Academy 1/35 RQ-7B Shadow Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||October 2012||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Kit Number||12217||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First kit of this subject in styrene||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$23.00|
The RQ-7 Shadow series of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are produced by AAI Corporation for use with the US Army, US Marine Corps, as well the Australian and Swedish armies. This small UAV was developed as a reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and strike assessment platform. The system was designed to be transported in a series of transit cases in a Humvee, quickly assembled in the field, launched with a tranportable catapult, flown remotely, then recovered with portable arresting gear. The RQ-7 is a development of the RQ-2 Pioneer which was originally an Israeli design employed by US forces.
For the modeler who's keeping up with the world of the UAV, this last year has been outstanding for the number of UAV kits that have come onto the hobby market, but here is a kit with several 'firsts' - this is the first kit of the Shadow in styrene, this is the first UAV kit in armor-standard 1/35 scale, and this is the first kit that provides a solution for modern US military figures wearing contemporary 'digital' camouflage. Let's take a look.
The Shadow kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on one parts tree. This isn't a complex air vehicle so what Academy has done here is rendered pretty much all of the visible details without opening up the fuselage. A second parts tree containing two modern US military figures is provided in tan styrene and this look to be a perfect combination with the Shadow as one is posed pushing down on the tail to maneuver the vehicle without damaging the servos on the nose gear while the other figure follows with a controller. A third tree is molded in black styrene and it provides a display base, and two optional stands should you want to pose your Shadow in flight.
The kit provides markings for four different RQ-7B airframes including two with sharkmouths. You'll note the big rectangle of camouflage on the decal sheet. This is ACU digital camouflage which can be cut into sections and applied to your figures.
This is a very nice looking kit and I am very pleased that it was rendered in 1/35 scale so it can be paired up with the a properly configured Humvee to create a nice diorama or vignette. I'm looking forward to seeing how the ACU decals work out on these figures as well. Academy could have found us a great solution.
This kit is definitely recommended!
My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review sample!