Preiser is a German company, which for many years have supplied figures and accessories for model railroaders. Quality is considered to be good, both on the painted and unpainted items.
Preiser has begun to venture into the more scale modeling oriented world, with figure kits in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:35 scale. This review deals with one of their 1:35 offerings, and is copyrighted in 2000.
They are a bit unusual in that they only contain civilians – mostly women, and an old man.
I purchased the kit from www.ontracks.co.uk, an online railroad dealer – service and delivery was swift and very satisfactory.
Preiser also has a number of other 1:35 offerings dealing with more “normal” topics such as those featuring German military personnel. However, these kits represent relaxed, content, everyday soldiers resting or on leave instead of the more common kits dealing with troops in combat. This gives some great diorama opportunities at a reasonable cost.
The kit is packed in a small, somewhat flimsy box with colour prints on front and back. One peculiar thing is that the instructions are printed on the inside of the boxes, a common practice from Preiser. The benefit is probably saved printing costs, but you have to cut up the box to get to the instructions, leaving no way to store what remains if you choose to only utilize some of the figures.
Printing is nice and the photos give good guidance to painting suggestions.
The box art would benefit from employing some better face painters, but clothes are nicely done.
The sprue frames have a somewhat messy layout, but casting is clear and sharp with only little seams and no or little knockouts that all are hidden during construction.
Considering that some of the figures are moulded in one piece, it’s very amazing that there are no noticeable sink-marks at all!
Trümmerfrauen (Women digging in ruins):
The kit contains seven figures; six women and one elderly man. Also included are a cart, some rubble, bricks, and tiles to put into the cart.
Four of the women are shoveling, and the two others are handling rubble. The male is doing …nothing, but is standing in a somewhat defensive stance and would be fitting to be teamed up with at questioning Russian or American officer.
The cart is well moulded with nice details and rendering of the wood. The only nitpick is the inside walls of the cart are void of grain detail. The wheels and spokes in particular are well done.
This kit could be used to depict anything from the blitz to the battle for Berlin.
If you are looking for civilians in high quality and at a reasonable price, don’t look further.
The figures are up to today’s standard with clear and crisp moulding. Some seams are present, but nothing serious. The clothes have reasonable detail, even for the plain everyday clothes they represent.
Faces are well moulded, with nice variation from figure to figure, but the detail could be slightly more defined on some of the faces.
This is a very nice kit that sadly doesn’t get the attention it deserves – they compare very well to other 1:35 figure kits moulded in plastic, and are a cheaper alternative to their resin counterparts.
Overall, these are some very nice figures in quality on level with many Dragon offerings, and are unusual in containing only civilians. Poses are natural and would be fitting for most of Europe – both western and eastern front. The kit gives great diorama opportunities. It’s a shame that this kit normally isn’t found on most modeling retailers sites, but is “hidden” on model railroading sites and shops.