Blade Scout CX Product Canopy Design
A look at the development of the form and decoration of the Blade Scout CX canopy.
Blade Scout CX Product Canopy Design

The Blade Scout CX was created as an affordable introduction to the Blade brand of RC helicopters. It’s genesis was somewhat unusual for Horizon Hobby as a company, as the industrial design was created by the Marketing department. A “contest” of sorts was held and every designer in Marketing was encouraged to submit their ideas for the form of the canopy of the heli. The goal was to make something aggressive and “cool.” Although the main focus was on the form factor itself, some preliminary trim schemes were suggested as well.
My rough concept was chosen from the various entries submitted to be refined further for a second round. It was based partially on the shape of a lizard’s head.
The initial concept was tightened up and a more realistic three-dimensional representation (created in Photoshop) was developed to show how the curves would work. At this stage, it was requested that the back of the canopy be lengthened to cover up more of the internal electronics of the heli.
Once this concept was chosen, it was modified slightly and widened to accommodate the circuit board. The concept was then sent off to product development so that they could create a three dimensional model for the vendor.
Using the 3D model developed by product development as reference I began to concept the trim scheme for the Scout Cx. Unfortunately, I learned at this point that our planned method of screen printing and then vacuum molding the canopy could not be used because of costs. The heli would have to be a solid color with decals. I decided to focus on select, high-impact graphics instead of the more flowing designs of earlier concepts. A wide variety of colors and graphic options were explored. Some were closer to what has been used on other Blade products and some were more of a departure for the brand.
After some adjustment to the initial sample, the vendor supplied the final product sample. The body was shortened back to the original concept after it was decided to not target to children under the age of 14. This had the advantage of making the compact front of the canopy look more aggressive, and it also shows off the internal electronics, something toy helis cannot do. To help ease the production time, some decals (which are applied at the factory) were eliminated, but the spirit of the concept is still intact.
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