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REVIEW
Nike-Hercules Guided Missile
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,464 posts
AeroScale: 3,090 posts
Posted: Friday, October 07, 2016 - 09:59 AM UTC
Welcome to the final review of the late-great Aurora Model Company series of 1/48 missiles: “Nike Hercules Guided Missile with Launching Platform.” We’ll judge this venerable kit today.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
Taeuss
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Manitoba, Canada
Joined: January 03, 2016
KitMaker: 2,854 posts
AeroScale: 2 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 08, 2016 - 10:14 PM UTC
Kits like this make me extremely nostalgic and pine for those halcyon days of youth when we'd buy kits for a couple bucks, assemble them the same day, trash them in rough play, and move on to the next. Which one of you out there as a child never played with their (poorly assembled) models in the sand box? I rather liked firecrackers myself. Maladjusted? Probably not. Anyways, this great kit was one that I can remember enjoying for longer than most. A re-release would be appreciated and I promise that I won't blow-up my next one...
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,464 posts
AeroScale: 3,090 posts
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 - 09:32 AM UTC
Hi Frank,

I remember the synergy between models, firecrackers, and fun! Glad this walked you down memory lane.

There will be more Aurora model reviews in the future. Keep watching.
pnance26
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United States
Joined: January 22, 2016
KitMaker: 621 posts
AeroScale: 102 posts
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2016 - 07:30 PM UTC
I would build all summer long tanks, jeeps, arty, even ships waiting for the day when the water was shut off to a trickle in the irrigation canal that bordered our property. My mom didn't think we knew but the shoebox full of firecrackers was very easy to find.

Ammo dumps were created from a stack of firecrackers with the fuses all wound together. Others were sacrificed to the single razor blade from dad's side of the cabinet as we sliced the sacred explosives apart and poured out the precious insides to create a powder magazine for a battleship. Other were placed as IEDs under unsuspecting troops. All that work for one afternoon of fun... and then it was time to rebuild and rearm for the next Saturday afternoon battle along the banks of the Ridenbaugh canal... a campaign that went on for several years!

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.
GeraldOwens
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Florida, United States
Joined: March 30, 2006
KitMaker: 3,565 posts
AeroScale: 1 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 10:27 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Welcome to the final review of the late-great Aurora Model Company series of 1/48 missiles: “Nike Hercules Guided Missile with Launching Platform.” We’ll judge this venerable kit today.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!


Monogram acquired Aurora's molds, but most were lost in a train derailment, so they are gone forever (though Polar Lights has copied some of the Aurora kits for reissue). The Nike Hercules was also kitted by Revell in the larger 1/40th, and is available in reissued versions. Renwal also did a Nike Ajax in 1/32nd sclae, which was also reissued by Revell after they acquired the molds. I don't believe there were any kits of the Nike Zeus version.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,014 posts
AeroScale: 699 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 02:20 AM UTC
[/quote]
Monogram acquired Aurora's molds, but most were lost in a train derailment, so they are gone forever (though Polar Lights has copied some of the Aurora kits for reissue). The Nike Hercules was also kitted by Revell in the larger 1/40th, and is available in reissued versions. Renwal also did a Nike Ajax in 1/32nd sclae, which was also reissued by Revell after they acquired the molds. I don't believe there were any kits of the Nike Zeus version.[/quote]

I've heard the "train derailment" story before, which I believe is a true event, but in a recent interview of Revell-Monogram I think they said the reason so many Aurora molds were lost was due to poor storage and copper/bronze mold liners, causing the molds to deteriorate to a point they were no longer usable. This happened before Monogram acquired the molds. Renwal made the 1/32 Nike Ajax, Revell made the Nike Hercules in 1/40 scale-- both of which have been re-released by Revell-Monogram in the History Makers and more recently in the SSP programs. The Nike Zeus was intended to be the ICBM intercepting member of the family, but never fielded, and was terminated in the development stage, which explains why no mainstream kit manufacturer released it. It simply cost to much to develop (estimated to be $15B), with too many technical difficulties in actually getting it to intercept an ICBM. The Ajax and its big brother were intended to intercept "air-breathing" targets. Both the Renwal Ajax and and Revell Hercules are ok in outline, but are inaccurate in surface details, I've compared them to the actual missiles at the Fort Lewis Military Museum, along with a fellow modeler, who has made accurizing the Revell Hercules a pet project. Both use typical 50s and 60s modeling technology, such as raised panel lines, which is to be expected, with the Renwal Ajax being more actuate then the Revell Hercules. I've seen the missile body of the Aurora kit once in my lifetime, so I can't comment much on its accuracy, but in shape and outline it looks like it fits the bill. Monogram released a US Missile kit, in about 1/277 scale (if I recall correctly) that contained an Ajax, a Hercules, and may have had a Zeus-- I just traded mine a few weeks ago as I didn't think I'd ever build it.
VR Russ
kk4mds
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Alabama, United States
Joined: May 21, 2015
KitMaker: 1 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 11:38 PM UTC
When I was in the army I was stationed at a Nike Herc antiaircraft battery. I really wish that a 1/32 or 1/35 scale model was available.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,014 posts
AeroScale: 699 posts
Posted: Friday, October 14, 2016 - 04:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

When I was in the army I was stationed at a Nike Herc antiaircraft battery. I really wish that a 1/32 or 1/35 scale model was available.



Al-- you and I both, but that's the big problem--it's probably just you and I and a few others. I am continually amazed to see more new missiles of modern Russian and late war German WWII stuff out there that really never performed, while for several years the air defense missile forces of the US, Canada and The UK have gone ignored. Thousands of Nikes, Bomarcs and others ringed the US and our allies, and many veterans served in these units-- there isn't even a decent Hawk kit out there, although the old 1/32 Renwal and Life-like 1/40 (Adams) kits came close. You'd think some manufacturer would take a look at what was once offered and improve upon those kits-- I'm still waiting for the old Lacrosse kit in 1/35. Hobby Fan (AFV club) released the Lance in tracked and trailer form, but there are so many others-- the Pershing, Honest John, David etc. that would be great to have in 1/35 scales-- but I fear not enough of us remember these systems.
VR, Russ