This particular piece in the large range of game pieces from the Zvezda Art of Tactic collection is something of a surprise as a set of basic Soviet infantry was amongst the first such sets to hit the market, although the figures were not the finest examples of the figure-maker’s art. Nevertheless we would never refuse new figures, and these are rather better than the first set. They are all in quite generic advancing poses, and while nothing spectacular they are all perfectly well done and very natural. The sculpting is of the usual high Zvezda standard, although all but the officer are made up of several parts and so require time to assemble.
Clothing is fairly typical of the period, with the gymnastiorka, breeches and long marching boots being worn by all including the officer. The soldiers wear the standard helmet, and all have a rolled greatcoat/cape across their torso. The officer has no shoulder boards, which is correct for these early years. For such an early date the men are very well equipped, with the common ‘veshmeshok’ drawstring pack and the gasmask case (which at this early date might actually contain a gas mask). The riflemen carry a bayonet, but strangely this is not fixed on any of them. Surprisingly both riflemen carry the Tokarev SVT38 or SVT40 rifle rather than the more common Mosin-Nagant – the SVT40 was generally given to NCOs although it is not impossible in the hands of ordinary privates. The third man carries the DP light machine gun, and this, along with the rifles, is really well detailed along the side.
As usual, the figures have been provided with individual bases as shown, or can be grouped together on one base for a game as shown here. These are some really nice figures, and the unusual rifles and early war look make them of particular interest to those looking to game Operation Barbarossa.