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OV-1 Kit

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

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2006 Manufacturer Roden
Subject OV-1D Mohawk Scale 1/48
Kit Number 0413 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing throughout Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $39.98

First Look

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

In the mid-1960s, the US Army was equipped with two reconnaissance aircraft - the OV-1B and OV-1C. One was equipped with a side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) and the other with infrared cameras. In 1967, the Army asked for a common reconnaissance airframe that could perform both missions.

Grumman responded with the OV-1D - a platform that could perform either mission with roughly an hour required to swap key systems. Similar in appearance to the OV-1B, the OV-1D regained the fuselage speed brakes deleted for the OV-1B/C as well as a few other enhancements gained from combat experience over Vietnam.

The Army purchased 37 new-build OV-1Ds and converted 108 earlier OV-1B/C aircraft to the OV-1D configuration. The OV-1D would serve as the Army's principal ISR platform from its introduction in the early 1970s in virtually all theaters of operations including cold war Europe, trip-wire South Korea, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and many other specialized operations. The aircraft was finally retired in the mid-1990s with some of the airframes placed into storage at AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB and the remainder scrapped.

Only one country outside the US received the OV-1D. Israel operated a pair of OV-1Ds to monitor the cease-fire after the Yom Kippur war and then were returned to the United States.

This is Roden's third 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 gray anyway, you won't even see it. As with the example Fotios reviewed previously, the kit is packed in one bag, though the clear parts are packaged separately for their protection. Bravo Roden!

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-1D, 69-17008, 2 MIB, Saudi Arabia, 1991, Desert Storm
  • OV-1D, 68-15938, 73rd CIC, Stuttgart, WGER, 1988
  • OV-1D, 4X-JRB, Israeli AF, 1975

Roden has turned out another nice Mohawk and the SLAR pod provides the silhoutte of the OV-1 that many people are familiar with.