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Monographs #45 (3045) Arado Ar 196 Publisher: Kagero Written by: Marek J. Murawski Available here from Kagero for € 19,00 With the recent release of the Revell Ar 196B (single float plane) and the Ar 196A in 32nd scale this plane suddenly received a lot of attention from Large Scale modellers, quite out of the blue. The Ar196 is one of those planes with an interesting background and operational history, but not one that sports a wide range of lively schemes. However, the Ar 196 did see heavy use and salt water and one can therefor have a ball weathering this kit. Both wings folded, one wing folded, wings extended. On a dolly cart or on a catapult. A good detailed basic platform by Revell and aftermarket sets by Eduard, HGW and Aires (almost) make the HPH full resin kit not worth the trouble… Reason enough for Kagero to devote a new Monographs title to this plane. Alas, not another 3D edition, but who knows, maybe that will come. Let’s have a flip through the pages to see what we get for 19 euro’s… Design and Development This being an airplane subject that is known to many of us, but well known by only a few, it is good to start at the beginning. The ideas behind the design, the various experimental versions and the version that was chosen for serial production: the twin float version. Construction The Ar 196 was designed and constructed to be catapulted from a ship, land along side the ship and be hoisted back on board. It consisted of tubular framed fuselage, covered with fabric and duraluminium floats and wings. Some nice photographs of the installation of the BMW 132 K engine, control surfaces and fuselage being covered in fabric are shown. All quite useful when applying proper weathering techniques. Foreign users A small chapter nearly covering half a page sums up other countries that flew the Ar 196. Bulgaria bought and flew 12, Sweden interned two german Ar 196’s. After the war one of these two planes was flown to Norway where it received Norse civilian registration. This is where I can recommend another Kagero Topdrawings title that gives you scale drawings that are great for riveting and decals that give you the option to build this aluminium and blue colored civilian version. Get your copy here. Combat use Pictures of the construction process continue in this chapter, with text describing the operations of the Ar 196 from the German battle cruiser Graf Spee, Deutschland, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, etc… These stories show the Ar 196 was used a an armed reconnaissance plane, spotting convoys and quickly returning to it’s mothership. Hunting British Submarines, Commerce raiding sortie These chapters describe witness accounts of the battle against british submarines and attacks on merchant vessels in the north and south Atlantic as ordered by Hitler in 1940. These pages are adorned with photo’s of the Ar196 operations and are great for weathering inspiration. The final chapter of the book shows drawings from the Luftwaffe maintenance manual. They show us the internal structure which is a must for pre shading. And finally 1/72 scale drawings are shown of all versions, from all sides, along with some great colour profiles. From 1939 pre war to a 1942 japanese one… Verdict This book gives lays a pretty good foundation in understanding the design and function of this robust shipboard workhorse. Add the Topdrawings title for some great schemes and detailed riveting drawings and decals and you’re set to go! These titles are cheap and full of inspiration for weathering and diorama’s. I really hope to see a 3D edition before I start my build of my Revell kit. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Jeroen Peters