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V-2, American Style

March 16, 2015 in Diorama

The Nazis poured a substantial sum of money and committed a large amount of personnel in the V-2 (also known as the A-4) program. Over 2,600 rockets were launched at London and Antwerp and the loss of life was high. As a weapon of war it was in-effective according to post war studies. But in fact this tremendous investment by the Nazis proved to be a huge gift to the Allies. The victors realized what a game changer this device was and were quick to snatch up all material associated with the rocket. By September of 1945, the Americans had moved 300 rail cars filled with all things V-2 to the United States for testing. In this same time period Werner Von Braun and his staff of rocket engineers also made the move to the US under the “Operation Paperclip” program. In January 1946 the first V-2 made it’s first flight at White Sands testing grounds in New Mexico. Used as a testing bed for exploring the upper reaches of the atmosphere, the V-2 proved successful in 69% of it’s launches. Eventually the famous Redstone rocket would be developed from the data obtained from the V-2. My version of the V-2 depicts a sounding rocket used to collect samples of cosmic rays and test samples of atmospheric pressure near the edge of space. The kit was released by Revell in 1960 and was a detailed model for it’s day. The rocket could be displayed on it’s mobile launcher showing off it’s interior systems. I added a fuel truck and launch pole gantry for visual effect.

8 additional images. Click to enlarge

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12 responses to V-2, American Style

  1. Good work on an ancient model 🙂 ! I like the contrast between that unpleasant contraption and its “civilian” paint scheme!



  2. Superb Mike. You did an awesome job on this kit. Well done!!!

  3. A real eye-catcher, Mike….I like it.

  4. Nice model Mike!
    Worth mentioning when talking about the V2’s is that some 20 000 forced labourers died during the their production. Some 8000 people died as a result of the effect of the weapon in the target. More than twice the number of people were killed in the production than from the effect of the weapon.
    Gruesome stuff…..

    • Thanks for the comments, Ulf.
      Yes, there was a dark underbelly (besides the loss of allied life) to the V-2 saga. I didn’t include your statistics as I didn’t want to stir up any controversy. The “Operation Paperclip” was/is controversial, Von Braun can be viewed two ways, either as a member of the SS, or a space pioneer that only saw rocket development not as a weapon, but as a means to explore outer space.

  5. Great build with an interesting story.A nice and well made dio as well.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Nice attention to detail, Mike. Rockets are the subject of continual fascination, but so few have made the modelling transition. I like this. It tells a complex story simply.

  7. Good modeling Mike. Great subject.
    California Steve

  8. Very nice. Something different. 🙂

  9. Mike,
    Terrific display of a very skillfully done model.

  10. Thank you for sharing this nice bit of history. I wasn’t aware that there was a direct link between the V-2 and the first US missiles.

  11. I’ve got a few later generation kits of the V-2 to build, and find this an interesting area to look at, one I never even considered until now.
    The V-2 rockets formed the basis for both the U.S and Soviet rocket programs as well as the development of ballistic missiles.
    Great build and an interesting subject.

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