Disguised Aquatic Eyes in the Sky…1/48 Arado Ar196A-3, Handelsstörkreuzer 3 “Widder”

March 7, 2021 · in Aviation · · 19 · 1.9K


Here´s my dad´s fourth and last seaplane for a while. kit oob, fit is mostly only mediocre. The gunsight is molded onto the instrument board but was in the way of the windshield. So my dad cut it off and replaced it with a part from the sparesbox. The additinal thin struts in the float area were done with plastic rods. Painted with AK Real Color RLM 72/73/65.

Build thread here


The model shows a seaplane that was stationed on board of the German auxiliary cruiser "Widder", Handelsstörkreuzer HSK-3. This was a civil ship that was converted for military use as a disguised raider. Therefore the seaplane received fake French markings to fool the enemy.
Here´s the history of the ship


There are decals from Printscale for the same scheme, suggesting probably the auxiliary cruiser "Komet", HSK-7, which was sunk in 1942.


Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

25 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Excellent build, as always, Reinhard!
    Amazing scheme, as well as the story behind it!

  2. Nice build of what was one of the more disappointing kits.

    For a moment, I thought it was a Glossy Sea Blue Arado. It wasn't till I took a long hard look at the pics when I saw the RLM71/72 demarcation lines.

  3. That’s really interesting. You never see that kit built. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Another superb result, Reinhard.
    Very nice scheme and perfect detailing.

  5. That's the MPM kit, released by Italeri. I can assure anyone, that is one really tough build. It's a real battle to just get it together, let alone get it right. So this really excellent result is a real demonstration of skill, experience and talent.

    "Liked" (a lot!)

  6. Almost all Italeri Arados I see built look good, and yours is one of the best.
    However it’s obviously no picnic build experience. The cart is exquisite

  7. Your dad sure has the touch for turning the mediocre into something special.

  8. Another beauty! I also have French decals to do a 1/72 196 in a similar "disguise," but in a solid blue scheme. I forget which raider it was used on, but resources say it drug a grappling hook beneath it to take out the aerials of targeted prey. Since I build in-flight, I was thinking of adding that, though I haven't found references for how it would look (attachment points, size of hook, etc.)

  9. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Nice and very eye catching build Reinhard.
    Good weathering.

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