In-Box Review
Russian army assault infantry

by: DMD [ DMD ]

During World War II, the Russian Armed Forces consisted of five main elements; the Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, National Air Defense and Armed Forces Support. The Ground Forces represented about 80 percent of the total manpower, being the largest in strength. It had approximately 5,300,000 military effectives at the outbreak of the Russo-German War in June 1941. However, devastating damage brought by the German Mechanized Forces resulted in more than 70 percent losses of its entire troop strength within five months. This led to rapid reorganization of the Ground Forces, and with a help of the harsh winter climate of Russia, they managed to repel German's advance just in front of Moscow. Due to the heavy losses, reorganized units became much smaller than before. Rifle Forces (infantry) reduced their divisional strength from 14,483 to 10,859. Tank Divisions, which possessed some 20,000 armored vehicles, lost about 70% of them at the initial stage of war. Most surviving Tank Divisions were disbanded, and the available tanks and crews were re-assigned to much smaller units like independent tank battalions or tank brigades. It was in 1945, just prior to the end of the conflict, that the Russian Armed Forces recuperated the pre-war level of their strength.

The main strength of the Russian counter-offensive was their tank troops. Following concentrated fire by their artillery units, the tank troops advanced in three groups, and many infantrymen rode on the tanks of the 2nd and 3rd groups. This infantry practice was unique to Russian tactics and was called "Tankoviy Desant" by the Russians. Since the Russian Ground Forces did not possess armored troop carriers like the German halftracks, an infantry battalion called the 'Motor Rifle Unit" was attached to every tank brigade and assigned to close support the tanks. A Motor Rifle Unit consisted of about 500 infantrymen. PPSh-41 or PPS-43 machine guns as support arms. Soldiers carried as many magazines as possible, and advanced while riding on tanks. Once encountering an enemy's defensive position, infantrymen would disembark from the tank, attack the position, and then return to the tank. These infantrymen were spearheads of the attack, and due to enemy's defensive fire, liable to sustain heavy casualties.

The standard uniform of the Russian infantrymen during WW2 was a simple blouse called "Gymnastiorka". Early in the conflict, greatcoats and rain capes were often used as wintertime attire. In 1940, a quilted jacket called "Telogreika" was introduced, but not enough quantities were supplied in the beginning.

My first Sight

When I saw this box my fingers really starded to tickles. Twelf Russian assault figures is combat pose and some jumping off of a tank and all this for a reasonable price.

The figures are presented in 4 different outfits: a winter field dress, a common field dress called Gymnastiorka and a greatcoat.

Some of them wear helmets, a forage cap (pilotka) or a bonnet (shapka-ushanka) so the diversity is really an advantage wich is so important for making an eyecather of a diorama.The figures are well-crafted !! all are baptised in the latest tamiya style: good chose,handy and well crafted.

I must say that I only spoted 3 errors in the finishing touch, but Iím sure this will not cause big frustration, because we must remember itís not resin where dealing with.The posing looks natural and are suitable for every scenario. Tamiya also giveís us a hint that we can use some of them for placement on a tank which I thing is a wink for buying a T34/85 tank and I must say there tactic works.

A diorama like most of us saw in the German movie ď Stalingrad " where the german soldiers are ordered to stop a tank convoy is really handy to simulate when you have this kit. As far as my knowledge go I think this is the only inexpensive figure set available.


The Heads
When we take a look at the box we see an asiatic soldier, while Russia is such an wide country with at least more then 12 different looking people itís not a surprise we see them all joint on the front.

Onfortunally I have difficulty locating this person in this set. On first sight they all look caucasian to me. The facial expression of some figure satisfies me a lot, while other have a more standard expression and thatís a disadvantage for advanced modellers. Still they are not bad at all and are suitable.The details on the cap are also nice detailled, even the little star is visible.


The Russian Equipement
Tamiya is really generous this time. You get two duplicated spruews wich is enough to have extra parts, even when you give all the soldiers there standard equipement.

On each set you have 6 helmets,two PPSh-41 with drum magazine,two PPS-43, two PPSh-41 with box magazine and a Degtyarev Pekhotniy light machine gun.Also 6 canteens, some drum magazine pouch, a Tokarev holster and 2 kinds of field packís (Type 1915 and 1935) are included.

Iím sure tamiya will sell these sets soon, as they did with the german and US equipement.


To conclude I really recommend this set on all those fans of Russian models and soldiers. Itís really worth spending your money on and it will boost new ideaís for dioramaís.

Twelve Russian assault figures in combat pose, some jumping off a tank and all this for a reasonable price.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35207
  Suggested Retail: 16 Euro
  PUBLISHED: May 11, 2003

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