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This is my attempt at building the most scale-accurate version of the AIM-54A possible.

The AIM-54 "Phoenix" Missile

Sometime early in the lockdown here in England, I bought some big kits from a couple of European vendors (Sierra Fox and Klima) for a good price and immediate availability. Since the future was unclear, I thought it wise to make sure I had a steady supply fo things to build. If anything was clear about the future, a need to build something was high on that list!

The Phoenix has a particular appeal to me based on time frame if nothing else. The days of the F-14 and AIM-54 happened to be the days of my high-school years and subsequent service in the US Marines. The missile really has a fascinating aesthetic quality and brings on all of the complex technological over-engineering that only the 80s could generate.

This project documents the materials collected as part of the project and a summary of the approach to the build. Construction details are all documented separately for convenience.

A bit about the AIM-54

The AIM-54 Phoenix is a long-range air-to-air missile developed by the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was primarily designed for use with the U.S. Navy's F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, intended to counter the threat posed by long-range Soviet bombers and reconnaissance aircraft during the Cold War.

The Phoenix boasted advanced radar guidance and impressive range and speed, capable of engaging targets up to 100 nautical miles away and at altitudes exceeding 80,000 feet. While it was never used in combat, the missile served as a significant technological achievement and a deterrent throughout the Cold War, remaining in service until the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat in the early 2000s.

The Phoenix mostly flew as ballast

The majority of the images of the Phoenix show it with all blue bandings; effectively inert.

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There are a few live images out there where the banding shows the striking difference between the blue and white stripes.

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I'm planning to write a post on the colour bandings and their meanings. It's a topic that seems to always be a problem with scale models.