If these figures look familiar that is because they are. It seems that these were produced in co-operation with Revell, who marketed them in what they called 1/72 scale, although they actually made the figures much too large. See our review of that set for comments on the poses and accuracy.
Although the figures are similar there are many differences apart from the scale. These are very much a kit, with almost every figure having three or more parts to assemble to achieve the pose. This has the advantage of avoiding all the unwanted plastic to be found on the Revell one-piece figures, but naturally takes time to put together. In some Preiser sets this multi-part policy enables parts to be mixed, both between figures and between sets, in order to obtain a wider variety of poses. However here the poses are very much pre-determined, and there is little scope for mixing parts. Occasionally this generally good policy of making more parts to achieve better poses can go too far, as in the figure who has a separate face – not a separate head, but a face! For the most part these parts fit together OK, and the standard of sculpting is pretty good, much the same as the Revell examples. Strangely the set also includes a separate sprue of weapons and kit, despite the fact that none of the figures can take, or indeed need, extra weapons or helmets. Still converters will welcome these additions to the spares box, even though they are of course the same 1/87 scale as the rest of the set.
The figures have no bases as such, but a clear sheet of plastic is provided, presumably to allow you to fashion your own base if you chose. One feature this set does have in common with that of Revell is that the figures are too tall for the stated scale. In HO scale they are around 1.82 metres tall, which is much too tall for an average Soviet soldier of the day. This makes them somewhere between the HO and 1/72 scale, and therefore something of a limbo.
While the box clearly shows the poses and the inside shows and numbers every piece, there are no instructions as to which parts go together to make the poses. We assembled ours using the Revell figures as a guide, and for the most part the pieces are to be found next to each other, but still the normal Preiser practice of listing the parts for a pose would have been a good idea here.
For collectors of 1/72 scale figures this set has little to offer. It has exactly the same poses as the Revell set, but is as much too small (for 1/72 scale) as the Revell set is too large. The excess plastic is lost, but at the expense of some quite fiddly assembly. So something of a mixed bag all round.