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OV-1 Mohawk

 

   Isradecals, 1/72 & 1/48 scales

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Isradecals IAF 50 and IAF 51 OV-1 Mohawk
Scale: 1/48 and 1/72 scales (available separately)
Contents and Media: Waterslide decals
Price:  
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent quality, multiple options; interesting subjects; attractive half-tone artwork
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by David W. Aungst


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Background

 

There are a lot of strange-looking aircraft in the world.

If you took a top-ten poll, no doubt somewhere in the answers you would find mention of the OV-1 Mohawk. With its extra-bulged canopy, stubby wings, and triple tail, the Mohawk is indeed quite unique. To me, it has an almost insect-like appearance -- something with big bulging eyes. But, the US Army (for whom the aircraft was produced) stuck to their tradition of using Native American tribe names for their aircraft and chose "Mohawk" instead of something like "Bottle Fly".

For many years, the only Mohawk kits available were the little 1/72nd scale Hasegawa kits. Eventually, for those willing to mortgage their house to acquire it, Collect-Aire released a 1/48th scale kit.

A short while back, Roden started releasing a family of OV-1 Mohawk kits in 1/48th scale, starting with the OV-1A. Just this year (2006), the OV-1D was finally added to the line. These are all nice kits, especially for short-run kits. All we needed were some interesting decals to use (although I must admit that there are just not too many "interesting" Mohawks out there, markings-wise).

IsraDecals has risen to the challenge and produced a couple sets of decals for the Mohawk -- one in 1/48th scale and another in 1/72nd scale. Some of the markings provided on the IsraDecals sheets have not been provided by any other manufactures.

 

 

F i r s t   L o o k

 

The decals are well-printed and come packaged in the familiar plastic zip-lock baggies. The instructions are full color and printed on glossy stock paper. The decals, themselves, are printed by Cartograf which speaks volumes to there quality.

The small addendum sheets are printed through an ALPS-like process with the entire sheet being one large decal. You will need to cut carefully around the images on the addendum sheet to use them. The addendum decals seem off-color, but I think this is due to the translucent quality of the printing which allows the light blue decal paper to color-shift the decals. I think they will be fine when applied over the white backing decals provided on the main decal sheet.

The packages measure up to everything we have come to expect from IsraDecals. Click the images below to see larger versions of the package contents.

 

1/48th Scale
IAF-50

(Click to Enlarge)

Instructions

Instructions

Decals

Addendum
 
1/72nd Scale
IAF-51

(Click to Enlarge)

Instructions

Instructions

Decals

Addendum
 

The IAF-50 sheet (1/48th scale) includes the following aircraft on it:

  • OV-1C, SerNo 61-1887, US Army, All Flat Green, Tail Number 23, 131st SAC, Phu Bai, Vietnam, 1966
  • OV-1C, SerNo 61-2691, US Army, All Flat Green, Tail Number 31, Shark's Mouth, 1st Infantry, Phu Loi, Vietnam, 1966
  • OV-1C, SerNo 62-5872, US Army, All Flat Green, Tail Number 28, 1st Cavalry, 1969
  • OV-1D, SerNo 68-15938, US Army, All Flat Gray, 73rd SAC, Germany, 1988
  • OV-1D, SerNo 62-5874, US Army, All Flat Gray, "The Last Mohawk", 1993
    (more information on this aircraft, below)
  • OV-1D, SerNo 62-5887, Argentine Army, All Gray, Tail Number 030, Shark's Mouth, 1993
  • OV-1D, SerNo 69-17021, Israeli AF, All Flat Green, Tail Number 022, 122 Sqn, 1976
  • OV-1D, SerNo 68-16993, Israeli AF, All Flat Green, Tail Number 056, 122 Sqn, 1976
  • OV-1D, SerNo 69-17021, Israeli AF, Green / Gray, Tail Number 022, 122 Sqn, 1981
  • OV-1D, SerNo 68-16993, Israeli AF, Green / Gray, Tail Number 056, 122 Sqn, 1981

The IAF-51 sheet (1/72nd scale) has all the above aircraft, plus the following additional aircraft:

  • OV-1A, SerNo 61-2721, US Army, All Gloss Green, Tail Number 12, Vietnam, 1962
  • OV-1A, SerNo 62-5966, US Army, All Gloss Green, Tail Number 13, Vietnam, 1962
  • OV-1B, SerNo 63-6290, US Army, All Gloss Green, Tail Number 15, Vietnam, 1967

The decals are in perfect register (on my review samples) and have what seems to be all the right colors in all the right places. As I mentioned above, the decals are printed by Cartograf, so their quality and usability is a known quantity.


 

"The Last of the Mohawk-ans"

I have singled out one of the aircraft provided in the decal sheets so as to give more clarifications about it.

This aircraft wore special markings to commemorate the retirement of the OV-1 in 1993. Note that the decals provided in these sheets appear to be of the aircraft as it appeared at its retirement in 1993. This same exact aircraft (same exact serial number) has recently been restored to flight at a museum in the southern US and is currently flying on the air show circuit in the US. The museum is slowly repainting the aircraft back to its retirement markings.

I have run into this aircraft at several air shows in the past few years. Each time it has had more of the retirement markings in place. I saw it most recently at the 2006 Andrews AFB show in May and have included some images of it here.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Close inspection of these images will show the aircraft as restored is not exactly the same as it was at its retirement, hence the variations in the decals as compared to the aircraft in these images. Notable differences are the red details of the mouth and eyes on the decals that are not on the restored aircraft. Also, the flag on the right engine nacelle has detail differences. Finally, the restored aircraft has yet to get the drop tanks decorated in the retirement markings.

The pilot for the museum that flies this Mohawk is a terrific guy (sorry, but I don't remember his name). He flew Mohawks in the US Army and is overjoyed to have landed a job that allows him to keep flying a Mohawk. He was so pleased with the attention I gave is ride at the 1994 NAS Oceana air show that he started opening up all the access panels and engines for me. I nearly filled my digital camera's memory chip before my batteries went dead. Now, I just need to take time to use all the images when I start building my Roden kit...

 

 

Conclusion

 

These are very nice decals that provide some aircraft that have not been released on any other decal sheets. As far as I know, the Argentine and Israeli versions are not available on any sheets except these.

Also, IAF-51 is the only show in town for 1/72nd scale builders of OV-1 Mohawks. The old Hasegawa Mohawk is not a bad little kit and is pretty easy to find. I think there may have once been an old MicroScale decal sheet available many, many years ago that included some Mohawks, but I could be wrong about that. If there was one, it is no doubt in short supply and hard to find at this time. This new IsraDecals sheet will most certainly outclass any earlier releases that might exist, anyway.

Review sample provided by IsraDecals.

 

Recommended

Review sample kindly provided by Isradecal. 


Text Copyright 2006 by David W. Aungst
This Page Created on 05 July, 2006
Last updated 04 July, 2006

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