by Massimo Tessitori
|The recent release of this kit from the Ukrainan firm Amodel has radically
changed the perspectives to obtain a good model of this short-lived aircraft.
In facts, Amodel works only when excellent drawings are available, and we have to thank the work of Maslov and Polikarpov on M-Hobby magazine that supplied excellent documents for this kit.
Previous drawings of Ar-2 were inadequate; it was even represented with a rotating turret on its back as the late SB-2-M103s.
||The fuselage halves look to be accurate as shape and size.
The pannelling is extremely accurate: as on their latest releases, they reproduce overposition of plates and rivets as on real aircraft; it is not a conventional representation with recessed lines as on the most of the modern kits on the market.
This could need to leave or reproject some painting techniques to put panels in evidence.
The inner side of fuselage shows good reproduction of internal structure where it will be visible through the windows.
The bomb bay is not openable or detailed in any way.
The rear gunner position has the vertical cut as on early ac, while the most of observed aircraft had an oblique cut and a closed rear wall, and slightly different framing; hovever this is scarcely visible if the sliding hood is closed.
Many aircraft looks to have flown without the rear gunner sliding hood.
The clear parts looks of good quality. They don't are predisposed for open position, but perhaps one can mount them open (after cutting) despite their thickness because their guides were shaped to lift them before sliding.
|A sprue provedes good details for the crew compartment.
The characteristic shape of the instrument panel is well reproduced.
Between the details, we find realistic seats, ShKAS machine guns, pedals, control column, oxygen bottles.
Four accurate FAB-250 bombs are provided for external underwing installation.
|The engine nacelles look accurate, and the landing gear doors are detailed
on the internal side too.
The exhaust pipes are good, and their outlet is well reproduced (but a small plastic pipe could give a better effect). The supercharger intakes should be drilled.
A sprue provides details for the landing gears and their bays, that
are highly detailed and closed on all sides. The realism of the bays is
excellent for an 1/72 kit.
The prop blades are moulded together with the front of the spinners, that is not enthusiasming.
|The wings show excellent paneling and accurate wheel bays.
The landing light recess is empty, one could add a landing light, maybe from accessories for small cars.
The circular openings for oil coolers have not internal tunnels and details, maybe one could build it by inserting a pipe after enlarging the hole.
The position lights are not transparent; one could rebuild them by pieces of clear plastic.
There is not provision for extended flaps; one could project to cut and reposition them in lowered position, but at present time there are not images of their details (even if one can imagine them by observing the rivets on the wing undersurface).
Besides, to move the flaps one has to cut and reposition the rear part of the engine nacelles, that is solidal with flaps.
|The decals sheet looks good, and is for 4 aircraft:
white 4 of 33 BAP,
white 3 of 33 BAP,
white 2 of 2 BAP,
winter finished aircraft of 10 BAP (of which I haven't photos).
The decal 6 (red trim) for white 3 looks unuseful, I think that the photo shows only a shadow on a green trim winglet; it looks that this aircraft has a red rudder tip.
At the end, one has to remember the wiring of the model, both wire antenna
and tail streghteners (three on eaxch side); they are visible on the boxart
and on scale drawings.
Another detail to add is the collimator ring on the frontal ShKAS barrel.
At present time I haven't yet built the kit, but my experiences with Yak-1 and 3 of the same firm show that, after some work to clean flashes and sprue attachments and some dry test of fitting, the model should be built well and nearly without filler.