|NOTES:||Nice little model of a little known aircraft|
Designed and developed during the early 1930’s, the AR-65 was the first fighter produced for the fledgling Luftwaffe. First flown in 1931, the delivery of series production models, the AR-65E, began in late 1933. Featuring a fabric covered steel tube fuselage and wooden wings, the plane was powered by a 750 hp. BMW VI V-12 water cooled engine, producing a maximum speed of 186 mph. Armament consisted of two 7.92mm MG-17 machine guns firing through the propeller arc.
The first Luftwaffe unit, called the “Publicity Squadron”, evolved into JG 132 (later JG2) and after being equipped with the AR 68E, were later issued the AR-65F. As time rendered the type obsolete, the AR-65’s were relegated to advanced training duties alongside Heinkel HE-51’s. Later, a number were used as glider tugs on the Russian Front. A few were sold to Bulgaria in 1937, where they were used mainly as trainers.
The kit includes two pages of instructions, including a good sprue diagram, 15 exploded assembly drawings, a color guide, and some excellent two view drawings illustrating the two choices for color schemes using the decals. One is a 1935 Fighter School scheme, and the other is a snow camouflaged glider tug on the Russian Front, dated 1941 to 1943. In addition, there is plenty of information on this aircraft on line, so there should be no problem finding information on this type.
The kit consists of 18 injection molded parts cast in grey plastic, a transparent windshield and instrument panel, and a small sheet of photo-etched brass. There are 4 resin parts, of which I used only the tailskid, part RE-3. Two resin fuel tanks are included for the Russian front version, and these are illustrated on the boxtop.
This kit goes together easily, and the steps are well illustrated in the instructions. The cockpit interior is nicely detailed, with a seat, seat belts and harness, floor, rudder pedals, instrument panel, and some other gadget I can’t identify. Photo etch side panels for the cockpit are also included. The fuselage halves fit perfectly, while the lower wings and horizontal tail surfaces butt-fit into position. Some care will need to be taken with the wings, as the front view shows only a very slight amount of dihedral. Once the basic airframe is assembled, the plane should be painted, along with all struts. Then the upper wing can be attached. If you do the early version, the wings could be assembled before painting, although the upper fuselage blue should be painted first, along with the white stripes and red tail band. but the Russian Front version should be painted before assembly. This is a small, very uncomplicated biplane kit, and it didn’t take me long to completely assemble the kit.
Be sure, however, to add the wire rigging, as a biplane looks positively naked without it. The rigging arrangement is shown on the box art.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The fighter version only requires a bit of masking on the fuselage. The glider tug version requires some yellow theater masking on the wingtips and rear fuselage, and what would appear to be RM L 65 blue underneath. The decals are high quality and go on easily, but you’re expected to remember that after World War II, the politically correct gang took over, and no German airplane ever carried swastika markings, and they all retroactively disappeared on all Luftwaffe aircraft right after VE Day, so you’ll have to use your own on this model.
This kit has only been produced in 1/72 scale (or any scale) by two companies, Alliance and RS Resin. I have not seen the Alliance kit, but the RS kit, contrary to expectations, is injection molded with resin and PE parts. It is a historic aircraft, and should be part of any modeler’s collection of Luftwaffe aircraft. It is not a difficult kit to build, and with added details, it can look very impressive in the model cabinet. Get one of these if you can.
20 August 2018
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