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Set M044

Red Army in Winter Dress

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2009
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)


The Red Army was officially brought into being by decree in January 1918, and its troubled beginnings are discussed in our review of the sister set to this one, Red Army in Summer Dress. During those early years it not only fought other Russians, but also non-Russians seeking to break away from Russia’s control of their affairs, foreign armies attempting to support the counter-revolutionaries, and the Poles.

In cold weather any soldier must ensure they keep warm, but during the first months of the Red Army central supply could not adequately provide all the necessary clothing. As a result a wide variety of overcoats was seen, with many simply being civilian and conforming to no uniform regulation. Over time however things began to improve, and by 1920 most Red Army troops had obtained the necessary uniform items to present a more consistent appearance. All the troops in this set seem to have the regulation greatcoat, which was a long garment known as a kaftan. Its most distinguishing feature was the three razgovory tabs which were used to secure the single-breasted coat on the right side. These were often coloured, but generally a dull colour when at the front. Where the chest is visible on these figures they have these tabs, although they are somewhat larger than they should be, which is a common Strelets feature.

The other notable winter clothing item was the cap known as the budenovka, which had a pointed crown and large flaps which could be worn button up or let down to protect the ears and indeed much of the rest of the head. The majority of these figures have this item, with flaps either loose or fastened at the throat, and some attempt has also been made to model the large star that usually appeared on the crown. For the rest the usual peaked cap has been chosen, which was commonly seen all year round. None of the men’s coats appear to have the lower slit pockets, which is odd as they have been given the upper pockets, but apart from that these figures all seem accurate.

The officer is wearing a thigh-length double-breasted coat, which is fine. He is armed with a pistol, which looks like a Mauser, although many models were to be seen. This is housed in a holster held on a strap over his left shoulder rather than attached to a waist belt, which is authentic.

All the poses are pretty standard but all are valuable. There are a good many firing figures, and most have a simple rifle, although one man seems to have a Lewis gun, which is quite reasonable.

The usual unrefined Strelets sculpting style is to be found here, with fair detail but some enlarged elements such as the officer’s pistol and holster, both of which are almost the same length as his upper leg. Finer details are still lacking, so it is hard to be sure of the exact model of the rifles for example, but those familiar with this company’s output will already know what to expect. Happily there is no flash in need of removal on any figure.

The greatcoat on show here was introduced in 1918, but only became widespread two years later, so these figures are inappropriate for the first year or two of the Civil War. In addition there is little variety here, although two men have acquired a bandolier, so again the early war ramshackle appearance is absent. The coat design changed in 1922 with the new uniform, but the changes were small and took a long time to appear at the front, so these figures are good for the rest of the war. However we were disappointed not to see some more variety in the headgear, so a few figures wearing the popular papaha woollen hat would have been welcome, although to be fair this item is well represented in Strelets' World War I set. However as they stand these figures are pretty accurate and certainly fit for purpose.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 6
Mould 10

Further Reading
"Red Army of the Russian Civil War 1917-1922" - Gauntlet - Alexander Deryabin - 9781907480003
"Soviet Uniforms and Militaria 1917-1991 in Colour Photographs" - Crowood Press - Laszlo Bekesi - 9781861263704
"The Russian Army 1914-18" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.364) - Nik Cornish - 9781841763033
"The Russian Civil War (1) The Red Army" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.293) - Mikhail Khvostov - 9781855326088
"The Soviet Army" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.29) - Albert Seaton - 9780850451139

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