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.
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.
images below to see larger images
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.
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.
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…
I researched and identified the most important characteristics of OV-1Ds used by
the Argentine Army, which are:
Enlarged air scoops
Panoramic camera on the nose
ADF, UHF/VHF and FM Homing antennas
IR sensor, rotating beacon and camera pod on belly
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
forget to add a good amount of weight in the small nose and behind cockpit
because this plane is a tailsitter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
you all and regards from Monterrey, México.
Fernando I. Moreno
images below to see larger images