1/48 Testors Indonesian OV-10F Bronco

Gallery Article by Alex Sidharta on Aug 17 2012

Indonesia Independence Day 

 

 

The legendary Bronco started her service in Indonesia in 1976 when 16 OV-10Fs replaced Skadron Udara 3’s P-51D Mustang in Malang, East Java. Indonesian Bronco had been upgraded several times, but the most prominent change was the replacement of 7.7mm guns to 12.7mm cannons. This gave a heavy punch during FAC/CAS missions.

In 1990, the Bronco was re-assigned to Skadron Udara 1 (SkU 1), while the new F-16s were assigned to Skadron Udara 3 and moved to Madiun. Only a decade later, the “Kampret” (this is a dearly nickname by the pilots after a local bat species) was again re-assigned. This time into a unit, instead of a squadron because the former SkU 1 received new aircraft and moved to Pekanbaru. A few years later, unit Bronco became Skadron Udara 21 (SkU 21) before finally all the OV-10F Bronco retired after a fatal crash in 2007.

During her service, Indonesian Bronco saw many combat involvements than any other aircraft all over Indonesia. This is a small, simple, tough, yet agile aircraft that fits for the combat environment in Indonesia.

 

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The Model
I built the Testors kit, the only available model kit of OV-10 Bronco in 1/48. The kit itself does show its age with mix of raised and recessed panel lines and heavily raised rivets. No wheel wells provided and the worst of all; no backseater cockpit and seat. So, basically, this is a “single-seat” Bronco variant by Testors...
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A good friend of mine Monty gave me a pair of his self-made resin ejection seats to replace the simple single seat supplied by Testors. Other components of the cockpit were scratchbuilt.

The fit was surprisingly quite good. I didn’t use many filler anywhere. I first assembled the wing, booms and the stabilizer and left the fuselage into the later stage of the construction. Basic wheel wells were scratcbuilt. Because of the excellent fit, I could join the fuselage into the wing and booms after the painting. This made painting process for the inner side of the booms much more easier.

I replaced the 7.7mm gun into 12.7mm cannon using metal paperclips cut to length. I chose the (more-or-less) right diameter for simulating the cannon.

The Bronco was painted in unique SEA camouflage. I said “unique” because it was similar to NAM-era SEA but a little “paler”. I used Tamiya XF-59 Buff instead of regular FS 30219 but used the other green color of standard SEA colors.

The decals and maskings for the serials and decal-backing was supplied by my trusty friend, Sinang Aribowo. That was a first class material I ever used.

When attaching the canopy, I found that the windshield was wider than the fuselage. I had to use CA glue to “force” the clear part fit in the fuselage. The other clear parts were OK.

After that, I glued the nose antenna, blade antennas, etc into the model and delivered it to Skadron Udara 3. It resides in the SkU 3 museum now.

This model is dedicated to all “Kampret” pilots, Ground Crews, and everybody who loves it…

Alex Sidharta

      

Photos and text © by Alex Sidharta