I bought this set for my son’s paper city that we’ve been building. You can’t have a parking garage, semi-trailer, fire truck, and more without modern civilians, right? What’s odd is that there are so few products available to fill this need. Everyday people are not usually offered as miniatures in metal or pre-painted plastic versions, so you would think that civilian paper miniatures would be a hot commodity with a lot of competition.
The first problem that becomes immediately apparent when downloading these figures is that they are not really 28mm or 25mm scale. The figures simply don’t match the standard miniature scales, although the miniatures themselves, when folded to stand up, scale nicely. They’re also highly detailed computer models shrunk down so small that details are lost. It would have been nice if the figures took up more of each flat. This is something that you can fix with your own graphics program, but why should we have to?
Arion makes a point of explaining that each page has repeating figures on it to fill the space, but that’s a bit of a copout. It would have made more sense to create an entire sheet of say, police officers (there’s three different types) or even just emergency services.
As for the individual figures, I will rate them from 1 to 5 with one being the worst and five being the best:
- OLD LADY: This figure is pushing a cart and walking towards the viewer. Because of the scale, her age is largely irrelevant because you can’t make out any details. If you zoom in on the figure you can see she looks like a young woman’s body wearing “old lady clothes.” 2.
- WOMAN #1: The first woman begins a trend that’s a problem with this entire set. The women are too sexy. “Civilians” doesn’t mean a series of streetwalkers. Still, the brunette wears a green half-shirt and tight jeans, which could feasibly be worn by a female civilian. She’s in mid-stride. 3.
- POLICEMAN: #1 The first policeman stands with one fist on his hip, head tilted upwards as if he’s contemplating the universe or modeling his cop outfit. I’m not thrilled with the stance, but he’s recognizable as a cop, which is good. Because I wear a lot of blue shirts for work, this character reminds my son of me. 4.
- MEDIC: A female in all white who is standing, holding a clipboard. Because of the scale she’s a bit washed out, but this is the kind of figures we need in a set like this – pleasantly boring and versatile. She could be a nurse, a medic, or a dental assistant. 5.
- WOMAN #2: This hot blonde wears a tight, belly-baring top, above-the-knee miniskirt, and long black boots. This renders her a little too sexy for the set. 2.
- BUSINESSMAN #1: A dark-skinned businessman pointing at the viewer. Not bad, except that for some reason he’s bald. If women in this set tend to be too sexy, men in this set tend to be bald. I don’t mind one bald figure, or even one bald businessman figure, but the only other businessman in this set is also bald. What’s up with that? 2.
- BOY: Here we have a problem. This boy is dressed up in 1920s style blue shorts, shirt, a little red tie, and a sailor’s hat. This is a cartoon character, not a civilian. As it’s the only boy in the set, it’s useless. 1.
- POLICEMAN #2: A dark-skinned officer in mid-stride. Perfect! 5.
- HIGHWAY PATROLMAN: The Highway Patrolman figure has a very dark shadow over one shoulder and much of his face that renders him unrecognizable. Which is a shame, because otherwise he’d be perfect. 2.
- MAN #1: A white guy walking in a blue blazer and jeans. Just what I need. 5.
- WOMAN #3: This woman is wearing a bizarre outfit; a halter-neck top made of see-through material, flouncy pants, and red sandals. Her hair is in an up-do. She looks like she might be at a club but her attire is so peculiar looking that it’s hard to imagine her as a generic civilian. 2.
- FOOTBALLER: Looks like a guy in football attire. Wait, why do we need a figure of a guy in football attire? 2.
- MAN #2: A dark-skin man with dreadlocks in a striped shirt wearing oddly dirty white pants. Closer examination makes it look like the pants are stained in blood, which ruins the whole purpose of this figure. 3.
- WOMAN #4: Things get weirder with this woman, who has a bodybuilder’s physique, wears a red halter top, and a miniskirt. Why? Who would use this figure? 2.
- MAID: Following the trend, the maid isn’t a maid. This is a teenager’s fantasy of what maids look like, in a see-through V-neck plunging teddy, stockings, and heels. You’ve got to be kidding me. 1.
- WOMAN #5: A white pregnant woman! She’s dressed a little oddly with green and yellow overalls but still, a character you might feasibly see walking down a populated street. 5.
- TEENAGER: This kid wears a sweatshirt, green pants, and carries a skateboard. Believable. One hand is up as if he’s asking why he’s in this set with the other freaks. 5.
- WOMAN #6: A dark-skinned woman with dreadlocks pushing a baby carriage. Again, a character we might encounter anywhere. Just one problem – the baby carriage is enormous, big enough to fit an adult in it or maybe triplets. 4.
- BABY: Probably the most valuable figure in the set. A baby to scale is very rare, and in this regard the set’s small scale works for this figure. The baby is just sitting there, as he should be, wearing a shirt and a diaper. For any scenario in which babies are in danger, this figure will do nicely. 5.
- GIRL: Continuing the trend of not making these characters useful, the girl has blonde hair that’s oddly shadowing the girl’s face, a white shirt, and jean overalls. From a distance, she looks like a boy. 2.
- BIKER: Biker in a red jacket and blue pants, standing. Perfect. 5.
- PARAMEDIC: A white guy in a green and yellow paramedic uniform walking towards the viewer. His attire seems more European than American but he’ll do nicely. 5.
- BUSINESSMAN #2: Bald guy #2, wearing a tight-fitting shirt, dark sunglasses, looking at his watch while carrying a briefcase. Closer inspection reveals he’s wearing leather pants. Somebody has an odd idea of what businessmen look like. Great as a villain, terrible as a civilian. 2.
- WAITRESS: A realistic white female, yay! Hair done up in a bun with apron and pink dress. Just what you would expect from a waitress. 5.
- SWAT OFFICER: An armed female SWAT officer, which is great. No male counterpart, which isn’t as great. 5
- FIREMAN: A fireman wearing a yellow hat and coat. Problem is the hat obscures his face and, unlike every other character in this set, he’s running. At this scale, we need every figure identifiable, not moving. His actions look better in the tri-fold version because you can see his lifted leg. 3.
- CHAUFFEUR: A white guy in a suit. Almost a businessman if he wasn’t wearing the chauffeur’s hat. 5.
- MAN #3: A white guy in a green shirt checked shirt, blue jeans, with his legs slightly crossed. Useful generic guy. 5.
- WOMAN #7: Sigh. Hot blonde in belly-bearing tank top, miniskirt, kneepads and roller skates. Unless you’re a fan of roller derby, you’re not likely to see this woman often. 2.
- WOMAN #8: Sexy longhaired brunette in a tight long-sleeved top, flouncy jean skirt, knee warmers and boots. She’s believable, but just barely (the knee warmers are a bit over the top). 3.
There are also vehicles. They are suitable representations, but don’t actually take up enough space in most RPGs to justify their inclusion – I could just as easily lay the figure flat to represent a car’s space rather than create a 3D fold-up that isn’t to scale.
I removed all of the inappropriately dressed characters before printing them out for my son. In play, the figures work out nicely. Some get crushed, some disappear, but we can always print more. My son is fond of dumping the people into and out of trucks, into and out of buildings, and identifying them as people he knows.
Despite my quibbles with this set, for five bucks you get 30 different colorful characters. With some tweaks, you can increase the size, print as many as you want, and then recycle them when you’re done. I just wish there were more civilian options for paper miniatures.