by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
In the early 1970s, I began to write off to model makers for their catalogues. Revell’s were really neat because, while my preferred company, Monogram, had started only displaying pictures of their built models, Revell still showed cool box art. One year Revell’s catalogue included a truly amazing model – a V2 on a trailer! It had muted, yet dynamic colors and shadows depicting a V2 in a hazy glade surrounded by bare trees being raised from its Meillerwagen trailer, with several soldiers in attendance. I had recently seen an old movie with V2s in it, and it was decided: I would have that model! Unfortunately, nobody could order it for me. Years passed— 1972 arrived, and there it was in the new Squadron Shop magazine the Squadron -- Revell had reissued it! Different box art, true, but my V2 finally arrived. I still have parts from it!
I will not present the history of the A4/V2 ("V-2") rocket system, as it is so well known. My only interest is to present this venerable model to you, good modeler, to acquaint you with what you can expect should you purchase it in any of its releases. I did supply a link to the V-2 Rocket page at of National Museum of the USAF, below.
© REVELL INC 1960 MFD IN USA adorns the back of a tread plate. I don’t know if Revell ever updated that tooling text. Regardless, this 52-year-old model was injection-molded in a dark green styrene. It is a queer 1/69 “box scale”, i.e., the model company scaled it to fit in their standard sized carton. The model measures 8 inches from the tip of fins to the tip of the nose, and that scales correctly for the 14-meter A4. However, one standing figure is 5-foot 6-inches in 1/48 scale, and that makes him almost 8 feet tall in 1/69.
Three kits build the set:
an A4/V2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2 (V2’s technical name is “A4”) missile
an Abschussplattform (Firing Table)
and the Meillerwagen transporter
Included are three crew figures so the kit consists of 147 parts on 4-5 sprues. No decals were included.
The model is molded with all of the flaws typical of the era: flash, gross sinks, visible ejector circles, and seam lines. Some parts are fairly fine, while others that should be thin are bulky.
While the surface finish is smooth, almost all the surface detail is raised and over-scale. And frustratingly, ejector marks even surround much of the rivet detail. Most detail is simplified and cast-on, although steering vanes are separate.
What makes this kit unique is the missile interior:
• Alcohol tank
• Bulkhead bracing (4 parts)
• Combustion chamber, with head and exhaust ring
• Feed tubes
• Filler tubes
• Fuel lines (oxygen and alcohol)
• Fuel pump
• Instrument “panel”
• Oxygen tank
• Structural members
There's more than just the missile. The Meillerwagen also has a great number of individual parts with movable features, yet clusters of oxygen canisters that are molded as a single part. I marvel that the model company tooled dozens of fine steps and rungs, yet decided not to mold these individual little oblong items. Individual pipes and conduits run along the trailer, including tower control pipes and bottles. Some two dozen hand rungs are individually attached, too.
The missile support cradle can be raised and lowered; telescoping elevating struts move; positional clamps hold the A4 in place, and folding work platforms pull down. And the bogies can move, as do the sway braces and grounding pads. The forward dolly is a sub-assembly unto itself. Wheels have tire detail.
The three figures are, ahh -- well, you can tell that they are modeled after humanoids.
Painting and Instructions
I have no idea where I got this kit from; probably a show or in one of the big boxes of mystery models I acquired somewhere. It is bagged and has no box, and the instructions were Xeroxed, so I cannot give you the 100% mint review. The model is built in 14 steps; they are well illustrated with line art. Parts are identified by number and description of what the piece is (I like that for its informational purpose).
Painting guidance is early modelery: basic and silly. Lots of exposed parts are labeled ‘silver’, ‘black’, etc. I don’t know what uniforms a Vergeltungswaffe 2 crew wore, but the instructions want you to paint them black, flesh, khaki, and olive drab. The A4 is shown camouflaged in olive, dark green, and an unidentified color. No mention is made of the variety of A4 finishes.
Ready to Launch
Revell’s V2 is a classic model from the early age of injection modeling. Its fortes are a unique model with unique detail, and quite a lot of it for the day. That Revell made it ‘playable” probably accounts for the tradeoff in scale and detail versus robustness. To me it looks like they did try to make the parts as fine as practical, and it was a good effort at the time.
Drawbacks are the flaws of early 1960s injection molding: “box scaling”, and unsophisticated painting guidance (early modelery). The model was originally listed as 1/69; a later re-release in Revell’s History Makers series has a V-2 listed as 1/54. I don’t know if it is the same model.
Defunct model company Eidai released a 1/76 A-4 with a set of several ground vehicles: German V-2, Heavy Tractor, Meiller Trailer, Launch Pad, 8-t Halftrack, Fire Guidance Center, and you can compare this model to the Revell via the link below. Personally, I think the Eidai kit is the superior A-4 kit.
Overall, this kit is an interestingly detailed model that I think really only has a place on your nostalgia/novelty shelf, or build it for kids. I still think it is a cool model, and I will build it someday. And when I do, I’ll use the surviving parts from my original effort of some 40 years ago in it!
Thanks to www.Oldmodelkits.com and HenkofHolland for permission to use the box art for this review!
Click here for additional images for this review.