Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Revell OV-10A Bronco

I think my Dad picked this model out for me when we were at Gemco or Peterson's Hobby & Crafts. He probably liked it because the box said "North American-Rockwell" on it. Dad was working for Rockwell at the time on the space shuttle Enterprise.
This is a frustrating little model to build, especially if you want to paint the wing and undersurfaces white. The wing is moulded in two pieces which, according to the instructions, look like you can paint them white, glue it to the fuselage, and you're done. If you do that however, you discover a small area forward of the wing, centered on top the fuselage, which needs to be filled in with white. To do that requires a lot of precision masking to get it right. The undersurfaces also need to be carefully masked to replicate the wavy demarcation lines. Being a 1/72 scale model, I chose a sharp, masked line against the moulded olive green surface. It looks good from at least a foot away or more. Closer examination however reveals a lot of uneven joining surfaces. The wing fits horribly onto the fuselage, and most of the other parts don't fit that well either. This is typical Revell quality from the 1970s. Good subject, excellent packaging, but poor fitting parts.
My original try at this model revealed a lot of glue smudges and decals that flaked off days after completion. I may have had one or two colors of paint to use as well. I think the first bottle of model paint I ever bought was Testors gloss gray, and the OV-10A was one of the first kits I tried painting a few pieces on. I distinctly remember painting the interior gray as per the directions.
On this rebuild, I chose to stick by the plans, but with a lot more precision. The wings and undersurfaces were spray painted with Tamiya gloss white. Everything else was hand painted. Not enough nose weight can be added to the tiny front section to keep the model sitting on all three wheels, so Revell included a spike to prop it up. The problem is, the spike is not long enough, so the front wheel sits up off the ground. Serious modelers would have passed this one up in the early 70s and prefered Airfix's OV-10A. At any rate, this one was fun to build again, and brought back some good memories of my early collection of model airplanes.

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