The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is an observation and attack aircraft that came out of the need to replace and improve upon the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog. Both the Marines and the Army had need of such an aircraft. The disparity between the requirements and the Marines budget constraints eventually led to the needs of the Army dictating the design requirement specifications for a twin seat, twin turboprop design capable of short field take offs from unimproved airstrips. The aircraft would also have limited attack capability so as to not tread on the Air Force’s role of providing attack support to Army units.

       In June of 1956 the Army issued Type Specification TS145 with the Grumman Design G-134 being chosen in 1957. The prototype first flew on April 14, 1959. In 1963 Mohawks began being equipped with SLAR (Side Looking Airborne Radar) which greatly enhanced what would become its primary mission of providing almost real time data to battlefield commanders.

       The Mohawk would serve where there was a border that needed keeping an eye on, Vietnam, the DMZ on the Korean peninsula, East/West German border and in the Gulf War. The Mohawk could fly miles away from a border and provide information deep within the enemy territory. Within minutes of the Mohawk flying over an area the data was in the commander’s hands.

       There were 375 Mohawks built and it is estimated that 10 are still flying today. 65 aircraft were lost to all reasons during the Vietnam War.

       The Mohawk also flew with Air National Guard units, The US Customs Service, The Department of the Interior, The US Geological Survey and Argentine Army Aviation.

      The kit box opens up to find 5 grey and 1 clear plastic trees and a decal sheet for 3 marking options. Assembly begins with the cockpit interior that is made up of clear and colored pieces. Painting and assembly instructions are generally easy to follow and the finished cockpit really shows through the large bug like canopy when the model is complete.

      I opted for aftermarket white metal landing gear from Scale Aircraft Conversions, SAC 48049, which fit quite nicely into the Roden kit and enhanced the model. The landing gear bay doors were left off until final assembly after painting.

      The multi piece canopy fit together well, but the instructions could have listed a process for assembly that would have made it easier to assemble.

      Next the assembled wings and tail surfaces were joined with the fuselage. After the wings and tail were dried I glued the antennae and scoops on the upper fuselage opting to leave the antennae on the bottom off until after painting. I was afraid I would knock them of and lose them while handling the model. There were two antennae that I did break, part 41D on the lower fuselage and 40D on the tip of the central tail. I end up replacing these very fragile plastic pieces with metal wire.

      The marking option I chose was Grumman OV-1D Mohawk s/n 68-15938 of the 73rd Combat Intelligence Company, based at Stuttgart, West Germany in 1988. Testors Flat Black was applied in the appropriate areas and then the de-icing boots and walkways were masked off. Testors 1730 Flat Gull Gray was then applied to all surfaces. Next came several coats of Testors Glosscote.

      Decals were then applied and Testors Dullcote finished the aircraft. After fitting the myriad antennae I had a 1/48 scale Representation of a Grumman OV-1D Mohawk that I am proud of.


       Squadron/Signal Publications, Aircraft Number 92, OV-1 Mohawk In Action, By Terry Lowe, Color By Don Greer, Illustrated by Perry Manley

       Wikipedia Article on the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

       Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine "The Last of the Mohawks"

       Warbird Alley Website - Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

       Military Factory Website - Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

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