AIM-9D Sidewinder

Published: January 5th, 2015     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $9.95
Product / Stock #: 672 043
Product provided by: Eduard

Developed as a follow up to the B and C models of the Sidewinder, the AIM-9D featured a Nitrogen cooled Infrared (IR) seeker and utilized the Hercules MK 36 solid-fuel rocket motor. Philco-Ford and Raytheon produced about 1000 of the missiles between 1965 and 1969. The missile was 9 feet, 5 inches long; 24.8 inches across the rear fins, and had a diameter of 5 inches. Weighing in at 195 pounds (25 pounds belonging to the warhead), the missile could travel at over Mach 2.5 with a range of 9.7 nautical miles. The AIM-9D is credited with aerial victories over twenty-two aircraft during the Vietnam War (8 MiG-21 and 14 MiG-17's) being launched from F-8E/C/H Crusaders and F-4B and J Phantom II's of the US Navy.

This set consists of four missiles and optional nose covers that are cast in resin, a single photoetch fret that holds the forward fins and rings to represent the exhaust of the rocket motor, and a small decal sheet. The photoetched parts include extra fins, just in case, but no additional rings, so be cautious when removing and handling them. The decals include nine stencil markings and a single yellow band for each missile.

As I mentioned in my review of the AIM-9B missiles from Eduard, in over forty years of modeling, these are the absolute best representation of the AIM-9 that I have yet to work with in 1/72 scale. Eduard did a great job capturing the detail of the Sidewinder, and all of the fins are appropriately thin for the scale. My one assembly tip is that I did find it easier to attach the forward missile fins if I first touched their attachment point with a small drill bit. I used a mix of medium and thin CA to attach the PE parts to my missiles, which I then painted a coat of Alclad Primer White followed by Model Master Acryl Gloss White and Model Master Metalizer Stainless Steel and Gun Metal. The decals settled without issue using Micro Set and Micro Sol.

My hits for this set would have to start with the fine level of detail cast in to the resin missiles. The use of photoetched parts for the forward fins and motor exhaust ring are also positives for this release. The availability of the nose covers is a great touch, and although I did not use them on my AIM-9D's, they may eventually make their way onto other Sidewinders on a future build, as the covers have remained unchanged.

My miss is not difficult to remedy, but it would be that on my example, the yellow band decals did not quite meet when wrapped around the body of the missile (this can easily be rectified by touch-up painting or ensuring that the gap will align with where the missile mounts to the aircraft launch rail).

In conclusion, I would highly recommend these Eduard AIM-9D missiles to modelers who are looking to add the early Vietnam-era Sidewinder to their 1/72 scale Crusader or Phantom II. There should be no fit up issues when installing the missiles onto a plane, and modelers with some experience in working with resin and photoetched parts should find it easy to utilize this set.

I would like to thank the folks at Eduard for graciously providing these missiles to the IPMS-USA for review and to Dave Morrissette for allowing me to receive this set. I would also send kudos out to the assistants in the Review Corps for the great job they do in keeping the Corps running strong and as always, my appreciation to anyone who takes the time to read my comments.

  • AIM-9D assembled
    AIM-9D assembled
  • AIM-9D contents
    AIM-9D contents
  • Exhaust close up
    Exhaust close up
  • Finished AIM-9D missiles
    Finished AIM-9D missiles
  • Finished AIM-9D
    Finished AIM-9D
  • Warhead close up
    Warhead close up

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