The Arado Ar 196 A-3 was a reconnaissance aircraft. Starting development in 1936, the Arado company won a design contest for this type of aircraft and became the standard reconnaissance on Kriegsmarine ships and was used for spotting ships and submarines.
First the bad news: This kit is based on the old Heller kit. Does that mean it’s terrible? No. But I’ve always assumed this kit was based on the great 1/32 scale by Revell, but alas.
Opening the box we find the default Revell style of packaging. Luckily no parts seem to have been damaged. But there aren’t a lot of parts anyway, less parts than I expected to be honest. The parts look fairly decent, molded in the usual light-grey plastic that always is a bit soft. Detail wise there is not a lot to see, raised panellines galore and pin- and sink marks are found in a lot of parts. Some are even near the cockpit, which is itself a little sparse. Two seats, an instrument panel and that’s about it. The floats and supporting struts are basic but seem to be correct
In short: Not terrible, not good either. They are clear, but a bit thick and rough around the edges as you can see on the pictures. The frames seem fairly well defined, making masking a bit easier, luckily.
Decals and color scheme
The decals are of the usual Revell fare: well-printed, in register and with a thin carrier film. They will undoubtedly look good. There are two color schemes included in this kit:
- 5./Bordfliegergruppe 196, August 1941, Brest-Hourtin, France
- Seenotrettungsgrupper 10, Seenotbereitschaftskommando IX, Tromsoe, September 1943
The color scheme uses ‘just’ the basic RLM72, RLM73 and RLM65 colors for the standard Luftwaffe scheme, no surprises here. Adventurous modelers could source some Finnish decals and build a Ar 196 in Finnish service (used for transporting special forces, which is a bit more glamorous)
This is one of those ‘Bargain Bin Queens’: kits that you buy when they are one sale or only when you want to build the Arado A196. It looks like a fairly decent kit, but it will require some work to get it to look ‘right’. Perfect for the ambitious beginner or Arado fanboy.
Vehicle: Arado Ar 196 A-3
Number of parts: 57
Number of sprues: 4