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Monday, August 1, 2016

Taking a look at the Attack Sqdrn RQ-7 drone

Hopefully this will get me back to full production here at 72 Land. The computer is working and I’m all caught up with the budget backlog, so it is time to return to modellling.

I have a sub-collection of UAV drones going. The Predator, Reaper, MQ-4 and X-47B, all in injected plastic. I know there was a very early drone by Twelve Squared, and most of the rest have been produced by Unicraft in resin. The Unicraft kits do tend to be uniquely difficult building experiences, so I have avoided them to date.

And then I noticed an RQ-7 drone from Arma Hobby. I mistakenly thought it would be 3D printed, as some of their accessories are, but it turned out to be traditional hand-poured resin and photo-etch. Photos of the kit later in this post.

Here are the issues I see right off the bat. The body/wings are going to be tricky to separate from the pouring stubs. I presume the intent is to make razor saw cuts to the leading edges of both wings, then more cuts along the sides of the fuselage. The only saw I have isn't exactly petite, so it remains to be seen what cleanup will be required once the cuts are done. Also, virtually every other piece, not including the tail and sensor package) is photoetch. In general, I don't care for working with that, since it requires superglue (a series of trials all its own) and photoetch is an inherently bad way to make 3D objects like wheels and props. This is before you get to the need to curve the two main gear legs to the exact same curve, something I would rank in the 10 percentile for this Profoundly Average Modeller.

Still, the model is unique in that it has never been done in this scale, it was relatively cheap (approx $10), and it does help expand a personal sub-collection. I do expect that construction will inspire a few expletive combinations that I haven't used in a while, though.

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