by: Luciano Satornetti [ ]
Originally published on:
History The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is an Israeli medium size multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical long endurance missions. It first flew in 2003 and is now in the service of several countries around the world. It has an endurance of over 20 hours, with a primary mission of reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay.
Real-time Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR)
Fire adjustment and support missions
Communication relay - multi-band tactical radios
EW - SIGINT (COMINT, ELINT)
Border and coastal patrol
Disaster control management
Strip takeoff & landing with arresting cable
Taxiing and automatic takeoff and landing capabilities
Fully autonomous flight with high-level control
Common Hermes® redundant avionics
Common Hermes® UGCS or DGCS
High mobility & quick turn-around
Built-in growth potential
Line-of-Sight (LOS) & BLOS data-links
Dual payload capability
World record reliability
The Kit Everything arrives in an end opening box which is stable but will not handle much punishment or weight. The box comes with a photo of an Israeli machine in flight on the top and stuck on labels applied to one side and one end with just kit details. Inside the box we find an instruction sheet, a small but fully loaded decal sheet in its own sealed bag plus the resin parts in a zip-loc bag protected by bubble wrap.
The resin parts account for thirty four parts of which some are not used depending on the option being built. All the parts are crisply moulded with little in the way of flash but a few seam lines will need to be cleaned up. Looking over the parts no air bubbles have been found, which is good news, although one part is not supplied which you will need to make yourself, and that is the arrester hook. All is not good news though as the fuselage has little bumps all round the main access hatch, these are supposed to represent the panel screws which should be semi-recessed so they will need to be removed except for a small lip and little indent / hole made in the middle of each one. Unlike the main hatch the engine cover should have bumps as catches but the kit ones are a little large. There is also a mystery hatch moulded on the trailing half of the wing centre section this doesn’t show in any photos so I believe this will need to be removed but check your own reference sources for this.
The Instructions One A4 sized double sided sheet makes up the instructions which are in black and white. First is a very useful parts layout and a picture of the decal sheet followed by a three view drawing of the completed UPV with numbered lines pointing out the parts. Other than an instruction to make the arrester hook no wording is used.
Now a thing to watch out for is that at this stage no mention is made as to which aerials should be fitted for which option, while you are instructed to fit parts 10 & 13 yet part 10 does not appear in either option and part 13 is only correct for the Israeli option, you also get the aerials for other options not included in this kit but no mention is made of this. One last part will have to be scratch built and that is the pitot tube.
Markings I’ll start with the decals, all I can say is that they look superb, perfect register, legible text and use of metallic’s. The second side of the instruction sheet covers the two included marking options:
1. Israeli Air Force. A complete set of numerals are supplied so you can build any machine from the unit
2. US Customs and Border Protection. Likewise as above any serial number can be made up with the decals supplied.
The colour scheme and decal placement is aided by two small black and white photos, the US option photo is covered in notes about resin, decal and paint. The stencils are provided in both English and Hebrew so make sure you use the correct ones. One issue that comes up now is that the instructions want you to paint the sensor turret grey, while the photo clearly shows it to be a very dark or even black colour, so this you’ll need to confirm. At this stage the aerial fit of the US machine is address as some moulded on aerials will need to be removed.
Both machines are finished in sand over grey fuselage with green, brown and sand upper wings, colours listed by FS numbers only.
As a side note a very quick image search on the web came up with a colour version of the US machine supplied on the instructions, this confirms the turret as black but also different from the one supplied in the kit as is the nose gear spat, another item missing is the rear silencer used by US machines and evident in the photo.
In Conclusion Well cast resin parts with very nice decals although the instructions could be clearer especially when the photo used is of an aircraft in a different configuration than the kit. Some clean up required to the access panel fixings and the mystery panel on the wings, no silencer supplied for the US machine and you need to supply and make your own arrester hook.
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