by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The MGM-52 Lance is a mobile field artillery tactical surface-to-surface missile system used to provide both nuclear and conventional fire support to the United States Army. The first Lance missiles were deployed in 1972, replacing (together with the US-Navy's nuclear-tipped RIM-2D & RIM-8E/B/D) the earlier Honest John rocket and Sergeant SRBM ballistic missile, greatly reducing the weight and bulk of the system, while improving both accuracy and mobility.
A Lance battery (two fire units) consisted of two M752 launchers (one missile each) and two M688 auxiliary vehicles (two missiles each), for a total six missiles; the firing rate per unit was approximately three missiles per hour.
Adapted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/
Lance was first released in 1/35 scale as full resin kits from Hobby Fan and Perfect Scale Modellbau. Although very detailed kits, these were out of reach for most modelers due to their hefty price tag. In 2017, a plastic 1/35 scale kit featuring M752 Tactical Ballistic Missile Launcher hit the shelves under Dragon label. Dragon subsequently released the MGM-52 Lance Missile w/Launcher and M688 Lance Loader-Transporter as well. These kits provide a nice basis, but if you want to take the model to the next level, a set of quality reference photos is a must. Enter Wings & Wheels Productions with their latest photo reference book: MGM-52 Lance in detail (G058).
Title: MGM-52 Lance in detail (MGM-52, M752 Launcher and M688 Loader)
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Jan Horák and František Kořán
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $30 (€23)
Upon first glance, the book looks fantastic. Printed on high-quality paper, the pages are full of large high-res photographs and manual drawings, showing the subject in great depth. The book is organized in 7 chapters, color coded for easy navigation:
• History (002-005)
• M688 Loader (006-023)
• M667 Basic Vehicle (024-045)
• M752 Launcher (046-057)
• LZL Launcher (058-071)
• MGM-52 Missile Details (072-079)
• M667 Bundeswehr (080-083)
As with all WWP titles, this too opens with a short History chapter providing information on the origins and development of the Lance system. The following 18 pages deliver M688 Loader photos. The chapter shows vehicles from Belgian Gunfire Museum in Braaschaat and Netherlands Artillery Museum at Oldebroek. Along with several full M668 photos, the vehicle is depicted in superb detail: the missile holders and supports, loader hull with loading crane and container holders. Next up is the M667 Basic Vehicle chapter which provides 22 pages packed with details standard for both launcher and loader vehicles: hull with headlights and roof frame brackets, cab roof details, exhaust, engine details, battery bay, rear ramp, as well as cab interior details. The chapter on M752 Launcher provides photos of vehicle in Gunfire Museum, one of the most complete vehicles in museums, equipped with a missile with a standard warhead in training configuration. The detailed images show the interior well, the missile rack, hull sides, LZL launcher mount and ramp details. LZL Launcher chapter follows giving references on the LZL towed launcher: programmer container, ramp details, support legs, aiming device, towbar, etc. The missile with a conventional warhead is shown in MGM-52 Missile Details chapter, together with gunners sight unit details. This chapter also provides images of the nuclear warhead. Finally, a chapter on M667 Bundeswehr displays the specific modifications of the German Army vehicles.
After going through MGM 52 Lance in detail (G058) cover to cover, I must admit I'm once again impressed with WWP and their line of reference books. With over 270 photos and 18 manual drawings, the book provides everything a modeler needs for going an extra mile with the model. The photos are large and clear, delivering superb coverage of the LZL Lance launcher system and the M688/M752 vehicles, inside and out, often showing the details from several different angles. The captions are short and concise but provide a very interesting read, explaining various details shown on the photos.
Altogether, I feel this is a must for all those interested in MGM-52 Lance, modelers and system enthusiasts alike.