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OV-1 Kit

Roden 1/48 OV-1B Mohawk Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2005 Manufacturer Roden
Subject OV-1B Mohawk Scale 1/48
Kit Number 0410 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing throughout Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $26.98

First Look

OV-1 Kit
OV-1 Kit
OV-1 Kit
OV-1 Kit
OV-1 Kit
OV-1 Kit

The Grumman OV-1A was originally designed for day and night armed reconnaissance and in its initial version, sported shorter wings, speed brakes, cameras, and weapons pylons. The airframe added to the growing number of Grumman aircraft with the 'signature' pointed end of the fuselage in back, which would eventually include the S-2 Tracker family, the A-6 Intruder, EA-6B Prowler, and E-2 Hawkeye.

The OV-1B retained the cameras, and two pylons for external fuel. The wings were lengthened by almost six feet, the speed brakes and remaining pylons were deleted to save weight/improve performance, and a Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) pod was mounted to the starboard side of the forward fuselage.

The SLAR enabled Mohawk crews to locate targets in any weather, and with the help of doppler, it would highlight target movement. This system was first used in combat in 1965 to track enemy movement down the infamous 'Ho Chi Mihn Trail' in Southeast Asia.

While the aircraft has continued to evolve over the years in US Army service, the unique SLAR mapping radar of the OV-1B had also found its way into peaceful applications. The US Geological Survey agency obtained several Mohawks for mapping duty. In 1971, the USGS flew their OV-1s around Alaska to survey glaciers, terrain and even to survey for the Alaskan Oil Pipeline.

This is Roden's second installment in the Mohawk series. Many of the parts will look familiar from the JOV-1A release reviewed earlier. In fact, the twin parts trees with the engines, ejection seats and external fuel tanks still retain their weapons, so you'll have some rocket pods for your spares box.

The kit plastic has an ever-so-slight texture to it, but since this airframe gets painted in flat camo green anyway, you won't even see it. As with the example Fotios reviewed previously, the kit is packed in one bag, but my example came through in excellent condition.

You'll note the new wing parts tree and the extension tree with the SLAR pod. Be sure to note in the instructions the need for 19 grams of ballast in the nose or else your aircraft will be sitting on its pointed butt. It isn't a defect in the kit, just the reality of weight and balance in the actual aircraft.

The decals come with a nicely complete set of stencils. Aircraft options include:

  • OV-1B, 59-2673, 131st SAC, Phu Bai, South Vietnam, 1967
  • OV-1B, 64-14270, 73rd SAC, Vung Tau, South Vietnam, 1967
  • OV-1B, N171, USGS, 1971

Roden has turned out another nice Mohawk and the SLAR pod provides the silhoutte of the OV-1 that many people are familiar with. What's more, this release is less expensive than the first!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!