Northrop Snark SM-62 Cruise Missile

Published: July 17th, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan - IPMS# 34779
Scale: 1/81
Company: Revell, Inc.
Price: $21.99
Product / Stock #: 85-7810
Product provided by: Revell, Inc.

Talk about a trip down memory lane...I first built this kit nearly 50 years ago. The Snark was America's first surface-to-surface cruise missile, and was developed back when the expense of a manned bomber fleet made missiles seem mighty attractive. It was deployed from 1958-1961, and passed into history without ever having been fired in anger; which was just as well, being that the mean time between failures of its guidance system was less than the flight time to most of the targets of the time.

The actual box art image is not available on-line; I included the photo the web site uses in the catalog.

The web site lists 198 parts, but there are actually only 31, even counting the two crew figures. The mold is still crisp with very little flash, but the kit does show its age. The panel lines are raised, including raised decal outlines. There are ejector pin marks galore, which are easily seen in photos of the base. The launcher base is, well, basic.

Construction is very simple, but requires a lot of care. There are ejector pin marks on the mating surfaces for the fuselage halves, and the fit is in general not very good. The modern treatment for these older kits is to remove the panel lines and re-scribe. I chose not to do the re-scribing for this review. You will lose the panel lines on the top and bottom of the fuselage if you clean up the seams. I sanded the mating edges on both halves on a table a la vacuform assembly, and I still didn't get a good tight fit.

The air scoop on the starboard side is keyed wrong; if you don't fix this it will point aft like an exhaust. Fortunately, the fix is easy. The wing locks into place nicely, which is a very positive feature, but you will lose any panel lines you have left dealing with the remaining seams. This is shown well in one of the photos of the missile in-process, and you can also see the raised decal placement lines.

The booster rockets come in halves, and require some jiggling to get the best fit. The three tone painting is not a problem and they fit well onto the missile.

The base goes together well as all the bits are keyed with half-moon pegs and slots and all are correct. It is simple, and requires some blanking with card stock to prevent a hollow look; I didn't blank it and this is also visible in the final assembly photos.

I used Model Master Insignia Red for the missile, and Tamiya Yellow for the launcher. Discount store rattle can grey and silver served for the base. I did not paint the crew. While the launcher looks OK in the photos, the missile for some reason looks more Insignia Orange than red in the pictures.

Unfortunately, my kit, although still shrink wrapped, came without decals and my order to the manufacturer didn't arrive in time to make the review. The instructions indicate only scheme is included, and it is not identified as to unit. However, the white stripes would not be difficult to paint, and this is also in the modern method. The national insignia and tail markings even I can find in my spares box.

The kit is old-school technology and requires a little more effort, but it was a FUN build. Simple, straightforward, and what modeling used to be all about for a seven-year old boy. It took me back to a time when I couldn't wait to get the latest kit of the latest weapon system at the drug store, and the mean time between completion of the kit and total destruction in a rough-and-tumble war game was often less than the time it took to build it in the first place.

Many thanks to Revell, Inc. and IPMS/USA for the kit AND the fun!

  • Showing top seam and decal placement molded in
    Showing top seam and decal placement molded in
  • Showing launcher molded ejector pin marks
    Showing launcher molded ejector pin marks
  • Finished kit on launcher, port side
    Finished kit on launcher
  • Finished kit on launcher, from aft starboard side
    Finished kit on launcher

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