Black Pony Bronco

1/72nd scale Academy OV-10A Bronco with Fireball Modelworks decal sheet FMD-13/72

This OV-10A Bronco model represents the US Navy VAL-4 “Black Pony” side number 107 “Gandalf the Gray” at Bihn Thuy S Vietnam March 1972.
The armament:

The LAU-33, 2-shot, 5” rocket tubes on the wings came from the Academy F-8E Crusader kit.  The warheads on the Academy Zunis look like a ring-toss at the fair. I replaced them with resin copies of the Fujimi rocket pod warheads.

The pair of LAU-10/A 4-shot 5” rocket pods came the Fujimi A-4 kit

The LAU-68/a 7-shot 2.75” rocket pod came from the Italeri weapons set.

SUU-11/a minigun pod is a resin copy of a scratch-build master.

This is petite kit with fine engraved panel lines and accurate shape & outline. Construction is pretty straight forward with a few aggravations to keep you honest. The fuselage takes filler around the nose and weapons pylons. The wing-boom joints, also, require some filler.


There are a few pit falls that are best described as a “warning to others”! The fit on the clear pieces is atrocious! My advice is mask the windows to expose the framing, glue them all in place, then fill & sand them to blend into the fuselage. I waited to add the canopy parts until after the painting & decaling; they look.....awful … sigh. The fit was just too bad to fix; I cut the side panels apart and mounted them open to hide the gaps.

The 2nd short coming is the main landing gear. Be careful; they’re spindly and fragile. I broke one trying to glue it in place. I fixed with a piece of florist wire to brace it up. 

Last: You can’t get enough weight in the nose; this plane is a stubborn tail-sitter. I ended up packing the void behind the rear seat with fishing weights.  



  1. An unusual subject Richard and very well executed.


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