by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Do you remember how it was couple of years ago? Building a modern Russian vehicle or making a diorama depicting Russian forces in Chechnya left you with very few choices if you wanted to add a “human touch” to your project... the lack of modern Russian figures was evident at that time. The situation is very different now and several companies are releasing wonderful modern Russian figures: Tank, Rest Models, Imperium, ANT Miniatures, Battalion Models, Evolution Miniatures...
Rest Models is a figure company that caught my eye with their really interesting “Company Nine” figure set depicting Soviet tank crew and riders from the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. After that set, Rest Models released another very interesting kit: “Modern Russian Army” is a set comprising of 4 really well sculpted Russian figures in winter gear. The set offers a great vignette potential as the figures would look very nice relaxing next to a Russian armored vehicle during the first conflict in Chechnya… I must admit I was really happy to be given a chance to review Rest Models’ Modern Russian Army for Armorama.
The figures arrived safe in a cardboard box, packed inside the zip-lock bag. The bag is full of parts as the set contains 4 figures and some really nice extras…which include:
Full body with legs, left arm, right arm, head with tanker helmet
Full body with legs and left arm, right arm, head with Ushanka hat, cup
Full body with legs, left arm, right arm, head with knitted cap
Full body with left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm, head, M-60 helmet
4 canteens, 1 M-60 helmet, 1 pouch for 10 VOG-25 grenades, 1 SVD magazine pouch, 1 Russian ammo crate and a campfire
AKS-74, AKS-74/GP30, AKS-74/PBS, Dragunov SVD
Upon closer inspection the parts look really good. They are cast in light gray resin which is overall clean of any imperfections: there are no air bubbles, but I did find couple of minor seam lines. Casting plugs on figure parts are big and awkward to remove. The plugs are attached to parts in places that could easily compromise the fit if not cleaned properly, so try being patient with them. Some of the parts are not attached to casting plugs but are also nicely cast. I also noticed the cigarettes broke off from figures hands during transport; quite an easy fix using some thin wire.
After finally removing the casting blocks I was a bit disappointed with the fit of the parts. Most of the joints between arms and torso need quite a bit of putty in order to fill in all the gaps. Perhaps I’m just a spoiled modeler who doesn’t like the idea of some extra work when building resin figures, but I do feel the fit is not up to today’s figure standards. I guess it all boils down to those large casting plugs and their awkward attachment to kit parts…
On the other hand, the anatomy of all the figures are perfect and the poses are very relaxed and natural. The level of detail is very good and the head sculpts look quite nice, although somewhat flat.
The figures represent Russian soldiers during the first Chechen war. All of the figures are wearing the typical Russian Army winter uniform consisting of the lined jacket and trousers. The jacket is made of cotton and has four pockets on the body and has one small pocket on the upper part of each sleeve. The elbows are reinforced and the button plaquette is covered, with the exception of the throat button. The jacket lining is removable; it can be attached for additional warmth and has a fur collar that is exposed over the collar of the jacket. The fur collar can be turned up to protect the head from the freezing cold.
The trousers are also lined and made of cotton; they have a pocket on each thigh and have draw-in ties on each cuff of the leg. The first winter uniform styles were issued in tan color and later variants were camouflaged in TTsKO and VSR pattern (also known as “Schofield” or “Dubok”), which were later replaced by Flora camouflage pattern. It has to be noted however, that Russian camouflage is notorious for being produced in a wide range of color combinations, usually because of general lack of standardization throughout the Russian textile industry.
Two figures wear fragmentation body armor that features 4 integrated AK ammo pouches and 2 grenade pouches. This kind of body armor was generally issued to Russian troops at the time of the first Chechen war; it was not camouflaged, but in khaki or greenish color. The sculptor captured the “feel” of the heavy-weight uniform and the body armor very nicely with all the details present. The fur collars, high top boots, knitted pattern on the gloves… the details are very nicely rendered although I would prefer some more depth to them.
The greatest difference between the figures in this set is their headwear and the weapons they carry. The figures are armed with either AKS-74 (the airborne version of AK-74 with the folding butt), with AKS-74/GP30 (the AKS-74 version with 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher) or with AKS-74/PBS (the AKS-74 version with PBS silencer). The set also includes a Dragunov SVD sniper-rifle. The weapons are very nice and the casting very good.
I liked this set very much the first time I saw it on Rest Models’ website and I welcomed the chance to review the figures. The first thing to notice in this set are definitely the natural poses of the figures; sculpted with lots of character. The figures are depicting soldiers relaxing after the battle, warming up around the campfire while sharing a smoke and some tea (with a drop of vodka perhaps).
This set is very nice: the anatomy of the figures is perfect, casting is very good but the fit could be much better. The details are really nice, perhaps a bit on the flat side compared to the latest resin figure offerings, but still very good. These figures and all the extra equipment in the set will make Real Models’ “Modern Russian Army” kit a nice “human touch” addition to your modern Russian vehicles in winter setting of war-torn Chechnya.
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