by: Richard Tonge [ ]
BackgroundAlthough 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 KitThe 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.
ContentsThere are four pages of instructions. The parts a cast on three resin sprues, there are 22 resin parts in total.
CockpitThe 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.
FuselageThere 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.
WingsThere 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.
DecalsThe 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.
InstructionsThere 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.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.