The Predator was developed between January, 1994, and June, 1996, as a medium-altitude-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. The complete Predator system has three components – the air vehicle, the ground control station, and the date dissemination system. One system is made up of 4 RQ-1A air vehicles. Each has a max weight of 2250 pounds, and is powered by a 115-horsepower Rotax engine, so no wonder it needs a 5000-foot runway to take off.
The kit consists of 2 sprues with about 23 finely-molded and flash-free parts with recessed panel lines, and includes a nice decal sheet by Cartograf. To start, I removed the major pieces and was wondering what the pieces of cardboard around the stabilizers were for. Well, be careful – they’re to protect the fine protrusions which stick out of the stabs, which I believe are either counterweights or vibration dampeners.
The wing pitot tubes are very fine and break easily (can you guess how I know?). I broke one, couldn't find it, and had quite a time trying to stretch sprue thin enough to match the one on the other side. The rest of the build was simple and straightforward, but the completed model is very fragile. I weighted the nose but left the gear off until final assembly so I wouldn't break them. The build went pretty fast partly because there’s no glass to deal with.
This kit is the unarmed version, so there’s a plug supplied to fill the gap where the pylons would go. To finish the model, Platz gives you ten different paint and decal options. When it came to selecting a paint scheme, at first, I wanted to do the NASA one, but after studying the drawings it didn't have the same humps and bumps as the model did.
When all is said and done, you really have a choice of four serial numbers to choose from – I picked the light gray one because it had some color on the decals. The decals worked well and you get enough serial numbers to make any one you want to, so there must be other versions coming or maybe even already out there.
I want to thank IPMS and Platz for the opportunity and enjoyment of reviewing this kit.