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Zvezda

Set 6144

Soviet Frontier Guards

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2014
Contents 4 figures and 1 dog
Poses 4 poses, 1 dog pose
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Green
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

In 1941 Soviet border guards, part of the NKVD, patrolled the new border with the Third Reich, which cut right through the heart of conquered Poland and parts of occupied Romania. Although widely predicted, the warned Soviet leadership refused to believe Germany would invade, so when they did so in 1941 there was great surprise, and naturally the border guards were in the thick of the early action. As a militarised force the border guards even had their own heavy weapons, but were unable to stop the German onslaught. This is the first time that these troops have been modelled in 1/72 plastic.

Like all the rest of the Zveada Art of Tactic pieces, this is a representative selection of figures, which have happily been provided with either separate bases as shown above, or a single base for use as a game piece (for which see here). All wear the standard uniform of tunic with two breast pockets, breeches and long boots, plus the green-topped peaked cap. Weaponry is standard issue; rifles, a PPSh 41 (which was brand new in 1941) and the DP 28 light machine gun. Equipment consists of satchel and, surprisingly, an entrenching tool. The man with the submachine gun also has a holstered pistol, and the machine gunner has a pouch for his weapon’s magazine. All of this is perfectly historically accurate for the start of the campaign that was Barbarossa.

The poses are not particularly active but as representatives of the unit they do the job, and we liked the inclusion of a dog, since dogs were widely used by such men. The figures all come in several parts as usual, yet in a small number of places details still suffer. We found the parts fitted a bit more loosely than usual for this range, and with not quite such a perfect end result, so for perhaps the first time we took the advice on the instruction sheet and glued everything. However the quality of the sculpting is flawless as always, with no flash. Fine details are as fine as they should be, although even Zvezda realised that a lead for the dog would be impossibly fragile so this is not included.

Like the rest in the series, this works well as a game piece, and provides a handful of useful but unexciting figures for the general modeller too. Still nicely produced, and an unusual subject, so welcome.

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