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OV-10D Bronco

Kitty Hawk Models 1/32 OV-10D Bronco Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2015 Manufacturer Kitty Hawk Models
Subject OV-10D Bronco Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32003 Primary Media Styrene
Pros First styrene kit of this subject in this scale Cons A few minor glitches (see text)
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $79.95

Background

For a brief discussion of this subject and a look at this kit out of the box, look here.

The Build

I've been anxiously waiting to build this nice kit, but given the huge greenhouse cockpit, I wanted to see what Eduard would be doing for detail parts for this kit. As you've seen in our recent first-looks, Eduard did tackle this OV-10D with three detail sets and AOA Decals released an airframe stencil set. The materials used in this build include:

Now that these sets are here, we'll put them to work. The first step is the cockpit and more specifically, the two ejection seats.

OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco

Here are the ejection seat subassemblies (left) and with paint and color-printed photo-etch from the interior detail set (right). The detail set provides a harness locking handle on the left, a seat pack release handle on the right, and actuator handles on the headrest and between the legs. We'll add the crew restraints soon.

Note how the top of the ejection seat above the headrest is solid in the left image but is open on the right. Eduard has you cut the plastic above the headrest and replace it with the opened photo-etch part. Unfortunately for me, one of the two backs disappeared during painting and could not be found. The solution was to lay the remaining part on sheet styrene and airbrush a silhouette. I did two. When finished, I cut away anything that wasn't white styrene and I replicated the replacement part.

OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco

Here are the ejection seats (left) with Eduard's color photo-etched seatbelt set. You can read the review here and while these look nice, I thought these color photo-etch sets were to help save some time. These took a few hours to assemble and install. The seats still didn't look right and what was missing are the stencils on the headrest and seatback which aren't on the kit's decal sheet. The solution (right) came from AOA's 1/32 Bronco Stencil set. Now I'm happy with these seats.

OV-10D Bronco

Here are the cockpit subassemblies with the molded-on details removed. I've added the cockpit divider bulkhead and you can see a shiny spot behind it where I also installed a photo-etched floor plate assembly from the interior detail set. The shiny stuff is Future Floor Wax - I use Future to laminate photo-etch onto plastic since Future is easier to work with than cyano.

OV-10D Bronco

Here is where color-printed photo-etch may have some problems. You can see that the color-printed photo-etched parts have some nice sharp details printed onto the control modules, but then there is that background gray. According to the kit instructions (and to standard US practice), the cockpit should be painted FS 36231 (Dark Gull Gray) which I've painted the tub and ejection seats. I thought about compromising and matching the gray that is printed on the parts but according to my color measurement system, the 'gray' on the photo-etched parts is actually US Navy WWII 5B Thayer Blue. I'll touch up the photo-etch instead.

OV-10D Bronco

Here's the cockpit tub with the color-printed photo-etch repainted with 36231. I left some of the details Thayer Blue to keep some contrast. While Eduard's color-matching may not be that good, I will compliment them on their self-adhesive parts. The back of these side consoles are coated with an adhesive that bonds when the part is pressed into place. I was able to position these parts and press then as you see without using cyano or Future. Nice!

OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco

Here's the cockpit tub with more details added plus the assembled instrument panels and part of the rear deck with the circuit breaker panel.

OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco

The forward fuselage halves are together after assembling the nosewheel well, rear cargo bay, and installing the provided nose ballast under the cockpit. A little Mr. Surfacer will be required in some of the seams but otherwise this build is going smoothly. The extra time is simply because of the variety of Eduard photo-etch parts that are still going on the model. Note that I'm not painting the forward FLIR bay nor the cargo bay since these will both be closed up after assembly.

OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco OV-10D Bronco

The wing center section is where we get into some interesting bugs. Looking inside the wing, you can see that there are no receiver holes on the upper wing surface for the locating pins on the lower wing surfaces. I simply glued the rear flap channels together on the upper and lower wing sections to find proper alignment and then squared the leading edge and glued that edge as well. With that huge cavity inside the wing, I'm concerned about the lack of structure in there that will allow the wing to bow/flex when handled. I'm thinking about running some Evergreen styrene spars inside there to provide rigidity as well as strength out to the outer wing sections as well. More to follow on this.

OV-10D Bronco

Here's the next challenge. In test-fitting the wing center section onto the fuselage, the wing/fuselage joint is very tight but we're hung up here - where the wing fairing meets the rear bulkhead of the circuit breaker bay. The solution is simple enough, I've already filed/sanded off the top of the bulkhead a little at a time and the gaps I started with were much larger than in this image. When next you see this, the wing will be snug on the fuselage and the paint touched up again.

To be continued...

My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!

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