This is one of several sets from Strelets incorporating a sledge plus a variety of figures from the Napoleonic era. Their other set of Russians with a sledge was largely themed on the gathering of food, but there is no food in this one. Actually there is no theme either, or at least none that we can detect. We will describe the figures you get in this box and see if you can spot any connection.
Row one starts with some sort of officer pointing, followed by another running and waving a stick in the air. The third man, also an officer, is crouching and holding his coat collar, and like the first two is hard to explain as a pose. The last man seems to be pouring himself a drink from a bottle. Row two contains yet another officer, possibly Cossack, pushing something (goodness knows what), then an ordinary soldier holding something in mid-air, then a soldier pulling something, and finally a man sitting on a box and using a bear pelt as a cushion. Row three has two men carrying a wounded third, then a man using a whip and another seated (presumably on the sledge) and holding a whip but doing nothing. What any of these poses have in common we have no idea, and only the seated man with whip has any apparent connection with the sledge. Neither the name of the set nor the picture on the box give any clues, so this is a seemingly random collection of people doing stuff!
All the figures are dressed for the cold, as you might expect when a sledge is being used. Sledges were a common mode of transport in northern Europe, when snow and ice made the already poor roads impassable to wheeled transport. The sledge model in this set is the same as in all the other Strelets sledge sets, so if you have already read those reviews then we have pretty much discussed this to death. The design of the sledge is extremely basic, and clearly not intended for carrying people in comfort. Since such things could be very simple there is no reason to doubt that such a design existed, but the harness for the horse is also quite disappointing as it lacks the shaft bow or 'arch' which was very common at the time. The horse itself looks decidedly thin and poorly fed, which is doubtless authentic, and its walking gait is well done.
The model is crude, with the sledge itself made up of just three parts - the bodywork is one and the runners are the other two. These fit into very large holes in the floor, and fit easily enough, but the whole thing has quite a rough look to it and is not a nice piece to look at. There are many connections to the sprue, each of which leaves an ugly trace on the part, and there is some flash as well as the rough edges, so this is a typical Strelets kit.
Since there are no clues as to what most of these people are doing we cannot comment on the suitability of the poses, but in the end it is up to each customer to decide if they have a use for them. All the costume looks reasonable for the period, although the style, again typically Strelets, lacks the detail and elegance of many other manufacturers. While the sledge has some flash there is none on the figures, and since few have anything in their hands they do not look particularly flat.
The figures are OK but the sledge is crude in the extreme. Ultimately however customers will buy depending on whether they see a use for this random collection of poses. With no identifiable purpose it is hard to see why this would sell well, but it certainly made it hard to review!