AOA Decals 72-003: Black Ponies and more Broncos

Units: See review


$16.50 (free US shipping)


Scott Van Aken

AOA Decals has made a most welcome scale switch to 1/72 for their most recent decals. I'm stoked that they would do this as it will renew my interest in the type as well other modelers. For kits, I know of at least three, and there may be more. One is by Airfix and this one might have been modified when they brought out the NOGS boxing. The others are by Hasegawa and Academy, and I'm thinking that most modelers will choose the latter one. In line with their previous set on the A-6A Intruder, this one concentrates on those operated in Vietnam. Specifically those with VAL-4 'Black Ponies'. This USN squadron provided light attack in the Mekong Delta. Other units covered are VMO-6 'Cherry Six' and VS-41 'Shamrocks'.

Most of the aircraft are in either the gloss field green (16097) over light gull grey (16440) or overall light gull grey scheme. Initial aircraft were in the green/grey scheme with later planes being painted in the overall grey scheme. VAL-4 operated from 1969 until 1972. There are a total of 16 different markings options for planes from this unit. Thanks to the folks who were with VAL-4, the small differences between planes can be provided as most had some minor differences in markings even among planes painted the same colors. Those planes that were named are also provided.

There is one markings option for a VMO-6 plane that operated in the 1968-69 time frame. VS-41 was tasked with crew training on the OV-10 in addition to S-2 training. This function was performed from 1968 until 1971 and there are two markings options, both for the same plane. One in the standard green/grey and another in black/grey. I have shown just a few of the options as there are far too many to include. The AOA web site has all of them.

Instructions are superb with not only side profiles but also upper wing images for the large white areas carried by some planes. An extensive stencil suite is provided and there are enough of these to build two planes from the sheet. . All the differences in things like exhaust area, danger stencils and ejection seat stencils are provided on this sheet. The sheet even includes prop tip warning stripes.

In all, it is an outstanding set and just the thing for those who have wondered what is out there for the OV-10A. Now you have an excellent excuse. 

May 2015

Thanks to AOA Decals for the review sheet. You can find this sheet and images of all the options at this link.

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