Towed Rapier System in 1/87...
...resin kits from Trident Miniatures, Austria
Two separately available resin kits from Trident Miniatures provide the elements of the towed Rapier system.
Rapier was developed during the 1960s by BAC (British Aircraft Corporation) and the British Army bought it as a replacement for not only the Bofors gun but also the larger, long range Thunderbird missile. It entered service in 1972 with the British Army, and later in 1977 by the RAF as well. It was different to many other alternatives for using an optical tracker system, with guidance information fed to it via a radio link. It has been subject to a range of modifications, but 35 years later Rapier is still in service.
The kits represents a towed Rapier unit with 4 missiles and the separate Blindfire radar unit, a bit of kit which was added towards the end of the 1970s. The system was used in Combat in the Falklands war in 1982 and is planned to remain in service through to 2020.
Both kits are cast in a grey, polyurethane resin. Delicately done so do be careful when handling some parts as you remove them from their casting feeds and during the build process. In particular the 4 support jacks on the main chassis of the trailers are moulded in place but so easily can be knocked off (yes, I have on the fire unit). Fortunately with resin they can be glued back on with superglue. There are very basic instructions in each pack, with a parts layout so you can check they are all there, and pictures of the assembled models. However, they leave one or two details difficult to work out so I'd suggest you will benefit from using some photos of the real things to get some better help in exact locations. Optional parts give you the choice of fitting the wheels, or for emplaced units, the hubs only, as the wheels were removed when the units were set up for operation. There are not many parts, so once cleaned up and assembled, a coat of primer and they are ready to be painted.