|No. of Figures||40|
|No. of Poses||15|
|Optimal Period||1941 -1945|
After releasing some of the best sets on the market related to 1/72 WWII German Army, Pegasus Hobbies made public a period ago its plan of focusing as well on the major opponents of the Germans during WWII, the Russians. It is a very welcome intention, not only due to the fact that the Red Army is not so well represented in the 1/72 scale, but also bearing in mind the quality of the figures produced by this manufacturer.
In the same way as it was preceded with WWII German topics, Pegasus Hobbies proposed to itself to fill in several serious gaps existing in the field of WWII Russians. As spearhead of company’s offer on Russians it was selected a subject in premiere in the scale, “Soviet Naval Infantry”, a set that has already reached the shelves of stores. Except this one, a large gamma of other sets dedicated to Red Army troopers are in preparation by Pegasus Hobbies, future releases constituting “Russian Winter Infantry”, “Russian Summer Infantry”, “Russians in Berlin”, “Russian Summer Mortar Set” and “Russian Winter Mortar Set”. A part of the poses or even all of them are already done for some of the above quoted sets and the hereinafter review aims Pegasus Hobbies figures of Russians dressed in summer uniform. Nevertheless, from the very beginning it has to be stressed that in the moment of this review it is unknown what name will receive the set incorporating these figures. Another major detail regarding the present warriors is their primary goal, as figures for wargaming, but as it will be seen from the images sustaining the review, these poses are both particularly suitable for dioramas and quite easy to convert due to the plastic used to manufacture them.
The sprue encloses 20 soldiers grouped in 15 poses, a number of poses that are more than enough for covering a full set. Concerning the number of poses should be remarked that two of them are quite similar, one standing and one crouched soldiers firing off their weapons from shoulder single modification brought consisting in the weapon, changing the M1891/30 Mosin-Nagat riffles with PPsH41. All fighters are dressed in summer uniforms, composed of tunic (gymnastiorka) and regular trousers (sharovari) while on the heads wear overseas caps (pilotka). Except the officer who has calf-length leather boots, the troopers’ footwear is represented by ankle boots and puttees that were made from various rests of materials. All gymnastiorkas have fall collars where we can see collar boards, plain pockets and no shoulder boards, details indicating that these Russians are ideal for the first part of war. Latter in the war, gymnastiorkas lost the plain pockets and some received a standing collar, but as it was the case and with their enemies, there are plenty of evidences showing soldiers in the Late War wearing the early type of gymnastiorkas. Furthermore, the early model was more appreciated thanks to its plain pockets were troopers could keep various belongings. Since 1943, shoulder boards, perceived till that date inside the Red Army as a symbol of the old Tsarist Army, were reintroduced as an attempt to return to the spirit of Mother Russia and increase the moral of the units. As pointed out above, here we do not get shoulder boards, but these can be easily done by the modeller, simply painting them will be more than enough.
Most of the figures have M1891/30 Mosin-Nagat riffles, but also the famous PPsH41 sub-machine gun is featured at two poses and the officer uses a PPS-43 or its predecessor, PPS-42 developed during the fights in Leningrad. A Degtyarev (DP) light machine gun, immediately recognised after its 47 or 49 rounds round pan magazine is also provided as well as a figure throwing a grenade while at his belt he has attached other two RDG-33 stick grenades. The machine gun bipod is sustained by some log or stone wall that can be cut off if another device is intended to be used by the modeller with the same purpose.
Equipment on each figure is scarce and reproduces the poor endowment of the Russian units, especially in the first part of war. It is not reflected on the present sprue, but it is well-known the initial Russian concept of one rifle at two men, one carrying the weapon while the other the ammunition. When the soldier with the weapon fell, the one with the ammo could take the weapon and continue to fight. All figures have here the appropriate ammunition pouches for the weapon in use and only several received, in a random selection, water bottles with related strap, shovels in cloth carriers, bayonets, 1940 gas mask bags, shelter half (plashch-platka) rolled around the chest and knapsacks (veshchevoi myeshok) which practically was a simple bag made of cotton with a drawstring throat and fabric straps. The officer, except the related ammo pouch for his PPS-43 also received a map case of a pattern looking like those supplied under Lend-Lease.
Acknowledged for the high quality of its poses, mostly inspired by images of the period, Pegasus Hobbies confirms here once more, this status through vivid poses well adapted for their purpose except a single pose, a quite bizarre appearance between other excellent ones. The referred pose is an advancing or kneeling figure with his arms and legs not positioned in the best manner, closer to a rock star in the middle of a dance than a fighter on the battlefield. Nonetheless, the pose in case may be corrected very fast, removing from the base and then gluing on the same one or another as a running soldier trying to reach as quick as he can a cover. Pure combat is the main goal and even these figures were created bearing in mind the needs of the wargamers, they have a great value for diorama builders, too. Few of the stances of the present figures have already been seen in another set of this manufacturer, “German Army Infantry 1939”. Likewise, other two or three reminds about old but great Airfix poses while several new poses complete an assortment of standing, crouched and prone figures firing off weapons, advancing, throwing grenade, casualty and officer leading his troopers, in other words, all the necessary ingredients for depicting an impressive war scene.
Details are remarkable and there can be identified tinny buttons of gymnastiorkas, collar boards, great and authentic creases as well as various small characteristic features of weapons and equipment. At its turn, anatomy is really awesome, with all the fingers at their places and excellent heads with detailed mouths, noses, eyes, and eye-brows conferring amazing facial expressions, easily appreciated even at the first glance despite the small scale. Likewise, flash is kept at a very low level and excess of plastic is inexistent.
These soldiers may be incorporated in the tall side of the 1/72, excellent 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. In addition, they greatly fit with other offers coming from the most representative providers of Russian units such as Esci, Italeri, Preiser and Revell. On the other hand, in case of a massive Russian attack, the here reviewed fighters are first-rate companions for the figures contained by the single set of the company related to Red Army which is already available on the market, “Soviet Naval Infantry”. Furthermore, the weapons delivered in the just quoted set are on a separate sprue, granting plenty of opportunities for converting not only the present figures, but also future releases on the topic, increasing the number of Russian Infantry soldiers in our collections as well as perfect suitable for WWII constituting Pegasus Hobbies’ Waffen SS Set 2 army-men. Returning to these figures and the weapons in case, the operation is pretty easy, a major role playing the fact that both are manufactured in hard plastic and effortless to glue with any standard model kit glue (Polycement). On the other hand, hard plastic is the best choice for figures, not only easing and facilitating a large number of conversions, but also greatly accepting enamel and artist oils, maintaining the initial properties of the paint. Still, it should not be a surprise to see the figures from here produced both in this hard plastic and in PPG plastic, the same type used by Esci in their old sets. Such a plastic is not well glueable and may appear some troubles at painting, but it seems that it is enjoyed by collectors that not paint or convert their warriors. Taking into account the needs of the wagamers, and in response to some complains of this target group as well as of some collectors, the manufacturer provided all figures with bases, including one separate for the prone figure firing off his rifle. Without that base or another object for propping his weapon this soldier may appear quite uncommon, but set in his place will look wonderful. Diorama builders or other wargamers wanting to base these soldiers on new devices will spend only few minutes to remove the issued bases without affecting too much the footwear.
For the moment it is unknown the name of the set which is going to incorporate the just reviewed soldiers and the date of launching, but definitely when it will be available will consist a great representation of the infantry that brought the highest contribution to the defeat of the Third Reich and excellent companions for T34 or other WWII Russian armour, not only in wargames, but also in dioramas. The first-class details, the accuracy of weapons, gear and uniforms as well as the well done poses recommend this product not only for wargamers, but also for diorama builders, as a reliable solution for improving any Eastern front or Berlin scene.