In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, some 11 German nationals had to be rescued by French and Belgian Paratroops as there was no suitably trained German unit to do the job. As a result, in 1996 the Kommando Spezialkraefte, or KSK, was formed. They are basically an elite Special Forces unit like the British SAS, and their role is also similar, involving operations behind enemy lines, reconnaissance and attacks on key enemy installations. Though a military unit they can assist the civilian power when required, and maintain a Hostage Rescue Team. Over 100 members are known to have operated in Afghanistan against al-Qaeda. The figures in this set depict these men, with the emphasis being on their role in Bosnia, which was mostly to protect German officials on UN business.
The poses here are what you might expect for a modern forces unit. The usual firing and advancing figures include one man moving forward with a shield, reminiscent of warriors of many centuries ago. Another man is wielding a ram, used to break down doors. There is also a prone sniper and another man peering through some very modern-looking binoculars. Finally, there is what amounts to a mini-diorama of a suspect lying in the road being searched/restrained by a KSK man while another stands guard. This is very nice, and the addition of the stop sign is an almost humorous touch. However we are not sure that such 'scenes' should be part of these sets, and would have preferred the figures to be separate so that the customer can choose to build such a scene or not.
The uniform - well the uniform is much the same for such units the World over. Standard German Army uniform is completely obscured by black Nomax coveralls, and each man also wears a balaclava and a Kevlar helmet, under which there is an ear piece attached to their radio, and a throat mike to ensure communication without loosing the grip on the weapon. The sniper is largely covered in a ghillie suit (camouflage coverall), and one man wears a full face shield, which suggests he is in a particularly hazardous environment.
Like most Special Forces, the KSK have considerable freedom to purchase whatever equipment they feel best meets their needs. Six of the poses carry the standard assault rifle of the day, the Heckler & Koch G36, and others carry various versions of the MP5 submachine gun, while we could not identify the unusually-shaped pistol being held by the figure with shield in the second row. The prone sniper in the same row looks to have a G22 or G23 rifle, though it is very hard to be sure of identification despite the good detailing on all the weapons. For the start of the 21st century (the set was made in 2002) these are all reasonable choices.
As with all Revell sets at this date, the sculpting of these figures is uniformly excellent. Lovely detail abounds, and is particularly appreciated on the weapons, body armour and the items of kit they carry. We can also report a minimum of flash, although a handful of the poses do have extra plastic between body and weapon where the mould cannot reach. However, one thing that struck us when we looked at these figures is that they are all very tall. The necessary requirements before a man can be considered for entry into the training program for this unit are naturally very tough, but there seems to be no minimum height. Of course the average Westerner of the 21st Century is noticeably taller than their ancestors of past centuries, and this should be reflected in the size of figures in modern sets. Still, an average height of 1.94 m is quite high even by modern standards and so rather inappropriate as an average in this set.
As usual Revell have produced some very fine figures, lacking nothing in accuracy or detail. Although this set is now over 20 years old, for fans of 'modern' fighting personnel it is of an unusual subject and highly appropriate for the time, when the supposed 'War on Terrorism' was in progress.