Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Shar2

North American OV-10D Bronco. 1:32

Recommended Posts

North American OV-10D Bronco
1:32 KittyHawk


boxart.jpg




History
The OV-10 Bronco, a rugged, manoeuvrable, twin-turboprop, multi-mission aircraft, served with the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps (OV-10A). The U.S. Navy also used the OV-10. The Navy squadron VAL-4 "Black Ponies" flew them with much success in the Vietnam War. Internationally, the OV-10 served with the military services of West Germany (OV-10B), Thailand (OV-10C), Venezuela (OV-10E) and Indonesia (OV-10F). Designed and built by North American at Columbus, Ohio, the Bronco complemented the performance requirements between jets and helicopters. Faster and more tactically versatile than helicopters, yet slower and more manoeuvrable than jets, the Bronco utilized tactics not possible with either.

The OV-10D night observation system (NOS) featured a unique night observation and target marking system that included forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and laser designator/ranger. With uprated 1040 SHP turboprop engines and fibreglass propellers, NOS provided greater range, improved performance and greater survivability.

In military operations, the Bronco's outstanding capability to find and hit battlefield targets close to friendly troops made this an aircraft effective against conventional and guerrilla forces. The effective application of the Bronco's versatility, however, did not end with purely military functions. Civil action applications added significantly to the cost-effectiveness of this economical aircraft.

Military applications for which the Bronco was particularly suited include anti-guerrilla operations, helicopter escort, close air support, armed reconnaissance and forward air control. In addition, it could be used for utility missions such as cargo paradrop, delivery of up to six paratroops, medical evacuation, smoke screening and psychological warfare with leaflets and loudspeakers. For peacetime operations, the guns, bomb racks and armour could be removed quickly, and the aircraft became a high-performance STOL utility vehicle. Potential applications included aerial mapping, geological survey, spraying, disaster relief and patrol work.

Ruggedness and simplicity of operation were emphasized in the design of the Bronco. The fuselage was mounted under the wing and provided tandem seating for pilot and observer. The canopy design afforded better visibility than that of most helicopters. Each crewman was equipped with an LW-3B ejection seat system, also designed and built at Columbus, which was capable of zero-speed, zero-altitude ejections. Armour protection, a bullet-resistant windshield and self-sealing fuel cells were provided for operations in a hostile environment. Twin engines, dual manual flight controls and rugged and simple construction also contributed to survivability and safety.

The OV-10 was equipped with seven external store stations and four 7.62 mm guns installed in the sponsons. A variety of conventional ordnance could be delivered in addition to 2,000 rounds of ammunition. The seven external store stations consisted of four sponson store stations, one centerline station and two external wing stations. Sponson accessibility provided rapid loading of stores and ammunition. The wing stations could carry the LAU-7/A launcher for mounting either rocket packages or missiles. The centerline store station also had the capability of carrying either a 20 mm gun pod or a 150-, 230- or 300-gallon (568-, 871- or 1136-liter) external fuel tank.

The Model
This is their second new tooling of 1:32 aircraft from KittyHawk and an interesting choice of release it is too. Arriving in a very attractively designed box, with one an artists representation the aircraft in flight over the desert, presumably during the first Gulf War. The box is quite deep and its easy to see why, as on opening it is full of styrene. The kit is contained on eleven large sprues of light grey styrene, with one of clear styrene and a small etched brass sheet and a metal weight to prevent the model being a tail sitter. The main sprues, unlike previous kits are not folded over but adjoined at the centre, one so theres no need to snap them apart before inspecting the parts. Detail looks very refined, with engraved panel lines and raised areas where required. The styrene feels quite soft so take care when removing from the sprues. There is no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips, all the styrene looking very clean indeed. The clear parts are very well protected from damage by being in their own separate cardboard box.




sprue1.jpg


sprue2.jpg



Construction of the kit is quite complex as there are a lot of sub assemblies and open panels. In fact it seems like most of the fuselage, including the sponsons have poseable panels. The instruction diagrams are very nicely drawn and clear to read, which is always good. The build begins with the construction of the two ejection seats, each made up of eleven parts, plus the etched seatbelts and lap straps. The cockpit tub is a single piece item, onto which the central bulkhead is fitted, along with the two joysticks, throttle and undercarriage levers. The rear instrument panel is then assembled from its five parts are glued into position, along with the two side console aft of the front cockpit and the lower binnacle in front of the pilots position. The rear bulkhead and ejections seats are then fitted. Beneath the cockpit floor is the nose wheel well, which once it is fitted with the front bulkhead can be glued into place. At this point the instructions call for the nose gear to be fitted. This assembly is made up of the main oleo, moulded with one half of the wheel yoke and the whole axle attached. The two piece wheel/tyre is then slid onto the axle and the other half of the yoke attached. The oleo is then fitted to the main leg attachment and fitted into the wheel well, followed by the retraction jacks and nose wheel bay door. Of course you could leave the nose undercarriage off until after painting.

sprue3.jpg


sprue4.jpg



Construction now moves on to the assembly of the NOS sensor housing, which looks like an upside down gun turret. This assembly is made up of six parts and when complete is position into the slot in one half of the fuselage. The rear equipment bay roof is fitted out with black boxes on top, then sandwiched between the fuselage halves along with the cockpit assembly and equipment bay floor. The wing centre section is assembled from a single piece upper section and two lower panels. The poseable flaps, made up of three parts each can then be fitted along with the anti IR unit fitted on top of the upper wing centre section. This assembly is then fitted to the top of the fuselage, whilst eh cockpit is further detailed with the inclusion of the pilots instrument panel, complete with coaming and added control boxes, the windscreen and the two curved post to which the glazing will attach. Something else fitted at this point, but probably best left till later are the fitting of the access steps, unless the modeller is choosing to have them closed up.

etch.jpg


The sponsons are next in the process, each one assembled from a lower section into which the machine gun bays are fitted along with the machine guns, ammunition tanks and ammunition belts. The upper sponson panels are then fitted, as are the outer tips. The modeller has the option of leaving the gun bay doors off should he wish. The completed sponsons are now fitted to the fuselage, along with the centre pylon, nosewheel bay doors and a host of aerials. The rear equipment bay door comes in two halves which when joined is finished off with the bulkhead with associated equipment moulded on to it. The main overhead canopy section is them fitted out with quite a complex gun/bombsight and fitted to the fuselage, attaching o the wing centre section and the rear edge of the windscreen. Id imagine that construction of the fuselage had to be perfect in order to get this part to fit without any gaps fore and aft, which would be difficult to cure. The nose door above the NOS sensor is also poseable and is constructed from two halves, onto which the hinges and pitot probe are added. If it is to be posed open the there are two gas struts provided. If its going to be close, leave the hinges off. The four access panels of the canopy are to be fitted now along with their gas struts, but again, probably best to leave these till the end of the build.

sprue6.jpg



Each of the Two Garrett-AiResearch turboprop engines, may be visible if the access panels are to be left open, as such they are both complete representations of these powerplant. Each engine consists of two halves for eth main casing, ancillary parts, cowling fitment rings, engine bearers, exhaust and gearbox assemblies. The complete engines are then fitted to the engine bulkhead which also has a number of ancillary parts fitted. The main undercarriage assemblies are next, each consisting of two wheel/tyre halves which are fitted to the axle of the single piece main oleo. If should be noted that the oleo is in fact flat , as if the nitrogen has leaked out and is indicative of the fact that the subject from which the model was copied may have been a museum ship. Therefore the main oleo gas strut needs to be cut away and carefully lengthened to give the model the correct attitude. With the main legs altered to suit the retraction actuators are fitted into the main undercarriage bays which consist of the roof, sides plus the front and rear bulkheads. The engine/bulkhead assembly is then fitted to the front of the bays and fitted to one half of the tail booms. Before the booms can be closed up a couple of panels need to be fitted from the inside. When closed up the upper boom aft of the wing trailing edge is fitted, as is the engine intake panel at the front. The booms are then fitted out with the engine oil coolers, main wheel bay doors, blade aerials and propellers, which are each made up of a two piece hub, three separate blades, backplate and spinner.

clear.jpg



Moving onto the out wings, each is made up of upper and lower panels onto which the two piece ailerons and out flaps are fitted as are the pylons and several etched parts. On the upper wing the modeller has the option of posing the unusual airbrakes extended or retracted, with each blade of the airbrakes being an item of PE. The outer wing assemblies are then fitted their respective tail boom the outer wings/booms are attached to the inner wing sections at the same time the three piece horizontal tailplane is attached between the two vertical tails of the booms, all the while ensuring everything is perpendicular with each other.

The Bronco was used in a variety of armed roles and KittyHawk have provided a nice varied selection of weapons in the kit to arm your model. These include:-
  • Two AIM-9L Sidewinders, with optional nose sections to build AIM-9Bs
  • One 260l drop tank
  • Two 130l drop tanks
  • Two four barrelled 5 Zuni rocket pods
  • Two seven barrelled 2.75 rocket pods
  • Two Mk82 500lb Snakeye bombs with slick tails
  • Two Mk82 500lb Snakeye bombs with retarded tails

sprue5.jpg



Decals
There are two sheets of decals one large and one small. The smaller of the two contains the instrument panel decals as well as propeller manufacturers marks and the footstep lines. The main sheet comes with a set of stencils for one aircraft and markings for the following options:-
  • OV-10D of the US Navy in Field green over light grey scheme
  • OV-10D of the US Marines, VMO-2. Ser No. 55479 in a wrap round two tone grey scheme
  • OV-10D of the US Marines, VMO-2. Ser No. 55468 in two tone tan/brown uppers over grey scheme.
The decals look very well printed, with good opacity and colour density, in register and without too much carrier film.

decals.jpg



Conclusion
For some reason Ive always like the odd looking OV-10 and with its elongated nose, the 10D is even odder looking. But for some reason it just look right for the job it was designed for. I have always wanted a kit of one, but never thought one would be released in this scale, so this reviewer is a very happy bunny. I realise that having poseable panels is not to everyones taste, but from the builds Ive seen they dont appear to cause too much trouble should you want them closed. Alternatively with all the open panels it is superdetailers dream. There arent too many colour options around for this version but which ever you choose it will certainly stand out in any collection. Very highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of logo.gif and available soon from major hobby shops

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review of a great looking kit.

Hopefully the earlier shorter nosed version will also be released (it certainly looks like the kit has been tooled so that other versions are going to be released).

I might struggle to sneak it into the house though due to its size!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Landing gear 'sag' is symptomatic of the widespread availability of pix on the web, often of museum bird walk-arounds. Kit designers need to be aware of such things and take steps to ensure they are looking at 'operational' images as well... ah, brings back memories of when landing gear was *usually* depicted in an 'unloaded' or inflight configuration. I guess that would be okay if the model was perched on a stand, with a pilot in the cockpit.

I'm just waiting on the kit that has the 'anti-pigeon' screening in the wheel wells (or intakes) included! ;^P

Regards, Robert

Edited by rbeach84

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearly finished building one...  I have to say that I am finding the decals a nightmare - they are extremely fragile and thin (normally to be applauded, of course) and demonstrate a rare facility in rolling themselves into balls, breaking up, or (in the case of the yellow stencils for the olive drab ordnance) being invisible.

 

YMMV, of course.  Pictures before the end of the year!

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×