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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soviet Infantry - Part II

In this post I would like to show you a few more Soviet / Russian Infantry figures that I have discovered since I painted the Soviet Company. In all there are over 50 new poses which will be a nice addition to the Soviet Army once I get to paint them. Unfortunately it's going to be a while before that as there's a long queue ahead of them, but we'll get there at some point. Anyhow, first I'd like to show you the Soviet Infantry from Supreme Playsets. These we released only last year. They are recasts of the 1/72 Italeri Soviet Infantry. There is an imporant point though. While Italeri also released a Soviet Infantry set in 1/32, that set only contains 8 figures, whereas the Supreme Playsets Set contains 12. If you want to try to identify which 4 are the new ones, do so before reading the rest of the post.

 Supreme Playsets Soviet Infantry - Part I
I've already painted the Italeri Soviet Infatry set, so the only two guys that I'll be painting are the first and the third guys from the left. The one on the very left is carrying an anti-tank rifle (not sure if it is a PTRS or a PTRD), which is actually a nice and unique figure/weapon across all the Soviet Infantry sets that I have seen. He's great at taking on lightly-to-medium-armored German vechicles.

Supreme Playsets Soviet Infantry - Part II
As you can see, Supreme Playsets relased these figures in two color schemes. The green base color that you see is actually the color of the plastic, and only the face is really painted. The rest of the figure just has some brown patches throughout the body. So, other than the eyes, which actually look fairly decent, the rest of the paint job is rather poor. The same is true for the brown figures in the first picture above. The two new poses that I have yet to paint (or paint over) are the first and the fourth guys from the right.
DGN Soviet Infantry - Part I
These guys all seem to be originals as far as I can tell. They are a fairly decent set in terms of detail and proportions. Some of the poses are a bit 'funny' though. For instance, the guy on the left is aiming too low. I suppose he could be placed in the upper floor of a building. The other guys in this first picture are OK. In fact, I quite like the two on the right. 

DGN Soviet Infantry - Part II
My favorite guy here is the officer. Very nicely sculpted and good body language. The grenade thrower's arm is posed at a funny angle, but other than that, these four guys make a nice batch.

DGN Soviet Infantry - Part III
These are my least favorite poses. I don't really like how they are standing. The best part is that they are all carrying sub mgs, but I don't think they would manage to survive a charge across no-man's land standing that way. 

Atlantic Soviet Infantry - Part I
The other Soviet figures that I discovered come courtesy of Atlantic. Atlantic was in production mainly during the 70's and '80s so some of these figures are more interesting from the collector's standpoint and less so because of their sculpting which is sometimes a bit stiff. Having said that, the Maxim machine gun is a pretty unique figure/weapon, and that by itself makes the set special. Here is a previous post on the Maxim Machine Gun

Atlantic Soviet Infantry - Part II
The second guy from the right is a good example of what I mean when I say that their scuplting is sometimes a bit awkward. The rest of the figures are fairly decent and will blend well with the rest of the painted guys once they have some color on them.  

Charbens Soviet Infantry
Charben was in production during the 60s and 70s, but these figures look like recent casts. These guys are actually cossacks. A couple of the poses are a bit odd, like the guy standing with his legs apart or the guy throwing the grenade. My favorite ones are the machine gun and the third guy from the right.

Cherilea Soviet Infantry
These guys are 60mm figures, but close enough in size to pass for some tall Slavic guys. They are also wearing a cossack outfit which is good to augment their number in my Soviet Army. The set comes with a flamethrower guy, a mortar, and a bazooka, which are welcome heavy weapons.

Cheriela Soviet Infantry - Vintage
Here are some of the original figures. Some of the factory paint is faded, but there is enough left to see that the pants were painted grey, while the shirt appears to have been left in the original plastic color. Not the most accurate, but I guess it made them lively and attractive. 

The last 6 poses that I will be painting are the ones from Italeri Soviet Anti Tank Gun Crew which I showcased in a previous post. They are all very nicely done. Unfortunately, what makes them so good -that they are really made for the anti-tank gun- is also what makes them hard to reuse in scenes without an anti-tank gun. For instance, a guy with field glasses might have been usable in a different context, but hey, I'm still really happy with the set. And BTW, if you're paying attention you might have realized that there are 7 figures in this picture. The guy on the far left does not belong to this crew. In fact, he is a German guy who sneaked into the picture by mistake when I was grabbing the figures from their box. 

21st Century Toys Soviet Infantry
These guys come painted out of the factory. They are in fact a nice set. The sculpting is good, the poses are good and the paint job is also very good. The uniform colors don't match my painted figures that well, but I still find them a nice addition to the unit.

Crescent Soviet Infantry
This set was a real find as it is not easy to come by. To my knowledge there are only 5 poses. The pose on the right is rather original. As you can see they came factory painted.  The level of detail on the sculpting is fairly decent, except for the faces which are a bit dull. All in all, a nice set to have in the collection.

Progress Soviet Infantry - Part I
These figures are closer to 60mm in size. The detail is actually rather shallow, as if they were clones of clones. I don't think that's the case though because the proportions are still fine, so I think they were simply sculpted this way. As far as the rest of the sculpting goes, the figures are well posed and in decent action stances.

Progress Soviet Infantry - Part II
The flag bearer is a rather unique figure.  He could be getting ready to climb the Reichstag building in Berlin. I am assuming the man on the right is wounded, otherwise his pose would be a bit lame. The other two are average poses.

Progress Soviet Infantry - Part III
The last guy in the set. I had actually run into this figure at a bin of figures in a soldier show a couple of years back, but since I had not been able to find the rest of the set or identify the manufacturer I had not posted him. Now he can be displayed with the rest of his gang.

Engineer Bassevich early war Soviet Infantry - Part I
These are early war Soviet Infantry figures. Apparently they are made in Russia. I find myself a bit ambivalent about these figures. On the one hand, the poses are nicely done, with a good degree of action and they have a lot of nice detail. For instance, the expressions on the faces of these figures are among the best I've seen. The casting however is not so great. The figures come with a lot of flash. Part of it looks like marks left over in the clay during the sculpting, the rest is probably from the mold. Also, the plastic that they are made of is very light. I tend to like figures better when they have a bit more weight. And then there is the price... not only are they very expensive relative to the average new production toy soldier, but you also end up paying a hefty shipping cost. At the end of the day each of them comes to about 5 dollars a piece, which not even many vintage figures fetch. So are they really worth it? We'll have to see how they paint up.

Engineer Bassevich early war Soviet Infantry - Part II
The rest of the poses. I could have done without the two guys standing in the middle, and taken two more action poses. BTW, notice the diversity in the uniforms and headgear at this early stage of the war. Also, you can't tell very well in these pictures, but these are some of the few Soviet figures made with a full backpack. You can see that better in the previous picture.

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Infantry - Part I
This other set is a theoretically an Infantry set, but it is actually a big mix of things. These guys for instance represent a couple of high ranking officers, and two regular army guys. The officer with the big coat must be some kind of big shot who is probably standing way behind the front lines. 

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Infantry - Part II
These other guys are the crew of a tank and the guy on the right looks like a downed airman firing off a signal gun, perhaps hoping to be rescued before the enemy gets to him. Certainly not the average poses in an infantry set, however they will come handy in some unique scenes, not to mention that the nice level of detail will also make them look quite good when painted. 

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Infantry - Part III
The last three poses in the set represent an artillery crew. Here I am showing them manning the Italeri ZiS 3 76mm Anti-Tank Gun, however that gun comes with its own crew, so now I am thinking that perhaps I will use them to man a captured German PAK of which I have several who are still lacking a crew. 

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Partisans - Part I
A unique set by Engineer Bassevich. The depiction of these partisans strikes a nice balance between showing them as civilians and soldiers. For example, the guys above might have just joined the partisan unit and are still wearing some of their original clothes and their weaponry is lacking automatic firing. 

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Partisans - Part II
These guys however are more rugged and is likely that they are regular army troops who got left behind the enemy lines and joined the partisans, giving them some badly needed training and leadership. As far as the quality of the figures go, I am quite pleased with this set. They don't have any flashing, and the plastic used to make them feels more dense, making them feel a bit more robust. The level of detail in the sculpting as you can see, is really great.

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Partisans - Part III
These guys are probably a mix of civilians and ex-soldiers, but have been in the Partisan ranks long enough to have more sophisticated clothes and equipment. A very interesting touch is the kid in the middle, holding a captured German sub-machine gun. I actually saw a picture of such a kid, dressed very much the same way, which was surely the inspiration for the pose. 

Click here to see the Soviet Infantry in action.
Click here to see a post about the Maxim MG.


  1. Hello I just saw the photos of the plastic Russian soldiers you describe as progress Soviet infantry while doing some research. I currently have a 9 piece packaged set of these on eBay just go to eBay and search "VINTAGE RUSSIAN PLASTIC TOY SOLDIERS NEW IN PACKAGE MADE IN COLD WAR RUSSIA" and if you can read the Russian writing you will have an answer to what these are. If you can translate please message me through eBay. My name on eBay is aaronjsells.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I guess I am a bit late to check ebay as I did not find any listing under that title.

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