|Roden 1/48 OV-1B Mohawk
|$25.98 (23.46 at Squadron)
|Scott Van Aken
Difficult to say anything new about this kit as it is basically the exact same boxing as the previous OV-1A with the inclusion of the SLAR pod to do the B version. I've included a small shot of the SLAR pod as it is the only difference aside from the extended wings (I've put comparison images to the right). I've also repeated the info from the earlier preview below so those who have already read it can continue down a few paragraphs.
If you have bought any of the Roden kits over the last year or so, then you know that they are well molded and generally go together well if one is a careful constructor. Like Dragon kits, one cannot just toss together a Roden model. You have also noted a steady improvement with each new kit being that much better engineered and more builder-friendly.
After opening the rather large box, I started going over the kit with a critical eye. Much to my delight, I found no sink areas, no flash and no problems with ejector pin marks. The clear parts are individually packaged so there is no problem with scratches or stress marks and the parts are commendably transparent and thin. Not all pieces are used in this variant, so you can be sure that there are at least one or two more boxings of this kit to come, including, I'm pretty sure, a modern version with the SLAR pod, as several of the unused clear bits are a more modern instrument panel and several CRT boxes.
The cockpit is very well appointed with individual rudder pedals and nicely done 9 piece seats. You have the option to leave off the wing pylons should you desire, but I've rarely seen an OV-1 without them in place. In addition to large fuel tanks, you have what appears to be a gun pod and two different rocket pods to help put something under the wings. You also have two different noses for the plane, one a more modern one with a landing light in it and molded in clear. Speed brakes can be positioned open or closed as you wish. Wheel wells are nice and deep and well detailed.
Instructions are excellent with very clearly done construction drawings and any color information required for the different decal options clearly marked. You can have your OV-1 in any color you want as long as it is OD with black-grey wing walk areas. These wing walk areas will have to be painted in as the decals only provide the black outlines. The black engine anti-glare panels and wing/tail leading edges will have to be painted on as well. I don't recall seeing any indication of nose weight needed but with its short coupled landing gear, it will definitely need all you can supply.
One thing that has gone unchanged is that they way the cockpit side windows is hinged is incorrect. They sort of slid down as they opened so the actual hinge line would be about a foot below the top of the opening.
Decals are provided for three aircraft:
There are no aftermarket decals for these planes (yet) and I can imagine that we'll see yet another boxing for the OV-1D which will have a few more antennas and grey paint!
I've seen this kit built and it is most impressive. Best of all, the price of Roden kits has gone down and at around $25 MSRP at this time, it is a real bargain!
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