Revell 1/56 IM-99 Bomarc

KIT #: 85-1806
PRICE: $23.95 SRP
DECALS: One option plus two for the OS2Us
REVIEWER: Robert Myers


The Boeing CIM-10 Bomarc (IM-99 Weapon System prior to September 1962) was a supersonic long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) used during the Cold War for the air defense of North America. In addition to being the first operational long-range SAM, it was the only SAM deployed by the US Air Force.

Stored horizontally in a launcher shelter with movable roof, the missile was erected, fired vertically using rocket boosters to high altitude, and then tipped over into a horizontal Mach 2.5 cruise powered by ramjet engines. This lofted trajectory allowed the missile to operate at a maximum range as great as 250 miles (400 km). Controlled from the ground for most of its flight, when it reached the target area it was commanded to begin a dive, activating an onboard active radar homing seeker for terminal guidance. A radar proximity fuse detonated the warhead, either a large conventional explosive or the W40 nuclear warhead.

The Air Force originally planned for a total of 52 sites covering most of the major cities and industrial regions in the US. The US Army was deploying their own systems at the same time, and the two services fought constantly both in political circles and in the press. Development dragged on, and by the time it was ready for deployment in the late 1950s, the nuclear threat had moved from manned bombers to the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), while the Army had successfully deployed their own system that filled any possible role in the 1960s, in spite of Air Force claims to the contrary.

As testing continued, the Air Force reduced its plans to sixteen sites, and then again to eight with an additional two sites in Canada. The first US site was declared operational in 1959, but with only a single working missile. Bringing the rest of the missiles into service took years, by which time the system was totally obsolete. Deactivations began in 1969 and by 1972 all Bomarc sites had been shut down. A small number were used as target drones, and only a few remain on display today.


Initially released in 1959, this is perhaps the third or fourth release of this kit (I seem to recall one boxing with Canadian markings), the other being in the History Makers boxing in 1982.  This kit has the original box art and the large SSP logo on it to ensure that folks do not mistake this for the original. When Revell started reissuing older kits in the original boxing, they did not have any indication that it was a reissue, prompting unscrupulous sellers to foist these off on the unsuspecting as originals. Now there are plenty of indications that this is a reissue. In this case they have also included the scale. Now perhaps 1/56 scale doesn't fit in well with your other models, but if you are like me, you have a display section that is dedicated to box scale kits. Sorry for not showing the sprues, but Revell does not provide a guide and like all these old kit, many of the parts have fallen from the sprues and are loose in the bag.

Perhaps due to the limited number of releases, the molds look superb. I saw very little flash and while you'll have ejector pin marks where you don't want them, it is no worse than other old kits. Surprisingly, this one has both engraved panel lines and a mass of raised rivets.

The missile itself only makes up a portion of the kit. There are two steps devoted to this and here is where they show the decal placement for the box art version. The next four steps are for the construction of the launch base and the erector assembly. This is designed so that the launch arm can be raised or lowered, just like on their Nike Ajax. The seventh & ninth construction step is dedicated to a maintenance platform. This includes a rather amorphous maintenance tech and an officer standing around with his hands in his pockets. The eighth step is for decaling the other two options.

Instructions are very much like they would have been in 1959 and are easy to follow. Generic color information is provided. The box art aircraft is in USAF dark blue with white tips to the flight surfaces. Then there is an overall ADC grey plane of an operational USAF unit and a similarly painted Canadian version. The decals are nicely done and quite glossy. I should note that to me, there is some sort of registration issue with the USAF insignia as the blue seems thicker at the top of the insignia than at the bottom. Perhaps a replacement would be in order.


It is good to see this one being reissued. I can pretty well guarantee that it will not be an easy build. None of these old kits really are, though as children, we managed to slam them together in a few hours. Things have changed. If you want one, I suggest getting it now before it disappears from the shelves once again.


April 2017

Copyright All rights reserved.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page   Back to the Previews Index Page   Back to the Previews Index Page