Making the 28mm UAV

I bumped into Rees of MoonFleet miniatures at the Salute 2007 show. Who said he was after some Sci-FI versions of modern UAV's.

I actually made two different designs plus a recon variation for the shark like one. Unfortunately neither have ever made it into production. They might one day...

Moonfleet wanted two UAV's and for both to be able to be fielded as recon or attack. They provided some sketch work and so picture references of existing military UAV's but basically gave me free rein to see what I came up with. I decided early on to go for a missile like jet version and a central rotor lift idea for the models. Pic 1 shows the very early stages of the missile/plane looking UAV.

Adding more detail to the first UAV stage 2 shows the basic components of the two wings and two tail fins. I've added a structure to the back of the UAV to mount the tail fins.

Now we see the first UAV taking shape, you can see in stage 3 the shape I was aiming for. Sort of a shark shape with wings as fins. As I mentioned two versions of each were required. Stage 3 shows the nose mounted mini gun and under wing missiles for the attack version. You can also see in stage 4 I added a jet air intake.

For the recon version I went for a massive dome for all the radar electronics and the nose turret became a camera one instead. I'd forgotten to take the missiles off for the recon picture but that just shows these models can be customised for multiple roles! The rear view shows the jet propulsion for the first UAV.

To make the second UAV distinctive from the first I went for a completely different shape. Built around a central rotor engine this model became all about adding parts to the main engine. I went for a twin tail fin approach (I like it!) but put the wings on the outer ring of the rotor. This gives the model a flatter profile. Again we can see the componenets of the two wings and tail fins. I've also added more details to the rotor and front of the model.

The second UAV was harder to make into two versions since it lacked the space to put a large radar housing on it. So instead it can have either the mini gun turret or camera one. The wings can also mount the missile racks to distinguish between the attack and recon versions.