Preiser is legendary in the world of model railways, with a range of products that is so vast it takes the breath away. Compared to the railways, their military and historic range is tiny, yet still offers some very interesting and useful products, although they are in hard plastic rather than soft. One such set is this, labelled as modern US infantry.
In a box there are two identical sprues with parts to make up a total of 16 figures. The figures are mostly made up of a body with legs, one or two separate arms and sometimes a separate weapon and/or head. As usual the sprue can be seen using the above icon, and the figures we show follow the suggested combinations on the packaging, but naturally other combinations are possible. As hard plastic pieces they glue very well and are well made and easy to assemble. Detail is generally very sharp and we found no flash to trim. On the down side they come with no bases and do not stand by themselves, but those that wish to will have no difficulty attaching bases to them.
As we have said, the poses will depend on the choices made during assembly, but our pictures are a representative sample of what can be achieved. Like most Preiser military figures, these troops are clearly not actually in battle as they are doing relatively little, so for battles their use is limited. However the reality of the life of a soldier is that they spend most of their time away from battle, and for that these figures are fine. We liked the poses as they look natural and realistic.
Though they are called modern infantry, they do not represent the troops as they look today. The main firearm is the M16A2, which was introduced from 1982, but several elements of weaponry and clothing are no longer standard issue. They are dressed and clothed for around the mid 1980s, which may well have been when the set was designed.
These are nice figures that are worth a closer look, and the inclusion of a female soldier is particularly noteworthy. Wargamers will point out that the non-combat poses significantly limits their use, and how many figures scratching the back of their head does anyone need? However, as illustrated on the packaging, a very realistic model can be constructed with these figures.