AIM-9E Sidewinder

Published: June 5th, 2015     
Product Image
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $9.95
Product / Stock #: 672 063
Product provided by: Eduard

Developed as a Sidewinder for the U.S. Air Force, the AIM-9E was based on the U.S. Navy AIM-9B, but with some enhancements, based on early combat challenges of the B- model. The cooling for the detector used Peltier thermoelectric cooling, and the forward canards were changed. Ford produced 5000 of the missiles from re-purposed AIM-9B missiles. The AIM-9E measured 9 feet, 10 inches long, 22 inches across the rear fins, had a diameter of 5 inches, and weighed in at 164 pounds. The AIM-9E is credited with aerial victories over six MiG-21 aircraft during the Vietnam War being launched from F-4D and E Phantom II's of the US Air force.

This Eduard Brassin set consists of four missiles and optional nose covers that are cast in gray 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 and rings, just in case, which is a nice benefit. The decals include three stencil markings, a sectioned yellow band, a full yellow band, a black band with white spots (representing the target detector), and a brown band for each missile.

As I mentioned in my previous review of the AIM-9B, D, and M 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 (#77). I used a 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. The metal parts are Vallejo Steel, while the seeker is Model Master Acryl Gloss Black. The decals settled without issue using Micro Set and Micro Sol, and I then used Model Master Metalizer Sealer for the final finish.

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-9E'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 wrap around 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-9E missiles to modelers who are looking to add the early Vietnam-era Sidewinder to their 1/72 scale Air Force 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.

  • Business ends
    Business ends
  • Finished missles
    Finished missles
  • Front close-up
    Front close-up
  • Rear close-up
    Rear close-up
  • Rear ends
    Rear ends
  • Set contents
    Set contents

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