L’Arsenal 1/350-1/400 Arado AR-196 Float plane

Reviewed by Felix Bustelo
During World War II, most Kriegsmarine capital ships were equipped with Arado Ar-196 seaplanes for reconnaissance, patrol missions, and artillery spotting.  When Allied shipping crews saw one of these airplanes flying by it usually meant that trouble in the form of a battleship, cruiser or merchant raider was not too far away.

L’Arsenal has added this German airplane to it’s squadron of 1/350 and 1/400 scale squadron and like the others, it is a beauty.  Each airplane is comprised of 3 resin parts – the aircraft and two pontoon floats – and 5 photoetch parts – the struts for the floats and the propeller.

The resin is cast very well and with an excellent level of detail.  The photoetch is crisp and there is a crease in the struts to aid in folding them into “V” shapes.  Both airplane sets are identical with the obvious exception of the scale difference.  The images included in this review are of the 1/350 scale version since it had already been released.  The 1/400 scale version is forthcoming but I have seen photos of it.
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The instructions are printed on both sides of the paper insert with the front displaying a map of the photoetch fret and the assembly diagram and written instructions on the back.  Assembly is straight forward and the only possible tricky step is removing the propeller cone from the resin aircraft and then gluing it back on after attaching the propeller.  The tricky part here is not sacrificing the cone to the voracious carpet monster.

The latest accessory from L’Arsenal is a welcome addition and will look great on a 1/350 scale Tamiya Bismarck or Tirpitz or on any of the 1/400 scale Heller Kriegsmarine kits.

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