New model projects: Arado

After the successful completion of my “Grand Messerschmitt project” I thought about starting another project where I build several models in parallel. For a long time I have really wanted to build the Arado Ar 196 -floatplane, an iconic representative of German maritime aircraft from World War 2. My “stash” of unbuilt kits yielded plenty of raw material for a project, and so I have decided to build the following:

  • Arado Ar 196A-2 on loan from Luftwaffe to the Finnish Air Force, sometime in 1943.
  • Arado Ar 196 V3 prototype; this will be a conversion from a twin-float to a single-float configuration.
  • Arado Ar 96B-7 captured by the RAF and used after the war a “unit hack”.
An Ar 96 at the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin

All of these will be built from Heller kits (albeit one of my Ar 196s is a re-boxing by Encore). For the single centerline float of the prototype I will take one of the floats from Special Hobby’s Ar 95 -kit – I don’t know where that kit came into my stash, but I have no plans to ever build it.

I have also accumulated plenty of aftermarket parts for this endeavor: Falcon’s vac-form canopy for the Ar 96, Airwaves’ photo-etch set for the Ar 196 (two sets), Quickboost’s resin cowling for the Ar 196 (again, two sets), and Kora’s decal sheet for one of the Ar 196s that served in Finland.

Will I call this the “Grand Arado project of 2022″…? Perhaps.

Reference material

The Ar 196 was the standard reconnaissance and liaison aircraft for the Kriegsmarine (the German Navy) with over 500 aircraft built in total, and the Ar 96 was the standard trainer for the Luftwaffe during the war, with almost 3,000 aircraft built (including French and Czechoslovakian production). Thus, no surprise that there is plenty of reference material available. Below I am listing some of the most important ones I am studying at the moment.

For the Ar 96:

  1. Arado Ar 96 colours & markings (Ovčáčik & Susa); Mark I dozen set; Mark I, Ltd. 2009
  2. Cockpits deutscher Flugzeuge – Historische Instrumentierungen von 1911-1970 (Cohausz); Aviatic Verlag 2000
  3. Flugzeug Classic Special 7: Deutsche Kolbenmotor-Militärflugzeuge 1933-1945 – Bomber, Schulflugzeuge, Aufklärer, Transporter
  4. Flugzeug Classic Dezember 2006
  5. German Aircraft Landing Gear (Sengfelder); Schiffer 1995
  6. IPMS-Mallari 36 (journal of the Finnish IPMS)
  7. Luftwaffe – from Training School to the Front (Meyer & Stipdonk); Schiffer 1996
  8. War Prizes (Butler); Midland Counties Publications 1994
  9. my own photographs taken at the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin

For the Ar 196:

  1. Ar 196 (Ledwoch); Wydawnictwo Militaria 1997
  2. Arado Ar 196 – All models (Łukasik); Topdrawings 14; Kagero 2011
  3. Arado Ar 196 units in combat (de Jong); Osprey Combat Aircraft 136; Osprey 2021
  4. Arado Ar 196 (Dabrowski & Koos); Schiffer Military History 69; Schiffer 1993
  5. Arado Ar 196 (Murawski); Kagero Monographs 45; Oficyna Wydawnicza Kagero 2011
  6. Avions 136 (Juillet 2004)
  7. Avions 139 (Octobre 2004)
  8. Avions 146 (Juillet/Août 2005)
  9. Finnish & German Seaplane Colours – Finland 1922-1945 (Stenman & Hołda); Mushroom Model Magazine Special – White (Rainbow) Series 9146; Mushroom Model Publications 2020
  10. German Maritime Aircraft (Philpott); World War 2 Photo Album 18; Aztex Corporation/Patrick Stephens Limited 1981
  11. Luftfahrt International Nr. 4 (Juli/Aug 1974)
  12. Luftwaffe Seaplanes 1939-1945 – An Illustrated History (Goss & Rauchbach); Naval Institute Press 2002
  13. Luftwaffe Suomessa 1941-1944 (Anttonen et al); 1976

For the Ar 96, [1] contains excellent detail information as well as color profiles for several aircraft; the publication comes with a large decal sheet as well. The kit review in [6] is not particularly informative, as the reviewer clearly had very limited reference material available, and for some aspects is simply wrong, but it does point out a few issues with the Heller kit. [3] has information about both types of aircraft.

For the Ar 196, [14] is a “must have”, but [10] is also very useful. There are many issues of the French magazine Avions that around 2004-2005 covered the aircraft, particularly useful for my project are [15-17]. And obviously for my Finnish aircraft, [18, 22] are indispensable. Note that many publications have reproduced original German technical drawings of the aircraft, the most complete set is in [20], but [3, 10, 14, 15] also have many of them.

I will update these lists and my commentary as the project progresses.

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