Arado Ar-196A-3/A-4 Cockpit Set; Ar-196A-5 Cockpit Set
Editor's note: P/N 4498 = $35.50; P/N 4503 = $37.50
The Italeri (also boxed by Tamiya) Ar-196A-3/A-4 and Ar-196A-5 are beautiful kits. They have huge canopies though and the kit cockpit while nice really just screams out for more detail. Enter Aires. What they provide is nothing short of phenomenal. Comprising resin, photoetch and film pieces this set is comprehensive to say the least. While marketed as a cockpit set this set also includes parts for other parts of the model, such as the engine, gun cowling and pontoons. It really is a kit upgrade set not just a cockpit set.
The resin is molded in both light grey and light yellow resin. All of it is blemish and bubble free. My example had a couple of pieces broken off of but it was nothing that was drastic and the parts literally fell off the pour blocks. The resin parts consist of 35 pieces. The biggest pieces are the floor and sidewalls, but in there with those huge pieces of resin are some very small ‘finesse’ parts. The only difference between the A-3/A-4 and the A-5 set is in a couple of resin pieces. The most noticeable difference is in the defensive armament with the A-5 having the MG-81Z.
The photo etch fret is an exquisite piece of engineering. There are so many small parts that a modeler may have serious trepidation about taking on such a project. Have no fear the parts breakdown is quite logical and there should be no issues.
The instructions are printed on both sides of an A4 sheet. They are quite easy to understand and will prove invaluable when assembling this set.
These sets will require the care an experienced modeler. The sets are very complete for the Ar-196 and not just the cockpit. In my opinion, these sets are essential for anyone who wants a complete cockpit and with the big canopy over it this will become a central point of attention.
Highly recommended for an experienced modeler.
Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review copy.