1/48 Revell MQ-9 Reaper

Gallery Article by Cloud in the Wind on Feb 20 2018



The MQ-9 Reaper is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by General Atomics primarily for the USAF. Revell's kit has been extensively reviewed since its introduction and is not without a few errors typical of this scale and production. There are also some very good walk-around views of static and in-flight aircraft to allow you to really have fun with building out a kit that is made much simpler without a complex cockpit or landing gear system.

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In keeping with a theme I have going of in-flight UAVs, I decided to make the Reaper gear up and with a motorized propeller. Making a gear up rendition is challenging - it is not an option from Revell. The modeled gear wells are not to scale compared to the actual aircraft. So, I did considerable trimming and sanding down of the gear struts and nose gear wheel to make it fit. You might think that I could have shaved another .5mm from somewhere to get it exactly right, but I'll leave that challenge to more skilled modelers. The advent of toy quad copters make for lots of very small motors DC that are perfect for the job of animating the propeller. Drilling out a hole in the prop for the motor shaft was challenge #1 that a Christmas drill press and precision bits helped resolve. Mounting the motor was easier when I discovered a two part molding compound that is water-based making cleanup and use MUCH easier. I mounted the prop and packed the motor into place taking a lot of care to make sure it spun both freely and was as centered as I could make it.

I spent a lot of time working on the base and wiring. I kept the color scheme and markings OOB, but I upgraded the weapons via Eduard Brassin's excellent AGM-114 and LGB-12 kits. However, I only used the M299 launcher from the Hellfire kit. I could not get the photoetch fins straight on his missiles confound it. It is worth noting, the kit's Hellfires are 10% longer than scale, as are the wing pylons. I did not do major surgery to fix that though. 

Below is a video of the of the motorized prop in action

Revell MQ-9 Reaper 1/48 Motorized Prop
This is my Revell MQ-9 Reaper in 1/48 scale. The kit was modified using Eduard Brassin AGM-114 Hellfire and LGB-12 Paveway II ordinance. Further work was don... 


I enjoyed building the Revell Reaper and I'm pleased with the result. I hope you enjoy the gallery shots.

Cloud in the Wind

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Photos and text by Cloud in the Wind