Kitty Hawk Models 1/32 OV-10A/C Bronco Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2015||Manufacturer||Kitty Hawk Models|
|Kit Number||32004||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||First styrene kit of this subject in this scale||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$79.95|
Even before the United States entered the Vietnam War, the US Marine Corps was looking for an effective close air support aircraft that could perform the forward air control mission. In those days, the USAF was still focused strategic and tactical nuclear strike while the Army was integrating the helicopter into its concept of operations/tactics. Eventually, a tri-service requirement was established for the Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (LARA) and numerous designs were submitted. It would be the North American Aviation Model NA-300 that would be accepted.
The design was based upon a twin turbo-prop powered airframe with tandem seating, a high wing for ample ground clearance, short take-off and landing (STOL) capability, integral guns as well as the ability to carry external stores, and a cargo/personnel bay behind the cockpit. The aircraft would be designated as the OV-10A Bronco and would be operated by the US Marine Corps, US Navy (for a relatively brief time), as well as the US Air Force. The OV-10A saw combat with all three services (Navy, Marines, Air Force) during Vietnam and would remain as the primary forward air control platform for the US Air Force until replaced by the OA-37B and OA-10A in 1991.
When Kitty Hawk first announced an OV-10 Bronco in 1/32 scale, many of us were cautiously optimistic as this was a subject never done in styrene in this scale. The OV-10D kit released in late 2014 was a big hit and many beautiful models have appeared on contest tables. Kitty Hawk released this latest installment representing the standard tri-service OV-10A as well as the export OV-10C that went to the Royal Thailand Air Force.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 11 parts trees plus one tree of (very) clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and one essential ballast weight of white metal. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed front and rear cockpits
- Ejection seats have photo-etched crew restraints
- Positionable crew entry doors
- Rear compartment is boxed in and has structural details
- Rear compartment door has avionics rack and is positionable
- Nose 'hood' is positionable to reveal FLIR pedestal
- Sponson access doors are positionable
- Sponson gun bays have two M60 machine guns in each bay plus ammo feeds
- Two detailed Garrett T76 engines
- Positionable nacelle access doors
- Detailed landing gear
- Weighted landing gear wheels
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable flaperons
- Positionable spoilers
- Positionable elevator
The kit has a nice selection of external stores including:
- 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder (choice of AIM-9B or AIM-9L seeker heads)
- 2 x 68 gallon external fuel tanks
- 2 x 34 gallon external fuel tanks
- 2 x four-shot Zuni rocket pods
- 2 x seven-shot rocket pods
- 2 x Mk.82 500lb slicks
- 2 x Mk.82 500lb Snakeye
The instructions don't mention which of the above weapons should be used with this version but you'll find good online photos of the subject(s) you'd like to build and you can select your loadout from there.
Markings are included for six options:
- OV-10A, 155484, VMO-5, UV/28, USMC
- OV-10A, 67-14605, 549 TASG, USAF
- OV-10A, 67-14679, 20 TASS, USAF
- OV-10A, 155397, VMO-2, UU/15, USMC
- OV-10C, 158496, 4111, RTAF
- OV-10A, 67-14679, Philippine AF
The decal set provides maintenance stenciling for the airframe as well as all of the distinctive markings.
While the OV-10D kit is a great subject with some distinctive camouflage colors, I've been waiting on this kit since I've seen the OV-10A in various units around the US and Europe during my active duty days and think this kit will look great in wrap-around Europe One. Stay tuned!
My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!