SA-6 Gainful, In Detail
...and associated Radar vehicle, from WWP Books
Title: SA-6 Gainful, In Detail...
Authors: Jan Horak and Franisek Koran
Publisher: Wings and Wheels Publications
...Launcher and Radar Vehicles Fully Uncovered
This series is ideal for modellers, and in this case gives full coverage of a pair of associated AFVs which at one time were hidden away from us, behind the Iron Curtain. Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the opening up of Eastern Europe, let alone equipment captured in wars in the Middle East, these AFVs are not the strangers to us that they once were. I built my old model of the SA-6 using a Cromwell resin conversion set on the chassis of an Italeri ZSU-23-4 Shilka, though since then Trumpeter have released it as a complete plastic kit. So, if you have the Trumpeter kit, this will be a useful reference.
This excellent photo book shows references from more than one vehicle, both from older Soviet built examples, compared to current Czech versions that are in service today. The photos were taken thanks to the Czech Army 25th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, along with the Military Museum at Kraliky. Pages 1 to 71 feature the SA-6 Launch vehicle 2P25M1, while pages 72 to 120 cover the associated radar vehicle, the Czech 1S91M2CZ. The development history is given in the text, along with informative captions on the photos throughout the book. Also included in some of the pictures of the launch unit is the truck which carries missile reloads and which cranes them onto the launcher rails. The launcher does use the came basic chassis and running gear as the Shilka, and common parts are identified among the detail pictures. Another element which is included in this section are the tracks. These clearly show the wear pattern on the track caused by the road wheels running between the track guide horns on an in-service vehicle. It also answers another common modellers query, showing the rusted colour of a museum example along with the overall black coloured links on a well maintained, in-service vehicle.
One of the very noticeable features of the SA-6 launch vehicle are the number of side bin hatches along both sides. These are all opened up and the detail inside clearly shown in excellent quality pictures, with captions explaining each one. This also brings attention to the colour coded components used in Russian built equipment, such as blue for the air system, yellow for the fuel system and so on. Then if that wasn't enough, great coverage of all the internal crew compartment, with driver's and commander's seats and controls. If you feel brace enough to try and scratchbuild the interior detailing for your model, this will definitely give you the level of detail you will be looking for.
In the second half of the book, the same detailed coverage is provided for the associated Radar vehicle, which has the NATO code name of Straight Flush. The same basic hull but with a large radar installation instead of the missile launch unit. One of the interesting things I find with this Soviet designed AA system is that these days, in the hands of the Czech Army, it could be used as part of the NATO defences against a possible Soviet attack. The detail shown here, both inside and out is perfect for any modeller interested in building an example of the Straight Flush unit.