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Revell Germany 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196A-3

Big and detailed, this model kit includes a display stand as well as a detailed cockpit and all the parts you need to pose the wings folded or extended.

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
Kit:No. 4688 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$40.95
Manufacturer:
Revell Germany, 49-05-223-965-0
Pros:
Ingeniously engineered; great cockpit and engine detail; wing options
Cons:
Multi-panel canopy construction could be tricky
Comments:
Injection-molded, 170 parts, decals
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The Arado Ar 196 was the premier German shipboard catapult fighter of World War II. It was also deployed off ship for patrol duties, and later variants were more aggressively armed and could even carry a small bomb load. Although it was no dogfighter, the floatplane performed its specialized duties well.

Revell Germany’s 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196A-3 is the first-ever kit of this aircraft in large scale. Previews of the kit had looked very promising, and once I had the real thing in my hands I was not disappointed. The kit features a highly detailed crew compartment, accurate engine detail, optional props, bombs, and optional wing placement (folded or deployed).

I started construction with the parts-intensive cockpit and crew-compartment cage. It’s a fairly complex construction, so study the instructions carefully and do a few dry runs to test-fit parts and get a better idea of the overall assembly. When installing Part 41, the gun compartment’s rear bulkhead, angle it forward to catch the notches on the upper rails of the cage.

I started construction with the parts-intensive cockpit and crew-compartment cage. It’s a fairly complex construction, so study the instructions carefully and do a few dry runs to test-fit parts and get a better idea of the overall assembly. When installing Part 41, the gun compartment’s rear bulkhead, angle it forward to catch the notches on the upper rails of the cage.

The large floats went together neatly with no trouble at all. Revell Germany’s kit includes a display stand that can come in pretty handy. I would highly recommend drilling out the bottom holes in the floats so that they can be locked onto the display base. This will allow you to use the base as a construction/alignment jig.

Throughout the process of assembling the wings, make sure to keep in mind which option — deployed or folded — you are building. There are variations in the wing spars and wing root parts that account for either of those constructions.

The landing flaps and ailerons are separate parts, which will allow you to pose the aircraft more accurately if you so desire.

It’s nice that the kit provides the option of having all the cowling parts in an open position, as the engine exhibits a high level of detail.

Surprisingly, the canopy’s clear parts are molded as separate panels. This makes building a clean, clear, defect-free canopy all the more challenging. You’ll need to be careful and use a glue that will not mar or fog the clarity of the “glass.”

Luftwaffe maritime aircraft were painted with RLM colors 72 and 73 on the top surfaces. These colors appear to have gone out of production by American paint manufacturers. Luckily, I still had Polly Scale paint in these colors to use on my review kit. I completed the painting with Tamiya spray-can paints.

Decals are provided for two aircraft. These performed well on a gloss coat with the help of only a bit of decal solution.

My primary reference in this build was Arado Ar 196: Germany’s Multi-Purpose Seaplane, by Hans-Peter Dabrowski and Volker Koos (Schiffer, Military History Vol. 69, ISBN 978-0-88740-481-8). Also useful was Seeflieger: Luftwaffe Maritime Aircraft and Units 1935-1945, by Adam Thompson with David Wadman (Ian Allan, 978-1-903223-97-0). The finished model compares well to the photos and the published dimensions.

I completed my seaplane in 30 hours and was impressed by the quality of the engineering. I would rate Revell Germany’s model an extremely good value for such a sizeable kit. All the above makes this Arado Ar 196 a must-have for Luftwaffe modelers who like their flugzeugs in 1/32 scale!

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