MRLS : Multiple Rocket Launcher System

Back during the first Gulf War I saw many pictures of American Missile Launcher vehicles fireing hundreds of missiles into the desert sky. Its an image that has stayed with me ever since. When I got my first Dumper Truck I couldn't help but think that the way the back lifted up reminded me of those Rocket Launchers.

So I decided to try and build my own, starting with a Dumper truck. A bit of research showed me that the actual MRLS vehicles were tracked, and that the missile pods rotated to fire sideways. I decided not to do either of these things, so what I made was a lot closer to Missile Launch vehicles used in the middle east and Russia.

Starting with my dumper truck I first took the back off and then cut it down by hacksawing the top part off, using one of the ridges on the sides as a guide. Then I built this into a block by adding a new roof, back, and sides, to hide the sloped back, all with plasticard of various thickness. To the rear of this I added something to look like the exhaust vents.

To the front of the box I added an image of the rocket tubes that I made up on the computer. To get a flat surface for this I had to sand off the ridges on the front of the launcher, a very big job! Once the image was glued on I added a ridge of plasticard to give it a border. You can see this on the image below.

For the cabin at the front of the launcher I needed louvre windows, to totally enclose the open cabin. I had to add a new back wall to the cabin, paint over most of the window, and add a roof to the top. There are three windows on the front. Two are plates with louvres drawn onto them, the third uses a thin sheet of plasticard with slots cut into it, to make a window with the shutters open. This was very very hard, and didn't come out perfectly.

In order to keep the cabin accessible I made a roof that could be slotted on and off, with a mock hatch on it. Finally the whole vehicle was painted grey (by hand, I would much rather have had a spray to do this), and I did more paint work to the front, to highlight the door and windows. Two large logos were painted on the roof of the cabin and the launcher.