Next up is an interesting subject. This is the 1/48 Brengun MQ-8B Fire Scout. This is a helicopter drone built by Northrop Grumman and is used by the U.S. Navy. It is typically deployed on FFG’s and LCS ships. The reason I chose this is I am a member of the International Plastic Modeler Society (IPMS). I belong to the Mckinstry Chapter and we have monthly meetings. Typically each month we have a theme. One of the upcoming themes is “Missiles and Drones”. I looked over the available model kits of drones and thought this would be a little different than the combat drones many are used to seeing.
This kit is a full resin model. Resin models are cast in resin rather than injection molded styrene kits. There are fewer parts than a typical model and instead of trees the parts are attached to the base of the cast. Many of the smaller parts can be trimmed from the base using a hobby knife. The larger parts require a jeweler’s saw to cut off the base. Once I had all the parts trimmed I started assembly. Resin models do not use typical model glue. They require a CA glue for assembly. I assembled the fuselage, tail boom and nose. The fit was very good except for the bottom edge of the nose which required a little putty filler. The kit come with a sheet of photo etch for some of the smaller details like the antenna blades. I added the photo etch pieces and then sprayed the fuselage with light ghost gray. For the turret under the nose I mixed some Pearl EX pigments in the Tamiya smoke paint. The main lens and the bottom right lens were mixed with gold pigments. I used blue pigments for the bottom and right side lenses. The left side lens I use the green pigments. Once dry I added a final coat of the smoke paint. I noticed that the decal sheet did not include the laser warning labels on the turret. I made my own decal labels and applied them. For the final step on the turret I drilled the holes in the back of the mount so I can add the cables later when I mount it. I am now getting ready to apply the kit decals. The decal set comes with two schemes and I will be doing the HSM-35 “Magicians” scheme.
The MQ-8B Fire Scout is complete. This week I applied the kit decals for HSM-35. The decals were very nice. They went down nicely. The kit does not come with clear parts for the navigation lights. I used some scrap clear styrene and made the four lights. (One on top, one under, and the two side lights). Finally I worked on the rotors. The tail rotor is all photo etch and fits perfectly into its resin mount. The main rotor is a little tricky. There is a cup at the end to attach it to the hub. This cup is larger than the pin on the hub so there is a lot of play. Getting the rotor blades aligned takes some care. I taped down the ends of the blades using the work surface grid to line them up then positioned the hub in the center. Once I had everything lined up I glued them into place. I finally attached the nose turret and this completed the aircraft.
The kit itself goes together very well. It would have been nice if they included a jig for the main rotors similar to the jigs you typically see with resin propeller sets for aircraft kits. The only fit issue was the nose to the main body but a little putty and some sanding corrected it. The decal set matched the reference photos except for the turret decals that were not included. If you want to try your hand at a resin kit, this would make a good start. It is not very complicated and it is an interesting subject.
The final photo is the aircraft on the display shelf sitting next to my 1/48 AH-64 so this should give you an idea on how small this drone is in scale. Thanks for following along.
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