The Arado Ar 95 was designed as a two-seat general-purpose bomber/torpedo and reconnaissance aircraft that could be fitted with either floats or fixed wheel undercarriage. A biplane design, the Ar 95 had a continuous canopy covering tandem cockpits, with a single 7.92 machine gun mounted in the rear cockpit on a flexible mount and another fixed forward-firing one in the nose. Racks under the fuselage could accommodate either a torpedo or bombs, with a choice of either a single 825lb bomb or six 110lb bombs being attached.
Some Ar 95s were sent to Spain to fight with the Condor Legion, but
neither the Luftwaffe nor the German Navy chose the plane for service.
The Ar 95 was then offered
up to the export market, and both Turkey and Chile bought some. The only
country to get the Ar 95 was Chile, though, as the Turkish order was canceled
when exports of military aircraft were banned in Germany.
The remaining Ar 95s were pressed into Luftwaffe service, where they were used for training purposes.
most MPM kits, this one is a blend of injection plastic, resin, and brass.
The canopy is injection molded, and while pretty clear, it could probably
stand a Future floorwax dipping. The rest of the plastic parts are in
a light gray plastic and are well molded. Very little flash is present,
and the small detail parts are for the most part crisp, although some
parts will need a bit of cleanup.
The cockpit is made up of a floor, a middle bulkhead, instrument panel, and seats, with a choice of either a plastic instrument panel or a brass one. The fuselage halves incorporate sidewall detailing that's nicely done. There's room for improvement, though, especially under that greenhouse canopy. One omission that was rather surprising was that of seatbelts. I expected to see those in the brass parts, but there's nothing in the kit for those.
engine is resin, and it's done by CMK. It's a nice-looking piece, too,
with separate cylinders attaching to a hub. A brass wiring harness is
provided, finishing out the detailing of the engine. This whole assembly
then slides into a resin cowling, which is another nice touch, considering
how tough it would have been in getting all those bumps cleanly molded
in the limited-run injection plastic that the rest of the kit is in. Also
in resin is the rear machine gun and steering column, both of which look
quite delicate and will really spruce up the kit.
lower wing is split into upper and lower parts, with the lower part being
a single piece. This should make getting all the struts and upper wing
alignment much easier to handle. The upper wing is also split into an
upper and lower half as well. With this arrangement, doing the rigging
in the wings and floats becomes easier if you use the drill holes, run
thread method, as you'll only have to drill holes through one half of
floats are split into right and left halves, with the rudders molded separately.
The struts are molded separately, though, with the fairings on the floats,
which will take a bit of work to get them looking like they're supposed
to. It will also make alignment a bit tricky as well.
The decals provide markings for three Arados. The first one is a Spanish
Civil War Ar 95, with the usual black circles and white rudder with black
"X" on it. The second option is a typical German one, as depicted on the
boxtop. Swastikas are provided, but are broken into two pieces, with the
center cross removed and provided as a separate decal. The third choice
is for a Chilean Ar95. Not much goes on this one, just the large Chilean
insignias and an ID number, but it would still be a striking scheme, as
one doesn't see many Chilean planes on the model shelves.
This is a very nice kit of one of the lesser-known German floatplanes, and it should build up into a nice model. It would definitely look sharp sitting next to its successor, the Ar 196 (although you'd probably spend much more time building the Airfix Ar 196 than this Ar 95!). If you're into Luftwaffe birds, or have a hankering for floats, or just like planes with two wings, well, here's a model that satisfies all three.