Next up is the Tamiya 1/48 Arado AR-196A German seaplane. I will be doing the scheme as one of the aircraft that were used on the Bismarck battleship. The Arado Ar 196 was a shipboard reconnaissance low-wing monoplane aircraft built by the German firm of Arado starting in 1936. To add details I am using the Eduard detail set. The first thing I noticed was aside from a few of the kit parts like the seats and some bulkheads the cockpit is 80% photo etch! There are 3 sheets of photo etch and most are the cockpit. It is taking a lot of time to cut, bend, and place the many parts but it is looking great.
I have completed most of the cockpit and installed it in the fuselage. The fit was a little difficult. The top of the cockpit walls fit fine but I had to twist it a bit to align it. If you ever go this route don’t install the cockpit to one side then join the fuselage. Put the fuselage together then install cockpit from bottom. I made a couple of shims to keep the cockpit floor square to the top.
I then started on the engine. The part with the pushrod’s had one pushrod that was “short shot” in the mold. I trimmed the nub and scratch built a new one using some stock styrene rods. The photo etch details and wiring were added and painted. After reviewing some photos of the real engine I used 32 gauge wire to make the oil return line. I cleaned up the cowl parts (the seams and a little flash) then installed the engine. The photo etch set also comes with the front cowl mounts. It was tricky getting them mounted the correct height so they would meet the cowl edge correctly. Once I finish cleaning the outside of the cowl and the assembly mounted to the fuselage I will be starting on the wings.
Lots of work completed on the AR-196A. First, assembled wings and found that the fit to the fuselage has an issue. There is a large gap on the port side. The other side and bottom also have small gaps. These were all filled, filed and sanded. Then the floats were assembled and detailed with photo etch parts. The oil cooler was replaced with photo etch parts and added some more photo etch details to the fuselage.
The rear machine gun was then detailed, painted, and mounted. The dolly was then assembled and painted. I painted the “wood” to look weathered and aged. Painted a brown base, then dry brushed tan and finally lightly dry brushed light gray. Once the paint was dry I used dark brown and black pastels to add weathered and dirt to the surface. Now working on painting the base coat on the aircraft. The first color of the scheme is done. Letting it dry overnight before I mask and paint the other color.
The AR-196A is now completed. I added the rigging for the floats and the antenna using EZ-Line. I added the sight glass by using a small piece of acetate. The decals are for the aircraft used on the Bismarck Battleship. The decals were really nice. Thin but not too thin. Slid right into place and laid down nicely. The canopy sections were polished, detailed with photo etch and painted. Aside from a few gaps this went together well and came out looking good.