General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper – Kinetic 1/48
Up next off the bench was this Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, which is used by a number of nations world-wide. I must admit, I am not particularly drawn to this vehicle or it's type, however, given its prevalence and admitted capabilities, I thought it would be neat to build one.
This kit was originally a 2011 Skunkmodels new tool kit. However, shortly thereafter, it was re-done by Revell, and most recently by Kinetic. If you purchase any of these kits, I would recommend looking up the Revell instructions on Scalemates, primarily for color callouts and decal positions. Note that the Kinetic kit is likely the most widely available at this point, and has the largest decal selection for multiple nationalities.
The kit is very basic, which of course, lends to the airframe. This UAV has no cockpit, simple landing struts, and short chord, high ratio control surfaces. This made for a quick build, and within a couple hours of build time, the entire assembly was complete and ready for overall paint. For paint, I used light ghost grey on the upper surfaces, and for the lower surfaces I used dark ghost grey, rather than the intermediate blue called for in the instructions. In my opinion, based on reference pictures, this look to be more true to the subtle differences seen on the actual aircraft. Note, this is mirror of some Navy camos which call for Dark GG on top, and Light GG on the bottom.
Tamiya X-22 sprayed prior to decals, which set well with Micro Set/Sol. The decal selection was one of two US liveries in the kit, this being a Texas bird (the others was a New York selection). I believe this Texas decal theme was shown off more recently, however, studying the photos shows that the actual UAV is a newer block vehicle than what this kit depicts. This doesn't bother me, but it may for some. Tamiya Dark Grey panel line accent was used to highlight shadows and panels. Lastly, all was sealed with Tamiya X-35 Semi-Gloss.
What I find interesting about this UAV is first its payload capability. Two GBU-12s, and four Hellfires is serious business. Secondly is the size of this aircraft, which can be judged when seen with the likes of a Skymaster.
In the end, this was a quick, different, and all together (pretty much) hassle-free build. Anywho, I hope you like it!