1/72 Hasegawa OV-1D Mohawk

Gallery Article by Fernando I. Moreno Villa on June 4 2009


Ejército Argentino

This is my scale representation of one of the 23 Grumman OV-1D Mohawks received by Argentina in the 90's to provide an advanced observation and surveillance platform to the Army. They were assigned to the 601st Scout and Recce Aviation Squadron of the Army Air Command.  

Some had the SLAR lateral radar and IR scanners, but these capabilities were available only after local modifications. One of the aircraft was actually armed with rocket pods and many of the planes had participated in several training exercises showing good performance in battlefield recce and target acquisition duties. Due to budget constrains and recent fatal accidents, the 10 remaining units of the fleet have remained grounded since 2006. However, it is expected to have them back in service soon. 

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Against my expectations, this was another difficult project that took more than the double of time I planned. Hasegawa is the only manufacturer that made the Mohawk in 1/72 scale and although they present it as a "Special Markings OV-1D", the only change inside the box was the decal set but the mould is still of an OV-1B.  

The kit has raised panel lines, no closed or detailed wheel bays and a poorly equipped cockpit. I didn't verify size accuracy but its shape looked correct, with the extended outer wings of the D version. Wings have holes for 6 underwing supports but the kit only includes a pair of wing pylons for fuel tanks, forcing you to scratchbuild the remaining.  

In few words, there are two options if you want to build a real D from this kit: To scratchbuilt all those differences or to get the conversion set from Cobra. I went for the first one…


First, I researched and identified the most important characteristics of OV-1Ds used by the Argentine Army, which are:

  • 1. Enlarged air scoops

  • 2. Panoramic camera on the nose

  • 3. ADF, UHF/VHF and FM Homing antennas

  • 4. IR sensor, rotating beacon and camera pod on belly

All of them were scrachtbuilt with cooper wire and spare plastic pieces. In addition, Martin Baker MJ5A ejection seats, internal cockpit structure, fire extinguisher and wheel bays were completely scratchbuilt too, based on reference pictures.  

Don't forget to add a good amount of weight in the small nose and behind cockpit because this plane is a tailsitter. 


According to all sources, these planes were painted Light Ghost Gray FS-36375, which was the last scheme used by the US Army. The entire aircraft was pre-shaded to create sun shade effect. Considering the scale effect of colors, I took Light Gray FS-36495 and sprayed it first on the center of panels, going out softly following the "clouds" technique. Then, another coat of Light Ghost Gray diluted at 25% was applied over the entire surface to give a smooth finish with the real color, without loosing the light/shade effects achieved.  

As most of the decal set provided with the kit was useless for me, I only took some parts like the control panel and stencils. All black bands were masked with tape and painted with airbrush. Navigation lights were done by painting them with Tamiya Clear Red and Green over silver, using a # 0 brush. Exhausts were airbrushed with a mix of Jet Exhaust 90% + Burn Metal 10% MM metalizers.  


Condor Decals produced a complete set for many of the Mohawks in service with the Argentine Army Aviation. The commemorative AE-020 low-vis version is really attractive, but I wanted to do one sporting more colorful markings and a SLAR radar, so I finally choose the AE-025. These decals are flat, very thin and easy to handle. I didn't have any bubble, rupture or silvering. Future was used obtain a shiny surface and then to seal decals, before final touches of weathering and flat clear coats. 


Nothing new, just a light wash of Black artist's ink diluted 50% in water. The excess was wiped out with a damped Q-tip. All raised panel lines were highlighted with a standard pencil.  


Unfortunately there is no other Mohawk OV-1D plastic kit in 1/72 scale and you will need to do a lot of extra work to get this D version yourself. On the other hand, the Roden 1/48 kit is very well detailed with fine engraved panel lines, nice interiors and most what you need to do this model in less time and with much better results.  


Thank you all and regards from Monterrey, México.

Fernando I. Moreno Villa

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Photos and text © by Fernando I. Moreno Villa