AIR/ARM: Review - Preiser 1/48 Scale USAAF Personnel

Kit Review: Prieser Military 1/48 Scale Kit No. 67003; Pilots, Ground Crew, U. S. Army Air Force 1942-45; 30 parts in white styrene; price estimated at US $13-15

Advantages: nice selection of poses and figures permits use in a wide variety of situations and with a large number of vehicles; may also be used in Korea

Disadvantages: 1/48 about the limit of good execution by Prieser

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: for all 1/48 scale armor and aircraft fans

I have liked Prieser's figures for many years, first finding them in both 1/87 (HO scale) and 1/72 scale, and now they have blossomed out to cover all major modeling scales from Z gauge (1/220) up to LGB gauge (1/22.5). But their secret to this is simply coming with one good master and them using a pantograph to enlarge or reduce the size of the mold. But what makes a stunning figure in HO or 1/72 starts to wane as it gets bigger. 1/48 (US O gauge, as European O Gauge is 1/43) is about the limit of good resolution and detail in their figures before it starts to look "soft" and descend toward loss of definition.

That being said, this set of 12 figures in uniform is an excellent addition to both aircraft and armor dioramas or vehicles in 1/48 scale. The set includes the following figures: three mechanics, one with a tool chest; six pilots in various stages of dress and uniforms, from khakis ("suntans"), dress uniforms ("pinks and greens"), bomber jacket with garrison cap, garrison cap with vest and parachute, and full up flight suit with helmet and all kit worn; one Military Police solider with bloused pants, helmet and dress uniform; and two women, one WAAF in dress uniform and a WASP pilot in flight gear.

Three extra heads are included, so with the ones given (either garrison caps or service caps) and one in a pith helmet just about any combination can be modeled. Since other than flight gear most WWII uniforms were indistinguishable from each other, these figures can for the most part be used as either USAAF or US Army personnel.

Also, most of the figures can be used for Korea and the early 1950s as well, as the uniforms of the early USAF were cut to the same patterns as the Army ones, and only the colors changed.

Overall this is a nice little set with a lot of flexibility and promise, and should be popular with both aircraft and armor modelers.

Cookie Sewell

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