Germany’s Luftwaffe declined as World War II progressed, and in 1946 was officially disbanded by the victorious allies. However in 1955 West Germany joined NATO, and its air force was reconstituted to form part of the forces facing the supposed threat to Europe from the Warsaw Pact. Since its reformation it has only seen active service once, during the NATO attacks on Serbia and Kosovo in 1999, and even then it fulfilled only a support role as the German constitution prevents participation in wars of aggression.
This set contains three identical sprues, and as can be seen most of the figures are of ground crew rather than pilots. The pilots seem to be in a relaxed mood, but the ground crew are busy working on their various tasks around the aircraft. There are some quite nice poses for the crew, particularly those bending down and apparently peering at something. Even the man standing with hands in pockets has a very realistic air about him, so in general this is a good selection of poses.
Unusually for Preiser every figure comes as just one piece – there is no assembly required anywhere, unless you wish to glue the men to bases (which are not supplied with the set). The sculpting is fair but there is not a lot of detail on the clothing. For the ground crew, wearing overalls, this is not inappropriate, but the pilots have largely featureless flight suits, making it hard to comment on the accuracy of their clothing. As a result we were not particularly happy with the accuracy, as there seems to be a lack of the sort of straps and other details generally seen on modern flight suits. The helmets they carry also leave much to be desired compared to the pattern seen in modern times.
Once again we have a set of figures intended to be placed strategically around a model of a plane, and as such they are not too bad. Not one of Preiser’s finest hours in terms of sculpting though, but some well thought out poses.