It's been some time since Eduard have released any WW1 figures. Their RFC and German sets have been available for some years, so it's nice to see the manufacturer return to the subject with a neat set of six 1/48 scale French WW1 pilots and ground crew. The parts arrive on two pale olive sprues in a sturdy little top-opening box. The moulding is good, with no sign of flash - just a light line around the parts where the mould separates, so clean-up is pretty quick and straightforward. Sink marks have been a bit of an issue with some of Eduard's figure sets, but this time things are much better and I found just one shallow mark on one of the figures - so full marks to Eduard for sharpening up their act in this respect.
The figures are all multi-part affairs, with separate torsos, limbs and heads. This means a little extra care is needed to ensure flat gluing surfaces, but offers a degree of scope for "mixing and matching" to create fresh poses. The caps are separate items, so you could build up the heads to increase the variety still further. As well as the figures themselves there's a simple one-piece ladder included, but there are no other items of ground equipment provided, which seems a bit of a shame. I built-up the figures and have left them unpainted, finding the fit of parts pretty good, but there will be a little filler needed here and there.
All the poses are casual:
A pair of officers dressed in tunics standing, one pointing, the other with his hands in his pockets.
A pilot standing in flying gear.
A pair of figures dressed in pullovers, one leaning against a propeller (or similar), the other sat back.
Finally, there's a mechanic climbing a ladder. As in most styrene sets, the ladder is probably a bit on the heavy side and could do with thinning down somewhat.
The sculpting is a little heavy in places but, again, I think it's a definite improvement over some of the past figures from Eduard and the faces have good expressions. The poses and proportions are mostly quite natural, with the exception of that of the standing pilot, which has the right arm at a rather awkward angle. I presume he's intended to be leaning on something, but I think some further adjustment will still help.
The figures are backed up by a simple set of instructions with clear illustrations and Gunze Sangyo colours keyed to each part. A paint chart is also included with further matches for Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell and Testors, so you should have no trouble finding the appropriate colours wherever you live.
This should prove a handy and popular set of figures. Obviously, it's primary use will be for WW1 scenes, but the figures in pullovers are pretty timeless and universal, so I can see them proving useful for dioramas and vignettes beyond their intended use.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Cleanly moulded in useful poses with good facial expressions.Lows: Slightly heavy sculpting in places. No equipment included beyond a ladder.Verdict: This should prove a popular set with applications beyond just WW1 scenes.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...