's had been fired by tactical units. A high percentage of these shots fell short of their targets, and there were also a great number of failures at takeoff. However, the fact remains that the V-2 (Vengeance 2) was the forerunner of all of today's large intercontinental ballistic missiles, and also laid the foundation for much of man's research into space. It opened a new era in terror as well as discovery.

Revell is a prolific model company based in Elk Grove Village, Illinois USA. There is also a Revell of Germany and Revell is merged with Monogram now too. At the time this kit was released in 1972, Revell was based in Venice, California USA. I believe that this particular kit was ar re-release and that the kit came out at first earlier. It is also to an odd 1/69th scale, rather than the popular 1/72nd. The instructions sheet says that this scale equates into 1” = 5’9”.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is a photo of the kit made up and posed on a bed of sand with clouds in the background. The side panels of the box show color photos of various parts of the kit, a list of the features in the kit and Revell’s address.

Inside the box are several sprues of light gray parts that look like they have been hacked off a much larger sprue. They are not in any cello bag and many parts had parted company with the trees. The parts have the usual tabs with the part numbers next to them. However, there is no parts tree drawings in the instructions. Revell did go so far as to name every part in each assembly step, which is a good idea.

The first chopped up tree of parts holds one half of the fuselage, tail fins etc. (6 parts)

The second tree holds parts for the transporter trailer and launch pad parts (15 parts)

The third tree holds more parts for the transporter trailer (like the side rails etc.) (23 parts)

The fourth tree holds even more transporter trailer parts (like the wheels etc.) (69 parts)

I started to assemble this kit years ago and then put it back in the box again. These few items I assembled were the fuel tanks and motor. There is also a tree of nothing but grab handles and the cone-like launch pad base.

Parts that broke off the trees include: the figures (the guy that is kneeling has a nasty sink almost through his chest). These figures are poor anatomy and have no hips it seems and legs like rubber bands. The rocket’s warhead was floating around loose as well as the launch tower control tank and the lower work platform. (22 parts)

The instructions consist of a large single sheet, printed on both sides. It is to 17” x 22” format, folded several times to fit the box. The face side of the instructions begins with a black and white illustration of what I believe was the box art of another earlier issue of this kit. It shows a V-2 being erected in a forest by a crew of 6 figures.

This is followed by some general instructions and the first 3 assembly steps. Like earlier mentioned all parts are labeled and named and any colors needed are called out in each step.

The other side of the instruction sheet continues with a balance of 14 total assembly steps. Step 14 is the final painting instructions and calls out colors in FS numbers.

This is a neat kit and with it’s transport trailer should appeal to a lot of modelers. Too bad it did not include the half-tracked control vehicle. The kit is long out of production, but Revell may re-release it again someday.