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
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.