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  1. Din Djarin – The Bounty Hunter (06784) Star Wars: The Mandalorian 1:9 Carrera Revell Firstly, some minor spoiler alerts. If you’ve not seen the series and plan on doing so, skip this section and go straight to text below 'The Kit' heading, where I’ll try to keep the spoilers to the minimum. We’ve all heard of Star Wars, the three trilogies, the spin-off films and now under the auspices of the massive Disney corporation, we are being treated to some television series on their streaming service Disney+ that are bringing back some of the magic that perhaps had been lost, or at least dulled over the years under the helmsmanship of J J Abrams. The Mandalorian reached our screens in 2019, right around the time the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, and it has helped keep us Star Wars fans entertained for two seasons now, with a third in the offing for 2023. It has brought us new characters into the much-loved Star Wars universe such as the Mandalorian, Din Djarin himself, Grogu the baby Yoda, and it has reintroduced the previously reviled but strangely popular Boba Fett, who seems to have mellowed during his time in the Sarlacc Pit, and has now got his own series on the strength of his performance in season 2. Even Luke Skywalker has made a brief appearance at the end of season 2, heavily de-aged to fit in with the show’s timeline of post Return of the Jedi Star Wars. Season 3 is just coming soon, airing toward the end February, and at time of writing, I can’t wait. The eponymous hero was until the second season known either as Mando, or the Bounty Hunter until his real name became knowns near the end of the season. Our moustachioed hero wears the distinctive Mandalorian armour, mostly forged from Beskar steel, which he was often paid in billets of by his early customers. Like many Mandalorians he was a Foundling that was taken in and trained in the ways of their warriors, taking the oath not to reveal his face as part of the deal, which must make eating, drinking and cleaning oneself a mite convoluted. When we first see him on Tatooine, he is working in the void between the fall of the Empire and rise of the First Order, and we often see Stormtrooper helmets and other garb on pikes and as trophies in the background, with the remainder a much grubbier prospect than their previously pristine white armoured hoardes. The Kit This is a brand-new kit from Carrera Revell, and isn’t part of their collaboration with Bandai. It is a static figure that comes with a diorama base and various accessories that arrives in a deep, end-opening box, with three sprues and two diorama panels in grey styrene, a small decal sheet and the colour instruction booklet with a photo of the finished model on the front, and detailed painting guidance throughout the following instruction steps. Detail is good, and is improved by his armour as separate appliqué parts over the simple cloth basis of the figure. Construction begins with the afore mentioned base figure, which is built from a front and rear half that acts as a basis for the additional detail parts that are added later. A detailed painting guide shows the colours for the cloth suit and the under-armour pads and straps, which is best done early before installing the other detail parts for ease of access. The base figure is bereft of hands, feet and head, which are added next, starting with the hands. These are made from the hand/glove with front of the gauntlet that attaches around the forearm stump on pegs to complete the arms. Similarly, the feet are each two parts and are installed on the shin for one leg, and at the end of a shin extension on the other leg in much the same way. The knee pads and calf strapping are added separately on more turrets, with more detail painting information included, then the thigh armour is built up with straps and ammunition belts. The right hand has a pistol moulded into it and a separate piece of hand armour with the arrow motif in the centre, fixing to the arm stub in the same way as the other. The chest is armoured front and rear, with belt and cross-strap laid over them in front and rear halves, plus a pair of shoulder pauldrons that slot into deep holes there. Mando has a disposable block supplied to help keep him upright while painting, which has a recessed foot shape moulded-in, and on that leg the raised thigh has additional armour placed at the top at an angle. Din’s head is nothing more than a ball-joint onto which the helmet is built, starting by adding the two-part socket inside, then closing it up around the ball-joint, allowing the head to be posed at your whim. The T-shaped vision slit is inserted into a recess in the front of the completed helmet, then the figure is finished by adding a cape around his left shoulder, latching against the figure as shown in detail. Attention then turns to the diorama base, which is festooned with a quartet of discarded or trophy Stormtrooper helmets amongst other things. Firstly however, a pair of cylindrical “sci-fi” objects with tapered tops are made up from a pair of halves and a separate top, to be put to the side while the helmets are made up. The two complete helms are built from front and rear halves to facilitate being skewered by pikes that have a mounting pin and two washers moulded into them to prevent them from sliding down. Whether you decide there’s a head in there or not is entirely up to you, and will help you decide whether to smear blood around. All the helmets have decals for the eyes, vents and other details of the helmets, which will simplify their preparation somewhat. The partially buried helmets are similarly made in halves, but these are only present where they will be seen, disappearing where they might be otherwise buried under the sand. The other two diorama parts are the large sections of the base, which consists of an undulating sandy base with a few recesses for the various parts to be fitted, while the backdrop has a door, plus some lights and controls or sensors moulded-in. The two halves just clip together on tabs at right-angles, adding the helmets, cylinders, pikes, and of course Din Djarin, who trades in his temporary foot pad for a sunken Stormtrooper helmet that is fixed to the base. Markings Most of the decals are for detailing the Stormtrooper helmets, but others are included for Mando’s hand arrows, wrist control pad, silver logo on his right pauldron, rear helmet ‘track’ detail, and even a trio of blaster holes for the diorama backdrop, although it would have been nicer if they weren’t all identical. The large white Mandalorian logo decal is designed for the front of the base, but put it where you wish. Decals are printed for Revell by Italian company Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A well-detailed static figure diorama that should go together relatively quickly, and with careful painting and decaling, will look the part. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  2. le.gl.Einheits-PKW 4 (03339) 1:35 Carrera Revell After 1933, Germany began to build a modern army, initially in secret, but eventually they broke cover and threw off the shackles of the hated Versailles Treaty. This light off-road passenger car was built by the BMW-Werk Eisenach under the designation BMW 325, as well as Hanomag Type 20 and Stoewer. The vehicles were used as troop carriers (Kfz. 1), by repair-and-maintenance squads (Kfz. 2/40), by artillery reconnaissance sonic measurement squads (Kfz. 3) and by troop-level aerial defence (Kfz. 4). Almost 13,000 units were built in total until cessation. Between 1940 and 1943, only Stoewer continued to build the R 200 Spezial without the four-wheel steering (Typ 40). The cars weighed 1,775 kg empty (1,700 kg without the four-wheel steering). 90% of all military branches rejected the vehicle as "unfit for wartime service" in a 1942 enquiry, while the much simpler, lighter and cheaper Volkswagen Kübelwagen proved to be far superior in every respect. The Kit This is a reboxing of an ICM kit from 2021 with new decals by Cartograf, which is no bad thing. The kit arrives in an end-opening box, and contains seven sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, with instructions with integral painting guide at the rear in colour. Detail is good throughout, and the anti-aircraft fitment for the twin MG34 machine guns adds an extra interest. The chassis is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4-cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three-part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and a new rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor, adding five decals to the dash plus another stencil on a raised section of the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back in the front, with a large tread-plated area for the gunners that has just enough room down the sides for spare ammo cans in racks lining the lip. Two rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel, and windscreen also made up between the front and rear compartments with tripods racked on the rear deck of the vehicle. The rear light cluster is fitted to the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above the divide between compartments. Front lights and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. To build the anti-aircraft mount, the ammo cans are made up first, joined to the twin frame, which then has the gun mounts fitted on top. The guns are still fitted with their bipods, which along with the breech cover are moulded separately to the rest of the guns. If you’re a detailer, you may want to drill out the muzzles very carefully with a tiny bit in a pin vice. With the guns on their frame, the outer frame is fitted around it in two halves, slotting into the pivot points moulded into the frame, and supported by a cross-brace lower in the frame. Another bracing strut fits across the front and has a canvas brass catcher curtain suspended beneath it that is attached to the tube by a series of rings moulded into the part. The conical base is built from two parts and inserts into a socket in the underside of the outer frame, then it’s a case of making up the seat that fits at the very rear of the outer frame, and choosing the correct sighting part for your chosen pose, pivoting the guns to an appropriate elevation during the process. Markings There are three decal options on the sheet, all with varying paint schemes to give you a wide choice of look for your finished model. From the box you can build one of the following: Sturmgeschütz-batterie 666, Germany, 1940 Fallschirmjäger-Luftflotte 2, Libya-Tunisia, North Africa, 1942 Unknown Unit, Heeresgruppe B, 6 Armée, Ukraine, Summer 1942 <ul style="list-style-type:upper-alpha"> Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A welcome re-release that will see a wider audience thanks to Carrera Revell’s excellent distribution network. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  3. Eurofighter Typhoon Black Jack (03820) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon started out as the EAP programme in the 1970s engineered entirely by BAe, but was later joined by a number of international partners due to a supposedly common requirement, with the constituent partners changing over time to finalise with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy remaining, while France went their own way with the Aerodynamics data to create the Rafale, which coincidentally has a similar general arrangement. Delays and cost overruns seem to be a frustratingly common factor in modern military procurement, and the Typhoon suffered many, resulting in the Germans taking delivery of the first airframe in 2003, Italy in 2005 and the UK in 2007. Airframes of all users have since taken part in operations in many operations as their operators become au fait with the type’s capabilities and more weapons come on-stream. After the British Typhoons were initially ordered without guns, then with guns but without ammo, which was again overturned in due course, they were grounded in 2011 due to a lack of spares, which required the RAF to cannibalise grounded airframes to keep flying. The two-seat variant is used for training and conversion, although it is fully capable of going to war if needs required it, having all the systems in place to make it capable. The single-seater Tiffie is a great airshow crowd pleaser due to its agility at all speeds, and the impressive tearing roar of its twin EF2000 jet engines that propel it forwards with an impressive 20,000lbf of power per engine with reheat engaged. The original tranche 1 airframes have been retired now, replaced by the more capable FGR.4 airframes with advanced avionics and a plan to replace the MFDs in the instrument panel with a new Large Area Display in 2024, putting a LAD in every cockpit! The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 2000 tooling of this delta-wing 4.5 generation fighter, which they have reboxed more than a few times over the years. This boxing has the recent Black Jack display scheme that debuted in September 2021 with a large roundel on the tail and stylised Union Jack segments on the main planes and canards. It’s a somewhat polarising scheme as discussed on a thread here on Britmodeller, but I’m one of those that quite likes it, so there. The detail is good for the most part, with a few areas such as the intakes that aren’t particularly easy to put together and paint well, coupled with intakes that are probably a little bit too short. The interior of the trunking was highly secret at the time however, so you can’t really blame Revell for that. The kit arrives in Revell’s deep end-opening box, and inside are seven sprues in light greenish-grey styrene, two small sprues of clear parts, a large decal sheet, and colour instruction booklet with profiles on the rear pages. Construction begins with the Martin Baker ejection seat, which is made from six parts, and has a detailed painting guide, called out in letter codes that match a table in the front of the booklet that gives Revell colours. The seat is inserted on pegs in the rear of the cockpit tub, which has moulded-in side consoles to which the HOTAS controllers are added, throttle on the left console, two-part control column in the centre. The instrument panel is a single well-detailed part with three MFDs taking up the majority of room, noted as having “Decal 2” applied to the screens. This doesn’t appear to be correct however, as decal 2 is actually part of the canard Union Jack. The correct numbers are 79, 80 and 81, which have simple screen designs and buttons around the edge. A circular HUD lens pops on top of the panel, which is glued into the front of the cockpit to complete it. To prepare the fuselage for closure, the canards are attached on their pivots by small cups, requiring careful gluing to leave them mobile if you wish. A short exhaust for the APU slips in the hole in the port side to give it some depth too. As the fuselage halves are brought together, the cockpit is trapped between them, and a small hourglass-shaped bulkhead is inserted under the tail, remembering to install 30g of nose weight to prevent your model from being a tail-sitter. The fuselage has a huge open space where the wings and engines will later fit, with this large assembly being next to be built up. The main gear bays are central under the fuselage, and are built up together from forward and rear bulkheads that are held apart by a ribbed roof section and a pair of thick trunks. The intake trunking is also made from twin top and bottom sections, a central splitter, and a blanking plate at the rear which is bereft of any detail. The two assemblies are dropped into the lower wing from the inside, bearing in mind that the intakes also create the nose gear bay, which will also need painting white. Before the lower wing can be installed, the top splitter plate and two side inserts must be glued into the fuselage along with the nose cone, which doubles as your second chance to install nose weight if you forgot the first time. With the lower wing in place, the upper wings are glued on, with detail for the outer section of the main bays moulded-in, which will need painting too. Various lumps, bumps and actuator fairings are fixed under the fuselage, and two variable inlet ramps are fitted to the front of the intakes to complete that area. The wingtip sponsons are prepared with various protrusions, one of which is the light, ready for installation later, then the spine and rear deck that covers the 2nd cockpit aperture are installed on the fuselage top. The twin exhausts are made up with a choice of open or closed petals, and these have afterburner details moulded into the front of the trunking parts, which you can see on the sprue pics. The landing gear legs are next up, starting with the nose leg, which is made of two sections and a two-part wheel, to be inserted into the bay with the opened bay door on a strut, or if you’re posing her in the air, the same door is laid flat over the bay. The main gear legs are chunkier and have separate oleo-scissors and a complex retraction jack, finished off with a two part-wheel. They’re handed of course, and each have two handed bay doors that either glue to the edges of the bays or closing over the bays for in-flight. The exhausts and a host of small sensors, exhausts and running lights are dotted around the rear and elsewhere, then a choice of open or closed air-brake is provided on the spine, using just the exterior part to close it over, or adding an internal detail part and jack if you intend to pose it open. Moving forward, the cockpit is covered over by the fixed windscreen, and the canopy opener, which has a detail insert inside, using a jack part to hold it at the correct angle. It’s worth noting here that the canopy is of the modern ‘blown’ type, which requires the mould to be made of three parts, leaving a fine seamline down the outside of the canopy, which you can choose to either leave, or sand away then polish back to clarity with fine sanding sticks. The open canopy is probably safer left off until later though, as there’s still a lot of work to do, some of it on the underside. Remaining near the cockpit for the time-being however, there are two strakes fitted into slots in the sides of the cockpit, and a choice of opened refuelling probe that has a chunky actuator and captive bay door, or if you intend to model it retracted, the bay door inserts in the aperture. Flipping the model over, four more strakes are inserted into holes under the nose, just aft of the nose cone. The Typhoon is quite a bomb-truck, and is covered in pylons underneath, adding these, the wingtip sponsons and actuators, then creating the weapons that a Tiffie can carry when the need arises. The options are as follows: 2 x 1,000L Fuel Tank 4 x Meteor A2A Missile 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder A2A Missile 2 x Storm Shadow Cruise Missile 2 x GBU-24B Paveway III Laser-Guided Bomb 2 x AIM-132 ASRAAM A2A Missile (AIM-132) Whether any of these weapons would be carried by the aircraft other than the fuel tanks, is up to you to check with your references. A page in the instructions shows the painting and markings that should be applied to each one. Markings This is a special boxing, so there’s only one option on the extensive sheet, but it’s a bright one. The Black Jack scheme was created in advance of the 2021 season, building upon the black scheme previously worn by that aircraft, and using a highly stylised British flag on both sides of the wings and canards, plus a large roundel on the tail. It was only applied to one aircraft, so from the box you can build this aircraft: Typhoon FGR.4 ZJ914, flown by Flt. Lt. James Sainty of 29 Sqn., RAF Coningsby, July 2021 Decals are by Zanchetti of Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A little flash has crept in here and there, including the wings and canopy, but that’s the work of moments to deal with. The kit is just as good as it was on initial release, with the intake oddities complicating matters slightly, but not enough to make it an issue. Add the handsome decal sheet into the mix, and we have a winner… providing you like the scheme of course. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  4. Trabant 601 Builder’s Choice (07713) 1:24 Carrera Revell The Trabant 601 was the third generation of the utility vehicle that was produced in East Germany by VEB Sachsenring from 1957, and over 3 million were built before the production line closed in 1990. With its 2-stroke engine that suffered from poor performance, the Trabant was a popular and well-loved car in the former eastern bloc due to its simple construction and ease of maintenance and repair, despite its many failings. The bodyshell was made from a plastic called Duroplast, which was made from waste materials from other areas of manufacturing, including cotton and resins. There were different versions of the Trabant available, including the most popular saloon (sedan or limousine), and the 3-door estate (Universal or Station wagon) version. It has now become a classic in enthusiast circles around Europe, and examples of this car are sought after with collectors worldwide. For the last 2 years of production following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Trabant production methods were modernised by Volkswagen, which included adding a 1.1L Polo engine to give it some additional reliability, access to four-stroke fuels, and more of a turn of speed, coupled with upgrades to the brakes and suspension to cater for the increase in power. This last variant was known as the Trabant 1.1 after the engine size, even though it was more like a 3.1 in terms of versions. The Kit This reboxing of Revell’s Trabant kit is due to it winning the Builders’ Choice poll for 2022, as voted for by you the modeller, apparently! It must have passed me by, but then so do a great many other things. It arrives in one of Revell’s much beloved thick end-opening boxes, and inside are six sprues in white styrene of varying sizes, five black, flexible tyres, two clear sprues, the decal sheet and instruction booklet in colour, and a single page of profiles in the rear. The original tooling has 2009 stamped on the inside of the floor pan, and has been seen in various boxings and with an estate bodyshell over the years. This is the 3-door sedan, brought back by popular demand for another turn on the shelves, decorated in pacifist slogans related to the tearing down of the Berlin wall. I have a feeling that the sprue with the grille and exterior trim parts was once chromed, but that has been left off for this boxing, which will probably please many of the more serious modellers, as it won’t need removing. Construction begins with the engine block and transmission, which has raised cross-hatching moulded-in, and is completed by addition of the sump, forward end with pulleys, and a rear face to the gearbox. The boxy motor is installed transversely in the floorpan with a leaf spring across the bay, and two inner arch panels added to the sides and joined together by a simple bulkhead that the steering mechanism passes through. More ancillary parts are layered into the bay, including the exhaust manifold, fluid reservoir and battery, then under the bay the remaining space is filled with suspension and steering components and covered over by a subframe. The rear suspension is simpler, with a short spring supporting each axle, which has the exhaust pipe and muffler passing between the two halves, and a towing hitch sticking out of the back. The wheel hubs are made from two halves with a third part trapped between them without glue, each of which has a flexible tyre pulled over it before four of them are glued to the axles, taking care with the glue if you intend to leave the wheels mobile. The back wheels also get a mudflap at the rear of their arches, fitting into a slot for strength of bond. The interior is based upon a large part that has the rear shelf moulded in, adding the pedal box, hand brake, a pair of three-part seats for the driver and front passenger, plus a simple bench seat at the rear, which has a support glued underneath to form a pair of tubular legs. At the front of the cab is a lower console that holds a few instruments and provides a little shelf space under the dashboard, which will be along in a moment. First, the door cards are prepared by adding a seatbelt to each side before they are glued to the sides of the cab. The dash is a single part that has been given extra detail thanks to some sliding moulds, and it has the three part steering column attached on pegs under the binnacle, and is detailed with decals to complete the job. It is set to one side briefly while the bonnet (hood) and boot lid (trunk) is built. Both panels have two hinges fitted, the bonnet as a single full-span piece, the boot as two separate hinges. The boot also has a push-button lock inserted into a hole in the centre. The bonnet is dropped into position in front of the windscreen, and its hinges are locked in place by installing the dashboard, while the boot lid is trapped by the interior trim, which is a single part that clips into the rear bulkhead. The headlights have separate bezels and reflectors, with a clear lens placed over them, adding a clear side-light underneath. The rear lights also have separate bezels and clear lenses, which should be painted with clear amber and red before installation, with separate flat clear lens beneath each one painted with clear red, or using the decals that are supplied on the sheet. At the front, the rear view mirror is fixed to the centre of the headlining after applying a silver decal to the rear, and the grille is inserted into the front of the engine compartment to give the Trabbi a big smile, adding a bumper and number plate holder underneath. The rear bumper has additional lights and over-riders moulded in, the former having clear lenses, and on the C pillar are a pair of decorative trim panels either side of the rear windscreen. The rear plate holder inserts into a recess under the boot lid. It's a bit breezy inside the Trabbi at this stage, lacking windows and roof, as well as the underside and cab, which is about to be remedied by an infusion of clear parts. The windscreen, rear screen, rear side windows all have painted black surrounds, while the front door windows are without, as are a pair of L-shaped inserts on the B pillars. The windscreen wipers and aerial are glued into holes in the scuttle panel, door handles are added to paired depressions, and a pair of wing mirrors with decal lenses are fixed to holes in the A pillars, then the roof panel is dropped into position, leaving it loose or gluing it down if you wish. The (usually) chrome trim is applied to the break line on the vehicle sides, with the instructions advising that they have a raised black centre along their length, three parts per side. The interior clips into the bodyshell first, and is covered by the floorpan, with the final tasks installing the spare tyre in the boot, and popping a cover over the end of the towing hitch. Markings As this is a special edition, there is just one decal option on the sheet, which has a white body that has birds and a white dove carrying an olive branch on the sides, and a number of peaceful slogans on the rear, boot and on the windscreen as a sunvisor strip. The final decal is a CND peace emblem in the centre of the bonnet, with a brand logo at the front. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A welcome return of the Trabant to the shelves with a peaceful message that should be heeded more readily everywhere. The moulds have been kept in good condition, and an impressive replica of this… let’s face it… piece of junk will be the result. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  5. Marder I – 7.5cm Pa.K 40(Sf) auf Geschutzwagen FCM 36(f) (03292) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Marder series of Tank Destroyers were originally created to fill a need for mobile artillery that could be self-sufficient and yet work in unison with troops and tanks at the high speed of Blitzkrieg. The concept was to mount a PaK40 or captured Soviet 76 mm F-22 Model 1936 divisional field gun on a captured tank chassis that had been stripped of its superstructure and given an extended splinter shield around the gun and its crew, whilst leaving the roof open to the elements. Many of the initial Marder Is were built on French Lorraine or Czech 38(t) chassis, but a small number were constructed on the obsolete FCM 36, with a large shield that extended almost the whole length of the vehicle. FCM stands for Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée, who were based at Toulon in the French Riviera. They saw use on the Eastern Front initially, then also in the West after D-Day. Although they were intended to be mobile artillery that could destroy most tanks at a respectable range, they were only lightly armoured to protect their crews from shrapnel, shell splinters or light arms fire from all-round, which is somewhat better than a standard artillery piece would afford its crew, although the open roof would make a tempting target for grenades or demolition packs in close combat. It would have been uncomfortable for the crew in bad weather too, necessitating a temporary tarpaulin roof to keep the precipitation out, but very little of the cold. The Kit This is a reboxing by Revell of a substantial re-tool of ICM’s previous FCM 36 kits, adding the specialised parts for the conversion undertaken by Baustokommando Becker at the time. It arrives in a standard Revell end-opening box with seven sprues in grey styrene, two flexible black sprues of track links, a decal sheet and colour instruction booklet with profiles in the back pages for painting and markings. The original FCM 36 kit was only released in 2020, so it’s a modern tooling with plenty of detail and this boxing includes the majority of the interior due to the open roof. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up initially of the floor and two sides, with bulkheads added to the sides to support the lower sponson panels that give the vehicle more ground clearance. The running gear is made up from a three-part drive sprocket, eighteen sets of twin wheels that are fitted to eight double bogies and two singles, then the big idler wheels at the rear of the hull on sliding tensioning axles. The sloped armoured upper sponsons are installed along the way, with the mud-shedding apertures on each side. Two pairs of return rollers on the top run are glued inside the sponson, then the flexible black “rubberband” tracks are glued together, the instructions neglecting to mention that styrene glues won’t join them, so you should use super glue or epoxy instead. Each run has two sections, with the joints best placed in the centre of each run so they stand less chance of being seen on the finished model. Detail on the tracks is very nice, with twin guide horns and perforated centres like the real thing, but of course the links will curve round the ends, rather than give the correct faceted look that individual links provide. The upper hull is a new part, and has an opening at the front where the turret would have been, and has the two fender sides fitted to the rear before it is joined to the lower hull, hiding most of the upper track run. At the rear a large louvred panel and fixtures on the final-drive access hatches are glued on first, with the two exhausts and their mufflers slotted into grooves to their side, and a C-shaped manifold joining them at the top. Pioneer tools and towing eyes are the final parts for now, because the gun must be made up first. The PaK40 is begun by making up the cradle and inserting the breech, then the one-piece gun tube and part of the elevation mechanism. The cradle trunnions are held in place by the side frames, which are fixed to the arrow-shaped floor. More of the elevation mechanism is added, then the floor is mated to the hull, covering up the turret aperture, then having armoured supports slipped under the overhang. The gun’s double-layer splinter shield is slid over the barrel and glued to the gun, then the two faceted side panels are fitted out with shell racks, then attached to the side of the vehicle, to be joined by the rear wall after adding some stowage boxes inside and a pair of louvred panels to the sides. Twenty-eight shells are supplied on the sprues to be slotted into the holes in the racks nose down, then some spare tracks are fixed to the sides, and the self-defence MG34 machine gun is fitted to the front shield on a short pintle-mount. An outer splinter shield slides over the gun, and then you can put on the two-part muzzle brake, which gives the impression of a hollow barrel. Markings There are eight markings options on the decal sheet, with a nice variation between them, all of which saw action (or training exercises) in 1943 and 1944, two of them having alternative schemes worn at different times during those periods, and one is from the same unit with a variant of scheme. From the box you can build one of the following: Special event of new vehicles at Matford Werke Plant in Poissy, France, May 1943 First Marder during assembly line at Matford Werke Plant in Poissy, France, Early 1943 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Normandy France, Spring 1944 Roll-out of first production vehicle Matford Werke Plant, France, early 1943 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, Normandy France, June 1944 Sturmgeschutz-Abteilung 200, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, Normandy France, June 1944 Schnelle Brigade West, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, mobility and firing trials, France, 1943 Schnelle Brigade West, Art.Rgt.Stab z.b.V-931, mobility and firing trials, France, 1943 Decals are by Italian company Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Another peculiar-looking, esoteric and interesting example of German re-use of captured vehicles, and a nicely detailed one with a wide choice of decal and camouflage scheme options. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  6. Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB (04968) 1:32 Carrera Revell Although somewhat less glamorous than the Supermarine Spitfire in the eyes of some, it was the Hawker Hurricane that proved to be at least half of the backbone of Britain’s air defences during the summer of 1940. Designed in 1935, the Hurricane was relatively advanced compared to other fighters in service at that time, featuring a fully enclosed cockpit, retractable undercarriage, eight .303 inch machine guns, a powerful liquid-cooled V12 engine and, most importantly, a cantilever monoplane. Despite its modern appearance however, the design and manufacturing techniques were thoroughly conventional, which meant that it was relatively straight forward to produce in large numbers. This proved useful when it came to manufacture because the aircraft could be churned out quickly, and was easy to repair and maintain. The Hurricane's first kill was achieved on 21st October 1939 when 46 Sqn found and attacked a squadron of Heinkel He.115s over the North Sea. The Mk.I was initially fitted with fabric-covered wings, which limited its dive speed, which was rectified by the replacement with a more robust metal skin, and adding a stabilising strake beneath the rudder to assist with spin recovery. Armour protection for the pilot and self-sealing fuel tanks were also added in light of combat experience, making the aircraft more survivable for the pilot, and increasing its ruggedness. The Mk.II was equipped with the Rolls Royce Merlin XX engine, capable of developing almost 1,500hp with the help of a two-speed supercharger and revised glycol/water injection system. The longer cowling required by the new engine also improved stability further, and by the time the Mk.IIB was in production, it also had hard-points for carrying bombs or additional fuel for longer-range sorties. Although the Hurricane was a solid performer, it proved to have less scope for improvement when compared to the Spitfire, and as it was slower due to its aerodynamics, the Spitfire became the poster-child of the Battle of Britain and beyond, despite the Hurricane claiming more kills than the graceful Spitfire. Later variants were fitted with 20mm cannons, and the final production variant, the Mk.IV used the so-called ‘universal wing’ that could carry bombs, weapons, fuel and other options, with a deeper armoured radiator housing under the centre. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling from Revell, and has been anticipated by many larger-scale WWII modellers since its announcement. The bated breath should now have been released and some mouthwash slooshed, as it’s available now from all the usual places online and in the real world. It arrives in a deep end-opening box, and inside are eight sprues in light grey styrene in three bags, a separately bagged clear sprue, a decal sheet secreted inside a colour instruction booklet that has markings profiles on the back pages, and a list of paint choices in Revell codes near the front. Detail throughout is crisp and neat, with finely engraved panel lines and relief for the fabric-covered areas that do a good job of representing the skin of the real thing. There are a lot of ejector pin marks inside the fuselage halves, and a few of them encroach upon the sidewall details of the cockpit, although whether they’ll be seen is debatable. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is made from sub-assemblies, starting with the pilot’s seat, which is fabricated from base, back and two side panels, then the bulkhead behind the pilot is layered from four sections after drilling some holes in the tapered top-section. The foot troughs and framework are joined together, and the sidewall framework is detailed with small parts, predominantly on the port side, and a cross-member with framework and hose is assembled. There is a lot of detail-painting called out with coloured flags with letters that cross-refer to the paint guide at the front, and this continues throughout the whole build. The framework of the cockpit can then be joined together by adding the cross-member and a tubular A-frame, with the front slotting into four holes in the forward bulkhead. The ‘floor’ of the cockpit is inserted into the assembly and rotated into position, after which the control column and linkage is installed along with the rudder pedals between the two troughs. A compass with decal is dropped onto a mount near the front of the cockpit, and in the rear the armoured bulkhead is slid down into the framework at an angle so that the seat can be fitted, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location from the side. A long winding hose is inserted down the port side of the cockpit, with the rear end curling round and mating with the cross-member under the seat, and there is another scrap diagram to help you with this. A lever is inserted into a socket in the starboard side behind the armour, with the handle projecting into the cockpit, which brings us to the instrument panel, which is surfaced with raised and recessed detail, over which you apply three decals for the various sections before gluing in place between the two sides of the cockpit framework. A choice of oval or rectangular lensed gunsight are added to an angled mount that slips through a hole in the panel in front of the pilot. In order to close up the fuselage, the spacer that fills the area where the Merlin should fit is joined together, and this has exhaust ports moulded-in with good detail, and the two halves trap the axle in place, along with the front detail insert that depicts part of the motor. This and the cockpit assembly are added to the starboard fuselage half after it has been painted internally, the afore mentioned ejector-pin marks dealt with if you feel the need, and the addition of a small detail skin to the aft of the sidewall. The port fuselage half is painted and has a detail part fixed into a socket, then the two halves are brought together, and here the instructions advise not to glue the cockpit framework into either fuselage half, but leave it floating in the sockets, presumably to achieve a better fit. The top of the engine cowling is glued over the empty space, and the closed canopy is temporarily taped into position over the cockpit opening for reasons that aren’t expounded upon. The main gear bays are actually a single space beneath the two bay openings, and are made up in stages, starting with the leading edge, which has two ribs attached to the main shape, then has a clear roof insert added, which is clear to replicate the two observation windows there, and they have a hose snaking across front to back. Some small detail parts are inserted, followed by the rear bulkhead, which has a two-part cylinder attached to the middle, and two retraction jacks glued to the sides. The wing’s centre section is separate on this model, and has a spar fitted inside, locating on pins that are moulded onto the inside, then the bay assembly is pushed into position, feeding the hose through a hole in the spar until it locates on more pins. Both lower wing halves have a cut-out in the leading edge that receives a landing light bay that has a separate lens slotted in before it put in position, painting the inside interior green. They are both glued onto the centre section using pins and tabs, and are closed over by adding the upper wing sections, drilling a hole in the starboard part if the aircraft had a gun camera mounted. Flipping the wing over, the leading edge of the centre section is added, then the remaining inserts that include the gun ports, clear landing light cover and other small parts such as the gun camera shroud are inserted along with the clear wingtip light covers. The fuselage is dropped into position between the wings, and underneath the chin insert and lower fuselage insert are fitted, followed my a recognition light and the fairing around the tail wheel. The trailing edge of the strake in front of the tail wheel is then sanded to a new angle by removing 2mm from the bottom and nothing from the top. The chin intake is put together from top and bottom halves, and the radiator core is made up from front and rear sections, and dropped into the cowling, which is built from an oval intake and the streamlined fairing, and once installed under the wing it has the flap at the rear added in the open or closed positions, using the diagrams to the side as guidance. All the flying surfaces are separate, so can be depicted at any reasonable angle, starting with the rudder panel, which is made from two halves and has a clear lens fitted above the trim-tab. The elevators fins and panels are all similarly two parts each, and fit to the fuselage under the fin via the usual slot and tab system. The ailerons are dealt with later, and are again two halves each, slotting into the spaces in the trailing edges, then you can choose whether to depict the flaps in the open or closed positions by swapping out the parts as per the instructions. There are ribs moulded into the open flaps, but the flap bays are devoid of any detail. The front of the fuselage has a fairing added to the front, with a choice of styles, one of which is open at the front, the other partially closed by a cover. There is a choice of two styles of exhaust, one with round pipes, the other with fish-tail outlets, and are each made from two halves, although they don’t have open ends. This could be remedied by opening the tips before joining the halves, taking care to cut them to the same profile as the exhausts. When finished your chosen style assembly is slotted into the outlets in the side of the cowling and painted a suitably hot and grimy colour. The crew stirrup can be depicted dropped for access or retracted by inserting a stub into the opening, and an L-shaped pitot is pushed into a hole under the port wing near the aileron hinge. The landing gear is next, beginning with the tail wheel, which is two parts as is the strut, which is closed around the wheel to create the yoke, and is then inserted into a hole in the tail. The main wheels are two parts with an additional hub insert, and these are slotted onto the axles at the end of the main struts and have the three-part captive doors made up concurrently and fitted once the legs have been inserted into the bays and supported by their retraction jacks. You are advised to remove the canopy at this stage, and still no explanation is forthcoming, as if you intend to leave the canopy closed, you reuse the same part two steps later, adding a choice of rear-view mirror styles on the top of the windscreen. The same choice of mirrors is available if you are planning on leaving the canopy open, but separate parts are used, the canopy portion sliding over the spine of the fuselage on runners. It’s worth noting that the canopy parts look slightly “smooth” on the sprues, as we’re used to raised frames on our models, but these have been engraved as tramlines on a smooth canopy, which looks strange. Checking quickly on Google, the canopy has very shallow raised frames, which would disappear to almost nothing when factoring in the scale, so a few coats of paint should result in a reasonable facsimile. The windscreen however has thicker frames on the front, and a flared frame at the rear to deflect wind away from the pilot with an opened canopy. These aspects aren’t rendered at all on either the open or closed canopies, but if this bothers you it could be remedied by adding a few layers of primer strategically to build up thickness. A light and aerial mast is inserted behind the canopy at the end of the build, and you’ll need some thread or wire to depict the antenna itself. The three-bladed prop is moulded as a single part, which is enclosed in the spinner and rear plate before it is slipped over the axle to complete the model. Markings There are two decal options on the sheet, and they’re like day and night. Literally. The first option is a day fighter in traditional brown/green camouflage over sky of the time, while the second is an all-black night fighter. From the box you can build one of the following: No.79 Sqn., RAF Fairwood Common, South Wales, July 1941 No.253 Sqn., RAF Hibaldstow, England, late 1941 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The decals for the instrument panel and compass are printed with black backgrounds, and have the dials line-drawn in white and yellow, plus a little red. Conclusion A new-tool Hurricane in 1:32 will please a great many of my fellow modellers, and there’s enough detail to please most of them. The canopy is a strange choice, but on balance the kit should build up into a well-detailed model out of the box. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. Churchill A.V.R.E (03297) 1:76 Carrera Revell The Churchill Tank was devised to fight in conditions similar to WWII where emphasis was put on the ability to cross difficult terrain and keep pace with the infantry. This resulted in a heavily armoured long tanks with multiple wheels and the ability to climb steep slopes. The design was rushed into production before it was really ready due to the rush to build up the UK's defences in case of invasion. The Tank would undergo many different design modification throughout its life with later versions being quite capable. Like many Tanks it would be adapted for other roles. One of these being the AVRE or Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers. One of the lessons from the Dieppe raid was the fact that a vehicle was needed to overcome defence obstacle. The Churchill was chosen due to its ability to climb steep slopes and cross difficult terrain. The AVRE was equipped with the Petard Mortar (Or Mortar, recoiling Spigot Mark II). This 230mm Spigot Mortar would fire an 40Lb Bomb Demolition Number 1, or "Flying Dustbin" with a 28Lb warhead. As well as the Mortar the vehicle could be equipped other equipment such as the Canadian Indestructible Roller Device, Bobbins, fascines; and a Small Box Girder Bridge as seen in this kit. This 30' Assault Bridge could be laid by the tank without being exposed to small arms fire. The Kit even though this say "New" on the Revell box the kit is certainly not new but the matchbox kit from 1983, even though traces of "Made in England" and the original manufacturer have been removed from the moulds the kit number PK-177 can still be seen on the Sprues Even though the kit dates from 1983 the moulds have held up very well with only a little flash on the plastic parts. Construction begins with the multiple wheel units down each side. The wheels are moulded as part of these and not individual units. Two outer sections with the wheels mount to a centre section, these then fit to the outer armour section. This is repeated twice, once for each side. The fore and aft main wheels are then added before the tracks can be threaded on. The inner hull part is added along with top cover. This then completes the sie track units which can be mated to the lower main hull section. Construction now moves to the upper hull and starts with the turret. The large mortar is assembled and then sandwiched between the upper and lower halves of the turret. Stowage boxes, aerials and hatches are then added to the turret before it can be placed onto the upper hull section. At the front of the hull the pate with the drivers vision slit and bow mounted machine gun is added. Under this the attachment points for the front of the bridge go on. Racks for the bridge section winch section are then put on the rear. The winch is made up and added to the tanks rear deck, and at the back the aft bullhead goes in with its towing attachment, This then completes the main body of the tank. The box bridge now needs to be built up. this consists of two halves which fold in the middle. Each side consists of a main top plate under which two boxes are built up, one on each side. These have two side girders and a lower girder. End plates are added at the rear and a single link plate goes onto the front. The two sections are then joined and at the end which attaches to the tank a large A frame is added. A rigging diagram is provided for the cabling (Not included) which is needed to rig the bridge. Once built the model can be placed on the included base if required. Markings There are markings for three vehicles on the small decal sheet. 5th Assault Regiment 6th Assault Regiment 42nd Assault Regiment Conclusion Recommended as its still a good kit and does provide some nostalgia. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  8. Patrol Torpedo Boat PT-160 (05175) 1:72 Revell PT Boats by their very name are Patrol Torpedo Boats. They are smaller fast attack craft designed primarily to launch torpedoes at enemy vessels using their fast speed as a their primary advantage. Elco were the makers of the longest, and most produced of these PT Boats made for the US Navy. Even though the main armament was four torpedoes later towards the end of the war some boats received two eight cell Mark 50 rocket launchers. These launched 5" spin stabilised Mark 7 and Mark 10 rockets. These had a range of upto 11,000 yards. These were equivalent to a 5" shell from a destroyer and the PT Boats carried 16 in their tubes with 16 reloads. This gave these Boats quite a punch. PT-160 was laid down, launched and completed in 1942. She served in the Pacific war and was struck off in late 1945. During here time she was fitted with an experimental "Thunderbolt" mount consisting of four 20mm and two .50 cal. machine guns on the aft position. This must have been quire a sight to see firing. The Kit This is re-issue of Revell's new tool kit from 2018 with new parts to reflect the different armament of these boats, namely here the Thunderbolt mount. As well as the main hull parts there are a further 11 sprues of grey plastic and 3 clear sprues. Construction begins with the hull. The left and right parts are joined with a centre bulkhead being added to stiffen things up. A small insert is added into the bow. The lower hull part at the back is separate and this needs to be added in. The transom will need to be added, though for some reason this is not mentioned in the instructions! its not there in step 3 but appears in place in step 8? The stand is now assembled if needed. The interior parts of the deck houses must be added to the main deck and this can then be joined to the lower hull. Underneath the triple shafts with their screws and individual rudders are added to the hull. Finally on rear the transom the exhausts are put on. Moving to the upper deck the superstructure of the wheelhouse and main deck house is made up along with its internal parts. Various deck fittings, ladder, vents and lockers are added to the deck. The side mounting structure for the machine guns is built up and these go on. Next up the four torpedoes are assembled and mounted to the deck. At the rear either the experimental Thunderbolt mounting can be made up and fitted, or the later standard 20mm can be added in its place. 7 Markings The decal sheet has markings for PT-160 in 1942 when she was fitted with the mount at the Elco works, and then later in 1943 when serving in the Pacific. Conclusion Its good to see this out representing this unusually armed PT boat. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  9. First Diorama - Sd.Kfz.124 "Wespe" (03334) 1:76 Carrera Revell The Sd.Kfz. 124 Wespe or more catchily titled "Leichte Feldhaubitze 18/2 auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen II (Sf.)" was a German light field Howitzer mounted to a modified Panzer II chassis. It became apparent early on during the war in France that the Panzer II was lacking as a tank and the Germans looked to re-purpose them. Thue was born such vehicles as the Wespe and Marder II. With the Wespe the Panzer IIs engine was moved forwards and the chassis lengthened to accommodate the 10.5cm gun. These would first see service in Russia in 1943 The gun proved to be both reliable and highly manoeuvrable, it had a comparatively smaller silhouette than other guns of its type but a downside to this was the abilty to hold less ammunition. 676 units were produced with another 159 chassis being converted to ammunition carriers. The Kit Even though this says "New" on the Revell box the kit is certainly not new, but the matchbox kit from 1974, though traces of Lesley, and "Made in England" have been removed from the moulds the kit number PK77 can still be seen on the Sprues Revell now seem to be marketing this as a "First Diorama" kit as the base complete with palm tree is still with the kit. Even though the kit dates rom 1974 the moulds have held up very well with only a little flash on the plastic parts. The rubber tracks though are not so good with more flash. As a "first diorama" kit it comes complete with contacta glue and two pots of paint, green for the palm and black for the tyres, though any other colours you will need to find; though I suspect its not to be painted for the dessert option for the market Revell are pitching this at. Construction begins with te lower hull. The two side are added to the base and then the running gear can be added. There are 5 road wheels, an idler, a drive sprocket, and 3 return rollers to add to each side. Once these are on the tracks can be fitted. To finish of the inside the crew area at the rear is added in along with some ready use shells. Work now moves to the upper hull. First off the gun and its carride are made up, this fits into the gun shield and the two are placed in the upper hull with a plate going on the underside to hold everything in place. Side vent plates are then added to each side. The upper shielding plate on both side and the rear then go on, with radios being fitted inside the left hand side plate. The upper hull can now be joined to the lower one. Exterior jerrycans stowage, lights, and a spare road wheel are then added to finish the model. If the modeller wants to use the supplied base then the palm tree is made up and added, tow figures are supplied for use on the base if wanted. Markings There are markings for two vehicles on the small decal sheet. 21st Panzer Division, Afrikakorps, North Africa 1943 17th Panzer Division, Battle of Kursk, Russia 1943. Conclusion Recommended for the small scale vehicle builder and maybe those looking for a bit of nostalgia. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  10. Porsche 917KH Le Mans Winner 1970 (07709) 1:24 Carrera Revell The origin of the 917 begins with the 908 race car, which was developed at the end of the 60s to take part in the Group 6 Prototype championship that had been developed by the predecessor to the FIA, who had included easement to increase participation, allowing larger engined cars to race, which Porsche took full advantage of. The 917 ran a type 912 engine, which was a flat-12 created by mating two flat-6 engines from their stable, with power transferred by a four or five gear transmission. They used clever techniques to save weight, including advanced metals such as titanium, and doubling the use of some of the tubular framework to also carry fluids around the car’s chassis. The rest of the frame was permanently pressurised to help detect fatigue or damage cracks by measuring a drop in pressure inside the frame, and the child in me kind of hopes that they used Helium to save even more weight and make the driver’s voice squeaky after a crash! The area taken up by the engine pushed the driver’s feet past the front of the chassis, and the rear was covered by a long sweeping cowling that was initially longer, and could actually generate lift at particularly high speeds. The shortening and aerodynamic improvement of the cowling resulted in the K variant that stands for Kurzheck, which translates in modern terminology to “hatchback”. This variant had much more efficient aerodynamics and downforce that allowed it to corner faster than the earlier marks, although those were still used for particularly fast, relatively straight tracks where downforce wasn’t so crucial, and where the conditions allowed, the 908 was still used on occasion. Although 1969 wasn’t a resounding success, 1970 became an exceptional year for Porsche, and as the engine had been successively bored out to 5L, it was producing over 600bhp by then, so was winning more often than not, the 917K winning 7 out of the 8 races it was entered in thanks to its power, handling and of course the driver’s skill from within the cockpit. The reputation of the Porsche brand had been boosted massively thanks to these successes, and were considered by most to be the world leaders in this genre of motorsport, which they were more than happy about. Winning the 1970 Le Mans race made their smiles even broader than usual, and again in 1971, although they didn’t have it all their own way in ’71, as the competition had woken up and were making inroads into Porsche’s dominance. Later in the 70s the 917 went to America to compete there, and again in the early 80s, a change in regulations allowed it to race again in some events, the last being at Brands Hatch in the UK, where it retired with suspension failure bringing its surprisingly powerful performance to an end. The Kit This is a colourful reboxing of the Fujimi kit in a Revell box, adding some swooping white “eyelash” decals that emanate from around the headlights, depicting the attractive scheme worn by the 1970 Le Mans winning vehicle. The kit arrives in a medium-thickness end-opening box with a handsome painting of the subject on the front, and a banner that marks it out as a Limited Edition in red and gold. I guess the take-away there is that if you want one, get it soon before they run out of stock. It’s likely to be popular too, so I’d take them at their word. Inside the box is a large outer bag, with all the sprues inside also separately bagged, probably because they were delivered like that from the factory. There are two sprues of white styrene, two more in black, a small chromed sprue, a clear sprue, a H-shaped sprue with the four black, flexible tyres on each corner, a small translucent sprue of polycaps, the instruction booklet with colour printing and the profiles in the rear, which holds the safety sheet and the decal sheet inside. It’s all very nice and cleanly moulded, belying its 2003 origin, with no flash or mould damage evident, which is always good. The wheels are first to be built, making them in pairs due to the difference in size and width between front and back. The black hubs slide inside the tyres and are put aside while the brake discs and hubs are constructed, hiding a peg axle inside, with a polycap slid over the end of each one after closing up the assemblies, leaving the pegs unglued to allow the wheels to rotate. The front suspension is moulded into a section of the inner floor, and has a fire extinguisher and a ladder-like part layered inside along with some substantial detail painting, which as usual is flagged with letter codes that correspond with a table near the front of the booklet. The rest of the floor pan is prepared by removing some stiffening sprue sections and painting it up before lowering the front section into position inside, and adding the sides, coil-over shock absorbers, then control arms and the combined hub/disc assembly, and more anti-roll bars and the steering arm. Under the nose is an intake that consists of two parts that slide into two notches in the front of the floorpan. The reason the front suspension is made first is because the poor driver basically sits over it, so his dashboard is built next under a deep coaming, with the instruments, steering column and wheel plus a supporting framework stretching forward into the nose, and locating on a pair of holes in the base. The driver’s larger seat with decal belts is placed on the right on cross-members, with a small co-driver/vestigial seat on the left. A full engine isn’t in the purview of this kit, but you do get a representation of the upper section that is built up with the rear suspension, transmission and structural elements that are inserted behind the firewall bulkhead that separates it from the cockpit. The rear discs and drive-shafts are installed either side of the transmission, then the relevant metal framework is placed over the power pack in three layers, the uppermost layer also mounting the exhaust trunking and what looks like a spare rim, although it has different spokes than the others, and can’t be, surely? Over the engine is the air intake pathway that consists of three parts, plus a pin in the underside that allows the impeller in the middle to rotate. After the last of the supports are installed, the rear wheel arch liners are added to the framing, and the four wheels are pushed onto the polycaps without glue, taking care to put the bigger, wider tyres on the back end. The bodyshell is moulded in white, which should make painting it red easy enough if you’re not a fan of primer, and it is split into forward and rear sections at the back of the crew compartment. The forward section has a lower rolled-under fairing fixed under the nose, and an inspection panel over the driver’s feet, with the overhead crescent-shaped window optionally painted red to block out the sun. The rear half has two NACA vents added on the fairing behind the cockpit, and a slim bulkhead at the very rear, which has two holes drilled in each side to accept the simple rear light clusters, which are painted before application. Some little chrome intakes and a fuel cap are fitted into position, then the detailing of the forward half is detailed by adding chrome lamps with clear lenses in the headlamp cut-outs that have been painted black previously, and another pair inset into another recess, covering them with lozenge-shaped lenses later on. The windscreen and grille are added from the outside, and the rear-view mirror is glued into the roof from inside, with a few more chrome intakes added on the door surfaces. The twin windscreen wipers are mounted on a single arm that fixes to small holes on the scuttle, and the two door windows are fixed in place with a red rim around each one. The two halves are brought together, then another cap is pushed into its hole from below, with a small cut-off lever at the front left on the scuttle. The body and floorpan are clipped or glued together starting at the nose, and locating on a number of pegs that slip into holes in the underside. Markings As this is a special edition, there is only one decal option on the sheet, which is the vehicle that won the 1970 Le Mans race. It is painted bright red, with white stripes extending from the headlamps, and running around the side. The rims are black, which gives it a striking appearance from every angle. From the box you can build the following: Decals are by Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The eyelashes are linked together by the carrier film, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble with narrow stripes folding up on each other, which should be quite a relief. Conclusion This is a really nice kit of an attractive design by Porsche, in an eye-catching livery that won perhaps one of the best-known races in motorsport. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  11. German Submarine Type XXI (05177) 1:144 Carrera Revell The Type XXI U-Boat was an advanced ocean-going submarine that mercifully for the Allies, arrived too late to see meaningful service in World War II. It featured several important innovations including a super-streamlined hull, a snorkel for the diesel engines that allowed it to run submerged for extended periods, and a huge battery capacity that endowed it with unprecedented underwater speed and endurance. Facilities for the crew were also much improved over the previous generation of boats, with individual showers and freezers for storing food amongst the home comforts available, setting the standards for post-war submarines once the war was over. One example of the type, U2540 was launched in early 1945 but never actually made it as far as a combat patrol due to fuel shortages. Instead, she was scuttled in May 1945, only a few months after her launch. Some 12 years later, U2540 was salvaged and returned to service with the Bundesmarine as the Wilhelm Bauer. Following retirement from service in 1982, she was put on display as a museum ship at Bremerhaven, where she remains to this day. The Kit This is a reboxing of the 1990s era kit of the Willhelm Bauer, but with the cut-away option removed, leaving it with a much shorter parts list and possibly wider appeal, as not everyone wants to spend the time building the interior of a kit. It arrives in a long end-opening box, and within are just two large sprues in grey styrene, a small sheet of decals, folded-up old-skool Revell instruction booklet printed on rough paper in black and white, and obligatory safety sheet. Regardless of its era, the exterior detail is crisp and consists of both engraved and raised details, and there is little in the way of flash to be seen anywhere, which bodes well for the completed model. Construction begins with the dive planes, which are assembled on a platform that uses two rods and a cam to allow the planes to move in synchronisation once installed in the slots on the sides of the hull. Two more slots at the bow are filled with inserts to represent the torpedo tube recesses, and at the rear the aft planes that mount the screws are each made from two halves, a tip with deep sink-marks in both sides, and the propulsion screw, slotted into the respective side of the hull before closure, which is next. The two halves are brought together, trapping the central rudder at the rear, and the two deck plates between the tops of the hull, then adding the steering vanes behind the outboard screws, slipping their axles into the holes in the hull. A four-part base is included on the sprue, and that’s of use now because otherwise your model will roll all over your workbench. Even if you plan on putting a more attractive base on your model later, this may be useful whilst building the model. The conning tower, or sail if you prefer is the next to be built, starting with an insert added to an opening in the port half, then bringing the two halves together, and inserting the two turreted guns in the holes fore and aft of the tower, securing them with styrene washers that you glue to the peg on which they rotate. The 20mm anti-aircraft guns are separate from the turrets, so can be left to pivot if you so wish. The base for the forest of masts in the centre of the sail also has the three crew recesses moulded-in, and a plate that glues under it to provide a base. There are a total of four tubular masts with various equipment at the top, two of which are joined together near the tip, and these are joined by a pair of short whip aerials, square and circular aerials, after which the sail is glued onto its location near the centre of the boat. The final step is likely to be carried out after main painting, and includes a quantity of scratch-style work. You are advised to make up thirty-eight vertical railings of 7mm in length and 0.5mm diameter from stretched sprue, although I’d be making mine from wire for strength. Then you are shown how to link them together in two overlapping runs with thread or wire, plus another two aerials that are strung between the ends of the deck and the sail, as per the accompanying diagrams. Markings There is only one set of diagrams for the main hull printed in greyscale, but there are five decal options for the modeller to choose from, all with a pair of scrap diagrams for the sides of the sail, which is where they differed for the most part. From the box you can build one of the following: U3504 Commissioned 23rd September 1944, scuttled 5th May 1945, Wilhelmshaven U2502 Commissioned 19th July 1944, sunk 1st January 1946 in Operation Deadlight U2514 Commissioned 19th October 1944, sunk 88th April 1945 at Hamburg by bombs U2540 Commissioned 19th October 1944, scuttled 4th May 1945 near the Flensburg lightship U3501 Commissioned 19th October 1944, scuttled 4th May 1945 at Wesermünde Decals are by Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. You should note that the decal for the Kriegsmarine flag is printed without the swastika in the centre. Each decal option has a plaque at the centre of the decal sheet, tailored for application to the supplied stand. Conclusion This is an interesting update of a nice model. At just over 53cm (21”) long, it’s an impressive size, and time has been kind to the moulds, so the build should be straight forward. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  12. CH-47D Chinook (03825) 1:144 Carrera Revell The CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor heavy lift helicopter, developed by Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol since 1962. Its incredible longevity is testament to the quality, flexibility and robustness of the original design. Over 1,200 examples have been produced, and the type has seen frontline service in conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the Falklands Conflict in British service, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan where its utility was so much in evidence that many airframes became worn out by the end of their time there. In its capacious loading area, the Chinook could lift a 24,000lb payload or carry anywhere between 33 and 55 troops. The CH-47D was fitted with more powerful engines than its predecessors, adding an additional 2,000lbs to its internal or external carriage capacity. It is often used to carry 105mm howitzers, associated equipment and crew, as well as the usual troop transport role, with improved avionics leading to a production run of just over 20 years, with moderate overseas sales, serving alongside the comparable MH-47D that was used primarily by Special Forces with in-flight refuelling capability amongst other alterations to suit its cloak-and-dagger role. The Kit This is a reboxing of Revell’s 2000 kit, although it has also found its way into Academy boxes in the past, and the sprues have a ‘not Revell’ feel to them, as they’re not moulded in Revell’s usual style or styrene colour, and the bags are heat-sealed. On the underside of the floor part is a small logo of Ace Corporation of Korea, which finally gives the game away. Inside the small end-opening box are four sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, small decal sheet, colour instruction booklet with profiles on the rear, and that annoying safety sheet. Can you tell I don’t like them? Bearing the scale of this kit in mind, the detail is good, including cockpit and engraved external details, plus a well-detailed floor and seats, but no interior detail in the fuselage halves, with a lot of ejector pin marks within. Construction begins with the cockpit, which is built up on the front of the floor, painting the floor as indicated using Revell’s usual letters-in-flags and an extensive key at the beginning of the instructions. The cyclic and collective sticks are inserted into the floor, and the instrument panel is mounted on a raised area at the front, adding a decal for the instruments before fixing the two pilot seats and two bulkheads behind them, the front of which has quilted insulation engraved on the surface. The two fuselage halves are prepared with a dozen circular portholes in the sides, with a choice of a blown alternative for one on each side, and two doors per side, held flush with the outer skin by a pair of supporting tabs. The fuselage halves are then brought together around the interior, taking care to fill the ejector pin marks and paint it up if you think they will be seen. At the same time, the two rotor heads are built from two parts each and trapped in the turrets fore and aft in the roof. These are left loose in case you want to play choppers and spin the blades later. The floor inside the fuselage is exposed until the external skin is inserted into the gap after drilling out some holes in it beforehand, and making up the two-layer access ramp, which has two T-shaped pins inserted to act as the pivot point when it is trapped between the floor and outer skin. Another small rounded skin insert completes the rear overhang, and at the opposite end the one-piece crystal-clear canopy is first drilled out very carefully on either side of the upper nose, then glued into the opening in the front of the fuselage. The rear rotor turret has two inserts, one fore and aft, in order to detail the structure accurately, and is joined by the two powerful engines, which are made from two halves, plus a long intake baffle on its own pylon in front of the main part. An engine is built on each side of the fuselage, and both have a conical filter fitted over the intake to reduce FOD ingestion during dusty take-offs and landings. Underneath, the fixed landing gear legs are each a single part strut, with twin wheels fitted at the front, and singles at the rear, plugging into the underside, and joined by a small forest of aerials and sensors between the front wheels, then moving aft, the winch hatch can be covered by its door, or you can install the winch on its cross-member in the opening, with another winch further to the rear. If you've elected to pose the back door open, there are a pair of ramp extensions included on the sprues for vehicular access. The exterior is detailed with a pair of antennae in the nose where you drilled the holes earlier, a blade antenna is mounted on the roof, and an extended rail antenna is created by either installing the individual supports and linking them with a piece of fine wire or thread, or using the alternative single part that depicts just the front portion if you don’t feel up to the task. A pair of strakes are finally mounted on the sides of the fuel sponsons to finish off the fuselage. The big rotors that give the Chinook its ‘WOKKA’ sound are each three blades that are installed on a central head, with a tiny pin ensuring alignment underneath, so go easy with the glue and keep them straight. The rotor bases each have a central pin and three more locating pins that line up with the actuators of the rotors, and are glued in place on each one to finish them off. Markings There is just one decal option on the small sheet, and it’s a green US Army bird. From the box you can build the following airframe: Boeing-Vertol CH-47D Chinook, A Company, 5 Battalion, 159 Aviation Regiment, US Army, Giebelstadt, Germany, 1994 Decals are by Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a well-detailed exterior model of the doughty Chinook in teeny-tiny scale, and with a little effort you can open it up at the rear, which isn’t usual for the average 1:144 scale kit. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  13. F-15E Strike Eagle (03841) 1:72 Carrera Revell The F-15 was designed as an Air Superiority fighter by McDonnell Douglas in the late 1960s as the eventual winner of the F-X programme, entering service at the end of 1974. Since then, it has undergone many changes, upgrades, and adaptation to additional roles, and gained an envious reputation for ruggedness and survivability, as well as dishing out missiles and bombs by the thousand in service with the US Air Force and other foreign operators. The B and D models are the two-seat variants that were designated as trainers and built between 1972 and 1985, graduating from B to D in 1979. A full set of pilot controls is duplicated in the rear seat for the instructor, but the ECM package is not installed, which means that the aircraft can still be used in action, and has indeed been used by the Israelis who fielded Bs during the Lebanon war. The following E and SE (Silent Eagle) made two seats the standard with the rear-seater taking on the role of weapons officer, the latter utilising fifth generation technologies to leverage the success of the basic airframe into the modern battlefield at a reduced cost over a genuine fifth generation fighter like the F-22 or F-35. The E is known as the Strike Eagle, and has been upgraded to use conformal fuel tanks as well as an advanced avionics suite for defence and attack purposes, which allows it to fly over enemy territory without other aircraft types covering it. It’s darker camouflage sets it apart from the standard Eagles, and many of them have been tasked with missions over enemy territory since introduction in the late 80s, with additional capability upgrades to its avionics and radar, and a long out-of-service date due to the more rugged airframe of the E. The Kit This is a brand-new modern tooling from Revell, which will please a great many 1:72 modellers with a fondness for this extremely capable US fast jet. It arrives in a shallow end-opening box, and inside are five sprues of light grey styrene, two small clear sprues, a decal sheet trapped inside the instruction booklet, which uses spot colour throughout, and has colour profiles to the rear for its special decal sheet, which has been designed for Revell by DACO Products, a well-respected researcher, publisher and modeller. The detail is thoroughly modern, and it looks to be well-engineered to minimise pitfalls during building. Construction begins with the ejection seats, which are each made of a cushion with headbox, two side panels, and a rear frame, with detail painting called out in Revell’s usual letters-in-flags style, which cross-refers to a table near the front of the booklet. The two cockpit tubs are linked together on top of the nose gear bay, and each side console has a decal for the instruments for extra detail. The seats and control column are slipped in between the consoles, and each crew member has an instrument panel with more decals situated in front of them, adding a coaming over the top, plus a HUD glass for the front seat, and an extra detail part for the rear. The rear cockpit is completed by adding a central control column, plus two short sticks, one on each console, after which the completed assembly is trapped between the two nose halves, drilling small holes in the sides for probes that are fitted later. The nose is then put to the side while other assemblies are made up. The F-15 is driven by a pair of powerful Pratt & Whitney F-100 engines that are fed a prodigious quantity of air through the intakes that are found either side of the cockpit, through long ducting that slows the air down and leads it into the crushing compressor blades at the front of the engines. The left and right trunks are moulded as top and bottom, linked together by a pair of cross-braces that hold them at the correct angle, and assist with the joining of the upper and lower halves by providing a greater mating surface, as well as pegs on which to mount the wings. At the rear of the intake trunking is the front face of the engine, which might just be visible in the right light. Once the glue is cured, the lower wing halves are glued under the cross-braces, then they too are put to one side for a while so that you can build up the underside of the fuselage, which also has the elevons moulded into it, and needs some small holes drilling in it before it goes any further. It’s worth noting at this stage that there are some shallow sink-marks toward the trailing edges of the wings where the thickness of the trailing edge moulded into the underside has shrunk, so it’s best to smear a little filler over those before you progress further. The intake trunking fixes into the upper fuselage/wing part, and should be left to set up before you close the fuselage by adding the newly minted underside. Two small conical fairings are then glued to the sides of the fuselage in front of the wings, and the semi-conformal tanks are laid against the open sides of the fuselage to close them over. The variable intakes are each made from two parts, one with an internal E-shaped panel that fits flat against the inside of the top of the intake, and these are slotted over the trunk extensions once the spine behind the cockpit has been fitted into the “neck” of the Eagle. The nose/cockpit assembly is then slid in between the intakes and the nose cone added, although no mention of nose weight is made, but you may want to add some. The exhausts begin with a deep trunk that has a representation of the rear of the engine at the very end, and five segments are inserted into the lip at the rear to create the exhaust petals, adding ten actuator rods into the outside of the finished assembly for extra detail. There are two of them of course, and they slide into the empty fairings between the tails, adding a pair of vertical stabiliser fins in the slots to the sides, which are handed to ensure you put the correct one on each side. Under the tail is a small arrestor hook, and the extensions that hold the elevons have tiny pointed tips added to complete them. The main gear legs are straight struts with perpendicular axles and a short retraction jack to the side, adding the two-part wheel to the axle before inserting it into the shallow bay and installing the single bay door that remains open on landing, hanging down. The nose gear strut is based on an A-frame at the top, with a long retraction jack added to the front and a gear bay door out to the rear, plus the small wheel slotted onto the axle. The last assembly relating to the airframe is the canopy, which consists of the fixed windscreen, plus the large opener, which in the modern style has been made with a three-part mould to depict the blown shape of modern canopies, so you will either need to squint so you can’t see the faint seamline, or sand it away and polish it back to clarity, as you see fit. Two inserts fit inside the lower frame, and it can be installed closed, or opened by adding a jack that sprouts from behind the pilot, and props against a socket in the curved support on the midpoint of the lower frame of the canopy. The two small probes mentioned earlier are actually the last parts of the airframe. No modern fighter can go very far without additional fuel tanks, and this kit includes three. One for the centreline, two for under the wings, each made from two parts. Two sensor pods (AN/AAQ-13 & AN/AAQ-14) and six mounts for munitions on the fuselage sides are made up, plus a shallow triple-rack for just under both sides of the fuselage. Six ‘dumb’ and four guided munitions are included, the former two parts each, the latter two main parts plus perpendicular fins that are made to hang from some of the pylons, and four Sidewinders can be hung from rails added to the sides of the wing-mounted fuel tanks. You are given locations for all the weapons, although whether they would all be carried at once in a real-world situation is down to you to research if you are planning on depicting an accurate load-out. Markings There is only one decal option on the sheet, but it’s a special scheme, and it has been designed by DACO Products, and specifically tailored for this model. From the box you can build the following aircraft: 4 Fighter Wing, 75th Anniversary, Seymour Johnson, 2017-18 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A new tool F-15E in 1:72 is bound to get some excitement going, and this fancy scheme will doubtless appeal too, with its stylised eagle motif on the side of the nose and wings on the…err, wings. I like the Strike Eagles with their dark grey schemes, so it gets my vote. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  14. Wiesel LeFlaSys BF/UF (03336) 1:35 Carrera Revell The Wiesel was a development initially at the request of the Bundeswehr for a light-weight, air transportable light armoured vehicle that was cancelled before the designers Porsche could complete the prototype, but because of interest from other parties, development of the type continued, ensuring that it remained able to be carried by most NATO cargo aircraft, keeping the weight down, while remaining suitable for purpose and capable of carrying out its duties. It was named the Wiesel, which unsurprisingly means Weasel in English due to its speed and agility, and the Bundeswehr eventually bought over 300 vehicles once it was complete. Toward the end of the 90s it was decided that a new version was needed that was larger, while retaining the same qualities, with design work undertaken by Rheinmetall Landsysteme, as the company was then known. The chassis was extended with an extra road wheel to total five axles, and it was powered by a 1.9L Volkswagen turbo-diesel engine that was mated with an automatic gearbox for ease of use, ease of maintenance and availability of parts. It was named Wiesel 2, with the original version retrospectively referred to as Wiesel 1. There are several variants of the Wiesel 2, some of which look a little strange, but are capable performers despite the top-heavy look of some of the air-defence vehicles that have missiles in pods above the roofline. The Air Defence systems are named LeFlaSys, which stems from a concatenation of the German leichtes Flugabwehrsystem, or Light Air Defence System in English. The Air Defence battalions have command vehicles that aren’t equipped with weapons other than a self-defence MG3 machine gun on the top hatch, and the crew inside are tasked with managing the operations with which the vehicles are entrusted. The crew consists of the driver under the front hatch, the vehicle commander who can pop out of the top hatch to operate the gun if required, and the battalion commander, with the total interior spare now twice that of the earlier variant at 4m3. Troop carrying vehicles can seat up to seven soldiers in that space who are protected from small arms fire up to 7.62mm by the armoured shell, exiting through the rear door that is common to most variants. The Kit This is a reboxing of the 2010 tooling from Revell, with the new parts that were tooled for the 2014 triple boxing that included this variant of the vehicle, plus a radar equipped Wiesel and a missile carrier to depict the whole LeFlaSys system. It arrives in the usual shallow end-opening box that makes some modellers cry due to the ease with which it is crushed, and inside are three sprues in light grey styrene, a pair of Diehl Type 622 tracks in black flexible plastic, the instruction booklet in colour, with two lengths of bright metal wire taped to it for you to depict the aerials that are prominent on this type of vehicle. The Weasel is a small vehicle as you may have already guessed, but the detail is good, covering the exterior of the body, the road wheels and suspension, plus all the anti-slip patches that cover the upper surfaces. Construction begins with the body shell, building up the sides and rear on the floor, which has X-shaped stiffeners engraved on the underside. The narrow front and sharply sloped upper close up the body, except for the two hatches that will be filled in later. The road wheels, idler wheels and drive sprockets are all made from two halves, but aren’t installed until the idler mechanism and the other suspension swing-arms are fixed to the sides, with two small return-rollers attached to stub axles above them. The tracks are flexible, and are glued together after removing the overflow tabs on the sides of the runs, which also act as ejector-pin points to preserve the detail. You aren’t told what type of glue to use, but I can confirm that liquid glue does not have any effect on the material, so super glue (CA) is going to be the best bet. If you put the joint on the lower run, it is unlikely to be seen after any painting and weathering is completed. They slip over the road wheels without glue, but if you want to depict sag, you may consider adding some glue to the process to replicate that. The rear of the vehicle is detailed with light cluster boxes that have short mudguards and reflectors moulded-in, with a Leitkreuz “light cross” convoy aid on a shield that hangs from the rear of the vehicle, which you get a choice of decals or hand-painting it as you see fit. Several loops and grab handles are added to holes and depressions in the rear of the hull, with a few more fitted at the front. The right side of the vehicle has a half-length fender slotted into the front, with a hazard light to be painted red near the front, or snipped off and replaced by a piece of profiled clear plastic. More loops and an aerial base, then some pioneer tools are glued to the right side, with more equipment and another antenna base on the left, however the left side has a full-length fender that has the exhaust stretching back from the location of the motor, which is then covered over by a part that represents the perforated shield that protects the crew from burns. Clearly, this would have been better depicted by Photo-Etch (PE), but Revell generally don’t include this medium and not everyone wants to wrangle PE, as it takes a little experience, tools and some swearing to become competent. Looking at photos of that area however, very little can be seen of what is beneath the shield, so adding a little black wash to accentuate the depressions may well be sufficient for realism’s sake. Another grab-handle is placed next to the driver’s hatch, with a tow-cable neatly coiled on the centre of the glacis plate, and the commander’s cupola is made up from the base, brackets for the MG3, and the hatch itself, adding it to the hull along with the driver’s simple one-part hatch and a block of hidden equipment scabbed onto the deck on the opposite side. The anti-slip patches are all raised and have a very faint texture to differentiate them from the smooth deck. Some modellers use pumice powder glued to the surface with PVA to enhance the texture, but with the number of panels, you’ll need to take a bit of time to do it well. The smoke discharger fan at the front of the glacis is protected by a cage that is built out of four parts, with the discharger base and the four barrels mounted onto lugs on the sides before it is glued to the deck along with an L-shaped ancillary part. Additional lumps and bumps, lights and rear-view mirrors are dotted around the front of the glacis, including another antenna base, which is where the wire comes in handy. The instructions don’t give a length to cut the wire, but some pictures show that they are longer than the instructions would imply if they were 1:1, but others seem about right. The length of the antenna is usually a multiple of the frequency that they are transmitting and receiving on, so different lengths are entirely possible. They generally stand bolt upright though, so remove any curve from the wire before using it (easier said than done), or use some 0.5mm carbon fibre rod that you can buy online relatively cheaply. A communications expert is bound to come along with an appropriate length for the antennae, so watch this space, or check your references if you’re impatient. The MG3 machine gun is well-moulded, and bears a distinct family resemblance to the WWII era MG42 that most modern machine guns are based upon. It has the cocking handle and ammo box applied to the sides of the breech, and the mount is detailed with a long twin-rail support with a hoop over the rear, and a further support that should allow the gunner to keep on target despite the recoil. The gun’s rear slides into the covered area at the rear of the mount and glues to the front. The last part is optional, and is a single part moulded as a stowed camouflage tarpaulin that is strapped to the hull. A three-tone camouflage pattern is shown next to the colour rendition of the part, and the final step shows it in place on the glacis. Markings There are three decal options on the small sheet, all of which share the same three-tone NATO camouflage despite the difference in shades shown on the profiles due to the printing process, but there are dozens of digits supplied to personalise the number plates should you have something else in mind. From the box you can build one of the following: LeFlaBttr 100, Borken/LeFlaBttr 100, Seedorf, 2005/7 LeFlaBttr 300, Hardheim, 2011 LeFlaBttr 300, Hardheim, 2009 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The Wiesel 2 is a curious little vehicle, but it’s clearly useful and it has seen extensive service, since the original was replaced by something very similar. The kit is well-detailed, and having 120 extra digits for the number plates gives you endless choices of which one to represent. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  15. Unimog 2T MilGl (03337) 1:35 Carrera Revell Unimog was the brand-name used by Mercedes for their truck, tractor and commercial vehicle range that began post WWII as an agricultural brand, initially built by another company for them whilst using their engines. The name derives from a portmanteau of “UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät”, or Universal Motor Machine literally translated. The range broadened in the late 40s and early 50s to include trucks, of which the 404 series was one, entering production in 1955. It is a small (1.5 tonne) 4x4 truck that was driven by a 2.2 litre M180 straight-6 Mercedes engine and has impressive off-road performance due to a change that had been required by a customer, the French Army, who wanted the spare tyre to be stored clear of the load compartment. The designers altered the shape of the rear chassis rails to allow the wheel to sit under the floor, the downward sweep giving the chassis extra flexibility that smoothed the ride on rough surfaces, assisted by coil springs, rather than traditional leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system could be disengaged on smoother ground, leaving just the rear wheels engaged, thereby saving fuel and wear on the front drive-shafts, and generally improving performance all round. The 400 series was the most numerous of the Unimog line, and was available as a short or long-wheelbase chassis, with the shorter option phased out at the beginning of the 70s, while the longer wheelbase continued on for another decade before it too was retired. The 437 was introduced late in the 19880s and is more of a heavy-weight that is modernised and continued to be upgraded as time went on. It is easily discerned by the squared off cab, and is available in U and L derivatives, standing for short and long wheel-bases respectively. Many variants are used by the post WWII German Bundeswehr, the 2T MilGl being one of them, certified for a load of, you guessed it, two tonnes, with a load bed that has a canvas tilt to protect the load whether it is equipment or soldiers. A total of over 62,000 of the 404S were made over its lengthy production run, with many of them still on and off the roads to this day due to their rugged engineering. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original kit that was tooled in 1995, and although it is heading toward 30 years old, it has decent detail throughout, although there are doubtless some areas that the more detail-oriented modeller might want to upgrade. It arrives in a slim end-opening box, and inside are four sprues and a cab in pale greenish grey styrene, a flexible sprue containing five sturdy tyres, a clear sprue, the instruction booklet in the old-skool Revell style on matt paper with a rough texture that invites comparison with cheap toilet paper. Ouch! It’s a product of its era in this respect, and the instruction steps are also monochrome, as are the painting and decaling guides in the rear. You get a full engine and chassis, plus drive train representations in the kit, as well as the expected cab interior, so it’s a great canvas to work your wonders upon, whether you’re an out of box modeller or otherwise. Construction begins with the engine, which I suspect is the straight 6-cylinder 5958cc diesel engine, judging by its tall, narrow appearance. The two block halves are brought together, then detailed with the complex belts at the front, and some ancillaries on the side. The motor is dropped into the front of the ladder chassis after adding a dropped hook, then the drive-shaft to the rear is inserted into the back of the engine, linking into the two-part transmission with a further drive-shaft heading back to the rear axle. The tubular muffler and short exhaust pip are fitted to a nub on the left side of the chassis, with the long snaking pipe linking the box to the engine and painted a grubby, rusty colour. The big front springs are made up from the two halves and a bottom cap, and these mount on the circular protrusions from the sides of the chassis, ready to accept the front axle, which has disc brakes on pivots installed in it during closure, then detailed with various steering and suspension links. Similar two-part springs are made up for the rear and mounted on large pivots top and bottom, then slipped over the rod passing through the chassis. This allows the rear axle to be made up with disc brakes at each end and inserted into the bottom of the suspension unit, again getting suspension links and a pair of shocks to improve handling during off-road adventures. A pair of cylinders and their associated hoses are attached in front of the rear right wheel, with another shorter one inside the chassis rail, which looks like the air brake system, as it includes a four-port manifold in the hose area. The fuel tank and a stowage box are each built from two parts, and the former has the mount moulded-in and a cap fixed to the top, while the latter is mounted on a separate bracket so both can be installed on the right chassis rail between the wheels. A foot peg and another on the other side are fixed in front of these items, with an empty bracket just behind it on the left side. At the rear of the chassis the light clusters are built up on L-shaped brackets, with clear lenses that need painting with appropriate clear shades, and finally the four flexible black tyres can be installed on the axles, after adding the two hub halves and a free-wheeling cuff in the centre, gluing them carefully if you want the wheels to rotate. The cab is begun with the floor, adding the three pedals in the left foot well, and the dash board with decals plus the gear and handbrake levers in the centre console. The driver has a separate seat, with a wider one for the co-driver that could seat two, and both have pencil-roll upholstery moulded-in, mounting on two raised lines in the floor. Finally, the steering column with stalk and separate wheel is inserted into a hole in front of the pedals, completing the interior. The cab outer is moulded separately with what must have been early sliding moulds, creating a five-sided part that just needs doors windscreens and a roof panel. The radiator grille is a separate part too, and is first to be glued to the front of the cab, with the windscreen and rear-view mirror following it. The two doors are prepared by adding three-part hinges, a quarterlight and the door card with two decals on one, one on the other. These are then inserted into the cab, and is joined by the ribbed roof panel, which repeats the hole for the machine gun ring, and also has a small hatch added to the left wing, plus a snorkel for deep-water wading on the right side, after which it can be mated to the cab interior. The machine gun ring on the roof has a circular hatch, a raised ring, and a depiction of the MG3, which is a direct descendent of the fearsome MG42. Underneath, the inner wings are glued to the cab floor, and a pair of crew steps hang from the sides under the doors on a pair of pins. The load bed is moulded with the tilt erected, and the four sides have the short upstands moulded-in, and also have some creasing of the canvas engraved into the surface. Some of the creases would benefit from softening, but that’s entirely your choice. The four sides are topped off with the roof, and then the floor, which has no detail on the top, but with the benefit of some quick research, that’s not too far from accurate. The first (and only) picture I found of the inside has one single panel line running transverse about a third of the length from the front, which shouldn’t be too hard to replicate, even if you only have a needle. Not very grippy though! Bear in mind that was a slightly non-standard dual cab variant, so further research might be in order. Inverting the load area allows you to add the various ribs and stringers, plus stowage boxes, four mudflaps, and more stowage behind them, and a rack for fuel cans near the front on the right. The cab and chassis are mated, using up the fifth tyre and hub parts to put a spare on the bracket installed on the chassis rail earlier, then the load bed is also mated with the rear of the chassis. A shield-shaped part is fixed to the rear bumper iron with added decals, then the front bumper has two lights inserted in recesses and fitted to the front of the vehicle. The cab then has windscreen wipers, a number of grab-handles and some corner lights fixed to the bonnet, with a pair of large wing mirrors attached to each door. Between the cab and load area, a shallow “spoiler” is glued onto the back of the roof to smooth the airflow between the two parts of the vehicle, and a curved plate is attached to the back of the machine gunner’s position on the roof. Now for the paint. Markings There are four decal options included on the sheet, although the diagrams are all monochrome, relying on black, white and half-tones to replicate the three colour NATO camouflage for some of the vehicle and two of the tilts. From the box you can build one of the following: 4./Panzerbatallion 33 (Green, Brown, Black Camo all over) 3./Wachbatallion BMVg, Siegburg, 2007 (Green, Brown, Black Camo, green tilt) ISAF, Kabul, Afghanistan (Sand chassis, Sand, Brown, Black tilt) Königlich Belgische Armée, 2004 (Dark Green) Decals are by Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s not the newest kid or kit on the block, and neither are the instructions, but it’s a solid kit of this Bundeswehr staple that has been through many changes through the years. Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. 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  16. Eurofighter Typhoon Bavarian Tiger 2021 (03818) 1:72 Carrera Revell The Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon started out as the EAP programme in the 1970s engineered entirely by BAe, who were later joined by a number of international partners due to a supposedly common requirement, with the constituent partners changing over time to finally solidify with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy remaining, while France went their own way with the Aerodynamics data to create the Rafale, which coincidentally has a similar general arrangement. Delays and cost overruns seem to be a frustratingly common factor in modern military procurement, and the Typhoon suffered many, resulting in the Germans taking delivery of the first airframe in 2003. Airframes of all users have since taken part in many operations as their operators become more knowledgeable with the type’s capabilities and a greater range of weapons are certified and reach service. The single-seater Eurofighter as it’s known in Germany is a great air show crowd pleaser due to its agility at all speeds, and the impressive tearing roar of its twin EF2000 jet engines that propel it forwards with an impressive 20,000lbft of power per engine with reheat engaged. The Kit This is a re-release of Revell’s 2016 tooling of the Eurofighter, with some handsome new decals from the Luftwaffe’s 2021 display aircraft that celebrates 60 Years of Jagdgeschwader 74. Inside are four sprues in pale grey styrene, plus two small sprues of clear parts, the new decal sheet that is slipped inside the colour instruction booklet, with three pages of profiles on the rear pages. Detail is good, and if you have seen their earlier kit of the same type in 1:48, they are put together in a very similar manner as you might expect, including a simplified take on the slightly tricky intakes on the larger kit that are renowned for being a wee bit too short. Construction begins with the Martin Baker ejection seat, which starts with the cushions that have belts moulded in, has the ejection pack and headbox fixed to the rear, and two L-shaped side panels added at the side before it is inserted into the cockpit tub and is joined by the clear instrument panel, which is moulded in clear for the sake of the rounded HUD screen at the top, while the rest is painted and has a decal for the MFDs, and two more for the side consoles. A short control column is fixed into the centre of the panel, and the completed assembly is glued into the starboard fuselage half on a number of raised locating tabs. After placing 20g of nose weight in front of the cockpit, the fuselage is closed up, although you could just as easily pop it in through the circular opening in the front of the fuselage, or even load up the radome with weight. The lower wing is prepared by drilling eight holes from the inside, using the pre-thinned holes as a guide, and painting the inside of the moulded-in main gear bays, then adding the nose gear bay, which has the floor of the twin intake trunks moulded into it, and has the variable intake lips at the front, which have decals that are marked as number 90, but the decal sheet numbering stops at 75. Before joining the wings and fuselage, the exhaust trunks are glued into the rear of the fuselage, painting the afterburners that are moulded into the back a suitable metallic shade. At the front of the fuselage, the upper intake trunk and integral splitter plate are fitted between the sides under the nose, with a divider slotted in between them. The lower wing is then mated with the fuselage, joining the two halves of the intake trunking, which may need some filling and repainting. The nose cone and canards, along with the upper wings and the sizeable tail fin are next to be fixed to the airframe, making it look more like a Typhoon, with a choice of styles of exhaust petals, either opened or closed with a metallic shade mixed up from two Revell pots, or maybe use a suitable shade from another brand for simplicity’s sake. The two wingtip sensor nacelles are made up from two halves each, and clip onto the tips using the usual slot and tab method, and the spine that allows Revell to offer a one or two-seater is inserted into the trough behind the cockpit, which also has the coaming installed in preparation for the canopy. The main gear wheels are each in two halves with brake detail at the rear, and are attached to the gear legs, which have the retractor jacks added to the sides, with each one handed. They fit into holes in the roof of the bays, and have doors glued to the inner and outer sides of the bays, the outer door having a link and landing light between them, while the inner door has a retraction jack of its own. If you plan on posing your model wheels-up, the same doors are laid flat over the apertures after cutting off any hinges. The same is true of the nose gear bay, although the wheel is a single part, and there is only one door that opens sideways, with a retraction jack moulded-in. The rest of the airframe’s parts offer you a choice between having the nose-mounted refuelling probe in the open or closed position by using different parts. The air-brake on the spine behind the cockpit can be posed open or closed, adding a retraction jack to hold it at the correct angle in the open position. The canopy can also be posed open or closed, and is prepared by adding a palette to the rear of the part, closing over the rear area, so make sure you paint it first. The windscreen is glued in place at the front of the cockpit over the coaming, then the canopy is mounted either in the closed position, or open by slotting the peg on the rear of the canopy into the slot in the sloped part of the deck behind the pilot. Because of the ‘blown’ nature of modern fighter canopies that improves the situational awareness of the pilot, the canopy and windscreen parts have a fine seam down the centre on the outer surface because of the three-part mould, which you can either choose to live with, or sand down with progressively finer grades of sand paper and polish back to clarity. The rest of the build revolves around the items carried under the wings, with a pair of large fuel tanks with separate aerodynamic fins and some bright decals for the wings, plus four AIM-120 AMRAAMs carried under the fuselage on semi-conformal stations, with alternative Meteors for those same positions. Under the wings are a pair of AIM-9 Sidewinders on pylons, again with alternative IRIS-Ts on the same pylons. Another fuel tank is supplied for the centreline, and it too has some bright decals that are applied over a white paintjob. Markings The decal sheet for this special edition is as comprehensive as it is impressive, with large decals for the blue tiger striped upper surface that has a wavy demarcation near the leading edges of the wings, a feature that is carried over on the upper surfaces of the canards. The tiger eyes near the rear of the wings are particularly well done, and there is a narrow clear section where the flying surfaces pivot, and the whole airframe is overlaid with stencils and the usual national markings worn by a standard Luftwaffe bird. Underneath the aircraft is a large circular logo with ’60 years’ underneath. Additional diagrams show the painting and decaling of the pylons and fuel tanks, as previously mentioned. From the box you can build this handsome aircraft: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Do those eyes follow you round the model shop? Conclusion IMHO this is a gorgeous scheme that will appeal to a great many modellers, myself included, although 1:72 isn’t my preferred scale, so I’ll have to wait for another boxing of the 1:48 kit. This one has plenty of detail, the decal sheet, and it takes up a lot less space in the cabinet than the bigger one too. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  17. F-86D ‘Dog Sabre’ (03832) 1:48 Carrera Revell The F-86 Sabre was the first advanced jet fighter in widespread use with the US Air Force, but it was a fair-weather fighter that was bereft of radar that was to become more important as time went by during the Cold War, and essential today. The project to create an all-weather, radar-equipped derivative of the Sabre resulted in a substantially different aircraft, with a longer, wider fuselage that had a radome inset into the top of the intake trunking in the nose, a different canopy, and larger tail feathers. By the time the D variant reached service, the engine had also been upgraded, including an afterburner that gave it additional power and drove it closer to the sound barrier than its sibling. Its armament was different than the six cheek-mounted 0.5cal Brownings carried by the standard Sabre too, eschewing machine guns in favour of a conformal twin rack of Mighty Mouse rockets that would drop down into the airflow before firing, exposing 24 x 70mm FFAR Mk.4 rockets in a curved holder that would retract to clean-up the aerodynamics of the aircraft after firing, although a ripple-fire salvo must have had some choking effect on the engine, being mounted so close to the intake. There were over 2,500 D variants made, with subsequent updates making additional changes, some of them substantial, some such as the G less so, getting lumped in with the Ds during production, possibly to fudge some figures, knowing the sneaky history of aviation financing of most countries. Many NATO countries flew the Dog Sabre, some later K variants built under license by FIAT, which is a terrifying concept, given their reputation at the time for terrible cars with dodgy electrics. Some were still flying operationally into the 1970s, although not under combat conditions, as by then it would have been hopelessly outdated. The Kit This is a reboxing of the original Monogram tooling from 2001, but looking at the sprues for the first time in a long time, it’s surprisingly modern looking, although the bags are non-standard for Revell, having heat-sealed ends, and no tape, which to be fair can be annoying on occasion. It arrives in a medium-thickness end-opening box, and inside are four sprues in grey styrene in two bags, another bag containing the clear parts, the instruction booklet in colour, with the decal sheet and safety sheet hidden in between the pages. At the rear of the booklet are colour profiles to assist with painting and decaling. As already mentioned, this is a well-detailed model of the type, and is the only current relatively modern kit of the Dog in this scale, with other manufacturers reboxing it on occasion. It benefits from engraved panel lines and rivets, offers separate flaps and slats, detailed cockpit and wheel bays, and even a pilot figure with separate arms, and a surprisingly well-sculpted form. Construction begins with the four-part frame for the basic ejection seat, which inserts on a seat-shaped platform and receives the actual seat with rear headrest within, plus rudder pedals and control column first, then the instrument panel that has five additional parts installed on it before it is slotted into the front of the cockpit tub, and has another two short levers added to the left side console. Sadly, there are no decals for the panels, but a bit of careful painting should see that remedied. Like many fighters, the cockpit is positioned over the nose gear bay, but there is an intake trunk in between them, which is made from two halves, with the bay details moulded into the lower half, having two side walls added along with the nose gear strut and retraction jack. The pilot is made up and painted, and inserted into his cockpit at this stage if you plan to use him, after which the cockpit is glued to the top of the intake on a pair of upstands. Before the fuselage can be closed up, the exhaust must be completed, which consists of a tube moulded to a bulkhead, into which you insert the rear face of the engine, then attach the exhaust lip to the rear, fitting on a lug to ensure correct orientation. The inside of the forward fuselage is painted dark grey, and has three holes opened up in the underside, a small clear light near the nose, and an insert with an intake on the sides of the fuselage, using different parts for USAF or DK (Danish?) options. I find that confusing however, as both decal options are USAF, so it may be a hangover from a previous boxing. The inset marked DK has a recessed NACA intake, if that helps to deconfuse you. The fuselage is closed around the cockpit/intake and exhaust assemblies, plus a palette of equipment in a recess behind the pilot, 20g of nose-weight, and the radar-equipped nose cone, which also includes the intake lip. The lower wing is full span, and has six holes drilled out from inside before the bay walls and top detail insert are added inside, to be covered by the upper wing halves, which have more detail for the gear bays on the inside. The fuselage and wing are mated at the same time as the slats are glued to their actuators along the leading edge of the wings, leaving the flaps until later. Meantime, the main gear legs are built from a single part strut and two-part wheels, with a captive bay door on the back, and a C-shaped actuator joining them together. The inner bay door has a short jack on the forward edge, and behind the wing, repeating the process on the other side and placing a small rectangular insert into the fuselage underside. The nose wheel is a single part and is added to the strut that was fitted earlier, and has a side opening main bay door, plus a two-part folding front door to finish it off. The flaps are simple, each one consisting of a single part that fixes to the trailing edge of the cut-outs on two pegs. While the model is inverted, the two-part fuel tanks and pylon with forward stabiliser post is glued to each wing, and a clear peg has been included on the sprues just in case you didn’t include enough nose weigh to prevent a tail-sitter. The FFAR palette is fabricated based upon the outer skin, with four walls fitted, the front one having 24 holes that show the tips of the rockets, and the rear face having an impression of the rear of the rockets and their fusing wires, which are glued to an upper surface that fixes to the fuselage underside on two pegs behind the nose gear bay. If you have decided not to deploy the rocket pack, remember not to bore out the holes in the fuselage beforehand. Like its sibling, the Dog Sabre had fuselage-mounted air-brakes just in front of the tail, and these can either be mounted flush, or exposed by adding a V-shaped strut inside the bay to hold it at the correct angle, with scrap diagrams showing how they should look from behind. The elevators have long overlapping tabs that pass through the tail, and should give a strong joint with little chance of sag, plus a small blade antenna that is added under the port elevator. Finishing off the model begins with the canopy, which unusually for its era includes a pair of styrene inserts within the lower rails of the opener, plus a clear rear-view mirror. A platform with a clear part fixes into the rear of the canopy too, giving it a more detailed look, especially if you can find some Tface masks from Eduard to paint both sides of the clear parts. The windscreen is fixed, and the canopy can be posed closed by cutting off small sections of the deck at the rear of the cockpit, or opened clamshell-style by leaving those intact, and gluing it into position at the rear, with a curved clear part inserted into the fairing behind it. A choice of a crew step or a small insert to depict it retracted are provided to fit into the port side, and two tiny clear lights are popped into the leading edge of the wingtips. Markings There are two markings options on the decal sheet, although I initially thought there were four, as the usual 39 and 39a style numberings haven’t been used on this sheet. I’m easily confused though, and reading the headings makes it clear within moments. From the box you can build one of the following: F-86D-20 Sabre Dog S/n.51-2989, McConnel AFB, 1956 F-86D-40-NA Sabre Dog S/n.52-3722, 15th Fighter-Interceptor Sqn., 34th Air Division, Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona, 1957 <ul style="list-style-type:upper-alpha"> Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It’s a shame there aren’t any instrument decals, but the wealth of stencils more than make up for that minor disappointment. Conclusion Although the kit hasn’t become rare while out of production, it’s nice to see it back on the shelves with some modern decals and stencils. Detail is good for the era, and still holds up well by modern standards. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  18. Porsche 934 RSR Jägermeister (05669) 1:24 Carrera Revell Everyone knows the Porsche 911, and it’s a design classic for reasons that are already clear. The 934 was the race-prepped variant of the 911 Turbo that was produced for two years, and began its racing career in 1976 with a grand-total of only thirty-one made from start to finish. It drove to success in Europe and America at the hands of some talented drivers, and continued to win late into the decade. The 934 and 935 were highly successful until after the turn of the decade, which when looking at its statistics is hardly surprising. It began with 480bhp, but was later tweaked to produce 550bhp, with many fibreglass panels giving it a great power-to-weight ratio as well as an aggressive stance, requiring some additional weight to be added for it to comply with some competition requirements, hurling itself to 60mph from a standstill in a shade under 4 seconds. The 934 and 935s both raced in the garish Jägermeister colours, and Jägermeister’s relationship with motor racing is a long-standing one, starting in 1972 and now spanning 50 years, which is at least part of the reason for this boxing that celebrates that anniversary. Also, who doesn’t love a bright orange Porsche with wide arches? The Kit This is a reboxing of the 2017 tooling of this type, which was also first issued in a similar bright orange livery under the Jägermeister banner. The kit arrives in one of Revell’s medium-thick end-opening boxes, and inside are several bags containing two sprues and the bodyshell in bright orange styrene, four sprues in black, one in muted aluminium, one sprue of chromed styrene, a clear sprue, four flexible slick black tyres, a bag with six thumb-pots of acrylic paint, a small pot of glue with needle applicator and #2 paintbrush. The package is rounded out by a handsome decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour on matt stock, with profiles on the rear pages. Detail is as you would expect from a modern Revell tooling, and should be more than adequate for most modellers, with a depiction of the flat-six engine in the rear, and the 30+ gallon fuel tank and ancillaries in the front under the bonnet/hood. Construction begins with the transmission, which is built from halves, as is the flat block, which is mated to the wide end on a large peg. The airbox and intakes are added on top, and at the front the pulley system and engine mount are fitted, along with the turbo system and other ancillaries, then the twin exhaust manifold is inserted into the block from below, mating with the turbo system where the two become one pipe. Another set of pulleys are added to the rear of the motor, and the drive-shafts and their gaiters are inserted into the transmission block, which has moulded-in checkerboard strengthening ribbing all over it. The floorpan has its details painted, then has the front axles added onto turrets, to be linked together by the steering arm, which has its end-pins mushroomed by applying a hot screwdriver blade and some pressure to the tip. Just don’t use a screwdriver you’re fond of, as the heat might soften the metal of the blade. A section of the floor pan is applied over the axle, and a bumper iron is added to the front, then at the rear, another engine carrier beam is placed across the front of the bay, with the block and transmission assembly dropped onto it, then layered over with suspension arms and anti-roll bars. There is predictably a wheel in each corner, and each one is made up in a similar manner, but each one is handed plus differently sized fore and aft. Each wheel has a three-part brake disc with a free-rotating (hopefully) cup in the centre, into which the thick pin on the rear of the chromed rim is pushed, with the flexible tyre snugged over the rim, and a large chromed nut inserted into the centre. Carry that task out four times, then put the relevant wheel on the pertinent corner to finish off the rolling chassis. The interior is begun by detail-painting the tub, then adding pedals, gear stick, hand brake (remember those?) to the driver’s area on the left, and a box under the parcel shelf at the rear. The bucket seats have separate headrests, and there is a choice of one or two seats to be fixed to the floor, both of which have deep lateral cushions moulded-in, and decals supplied for the four-point ‘Autoflug’ seatbelts. Around that fits a four-part roll-cage that has the two door cards slotted into the grooves in the sides of the interior. Before it can be inserted in the bodyshell part, there are a number of substantial sprues carriers between the front and rear windscreens, and one more in the engine bay, all of which will need carefully removing from the part, taking care not to damage the edges, as those of the windows at least will be very visible once the model is finished. There is detail painting to be done around the bodyshell as well as inside the front compartment that is known colloquially as a ‘frunk’ in modern parlance, where there is also a trio of decals and a couple of additional detail parts, plus another chunk of roll-cage that fits beneath the bonnet cover, which was probably non-structural fibreglass on the real machine. One of the extra parts in the frunk is an intake, which corresponds with a thinned section of the bonnet lid, which can be optionally removed after a quick check of your references. The rear bumper has additional detail painting to do, as does the clear full-width rear light strip, which is painted transparent red and orange to depict the lights before they are inserted in the rear of the vehicle. The boot has the big spoiler moulded-in, with a drop-in louvre section on top, and small chromed ‘button’ inserted into each side of the boot lid. It has two large V-shaped hinges that clip into place on two raised areas per side, which will trap it in place once the interior is inserted. The dash is a well-moulded part that is shown with detailed painting instructions and seven decals to give it some extra realism, plus the steering column and wheel, the former having stalks moulded-in. Another stalk grows from the centre of dash, almost out of range of the driver, and I will admit to having no idea what that is. The completed dash mounts inside the bodyshell under the scuttle, and once the glue is dry on that, the interior can be popped into place, trapping the boot lid/spoiler. After that, you can mate the bodyshell and floorpan assembly together without needing glue before completing the structural work and detailing parts of the model. This starts with the front bumper, which has three black mesh styrene inserts pushed into the front before you hang it on the front irons, adding a pair of indicator glasses in the corners, and a towing eye to one side. Above them are a pair of cut-outs for the main lights, which have separate reflectors with trim inserted, then are covered over with a clear lens after painting the bulbs. Glazing the windows is next, with each part having black rubber seal or trim painted around the edge, then the windscreen and rear screen both insert from outside. The side windows are each in three sections, pre-painted with their trim before they are inserted into the cut-outs around the doors, adding a wing mirror with chromed lens and a door handle under each one. The final act is to insert the emergency cut-off handles on the scuttle in front of the driver’s side, and pop the twin windscreen wipers into their sockets in the scuttle after painting them a suitably black/rubber colour. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both from vehicles that raced in 1976. Both are a bright lustrous orange shade, which if you use Revell paints will require some mixing on your part. I believe that there is a specialist colour available for Jägermeister orange somewhere, so that’s always an option if you exercise your Google Fu. From the box you can depict either of these two race schemes: DRM Eifelrennen, 1976 1000-km-Rennen Nürburgring, 1976 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A nicely appointed reboxing of this recent kit from Revell, in a fascinating scheme celebrating Jägermeister’s 50th anniversary of sponsoring motorsport. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  19. Audi RS E-Tron GT (07698) Easy Click System 1:24 Carrera Revell The E-Tron GT began life as a concept car that was unveiled in 2018 in Los Angeles and then Geneva, but was launched as a production vehicle early in 2021 as a substantially similar design, but with some concessions to practicality, such as visible door handles. It is based upon the group’s J1 platform, and is a fully electric vehicle that is powered by a heavyweight battery pack that must be recharged from a wired charging-point once depleted. The GT can rocket from 0-60 in just over 3.3 seconds, being powered by two electric motors that drive an axle each, with a maximum burst power of almost 640bhp using a short-lived boost mode. In standard mode it has a slightly more sedate 590bhp that should be more than enough for the average user. The vehicle has 40% commonality of parts with the Porsche Taycan, which is based on the same J1 platform, so the service and repair bills won’t be for the feint hearted. It is a four-door sedan, despite its sinuous, sleek coupé look, although the rear passengers better not be too tall, or they may find the slope of the roofline to be an inconvenience, especially during longer journeys. Its top speed is a more-than-sufficient 155mph, which is over double the British speed limit, and while the official figure for its range is around 240 miles, independent testers have managed to squeeze another 30+ miles out of it, presumably with a trailing wind and all the power-sapping services turned off. The Kit This is a new tool from Revell, who share their German heritage with both Audi and their immense Volkwagen parent group, so it seems only natural that they should be quick to produce a kit of this type, which is an impressive and attractive step towards independence from oil-based fuels. It is heralded as an ‘Easy-Click System’ kit, but the detail is closer to that of a traditional kit, so don’t be dissuaded from considering it for that reason. Equally, it is eminently suitable for the impulse purchaser, junior or novice modeller thanks to the self-coloured parts, and a choice of decals or stickers. The kit arrives in a deep end-opening box with a dark grey/black theme that has a profile of the vehicle in similar moody lighting. Inside are four black sprues, a bodyshell and small sprue in deep blue, an anthracite sprue containing hubs, a chromed sprue, a clear sprue, four flexible ‘rubber’ tyres with cruciform runners within, the afore mentioned decal and sticker sheets, the instruction booklet printed in colour on matte paper, and finally a small safety sheet folded in four, that hides the decals within. As already mentioned, detail is good, and this extends into the interior of the bodyshell, which has grab handles, sun-visors and other details engraved into the roof, although there are also a few ejector-pin marks to hide if you expect them to be seen. Construction begins with the front wheels for a change, building up the brake discs with moulded-in callipers that have a decal applied to the outer side, plus a blue cap trapped between the two halves of the disc, which receives the peg in the rear of the alloy wheel, allowing it to remain mobile. A black detail insert is applied to the front centre of the rim, and the tyre is slipped over the finished hub, taking care to align the flange on the rear of the hub with the tyre’s narrow edge. With the pair of front wheels made up, they are attached to the bodyshell, and linked together with a rod with pins at the ends, then covered over with an aerodynamic fairing. The same process is carried out at the rear, minus the steering linkage for obvious reasons. The interior is begun with the basic tub, which has a centre console clipped over two turrets, and an accelerator pedal attached to the sloped front bulkhead, then making up the twin rear seats with a headrest insert clipped in behind it, the two front seats, which have separate front and rear sections, with deep engraved upholstery detail on the cushions. The dash is the final sub-assembly, adding a binnacle coaming, steering column and wheel, with a substantial number of decals or stickers to depict the modern LED screens for the instruments and MFD. The assemblies are all brought together to complete the tub, adding the seats last, with more decals or stickers applied around the interior. The bodyshell has a scuttle insert added, plus a centre console in the roof that has the rear-view mirror inserted in a socket, optionally painting much of the roof dark grey plus a carbon fibre decal to apply above it, and the side skirts are painted black. The bumper has its cut-outs filled by a clear insert that is backed by a black detail panel, and a chrome insert creates the light clusters with the aid of a number of white chevron decals/stickers adding to the detail. At the rear, a pair of chrome inserts fit into the rear light cut-outs, again with paint and decals/stickers adding extra detail before it is covered by a clear insert that should be painted clear red to depict the lenses for accuracy. A spoiler pushes into the top of the boot, although there are two slight sink-marks over the pins that you might want to fill carefully if you plan on painting the bodyshell. A choice of wide or narrow number plates are inserted into the depression in the centre of the rear for later application of decals. The interior can then be clipped into position within the bodyshell, with two small black inserts added to the front corners of the bumper. The windscreen and other glazing parts are applied from the outside after masking and painting the black borders if you wish, then a blue insert with a smaller black insert is pushed into the front bumper with another choice of two styles of number plates. The bodyshell is joined with the undertray by inserting the front of the lower into a slot inside the bumper, then pressing the two turrets in the rear into their corresponding pins. The wing mirrors have chrome inserts pressed into position, then they too are inserted into the holes in the top of the doors, and a scuttle insert with moulded-in windscreen wipers are added to the main scuttle panel to complete the build. Markings As previously mentioned, you get decals and stickers in the box, and although there is only one option depicted in the instructions, you can paint your model any colour you like if you feel the urge. The bodyshell is moulded in the same colour plastic as the example, although it is not particularly shiny, so would benefit from either a coat of paint or at least some gloss clear. There is a wide choice of number plates on both sheets, including German, Austrian, British, Netherlands, French, Belgian, American, Italian, Swiss and Spanish. There is also a showroom plate with the red parallelogram logo and the words ‘RS e-tron GT’ written on them. The decals are printed by Zanchetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stickers appear to have been printed by Cartograf judging by the code on the sheet, and are similarly high quality. Conclusion The car itself is a handsome electric vehicle, and this kit does a good job of recreating it in small scale. It may be a clip-together kit, but the detail is good enough to be built as a toy or a ‘proper’ model. Highly recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  20. Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa (G-Model) (07689) 1:24 Carrera Revell The original Porsche 911 reached the market in 1963, and if you have one of those, you’re probably quite wealthy if it’s in good condition. The Carrera name had been used in the 70s for a special edition, and was re-used for the 1983 variant that saw the engine size increased to a healthy 3.2 litres with a choice of body styles including Coupé, Targa and Cabriolet, the Targa having a removable roof panel to give the occupants a wind-in-the-hair/scalp feel without the bodyshell flexibility inherent in removal of the whole roof. The flat-six engine was mated to a new 5-speed gearbox that gave it an impressive 5.4secs 0-60 time that was the downfall of many a Yuppie in the corners and on roundabouts. The American variant was slightly lower in terms of power, and was subject to their safety constraints that resulted in some pretty chunky over-riders being added to the bumpers, and IIRC (which I seldom do), a slightly higher ride height. The overall design remained stable for the most part until it was entirely replaced, with various minor adjustments to the package such as a revised dash and an increase to the size of the disc brakes to improve stopping-power. By the end of the 80s the type had sold well, but as sales began to drop off the next generation was already in-hand, with the 964 straddling the 80s and 90s with a subtly different look and technical specification. The Kit This is an update of Revell’s 2021 911 Coupé kit, and it has new parts for the bodyshell to depict the removable roof panels amongst other things. It arrives in a thick end-opening box with a painting of a big red 911 on the front, being driven by Christian Bale, and a blonde Emma Peel from the original Avengers (pre-Marvel). What’s going on with their artists and the occupants of their cars these days? Inside are five sprues in grey styrene, two more in a muted silver, an L-shaped sprue and bodyshell in red, two clear sprues and four black flexible tyres in differently sized front and rear pairs. The instructions are printed in colour with profiles on the back page, and the decals with a protective wax paper cover hidden within, along with the box-ticking health and safety sheet that you should definitely read so you don’t spear yourself during the build. Detail is excellent throughout, with a reasonable replica of the flat-6 engine and Getrag transmission, plus left- and right-handed dash parts that will be seen through some nice clear glazing parts. Construction begins with the motor, which is well-detailed and made up from a good number of parts with a painting guide to assist you in making a good job, which continues throughout the booklet. The basic block and transmission are set inside a frame, which is slipped into the floorpan from below along with a wide U-shaped mount that is painted black. The drive-shafts and suspension are arranged around the transmission with the convoluted exhaust system attached to the underside of the engine. The front brake disks and hub assemblies are made up with an unglued cuff in the centre of each one, joined together by the steering linkage and dropped into the front underside along with the rest of the suspension parts and a protective cover over the centre. Back in the engine bay, the ancillaries, turbo inlet and airbox are painted up and installed, then the running gear is set to one side while the interior is made up. The interior is made up from front and back sections with moulded-in rear seats and slots for the front seats in the forward section. A pair of holes need to be drilled out for the pedals of the left- or right-hand drive positions, then the central console, gear-shifter and handbrake are fixed to the centre along with a pair of pre-tensioning seatbelt receivers. With the front seats, you have a choice of some elegant, slender seats with decals for the pin-striped material on the centre cushions, or more 80s squared-off Recaro-type sports seats, both of which have separate back covers. In addition, there are a pair of contoured seat-cushions for the rear seats that fit over the moulded-in bench-type backs. The front seats secure in their twin slots in the front well, then the left door card is glued in place after a comprehensive painting and decaling, with the new rear squabs attaching in front of the simpler rears. The left- or right-handed dash is painted up and decaled with some very realistic dials, knobs and controls, to be joined by the short steering column with moulded-in stalks and a separate steering wheel, which also have decals for the logos and control instructions. The dash is glued into position with the opposite door card, then you’ll need to get some paint on the bodyshell. The bodyshell is moulded in red, as are the other outer panels, which you will probably want to paint after the next step, which is drilling out some holes in the front wings. The bodyshell is filled up with the interior and floorpan whilst inverted, locating on pegs within. The front of the body is detailed with a pair of recessed headlamp reflectors that need painting with a suitable chrome paint beforehand, then have their textured lenses installed and the indicators placed in the bumper below, painting the clear part orange beforehand. The front bumper has an underside section added from below, with a choice of European or American fitments, only one of which has fog-lights and their surrounds with a number plate in the centre. At the rear, a full-width clear part fits into a groove in the back of the body, which will also need painting chrome within, and the clear part should be painted orange and red as per the diagram before insertion. The rear bumper iron shows a set of over-riders fixed either side of the number plate, but check your references to see if these are appropriately sized to the variant you plan to build. A reversing light attaches under the bumper, and this too has a clear lens that you should paint clear red. The wheels are different widths Front and Rear, so take note of the F or R on the small central sprue, although it’s fairly obvious when viewed from above. The sprue should be cut off with the sharpest blade you can find, then the hub is slipped inside to ledge on a rim at the rear after painting the outer rim chrome and aluminium, and the centres black for all four. The rims have hollow cylindrical pegs on the rear to fit onto the disk-brake hubs, and scrap diagrams show where to apply the glue sparingly. Unless you forgot to cut off the sprue from the bodyshell, you currently have a cabriolet 911, with just the windscreen frame moulded into the shell that accepts the glazing and rear-view mirror, which first have the rubbers painted black around the edges. The rear window is moulded from a single part that has a styrene insert glued within the roll-over hoop, which also has a decal on the inside. The assembly then clips into the rear of the cabin, with the hoop painted black outside, hiding the insert within. The Targa panel is a single part that clips into the rear glazing and it also latches vertically onto the screen frame at the front, which also has the sun visors moulded into it. The doors are moulded closed, but there are two window options. One depicts the windows down and involves fitting the small triangular quarter-light at the front, while the windows-up option has the quarter-light and window moulded into a single clear part. To finish off the build, there are two options for the rear wiper, depending on whether you have the boot open to show off the engine, then the door two handles, indicator repeaters and wing mirrors with separate mirror glass and a silver decal are fitted into their requisite sockets, then last of all there is a radio antenna in the down position added to the front-left wing. Markings The majority of decals will have been used before you get to the end, forming part of the interior or instrument panel, but also included are a set of number plates from various countries, their overseas boot stickers, plus a pair of Targa or Carrera branded showroom plates, and an engine data booklet for the firewall. Decals are by printed for Revell by Zanetti, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Once you get over the shock of the anachronistic actor-people staring at you from the box-art (and the box style too if those infuriate you), this is a well-detailed kit of a very famous and much-beloved German sports car that’s a classic in the figurative and literal sense by now. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  21. Horten Go.229A (03859) 1:48 Carrera Revell The Horten brothers were a pair of visionary siblings that designed a series of flying wing gliders in pre-WWII during the period when Germany was prohibited from having an air force. Each design improved on the last, and once the Luftwaffe broke cover in their expansionist phase before WWII, development began in earnest. The requirement for a light bomber capable of the 3x1000 by the RLM, which was for an aircraft capable of carrying a 1,000kg bomb load a distance of 1,000km at 1,000kph in 1943 set the wheels in motion that resulted in the Horten.IX, which is better known as the Ho.229, and sometimes referred to as the Go.229 due to the fact that the Gothaer factory had been chosen for production examples. The flying wing had a low drag form, and the addition of two jet engines gave it the potential to fulfil the requirement, although it suffered a little from lateral instability due to its slick shape. The first prototype flew un-powered and with fixed landing gear in 1944, with results that bore plenty of promise before crashing due to a pilot error. Gotha altered the design in practical ways to ease production and increase longevity, as well as adding a rudimentary ejector seat that was probably as much of a danger to the pilot as being shot down and having to bail out. Another prototype was lost due to an engine fire, but this did not deter the RLM from striving to reach production, despite the worsening situation in Europe for Germany. The third prototype was enlarged, and it was this that fell into the hands of the advancing US troops, and subsequently the Operation Paperclip team, who took it back to America with plenty of other advanced designs. It remains there to this day, in the restoration area of the Smithsonian's NASM. The Kit This is a reboxing of Dragon’s excellent rendition of this unusual flying wing design that inspired a number of efforts to create a flying wing design post-war, most of which weren’t unduly successful with a few notable exceptions thanks to the march of technology. The kit was first seen in a Dragon box in 1992, and the moulds are wearing well, although a little flash has crept into the moulding for some of the small parts on my example, but that’s the work of moments to remove. At the time, the kit was fêted for including a cockpit, gun bays and two engines in their compartments, with the option to show them off if you wished. Those aspects of the kits haven’t gone away, so there’s plenty of options to personalise your model from within the box. The kit arrives in an end-opening box with seven sprues of pale grey styrene, a small clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), decal sheet and the instruction booklet with colour profiles on the rear pages. Construction begins with the cockpit tub, which is moulded into the top deck of what could be called the fuselage. The cockpit sides are decked out with tubular framing, and the small crowded instrument panel with decal fits into the front with the control column. The basic ejection seat has a separate headrest and foot pegs, and the last step of the instructions show the application of seatbelts that you are shown making from paper with PE furniture included on the nickel-plated fret, so they can be fitted without painting. A lot of folks will substitute some Tamiya tape for the paper, as it’s a little less absorbent of paint, and closer to the right colour. Rudder pedals and the gunsight are installed in the front of the cockpit, with a clear part for the glass. Attention shifts then to the twin Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets, the front and rear of which will be immediately familiar to anyone that has built an Me.262. The rear bullet is made up first, with a representation of the aft of the engine visible behind it, then the main casing is made from two parts with a front bullet and the aforementioned rear inserted within on a pair of ledges. Nine additional parts are attached to each engine to depict the ancillaries, and there are detailed painting instructions throughout for anyone wanting to leave the top panels open to show off their hard work. The front of both engines are inserted into the nose cone intake trunking on location pegs, then put to one side while the lower fuselage and gun bays are made up. A pair of chunky MK 108 cannon are included in the box, with ammo feeds glued to the sides before they are laid in the floor of the lower fuselage, to be surrounded by the framework structure of the aircraft, and a representation of the ammo boxes that feed these 30mm beasts that consume ammo at a rate of over 600 rounds per minute each, given the opportunity. A pair of frames are then placed at the wing roots, and the engines with their forward cowling are dropped in place, taking care to align the two parts for a good flush join. The top of the fuselage is brought in and glued into place, with either the engine cowling panels fitted over the top, or with a little more framework added over the engines, you can choose to leave the panels off to showcase your work. The laminated wooden wings had very little in the way of panel lines, which is faithfully depicted here, with the elevons and spoiler flaps moulded in the neutral position. Each wing is two parts, and they attach to the fuselage in much the same way as the real thing, mounted on twin brackets with large pegs (read: bolts) fitting through both parts to hold them in place. You wouldn’t be blamed for adding a little glue to the proceedings to ensure they stay in position however. A pitot probe slots into the leading edge of the port wing, and wingtip light lenses can be found on the clear sprue. To save development costs and time, the tricycle landing gear initially utilised some parts of existing aircraft, with He.177 wheel rims remaining in this version of the airframe’s development. The nose wheel is made from two halves with a balloon tyre, and is attached to the strut by a pair of V-shaped yoke parts on a two-part pivot that also holds a substantial mudguard. The assembly is then linked to its retraction system, with another U-shaped yoke, cross-braces, and surprisingly long links that lead well back into the fuselage. The main gear legs are more straight forward, having a stub axle and moulded-in scissor link, plus the retraction jack that pulls it sideways into the bay. Each one has a captive door on the axle, with two smaller doors attached to the edges of each bay. The nose gear has a large curved front door, and two long side-opening doors covering up the insanely long retraction mechanism. The two cannon barrels with their perforated muzzle-brakes that are well-moulded for the scale are popped in the leading edge of the wing roots, while an antenna, small intakes, clear light and D/F loop are fitted to the underside, and the lower fuselage/engine bay panels are inserted, leaving a small rectangular chute for the disposal of spent brass casings. Finally, the canopy is fitted in two parts, with the shallow windscreen glued to the front lip, while the sliding rear has a T-shaped retainer added, which allows it to be inserted into the track in the rear deck, so that you can open or close the canopy at will. Markings The 229 never saw active service thankfully for the Allies, so the two schemes are speculative at best. From the box you can build one of the following: Blaue/Blue 4, Luftwaffe, 1945 Rote/Red 13, Luftwaffe, 1945 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion There’s something impressive about the futuristic look of this 1945 era flying wing, and although it was largely untested as a fighter, it does have an appeal that attracts many modellers, myself included. Whether the laminated wood construction would have held up to extended use is anyone’s guess, but the tooling for this kit certainly has. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  22. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (04967) 1:48 Carrera Revell If it were to be rolled out of Lockheed’s famous ‘Skunkworks’ factory for the first time tomorrow, the SR-71 Blackbird would still look like something from the future. It’s simply phenomenal to think that the sleek design of the aircraft, with its blended wing, colossal engines and sinister matt black paint is over 50 years old. The SR-71 flew for the first time in 1964, two years after the aircraft it was developed from, the A-12. In comparison with its predecessor, the SR-71 was a larger aircraft, with a stretched fuselage designed to hold more fuel for greater endurance and a second cockpit for a Reconnaissance Systems Operator (RSO). The SR-71 began its active service career in 1966. The aircraft was used for reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam and Laos, flying from its base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. It also flew missions over the Baltic Sea from Mildenhall in the UK. Always a hugely expensive aircraft to operate, the Blackbird was retired in 1989, with the funding for the programme redirected to the troubled B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit programmes. However, with no suitable replacement in the development pipeline and increasing tensions around the globe, the SR-71 programme was reactivated in the early nineties, only to be retired for the second and final time in 1998 – or was it? During its 32-year career, the Blackbird set dozens of records for absolute altitude and absolute speed, most of which still stand today, making the aircraft a true Cold War icon. The Kit This is a brand-new tool from Revell, and when it was announced there was quite a clamour from the modelling public, as we’ve been wanting one for a while, having the reboxed Testors kit from 1982 as our only recourse in this scale until now. Now we have a new kit from Revell, and right out of the box it’s a good looking piece of plastic engineering. It arrives in a large top-opening box, with thirteen sprues and two fuselage halves in pale grey/green styrene, two small clear sprues, a large decal sheet and the instruction booklet with ‘colour’ profiles for the decal options on the rear. I say colour, but most of that is black, with a ton of stencils. The surface detail on the blended fuselage/wings is excellent, and you can actually see it because the plastic isn’t that hard-to-photograph black that graced Blackbird kits of yore. In addition to the kit, you get a stand for your model, and a pair of Pratt & Whitney J58 afterburning jet engines, which have their own cradles on the base beneath the aircraft. Construction begins with the – lower fuselage. Eh? Surely not? Yes. The lower fuselage part extends from behind the nose cone to the beaver tail, and out as far as the engine nacelles, with three holes cut out for the gear bays. A couple of holes are drilled to place it on the optional stand, then three cross-braces are inserted into grooves on the inside, to be joined by a sturdy beam that stretches from the aft of the nose gear bay all the way to the rear of the model. This will make the model structurally rigid along its length, which will prevent any seams cracking after construction due to flexing parts. The nose gear bay is semi-integrated with the spar, butting up against it once complete. It is made up from individual sides for extra detail, and has an optional front bulkhead, and I can’t quite divine why you would want to leave it off the model, as the next and subsequent steps shows it installed. The bay door openers are fixed to the centre of the bay for breaking off later (hopefully kidding!), and the bay is inserted into the lower fuselage from within, then set to the side while the main bay doors are completed. The bays are tapered toward the outside, and are each made from three walls, with a retraction jack fitted into sockets in the front and back walls without glue. The main gear struts are dropped into their cups on the outer edge of the bays in the fuselage, then the bay walls are glued in, trapping them in position. After the glue is set, you can hook up the two sections or leave them loose and taped/Blutaked into the bay so they don’t get knocked off during handling. The bay rooves have a deep cylindrical retainer for the wheels moulded-in to protect the tyres from heat damage, plus ribbing representing the upper surface of the wing. The SR-71 was expanded to accommodate two crew members, and they each get an ejection seat that is based on two halves, onto which the cushions with moulded-in seatbelts and a separate pull-handle for getting them out of there in a hurry. They each have individual cockpit tubs with moulded-in side consoles and separate instrument panels, which are nicely detailed, and have decals to place over them to add more interest to the area without too much effort, just the addition of some decal setting solution. They too fit into the lower fuselage in square brackets moulded into the floor. The next step is to create the refuelling bay in the spine of the aircraft, as the Blackbird was a thirsty bird in the air, and a leaky one on the ground, thanks to seams that only fitted properly when the titanium frame had expanded to flight temperatures thanks to the friction of passing through the air at high speed. You have the option of a “wedge” bay, or a cover panel, and there are also two nav. lights - one on the bottom, the other on the spine, both of which are inserted from inside. The upper fuselage has the cockpit surrounds painted before they are joined, and an additional bulkhead is fitted within the nose as this task is carried out, with the very tip of the tail also a separate part. While the fuselage is setting up, attention shifts toward the massive P&W engines, of which there are two. The build process is the same for each one, but they are handed, so take care to use the correct parts. The exhausts are first, with a tapered trunk between a funnel-shaped afterburner and shallow exhaust petals, fitting into a compact bulkhead that will locate it within the nacelle later. At the front, the long, tapered intake bullet is made from two teardrop-shaped halves with a separate nose-cone tip, and this is also attached to a bulkhead with stator-blades moulded-in, and four sections of intake trunking are added on strakes around the bullet, forming the complex shape that slowed down the supersonic air so the engine could breathe at high speeds. At the rear of the bulkhead the initial compressor ring is added, although little will be seen of this unless you have an endoscope camera. The exhaust cans are last, made up from two interlocking crowns, a tubular fairing, and a large set of petals that have detail inside and out. There are a few small sink marks just visible on the inside of these parts, but they probably won’t notice. Each engine is then installed in the lower section of the cowling, which also incorporates the outer wing panels too, each section locating on tracks moulded inside the cowling halves. With the cowling closed up, the nose ring is added, then the aft section of the exhaust with the auxiliary intakes is clipped in place on the cowling over the inner exhaust. The completed engines are attached to the fuselage now, using a long slot and tab to make for a good join. The nose cone is separate, and there is a choice of two shapes to the chines on the top half, depending on which decal option you have chosen. There’s also space for nose weight, but that might not even be necessary, given how far back the main gear legs are, and nothing is documented. The twin tail fins were canted in to reduce the type's radar signature, and each one has a two-part base topped with a single piece rudder that is fixed in place with a tab and pin. The flying surfaces at the rear of that big delta-wing are also separate, and while the outer sections are single parts, the thicker inner sections have two layers, while all of them have the prototypical zig-zag lines etched into the surface. If you have elected to pose your model with the gear up, there are simple bay doors supplied for all three bays, a single part for the nose gear, and two parts each for the main bays. For the gear down modeller, the nose gear strut has a moulded-in scissor-link, and a clear landing light. The twin wheels are each made from two halves and fix to the bottom of the strut via a straight styrene axle that you could replace with a length of 1.2mm brass rod if you are concerned about strength. It fixes into the rear of the bay with a small bay door attached to the retraction jack and two more on the sides of the bay. The main gear legs were installed earlier, and are now decked out with three wheels each, using another thicker axle to support the wheels across the yoke. The Blackbird’s tyres were specially made with metal impregnated rubber to make them more heat-tolerant, so don’t forget to check your references to see how they should look. Two large doors fit to either side of the bay aperture, the outer one linked to the strut, the inner having two retraction jacks at the bottom edge. The airframe is completed by adding a number of small aerials and the prominent nose-mounted pitot probe, then installing the canopy. There are two external colour options here, with a separate sharp-fronted windscreen part attached to the fuselage with two canopies that can be placed in the open or closed positions, with an opener jack supplied for them both. You can stop there if you wish, but it would be a shame to waste the parts included for the two engines, even if you aren’t planning on using the base. It wouldn’t be too much effort to create a trolley for them both with some styrene rod or similar. Each engine begins with the pairing of the two front fans and the exhaust section with the funnel-shaped afterburner, which there are thankfully duplicates of on the sprues, so you don’t have to choose. The engine body is built up in quadrants to which two lengths of trunking are added to two, and a single length to the others, to augment the excellent moulded-in detail. The four quadrants are joined together around the engine front to create a cylindrical housing, with the exhaust inserted into the rear once it is complete. A detailed painting guide is shown for each quadrant, and there are stencil decals for each of the lengths of trunking that snake down the side of the body. The base is a large circular plate with a concave sloped edge, and it has a cruciform central socket for the two-part stand, plus four additional slots for the engine mounts. With the parts in place the engines are fixed to their mounts on small pins, and the SR-71 is placed atop the stand on the two pins that mate with the holes you drilled at the very start of the build. Paint it whatever colour you like! Markings The Blackbird got its name from its inky-night Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) finish, which comes out pretty black and very matt on most photos. There are four options on the sheet, and they differ only in their markings, of which there are a pretty substantial number. From the box you can build one of the following: AF61-7958 US Air Force 27/28th July 1976 World Speed Record Runs (High Visibility Scheme) AF61-7955 Air Force/Lockheed Flight Test Aircraft, Palmdale Plant 42, Edwards AFB, 1972-94 (High Visibility Scheme) AF61-7972 US Air Force 6th New York – London 1st Sept 1974, Los Angeles – Washington DC, 6th March 1990 AF61-7967 US Air Force Last Flight Det 2, Edwards AFB, 10th Oct 1997 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion The SR-71 was a stunning triumph of the slide-ruler and sheer skill of its designers, Kelly Johnson and his team at Skunkworks. This kit is a thoroughly modern representation of this landmark aircraft that broke world speed and altitude records almost as often as it broke the speed of sound by a substantial margin. The detail is excellent out of the box, with the separate engines and stand adding to the attraction. Very highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  23. Sports Plane (03835) 1:32 Carrera Revell The Piper PA-18 Super Cub was developed after WWII as a single-engined civilian aircraft, or “sports Plane” as it is sometimes referred to, especially on the front of model boxes. It was a development of the Cub line of aircraft, but was substantially different in that it was more powerful and a more “professional” type of aircraft, having flaps, twin fuel-tanks and a 150hp Lycoming engine as standard, although over the intervening years many have been re-engined with other power-plants, some more powerful, some not. Over 10,000 have been made, and they have seen use all over the world, with a particular following amongst bush pilots, who value its slow-speed handling, incredibly short take-off run and its simple mechanical make-up that makes it relatively easy to repair due to its tubular framework with doped canvas outer skin, and readily available spares. As well as the civilian operators, a number of military users have had them on charge over the years, with various designations beginning with L-18. The Civilian variant usually stuck with PA-18 and used various numbers in relation to the engine fitted at the factory, but as already mentioned there have been many alternatives used over the years. One inventive individual even converted the type to a biplane in order to improve its high-altitude handling so that it could be better used in extremely isolated mountainous regions. The Kit This is a re-release of the 2007 tooling from Revell as a special “Builder’s Choice” boxing, and it has been tricked out in a handsome set of German decals, including the colours of the modern German flag on the tailfin. It arrives in a shallow end-opening box with a painting of the aircraft in flight on the front, and inside are nine sprues of various sizes in white styrene, two in clear that were still tenuously linked together in my box, the instruction booklet and the decal sheet in between the safety sheet, which seems to have been printed on glossy paper this time. It’s a nicely detailed kit in this scale, although it does have a few features of its era, such as the occasional sink mark and ejector-pin here and there, but it’s nothing to be overly concerned about unless you have a low panic threshold. Construction begins with the cockpit in a move that won’t surprise many modellers. The floor is quite substantially curved, as it follows the line of the fuselage underside, which it follows once completed. The two sidewalls have curved lower edges too as you’d expect, and each one has a short painting guide, which also points out some decals that are applied at the same time. The floor has a few ejector-pin marks to be hidden away before it is detailed with a number of controls, including the linked control columns, with the two seats and their moulded-in seatbelts added to raised parts of the floor. The belts are well-moulded, and are individually arranged on the seats, so should look good under some carefully-applied paint. The fuselage halves are then shown for painting of their interior, with a black lip around the edges of the windows at the rear. The cockpit is built up in a basket-like shape starting with the cockpit sides, with two rectangular frames tying the sides together along with a rear bulkhead, then the cockpit floor is placed inside and joined by the rear parcel shelf and the two-part structure that forms the head-liner over the shelf. Bracing rods are added across the roof and in a V-shape down the windscreen, locking into the two-part instrument panel, which has a decal for its dials. A brief interlude has you making the clear centre-panel of the upper wing spar by slipping two aerofoil-shapes over the fully clear part without glue, then setting it aside while you close up the fuselage around the cockpit, adding rear quarterlights from the inside as you go, and closing over the front with a firewall aft of the engine bay. With the glue cured on the fuselage, the upper centre wing is installed along with the rest of the glazing, with a curved windscreen and optional straight side windows, where your choice of glue will be important so you don’t fog the wide expanses of clear styrene. A section of the cockpit floor is added below, and the N-shaped engine mounts are glued to the firewall, with two scrap diagrams showing their orientation once installed. The Lycoming engine is a flat-four, with all cylinders depicted along with the various rods, housings and a long drive-shaft passing through it. Plenty of piping is woven around the block for air and exhaust pathways, with a final diagram showing the completed unit before it is bracketed by two L-shaped panels that have the cylinder head tops moulded into them. The engine fits neatly to the mounts, and the panelling is added around it, taking care to ensure that the circular drive-shaft opening in the front cowling is centred on the shaft itself. There’s another scrap diagram to assist you with the final arrangement here too. The wings are straight with round tips, and each one has a separate aileron and flap added as the top and bottom halves are joined, with small lollipop tip-lights also fitted into channels as you go. The port wing has a landing light cut from the leading edge that is fitted with a contoured clear part and a representation of the twin lenses within the wing. The completed wings slide onto the clear centre wing section, which has a vertical spar along its length to counter the brittle nature of thin clear styrene that we all know and loathe. There is a slot within the wing for the two to mate, and it would be an idea to consider using epoxy resin to glue the wings with, as it definitely won’t create any bloom in the clear part, which could conceivably creep into the centre section that we wish to remain clear. Each wing has a V-shaped support with another inverted trestle-shaped added at approximately half way. All the attachment points are already laid out on the wing and elsewhere, and there is just a short length of wire needed to link the ailerons to the controls within the wing. Wire, cord or stretched sprue would do the trick here. The landing gear is fixed, and is mounted on a tubular frame with aerodynamic fairings and fabric between the triangular interstices, and the latter is where you’ll find a few ejector-pin marks to fill. These and the extended X-shaped axles are fitted into sockets under the fuselage, then the wheels are made up. There are two sets of wheels of two parts each, so choose the correct type, which have circumferential tread on each half thanks to some stepping of the mould surface. They have their hubs added-in, with brake detail on the inner surface, to be slotted over the axles once complete. Oddly, a pair of small holes are filled in the rear of the fuselage, appearing to be somewhat out of sequence, but in fact it is the opening shot of the tail construction. The rudder is separate and has a pair of small clear lights fitted, one each top and rear, then it is glued to the fin along with the elevators, which need another few short lengths of control lines adding, as per the drawings. The elevators are moulded as one piece per side, and fit to the fuselage sides on three pins each, in much the same manner as the real ones. The tail wheel is a short, sprung strut with a diminutive wheel on a two-part yoke, which fits into a slot in the underside of the tail. To finish off the build, the starboard side of the cockpit has its clamshell door added in either open or closed positions, with the glazed half having sliding windows moulded-in, and a handle fixed to the long edge of the trapezoid lower door. The engine cowlings can also be fitted open or closed, but the two-bladed prop and spinner are generally required for flying. A pair of short antennae made from stretched sprue are applied to the upper wing over the cockpit, with some brief instructions showing you how to stretch your own sprue if you’re unsure. Markings There is only one set of markings in this special boxing, and it’s for an attractive silver-doped airframe with a black nose and wing leading edges and a white lightning flash down the sides, with a colourful German flag on the tail fin. The tail code is kind of appropriate too. From the box you can build this airframe: Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion After dealing with a few ejector-pin marks here and there, the model should build up relatively swiftly into a classic of a design that’s wearing some handsome markings. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  24. World of Tanks Leichttraktor Rheinmetall 1930 (03506) 1:35 Carrera Revell After WWI the German military were forbidden from developing any serious form of weapons by the Versailles Treaty, so their initial efforts were made underground, with the assistance of their then-friends the Soviet Union providing the trials locations. The name Leichttraktor translates literally to "Light Tractor", which was part of the subterfuge, and both Rheinmetall and Krupps produced design proposals for consideration for VK31. Rheinmetall created prototypes, which were a fairly unusual (for the time) engine-first design, with the fighting compartment for the four crew and turret bearing a 37cm cannon at the rear. The tracks were suspended using leaf springs, and an order for around 300 examples were made initially, but later cancelled after testing. Only the two prototypes were made, due to the vehicle's poor performance and reliability, especially the tracks, which were prone to slipping off the poorly designed wheels, and were hard to swap due to their poor design. World of Tanks Many of you will have heard of the game World of Tanks (WoT), and some will even have played it because it is a Free-to-Play game for the PC and major consoles that allows players to take the role of a tank commander of any of the major combatants almost anywhere in huge play areas set in WWII. You have to grind to work your way up the tree to the monsters such as King Tigers, the Maus and other top-flight tanks, but you’ll get plenty of experience in light tanks like the Leichttraktor on the way unless you have deep pockets and can afford to become a ‘whale’ and pay-to-win. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2019 tooling from ICM of this little tank, and as such it is a modern tooling. The kit arrives in a WoT themed box and inside are five sprues of grey styrene, four lengths of black flexible tracks, a tiny clear sprue, a generic decal sheet and the instruction booklet. Detail is good throughout as we've come to expect from ICM, with plenty of external detail, including the spiral exhaust mufflers. There is a small card with a special bonus code for players on the PC and three invite codes for you to give to friends to introduce them to the game and give you some squad mates to play with. These two freebies mean the following to the PC version player: Bonus Code 2 x +50% Experience for 2 hours 2 x +50% Credits for 2 hours 2 x 200% Crew experience for 2 hours Invite Code T2 Light Tank Garage Slot 7 World of Tanks Premium plus days 1000 Gold I don’t profess to know what all that means to the players, but the info is there for you to see. There are long alpha-numeric codes and a URL for the website to redeem your codes, so good luck with that! Construction begins with the upper deck for a change, which has two engine access panels with individual louvers fitted beforehand, and a smaller armoured cone-shaped hatch further back toward the turret ring. Either side are two crew hatches, the left of which stands proud of the deck, while the right-hand hatch is flush with the deck. More louvers are added to the front bulkhead before it and the top deck are attached to the right side of the hull, then it has the floor and rear bulkheads glued into place and is finally closed up by adding the left side. The rear bulkhead has a crew hatch on the right side, which is added along with a bunch of shackles and towing eyes, with none at the front. The road wheels are made up in four pairs per bogey, which are held in place by two sets of triangular parts trapping the small wheels in place. There are three of these per side, plus two double-bank return rollers, and another pair on the lower run just aft of the front-mounted idler wheel. The idler and drive sprocket are both made of two parts, with the teeth on the drive wheel central within the flat outer section. With the wheels done, the mud-shedding fenders are constructed from the outer panel and a run of box-sections, and they are then fixed to the hull sides with two pins locating them firmly. The process is repeated on the other side, and the rubber tracks, which are accurate to the initial designs that are mostly rubber with metal inserts, and these are made up from two sections each with one run each side. You will need to use super-glue for the joins, as liquid glue doesn't melt the plastic they are made of – I know because I tried. The top plates are fitted last to the rear three quarters of the track run, and then attention turns to the turret. Despite this being an exterior-only kit, there is a nicely detailed full breech included in the kit, which is made up over six steps, then set aside to wait for installation. The turret is supplied in two halves, with crew access hatches in each side, which are separate parts and could be left open if you desire. The two halves are brought together around the breech, and sealed in by the turret ring below, and the fairly featureless circular roof part. The mantlet is next, covering the interior of the breech, and is completed by adding the coaxial machine gun mount and the barrel, which is a single part with a short insert at the dangerous end to give it a hollow muzzle. The turret is then decked out with two roof-top vents, lifting eyes and other small parts before it is twisted onto the hull and held in place by a pair of bayonet lugs. The clear headlight lenses are fitted to the domed rear and attached to each side of the front, and a wrap-around railing is glued around the aft area of the hull and turret area. The unusual exhaust exits the right side of the hull and travels over the fender, with a spiral muffler and short tip - this section being made in two parts to achieve the correct shape. There is just one colour option and that’s green, which is shown in a four-view set of line-drawn profiles. The decals are generic and representative of the way the game allocates players to groups. There are eighty clan symbols in various styles and colours, plus four each of German, Soviet, US and US roundel markings if you decide to depict your model as a more realistic combatant. The decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A nicely rendered model of this failed attempt to create a light tank prior to the Panzer I, which was actually a lot more suited to the task and performed well in the early days of the German expansionist attempts. It's also dinky, so won't take up much space on the shelf once built, and if you're feeling adventurous you could always hack it up and create the drop-top early version that had a windscreen where the turret front was later to be found. There are some pictures of them online if you're up for a challenge. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  25. World of Tanks T-26 Light Tank (03505) 1:35 Carrera Revell The T-26 was a Soviet light tank that was based upon the British Vickers Light Tank, and was used in many guises in the interwar years and during the early part of WWII, although it was already outclassed by the invading German tanks during the beating they received at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Almost 11,000 were made of the various different types up until development ceased in 1940, which was a tacit admission that there was no future for it going forward. World of Tanks Many of you will have heard of the game World of Tanks (WoT), and some are likely to have played it because it is Free-to-Play for the PC and major consoles that allows players to take the role of a tank commander of any of the major combatants almost anywhere in huge play areas set in WWII. You have to grind to work your way up the tree to monsters such as King Tigers, the Maus and other top-flight tanks, but you’ll get plenty of experience in light tanks like the T-26 on the way unless you have deep pockets and can afford to become a ‘whale’ and pay-to-win. The Kit This is a reboxing of a 2010 tooling from Zvezda of this little tank, and it is a product of its time with a little bit of flash making an appearance here and there, plus some sink marks, which are mostly hidden. The kit arrives in a WoT themed box and inside are six sprues in grey styrene, an instruction booklet, a common decal sheet for the series, a special bonus code and three invite codes for for players on the PC that you can give to friends to introduce them to the game and give you some squad mates to play with. These two gifts mean the following to the PC version player: Bonus Code 2 x +50% Experience for 2 hours 2 x +50% Credits for 2 hours 2 x 200% Crew experience for 2 hours Invite Code T2 Light Tank Garage Slot 7 World of Tanks Premium plus days 1000 Gold I don’t profess to know what all that means, but the info is there for you players to see. There are long alpha-numeric codes and a URL for the website to redeem your codes, so good luck with that! Construction begins with the lower hull, which is made up from four parts and is joined by the upper hull, engine deck and glacis plate to make up the bodywork, then the radiator exhaust box and 16 sets of wheels are made up with twin return rollers also added. The road wheels are made up in pairs, then are paired onto a small bogey, and paired again into a larger bogey with leaf suspension, held in place by a pair of pins. The exhaust, and a bunch of tie-down lugs are added to the hull while the idler and drive sprocket pairs are made up. These have a number of individual track links wrapped around them while the glue is still setting, then the rest of the link-and-length track parts are shown in an exploded diagram around the running gear. The fenders fit onto the sides with triangular support brackets, then it’s a case of fitting stowage and pioneer tools, then on to the turret. This variant of the T-26 had just the one turret, which is made up with a multi-part mantlet fitting inside the four-part turret, which then has twin hatches on the roof plus mushroom vent and other details, and of course the under-gunned barrel with support. This turret also has a wrap-around radio antenna in armoured tube on upstands, and at the front a headlight is glued into place under the old-style horn under the turret. There aren’t any clear parts in the kit, so you can either paint the lens silver, or get some self-adhesive cabochon rhinestones of an appropriate size to give it more realism. Markings There is just one colour option and that’s Russian Green, which is shown in a five-view set of profiles of what looks like renderings from the game. The decals are generic and representative of the way the game allocates players to groups. There are eighty clan symbols in various styles and colours, plus four each of German, Soviet, US and US roundel markings if you decide to depict your model as a more realistic combatant. The decals are printed by Cartograf in Italy, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A great way for the PC gamer to get into modelling or vice versa, although some may be a little terrified by the flash that's actually pretty easy to remove, but most probably won’t even notice in the excitement. Highly recommended. Currently, Revell are unable to ship to the UK from their online shop due to recent changes in import regulations, but there are many shops stocking their products where you can pick up the kits either in the flesh or online. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
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