by: Martyn Crowther [ ]
IntroductionThe Vympel (meaning pennant in Russian) are a Russian anti-terrorist unit that was formed in 1981 from members of the the KGB. The Vympel specialize in behind enemy lines, sabotage, covert action and embassy protection. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union the Vympel were converted into a police unit and the name was changed to Vega. In 1995 Vympel regained its original name and was converted back into an intelligence unit where the unit underwent anti-terror training which included: Physical training, close combat, parachute training, diving, underwater combat techniques, climbing and roping. Regional groups of Vympel were deployed in cities with especially important nuclear assets.
The Poses Looking at the six figures, it looks to me as if first two figures are covering the team. The first figure has his visor lifted to give him better vision, the second figures is kneeling holding his rifle aiming to cover the team He also has his visor down to give him better protection.
Moving onto the third figure looks it looks to me that he is behind two figures that are going to assault the target. He has a full helmet and visor down and is covering the assault team.
The fourth and fifth figures are the assault team that are moving to the target; the fourth figures is wearing a balaclava and goggles. He is armed with what appears to be an SR-2M submachine gun. He has is hand on the fifth figure, taking slight cover behind him. The pose is good but it looks like he has some concerns about the target. The fifth figure is the front assault. He is armed with it the same weapons as the fourth figure and has it raised at head height in case he has to use it. He also carries a shield that looks pretty strong and could stop quite a bit of lead.
The shield has a nice tiger or leopard's head on it which must have some sort of impact mentally on the enemy. The sixth and final figure is a fully armored guy kneeling with some sort of mirror looking under either a doorway or car.
the kitMoving into the box, you get one main plastic sprue with all the weapons, figures, and personnel equipment. The second sprue is clear plastic for the visors and a single pair of goggles. There is also a small decal sheet for cat's face on the shield and the mirror. Overall, Zvezda are starting to make some nice, well detailed figures. No flash anywhere.
The heads are molded with the helmets on, which will eliminate fit issues. The space between the head and the helmet by the ears has a molded in undercut, which is a nice touch. Looking at the faces, Zvezda has molded in the eyes and pupils.
Moving down to the torso, each figure is wearing body armor. The steel plates look very effective and the detail is sharp. There are a lot of straps because of body armor and pouches, the straps are not too thick yet still look very realistic and crisp.
The arms are the let down in the figures, for some reason they are softer than the rest of the figure. The hands are molded to the weapons. Even though the weapons are molded to the hands, no detail is lost at all and it looks rather good.
Next to come are the legs, the legs are really nicely done. The creases are deep and naturally done. The pockets have good detail. Zvesda also have made a line running down the side of the legs where the fabric meets. All of the figures are wearing knee pads and all of the straps are tightly done around the legs showing where the tension of the straps digs into the back of the legs. The boots are crisp and the laces are well sculpted. Zvesda even include a nice tread pattern on the bottom of the boots.
The last parts are the accessories; which include ammo pouches, radios and packs. The ammo pouches are my least favorite parts, they are lacking serious detail and the creases are soft. The radios are nice and unlike the ammo pouches are sharp with detail and the radio’s fit nicely in the pouches. The clear plastic visors are nicely detailed. However care must be taken when removing them from the sprue or else stress marks will appear on the visors. A good way to remove the visors is to heat a blade on a flame and push into the sprue; this is a stress free way to remove.
Conclusions Overall a nice set of six figures in good action poses. There are is some soft detail on the arms and the ammunition pouches. The inclusion of a decal for the shield and the clear sprue for the visors and goggles are a nice touch.