Black Label is launching its most ambitious project yet in 1/35 scale and, appropriately, it’s a model of a launcher! Item No.3558 depicts a plastic model of the MIM-104B Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system complete with Launching Station mounted on an M860 semi-trailer and its associated M983 HEMTT tractor truck. The Patriot Advanced Capability-1 (PAC-1) was a SAM system with an anti-ballistic missile capacity. The MIM-104B anti-standoff jammer (ASOJ) missile allowed it to seek out electronic countermeasure emitters, and so it was an improvement over its predecessor. The trailer-mounted M901 Launching Station is a self-contained unit from which four MIM-104B missiles in canisters can be fired. The M901 includes all necessary items such as the 15kW Launcher Generator Set, and the Launcher Mechanics Assembly that elevates and rotates the canisters. The M860 semi-trailer is towed by the M983 tractor of the HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) family, this being an 8x8 truck fitted with a fifth wheel. The Patriot, which was previously untested in combat, rose to fame during the Gulf War of 1990-91 when its ballistic missile defense function was exercised against Iraqi weapons more than 40 times.
This 1/35 scale Black Label model kit is fantastic in both its ambition and its execution, with the completed model impressive in its size and detail. Dragon’s engineers have created an extremely accurate depiction of this massive combination of truck, trailer and missile launcher. Indeed, modelers can render this model in either transport configuration or in firing mode, making it ideal for a Gulf War diorama, for example. The M901 Launching Station can be posed with the missiles elevated and/or rotated for firing at the correct 38º angle, and with the trailer stabilizers extended. Integral components such as the antenna and generator are all included too, while the vehicle tires are made from DS for extra realism. Detail such as the tread plate pattern is particularly well done. For modelers willing to launch into something absolutely stunning, this Patriot PAC-1 combination is simply unbeatable!