Author Topic: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1  (Read 730 times)

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« on: May 09, 2022, 01:07:58 PM »
This is a project I've been thinking of tackling for a while, so it seems this GB is a good time to get motivated.  It may not be a What If for too long as the RAF are reportedly looking at this capability to supplement the Poseidon fleet, but I think I'm going to give a shot at converting this:



Into this:



All it needs is winglets, scratch built radar pod, a pair of scratch built sonobuoy dispensers, and maybe add in a couple of Stingray torpedoes. 
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 02:58:05 AM by Aeroplanedriver »

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAF Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2022, 10:16:54 PM »
This should be good! :D
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: RAF Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2022, 03:04:31 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: RAF Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2022, 06:00:27 AM »
Bring on the near future of Maritime patrol

Offline RayS

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Re: RAF Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2022, 09:13:35 AM »
Interesting!
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Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2022, 12:20:59 AM »
Hmmm....as I sit contemplating cutting first plastic on this project today I come across this new article.

https://www.navalnews.com/event-news/indo-pacific-2022/2022/05/general-atomics-unveils-mq-9b-stol-for-small-flat-tops/

Would mean more extensive mods with a new wing and bigger tail needed but it sure would look good in RN markings sitting on the deck of QNLZ...

Might need to see if I can sort out a suitable wing solution.  Or I might keep it nice n easy...

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2022, 03:06:43 AM »
Well here. we go.  Looks like I'll be scratch building the sonobuoy pods but I think a P-47 belly tank (on the right in the pic) will be a decent basis for the radar pod with some modifications. 



Looking at the wings I think MAYBE I can just shorten them and increase the chord with some blended in styrene strip to make the shorter STOL wing for carrier ops.  Enlarging the V tail looks similarly doable.  I'll make that decision shortly but I do like the idea of it as a Carrier-based MPA with a 30 hour loiter time out ahead of the CBG looking for Russkie subs. 

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2022, 03:11:20 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2022, 07:37:55 AM »
Well after much study and consideration I decided against the newly announced Carrier based STOL Sea Guardian.  The wing looks like a wide, constant chord wing like you find on a Bronco, and to me it just spoils the sleek look of the Reaper/Protector.  Plus it looked like a hell of a lot of work to get it to look right.  And even if I did I'd still find it a bit ugly.  So instead it's a longer wing for the land based Sea Guardian!

I cut an appropriate length (about 1.4 inches), using a thicker stock for the bottom of the wing.  I heated a sewing needle and embedded it in the current wing, after cutting off the wingtip section.  The heated the needle again, not as hot this time and pressed it into the styrene.  Then secured it in with CA.  After this I thinned dit down to match the bottom wing profile and thinned leading and trailing edges before gluing a thinner sheet of styrene over the top of the wing.  lots of CA, sanding to blend, and a bit of filler and it looks pretty damn good I think.  Here is a pic early in the process.  Second wingtip will go easier, but I'll try to post a side by side of the original and new wing later this evening. 



Also the P-47 tank with a lot of modification seems like it will make a passable radar pod.  Note I say a LOT of modification. 


Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2022, 08:53:08 AM »
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Kerick

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2022, 10:07:35 AM »
What the deer/antelope/gazelle said!

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2022, 01:30:35 PM »
Good progress today before heading away for three days at work. 

For the winglet, the MQ-9B doesn't have a smooth blended winglet like airliners do.  There is a distinct box that seems to be carrying some gubbins to other that blends the wing into the winglet.  Pics I could find seemed to indicate a very streamlined and faired in triangular cross section so I started with what came to hand first.  A scrap of nice soft light gray Airfix sprue with the one side flat.  a lot of CA and some carving and sanding made this into a representation of what I'm seeing in the pictures available.  the winglet itself is thin Evergreen, currently tacked on with a drop of CA.  Still more PSR to do to get it all blended together but for rough shape I'm happy.

The radar pod also made some progress today.  The basis is a 1/48 P-47 belly drop tank.  It's cut down and reprofiled in the back to make it more streamlined.  I'm not totally happy with it...thicker in the back than the pictures I have, but still a lot of work to do on it so we'll see.  Plus it's a What If based on an aircraft atet is not yet in production so I'm really not going to lose sleep over it. 

Anyhoo....here she is, done for the night.  Progress to resume over the weekend hopefully. 












Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2022, 11:17:29 PM »
Where do I sign up for the knitting classes? ???



"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Online finsrin

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2022, 02:27:04 AM »
Using P-47 tank is insightful.   Wing mods work well, be interesting to do on prop bomber/transport.   :smiley:

Offline apophenia

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2022, 09:47:31 AM »
Beautiful work  :smiley:

Those wingtip/winglet 'boxes' are intriguing. I wonder what's in 'em?
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Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 11:47:22 AM »
Managed a little bench time tonight and got the Radar pod and pylon mostly done.  Got to wait for the Milliput to dry and still some PSR ahead but overall fairly happy with the shape.

Extended wings with winglets in the background.  Fairly happy so far with my most ambitious modification in quite a while. 


Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 04:12:47 PM »
Progress is looking good! :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2022, 12:29:38 PM »
In spite of the lack of updates there has been progress on this one.  I'm down to paint and most decals on.  I tried printing some 203 Sqn decals but not sure how good they are going to look so also looking for the 1/72 Nimrod set from Model Alliance that has them.  One way or another I'd like to get some squadron markings on it before declaring it done. 

For the paint scheme I really wanted something different from the normal Plain Old Gray seen on almost all members of the Predator/Reaper family so I went with a UK specific scheme based on the RN's Wildcat scheme with a Dark Sea Grey camo over Medium Sea Grey. 

I'm also still trying to decide how best to replicate the sonobuoy dispensers the Sea Guardian will carry.  I'd love to have sonobuoy dispensers and a pair of Stingray torpedos, but those are damned hard to find.  Another option is no sonobuoys, just the search radar and an anti-ship missile fit.  But again finding anything appropriate is hard.  For the Sea Guardian's carrying capacity the Norwegian NSM fits best and I can't find that.  Shapeways do have copies of SPEAR 3 which could be used for anti-shipping so it may end up carrying that when finally done. 

Torn on building it on the landing gear or an inflight display.  Something about the long wingspan just seems to want to be displayed inflight on a long rod implying high altitude. 

Anyhoo, here she is so far.  Last pic for size reference compared to a Hunter.  Almost to a sticking point until I figure out the Squadron markings and underwing stores, but over a month to go, so I'm feeling confident. 
 















Offline Old Wombat

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2022, 06:16:29 PM »
 :smiley: 8)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2022, 06:34:06 PM »
Nice, really nice

Offline RayS

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2022, 08:05:05 PM »
Love it, nice camo work as well.
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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2022, 01:13:31 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline LemonJello

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2022, 08:54:38 PM »
What a stunner!

Offline Robomog

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2022, 09:49:18 PM »
Very cool  :smiley:

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Offline Aeroplanedriver

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Re: RAF (or RN?) Sea Guardian MRA.1
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2022, 10:47:29 PM »
Well fellas..here she is done “for now”.  Im waiting for some Nimrod decals to put an RAF 203 Sqn Seahorse emblem on the ventral fin and maybe squadron badges somewhere.  Also trying to source something to make into the sonobuoy dispensers the Sea Guardian will carry.  Anyone has ideas speak up!  I may end up just laminating sheet styrene and completely scratch building them if I don't find some inspiration soon. 

I've got a busy few weeks ahead, with a holiday weekend ahead here in the USA and going on vacation next week, followed by the one Week GB on the other site, but I'm pretty sure I can find time somewhere to get the Sonobuoy and/or some appropriate weaponry fitter, but for now here she is in her current “near finished” state where she will rest for a few weeks.

Full backstory with the final finished product on the Finished Entries page when the time is right.