Although of German design the Ar-396A-2 started production in 1944 at SPIA near Paris and the Letov plant in Czechoslovakia.
Due to the German metal shortage wood was the main construction material.
Unlike the Ar-396A-1 a single seater 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.
The aircraft was powered by a 580hp ARGUS As411 MA twelve cylinder inverted vee air cooled engine
After doing the in box review
, the next task was to build the kit.
All joints are butt joints with no locators so all will be pinned with rod.
Wash and dry all resin parts and then cut parts off casting sprues and clean up seams.
Mark out location for wing attachment reinforcement pins.
This step could be done by hand but I used my drill press and vice to drill two ⅛” Dia. holes through the wing roots as can be seen in step 4.
At this time I marked out the corresponding pin locations on the wing roots with the ⅛” drill in a pin chuck then drilled the marked holes about a ¼” deep by hand trying to keep the holes square and true.
I cut ⅛” dia pins to length and glued them into the drilled holes in the fuselage.
Wings are test fitted at this step.
Glue on one wing and when glue is dry glue on the other.
Stabilizer is fitted to the fuselage and is drilled for a 1/16” Dia wire which was glued in to reinforce the joint.
Vertical stabilizer was drilled for a 1/16” wire which is then glued in.
The fuselage was drilled to accept the stabilizer.
Stabilizer is glued to fuselage and when glue is try the gap in the joint was filled with glue.
Landing gear is installed.
Cockpit seats and control panels are glued in and painted.
The kit's cockpit canopy is vacuum formed and was trimmed to fit with a knife with a new blade and then glued onto the fuselage with white glue.
After the cockpit canopy glue was dry I masked off the canopy frame ready for painting.
I wiped the model with Windex and then used automotive grey primer to seal the surface.
The fuselage band was masked with ready for painting later.
Model Master Enamel paints were used.
First RLM 65 Hellblau was airbrushed on the underside.
24 hours later I masked off the underside and airbrushed the upper surfaces RLM 71 Dunkelgrun.
Another 24 hours and the splinter camo was taped off and then airbrushed with RLM 70 Schwarzgrun.
Next day I removed the masking at the fuselage band and masked off the area around where the band will be sprayed Yellow.
The masked off area was first painted White and when dry sprayed with RLM 04 Gleb.
The kit instructions show underside wing tip painted yellow but photos of the aircraft do not show this.
Next day all masking was removed and the model was sprayed with gloss varnish.
Since this is a build review I used the decals that came with the kit if I was to build this again I would buy after market decals.
Having built other Omega models I had a heads up to what I was in for.
For some reason most of the decals are printed on a backing colour that does not match the colours called for on the aircraft.
I trimmed the backing close to the decals but could not trim the insides,
The letters are on clear backing so trimming was easy.
While we are on the subject of the letters I think that the “O” should have been a”D”.
The decals went on well with aid from some Micro Sol.
Next day I sprayed the model with Testors Dullcote Matt varnish.