|No. of Figures||40|
|No. of Poses||15|
|Optimal Period||1941 -1945|
The waiting list of 1/72 figures made by Pegasus Hobbies includes a quite considerable number of sets related to WWII Russians, namely “Russian Winter Infantry”, “Russian Summer Infantry”, “Russians in Berlin”, “Russian Summer Mortar Set” and “Russian Winter Mortar Set”. A first set on the topic, “Soviet Naval Infantry” has been launched few months ago, being highly appreciated not only due to its uniqueness in the scale, but also for the top class quality of the soldiers incorporated. In addition, figures of Russian infantry dressed in summer and winter uniforms are already prepared by the company, but for the moment is not available any indication about the name of the set or sets that are going to include them. While those dressed for summer were previously shown and analysed, the main goal of the hereinafter review consists in a short presentation of the troopers wearing the winter uniform. Once more, it has to be pointed out that at present the marketing name of the set is unknown.
Same as for their colleagues dressed in summer uniforms, the sprue encloses 20 figures disposed in 15 poses, which for sure is a sufficient number of poses to complete a set. Considering that wargame needs many soldiers in firing positions, but as well for bringing more diversity, it was adopted the same approach like for those in summer uniforms, respectively one standing and one crouched soldiers firing off their weapons from shoulder received a single modification related to the weapon, alternating the M1891/30 Mosin-Nagat riffles with PPsH41 submachine guns. However, such poses are not necessary only for wargaming, but also for any dioramas depicting war scenes, being ideal for tranches, houses or other emplacements. The entire unit is dressed as same, wearing padded jackets (telogreika) and matching padded trousers (Vatnie Sharovari). Except the officer who has officer cap, the heads are covered by ushankas while the footwear is represented for all by felt winter boots (valenki). The valenki could be painted with or without the rubber overshoes which in general where worn with this kind of boots. Furthermore, due to close similitude, the footwear from here may be painted either as valenki, or as leather jackboots, both types being intensively used by the Red Army at the padded jacket and trousers. Even in the endowment of the Russian Army before, and images from Staligrad made it famous, since 1943 the telogreika jacket started to be commonly issued for central and southern areas as well. The standard colour of telogreika was kaki, but black versions of the same jacket were distributed to some prisoners of war in winter. In the camps it was very important to quickly differentiate the prisoners from their guards and for this reason it was selected black for the prisoners. In addition, after the war telogreika had become a symbol of the so called “working class” in the communist countries, various versions and colours of this jacket being encountered especially on all building yards in winter and even nowadays could be seen at older workers. Likewise, a kaki version of telogreika remained in use in the Romanian army till the fall of communism in 1989, and the same situation may be registered as well in other ex communist countries. Taking into account the just mentioned details, it might be said that the value of the present figures increases, being suitable for a large number of conversions. No shoulder boards are featured on the jackets, before 1943 being regarded as a symbol of the old Tsarist Army, but reintroduced after the great victories in 1943, in order to increase the moral of troops and return to the Mother Russia concept. For those needing shoulder boards, they could easily reproduce them during the painting process, so the figures may be engaged throughout the war and even after with some little modifications. The current uniform does not strictly imply snow, many photos showing Russian soldiers wearing telogreikas and ushankas in autumn and spring. Weaponry is similar with those met at the summer Russian figures, with M1891/30 Mosin-Nagat riffles, PsH41 sub-machine guns and a single PPS-43 that could also be the initial version, PPS-42 coming with the officer. A Degtyarev (DP) light machine gun provides firing support for the unit which also encloses a grenade thrower with a RDG-33 stick grenade in the right hand and other two at the belt. At its turn, equipment also shares the same common points with the one found at the summer version, stressing the poor endowment of Russian soldier, characterising in principal the early stage of the war. Just pointing out that most of equipment covers were made from old reshaped fabrics and comparing it with the one of their opponents, where a complex gear made of leather and high quality textiles were met on each trooper, we get a good explanation for how it was regarded and appreciated by each leadership the regular soldier and his life in the two armies. Nevertheless, even with poor equipment and weaker weapons, the Russians succeeded to bring the most important contribution to the fall of the Nazi regime, and the heroism and good combat skills of the Red Army soldier cannot be denied. Returning to the equipment of the present warriors, it is essential that all get the ammunition pouches fitting the weapon in use and additionally, most of them got other pieces of equipment such as water bottles with related strap, shovels in cloth carriers, 1940 gas mask bags and knapsacks (veshchevoi myeshok) that was a simple bag made of cotton with a drawstring throat and fabric straps. The officer wears both the related ammo pouch for his submachine gun and a map case of a pattern appearing such as those supplied under Lend-Lease. No shelter half (plashch-platka) or bayonet are granted here, but these items are available at some fighters from the summer version.
Top class and innovative poses characterise Pegasus Hobbies and this sprue of winter Red Army makes no exception, and though some poses are already known, there are as well several bright new. Designed as first line soldiers in the middle of the fight, these figures greatly fulfil their role, suitable either for wargaming scenarios or for completing a diorama portraying a combat scene. A good selection of standing, crouched and prone figures firing off weapons, advancing, throwing grenade, casualty and officer going forward together with his unit brings in the 1/72 scale new and attractive figures finely tailored for a ferocious attack or defence.
The here reviewed fighters already show a large number of excellent details that accurately depict various garment items. From those should be stressed the buttons and other tinny features of telogreikas as well as the stars in the middle of outstanding ushankas or the authentic creases of the cloths, more difficult to be sculptured due to the nature of the padded material. Weapons and gear is correctly done and in scale, also showing plenty of tiny particulars. Perhaps anatomy will make a strong impression, the wonderful facial expressions and palms immediately capturing the attention and admiration of modellers. On these figs flash is very low and excess of plastic completely miss, so it is assessed that the end product will have at least the same qualities or it will be even better.
Like those dressed in summer uniforms, the underway winter troopers have exactly the same size, belonging to the tall side of the 1/72, proper enemies from the point of view of size especially for Pegasus Hobbies “Waffen SS Set 1”, “German Mortar Teams” and “IG 18 Gun and Crew” sets. On the other hand these winter figures from Pegasus on all criteria greatly complements the other offers related to topic and available on the market, in this regard can be nominated sets such as Revell – “Siberian Riflemen”, Italeri – “Russian Infantry (Winter Uniform)” and also Italeri’s crew from “Russian ZIS 3 AT Gun”. However, in some extent these fighters dressed in telogreikas may be used not only with figures wearing the summer attire, and here there are much more sets released by various manufacturers, but also with “Soviet Naval Infantry” of the same company and already met on shops shelves.
Hard plastic definitely represents the best material for figures, having a series of major advantages versus soft plastic. Form these advantages there should be emphasised glue-ability and capacity of keeping the initial properties of the enamel and artist oils, not bringing any gloss influence to these such it may happen in case of some soft plastic merchandises. Glue-ability of hard plastic allows the use of standard modelling glue (Poycement) providing the great chance to easily convert of our figures and increase a lot the number of distinct poses in the collection or to customize them according to our needs, which in fact is the dream of any wargamer or diorama builder. In the case of the present soldiers, Preiser equipment, weapons and helmets available in different sets on the subject as well as the separate sprue of weapons from Pegasus’s “Soviet Naval Infantry” confer endless possibilities for conversion and customisation, especially the Preiser steel helmets being quite important bearing n mind that none is given here.
Some wargamers and collectors request bases for the figures and Pegasus Hobbies fulfilled their desire, except the prone poses, all the rest coming on bases. Other people wanting to base these soldiers on new devices will have to allocate only few minutes to remove the issued ones. These are casted in such way that the base exclusion operation will not affect at all the footwear.
Created with wargame as main idea, the just reviewed warriors feature crisp and accurate details, perfect size of bodies, weapons and equipment able to fully satisfy the exigencies of diorama builders, too. Furthermore, thanks to hard plastic the last target group can effortless convert and customize them according to their own needs. Likewise, the value of these figures is greater, replacing the weapons and gear we could get post war Romanian soldiers and probably as well from other communist countries, while removing weapons and replacing heads we may have German POWs in a Russian camp. At present, neither the name of the set that will incorporate these troopers, nor the date of launching on the market are unknown, but due to their qualities both the winter and summer Russians in preparation by Pegasus will capture the attention of a large number of representatives of wargame, collector and diorama builder groups.