I'll stop posting photos of paratroopers soon, honest! Thought it might be worth posting this batch to compare the Italeri and Revell models, and how they paint up.
The posing on these two is really natural and convincing. The one on the right in particular is probably my favourite of the bunch, holding his grease gun up while giving orders.
BAR Gunner and rifleman (bayonet removed before painting)
Italeri rifleman on the left, Revell on the right. You can clearly see here how the casting on the Italeri models is much sharper and takes the wash well. However they're slimmer and 'lighter' than the Revell. The model on the right really looks like he's leaning into the rifle, ready for the recoil, whereas the one on the left looks a little more unsteady (to be fair, maybe he's just fired).
Comparison of the two grenadiers. Again the Revell (on the left this time), to me looks more 'steady'. Does anyone throw things with one foot in the air? It seems a lot of models do!
Couple of nice poses form the set, sorting out ammo and equipment. Essential stuff for paratroopers, but not so often seen in model form.
In summary, I like both sets, for different reasons. The poses in the Revell set are more convincing overall. Weapons are held and used like they have some real weight and proportions looks good. They're carrying a mix of equipment, including field dressings, and look slightly 'shabby', which matches old photos nicely. The downside is that the detail is a bit soft, webbing sometimes vanishes into the background and faces are vague. A few of the poses also feel a little flat as well, a result of fitting the the mould rather than natural sculpting. There's a kneeling rifleman with carbine that I won't use as his pose looks so uncomfortable!
By contrast, the Italeri ones look a little forced. They look a little thin and weapons aren't being held as if they have any real weight. Equipment is also light, with no packs and only basic equipment (water bottle, entrenching tool and basic ammo pouches), whereas in most photos of paras they're absolutely loaded down with equipment. That said the casting and detail is excellent and take washes well and the poses are 3D rather than flat. They're also a harder plastic that doesn't flex easily and shed paint.
Side by side they look pretty good together, so the two sets should give me plenty of opportunities for variety and the odd head swap. Weirdly, both include almost identical poses of a para stood at ease, showing off his mohawk. In both sets I'll probably do a head swap on most of these for helmeted heads from the poses I won't be using (like the para in his chute).