1/48 OV-1C Mohawk

For my next build I will be building the Roden 1/48 OV-1C Mohawk.  I will be detailing it with Eduard photo etch  for the cockpit, exterior, and undercarriage as well as Quick Boost resin accessories like the exhaust, accurate propellers, and accurate scoops. This is one of the unique aircraft that you rarely see them built in scale models. Roden makes three versions in 1/48 the A, the C, and the D. I chose the C as it was the more widely used version during the Viet Nam war.

The Mohawk’s mission includes observation, artillery spotting, air control, emergency resupply, naval target spotting, liaison, and radiological monitoring. Built by Grumman in 1959, it was used for monitoring the DMZ in Korea then used during the Viet Nam war. It remained operational even during Desert Storm and until it was retired in 1996.

Starting with the cockpit, I built up and detailed the seats with over 20 pieces of photo etch.  The cockpit tub was then assembled and detailed and finally the instrument panel was detailed. The nose gear bay has photo etch details except where the wheel sits so I dug through my extra photo etch bin and located a panel that resembled the reference photo and installed it. I need to do a little more work on the nose gear and bay and look for areas to add some weight so it sits on the gear correctly once built.

The build continues on the OV-1C Mohawk. The first thing I did was to detail the nose gear bay with more photo etch so I could install the cockpit/nose gear assembly into the fuselage. Once done, I was able to assemble the fuselage together. The instructions call out to add 19 grams of weight to the nose so the model will sit on the gear rather than its tail. I actually added about 22 grams. Only 15 grams fit in the nose so I added the rest on the sides of the nose gear bay between the bay and fuselage wall.  I then began work on the wings. The first step was to cut out the entire main gear bays as these were completely replaced with photo etch parts. The bays were then primed with white primer. The main struts were then detailed with photo etch details.

The engine exhaust area was detailed with photo etch and the kit exhaust was replaced with the upgraded resin version. The resin version is a seamless casting and shaped a little better than the kit version. The exhaust was painted then weathered with pastel chalk. The wing halves were then put together and finally the main gear was installed onto the wings. Next up is the tails and fuselage detailing.

This week I am getting closer to finishing the OV-1C Mohawk. I started by detailing the fuselage with photo etch accessories. On the bottom of the fuselage is a loop antenna. The kit antenna was difficult to separate from the tree due to how thin it was. It broke in two different places. I placed the pieces on a piece of tape the used some 32 gauge wire and made my own. I cut the mounts for the for the kit antenna and attached them to the fuselage then drilled a hole to fit the new wire antenna. With all the wings attached and landing gear mounted I placed the aircraft on the gear. As expected I added enough weight to the nose to keep the tail up.

Next I built up the replacement resin propellers. The resin set came with a jig to attach the blades at the correct pitch.  I then decided to make this a ground support version using incendiary and high explosive rockets. I made the drop tanks and rocket pods using photo etch details.

A fellow modeler mentioned that the canopy fit very badly. So I dry fit the canopy sections to see why they did not fit. It turns out there are multiple issues. The main one is the overhead console. It mounts at an incorrect angle and is too long. I sanded down the ends and the top to match the curve of the photo etch panel. I then mounted it with the console to be flush with the top of the rear bulkhead.  This allowed the top part to line up correctly. Next came the windscreen which also has a console across it. Even with the overhead console trimmed it still went past the edge of the windscreen. I marked where the center console meets the windscreen console and mounted the windscreen console .03 inches back from the edge. Everything lined up. I then base coat painted it using green drab for the late Viet Nam scheme that was used.  Once painted, I looked over the side doors of the canopy. They were horrible. One side looks like the mold had a hot spot or did not cool evenly and caused distorted lines inside the plastic. Both of them also had a lot of scuffs on the outside surface. I sanded them with 2000 grit then polished them with Meguire’s PlastX. Aside for the distortion on the one side due to the mold process, they came out great. I am now getting ready to start adding the decals.

Link to my tip on repairing and polishing clear parts: How to repair, clean and polish clear parts.

I have finished the Mohawk. This was a difficult kit to build. The fit requires a lot of work especially the canopy sections. The decals were also difficult to get them to sit down. They did not soften easily with decal set/solvents. Even with a base coat of Future they did not adhere or conform well to the surface details very well. The photo etch and resin accessories worked and fit well. If you build one of these the instructions state to use 19 grams, you need closer to 24 grams to keep it from sitting on the tails. Aside from the difficult issues it is a good representation of a unique aircraft. Thanks for following along.

2 thoughts on “1/48 OV-1C Mohawk

  1. Nice work (and detail) my friend. That space was about the same size as mine – but I never had one as neat as that…mine always had a few layers of newspaper on my dad’s home made ping pong table…when I joined the Army and got to my permanent duty station in Germany, I took my stuff with me – packed it (organized) into a attache case – paints (Floquil Railroad colors & PollyS), my X-acto knives, blades, Paasche airbrush and set up shop in my three man room at Storck Barracks…I didn’t care what anyone thought – I kept busy when I had no money to get off post (usually I tried to get off post every weekend)

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