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1/48 - Lockheed Martin RQ-3 Dark Star resin kit by Downen Scaled Replicas - in progress

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Downen Scaled Replicas is to release a 1/48th Lockheed Martin RQ-3 Dark Star resin kit






There are a number of UAVs that are not available as commercial kits that I would really like to build. The Lockheed RQ-3 Darkstar is among them.

My design of a 1/48 scale Darkstar is complete and the first prototypes are built. The kit comes in seven (7) parts including upper & lower fuselage, left and right wings, engine fan face and mixer (aft end of the engine) and a separate exhaust nozzle. The inlet duct is integral to the upper fuselage (no nasty seams to clean up) and there is a mounting hole designed into the lower fuselage to accept a 5/32 inch diameter rod.

The model is 3D printed using SLA technology, and the parts are rough trimmed of their supports before they are shipped out to modelers. Most supports have been placed in areas where they won’t be seen, or at least where they can easily be removed with a sanding stick or 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

Paint the engine fan and mixer (aluminum or such), inlet duct (white or whatever your base color will be) and the exhaust nozzle (black, per photos) before you install them in the upper fuselage half. CA glue will need to be used since these are resin parts and plastic cement will not work on resin.

Panel lines are recessed and the model is intended to be displayed in flight (no landing gear). There are no decals with the kit, but I found a few in my spares box to represent a hypothetical operational scheme.

I’m using Model Car World’s military line of lacquer paints for the first time. I really like the way they airbrush easily and dry quickly. I also did a light gray enamel panel line wash from AMMO MiG.

The kit requires a bit of time to clean up the remaining support stubs that will be visible on the completed model, and the usual filling and sanding of joints. But I spent equal or less time than the 30 hours or so that I would typically spend on a 1/48 scale kit of this size. I built a second kit with the white top / black underside that the full-scale prototypes seen in museums sport today. Plus, it looks great sitting next to my 1/48 Global Hawk from Skunk Models.

The completed model is 17.5 inches from wingtip to wingtip. I’ll make copies of the unbuilt kit available to anyone who may have an interest. Visit the website at www.DownenScaledReplicas.com











Edited by Homebee

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