The RQ-4B Global Hawk’s main missions are high-altitude reconnaissance and targeting of enemy positions. The unmanned aircraft can stay on station for hours at a time, providing all-weather, day/night, wide-area surveillance. Once mission parameters are programmed into it, it can autonomously taxi, take off, fly, navigate, return, and land. Ground-based operators monitor status and can change the flight as necessary .With its spindly, 131' wingspan, it resembles the U-2 it eventually will replace.
Skunk Models Workshop’s kit is an easy build. There are only 57 parts on three sprues in the kit.
The light gray plastic seems a little harder than average.
Step 1 covers the intake and exhaust assembly. The instructions for Part D18, the intake fan, call for a color that isn’t on the color table. I painted it steel.
In Step 4, the wing-to-fuselage assembly, the wing tabs, which have two holes each, slide into the fuselage sides. The fuselage bottom, Part D1, has pegs that fit into the holes in the wing tabs that hold everything together. I cut the pegs off the fuselage bottom so the wings could be removed for easier transport — the model does, after all, have a 321⁄2" wingspan. If you want to do this yourself, be assured the fit is still nice and snug.
The rear fuselage piece where the stabilators are mounted, Part D11, needs fitting, filling, and sanding for a snug attachment. It was really the only fit problem I found throughout the build.
In Step 6, the landing-gear struts come with two axles, one of which needs to be trimmed off. Make sure you cut off the correct axle or the struts will be backwards when installed. It’s an odd thing that the model box example shows the kit with two wheels per axle.
In the gear-strut-to-wing assembly, the illustration shows the key on the gear struts pointed to the front while the wing shows a female key pointed to the rear. The drawing is wrong — but don’t worry, the kit is correct. The female key points forward. Common sense will carry you through it.
The instructions are to paint the top of the wings white, and their bottoms gunship gray, but the box art shows the wings are white on both sides. That’s the way I painted mine.
The decals went on OK. They’re a little thick and glossy for my liking, but they’ll do. You have to look very closely to see where the Air Combat Command shield goes on the tail, but it’s there.
The Global Hawk took me 11 hours to build, and was probably the simplest kit I’ve built since I was 15. Despite the slightly confusing instructions, it’s an easy build.