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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Introducing the Soviet Scouts

The Soviet Scouts (a.k.a. Razvedchiki) were the reconnaissance troops of the Red Army. They were considered an elite unit, capable of probing and infiltrating enemy lines. Their main objective was to gather intelligence regarding enemy positions, troop strength, movements, or capturing enemy officers to bring back for interrogation. This was of course, very valuable information ahead of a Soviet attack, or simply to avoid being surprised by a local German offensive. As such, the scouts were not an independent service branch. Instead, each rifle division within the Red Army had a reconnaissance battalion attached to it. Scouts were sometimes also used for operations behind enemy lines, much like allied commando units might have operated, destroying enemy facilities and key pieces of infrastructure. A platoon of scouts usually had two nine-men squads. Given the nature of their missions, they would all be equipped with submachine guns such as the  PPSh-41 to maximize their firepower at close range, and for stealth purposes, they would also be very handy with a knife, such as the NR-40. Scouts usually wore the amoeba cammo suit when on missions, although underneath the cammo suit, they also wore the regular army uniform. Given their elite status, they usually received preferential treatment when it came to equipment, rations, supplies, and uniforms. In terms of plastic toy soldiers, there are not too many scouts out there, but we do have a few examples from a couple firms such as Engineer Bassevich and Plastic Platoon. And there's even one from Publius. Let's take a look.

Engineer Bassevich Soviet Scouts
Engineer Bassevich Soviet Scouts
These four Red Army scouts came in a set from Engineer Bassevich that included eight other figures representing women in the Red Army. So it wasn't a set dedicated to scouts exclusively. I like the 3 figures on the left better than the man on the right. He reminds me of the old days sculpting which would favor flat figures for ease of casting and release. I wonder why they made him this way. In terms of uniforms, the head cover initially made me think that these guys were operating in the winter. Later I learned that these hoods were also used during other seasons, both for the cammo effect and also because they offered protection against mosquitoes which could be quite annoying around swampy areas. Notice how they are also equipped with sub machine guns and knives, something necessary given the nature of their missions.

Plastic Platoon Soviet Scouts
Plastic Platoon Soviet Scouts
If you are looking for a tough and daring raiding party look no more. Plastic Platoon's Soviet Scouts are full of grit and intensity. Are they engaged in a fighting retreat or are they springing up an ambush on an unsuspecting enemy? Whatever the case may be, these guys seem ready for it! These guys' outfits are relatively simple by Plastic Platoon's standards. All of them are wearing the typical Soviet cammo smock/suit, which should make them look quite interesting if you chose to paint them. In terms of weaponry, they are packing a good amount of heat. With the exception of the officer, they are all firing automatic weapons. From a German Maschinenpistole to the more ubiquitous PPSh-41 with its different ammo magazines, and then there's the guy firing off the hip what appears to be a 'conscripted' German MG34. Of this set, my favorite pose is the man throwing the hand grenade. Not only is his stance just right -which is not always the case for grenade throwers- but what about that mustache? I think that gives him bonus points. All in all a really nice set, representing a branch of service rarely depicted. 

Publius Battle of Berlin Soviet Scout
Publius Battle of Berlin Soviet Scout
This set from Publius contained figures from different branches of the Red Army. One of them appears to be a scout, or at least is wearing the amoeba cammo suit and is equipped with weapons fit for his mission. Given the relatively few scout figures available, this is a welcome addition to the unit. In terms of quality of the sculpting, detail, and dynamism of the figure, it is all there. High marks all around for this Publius scout!

Click here to check out move Soviet Troops


1 comment:

  1. Le contenu de l'article est intéressant, mais espérons qu'ils ne se battent plus

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