Strengths and weaknesses

We tested the figurine set 'rebellious youths' by NOCH ( 15545)

die Halbstarken auf einer Minihantel

H0 gauge miniature figures for dioramas are generally referred to as ‘Preiser figures’ due to the market dominance of the German manufacturer Preiser (who are, by the way, based in the romantic town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber). Nevertheless, other companies like e.g. NOCH produce a variety of these little ‘humans’, too, that bring so much life to a diorama or model railway layout. And when you think of their ‘Sexy Scenes’ product range, you can’t call NOCH uninspired...

vier Figuren aus dem Set im DetailThe NOCH figurine set ‘rebellious youths’ costs approximately EUR 6.50 (March 2007) and comes in a sturdy see-through plastic box which provides you with some essential information about the product and its manufacturer. Once you have ‘freed’ the little people from the package you will notice that they are quite detailed. They even wear shoes which is still not self-evident nowadays as our product test ‘PREISER ice-cream sellers & customers’ revealed last year.

Rolled-up trouser legs, silver belt buckles, individually coloured fabric applications, glasses and sideburns make the manufacturer’s attention to detail become evident. An absolute highlight is the white eagle on the wannabe-Elvis’s black leather jacket - it is hand-painted with a fine brush!

die Figuren von hinten betrachtetThis outer appearance of the ‘rebellious youths’ (who are apparently at least in their 30’s though) is quite impressive, and so the lady with the yellow jumper anxiously holds onto her partner who seems to scratch his head in a rather self-conscious and helpless way.

The posture of the figures is very lifelike anyway and the manufacturer has successfully reproduced body language in H0 gauge. Talking about closeness to scale: There is nothing to be criticised, although none of the young rebels would even have the size of 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in) in reality. Therefore, their body height alone would not intimidate anyone in the dark streets of your model city...

We have seen miniature figures with more burrs, typical remains of the production process. But the ‘webbed legs’ of some of the rebels can’t be mistaken for trousers with creases. It seems rather obvious instead that the NOCH workers had some inhibitions about using sandpaper between the tiny legs.

zwei Figuren aus dem Set im DetailNevertheless, as already mentioned above, they have proven a great extent of attention to detail when painting the tiny figurines. And all in all, they have done an accurate job (especially the white eagle is a little piece of art), although the ‘lady’ with the red top must have been painted by the doddery great-grandfather of one of the employees instead.

Apart from that, some glossy or even unpainted patches prevent the tested product finally from getting better marks in the painting quality category. Even the reasonable price of the figurine set can’t justify this negligence.


A yob meeting in the car park of a fast food restaurant, a lonely bus shelter at night - the figurine set ‘rebellious youths’ can enhance many scenes in your miniature world. All in all, the retail price for the set is adequate. So NOCH don’t have to hide behind their big rivals from Rothenburg/Germany, but we are pretty sure that even in 20 years the tiny people on your model railway layout will still be referred to as ‘little Preisers’ rather than ‘little Nochs’...

test synopsis*
Packaging (15) 12
'First impression' (15) 12
Originality (15) 12
Closeness to reality (15) 12
Wealth of detail (15) 12
Fineness of detail (15) 11
Closeness to scale (15) 14
Condition of all parts (15) 9
Quality of colours, prints or painting (15) 9
Gesamtwertung: gut 103
(max. 135)

*Find out more about the test criteria for modelling accessories here.

Tested March 2007     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - - please visit our  main page