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OV-10 Bronco Then & Now
Part One - OV-10A

by David W. Aungst





The lines of the OV-10 Bronco have always appealed to me. It is a rugged looking machine with a real sense of purpose in its unique design. The choice of kits, though, to build this unique aircraft are quite limited. In 1/48th scale, the only show in town is still the Hawk/Italeri/Testors kit. This kit, however, is really not worth investing the time to make a good model of the OV-10. The list of problems with this kit starts with no cockpit and goes downhill from there, including some major proportion errors in the spacing of the tail booms where the booms are too close to the fuselage.

Enter Paragon Designs. Paragon Designs markets an update set for the OV-10A (stock #48090). This set addresses all the short comings of the Hawk/Italeri/Testors OV-10 kit and brings it up to being a significantly more accurate model of the OV-10A. After acquiring the Paragon Designs update set, I dug out an old OV-10A kit I was squirreling away in the attic and started working on it.



The Paragon Designs update set is an extensive re-engineering project for the Hawk/Testors/Italeri OV-10A kit. The set includes pieces to replace some substantial portions of the original kit as well as various details to upgrade the appearance of other portions of the kit.


The set includes a complete full span replacement for the wing and horizontal tail. This new wing and tail fix the problem with the tail booms being too close to the fuselage. The wing is also detailed with the correct vortex generators near the ailerons and proper fairings where the fuselage and tail booms are attached.


The set includes new rudders for the vertical tails. These correct the shape and detail of the trailing portions of the tail booms.


The set includes a simply gorgeous, one piece cockpit tub, complete with the ejection seats already in place. To the cockpit tub are added control sticks and fully detailed main instrument panels with raised detail. All you need to do is add paint.


The set includes bulged and flattened tires.


The set includes replacement engine exhausts. These are hollowed out on the rear side to provide the proper splitter details inside the exhaust.


Lastly, the set includes an etching set that replaces the kit provided wheel well doors and provides some minor cockpit and airframe details.

In all, only about half of the original OV-10 kit is used to build the model. Paragon Designs provides the rest. The only thing not provided by Paragon Designs (that would have been nice) is the interior of the fuselage behind the cockpit, but that is not required to build a great model of the OV-10. The best part of all this is that all the new resin pieces fit with almost no issues. Only minor filling and sanding is needed (much less than would have been needed if you built the kit out-of-the-box).



Besides incorporating the Paragon Designs update set into the kit, I also did a lot of extra detailing of my own.


The kit cockpit glass is rather think and distorts the view of all the details inside the cockpit, so I cut and opened the cockpit entries to afford a better view of the interior. Then, I added all the internal latching and bracing details.


I extended the boarding steps on the right side of the fuselage.


The Paragon Designs etchings looked too thin for the wheel well doors, so I laminated sheet styrene onto them to make them thicker. This also improved their strength and the strength of their attachment to the airframe.


I rescribed the fuselage and tail booms to eliminate the inappropriate rivet details and match the scribing of the Paragon Designs replacement parts.


I boxed off the wheel wells and added appropriate plumbing and electrical lines.


I added an M.V. Lens landing light into the nose.


I added anti-sway braces to all the weapons stations.


I added and revised various antennas throughout the airframe.


I added rocket pods (from the Hasegawa weapons sets) and 7.62mm mini-gun pods (from the Monogram A-37B kit).

I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints on the model. It is finished in the standard Marine Green (F.S.34097) over Light Gull Gray (F.S.36440) with an all white wing.



For decals, the markings come from SuperScale decal sheet #48-365. The model represents an aircraft from VMO-2 based at MCAS Camp Pendleton in 1975.

Weathering is done with thinned down enamel paint washes and air brushing to highlight the panel lines and show general wear and tear on the airframe. A final pass with silver dry-brushing rounds out the weathering.

Go to Part Two - OV-10D+ Bronco

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:    

Project Statistics

Completion Date:

9 November 1996

Total Building Time:








Decals / Markings :


Extra Detailing / Conversion:



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Photographs and Text Copyright 2002 by David W. Aungst