Dragoons were a common form of cavalry in all armies of the Napoleonic era, not least because they were relatively cheap compared to cuirassiers and hussars, for example. Those of Russia have been modelled several times before, but this set from Zvezda was intended to form part of a game system which was abandoned part-way through. As a marker for a dragoon unit then, these figures are just representative, which is why there are only three figures here. However they are extremely nicely made, all being in very different but lively poses. Two are holding their sword while the third is using his pistol, so while you can’t do much with just three poses these are a good selection which we liked a great deal.
The packaging speaks of 1812 to 1814, and the relatively straight-forward dragoon uniform of that era is correctly modelled here. There are no officers or other specialists, just three troopers, all of which are correctly attired for the campaign. None have a musket, which is correct as most of these were taken from the dragoons by his time. The horses too are correctly equipped and have the proper shabraque and saddle.
The first figure pictured above is a single piece, but the other two are delivered in two halves which are beautifully engineered and fit together very well without the need for glue. This means a better pose can be achieved - necessary since both have an arm extended to their front, which is hard to do with a single-piece figure. The horses too all come in two halves, allowing complete freedom to create completely natural poses, which is what has happened here. Again the fit is perfect, although the relatively hard plastic makes a firm bond with ordinary poly cement anyway. The sculpted detail is flawless as usual, and a delight to behold.
The hard plastic helps the detail to be crisp and sharp, but one of the figures has been connected to the sprue via a spur on his very thin and fragile sword, making it a delicate job to remove him without damage. Also we have not pictured the horses with their bases because these are enormous - 19mm wide and over 2mm thick - which looks bad on a diorama but is presumably because these are primarily game pieces. Still, they are a beautifully created and eye-catching addition to the available Russian dragoons, and are yet another little collection of masterpieces from this manufacturer.