(Scans by Doug Chaltry)
My wife was wondering all through the last months about my eagerness to accompany her on her way to the supermarket and even into the fashion shop. Dont you all worry I was not ill, I had just fallen into a hunting fever. I admit Im a real Famo maniac and since the first announcement that Revell would release a bull in 1/72 I got nervous. My secret hunting place was a simple toy shop at my local shopping mall here in Germany. Now you may guess where that sudden rather perverted interest for shopping came from. Each time we stayed there, I rushed into the toy shop and looked into that little Revell corner and came out with disappointment on my face. All that, again and again since two days ago. Finally there she was: the Revell Famo. Only one box ... I grabbed it and, looking anxiously over my shoulder like Richard Kimble on the run, I dragged my trophy home. And yes that dogged creeping up on the prey paid off.
The Revell Famo is a super model.
Revell even had a bonus surprise for me. Opening the box a little note fell out saying: "with this kit a sprue is included which is not mentioned in the instructions and is not needed to complete the model". This sprue contains a complete earth spade used as a sonderausführung for Famos involved in heavy winching. You may see a 1/35th scale Famo with this special equipment made by Bob Oehler at the Missing Lynx gallery. Hopefully this part will stay with the kit as it allows some quite interesting variations.
The kit comes in five sprues (and the "extra" sprue) plus a strip of clear film and a decal sheet. Everything is very clean and clear. No flash anywhere and the parts are highly detailed. (There are two scans pictured of the tracks: front and back; only one sprue is included with the kit.)
Separating the parts has to be done carefully not to injure the precisely engraved details. A fresh hobby knife blade is surely advisable. As I see it no sanding or putty use will be required at all. Moulding quality is excellent. Some parts are so thin you may even look through them. A fact that may prove that modern injection moulding can compete with the finest resin kits that are out on the market today.
Some highlights of the Revell Famo from my point of view are:
Still there are some points of criticism which you could say is for rivet counters only. But as this is really a top model it has to fulfill the high expectations which decide between four or five stars. Issues that could have been done better:
After all this remains a super class model, most likely representing a mid-production F3 type which could be assumed by looking at indicators like the instrument panel, the running gear, opening at the tyre rim, or the presence of the direction indicator on the side. For this it would have been produced between 1939 and 1943, but could have well appeared all the way through to the end of the war, since maintenance companies always did their best to keep the equipment in a good condition.
Until now the best representation of this vehicle (in my opinion) was produced by Planet Models in resin with photo etched parts (a Planet Famo I did may be viewed at http://www.ontheway.us/gallery7/JHermeyerFAMO.htm). Compared to the Planet kit, the Revell model is much better in a lot of aspects (accuracy, detailing, dimensions, no pouring blocks, photo etched parts are too flat as usual). The biggest disadvantage is still the price. Knowing that you will get three Revell Famos for the price of one Planet Famo, you could imagine to build a dio showing three Famos coupled together towing a Tiger or Panther.
Thank you very much to Revell AG for providing the review sample.