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Detail is Everything

With any model layout, the difference between a toy and a model can often be the level of detail that is added: perhaps with trees, grass or buildings, but especially with figures. Slot cars are 1:32nd scale, and there are quite a range to pick from when you wish to dress your layout. However, although all theoretically the same scale, these figures can vary quite dramatically in height and certainly in overall size and depth. To this end, I have collected a few together to compare them as I see them in my humble opinion.


from left to right they are Scalextric, Fly, Preiser, Bumslot and SCX

The Scalextric figures are the cheapest by a long way, and for only £4.95 you get 6 figures all on bases. Our example does look somewhat 'gangster-like' but the pack includes quite a variation in stance. Detailing is poor as far as the hair and clothing goes compared to the others, and the figures do leave you with the 'well, what sort of position can I put this one in?' thought in a similar way to our example, in that it is difficult to find a location or situation for them.



Fly figures are the most expensive of those reviewed. This pack of 2 figures, in this case race marshals, retails for £25.00 and are supplied unfinished. This particular female figures arms need to be attached and then she needs mounting on a stand (supplied) and then painting before she is ready to be placed on a particularly nasty corner to do her marshalling duties. There are four Fly figure packs with either two or three figures in each ranging from £25.00 to £39.00 for a pack. Detail is very good as you would expect at this price but it has to be said that if you are not an expert painter then these are not for you, as much of the quality of the model would need picking out as highlights etc, and this does take a great deal of skill and time. Scale height is also questionable, but since these figures are designed to be alone somewhere on the circuit there will generally be no other figures close by as comparison.

Preiser make a large range of figures, but do not make them specifically for slot cars. In fact, they do not actually make a pit crew which is disappointing. However, at £15.95 for a pack of three figures these are easily the best value for money and best detailed. The figure in the picture above is beautifully painted with shading on the clothing and and excellent facial expression. He even has glasses that have been made separately then added once the model has been painted. This is truly exceptional and is the nearest to being the correct height and build for this scale of all the figures here. A 6 foot tall man would come out in 1:32nd scale at 59mm tall, and as you can see from the group picture he is 59mm tall plus a millimetre or two for his hat. Perfect in every detail, these are ready to add to your layout immediately.



Bumslot figures are available at only £8.95 for four figures. Quite good value, but they would definitely benefit from a little attention with a small paintbrush. The faces have no painted detail, just moulded detail although the hair and headphones are painted in reasonably well. Supplied already on stands, they do make a very cheap alternative to the other figures and are definitely better detailed than the Scalextric ones. However, they are a little short in scale height, although this does not show as the pit crew figures are in stooped and crouched positions. The shoes are not painted and would benefit from a little time spent on them.

SCX figures are not plastic, but rubber in make-up. This means that they are easier to handle and have less of a gloss sheen over the paint. The paint does not crack as I first thought it might, and detailing is very good, and at only £14.00 for a set of 6 figures and a jack and spare wheel, these are excellent value for money. The only criticism was that the heads and shoes are oversized, as can clearly be seen from the individual photograph, but again if they are in a crowded or pit-stop area this should not show too much. Height is fairly good as is the 'build' of the figures and as a pit crew, they are without a doubt the best overall as far as quality and cost are concerned.

The last individual figure is a Slot.It 'Pit Babe' and a Preiser bather. Skin tones are very difficult to reproduce in a model, and yet both these are excellent. They are of a similar height but muscle-tone on the Preiser is far superior, and the detailing on the face of the slot.it figure does come out somewhat clown-like when compared to the excellent reproduction on the bather.

One thing is for sure - if you start to mix and match figures from different manufacturers in one small area on a layout you will certainly get some very strange mixes of quality. The best of the pit crews is the SCX, but if you stood the Preiser woman next to them the oversizing would be very apparent. However, Preiser don't make a pit crew so somewhere along the line there has to be a compromise. Preiser do make packs of 'Adam' figures - separate torsos, legs, arms and heads that you can make into your own shapes so perhaps this is the way to go. You just glue them together and paint them and at £20.95 for a pack that makes 6 figures (male or female). There is enough variation of other figures from them to make a good crowd of spectators and others that although not designed for this environment could be adapted with a little painting.

You do get what you pay for, and the more realistic your figures, the more realistic your layout.

Aaron
 

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cool review! revell are re-releasing their figures soon, which previously were sold as the mrrc figures. These are in my opinion the best figures for detail and varied realistic poses of 'classic' figures; You had to paint the mrrc figures yourself, and they came in packs of 10 or 12. The new revell figures come in 4-packs and are nicely pre-painted.
 

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Matt Tucker
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Thanks for this Aaron which is a fair and useful summary - I have the SCX rally crew and combining them in the rally tent made a nice little scene on my rally track. The Prieser figures qulaity does ooze and I've been very tempted as I've browsed them at GetSlotted.

The one glaring ommission I have to say are the excellent SRA figures which offer a great range of figures correct to scale that are really easy to paint. Although they are unpainted 3 packs worth only took me a couple of nights of painting. These placed around the gives it a touch of class. I especially like the crash scene, murray walker and TV crew and the drivers in various poses.

The immanent re-prod revel ones look interesting esp for that classic layout and the forthcoming Scalextric F1 style pit crews will be excellent VFM.

I think some of the forth coming Scalextric pit crews with a few packs of SRA figures adding to the racing realism and for the crowd go with some cheap figures for the bulk of the crowd with a few Preieser figues sprinkled amoungst them.

Matt
 

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Thanks for the review Aaron, I am glad that you paid attention to the differences in size and detail. It is very difficult knowing which ones to buy and they dont come cheap !!

I dont have any figures for my circuit yet but have been weighing up the different options for some time. Here is what I have tentatively decided:-

Spectators (seated) - SCX.
Pit Lane - The upcoming Revell-Monogram figures.
Marshalls - Leaning towards SRA although I would prefer to see them at first hand before buying.

Also, I will likely use a few Prieser figures for people generally walking around.

Cheers....Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do not have any of the SRA figures to photograph but will happily add them to the review if jonny wants to send me some! However, I have come across them before and my only criticisms were that they are so obviously real-life figures such as Murray Walker and I wanted to make the review for more non-descript figures. Also, the SRA figures are quite 'chunky' with large bodies and heads and so against most of the ones above you would see stark differences. However, they are very highly detailed, and the pit crew are excellent and in a pit environment, where you could use SRA figs exclusively, they would be very good.

I will be doing another review soon on the same basis, comparing driver figures. Watch this space.

Aaron
 

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Allan Wakefield
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QUOTE Spectators (seated) - SCX.

I would wait with baited breathe for the imminent and very good quality and price Carrera sets for grandstands.
 

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Slot City
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Carrera figures are as follows, due 4th quarter....

(Carrera 21106) Figures @ £6.99



(Carrera 21107) Figures (x15) @ £19.99



(Carrera 21108) Grandstand Figures (x20) @ £26.99



(Carrera 21109) Mechanic Figures (x5) @ £7.99



Jon,
Slot City.
 

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Very interesting comparison, but the SRA range is probably the most comprehensive one available. There are currently 85 different figures, produced in pewter, covering most aspects of the current racing "scene". The vast majority of the figures are completely "anonymous" and integrate well with other figures and buildings in the range.

The degree of detail has to be seen to be believed (especially at the price!) and they can be easily painted, both by beginners and by experts to produce a much more customised look. The level of detail picked out in the painting process will be determined by the amount of time and skill available, but more than acceptable results have been obtained by novices in very little time!

There any several design projects underway at the moment, adding more figures, buildings and accessories to the range, for release throughout the year. All current and future items can be obtained from various well-known retailers, both in the UK and elsewhere around the world - if you have any difficulty locating one, please let me know!

On the subject of reviews, I have already contacted Aaron to offer some figures for his next review - so watch this space!

Regards,
Paul
 

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Nice one Aaron.


Couldn't help thinking some of those Carrera figures look very Preiser-ish. I'd wager a tie in somewhere which can only be good for slotcars!!


I haven't lashed out yet as Preiser aren't readily available in Australia (especially in 1/32 scale) but the range of figures available is impressive, especially the Adam and Eve kits.

See Aarons post below. I understand that Preiser figurines can be seen on Guagemaster's site.

Cheers

Steve
 

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QUOTE I would wait with baited breathe for the imminent and very good quality and price Carrera sets for grandstands

Thanks for the heads up Swiss...I forgot all about these, certainly better value than the £14 SCX spectators. Not sure about the guy with the beard though. He looks like he might break into a rendition of "Coward Of The County" at any moment.

Altogether now "Ev'ryone considered him the coward of the county, He'd never stood one single time to prove the county wrong".
 

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If your after bulking up on figures for your layout it's also worth looking at MRRC classic figures.

Re-moulded from Airfix (i think!) they are very good value for money - come unpainted.

Pendle Slot has recently become a MRRC distributor in the UK.

Heres a photo from his web site.



Gareth
NSCC
 

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Russell Sheldon
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But you do needs lots of figures to make a realsitic layout....



Kind regards

Russell
 

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Has anyone used Froemter's figures? I understand they used to supply Carrera years ago. The paint is off, but that can be remedied. I like the bulk option they have for purchasing. In my rather poor German, I asked if they can ship to the US and they said yes. BUT, they have no way to pay online, meaning I'll have to send a cashier's check.

Anyway, curious if anyone has used those.

Thanks!
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Hübner also make 1/32nd scale model railway figures, which can be seen pictured on Tom's Rennbahnseite.

I do like the Preiser figures, although expensive they are beautifully detailed:-







Apologies for the poor quality of the non-digital photos. The last picture includes some Monogram figures.

Kind regards

Russell
 

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Brian Ferguson
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Those Froemter figures scare me! They look like some of the guys I work with!


Interesting study in general though. There are some very nice ones out there! By grabbing some from several sources, it should be easy to populate even a large layout without obvious redundancy. Nice to see the figure offerings growing - they are such a huge part of any really detailed layout.


We still need more pit babes though...
"Yes, dear, they do dress like that in the pits!"
 

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Allan Wakefield
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You couldnt fill a slotcar layout with them but for quality, realism and detail they outreach Fly figures (also on price- just) and come pre painted and assembled.

These have to be my favorites from them to date, although they are VERY hard to find in 1/32 scale...







Shame they don't do more racing figures and yes - the guy on the left IS smoking


The only other slot related figure I have seen smoking is James Dean in the 356 rendition of his 'lil bastard' from Anni Mini.
 
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