Model Art 1/72 ASMP



While building the Storm Shadow from the Revell 1/72 Eurofighter, I decided I wanted to do more cruise missiles. Although I'm not 100% sure whether the ASMP qualifies as a cruise missile, I bought the Model Art ASMP straight away when I came across it. Later I found out that injected plastic ASMPs are also available. Since I paid 9 euros for the resin ASMP and the Heller Mirage 2000 kits go for as low as 10 euros, I'm not sure whether I made the right choice. But now I know: I made the wrong choice, this Model Art kit is useless.




Kit description

Maybe kit is a big word, since it is a one-piece resin casting. 'Fortunately' one of the fins was broken off, so I had to 'assemble' it, which would technically make it a kit :-) By the way, I checked all kits on stock at the Aviation Megastore, and most had several fins broken off. They are just too vulnerable to be put in a zip lock bag. My example had a nasty mould division line running along the rear half of the fuselage. Even worse, the mould halves had shifted, so the upper half was offset to one side, and the lower half to the other side. I think the difference was about a millimeter. No decals are provided.





Accuracy

According to 'Jane's Air-launched Weapons' (Issue 43) the body diameter is 380 mm, or 5.3 mm in scale. However I measure 4.6, minus 13%. If you judge it by its cross-section, than it's 25% too small. The body length is 5380 mm, or 74.7 mm, but I measure 71.7, minus 4%.

The body diameter problem is really bad, compared to photos it looks *way* too thin. It makes it useless to build this model. 'Point Fixe' kindly supplied this reference photo, that he made at the Dijon 2004 Open Door. The original can be found on Photobucket.
The kit lacks the dorsal (fifth) fin, and the angled fins lack the faceted shape of the real ones.

The photo was made by 'Aerofossile2012' at the 2009 Reims Air Show and posted on Flickr. The original can be found on Flickr.




Construction

I started working on the model before I realised something was very wrong. The moulding problem really spoiled the model, so I took drastic action. Using a JLC razor saw, I cut the model horizontally for 40% of its length. This gave enough flexibility to force the fuselage back in shape, and glue it with CA. I then used Apoxie Sculpt to restore the fuselage sides.
The left side shows putty applied over the sawcut, and the broken fin.

After this, I stopped work on the missile due to its inaccuracy. It's nearly useless to modify this model: increasing the body diameter would mean a total rebuild. It would be easier to start from scratch. Maybe I'll try that some day.




Markings

Markings identified so far are a type and serial number on the top of the fuselage between the wings (for example "MMM ASMP N°10"), a center of gravity marking on the side, and white markings indicating the positions of the sway braces. I think there are similar lines on the lower side to indicate where the missile rests on its crate supports and weapons loading device. On the lower side of the fuselage sides, I think I see a brown rectangle. The fins have some black arrows near the leading edge, likely assembly instructions, and some brownish markings on the trailing edge.





Heller ASMP

The ASMP is also included in Heller Mirage IV (kit 351), Heller Mirage 2000N (kits 71241, 71251 and 80321). The Heller ASMP is 4.9 mm diameter, still 7% too small. If you judge it by its cross-section, than it's 14% too small. And I will not get burned a second time. Length is probably 74 mm.





Trumpeter YJ-12 missile

I found a strange possible replacement: a missile included twofold in the Trumpeter 1/72 PLAAF J-15 Carrier-Based Fighter (kits 01668, 01670). It's supposed to be an YJ-12 missile, but it does not even resemble it. Instead it has the layout of an ASMP! If you have this model, I would love to know the main measurements.




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