Revell 1/32 Ar-196A-3
In November 1939, production moved on to the heavier land‑based Ar-196A‑2, which added shackles for two 50 kg bombs, and increased armament to two 20 mm MG FF cannons in the wings, and a 7.92 mm MG 17 machine gun in the cowling. Production turned to the Ar-196A‑4 in December 1940, with a strengthened airframe, and a second radio, changing props to a VDM model. The mis‑numbered A‑3 replaced the A‑4, again with additional strengthening of the airframe. The final production version was the A‑5, which changed radios and cockpit instruments, with a much‑improved MG 81Z in the rear cockpit. 541 Ar 196s were built before production ended in August 1944.
The Ar-196 was loved by its pilots, since it handled well both in the air and on the water. Following the loss of the German surface fleet, the aircraft were transferred to coastal squadrons, and flew reconnaissance missions and submarine hunts into late 1944. Two notable operations were the capture of HMS Seal, and the repeated interception of RAF Whitley bombers. Although the Ar-196A was no match for a fighter, it stood head and shoulders above its Allied counterparts, and is generally considered the best shipboard seaplane ever flown.
The Finnish Air Force used the Ar-196 to transport and supply special forces patrols behind enemy lines, the aircraft landing on small lakes in remote areas, carrying 3-4 fully‑ equipped soldiers in the fuselage.
This is the first injection-molded kit of the Ar-196A in 1/32 scale, and one of only three mainstream kits produced, the others being a now-elderly 1/72 kit from Airfix and a fairly recent 1/48 kit from Italerei. Additionally, both MPM and HiPM produced 1/48 limited-run kits of the airplane. This Revell Germany kit is easily the best in any scale.
The kit is beautifully detailed, with a fully-complete interior including a full fuselage frame, a detailed BMW 132 engine and a full powerplant accessories compartment. The cockpit and engine are so well detailed they are stand-alone models themselves.
The kit offers the option of assembly with wings folded or spread, and offers nearly foolproof assembly and attachment for the floats and struts, which have always been problematic on other kits.
Surface detail is outstanding, with the most realistic creation of
fabric-covered surfaces I have seen in any model. (Editor's note: I've
shown about half of the sprues that come with the kit. It really is a lot of
plastic for your $40)
(Editor's note: I've shown about half of the sprues that come with the kit. It really is a lot of plastic for your $40)
Decals are provided for an Ar-196A-3 aboard the battleship Tirpitz in
1942-43, and another attached to a coastal unit in the (Editor's note: I'm sure Revell has you mixing external
paint colors. Maritime aircraft were RLM 72/73/65)
(Editor's note: I'm sure Revell has you mixing external paint colors. Maritime aircraft were RLM 72/73/65)
This is truly one of the best 1/32 kits I have seen from any manufacturer. The quality of design, the quality and detail of the moldings, is simply superb. Even if you donít like Luftwaffe subjects, seaplanes or 1/32 scale models, this kit is a must-have just because it is such a great kit. Did I mention itís only $38.95, without any discounts? It would be fine at twice the price, given the quality of whatís in the box, but when that quality is added to this low price, this kit is easily The Deal Of The Century.
Review kit courtesy of my wallet.
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