This is possibly the last set of 1/72 Zvezda figures ever made, which is a great pity as the quality of their output has been exemplary for the most part. This final hurrah is for their extensive Art of Tactic game range, and while it has previously been available as part of a larger game, it is now available as a standalone product. What we have here are four Soviet officers in conference, one of which is using a range finder. The poses speak for themselves in our picture, and are all very relaxed and unhurried; the man smoking his pipe is a real gem. Naturally officers spent much more time in this sort of situation than rushing about in the face of the enemy, so sets such as this are very necessary and far too far in our view. All the poses are excellently done, very natural and a joy to look at.
Another joy is the quality of the sculpting for these figures. As usual with Zvezda, this is beyond criticism, and while the uniform and kit may be fairly simple it has still been perfectly done. All the men wear a standard greatcoat, and some have Sam Browne belts, map cases or pistol holsters too. Three wear the famous fur Ushanka hat with ear flaps up, which appeared in 1940, and the fourth appears to wear the Papaha hat, which was reserved for senior officers at or above the rank of colonel. Of particular interest is the footwear, for all these men have acquired valenki boots, made of pressed felt and very warm in snowy conditions. Everything here is correct and indeed typical.
The first three figures all come as a single piece, but the fourth, using the range finder, does require some assembly. As usual the parts fitted perfectly and so much so as to need no glue yet be very strong. The range finder itself is a beautifully slender piece of precision model-making, coming as a single piece except for the third leg. The legs are filled in where they would in fact have gaps to accommodate the adjustment of the leg length, but that would be asking too much of the model, which would also be very fragile if this had been done.
So we were very impressed with this beautiful model, as appropriate a way for Zvezda to withdraw from the figure market as any. As you can see, each figure is on its own base, but as a game piece you can also have all the figures on a single base as seen here. Although such combined bases are always contrived, in this case the resulting group is a completely natural arrangement. So a great little product modellers everywhere will love.