# Need some help finding some good aircraft missile kits

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
I retired from the Air Force almost 2 years ago as a Munitions Systems Technician and spent nearly 8 years in the missile shop. Now that I have considerable time on my hands I have gotten back into rocketry after about a 25 year hiatus I would like to build some kits of the munitions that I worked with. I recently picked up an Estes AIM-9 kit (I worked the 9M series...the kit looks like a 9P or even a 9J) and it looks pretty close to the real thing. What missiles I'm looking for are:

AIM-7 series
AIM-9 (I would love more of those kits)
AIM-120
AGM-65
AGM-88

The size of the kit doesn't matter much as long as the kit is accurate AND comes with a detailed decal sheet. I'll fly them as long as they don't take a motor larger than a D size but the bigger ones will just be for display. Now if anyone that has built/is building any of these missiles and has any technical questions, please feel free to ask away...I do consider myself an expert on them and have been involved in a few TCTO changes to some of the missile systems.

#### powderburner

##### Well-Known Member
and thankyou for your long service

I don't remember seeing a kit for the Sparrow (unless TLP did one)

I think TLP (a kit manufacturer named "The Launch Pad"---they popped up while you were away) has kits for the AMRAAM, Maverick, and HARM. They make good kits, with solid quality parts, but they tend to be on the heavy end of the "model" rocket scale and often require mid-power motors to fly well. Check: http://www.the-launch-pad.com/products.htm

If you want something in "model" rocket size (something that would fly well on A through D power) I would be happy to help you design your own kits. I would suggest that for these power levels that you would want to limit the body tube sizes to BT60 (1.6 inch diam) or maybe BT70 (2.2 inch diam, but if you have to ask someone to turn a custom nose cone for you in this size it's going to be heavy). For decals, there are several very good vendors that can print custom stuff for very reasonable prices.

And welcome to TRF, we're happy you joined in the fun!

Last edited:

#### CTimm

##### Well-Known Member

Available from Uncle Mike's Rocket Shack.

#### stantonjtroy

##### Well-Known Member
TLP does have a Sparrow. I'm buildind a Standard ARM now and can say they are good. They have no decals but Gordon over at Excelsior Rocketry can hook you up. (http://excelsiorrocketry.com/) Just tell him what you need and if it's not stock he can custom a set. I used his decals on my Pershing and can say the quality is top notch as is the service. Best of luck.

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies so far!! I have checked out the launch pad and their kits look very nice but I did notice that they didn't include a sticker set. The larger kits would be mostly for display so they would have to look exactly correct. Now the link that fishhead posted...wow is that an old variant!!! I would think that Sidewinder was from the mid 1970's based on the SR116 rocket motor, the ancient target detector, the rolleron assemblies are primitive and they don't use a cager release (I believe that the rollerons were "caged" by arming wire and when the rocket motor fired it would cut the wire and "uncage" the rollerons) and I don't even recognize that guidance unit. Most of the other pictures are of CAP-9 training missiles. They are nothing but a metal tube w/slab wings but uses a live GCS (guidance control system) to track & lock on to targets. They interface with the aircraft (through the launcher of course) with a CAP-9 adapter which is I can describe as an anodized blue cannon plug adapter that won't allow the aircraft to fire the gas grain generator in the GCS but allows the seeker head to uncage and track and also activate the TMU-72 tank to allow the argon gas to cool the seeker assembly. The Estes kit is pretty accurate with the sticker set but the only thing that it didn't include was a CG sticker and a TMU-72 tank/access door sticker.

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
That's a bit before my time. I didn't enter service until Dec 1990 and started working missiles until May 1992.

Available from Uncle Mike's Rocket Shack.

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies so far!! I have checked out the launch pad and their kits look very nice but I did notice that they didn't include a sticker set. The larger kits would be mostly for display so they would have to look exactly correct. Now the link that fishhead posted...wow is that an old variant!!! I would think that Sidewinder was from the mid 1970's based on the SR116 rocket motor, the ancient target detector, the rolleron assemblies are primitive and they don't use a cager release (I believe that the rollerons were "caged" by arming wire and when the rocket motor fired it would cut the wire and "uncage" the rollerons) and I don't even recognize that guidance unit. Most of the other pictures are of CAP-9 training missiles. They are nothing but a metal tube w/slab wings but uses a live GCS (guidance control system) to track & lock on to targets. They interface with the aircraft (through the launcher of course) with a CAP-9 adapter which is I can describe as an anodized blue cannon plug adapter that won't allow the aircraft to fire the gas grain generator in the GCS but allows the seeker head to uncage and track and also activate the TMU-72 tank to allow the argon gas to cool the seeker assembly. The Estes kit is pretty accurate with the sticker set but the only thing that it didn't include was a CG sticker and a TMU-72 tank/access door sticker.
I am currently working on more and more decal sets for The Launch Pad kits.

Lots of photos to look through and lots of documentation to look up. It's a slow and tedious process.

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
I did some more work on my AIM-9 kit and some of the decals are wrong. FYI there is supposed to be a "warning do not roll tumble or drop" decal at the 3 & 9 o'clock position centered between the wings on the rocket motor tube and a "torque to 100 +/- 5in lbs" decal at the same position but at the very aft of the rocket motor. I don't remember if the MK 36 MOD 10 & 11 motor has a safe & arm key (the CAP-9 does, so I believe the live missile does) but there would be a rotating "T" handle w/decal at the 6 o'clock position about 6" aft of the forward coupling ring.

I am currently working on more and more decal sets for The Launch Pad kits.

Lots of photos to look through and lots of documentation to look up. It's a slow and tedious process.

#### Stymye

##### Well-Known Member
you might check into the TLP sidewinder, it's much more detailed than the estes
I fly mine on D motors.

Last edited:

#### powderburner

##### Well-Known Member
That's a bit before my time.
That's OK, it is still a $#!t hot missile all these years later (google it) and the kit that CTimm is talking about is a good one. Do you have a "favorite" version of the 'Winder that you want to model? Are you going to try to build the clipped-fin version of the AIM-120? (The original full-span A model might be a bit safer) If you check out Jim Ball's website you will find the super job that Carl Tulanko did on his HARM: http://www.rocketryonline.com/jimball/jimball/tulanko/tulanko-harm.htm He went crazy on all the decals and did an excellent job overall (about the only thing he skimped on were the gory details of the NC shape). You would probably enjoy reading through his build thread (go into the "Archive" and do a search there for the old TRF threads) Keep us posted on what you're building? #### mattitude ##### Well-Known Member Stymye, you did an EXCELLENT job on your kit!!! The color is correct and just about every detail is there. Did you have to do many mods to the original kit? If you want it with ALL the details, I can help you out with what you are missing if you want to be complete....but as-is you have it as good as it can get for someone who hasn't been intimate with this system. You have skills! you might check into the TLP sidewinder, it's much more detailed than the estes I fly mine on D motors. #### mattitude ##### Well-Known Member I've spent more time with the AIM-120A than the B model so that is one kit that I would be interested in. I have some stories about the A model when I was with the first deployment for the Bosnian Conflict as well as between the Gulf Wars in Saudi Arabia. I talked with the head functional manager back in 1993 which resulted in changing some of the technical data for inspection criteria and packing/unpacking the missiles. The AGM-88 in the link you provided is extremely close and the fine details are spot on. The only discrepancy is that the warhead color band is supposed to be yellow (high explosive) and the rocket motor color band is supposed to be brown (low explosive)...but the guy has all of the section screws and access covers w/screws which is incredible. FYI to take apart the AGM-88 the missile goes on a special disassembly stand that compresses the missile which is necessary to remove the section screws. The AIM-120 system is not field level repairable, so disassembly isn't authorized. The AIM-9M is held together with coupling rings which are torqued to 100 +/- 5in. lbs. and are seated with either a chain wrench (which isn't used much anymore) or a "ring seating tool" and hammer...basically a big punch that gets smacked with a hammer. Usually telling someone that I beat a missile with a hammer illicits some strange stares:gavel: That's OK, it is still a$#!t hot missile all these years later (google it) and the kit that CTimm is talking about is a good one.

Do you have a "favorite" version of the 'Winder that you want to model?
Are you going to try to build the clipped-fin version of the AIM-120? (The original full-span A model might be a bit safer)

If you check out Jim Ball's website you will find the super job that Carl Tulanko did on his HARM:
http://www.rocketryonline.com/jimball/jimball/tulanko/tulanko-harm.htm
He went crazy on all the decals and did an excellent job overall (about the only thing he skimped on were the gory details of the NC shape). You would probably enjoy reading through his build thread (go into the "Archive" and do a search there for the old TRF threads)

Keep us posted on what you're building?

#### powderburner

##### Well-Known Member
Stymye, you did an EXCELLENT job on your kit!!! The color is correct and just about every detail is there. Did you have to do many mods to the original kit? If you want it with ALL the details, I can help you out with what you are missing if you want to be complete....but as-is you have it as good as it can get for someone who hasn't been intimate with this system. You have skills!
Yeah, Stymye definitely did a great job, that missile looks gooooood! The pix show it laying upside down in that cradle, so I can't see if Stymye added that big ugly umbilical connection on the top, but he has those stupid clamp knuckles that are peppered all over the place (WHY would you ever design a supersonic high-performance missile with hardware crap sticking out all over the place? I know, I know, that's how they put the real ones together, but couldn't they have put in a little effort and designed something cleaner?)

matttitude, I would like to suggest something that you (with your experience and training) could probably do in your sleep that would help out a whole bunch of the rest of us, especially guys trying to build super-authentic scale kits. My request is this: would you consider writing some notes (whether in "bullet" statments or written up all the way into prose) on what the missiles looked like? Of course, we want to avoid anything classified or such, we don't want to hand over any sensitive info to any bad guys, but some authoritative notes on colors, color bands, color placement, meanings of color codes, placement of notes/labels/markings on the exterior, types of font and size of font for labels, and all the other minute details that go with this subject should not be classified or sensitive (I think?). You could probably only find about a hundred websites willing to host your information but I would vote for submittal to Jim Ball's website as a minimum.

Whaddya think? Can you help us out?

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
I would be honored to provide any information that is needed with markings & colors. None of that is classified...what is classified is contained inside the guidance and target detection systems and that doesn't apply to model rocketry. It might be easier if someone who does the decal kits, or the missile kits themselves to contact me with any information that they need. My expertise is limited to the the following systems:

AIM-9M
AIM-7M
AIM-120A & B
AGM-88A & B
AGM-65 A/B/D/G

The training missile systems are nearly the same in that most use a live guidance system while everything else is inert with simplified construction...but I would assume that the scale builders want to do the live missiles. FYI anytime you see any blue bands on a munition it means that it is inert. If you see a yellow band on the warhead and brown (not gold/copper or anything else) on the rocket motor then they are live components. The only time you will see a live rocket motor with an inert rocket motor is when a telemetry system is built into the system for test launches.

matttitude, I would like to suggest something that you (with your experience and training) could probably do in your sleep that would help out a whole bunch of the rest of us, especially guys trying to build super-authentic scale kits. My request is this: would you consider writing some notes (whether in "bullet" statments or written up all the way into prose) on what the missiles looked like? Of course, we want to avoid anything classified or such, we don't want to hand over any sensitive info to any bad guys, but some authoritative notes on colors, color bands, color placement, meanings of color codes, placement of notes/labels/markings on the exterior, types of font and size of font for labels, and all the other minute details that go with this subject should not be classified or sensitive (I think?). You could probably only find about a hundred websites willing to host your information but I would vote for submittal to Jim Ball's website as a minimum.

Whaddya think? Can you help us out?

#### mattitude

##### Well-Known Member
The umbilical connector on the GCS has aluminum shearable screws and is retained by the launcher when the missile fires. The "clamp knuckles" are actually called coupling rings and they hold the warhead to the rocket motor and the target detector to the warhead and GCS. The part the sticks out on the bottom contains a tempered allen screw that threads into a hardened barrel nut (the nut is stamped on one side that shows that it is hardened, that was a TCTO (time compliance technical order) change and that stamp is an inspection point) and is torqued to 100 +/- 5in.lbs. using a pre-set torque wrench. There is also a small clip that keeps the screw captive so when the screw is loosened it will spread the coupling ring apart to assist in seperating the components. I don't know how much drag that it creates but it must be minimal since the system has been in use since the Vietman war.

Yeah, Stymye definitely did a great job, that missile looks gooooood! The pix show it laying upside down in that cradle, so I can't see if Stymye added that big ugly umbilical connection on the top, but he has those stupid clamp knuckles that are peppered all over the place (WHY would you ever design a supersonic high-performance missile with hardware crap sticking out all over the place? I know, I know, that's how they put the real ones together, but couldn't they have put in a little effort and designed something cleaner?)