BQM-34A (Q-2C) Firebee Drone with Trailer

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$29.00
Product / Stock #
48401
Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Ryan Aircraft was awarded a contract to develop a new, second-generation target drone based loosely on the Q-2A drone. It vaguely resembled its Q-2A ancestor in general outline. The BQM-34 would spawn a whole family of remotely controlled drones, from the original aerial target, up to reconnaissance variants.

Molded in light grey plastic, there are 42 pieces in all, four of which are not used in the build. The only major problem with the kit is that the intake lip, for some reason, is a separate piece.

The kit builds up quite rapidly due to its simple design, and the chances are that you will spend more time painting and decaling the kit than actually gluing pieces together. I highly recommend that you paint the entire interior of both fuselage halves and the tabbed ends of the wings before assembly. There is no room to airbrush or otherwise paint that area (which is easily seen) after assembly. The intake lip winds up having a small gap at its top that is hard to fill and blend.

One tricky area of the build is steps 7 and 8, where you put together the trailer for the drone. The assembly in step 7 can easily be twisted out of shape, and my recommendation is to glue both steps 7 and 8 at the same time and use a desktop or other flat surface to “square up” the trailer. One last item about the trailer is its towbar. Glue on the towbar (pieces B1, B2, and B10) after the wheels are glued on, as the end away from the trailer will sit on the ground.

There are four options for markings and two color schemes included on the decal sheet. The decals go on nicely, and with some setting solution, snuggle down tightly. I would highly recommend painting the yellow and black parts of the wings and tail instead of using the decals provided in the kit.

Overall, this was a quick and fun build of a diminutive aircraft that is an important part of fighter pilot training.

Thanks to ICM for providing the review sample.

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