by: Jim Adams [ ]
IntroductionAlthough World War II is remembered for large-scale armor battles, horses were used in every theater of the war by every nation involved. Germany used more horses during the war than any other country. Not only did Germany have the famous Florian Geyer 8th SS Calvary Division, they also utilized recently liberated peoples to fill their ranks. The Cossack peoples of central Russia welcomed the German armies as liberators. They had fought hard against the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution and now they joined the Whermacht to once again fight against the Soviet Union.
The Cossacks are from just about every region of Russia. The most famous being the Don Cossacks coming from the area of the Don River in the central Ukraine. The have a long history of being very independent as well as strong warriors. Members of a particular area belong to what is called a host. The host normally would take their name from their local region. Their history goes back to the 15th century when they were described as loose bands of horsemen. By the 16th century they were their own people following their own rules and fighting far and wide. One of their own even fought as a Union General during the US Civil War.
kit reviewOK, history lesson over, now lets talk about the kit. This is a Premium Edition kit, DML6410, a reissue of the previous Cossack kit (6065) that includes some Gen 2 upgrades. What drew me to this kit as well as the previous Cossack kit were the horses. Being a horse owner made these interesting and must-have for me. The kit comes in a lidded box with the same exterior art work as the previous issue and includes 5 sprues of gray styrene and one fret of photo etched brass.
Being in possession of both kits allowed for a good comparison of the improvements on the newer kit. The previous issue only has three sprues and one small fret of PE. The two extra sprues in this kit contain the largest improvements with parts from previous Gen 2 kits. Sprue WA contains the weapons for each of the figures. The mauser Karabiner 98Kurz (K98k) comes in the new configuration with separately molded bolts. The other new sprue is CB which holds all the extra saddle bags, cartridge pouches, and holsters for your figures. There are even optional holsters shown open however there are no pistol included in the kit.
One sprue holds the two riders, while another holds the two horses. The riders at first glance look similar to that of the previous kit, however their detail is crisper and their heads are molded separately from their head gear. The horses are also an improvement over the previous kit with their muscle tone being more developed over the previous kit. There are two different heads available with either the horse's mouth open or closed and the hooves are molded separately from the legs. One note of caution when choosing the head, the bodies show a horse that has been ridden hard for a while as noted by the pronounced veins on the lower abdomen. So the only actual choice is to use the heads with the mouth open.
The final sprue holds the riders' swords (Shaska) and dagger (Kindjal). These come directly from the previous kit and still bear the original number. Their detail is on par with the previous issue but with a little research and a steady hand they can be fancied up a great deal.
The PE fret holds the reins for the horses as well as horse shoes, stirrups, straps, and bits. These are done very nicely and show a good amount of detail. Dragon did do their homework and use the correct set up for a European rider.