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AIM-9L/M Sidewinders

Zactomodels 1/32 AIM-9L/M Sidewinders First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2010 Manufacturer Zactomodels
Subject AIM-9L/M Sidewinders Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32030 Media Resin
Pros Super-detailed heaters Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $17.00 + Postage

First Look

Zactomodels is a small aftermarket company that does some of the most incredible engineering and casting to correct or convert selected beloved subjects. This time around, they've started producing a nice range of heaters, also known as the famous heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles.

AIM-9L/M Sidewinders

This set covers the AIM-9L/M Sidewinders developed jointly by the US Air Force and US Navy in the early 1970s to provide the first true 'all aspect' infrared missile. Where previous heaters were tail-chase missiles that tracked the heat plume of the target's exhaust, the Lima was able to kill a target head-on. The Mike soon followed the Lima to address some improvements identified from test and combat operations.

This set is perfect for any contemporary USAF, US Navy, US Marine Corps, or allied fighter in 1/32 scale including the F-5, F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, AV-8, A-10, etc. This set comes with two missile bodies, two sets of rear fins complete with nice rolleron details, two sets of forward canards, two rocket motor bells, two electrical umbilicals, and two optional seeker head covers.

As usual, this is a nice bit of engineering from designer Alex Rogal and casting by Zactomodels to enhance your favorite Vietnam-era navy fighter.

You can learn more about this and other project from the Zactomodels website at

My sincere thanks to Zactomodels for this review sample!