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OV-10A & OV-10D+ Bronco ‘Desert Storm’ (48302) 1:48


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OV-10A & OV-10D+ Bronco ‘Desert Storm’ (48302)

1:48 ICM via Hannants




The Bronco was conceived as a light attack, long loiter aircraft of modest size, enabling it to operate from unprepared fields and roads close to the combat zone.  As so often seems the case, the final design turned out to be much larger and heavier due to the requirements of the avionics and ejection seats, thus limiting its use to conventional airfields. The twin boom aircraft first flew in 1965 and was destined to serve with the US Navy, Airforce and Marines as a replacement for the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog & O-2 Skymaster. The Marines were the first to take the OV-10 into service as a forward air controller platform operating both night and day missions. Whilst the Bronco is best known for its operations in Vietnam, it also served in later conflicts as late as the Gulf War before being retired from US service in 1995. The USAF received Broncos in 1968 and deployed the aircraft in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role, using smoke laying methods initially, and later using laser targeting designators. Eventually after extensive modernisation to the -D model with the addition of a FLIR turret and new avionics, then another upgrade to the -D+ version that involved replacement of much of the wiring loom and further stiffening of the wings to enable it to carry more and fly harder.  By this time it carried its own ground attack armament including rockets, machine guns and bombs, plus targeting equipment that gave it the capability of Light Attack Aircraft, and made it a scary prospect for the enemy to see overhead.  Seven export contracts were signed with other foreign operators including Germany, Columbia and Indonesia, each having their own letter suffixes, and the very last of which will be leaving service in the near future after long service.


The last action of the Bronco in US Marine service was the first Gulf War, where a mixture of As and D+s fought side-by-side bravely carrying out the Forward Air Controller (FAC) task against enemy forces, although they did suffer some losses due to equipment inadequacies and possibly because of its relatively slow speed making it an easier target for the anti-aircraft assets of the opposition.  Although efforts were made to keep the bronco in service, by 1995 it was withdrawn from active service and handed-off to other government institutions, with the job being carried out from there on by two-seat F-18s that had speed and plenty of self-defence capabilities to hand.



The Kit

This is a twin-boxing of ICM’s excellent new Bronco kits, and includes one of each of the OV-10A and OV-10D+ in one fairly compact box that will be stash friendly due to the two-for-one size of it.  The kits arrive in a slightly larger top-opening box with the usual captive lid, and inside are twenty sprues in grey styrene, two clear sprues, a decal sheet and a thick instruction booklet that has sprue diagrams at the front, and here a little oopsie occurs.  There’s a mistake in the binding of the instructions of my example due to the inclusion of a duplicate leaf in the booklet (pages 3, 4, 41, 42), as some of the decal options were also duplicated at the rear of the leaflet.  The correct sprues are used in the instructions however, so just ignore or remove the extra pages if your example is affected, and everything should be fine.


We’ve reviewed these kits in great detail before, and because it’s a rebox of two of them, the review would be far too verbose and many of the paragraphs would be almost identical, so we won’t subject your scrolling finger to all that work unless you really want to.  You can see the links to the original reviews below, which has a ton of photos of the sprues, detail photos and a full description of putting each one together.  Once you get to the Markings section, come back here and have a look at the new decal sheet for this boxing.



Review of OV-10D+



Review of OV-10A




This boxing depicts two airframes that took part in the Gulf War in 1990/1, all of which were in service of the US Marines in two Marine Observation Squadrons during the period.  They all wore the same two-tone sand-brown scheme during their time there, and that differed only slightly between the As and Ds because of slight differences in their nose shape.  From the box you can build two of the following, taking into account that you have one of each variant:


  • OV-10A 155428, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991
  • OV-10A 155454, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991
  • OV-10D+ 155473, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991
  • OV-10D+ 155494, Marine Observation Sqn. 2, (VMO-2) Saudi Arabia, 1991






Decals are printed by ICM’s usual partners, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.


The weapons all have stencils to apply, which are shown next to the profiles, and there are also rear and white tip decals for the propellers, and the T-shaped walkways on the top of the wings in a dark brown, as are the majority of the main markings.




This boxing is very good value for money, giving you two kits in a one kit sized box that can be depicted on the same runway or apron once complete.  Even if you don’t want two desert birds, it’s still good value, and it helps immensely that it’s a great kit.


Very highly recommended.


Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.



Review sample courtesy of



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