The Revolutions series from Atlantic was a brave step into a little-visited area for plastic soldiers - the portrayal of historical subjects with little military connection. The Russian set, like the others, contains figures that were evocative of the events they portrayed rather than pretending to be a complete army or unit.
Centrepiece of the set are the figures of Lenin and Stalin, both of which look to be making speeches. Lenin appears in his normal suit, whereas the Georgian Stalin wears his preferred traditional gymnastiorka under an overcoat. Both are pretty good attempts at portraying these men, but it is interesting to note that Trotsky, who's role in the revolution was far more important that that of Stalin, does not get a mention.
The soldiers and sailors in the set are also pretty well done and look authentic. Supply for the Russian army was poor throughout the war, and the revolution and civil war only made matters worse, so no uniformity of appearance should be expected. One soldier is firing a machine-gun which is perhaps a Maxim but mounted on a very unusual tripod stand, but could be a weapon captured from the Central Powers during the War or supplied by them or the West to the Whites in the years after the Revolution. He is feeding an ammunition belt into the weapon himself, which stretches credulity too far. What is perhaps an officer fires what looks like a Mauser K-96 pistol, and a sailor fires his rifle while a comrade waves the new hammer-and-sickle red flag. The mortar looks very unusual and we could find no evidence that it is based on an actual weapon of the period.
The set also includes a mounted Cossack, wielding his sword. Cossacks had been amongst the most reliable of troops for policing during the Tsarist era, but their support also faltered, though vast numbers later fought against the Reds in the Civil War. This is perhaps the poorest figure here, as the sword is far too short to be taken seriously, and much the same can be said of the horse, whose head is on a level with those of the men. It is also supported by a fortuitous clump of vegetation under its belly as it is at full gallop.
Finally there are two bigger pieces. First is a gun that is not easy to identify. It is not on wheels and is therefore probably meant to represent some sort of trench mortar or mine-thrower. It vaguely resembles a German Minenwerfer, but may well be a made-up gun loosely based on pictures the sculptor once saw. Lastly there is a sleigh. This item has no horse, no occupants and no apparent reason for inclusion in the set, though in winter such sleighs were the best way or getting around. At best you could say it is associated with Russian winters, but what it has to do with the Revolution is not clear.
All the figures are HO size (about 1:87), and sculpted in the slim style Atlantic often used. However detail is quite good on the figures, though the larger pieces of equipment are much more suspect. There is certainly a novelty value to it, and it is nice to see that in recent years the mould has been recovered and put into production once more.