Virtual Museum of the Vietnam War

North American OV-10A "Bronco"

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Academy 1516 OV-10A Bronco 1:72

I built my model of the OV-10A out of an Academy kit, number 1665. I additionally suplemented it with photoetched parts from Eduard, number 72310, which mainly improves the looks of the cockpit of the model. Apart of that I also conducted two modifications - the electrostatic discharge lines were made out of thin plastic fishing line, and the cast cockpit roof and side windows were replaced by vacuum-formed parts I made myself. I kept the cast windshield for it's stability. Other than that the model was built as per instructions. The kit is distantly related with the old OV-10 Hasegawa kit, but the changes made by Academy are rather revolutionary. The accuracy and detailing of the model were radically improved, the kit was also prepared for the option of building the OV-10D variant of the aircraft (fuselage nose as a separate part). One of the most dramatic, but also most advantageous changes is the addition of full-depth undercarriage bays. They look good when done, but also cause problem when balancing the model - the front wheel bay takes up the place which would come very handy for the ballast needed to prevent the model from "tail-sitting", to which it strongly and naturally tends. Because of that, in my model the ballast was placed mainly under the cockpit floor and behind it, and consisted mainly of lead. I can heartly recommend the Academy kit for everyone wanting to bulid a model of the OV-10.

My model of the OV-10 depicts an aircraft flying in Vietnam in USAF colors, from Da Nang airbase in 1969, as a so-called FAC - forward air controller. The mission of the FAC was to recognize and to designate the targets for air strikes, and subsequently coordinating them. For this reason the top wing surface was painted high visibility white - to improve the visibility of the FAC machine to the airmen executing the airstrikes.

Known bugs of the model are: the shape of engine intakes (I didn't correct the factory error), and the finish of the wing top surface - today I would do it better.


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