The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk was the result of a requirement issued by the
U.S. Army during late 1954. After receiving proposals the Army prepared
the final specifications and submitted them to the Department of
Defense [DOD] in March of 1956. During this same time frame the DOD was
studying Army and Air Force requirements for fixed wing aircraft with
the view towards avoiding duplication of missions between the two
services. The study led to a decision by Secretary of Defense Wilson to
place a 5000 pound weight restriction on Army aircraft. During June of
1956 the Army issued Type Specification TS145, which called for the
development of a two seat, twin turboprop aircraft designed to operate
from small unimproved fields under all weather conditions.
The Roden kit comes in a fairly large top open two part box with nice artwork on the front. So nice in fact a print suitable for framing is included in the box. Inside the box there are five sprues molded in a tan color and each in its own sealed bag. The surface detail is both recessed for panel lines and raised as required for other surface detail. The parts are nearly flash free with a few of parts having a light amount of flash to clean up. The surface had a smooth flat finish and was for the most part blemish free. My kit had flow marks on the lower and upper surface of one wing as if the plastic wasn't quite as hot as it should have been and this left a swirled defect that will need a light filling and sanding. The wing gear bays are closed in and feature nice structural detail but this is marred by a prominent ejector pin mark. The control surfaces are all fixed in the neutral position but the air brakes are provide separate and can be displayed open. There is a definite lack of detail underneath them. The doors themselves have nice backside detail but again it is marred by ejector pin marks. The gear doors are free of ejector pin marks but seem to have more flash on them than most of the other parts, The nose gear well is boxed in but lacks detail and yes it has ejector pin marks as well. The interior is pretty well appointed with the exception of the rear cockpit wall which is rather a bit too plain looking. The kit comes with a nice supply of typical under wing stores including wing tanks, a gun pod and two different rocket launcher pods. The sway braces supplied for these are very nice, small and petite but a couple of mine were broken or poorly formed. The exhaust tubes are two part and due to their location will require a bit of work to clean up the otherwise very obvious seams. By my count there are 196 tan colored parts. See below.
The clear parts are clear and thin but mine had a coating of what looked like an oily dust on them even though they were separately bagged like they were stored in a dusty area before packaging, there was also some abrasions on mine that I hope Future will correct. The clear parts include instrument panel which has a decal to be placed behind it for the instrument faces. There are 19 clear parts, see below.
The decals are thin and glossy and well registered but have a lot of excess clear film on them. One of my star and bar markings had a slight misprint with some blue in the white star area. There are markings for four different aircraft including more stencils than I can image installing.
The instructions are printed on three near legal sized sheets that are folded and printed on both sides forming twelve pages or panels. The first pages has a fairly detail history and specifications for the aircraft, pages two and three have safety warnings, an icon chart, parts map and a paint chart listing colors by name and Humbrol, Testors, Lifecolor and Gunze color numbers., pages four through nine have assembly drawings divided into 39 steps, page ten has a diagram for the stencil locations and pages eleven and twelve have the painting and marking instructions.
After Market Goodies
First up here is the True Details  resin cockpit. The parts are molded in a tan colored resin. The parts are crisply molded and I found only one small blemish and no pin holes or short shots. The parts consist of two very nicely done ejection seats, replacement instrument panel, replacement floor with a very nicely done nose wheel well with the detail that was missing from the kit part. New center and overhead console, side consoles and throttle quadrant, side panels, control stick, trim wheel, ejection gun and a very detailed rear bulkhead to replace the very plain kit version. Altogether there are 18 parts. The instructions are on a small 5 1/2 x 8 1/2" sheet and are well illustrated and included some details that will need to be scratch built if you want them. See below.
The Eduard Zoom photoetch set [FE 283] includes some duplicate parts to the set above and it's up to you to decide which parts look best. I bought it primarily for the color instrument panel and will use in in conjunction with the above set to give me the best of both worlds. See below
While I may have seen overly picky in my description of the kit, this kit marked a milestone in Roden's progression from being a limited run kit maker to becoming closer to a main stream player. While some parts of the kit look very much limited run it does have alignment pins on major parts. It still should be treated as a limited run kit with all the caveats about test fitting and edge sanding mating parts but most build reviews have favorable comments concerning fit so I will recommend the kit to most modelers with a moderate amount of experience
Links to kit build or reviews
Build / reviews can be found here and here.
The OV-1 Mohawk In Action by Terry Love