Author: Mariusz Łukasik
Arado Ar 196 was a well known Geman floatplane. After being selected as a standard airplane of the Kriegsmarine it became the most popular reconnaissance plane based at heavy cruisers or battleships. The plane was also used for close reconnaissance of the seacoast or anti-submarine missions from the land bases. The most popular version of Ar 196 was A, fitted with twin-floats and few subversions which differed by radio equipment, instruments, armament or propeller. In total about 526 planes were build till 1944. Some machines were exported to Bulgaria or lent to Finland.
Topdrawings is a series of scale plans of particular plane, supported with few colour profiles and decal sheet containing individual markings for depicted planes. It is not different with no.14 of the series.
This time I start the review from the end: decals and colour profiles, which are just addition to the publication.
We have four planes depicted on the colour profiles:
- Ar 196 A-2 W.Nr. 0056, code 6W IN, crew: Uffz. Sacritz and Lt. Zur See Karl-Ernst Schmidt of 5./BfGr.196, Aalborg-See, May 1940
- Ar 196 A-3, “White 3” of 161st Floatplane Yato, Varna, 1943-1944 (Bulgarian Air Force)
- Ar 196 A-2, heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer, during raid between 27th October 1940 and 1st April 1941
- Ar 196 A-3, W.Nr. 1006, code “SE-AWY”, used by A.B.Ahrenbergsflyg, Lindalrängen, 1947
Each plane is briefly described with its operational history and painting scheme. As usual for Kagero for these planes decals are printed by Cartograf. In this issue we get two sheets of decals, containing markings in 1:32, 1:48 and 1:72 scales model kits. Kagero usualy don't give national markings for British, German, American or similar nationalities planes as these can be easily provided from the other sources. For the Bulgarian planes we get national signs used between 1941 and 1944, which are not very popular. What is more we get four sliced swastikas and gauges for the instrument panel.
The scale drawings depicts all versions of the Arado, so we can find here A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-5, B and very unusual A-5 fitted with Asz-62NR engine. Scale plans are supported with a lot of verical sections and drawings of specific instruments or equipment without any particular scale: beaching dolly, armament, engine or instrument panels. Plans for 1:32 scale are printed on two large fold-out sheets, printed on both sides. We can find here few pictures taken probably from the “handbuch” showing for example framing of the cockpit, engine frame, control column or pilot seat.
Quality of all drawings is very good. There are no missing details or lines which are barely visible, as it happened in some previous issues.
As always with good quality references also this booklet can be highly recommended without hesitation. The author provides a lot of his references and bibliography so I believe he has done his homework and provided us correct drawings. You can find here many useful detailed drawings which are necessary if you think about upgrading your kit, no matter what scale.
Related reviews on Aeroscale
Italeri Ar 196 (1:48) model kit reviewd by Rowan Baylis.
Revell Ar 196 A-3 (1:32) model kit reviewd by Andy Brazier.
Eduard Arado Ar 196 Detail Sets (1:32) reviewed by Rowan Baylis.
Eduard Ar 196A-3 Seatbelts (1:32) revied by Rowan Baylis.
Ar 196 & Catapult Build Pics (1:32) – news report by Rowan Baylis.