Revell 1/32 Arado Ar 196A-3 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||May 2011||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||Arado Ar 196A-3||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||4688||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||detailed kit with several options and great internal bracing detail||Cons||No swastikas provided. Finding parts on trees will be time-consuming|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$40.95|
The Arado Ar 196 was considered the best WWII floatplane. It’s sphere of operations extended from Crete via the Black Sea to the far north. In addition to coastal reconnaissance and the attacks on small shipping connected with this it was also used to attack submarines. By the summer of 1937 the first prototype of the Ar 196 was flying and the first deliveries were made in 1939.
From 1941 the actual main version of the Ar 196 – the A-3 was supplied. This series had, among other things, a three-blade adjustable propeller and better radio equipment together with more powerful defensive weapons and two SC59 50kg bombs. Most of the machines in the Ar 196A-3 series went to the coastal flying groups as well as to various naval reconnaissance groups and to the large naval units. Arado 196’s were stationed on the battleships “Tirpitz” and “Bismarck”. The Ar 196 was also used even more extensively for air/sea rescue. Up to October 1944 a total of 435 had been built.
This kit was produced by Revell of Germany. It comes in large end-opening type box.
The flaps are held shut by circles of scotch tape and there is no external shrink wrap.
The box is actually longer than the trees inside. There is a void of 4” at one end.
The box art shows 2 Ar 196A-3’s over what a coast line. There is some combat going on with 2 Allied twin-engined aircraft, but it is not clear as to what those 2 aircraft are.
The Ar 196A-3 in the foreground carries the marks of III./KG 100 at Kalmaki, Crete, January 1943. This is one of the two marking options provided on the kit’s decal sheet.
Because the kit was made in Germany and the ban on displaying the swastika there, there is no swastika shown on the tail of the Arado shown on the box art and no swastikas on the decal sheet.
The back of the box shows the color box arts of 5 other aircraft kits that Revell markets:
Kit no. 04644 Eurocopter EC135 Luftretung
Kit no. 04698 Piper PA-18 Float Plane
Kit no. 04266 Glider Duo Discus
Kit no. 04298 F/A-18E Super Hornet
Kit no. 04783 Eurofighter Typhoon & Full Engine
Also shown are a group of hobby paints, cements and a airbrush. One photo-etched accessory set is shown for a German destroyer class 119, (Z1/Z5) for Revell kit no. 05097.
Mention is made that the kit is a level 5 skill kit. Meaning that it is a difficult model with over 150 parts requiring a very high level of skill.
One side panel shows 6 color photos of various sections of the model made up. Next to these is listing of paints suggested to use to finish the kit and a list of the features in the kit in 4 languages, including English. Revell’s address and web site is listed here also.
The other side panel has the history of the Ar 196 in the same four languages and mention of what more is needed to complete the kit that is not included (paint and cement). The kit is suitable for modelers 13 and older. This is called out in 7 languages.
Inside the box are 13 light gray trees of parts in 5 cello bags and 1 clear parts tree in a cello. The decal sheet, instructions and a sheet of “safety advice” in 21 languages is included. The decal sheet has a frosted cover sheet included, which is intended to protect the face of the decal. However, this is floating around loose in the box and therefore is not protecting the decals.
The instructions consist of a unbound booklet of 16 pages in 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” page format.
Page 1 begins with a black and white photo of the model made up. This is followed by the history of the Ar 196 in German and English. This is followed by the notice that
“The mold is manufactured by and property of Revell Gmbh & Co. KG. Illegal imitations
subject to prosecution” in 9 languages. The bottom of the page has Revell street address in Germany, their telephone number, fax number and internet site.
Page 2 has “read before you begin” instructions in 21 languages, including English. This is followed by 5 postage stamp sized illustrations of cutting, clamping and painting parts. The bottom of the page repeats the street address etc. shown on the previous page again.
Page 3 gives explanations of international assembly symbols used throughout the instructions, in the same 21 languages.
Page 4 gives a listing of paints suggested to use to finish the kit. These colors are indicated in the assembly step drawings as pennant symbols with alphabet letters in them.
This is followed by a quality assurance statement and Revell of Germany’s street address and their street address in the UK to contact about any problems with this kit.
Page 5 is the part trees illustrations. These will have to be referred to constantly to find parts on the trees, as none of the trees are alphabetized on these drawings. The numbers are on the usual tabs next to the parts on the trees however. The part numbers on the trees are not sequential and jump all over the place.
Pages 6 through 14 give a total of 57 assembly steps.
Page 15 gives a 4-view drawing for a painting and marking scheme for the box art subject: an aircraft with III./KG 100 at Lalamski, Crete, January 1943. It is in a wave pattern of RLM72 and RLM73 above hellblau below, with black prop blades and a red spinner. The squadron logo on the nose is a white circle with a Viking sailing ship on it.
The fuselage code is small black D1 + large red C & large black N. There is a white fuselage band that the first 2 letters are on. As already mentioned, not swastikas for the tail are provided. So, a after-market sheet of these is needed of the right size. Many stencils also appear that are provided on the decal sheet.
Page 16 also has a 4 view of the second scheme provided for in the kit. It is in the same paint job as the one based in Crete. There is a logo on the nose of a blue shield with a sea horse on it. ON the left side of the aircraft behind this logo there is a white reef with the number 100 in the center. The fuselage code is large black letters T3 + LH. This aircraft was assigned to Bordfliegergruppe 194 on board of German battle ship “Tirpitz”, Summer 1943.
There are 2 identical small light gray trees that hold cowling sections, machine-gun ammo drums, bombs etc. (21 parts per tree)
There are 2 identical medium sized light gray trees that hold the pontoon halves and their rudders etc. (10 parts per tree)
A large light gray tree holds a paddle-bladed 3-blade propeller (one of two options), wing flaps, pilot seat, rear seat machine-gun and it’s spent ammo cartridge collection tube, another cowling section etc. (40 parts)
A large light gray tree holds the engine cylinders, more wing flaps, the instrument panel etc. (36 parts)
A large light gray tree holds the pontoon top decking and their support struts, the other alternate three bladed propeller with thin blades etc. (16 parts)
A medium sized light gray tree holds the display round base plate and the cockpit sub-floor section (2 parts)
2 large light gray trees each hold a fuselage outer half, wing internal bracing parts and elevator flaps (4 parts per tree)
2 medium sized light gray trees hold wing upper and lower halves and forward elevator section halves (3 parts per tree)
A large light gray tree holds tubular inner fuselage side walls, floor and roof sections and the rudder (5 parts)
The clear parts tree holds cockpit transparancies and light lenses (16 parts)
The decal sheet holds the markings for the two schemes discribed above.
The model can be displayed with the wings folded or deployed and with the cowling panels removed to show the great engine detail. Only some wiring added would make it better. The cockpit can also be displayed open or closed and there is the option of two different propellers, already mentioned.
This is one very detailed model of the Ar-196A-3. It puts to shame the earlier Italeri 1/48th scale model of the aircraft, that has quite a few inaccurate shapes (reviewed here on Cybermodeler and in the archives).