Italeri / Platz 1/72 scale
by Marcel Meres
Italeri's 1/72 scale Predator is available online from Squadron.com
My Italeri / Platz RQ-1 Predator kit has been built nearly “straight from the box”, only adding the RBFs stripes plus some protective covers. I decided not to add the weapons, for no wing pylons were included in the ITALERI kit, nor were the missiles and missile rails. Each wing has a gap for adjusting the underwing pylon (for MQ-1 version), so you could scratch build them and build an MQ, or simply fill the gaps with a thin plastic rod and putty them as I did.
The kit is simple and could be quickly and easily built by everyone. The only difficulty you have to concentrate at is the whole geometry of the model. Here are the main reasons:
The airplane wings are relatively long (designed as separate parts).
The rear stabilizers are heading far downward (molded together with the fuselage).
The distance between the stabilizers’ lower edge and the ground is very small.
The wings and the main undercarriage legs have to be glued very precisely. Missing out the proper angle of both struts is immediately visible on both wing tips (due to their wide span) It is also visible under the stabilizers’ lower edges - if you did not glue the undercarriage onto the fuselage at a precise angle, the distance within the stabilizers and the ground surface would not be equal. The stabilizers are so close to the ground that even the slightest inequality is terribly visible.
The good news is that the rest is simple... the kit parts go well together, nearly without need of putty filling. The surfaces are slightly grainy, especially the fuselage sides, and some minor sink marks appeared on the wing surfaces but the water sanding fixed both quickly.
I am not sure if the shape, position and number of the aerials and probes is correct. While studying the drawings downloaded from the web, I probably slightly misunderstood the "fin aerial” shape. According to the latest photographs I have, it should be probably widened where attached to the airplane’s roof. The cross-section of its foot should be rather elliptical. While building my kit, I found a lot of images and drawings of various types of RQ-1s on the web - but fewer depicting the “A” version. I wish some walk-around book would find its way into our libraries soon.
Painting, Markings and Finishing Touches
The camouflage color of the Predator is one for the whole airplane, but some parts show a little bit lighter (or darker) under various light conditions (or other reasons).
Please refer to the photographs.
My Predator’s RBFs are made of a thin paper airbrushed with Mr. Color Red No. 327. All the RBFs were glued onto short wires before being attached to their place. The rotor protective “sleeve” cover is made of a narrow piece of paper glued together at its edges and airbrushed red. The mechanism attached to the stabilizers is probably fixating them against movement and damage. I made it from a thin lead film from a wine bottleneck and a lead wire. According to various photographs, some of the Predators have some kind of protective covers at the lower edges of the rear stabilizers. I did not add them in order not to overload the rear section of my kit.
For those who like 1/72 kits: have lot of fun with building your own Predator... or Predators? As far as I am concerned, I like this kit. But now I am looking forward to the forthcoming Profiline 1/48 scale injection kit.
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2009 by Marcel Meres
Page Created 8 February, 2010
8 February, 2010
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