Kitty Hawk 1/32 OV-10D 'Bronco'

KIT #: KH 32003
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


The OV-10D was a second generation Bronco developed under the NOGS program. The D-model was an extensively modified OV-10A airframe, adding a forward-looking infrared night-vision system with a turret-mounted camera under an extended nose, visually distinct from the short rounded nose of the A-model. The D also has bigger engines and larger fiberglass propellers. Other noticeable external differences are the chaff dispensers installed midway down the booms and infrared-suppressive exhaust stacks (which mix the exhaust with colder air to reduce the aircraft's heat signature). 17 modified from OV-10A.

The next USMC upgrade was the D+ consisting of A and D aircraft being extensively reworked at MCAS Cherry Point Naval Air Rework Facility with new wiring and strengthened wings. First delivery to the USMC was late 1979. Engine instrumentation was changed from round dials to tape readouts. The last US military OV-10 was retired in 1995 though several are still flying with foreign military units and several federal government organizations. Boeing is extensively peddling an upgraded OV-10X for the light attack role.

Supposedly 1/32 is a dying scale. Well, don't tell that to Kitty Hawk or others who are producing an increasing number of kits to this scale. The latest from Kitty Hawk is their OV-10D Bronco and it very much looks like they have a winner in this one. The kit comes in a rather large box full of superbly molded grey sprues. The detailing is just like you find on modern kits with crisply engraved panel lines and lightly done panel rivet detail.

The kit comes with a nicely done etched fret which is mostly for intakes, wing spoilers, seat harnesses and a few other smaller bits. A very nice addition is a rectangular weight that fits under the floor of the cockpit, allowing the completed model to properly sit on all three gear. Boom aircraft are notorious for being tail heavy and this alleviates the issues of finding a place to put the weight. The cockpit tub includes two nicely molded seats as well as raised detail on the side consoles and the instrument panels. Decals are supplied for those who wish to use them on the two main instrument panels. There are also the usual control sticks and rudder pedals along with p.e. throttle levers.

Underneath this construct fits the nose gear well. The instructions would have you fully assemble this along with the gear strut and nose wheel prior to attaching it to the underside of the cockpit piece. I would do some dry fitting to see if the gear could be attached after the fuselage is closed up. The kit also comes with a complete FLIR pod and attaching hardware as the nose of the model can be displayed open to view this item. A full troop bay in the rear is provided and it looks like this can have the rear door posed open if you so wish, though the instructions do not specifically show it.

Both of the sponsons have full gun bays with covers that can be left off to show the machine guns located within. The kit is also designed to have both of the side entrance windows posed up to show off the interior. Those few times I have seen this aircraft, usually only one side was open. Support braces and handles for these windows is part of the package.

The kit also includes two fully detailed engines to hang on the wings. These are attached to bulkheads that fit onto the main gear wells and then this assembly is trapped between the boom halves. Even if you wish to model the kit with one or both of the engines closed up, you still need to install them to have a mounting for the intakes and the prop. Their added weight is also taken into consideration to keep the model from tail sitting. Each of the boom assemblies is three main pieces with a separate top. To this assembly are fit the exhaust and the chaff/flare dispensers.

The total wing is six main sections. Two fit onto the fuselage section and four fit to outside the booms. The flaps are molded in the deployed position, and this includes the outer bits which look like ailerons. Roll control is from wedge shaped brakes that extend from the upper wing. These are rarely deployed on the ground. While the rudders are molded in the static position, the elevator is a separate piece.

The kit comes with a goodly assortment of things to hang under the airplane. For the centerline there is a drop tank, while under the sponsons you can put bombs or rocket pods. There is a pylon under each wing that can take either fuel tanks, Sidewinder missiles or rocket pods. Unless going into combat or an air show, about all that was carried was a centerline tank.

Instructions are the usual, well drawn, booklet that consists of 26 construction steps plus several steps for the ordnance and a load out diagram. A full color painting and markings guide is provided for four aircraft. One is the cover airplane from VMO-2, while another VMO-2 plane in greys is another option. A VMO-4 plane in the earlier two greens and black scheme is provided along with an unidentified US Navy plane. A bit of research showed that this USN version is from VAL-4 which operated the OV-10A from 1969-1972 in Vietnam and was disestablished seven years before the first OV-10D was delivered. Save these markings for the OV-10A kit when it comes out. The decal sheet is nicely printed and includes the prop warning stripes.


I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with this kit. It seems to have more than enough detail for all but those truly afflicted with AMS and is not going to be so huge as to overwhelm the display shelf. I fully anticipate an aftermarket sheet or two on this one, though the kit decals should work just fine. For those who think that OV-10Ds should have square tipped props of the OV-10A, here is a photo for you. It seems the paddle blade versions were part of the upgrade.


November 2014

Thanks to Glen and Kitty Hawk Models for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer soon.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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