Arado Ar 196 A-3
Revell, 1/32 scale
S u m m a r y
Revell kit number 04688 - Arado Ar 196 A-3 Seaplane
|Contents and Media:
177 pale blue/grey plastic parts; 17 parts in clear plastic; markings for two aircraft
From GBP£17.01 available online from Hannants website
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Beautifully restrained surface features; very high level of detail; positionable control surfaces; optional position wings (folded and deployed); solid and straightforward engineering; crystal clear and thin transparencies; large and impressive.
||"Flat pack" canopy moulding means that join tabs will be visible on the completed model.
||Revell's 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196 A-3 looks fantastic in the box - beautifully detailed cockpit, solid engineering and oustanding value for money.
Reviewed by Brett Green
Revell's 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196 A-3 will be available online from Squadron.com
Revell seems to reserve its most spectacular releases for Christmas time.
Sure enough, in the week before Christmas, a box adorned with the familiar blue label arrived at the door. Inside was Revell's brand new 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196 A-3.
The Arado Ar 196 was the best known German float plane of the Second World War. It was mainly employed by the Coastal Air Wings and Marine Reconnaissance units, but a number also found their way onto German capital ships.
Revell's all-new 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196 A-3 comprises 177 pale blue/grey plastic parts, 17 parts in clear plastic and markings for two aircraft.
Surface features are admirably restrained throughout. The fabric effect for the bulk of the fuselage and the control surfaces are especially good.
Metal panels are depicted by crisply recessed panel lines, supplemented with the occasional recessed rivet or raised detail as appropriate.
Detail is outstanding, starting with the three-crew cockpit. Just like the real thing, this is built up in layers including the floor, the internal fuselage framework and the fabric fuselage interior. All the equipment is present - instrument panel, radios, quadrants, compasses, switch boxes - resulting in a suitably busy front office. The instrument panel is moulded with raised dials. These will respond well to paint or to individual instrument decals (not supplied in this kit though). Harness straps are moulded in place on the seats - a nice touch.
The interior continues forward with the engine firewall and fuel tank. The engine is also noteworthy for its high level of detail, which includes push rods and ignition harness as an impressive single moulding. All the engine cowlings are separate parts. These may be glued shut or left open to display the nicely equipped BMW engine.
Two styles of propeller are supplied, so check your references carefully before deciding on your markings.
The wings may be posed either folded back or deployed, and all control surfaces are moulded separately. These may be positioned to taste.
Each float is supplied in three pieces. They are also well detailed.
Perhaps the most potentially hazardous aspect of the build is mounting the floats, but Revell has made this step as simple as possible by moulding each mount as a single piece. Revell has also clearly labelled the sequence of assembly to ensure accurate alignment.
The only peculiar aspect of this kit is the canopy, which is moulded as a "flat pack". The sides and tops of the main canopy sections; and the sides and front of the windscreen; are all moulded separately. I imagine that this makes moulding easier, and probably contributes to the very thin and flawless appearance of the clear plastic. The only wrinkle is that join tabs will be visible on the main canopy section when the parts are assembled. It may be possible, however, to cut the tabs off prior to assembly. This will make the assembly less robust, but more authentic.
This issue does not appear to effect the windscreen, where the tabs will be hidden behind the frames.
Two marking options are offered:
Arado Ar 196 A-3 of Borderfliegergruppe 196, Battleship Tirpitz, Summer 1943
Arado Ar 196 A-3 of III./KG 100 at Kalamaki, Crete, Jan 1943
Decals are printed in perfect register and the colours look good.
A circular base rounds out Revell's impressive package.
Revell's 1/32 scale Arado Ar 196 A-3 is a fuss-free kit. It does not bristle with multimedia parts. There are no gimmicks.
Even so, this model glows like a pretty girl at a party who needs no makeup or jewellery.
Revell's kit is a classic demonstration of the model manufacturer's art. Its plastic parts are broken down sensibly for straightforward construction. Detail is outstanding, especially in the cockpit and the engine. The optional position wings are a nice touch too. It is not fancy, but everything it does, it does exceedingly well.
My only concern is that the subject matter - seaplanes - has not traditionally fired the imagination of modellers. I do hope that people will see the merits of this kit, and that plastic beauty can be more than skin deep!
Revell's recent 1/32 scale kits have been the products of a company at the top of its form. This big Arado Ar 196 A-3 continues this impressive run.
Thanks to Revell for the sample
Text and Images Copyright © 2010 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 31 December, 2010
1 January, 2011
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