Own production 1/72 AQM-34L desk model

I needed a gift for a big Firebee fan, and way too late I came up with the idea to build a small faux-metal desk model. The model and its stand were built in one afternoon and evening, and that was just in time. I was happy with the result.


In my hurry I forgot to document the build, so I can only show the end result. I built the model from resin parts that I cast for my AQM-34L project. I filled the fuselage with Apoxie to make it heavier and stronger. The model was of course assembled with CA-glue, that I also used as filler. On regular Firebees I leave gaps where the wings and tailplanes connect to the fuselage, since the real ones had gaps there too. But on this model I made CA-glue fillets at all connections, in an attempt to give the model maximum strength, plus a cast-metal appearance. I think it's my best-assembled Firebee so far. I deleted the pitot tube on the vertical tail, judging it too delicate, but it does look odd without one.
The model was first painted with Revell 9 coal black to check for build defects. It was near-perfect, so after a forced drying session at 50°C I overpainted it with Humbrol 27003 Polished Steel. Of course the Firebee is not built from steel, but somehow this felt like the right color for this desk model. I did not thin the paint, and this resulted in a slightly pebbly surface, that sort of looked like cast metal - a nice accident! A bit of buffing brought out the metal sheen of the paint.

Firebee experts will notice that the model lacks camera windows. I still need to add them to my master, along with some other small details. Consider this a pre-series production model.
The stand was improvised: I used two sheets of 2 mm plastic card, and sandwiched 3x3 mm plastic square rod in between. Vigorous sanding of the edges created a monolithic appearance. The base was painted Revell 9 coal black, a color that to my eye complimented the polished steel of the drone. The base is a bit lightweight, a heavier material would have been a better choice.

The supporting wire is brass of 2 mm diameter. It was bent around a Humbrol tin, and one end was superglued to the base. I made it such that the Firebee is pitched up slightly, since the AQM-34 flies with quite a bit of nose-up angle of attack.

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