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MPM's 1/72
Arado Ar 95/w

 

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

 

History

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.

The Kit

Like 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.

The 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.

The 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 the wings.

The 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.

Conclusion

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.




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