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.
With the earlier release of the float version of the Ar 95, I knew it wouldn't be too long before we saw the wheeled version. This kit is labeled as an "Upgraded Kit", although the only additions to the original release are the spatted wheels. This is somewhat of a pity, as this kit could really benefit from some resin additions in the cockpit.
There are some nice resin pieces in this kit, though, including the engine that is made up of separate cylinders & hub. The propeller, while not resin, is nicely molded asone-piece, with a two-piece hub. This is a definite step above the traditional method of having separate propeller blades. Rounding out the power end of this plane is a very nice one-piece resin cowling, with all the requisite bumps having crisp edges and a wonderful trailing edge. Once this section is finished you'll be hard pressed to make the rest of the kit look as good.
The interior is all plastic except for the etched instrument panel and the resin control yoke & machine gun. You'll want to add some extra detailing in this area, as quite a bit will be visible under that canopy. Unfortunately finding references of what the innards of this plane look like will be difficult. Still, a few generic bits and pieces will go a long ways here, especially if you want to open the canopy up.
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 main area where this kit separates from its earlier release is with the wheel parts. The spats are provided as a one-piece resin casting, with a separate piece for the wheel & strut. This makes assembly a snap and the only real challenge will be in getting the two spats aligned with one another and properly spaced. The instructions provide decent information on this and it would be a simple matter to set up a jig to ensure proper positioning. The tailwheel is also molded in resin as one piece, and again positioning is outlined in the instructions.
Like the earlier kit, this release also has three choices for markings, and like the earlier release they are for a Spanish one, a Chilean one, and a German one. The finishes on these are very simple for all three choices, with the German and Spanish examples being overall RLM 02 and the Chilean one being silver overall. The Spanish example has the typical white rudder with black cross and black discs on the fuselage & wings. A small number is on the rear of the fuselage. The Chilean one is even simpler, with a blue rudder & white stars on the wings. A black 8 is on the fuselage. And just when you thought the schemes couldn't get any simpler, the German one has nothing except the red band on the tail with the swastika in a white circle. The decals are printed by Propagteam and are nicely done.
If you want to build an Arado Ar 95 and haven't bought the earlier release, this is definitely the one you'll want to get. In addition to the wheeled version pieces all of the float option pieces are included as well. Either way you're going to end up with some interesting parts for the spares box.