SA-9 “Gaskin” is the NATO reporting name for the Soviet 9K31 Strela-1 short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. The SAM containing two pairs of ready-to-launch missiles is mounted on a BRDM-2 chassis. The 9K31 was accepted into Soviet service in 1968, and it widely equipped short-range air defense batteries of motor rifle and tank regiments. The vehicle was designed to support the tracked ZSU-23-4 that suffered from a limited range. Each missile weighs 32kg (including the 2.6kg warhead) and has a maximum operational range of 4.2km. The 7.7-ton vehicle required a crew of two – the commander and driver. In transit, the missile boxes fold down to reduce the vehicle’s overall height. The Soviet Union was not its only user, for it was widely deployed in the Warsaw Pact as well as a host of other Soviet-aligned nations.
Orange Box has released a 1/35 scale model of the SA-9 Gaskin. This is a re-release of a classic Dragon kit, but it has been enhanced with the inclusion of an accompanying set of identically scaled Soviet Motor Rifle Troops. As with every item in the budget-beating Orange Box range, this complementary set offers extraordinary value. Even after the passage of the years, details on the vehicle and the figures are crisply molded. Modelers can thus easily use this set to depict a suitable Soviet (or other nationality) scene from the Cold War era.