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Revell

Set 02509

British Paratroopers

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1992
Contents 50 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey/Green, Bright Green
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

By the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, both the Soviet Union and Germany had had well established paratroop units for several years. Britain showed little interest, and it was not until 1940 that training began on her first parachute troops, largely at the urging of Winston Churchill.

After some initial experiments the uniform was a Denison smock over normal battledress, loose trousers and a rimless helmet. These figures have all the correct clothing and webbing, and their helmets, which have an uneven surface, suggest the netting, scrim and hessian which was commonly worn, though this has not been explicitly and clearly sculpted. The officer and radio operator wear the regiment's famous maroon beret, which was sometimes worn in action. The man dragging his parachute in wears a special loose-fitting sleeveless jump jacket (imaginatively named 'jacket, parachutist') which covered his uniform and equipment. Once he has got his parachute under control he would discard this outer jacket along with the parachute. The men all lack some items such as ropes and water bottles, and some haversacks would have been nice too, but even the riflemen are missing a bayonet scabbard.

Once on the ground and in a firefight, paratroops acted much like any other infantry, so most of the poses are the usual kind of World War II examples. Still, they have been well done, with figures leaning into what they are doing and generally looking lifelike. The man dragging his chute is the only specific paratroop pose. The prone man firing his rifle is well done, being moulded sideways to make a much more realistic pose than the typical 'flat' position.

Weaponry includes rifles, the widely used Sten 9mm sub-machine gun and the surprisingly popular .303 Bren light machine gun. One prone man is using a P.I.A.T. ('Projector Infantry Anti Tank'), basically a spring-operated grenade launcher. The officer and radio operator are both correctly provided with revolvers. All the weaponry is authentic and well sculpted.

Sculpting is pretty good, but there is a lack of sharpness to the detail, which is particularly evident on some of the clothing and on the faces, which are in some cases quite featureless. There is some flash too, although these seems to vary from batch to batch, so is a matter of pot luck when bought unseen. The proportions are good though, and generally well animated.

The set includes an open container filled with rifles which was known as a bombcell and was dropped with the troops, though no figure is interacting with it. These figures are well sculpted and accurate, and if not the most exciting set ever made then at least they do the job. Unless you get one of the copies with a fair amount of flash you will find Revell have maintained their good quality standards with this set, which in our opinion is still the best set on this subject made so far.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Arnhem 1944" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.24) - Stephen Badsey - 9781855323025
"British Web Equipment of the Two World Wars" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Series No.32) - Martin Brayley - 9781861267436
"For King and Country" - Schiffer - Harlan Glenn - 9780764307942
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II" - Amber - Chris Bishop - 9781905704460
"The Paras" - Arms and Armour (Uniforms Illustrated Series No.10) - James Shortt - 9780853686996
"The Paras 1940-84" - Osprey (Elite Series No.1) - Gregor Ferguson - 9780850455731

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