Black Ponies, Shamrocks, & Jarheads - USN/USMC OV-10A Broncos in the Vietnam War Era

Published on
July 22, 2023
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Company: AOA Decals - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: AOA Decals - Website: Visit Site

With the release of the ICM OV-10A, the Bronco is brought into the modern age. And because of that it needs decals to keep up. Enter AOA. AOA Decals has produced some of the best researched Vietnam era aircraft markings and this sheet is no exception.

Inside of an 8.5 x 11 zip lock baggie are two pages of double sided, high quality paper printed in full color. There are instructions for 22 aircraft. TWENTY TWO!. Included are markings for the Navy’s VAL-4, the Black Ponies, and VS-41, the Shamrocks, along with VMO-2 and VMO-6 of the Marines. There are 15 markings for VAL-4, three for the Shamrocks, and two each for the VMOs. A little of something for everyone. Also included is a loadout chart for the weapons systems.

I have to mention that the instruction sheets are phenomenal with more information about the aircraft than I could find online. Every aircraft is meticulously researched. There is information on what to include from the kit, what to delete and an impressive amount of info on the armament. Really the instructions themselves are worth the price of admission.

The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf. That, to me at least, makes them the best in the world. They are in register with precise printing so that you could read the stencils. They are very thin and respond to every setting solution I’ve tried on them. I LOVE that AOA includes decals for the ejection seats and every armament option available to the aircraft.

The decals are on two sheets. The first is just the individual aircraft marking options and there are plenty to choose from. Maybe the black one is to your liking or the green Navy or Marine ones with white or black markings. Then there is the white and grey ones, more typical of the USAF, used later in the war.

The second sheet is actually 48-021, the stencils. There are so many cool marking options you may find it hard to choose just one. Then don’t. You can purchase 48-021 separately and make as many as you want to model. Remember there are 22 of them to choose from. Another nice addition is the inclusion of markings for the armament systems.

Did I mention TWENTY TWO aircraft? World class research, presentation and execution makes this set, and the others, in the AOA line a great value. The instruction sheet alone is worth the price of admission. That and the Cartograf printed decals and you’ve got yourself THE BEST decals for the OV-10A Bronco on the market. They also have another sheet for the USAF in Vietnam (48-020). AOA’s line of Vietnam era aircraft markings continues to grow. This sheet is a bargain. You get the markings for 22 aircraft and stencils for one. The variety of markings will appeal to everyone. Another great sheet from AOA. Where is that ICM or Testor’s OV-10A?

Highly recommended

Thanks to AOA Decals and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain yours by contacting them directly at or by visiting your local hobby shop or online retailer. Let them know you read about it here at IPMS/USA.


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