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REVELL! I’M NOT A FAN!


Jonesy66
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I’m a Tamiya man through and through but the other day I bought a Revell kit as I wanted to make this particular car (McLaren 570s). 
 

Parts don’t fit, parts are poorly made with extra bits hanging off them like they weren’t moulded well, and the instructions are awful. 
 

Anyone else have experience with Revell kits? Is mine a one off or are they generally awful?
 

 

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With a fairly limited exposure, though quite a few in the stash, very mixed experience. Despite a lot of love for the 1/72 Tornado, I don’t share the love, in fact I dislike the kit with an irrational intensity! On the other hand, just assembled a 1/72 F104 which is okay but I prefer the Hasegawa, and so far the 2 1/72 F16’s under construction are a joy. That said, I’ve not started the Tamiya F16’s I have waiting for me which I know get high praise. So, in a nutshell, Revell would be some way down my favourite list

 

SD

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Their catalogue is very mixed but don't discard them as a whole. As SD said there are great kits (their 1/48 Rafale or 1/72 F-16 are fantastic and wonderful value for money), others are outdated or weirdly designed. It is a matter of reading reviews before buying I guess ;)

 

Arnaud

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Tamiya kits tend to spoil us, particularly their cars. I'm not familiar with the Mclaren but have built other Revell cars and some of what you say fits. But I wouldn't say they're generally awful. 

Revell does have a habit of either throwing in unforced errors like the Lancaster dihedral or over complicating things like with their recent Corsair. 

 

It ends up becoming a test of old fashioned modelling skills. 

Edited by noelh
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1 hour ago, Jonesy66 said:

Is mine a one off or are they generally awful?

Revell is a tricky one as you never know who produced the molds - Revell do a lot of reboxing. I would always seek out reviews of Revell kits before buying - some are brilliant, others pretty poor. Some appear to be new, but are really old molds and vey much of their time (e.g. Matchbox reboxings). I don't criticise Revell for doing this - some of the old Matchbox kits would be otherwise unobtainable. Scalemates can be a useful tool for checking provenance of a kit

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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The problem with Revell is that they used a number of different companies to make the moulds, some worked with very high quality while others didn't. Over the last few years unfortunately they seem to have dropped the better (and more expensive suppliers) and several aspects of their kits have suffered as a result. I don't build cars so I can't comment on these but most of the aircraft kits of the last 4-5 years seem to be worse than the ones the same company introduced 15 years ago...

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Tamiya Senna £50

Revell 570S £22

 

Revell produce their kits to a price and you have to decide whether the quality is “good enough”; Tamiya produce their kits to a standard, and you choose whether to pay for it.

 

Looking at my display shelves, I don’t think it’s obvious which models are built from Revell kits and which from Fujimi or Tamiya.  Building them is different, for sure, though...

 

There are many other ways to buy a 1/48 F-14 or F-4B, but lots of us will still pay Tamiya’s price. If you want a a 570S, the choices aren’t so wide...

 

best,

M.

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Have to agree about the Revell instructions, definitely the worst of any brand IMO, although I did see a review of one of their recent releases a few months ago suggesting they've improved this aspect. They also dished up what's easily the worst canopy I've ever seen on a mass produced kit in the form of their 1/72 Me262.

 

Right now new(ish) tool Airfix kits probably annoy me more with the horrible soft plastic they use and the overly tight tolerances on the part fits, especially frustrating as many of them are otherwise very good kits. 

Edited by -Ian-
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I've built a few Revell kits "in my time", and yes they are a bit hit and miss.

 

Their best kit, that I've built, is the 1/72 Tornado, it's great, but it isn't perfect, certainly not on a Tamiya level.  Their Mk41 Sea King is another great kit.

 

Then they have kits like the 1/48 Huey "Hog".  Terrible kit from the 60s that Revell have no business even selling in today's market - yet they do and people must buy it!

 

I'd say that most Revell kits are a good starting point, something to use to practice on, and something to develop your modelling skills with - if you just want to assemble stuff buy a Tamiya kit or even a Bandai kit, or go play with Lego.

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4 hours ago, cmatthewbacon said:

Tamiya Senna £50

Revell 570S £22

 

 

I just built the Tamiya Senna and it kicked my behind haha. Really enjoyed making it and it was rather difficult so I bought the 570S because I wanted something a little easier than the Senna. 

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Well,in general, you can't say that Revell is a bad manufacturer. They just accept their position. You cant compare Revell with Tamiya. If you transfer this topic to automobiles, nobody would get an idea to compare a Skoda with a Maybach, even both have 4 wheels, an engine, headlights, rearlights and so on. The Skoda owner is just happy with his car, he dont need more, while the Maybach owner is looking just for the best car.

 

Revell is a manufacturer with ups and downs, while the M48 GA 2 is a very great kit is the Kanonenjagdpanzer ( KajaPa ) really bad moulded and partially wrong.

 

While the U-Boats in 1/72 and 1/144 are very great kits, are some ships really worse. And the U-Boat of Type VII C in 1/125 is again ready for the bin.

 

 

F-15 and F-84G Thunderjet in 1/48 really nice kits, but the F-104 Tiger Meet version in same scale is bad.

 

So, before you buy a Revell kit, read the info at Scalemates i can simply recommend.

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Harry Callahan is right. A very sensible  and reasonable post.

I don't think Revell deserves the often negative comments it receives and, I will never condemn any manufacturer based on a bad experience with one kit!

I certainly don't go along with the idiotic "I always avoid Revell because...." type of comments.

They are very short sighted and ignorant as well as ignoring the simple fact that Revell has, in its range, many kits not actually produced by themselves. People need to get their facts right before condemning an individual kit.

Reissuing other manufacturers kits is a policy that I personally welcome and endorse.

When it comes to their own in-house productions, Revell is, in my view anyway, no better or no worse than any other company. There isn't a manufacturer in existence that hasn't produced its share of clunkers.

Revell is one of my favourite brands and, I have little to complain about with regard to quality, especially at their very reasonable prices.

I won't hesitate to buy Revell. If all manufacturers produced kits of the quality of the following examples, I'd be well satisfied :

1/32 Ju-88,  Heinkel He 111,Arado Ar 196

1/72 Breguet Atlantic, Junkers Ju-290,Blohm und Voss BV-222,Heinkel He-177,Fw-200

1/144 An-225,An-124

I cannot offer comment on any of their non flying subjects though! 😊

 

John (currently building their 1/48 Lockheed Ventura!)

 

Edited by Beermonster1958
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17 hours ago, John_W said:

Kudos to Revell, they have released a lot of the Classic Matchbox and Monogram kits that I loved when I was younger.

No argument here!! 😊. Just bought three of the Twin Otter kits. Wish they would release the Privateer though! Can't get one now unless you pay totally stupid money!

 

John.

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On 2/25/2021 at 7:24 PM, Harry Callahan said:

Well,in general, you can't say that Revell is a bad manufacturer. They just accept their position. You cant compare Revell with Tamiya. If you transfer this topic to automobiles, nobody would get an idea to compare a Skoda with a Maybach, even both have 4 wheels, an engine, headlights, rearlights and so on. The Skoda owner is just happy with his car, he dont need more, while the Maybach owner is looking just for the best car.

 

Revell is a manufacturer with ups and downs, while the M48 GA 2 is a very great kit is the Kanonenjagdpanzer ( KajaPa ) really bad moulded and partially wrong.

 

While the U-Boats in 1/72 and 1/144 are very great kits, are some ships really worse. And the U-Boat of Type VII C in 1/125 is again ready for the bin.

 

 

F-15 and F-84G Thunderjet in 1/48 really nice kits, but the F-104 Tiger Meet version in same scale is bad.

 

So, before you buy a Revell kit, read the info at Scalemates i can simply recommend.

 

Staying with the car comparison, Revell in the past managed to be much more than a Skoda, they were at some point a BMW at Skoda prices ! Kits like the 1/72 Hunter, the big German WW2 types like the He-177 and others were all nicely moulded and easy to build while being sold for very good prices.

Even the series of single-seat WW2 fighters that they introduced in the easly 2000's was nice in terms of mould quality, things like the P-51B or Me-262 etc. Not always accurate but they were very nicely made kits. That makes the quality of their more recent offerings in the same class as even more annoying... their recent 1/72 Spitfires are a serious step down compared to the previous kit of the same subject

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1 hour ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

 

I take it you've not bought any Kinetic models lately then?

Never bought one. Just looked up a few of their kits on Scalemates, the only one I can see with instructions is this one: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/kinetic-48110-nf-5a-freedom-fighter--1293539

 

Not brilliant but I've seen worse from Revell.

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Me, I'm pretty OK with Revell reboxing the 1/48 Accurate Miniatures B-25D. 

(Not quite as charmed with the -J, that's the old Monogram 1977 one which frankly is a bit long in the tooth).

Apart from that, much like many other manufacturers they have their queens, and their bridge-trolls.

It pays to do a bit of research on the kits they release, sometimes you can get some real good bargains. 
 

Their paint & mix instructions however... meh.

Either research what it should be or look at other manufacturer's instructions if those use your preferred paint brands.

 

 

 

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Couple of things which have probably been said already.

 

Tamiya are more expensive than Airfix and Revell.  I remember in my childhood years back in the 70s that Airfix (and Revell) were within range of my pocket money but Tamiya were just a dream, out of reach except for very special occasions.

 

Also remember that Airfix, Revell and Tamiya have been around for a very long time.  I don't know the Revell range that much but I'm sure its the same, but with Airfix for practically the same money you can buy a kit that was tooled in 2016 and another that was tooled in 1965.  You can unwittingly buy an Airfix kit that is really old and not up today's standards and if you are not aware of what you are buying it could lead you to saying that Airfix are rubbish.  But buy one of their newer tools and it is a totally different experience - bet the same is true of Revell.

 

It is even true of Tamiya, but because they were always good it is less apparent - but even so, some of there AFVs from the 1970s do look pretty ropey these days.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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Can I just say that I find Revell kits very variable. I have no recent experience of their car kits, so cannot to the original poster.

They di have  a kit range that goes back a long way, some few to the Fifties, plus kits originally by other manufacturers, like Matchbox, so caveat emptor. 

 

Some of their own recent kits are superb - try the 1:32nd sailplane range or the 1:32 light aircraft like the Super Cub. Revell Germany products and excellent.  There are still some excellent old Monogram kits around under Revell titles.

 

Occasionally, really good moulds just keep on going. I was astonished to see the venerable 1:32 Hasegawa F-104G is still around.  A nice kit, I built one in the Eighties for my daughters who thought Starfighters were terrific - superb noise, I bought two kits then from a shop for ~£6 each. Rather more than that cost now.   But still a good kit, superseded now of course by Italeri's recent issue, but at a price!

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On 3/7/2021 at 12:14 PM, Truro Model Builder said:

Hell will freeze over first before Revell will do anything other than recommend their own paint range. It ain't rocket science.

 

That is what in the end several other companies do, like Italeri and Airfix.

Now personally I'm knowledgeable enough about actual colour schemes to not follow any of the two, but putting myself in the shoes of someone who doesn't have the time or inclination to investigate the matter farther, I don't know if I would find more annoying Revell's insistence on suggesting mixes of various paints, that may result in more accurate results but is a pain to do, or Italeri's approach of suggesting the closest colour in their range, even if this is then completely wrong for the subject...

 

Edited by Giorgio N
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And the sainted Tamiya of perfection only ever give colours of their own paints.  And those are sometimes mixes or a whole expensive aerosol for a few tiny bits.  But that’s Tamiya and no one is permitted to criticise them.🤣🤣🤣

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