Thursday, July 12

Freedom's new lil' Hercules: 1/35th scale Nike Hercules Missile With movable monorail launcher preview

1957 is the last time someone made a kit of the Nike Hercules in injection moulded plastic - Freedom Models have an all-new kit in the CAD stage in 1/35th scale. Smart thinking sees this missile in different aspects and even in combination with others to create a whole scene of potential destruction. We have a look at it in our preview...

New 1/35 project from Freedom Model Kits

Nike Hercules Missile With movable monorail launcher.
ITEM No.15105 MIM-14
1/35th scale
Able to connect several sets together into a launch site.
We are all pretty familiar with the Nike Hercules model in 1/40th scale from
 Revell - but it is time for an upgrade don't you think? Freedom Model Kits are making a brand new Missile and launcher that can be combined with others to make a whole launch site with their latest kit. But first of all a little about the Hercules Missile System.
The Nike Hercules was a command-guided, long-range, high-altitude anti-aircraft missile.
The Nike Hercules was the only nuclear-armed surface-to-air weapon, which was operational with the U.S. Army. Development of an improved Nike missile began in 1952, with the primary goal to develop a missile with a significantly higher performance than MIM-3 Nike Ajax (then known simply as Nike), which could still be used with the existing Nike ground equipment. 
After it had been shown that the Nike Ajax could not be equipped with then existing nuclear warheads, nuclear armament became another goal for the new missile. The SAM-A-25 Nike B program was formally established in June 1953. As with Nike Ajax, Western Electric was the prime contractor, and Douglas was responsible for the missile airframe.
It was normally deployed in fixed bases with a central radar and control site (Integrated Fire Control area or IFC) separated from the launcher area (LA). Hercules batteries in the US were generally placed in older Ajax bases, using their underground storage and maintenance buildings. 145 missile batteries were deployed during the cold war.
The Nike Hercules, initially designated SAM-A-25 and later MIM-14, was a surface-to-air missile (SAM) used by U.S. and NATO armed forces for medium- and high-altitude long-range air defence. It was normally armed with the W31 nuclear warhead, but could also be fitted with a conventional warhead for export use. Its warhead also allowed it to be used in a secondary surface-to-surface role, and the system also demonstrated its ability to hit other short-range missiles in flight.
Hercules was originally developed as a simple upgrade to the earlier MIM-3 Nike Ajax, allowing it carry a nuclear warhead in order to defeat entire formations of high-altitude supersonic targets. It evolved into a much larger missile with two solid fuel stages that provided three times with the range of the Ajax. Deployment began in 1958, initially at new bases, but it eventually took over many Ajax bases as well. At its peak, it was deployed at over 130 bases in the US alone.
Hercules remained the US' primary heavy SAM until it began to be replaced by the higher performance and considerably more mobile MIM-104 Patriot in the 1980s. Patriot's much higher accuracy allowed it to dispense with the nuclear warhead, and Hercules was the last US SAM to use this option. The last Hercules missiles were deactivated in Europe in 1988, without ever being fired in anger. Foreign countries, mainly NATO allies, deployed this system as well.

Length 41 ft. with booster
Diameter 31.5 inches
Wingspan 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight 10,710 pounds with booster
Booster Fuel Solid propellant
Sustainer Motor Solid propellant
Range Over 75 miles
Speed Mach 3.65 (2707 mph)
Maximum Altitude 100,000 ft.*
Guidance Command guidance from ground installations
This new kit from Freedom Models:
OK, so all we know so far is that this is a single missile in a kit that comes along with the movable monorail launcher. This 1/35th scale missile will go well with any of your current US cold war figures, vehicles and equipment.

Here are some of the CAD drawings of the kit and launcher from Freedom Models - you can see the missiles can be left in the storage or in firing position.
You can add these issues together to make a whole larger set up of a full Hercules launching site - several missiles were placed together in real life, so this is a possibility.
This kit is coming very soon - you can see more from Freedom Models Freedom Model Kits Website