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Esci

Set 242

Warsaw Pact Troops

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1989
Contents 48 figures
Poses 16 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

The Warsaw Pact was signed in May 1955 and ended in 1991. During that time the countries involved, Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic ('East Germany'), Hungary, Poland and Romania, co-operated on military matters and promised mutual assistance. Sadly the only occasions when hostile military action was undertaken was against their own member states.

With so many diverse armed forces to cover, one set was never going to do more than provide a taster of the subject. Esci chose to produce 16 poses in equal numbers, and when they researched the set they clearly consulted two books - Osprey Elite 5 ('Soviet Bloc Elite Forces') and Osprey Elite 10 ('Warsaw Pact Ground Forces'). They followed the colour illustrations very closely, which allows for easy identification to be made on each figure in the set. Therefore the figures in this set are specifically:

Top Row - East German

  1. Motorised Rifles, summer field service uniform
  2. Motorised Rifles, summer field service uniform
  3. Motorised Rifles, winter field service uniform
  4. Paratrooper, summer combat uniform (he holds an RPG-7D which is disassembled for convenience)
Second Row - Poland
  1. Motorised Rifles, summer field service uniform
  2. Motorised Rifles, winter field service uniform
  3. Naval Assault Infantry, winter combat uniform
  4. Tank crewman
Third Row - Czechoslovakia
  1. Motorised Rifles, summer field service uniform
  2. Motorised Rifles, winter field service uniform
  3. Paratroop officer, summer combat uniform
  4. Tank crewman
Fourth Row - Hungary
  1. Motorised Rifles, summer field service uniform
  2. Motorised Rifles, winter field service uniform
  3. Motorised Rifles, camouflage suit and protective mask.
  4. Unidentified

As can be seen there is mostly only one example of each type, so these figures cannot sensibly be placed together. However to the casual observer many of the uniforms look very similar, particularly the winter ones, and since this was partly sold as a toy perhaps it was not seen as important.

The poses are generally reasonable, with men running around and firing their weapons. The level of detail is superb and clearly sculpted, and was a feature of Esci sets that endured from the first to the last. Every little part of the source illustrations has been meticulously reproduced, so if you assume that the Osprey books are accurate then these figures must also be seen as accurate.

Regular visitors will know that we often complain when a set is split between more than one subject, and this must be the ultimate example. A set that represents so many nations and units is not terribly useful to wargamers or modellers, but it certainly delivers what its title promises. It seems rather churlish to complain that there are no figures from Albania, Bulgaria and Romania, so we will simply say that this is a collection of very nice figures, with each one representing a subject not done by anyone else.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

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