In-Box Review
Arado Ar-396
Omega Models 1:72 Arado Ar-396 Trainer
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by: Richard Tonge [ TINBANGER ]

Although of German design the Ar-396A-2 started production in 1944 at SPIA near Paris and in the Letov plant in Czechosovakia. Due to strategic metal shortages wood was the main construction material. The Ar-396A-1 was a single seat fighter trainer which was armed with a 7.9mm MG17 machine gun and bomb racks, the Ar-396A-2 was a two seater pilot training monoplane and was unarmed. Both variants were powered by a 580hp Argus As411 MA twelve cylinder inverted vee air cooled engine.
The Kit
The strong-top opening box has a painting of the Ar-396A-2 on it. All the sprues are packed in air bags for protection. The decals and vac canopy are packed in a ziplock bag.
There are four pages of instructions. The parts a cast on three resin sprues, there are 22 resin parts in total.
The cockpit consists a cast floor, two seats, two control columns, two rudder pedals and two instrument panels. There is no detail on the cockpit side walls,
I could not find any photos of the cockpit online, but as a trainer with manual controls the interior would have been quite bare.
There is a one piece fuselage with cockpit tub and fine recessed panel lines on fuselage. The stabilizer and elevators are cast in one piece. The rudder assembly is cast as one unit. There are no positive locations for parts so careful drilling and pinning will be required.
There are two castings for the wings, both with fine panel lines and wing flaps engraved into the surface. The wheel wells are shallow and tire shaped. This is due to the aircraft having a manually operated semi-retractable landing gear. The fuselage and wing roots will need to be drilled for rods to be glued in to reinforce the joints.
The under wing crosses and serial letters are the only parts of the decal sheet that I would use,the other marking are printed in a drab green colour and will not match the camouflage colours so one will have to find after market decals.
There are two pages printed on both sides. Some English data is supplied but most is written in Czechoslovakian. There are exploded assembly drawings and sprue numbering are on two pages. The next page has aircraft dimensions and performance data. The last page shows the camouflage layout and decal locations. The photos of this aircraft that I found on the internet do not have yellow underside wing tips, contrary to the instructions indication.

With thanks to Omega Models for supplying the review item.

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Highs: -Interesting Subject -Minimal Flash
Lows: -Poor Decals -Bare Cockpit
Verdict: This model may have a low parts count but will nonetheless require care when assembling. That being said, modelers with some experience in short-run resin kits should have no problem with this aircraft.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 72 512
  PUBLISHED: Jun 08, 2013

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About Richard Tonge (tinbanger)

I started building model aircraft with my brother and dad at about 7 years old(Yellow single engine float plane). Born in England so mostly built Airfix and Frog Kits! Moved over the pond in 1979. Main interest any type/era aircraft. Tinbanger call sign comes from my sheetmetal days. I am also ...

Copyright 2021 text by Richard Tonge [ TINBANGER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Happy to see more of these 'also ran' aircraft showing up. To me they have more personality than Spits, 'Stangs and MEs. And who couldn't love this airplane that, aesthetically, looks like an aerial llama - a horse designed by committee!? I mean, contrast that graceful empennage with with everything ahead of the firewall...
JUN 08, 2013 - 01:49 PM
JUN 08, 2013 - 01:58 PM
Build review to follow
JUN 08, 2013 - 01:58 PM
Hi Richard, It's nice to see that this one landed safely! Have fun building it! All the best, Entoni
JUN 09, 2013 - 07:08 PM

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