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V-2/A4 Kit

Spacemonkey Models 1/24 V-2/A4 German Ballistic Missile Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2011 Manufacturer Spacemonkey Models
Subject V-2/A4 German Ballistic Missile Scale 1/24
Kit Number 2401 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build, variety of markings Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

V-2/A4 Kit
V-2/A4 Kit
V-2/A4 Kit

Doctor Werner von Braun was a pioneer in early rocketry in the 1930s where he developed liquid-fueled rocket motors under the supervision of his mentor, Hermann Oberth. When the Nazi party gained power in Germany, von Braun was given research grants to develop the technology into what would become the Vergeltungswaffe 2 (reprisal weapon 2) or V-2.

The V-2 underwent numerous tests at Peenemunde to improve the reliability of the motor as well as work out the bugs in its structural integrity and guidance system. Like the modern AIM-9X Sidewinder of today, the V-2 used steering vanes in the rocket exhaust to vector the thrust to adjust the trajectory of the missile. This weapon would become the world's first ballistic missile with over 3,000 fired at allied targets (many of which were aimed at London).

After the war, von Braun and numerous other rocket scientists were brought back to the United States to continue their work in both military and scientific applications of their rocket technology. Over 300 rail cars of V-2 parts were also recovered and shipped to the US for further study and testing. Numerous test flights were conducted at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where the designs were evaluated and further developments began America's steps into rocket flight. While Robert Goddard was the first to fly a liquid-fueled rocket in 1926, it would be von Braun and his colleagues to put the concept to work and take that concept all the way to the moon as part of NASA's science team.

Spacemonkey Models has produced the first plastic V-2 kit 1/24 scale as their first offering. This model was developed by the same folks that produce the video series on flight test articles including aircraft and spacecraft. Of course this kit comes complete with a video of historical films documenting the study and flight testing of these captured V-2 rockets.

The kit itself also contains a first - take a look at that first image. I had a certain impression when I pulled that fuselage out of the box, and the smile on my wife's face confirmed that impression. At 20" long, the part is smaller than the average American, but it respresents the first time that a model part was created from blown plastic. This is the same technology that produces all of those water bottles!

If you look closer at that first image, you'll see a cut line at the 1 1/4 inch point where the bulb is removed and replaced with a styrene nose cone. A second cut happens at the molded line at the 13 point where the engine bell will be inserted.

Four sets of fins produced in injection-molded plastic are assembled and glued to the fuselage along with the vector vanes inside the engine bell and a few other details. Assembly shouldn't take much time.

The kit also includes a set of decals printed by Cartograf which provide marking options for four examples:

  • V-2, Operation Sandy, launch from USS Midway, 1947
  • V-2, publicity flight, White Sands Missile Range
  • V-2, German markings as displayed at the Museum of the United States Air Force
  • V-2, German markings as displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London

This is a nice looking kit and now I'll have to scratch-build a launch pedestal to display this beast. I'll have to do something quickly before my wife's friends decide to do their own flight testing...

My sincere thanks to Spacemonkey Models for this review sample!