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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Revell - Toy Soldiers

The original Revell firm was founded in the mid 40s in California. It initially was in the business of selling toy cars and car models. Later on it diversified into many kinds of model kits, like ships and planes, the kind you spend hours assembling together. In the mid 50s they established a subsidiary in Germany. This is the branch that went into the toy soldier business. Their main focus however has been on the 1/72 scale and they have only released a handful of sets in 1/35. In 2006 Revell Plastics GmbH officially separated from its parent company which by that time had already been acquired and gone through a merge with Monogram. In the end, the subsidiary turned out to be more successful than the parent company. Unfortunately, at about the same time, it also stopped selling the 1/35 figure line and today it only sells 1/72 figures, which is too bad, because if they had gone in the opposite direction, scaling up their 1/72 figures, they would have been able to release many sets in 1/35. Anyhow, so let's take a look at what they did give us.

Revell British Paratroops - Part I
As I mentioned, Revell made these guys in 1/35 scale, so you might not want to place them right next to the Conte guys. A nice set for the most part. The second guy from the left is the one guy that I don't find that great as he seems to be falling forward. And the guy pulling his parachute is a nice, unique pose, but of course, you can only use him in some limited scenes.

Revell British Paratroops - Part II
Another interesting detail is the weapons canister. The picture does not show it clearly, but it is actually separate from the figures. I found these guys manufactured in two different plastic colors, as seen above, with green being the most common.

Revell British 8th Army - Part I
A good set for the most part. I painted several of them some time back. As you can see, the guys I left out were the ones that are standing a bit funny. But the man with the MG and the bag pipe are quite good.

Revell British 8th Army - Part II
These other guys are all quite acceptable. The man second from right firing while advancing is a nice pose. I suppose with the berets and bagpipes these guys could belong to the Black Watch, the famous Scottish regiment which fought in North Africa.

Revell Afrika Korps - Part I
These figures are actually not that far in size from the Airfix figures. Most of the guys in this set are pretty well done except for the guy on the left whose running I find a bit awkward. He seems about to trip and fall over.

Revell Afrika Korps - Part II
The set includes a very nice heavy machine gun mounted on a tripod. The two guys operating it and the gun itself can be removed from the base The guy on the left is probably my favorite figure from this set and a good example of some of the elements that make a good figure: bent knees, slight crouch, body balance shifted off-center, intense look/gaze.

Revell German Engineers or Deutsche Pioniere - Part I
As you can see there is a good diversity of poses reflecting their many roles, such as construction, demolition, mine laying, mine removal, and combat.

Matchbox German Infantry and Revell German Engineers or Deutsche Pioniere - Part II
As you can see, the Revell guys are close enough in size to mix with 1/32 figures. When I painted these guys I thought they should have a few more guys in fighting poses to also reflect their combat role, so I recruited the four Matchbox guys in the back row. A very interesting piece of equipment that comes with the Revell set is the 'Goliath' or SdKfz 303b/Gerat 672, which is operated by the man on the left. This was essentially a remote controlled tracked bomb which could be used against fortifications. This site has a good description of it.

Revell German Engineers or Deutsche Pioniere - Part III
Engineers were also tasked with river crossings and bridge building. In this case, we have a couple guys on a raft negotiating a section of a river. I must say that with that size of boat it would have taken many trips to bring a unit across a river. My guess is that the manufacturer wanted to convey the spirit of the role, without having to produce a much larger boat.

Click here to see more British Paratroops
Click here to see more Afrika Korps figures


  1. I've been after that Scottish officer for my battalion commander for yonks. If only! It's been years since I've seen them about and, typically, I didn't need them then...

    1. I know that feeling... not having picked them up while you had the chance! well, good luck finding a set at some point.