Revell 1/32 Arado Ar 196B

By Suresh Nathan

Dassow, Germany 1944-45


The Arado 196 series was arguably the most successful floatplanes of WW2. Used initially as a reconnaissance aircraft, it was later incorporated for submarine hunting and attacking smaller ships in the European theatres until the end of the war. The very robust aircraft with its air-cooled BMW 9-cylinder radial engine and low altitude compressor proved to be quite outstanding. The Ar-196B variants were used exclusively for testing or assigned to land-based operations. One of the last airworthy machines were used by the Naval Forces of Romania until 1950. During 1944-45, Soviet forces captured many Arados along the Baltic coast of Poland and Germany. At Dassow a spare parts depot was recovered also. After repairs, thirty-seven Arado Ar-196 aircraft fitted with Soviet radio equipment were integrated into the aviation element of the Soviet Border Guard. They were sent to Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific coastal areas, serving until 1955.

Only 5 or so Arado 196B were made and their whereabouts remained a mystery. The design was dropped due to the theoretical possibility of the outrigger pontoons becoming stuck.). I theorised that the 196B would find its way to a spares depot. This was the basis of this diorama.


I wanted to try a really compact diorama showing all the relevant features. A floatplane in the sea, in dock, captured by Soviets and abandoned and used for spares while at the same time maintaining its overall appearance. The model comes with a plastic base which I would repurpose as a more elaborate base for this diorama.

Revell 1/32 Arado 162B

It was really surprising that Revell produced this kit being that only five of these were made. That raised the problem of finding an operational anecdote on which to base the build and so I resorted to the plausible story above. The kit is mostly an easy build. Two really weak design flaws are the 3-part sliding canopy section which must be glued together and has ugly stubs within and the weak outrigger support which broke repeatedly. I can’t really fault the outriggers. The canopies would be covered in dust anyway, but I think if I were to build this for a standalone display I would have to vacu-form a new canopy. The cockpit is extensively weathered as well as the engine compartment. The engine compartment was detailed with solder wire.


The base is a solid prefabricated base from High Planes Models. The base is carved from Styrofoam with acrylic paste for texture. The entire model was built and weathered before being superglued to the base. The base was then embedded in clear resin which in turn was detailed with acrylic paste.

Painting and markings

I used light olive for the overall colour and various shades of Alclad II silver for the sponsons. The markings come from the kit. The model was extensively weathered with red brown and orange-brown dabbed and drybrushed. I used Vallejo acrylics which is not durable and for the heavy weathering the model was sealed in future floor wax.


The figures are from EK casting and are white metal single piece mouldings. The were painted in Vallejo Acrylics.


Revell has provided a beautiful and enjoyable kit with this offering. The format of the diorama allows for a historical setting in a compact environment.

© Suresh Nathan 2024

Related Content

This article was published on Saturday, April 27 2024; Last modified on Sunday, April 28 2024