by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Dragon Models has recently released another in a long line of figure sets, but this one seems to be something of a first. Soviet Infantry winter 1941, which depicts Russian soldiers from the first winter of the war in the East. As far as I know this is the first set of figures of Soviets from this particular period.
The set provides four figures, one officer and three other soldiers with equipment all loaded on to four light gray sprues. The figures are depicted in a group; one on hands and knees advancing, another on one knee with a reload for the light MG, another equipped with a light machine gun standing at a slight forward firing crouch, and finally the officer who is in more of an upright stance reloading his pistol. I like the way that Dragon Models has grouped them causing the eye to follow the uphill slope of their individual stances. Each of the figures breaks down in the standard format for Dragon Models, torso, head, arms, and a pair of legs. Clean-up of the different parts presents no real problem, a few attachment points and seams that are not out of the ordinary. The detail is adequate, not quite Gen2 style figures, but not too bad either.
With these being winter figures all four wear felt boots and the three private soldiers all wear the Russian greatcoat out of necessity I’m sure. This means several extra pieces that all have to fit together to make a good clean figure. The officer wears a sheepskin coat and also requires a few extra pieces to properly achieve the drape of the fur coat. I constructed two of the figures and I did have to fuss with the pieces of the coats to get the right fit. I knew that they would probably require a bit of adjusting here and there to make everything right but the two figures I built seemed to require a bit more than the usual for figures of this nature. As well the general fit was a bit dodgy, particularly joining the torso to the legs and hips which was something of a let-down.
The extra equipment is okay; some pieces are nicely done, others not so much. At the top of the list are the weapons. What you are provided is a couple of Mosin Nagant rifles with separate bolts and stripper clips, what looks like a Tokarev TT33 pistol for the officer who is in the act of reloading, and a very nicely done Degtyarev DP28 Light Machine Gun. I think that the DP28 may be the jewel in the kit; separate bipod arms and drum magazines with very fine detail throughout make it a real winner. There are also a couple of PPS 43s but they would not be appropriate for this time period. Beyond that you get the normal array of pouches, water bottles, weird sack packs for the poor privates to cart around on their backs, ammo cases for the DP28 and a few other odds and ends. I didn’t think that the ‘back sacks’ were very well done, they look a bit ‘stiff’ and if I were to use one I think I would opt for something made of a two part putty or something like that.
This is the only game in town for early war Soviets in winter. Some fit issues, nothing that a competent modeler couldn’t easily overcome. The poses are first rate, I really like the guy on hands and knees and the aforementioned DP28 is very nice. Some will be put off by the box art which is the photo shopped style, but really, does anyone buy a kit for the box art? Hopefully, this will sell well and convince Dragon Models that a market for Allied figures really does exist, so do your part, go out and buy one!