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In-Box Review
135
World War I Propaganda Posters
German, US, English, French & Russian WW1 Propaganda Posters
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

Since the advent of mass communications, governments have used books, posters and other media for propaganda. Broadsides were common during the 19th Century exhorting citizens to join the army, but the heyday of propaganda began around the First World War when colorful prints combined vivid colors, patriotic (or xenophobic) images and appeals to patriotism or just plain fear, all with the aim of motivating the populace to take part in the war.

In some cases, the goal was enlistment, either by a direct appeal to patriotism, an indirect effort to elicit fear of the enemy, or even the use of sex appeal to make serving your country (and possibly getting killed) something that pretty women would swoon over. And with wars demanding both treasure AND blood, posters quickly became a means of organizing war bond drives, donations of goods, and even an appeal to do with less among the civilian population.

Numerous companies have released poster sets for World War Two and the Interwar period, but little or nothing for the Great War has been on the market prior to now. FC Modeltips has released a series of five sets of World War One propaganda posters.

the sets

The five sets cover:

German Propaganda Posters 1914-1918 (#35327)
Russian Propaganda Posters 1914-1918 (#35328)
French Propaganda Posters 1914-1918 (#35331)
US Propaganda Posters 1914-1918 (#35339)
English Propaganda Posters 1914-1918 (#35065)

the review

While the print quality is generally good, some of the posters have too much contrast, so the images tend to be dark & indistinct. The "clotting" of colors is a problem with repeated copying, and I have no way of knowing where these images originated. All of them are now in the public domain to my knowledge, so they are frequently reproduced.

The good news is that these sets cover a range of "classics" like Uncle Sam or Lord Kitchener exhorting the young men of their land to join up and fight, as well as unit-specific appeals like one for the Coldstream Guards. There are appeals to save food, or a poster for Bovril (a sort of meat extract used in cooking) showing a bull trying to enlist. The US posters focus on selling war bonds as much as enlisting, though there's the classic image of a comely young lady saying "I want you for the Navy" (the WAVEs weren't established until WW2).

France used a national lottery to raise money for the war, but otherwise the posters included in that set are about engendering patriotism in the viewer (and hopefully, a trip to the enlistment station). The theme is mostly about the poilu or common soldier, and less about Marianne, the traditional symbol of the Republic, and by extension, the nation.

German posters from the period are mostly exhorting enlistments, but also include at least one warning about the evils of Bolshevism after the Russian Revolution in 1917, and a post-war graphic about joining the Reichswehr (Germany's post-war stump of an army).

The one area where I was disappointed was in the Russian set. These are some of the lesser quality of reproduction with a higher contrast and super-saturated colors, as if the scans are from copies of copies. The material also seems somewhat ordinary with little evidence of the struggle between the monarchy and the growing Communist insurgency.

The posters are printed in color on approximately 4" x 6" white paper stock in vivid color, and contain on average 30-40 period posters. Because they're actually printed on paper, mounting with white glue, weathering or even tearing them should result in a better approximation of the scale item.

conclusion

With the sudden surge in WW1 subject matter in modeling, it's good to have period posters for dioramas and vignettes. These certainly cover the topic, though the lack any explanatory information. Therefore modelers should be careful not to use a poster that looks good but perhaps has the wrong message.

Thanks to FC Modeltips for providing these review samples. Be sure to mention you saw them reviewed on Armorama when ordering your own.
SUMMARY
Highs: The selection of posters runs a wide gamut of famous and lesser-known posters.
Lows: Printing is a little "soft" on some items, though this probably won't be a problem if weathered or used in a diorama.
Verdict: It's exciting to have these posters for use on Great War dioramas.
  Scale: 1:35
  Suggested Retail: 3.63
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 14, 2015
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.08%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

Our Thanks to FC Model Trend!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright 2017 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for the honest and thorough review. The definitely would come in handy, to bad the quality isn't the greatest according to your review.
DEC 14, 2015 - 03:03 PM
yes thank you for the review! maybe this is not the right place to ask (or maybe this question has been already been answered), but why on earth one has to buy propaganda poster since one can download them the for free from the Internet, scale them down and self - print them, remains for me a mistery... ciao Edo
DEC 15, 2015 - 04:18 AM
The quality is not bad at all, but I want purchasers to understand the strengths and weaknesses. Some of the posters look better than others, however the price overall is modest enough that you can't go wrong with a set. The tricks are in the paper (it has to be extremely thin, not ordinary printer paper), and the resolution has to be very high, otherwise you get a muddy blotch. It's similar to pre-shading and color modulation: we're working in 1/35th scale, so ordinary shadowing and color ranges don't apply with small vehicles and dioramas. You can make your own, but why bother? These are cheap and accurate for the most part.
DEC 15, 2015 - 08:48 AM
OK, Thanks for clarifying. I guess I will have to pick up a set.
DEC 15, 2015 - 09:55 AM
ah! ok! now I understand a bit better... I guess I'll have to try them first hand thank you ciao edo
DEC 15, 2015 - 08:22 PM
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