RS Models 1/72 Arado Ar 65 "Luftpolizei"

By Matt Bittner

Introduction

Taken from the instruction sheet:

"The first prototype of the new fighter, the Ar 65, was powered with the BMW VI engine with a normal rating of 500hp. Flight trials with this and two additional prototypes dictated a number of modifications to the basic design, and the Ar 65d that joined the programme in 1932. By comparison with the Ar 65a, the handling and performance were markedly improved, and the RWM instructed Arado to prepare for series production for use by the so-called Reklamefliegerabteilung.

"With further minor modifications, the fighter entered production at Warnemünde as the Ar 65E, carrying an armament of the 7.9 MG 17 machine guns.

"The Reklame-Staffel, which was to be officially designated JG 132 I on March, 1935, began to receive the He 51, operating this type alongside the Ar 65 until, in 1933, the letter was the Ar 65 transferred to the DVS Jagdfliegerschule at Schlessheim to serve in the fighter training role.

"Early of the war were Ar used by Luftwaffe to training role also by Schule at Omutz, Prostnitz and Pilsen.

"In year 1942-1943 were Ar 65 used by Ergänzungs-Schleppgruppe 1 and 2 to towed gliders DFS 230 carrying troops from the Kuban bridge head in Russia.

"In year 1937 some machines were sold to Bulgaria and were used in the training role."

The Kit

The RS kit of the Ar 65 consists of 27 injected pieces, two clear injected for the windscreen (I'm guessing an extra, "just in case") two resin (tail skid and radiator) and a nice fret of photoetch from Eduard (consisting of 18 pieces of metal and one piece of film for the instruments). Pieces are very nicely cast and I can't see any flaws - pin markings, etc.

Decals are in-register and nicely done. There are three schemes catered for: Arado 65 Luftpolizei unit, German 1937; Arado 65 A/B 23 - Schule, Reichenbach, 1940; and Arado 65 A/B 71 - Schule, Prostejov, 1941 (this last one has an insert to add more to the scheme than what is shown on the back of the box). The Luftpolizei scheme has a white nose with a green fuselage while the other two are all-over RLM 02 (with the Prostejov one having yellow bands).

Construction starts in the cockpit which is where most of the photoetch is used including sidewall detail. From here the fuselage halves are glued together, the upper nose piece is glued on and both the vertical and horizontal tail pieces are added. The next steps are to add the lower wings and radiator. Unfortunately the lower wings are butt-joined so some sort of pins might be in order. The instructions would have you next add the landing gear both forward and tail-skid area. Some might want to wait until after painting to add these but since all schemes are single color, there is no masking involved around them. (Part 8 of the instructions make no sense and I bet they're for an earlier version of the kit so ignore that step.)

From here I would start painting before adding the upper wing and the last of the pieces. Once painting is finished then it's down to adding the upper wing, prop, rigging, pilot step and windscreen. (Again there's another step - 13 - that is meant for an option not contained within this release so it's best skipped.)

Conclusion

This is a very nice kit. I've been reading some about RS Models around the 'net and until I had one in my hands didn't realise just how nice they were - at least the Ar 65 and the Ar 76 (also reviewed this month). If you enjoy 'tweeners in general, and Luftwaffe 'tweeners specifically, then these are kits you must track down.

Huge thanks to RS Models for providing the review kits.

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