MRC/Platz 1/72 scale RQ-4B Global Hawk
There’s really not much to the assembly of this model kit.
Good fit; excellent surface detail; fine decals
Wing-to-fuselage attachment can be a problem
Injection-molded, 36 parts, decals
The nice thing about modeling a UAV is there’s no cockpit to detail or canopy to paint and attach. Those and filling seams are my weak points, so I looked forward to building MRC/Platz’s 1/72 scale Global Hawk.
If you read Larry Schramm’s review of the 1/48 scale Skunkworks Global Hawk in the July issue, this may seem like déjà vu all over again. It’s likely the same kit designer worked on both kits, as the assemblies and overall appearance are nearly identical.
There are differences, though. The landing gear struts in this kit show just one axle, and the instructions show the proper installation of them. (Apparently there is a version of the Global Hawk that has two-wheeled main struts.)
There’s really not much to the assembly of this kit. Everything fit well, but the attachment of the wings to the fuselage is tricky. A stiffener plate (Part B6) mounts over a large mounting stub inside the fuselage bottom. It’s there to keep the wings aligned when you attach them. Trouble is, if you don’t get the plate mounted correctly the wing spars, coming through thin slots in the left and right fuselage halves, will collide with the plate and be forced up and over or down and under the plate, ruining the alignment. I had just that problem and ended up fishing inside the fuselage slots with a knife to cut off the frustrating plate. The wings fit tightly enough to sit properly while glue sets — or you can just press-fit the wings so you can take them off to make the model more transportable.
Another thing that made this model so easy was the simple paint scheme: gloss white wing tops, gear bays, and antennas; everything else is FS36118 gunship gray.
After a coat of Pledge Future floor polish for gloss, the decals went on easily. The Cartograf decal sheet provides markings for USAF, Luftwaffe, NASA, the USAF test center at Edwards, and Taiwan, although the latter markings are not shown on the instructions.
I spent only nine hours on the UAV. It’s an impressive looking aircraft — for a robot!