While sets of soldiers in action poses are all very exciting, all modern armies are fully motorised, so a soldier will spend a good deal of their time in transport of one sort or another. This aspect of a soldier’s life is rarely modelled, but Preiser have made several sets of figures for use in and around vehicles etc., so it is no surprise that they have produced this set. As can be seen from the box image, the intention is to show soldiers sitting and in a non-combat situation, although all are fully armed and ready for battle.
All the figures are sitting and largely waiting, so in many ways there is not much scope for variety of pose, nor for comment on them. However all the various little differences in the poses make for a very realistic selection, with everything looking very natural. The first figure pictured above, unarmed and with both arms raised, is clearly intended to be a driver, while the rest hold their weapons in various ways. As the box artwork suggests, these look great in a suitable location.
From the look of the LBVs they wear, and the lack of MOLLE webbing, we would think these figures are best suited to the 1990s, although different pieces of equipment and clothing took a long time to completely disappear, so for example if these are reservists then they could date from rather later, perhaps well into the first decade of the 21st century. All the rifles look to be the M16, which seems to confirm the 90s date. Clothing and helmets all look good, although obviously the term 'modern' has long since ceased to be a valid description of these particular models.
An inspection of the sprue image will tell you that the figures need some assembly. Most have both arms separate, and many have separate heads and/or lower legs. This allows for more choice in terms of precise pose, although the examples in our picture represent the basic poses and the choices are limited to mixing arms or turning heads. Generally everything fitted together very well, although it all needs gluing, but the separate boots in particular were quite fiddly. Luckily the hard plastic used takes many glues extremely securely. We were also impressed with the general level of detail here. Small items such as the first-aid pouch on the left shoulder and even the webbing for ALICE clips on the right are very well done, and some other kit such as canteens can be positioned more-or-less wherever the customer prefers, which is always good, particularly when trying to position the figures in a very confined space (much like the real thing in fact). Other small details that impressed included the gas mask cases, which are realistically varied, and the goggles on some of the men’s helmets.
At 1/87 scale these are quite small compared to most on this site, but if you are trying to populate some 1/72 vehicle then having soldiers at a slightly smaller scale could easily be a benefit. Though no longer 'modern', these are well thought out and well designed, and offer some very realistic and accurately depicted seated soldiers for a period in US history that began with the First Gulf War and ran for more than a decade before these troops begin to look out of date.