by: Andras [ ]
MiniArt has issued a couple of civilians in a sitting position as a figure set. They are marked as “German Sitting Civilians ‘30s-’40s”, but in reality they could be from any European country from the interwar period to the 1980s at least. This is with the caveat that “as far as I can tell”; I’m not very well versed in everyday fashion to be able to pinpoint the era. If I see these people dressed like this in a diorama set in 1985, I would not think they look out of place (especially east of the Iron Curtain). Men’s fashion is quite conservative, and does not change a lot with time; the only figure that might be problematic is the young lady, as women’s fashion does change quite fast.
We get two men and three women figures in sitting positions. The middle aged man is wearing a suit and hat and reading a paper, and the older man is leaning on his cane, wearing a suit, a cap, and a walrus moustache. The young lady is wearing a heavy coat, and sitting back with her purse on her lap. The middle aged lady is in a similar pose, while the older lady is sitting while leaning her head on her knuckles. The poses are natural, but not very exciting; only one gentleman reads the newspapers we get with this kit. It’s a shame because we get a lot of interesting newspapers and magazines. (The rest can be used folded up in the laps of the sitting figures.)
The detail is crisp and very nice; the faces are very expressive and anatomically correct. (It’s difficult to sculpt proportional faces in 1/35; a lot of figures have elongated faces, too large noses or ears.) The folding on the clothes is very nice and realistic; the hands are delicate and well detailed.
The setting for these figures are somewhat limited: they could be used in a tram/bus/train, or depicting them enjoying some sun in the park or at a cafe shop. (The heavy clothing on the ladies indicate late Autumn/Winter/early Spring, so the outdoor settings are somewhat limited for her, but the gentlemen are dressed for a wide-range of weather conditions.) The magazines and newspapers are provided on a sheet of paper. The print quality is really good- the photos and headlines are actually recognisable, but don’t hope to read the articles. (Since they seem to be replicas of actual newspapers, it might be possible to find them in an archive. I’d be curious to see what they say.) The era and country when and where these figures can be used is only limited by the newspapers: if you plan to use them in Prague 1981 for example, be sure to print out some replacements.