The conflict in Chechnya has been labelled as both a war of liberation and an anti-terrorist operation, depending on the viewpoint of the commentator. Because it is fought solely in what is recognised internationally as Russia, it does not receive the same world-wide attention that other recent conflicts have received. Nonetheless it was one of the more significant trouble spots of the last decade of the last century, and Orion have produced a set of Chechen rebels and this collection of Russian forces personnel to represent it.
As with all Orion sets there is an excellent range of poses - no less than 23 in this case (plus a dog). This naturally allows for considerable variety, and can include specialist troops not usually deemed worth including in other sets. Along with a good number of standard infantrymen the set includes a couple of tank crew and several figures labelled as Spetsnaz. Spetsnaz are the elite special forces of Russia, but they wear no distinctive uniform or insignia, so they appear no different from the rest of the figures here. The poses chosen are fine, and include two seated figures, a soldier brandishing a knife and a man urinating. Though this last is a common enough activity, we were not sure why it was felt necessary to include such a figure.
Uniform is very mixed, which is a fair reflection of the far from standard appearance of Russia's forces. Some of the men wear body armour, and some simply wear overalls and do not seem to be in combat. Though reference works on this recent chapter in human history are still rare, all the costume seems appropriate and accurately sculpted. Similarly the range of weapons would seem to be authentic and is quite well done.
In general the figures seem not as polished as those from bigger more established manufacturers, but the detail is clear, the poses lively and anatomically the figures are well proportioned. There is no hint of flash or excess plastic, although one or two are a little unstable on their small bases. This is a very nice set with plenty to interest enthusiasts of recent conflicts.