Revell Sud S.E. 210 Caravelle, kit H-184:129
I seem to be on a roll with Revell airliners lately so let's take a look at another one, this time a kit not as well known as the 990 and Electra. A big plus for their Caravelle is that it was done in 1/100 scale and thus fits in much better with a constant scale collection, many airliner kits having been done in 1/96 and 1/100 scale by such diverse companies as Frog, Aurora, Hawk, Plasticart, Nitto, and Doyusha. Strangely enough, there must have been a specific intent all the way back in 1961 to do this kit to a recognized scale rather than the more normal box scale of the era since the entire nose of the model from the cockpit forward is a separate piece, allowing the kit to fit in the standard size box Revell used at the time without being done in some non-standard scale like many of their other airliner kits were. I've never been able to find out why this was done but airliner modelers can be glad it was nonetheless!
The kit contains 51 parts molded in silver plastic plus, as in the 990 and Electra kits, three clear parts and a metal ring for the famous Revell swiveling stand. Panel, control surface, and flap lines, and rivets, are finely recessed, as in the 990 reviewed a couple of months ago. Again the passenger windows are slightly indented but not open and the windscreen is molded open with no clear part to depict the glass. Landing gear is typically simple but sturdy and the gear wells are too shallow but in this case it's not as obvious because of the way the main strut doors obscure the openings.
The kit includes the standard Revell features of the time - rolling wheels and crude depictions of the jet engines that could be displayed by removing the upper half of the cowling. The forward passenger door and air stairs are separate but best glued shut since there's absolutely no interior detail. Fortunately, they fit quite well in the closed position, as do the gear doors - as in the 990, a welcome option for those who like to display their models "in flight" and very tempting if you're as crazy about the old Revell swivel stands as I am.
My kit is very smooth and cleanly molded with virtually no flash and very fine mold parting lines on the detail parts. The instructions are excellent; very clear and with color call outs throughout. The decal sheet appears to be of very high quality and mine might be usable after being bleached out in sunlight although it's badly yellowed.
The Caravelle presents the same problem as the 990, i.e. deciding how to do the windows and windscreen so that they're consistent. Either the passenger window indentations will have to opened the rest of the way through or they and the windscreen need to both be filled in and replaced with decal windows. Otherwise this is an outstanding kit that is still among the best 1/100 scale airliner kits ever made, in my opinion.
I've got a second example of this kit issued in the UK by Revell (G.B.) LTD. which is identical except for being molded in cream colored plastic, slightly different box and instructions, and no stand; even though the box claims one is included there isn't one and it's not shown in the instructions.
I was disappointed that the 990 wasn't reissued as an SSP subject and the same can be said for this one; this tooling must also be lost or damaged. The Revell Caravelle is another keeper and any fan of 1/100 scale kits that runs across one should snap it up without hesitation.
See you all again next month with another golden oldie from the past. Till then, model on and "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to."
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