The horse still had a major role in World War II, though this is often overlooked now. This was particularly so on the Eastern front, where many vehicles and artillery were horse-drawn, and all sides made use of cavalry. The Soviet Union utilised cavalry more than anyone else, and many units were named and dressed as Cossacks, though their actual ethnic makeup was generally more Russian than Cossack.
The main uses of these men would have been for scouting and as mounted infantry, though neither of these present much opportunity for dramatic or interesting poses. Therefore the set includes a couple of men apparently at the charge, sabres drawn, which was not unknown but was not typical. The other poses are more suitable, with men riding and holding firearms. One man is dismounted and holding his horse, though there are no other dismounted poses, which is to be regretted.
Most of the uniform was the same for all parts of the Soviet cavalry. The classic gymnastiorka shirt is worn, but many also wear the burka, a shaggy wool cape. This is supplied in two halves, with the back clipping onto the front and main part of the figure. This join is a little uneven, and purists might like to fill the gaps before painting, though the fit is reasonably secure. All the men also wear the woollen kubanka hat and high riding boots, all of which are correct. The relatively modest height of the kubanka on these figures suggests they are either Kuban or Terek Cossacks, as the hat of the Don was taller.
The sabre is the traditional Cossack weapon, but many of the men also have the PPSh machine gun, which was a popular weapon with the cavalry. One man is firing a rifle from the saddle, but apart from that no firearms are actually being used.
There are a very good number of horse poses, all of which are well sculpted and properly equipped. Most are standing, walking or trotting, which are the most useful poses for this subject.
When the set is first examined, one thing that is immediately apparent is that the standing man is much bigger than his mounted comrades. He stands 26mm tall (1.87 metres), and towers above most figures in this scale. All the mounted men have tabs on their legs to help them grip their mounts, though these are easily removed. The level of detail is reasonable, and there was little trimming of flash required. At the time it was released this was the only twentieth century cavalry set made in plastic, and a very interesting addition to the large Revell World War II range.