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1 - First Look at Eight Characters

Soviet Character Set 1
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10 June 2002page first published

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Before sending these figures off, I thought I'd better take a look at them!

The Soviet Character Set 1 consists of eight figures, each unique in the sense you'd expect from a "character" set. Most are useful on the wargaming tabletop, while a few might be more at home in a diorama.

I'll make some general comments here, but I'm sure Robert may want to add more thoughts when he sees the figures. For identification sake, I'm giving the figures numbers that I've arbitrarily assigned:

Figure 1

As with all of these figures, this one has no flash that I can see, and the seams are minimal. (I presume the protrusion from the hand is a Russian cigar.) Looks very "russian" to me (whatever that means!).

Figure 2

Unlike the last figure, this one is wearing a full backpack. I suppose it remains to the imagination whether this is a brave soldier carrying a molotov cocktail or someone who's just looted the local cellar... (that's a bottle in his right hand).

You might think this figure would be more at home in a diorama than on the tabletop, but I know some players who would love to have this guy in their squad...

Figure 3

On first glance, I thought this was a soldier in a greatcoat - but on further examination, this must be a combat smock. I don't have my references handy, but that probably makes him a scout.

Figure 4

Clearly an officer, and his folded arms give him a definite look of impatience - I think he thinks somebody must not be doing their job as a good communist...

Figure 5

Gotta love this figure. Obviously he's liberated a local fowl and has lunch plans in mind. No wait, I'm not sure if that's a chicken - seems to have wings, but I'm not sure about the head. Anyway, you might be thinking "diorama material" for this one, but he's got a weapon so I think he'd do just fine on the tabletop...

Figure 6

If your rules cover prisoners, then this figure could turn out quite useful. Or you could use him symbolically - i.e., if you place him on the tabletop, it means you're resigning the game...

Figure 7

This is a two-piece model: a figure, and a stack of crates for him to sit on. The "pipe" under his feet is the sprue from the casting, and should be removed at some point (but I've left it in place in case Robert finds it a useful way to handle the figure).

A soldier playing the accordian is probably diorama material rather than your usual tabletop combatant. Then again, he seems to be an officer - maybe he's just eccentric.

Figure 8

Similar to the last figure, this is a kneeling soldier cooking (or scraping) a pan. I'm impressed that they were able to cast this figure, considering how the pan attaches to the figure. (There is a little flash on the pan sides.) Nice figure, but probably diorama material - hard to imagine manuevering him into a firefight.

Those are my thoughts, but I know things often come up once you start to paint, so I look forward to hearing Robert's perceptions.

The Next Step

Robert has asked me to send the figures "as-is" and unmounted, so they'll be going out in today's mail. He's even planning to make a small vignette with the two non-combatant figures.

I asked him how he'd fit this project in with his other work. "I prefer to do it in one shot, with pics of the various stages, from start to finish," Robert told me. "Depending on the number of figures, I work pretty fast, painting 20-40 25mm scale figures per day.

"I look forward to painting the figures and seeing the play by play in the Big Lights!"