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In-Box Review
Pilots & Ground Crew RAF WWII
Pilots & Ground Crew Royal Air Force WWII
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by: Ben Micklem [ ROBOT_ ]

Originally published on:

This set of 25 figures was released in 2010 after a slight delay. In the early decades of plastic aircraft modelling, it was very unusual for a kit to not include a pilot figure. Now, very few kits include a pilot, even if the kit is supplied with a flight stand. This set fills a void- as far as I know, this is the first time a major manufacturer has offered a separate box of seated RAF WWII pilots in 1/72nd scale.

The small end-opening box has nice illustrations of RAF servicemen. Revell has taken advantage of the full-colour printing on the box to offer painting instructions. Unfortunately, there are no other instructions inside the box to suggest the poses available.

The figures come on a single sprue with 101 parts. There are five rows, each with the parts for five figures. There are actually only two unique rows.

There are a total of 14 seated pilots, with various angles between their back and legs to fit different cockpit and crew seating arrangements. Two types of pilot are supplied with masks over their faces (these have slightly different types of goggles over their eyes), one with a mask to one side, and one without a mask. All the arms for the seated figures look like they are meant too hold control columns. However, because there are a few types of ground crew arms included, you can get more poses by swapping them around.

There are five standing flight crew- but only two poses are available. Even with some of the flight crew figures having separate heads, you end up with ten figures with identical heads (goggles on top of helmet, mask to one side). This is a bit disappointing, and defeats much of the point of having multi-part figures.

There are only six ground crew figures- I would have liked to have seen a better balance in numbers. There are two kneeling crew, two standing looking like they are reaching up, and two standing square, with a head attached. The arms supplied give quite a few combinations, with a spanner, and what looks to be a screwdriver, as possibilities. There are only two types of ground crew heads- one with side cap and one bare.

Detail and quality
The plastic used is hard, harder than the usual aircraft plastic. The hardness and texture reminds me of Russian produced vehicle kits.

Detail, although a little soft in some of the figures, on the whole is very good. Some of the details, such as the fingers, and the fabric creases is very good indeed for this scale. I really like the fact that there are several pilots with masks over their faces- these will look really good for in-flight models.

The only other mainstream WWII RAF figure set available in 1/72 is the old Airfix mould, now used be Heller, and still producing horribly flexible vinyl figures. Although these were detailed for the time, some of the poses were dubious (the running pilot comes to mind), and others boring. These figures were also on the small side for 1/72.

These Revell figures are all roughly 25mm tall, or about 5' 10" (1.8 m) in 1/72 scale terms.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Very cheap compared to the resin figures available. Good detail, some posing flexibility.
Lows: Too few ground crew figures, too few head options. Would have liked at least one WAAF figure.
Verdict: Seated pilots fill a void in the market. Well worth buying for these alone.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 02401
  Suggested Retail: 6.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 21, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Ben Micklem (robot_)

I have an interest in photographic reconnaissance, in particular the Photographic Development Unit based at Heston at the beginning of WWII.

Copyright 2021 text by Ben Micklem [ ROBOT_ ]. All rights reserved.



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