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ICM 1/48 scale OV-10D+ Bronco plastic model kit review

Precision molding and challenging canopy assembly make this a great kit for experienced modelers
Kit:48301 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$57.99
ICM (Sample courtesy of mfr.)
Excellent parts fit; 11 ordnance options
No seat belts; rivets on some parts too large
Injection-molded plastic (gray); 367 parts; decals
The OV-10D Bronco was a modernized version of the OV-10A aircraft with a forward-looking night vision system and a rotating camera in the extended nose. The improved capabilities of the aircraft made it possible to complete a wide range of tasks, including observation and target designation, and still retain the functions of an attack aircraft.

ICM’s 1/48 scale OV-10D+ plastic model kit comes molded in gray, slightly soft plastic that makes it easier to trim small parts from the trees without breaking them. Many of the 367 pieces wind up building the 11 different ordnance options. All the parts appear precise, thin where necessary, and well detailed, although the rivets seemed a little oversized. The instruction book has 28 pages with a total of 94 steps and is very well illustrated, including five color diagrams.

As per usual, the build starts with the cockpit. I followed the instructions with no problems, painting as I went. The decals for the instrument panel needed to be cut into pieces to fit correctly and required a setting solution to conform. On steps 33, 36, and 45 I drilled holes for pylons with a 1mm micro bit. In Step 53, I had to sand a little off the bottom of the gun sight (Part F5) so it would not hit the instrument panel. In steps 69 and 79, I painted the exhausts a burnt metal color but waited until after painting the rest of the aircraft before attaching them to cut down on masking. While Step 49 does not show it, you can position the ailerons and flaps up or down, if you’re careful.

The canopy was the most difficult part of the build because of its fine attachment points. I followed the instructions, but it might be possible to glue the four pieces together before attaching them to the fuselage if you have a steadier hand than mine.

I painted my Bronco light ghost gray, white and olive drab on the ordnance, and burnt metal for the large 150-gallon fuel tank. I chose markings for the Marine Observation Squadron 2 (VMO-2) from early 1990.

At 1/48 scale, ICM’s OV-D+ Bronco kit is just the right size for enough detail—but where are the seatbelts? A small oversight, yet, I’d have liked to see them. It took me about 35 hours to build the Bronco, but I’m slow. ICM did an excellent job on the precision molding and fit. I would recommend this kit for experienced modelers.
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