Ar 196 preview

April 15, 2010

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Italery's "Arado Ar 196" review by The Mad Klingon

Aircraft History and Background

The Arado Ar 196 was the standard shipboard reconnaissance aircraft of the Kriegsmarine used throughout World War II. No match for a fighter, but it was considerably better than its Allied counterparts, and generally considered the best of its class.


The Kit

I have been waiting for this kit since I saw the first ad so many months ago. It was big; it was clunky; it was ugly and I had to have it! The Italeri 1/48 Arado Ar 196 A (Kit # 2675) was finally released this month and I want to thank Ralph of Ralph's Hobbies in St. Petersburg FL for a great deal on my kit.

Box Art


Open the box and slide out the cardboard tray and you will find 4 light gray sprues and 1 clear packed in three clear bags. The 12 page instruction booklet uses beautiful grayscale CAD images instead of line drawings. Color call outs are noted in RLM and Model Master numbers. The perfectly registered decals include markings for 2 German, 1 Japanese and 1 French aircraft.


What You Get

The sprues look clean and are very well molded with no flash. It was tough to find a seam even on the smallest parts. The only exception was a seam running around the prop but nothing that can't be cleaned up in a few moments. Looks like all the injector pin marks fall on the inside of the parts and out of sight.

The model features the option of opening the engine cowling, 2 positional wings flaps and an open or closed canopy. Italeri also decided to include a transport trolley and two 500 lb bombs. Not surprisingly, no pilots are included.

Prop detail

Pontoon detail

Wing detail

Back of box

 This is a great effort by Italeri and marked improvement over the earlier rough MPM/HiPM versions of the 196 and should build into an impressive kit right out of the box.


Scale: 1/48
What you get:
106 injection-molded styrene parts including 3 clear on 5 sprues, 12 page 1-color instruction booklet with grayscale images and decals for 4 aircraft.
$55.00 retail, but available for $43.99 plus shipping from or Ralph's Hobbies.
Molding Quality:
Very good. No obvious injector marks but a slight seam around the prop.
Detail: Excellent. Good surface detail with recessed panel lines, nice reproduction of wood grain and fabric.
Accuracy: Looks good to me.
Pros: Popular and important subject, trolley included, new tooling, mostly crisp molding and decals for 4 aircraft..
Cons: Price, no pilots.

Final comments: With crisp molding, fine recessed lines, trolley and bombs included, excellent decal sheet and a few build options it looks like a winner to me. Highly recommended.




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This page was last updated 04/15/2010