aftermarket for Roden OV-1
Cobra Company, 1/48 scale
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"Bondo" Phil Brandt
This curmudgeon can’t imagine where we road-less-traveled modelers
would be without the efforts of small aftermarket firms such as the
Cobra Company, outfits that choose with apparent relish to create
aftermarket niche detail sets which can bring an elderly, wayyyy
below average kit up to contest standards, or “guild the lily” on a
current release. The latter is the case with three just-released sets to
embellish Roden’s excellent 1/48 rendition of the Grumman Mohawk.
Prior to Roden’s volume production (over a year ago) of an injected
Mohawk, the only 1/48 kit of this bird was the righteous buck ($120)
Collect-Aire resin release with all the traditional idiosyncrasies and
shortcomings of that firm’s earlier efforts. Now, of course, it’s a new
ball game, and owners of Collect-Aire Mohawk kits are free to either
attempt to recoup some of their money at vendor tables or build said kit
and enjoy some practice bleeding. So far, Roden has done the A and B/C
Mohawks; the IMO definitive version, the D, still awaits release, and
that’s why the overeager employees of Difficult Kit Division at Bondo
Industries chose to convert the Mohawk A to a D, that is, longer
wingspan, SLAR pod and all that good stuff, not to mention
scratchbuilding the instrument panel.
As is often our luck at Bondo Industries, the completion of a conversion
signals the release of said conversion parts by aftermarket
entrepreneurs, and this case is no different.
The largest of the three offerings is the cockpit set. The set
contains approximately 31 pieces: Cockpit floor (integrated with the
nosewheel well and center console), instrument panel, two instrument
panel hoods, a new aft cockpit bulkhead with insulation pads and
piping/wiring, overhead instrument panel and bridge structure, FOUR
ejection seats (two with cast-in belts and harnesses; two without,
allowing for the easy addition of Eduard PE belts), insulated side
panels with map boxes, etc., rudder pedals, control column, gunsight and
numerous other small boxes and parts.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
Next are the maingear wheelwells and gear doors, eight components
excellently rendered by honcho Chris Miller who, as the “Chief Snake,”
has been personally responsible for mastering much, if not all, of the
eclectic Cobra product line.
Last, but very helpful, are two, one-piece turboprop exhaust tubes which
relieve the modeler of the drudgery of either filling and sanding the
interior surfaces of the Roden two-part tubes, fabricating one-piece
units from brass tube or, as Bondo Industries did, use thinwall plastic
tubing. The delicate thiness of the Cobra outlets is just right for
Molding and Detail Execution
Flawless molding; I’ve found no bubbles or warpage in any part. The
details are very fine and sharp. When all the cockpit parts are added to
the Roden forward fuselage, it’s a significant and welcome improvement
in “busy-ness”, and such complexity is important to this bug-eyed
airframe with a large glazing area.
The wheelwells are somewhat more complex (delicate floor corrugations)
than the kit ones, and the large ejection marks (dead center in the
stock wheelwell floors) are, happily, gone.
The Cobra seats are very nice and complex, and the cast-in belt versions
even have the belts posed differently.
I’ve always been a big fan of Cobra’s detailed pictorial instruction
sheets–IMO their color assembly pamphlet accompanying the complex,
much-desired 1/32 HH-43"Pedro” chopper detail set of a few years ago
established an enviable industry standard, to date equaled only by the
hard-to-find Kazan Mig-23 detail kits. The three-page Mohawk
instructions follow in that tradition: many black and white pix of
components, two easy-to-understand line drawings and a wealth of
detailed text addressing assembly as well as OV/JOV version differences
Two thumbs up.
Cobra again hits an aftermarket home run. Although it’s too late to
re-do the Bondo Industries converted D model, the olive drab Vietnam
Roden A kit is still resting up on the to-do shelf and will be much
improved with these sets.
"Bondo" Phil Brandt IPMS 14091
Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by
Page Created 12 September, 2005
Last updated 12 September, 2005
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