In December 1941, with the German army only a few kilometres from Moscow, the Red Army counterattacked with its Siberian divisions. These troops were better equipped to cope with the Russian winter, and presented a quite different appearance to the rest of the army, so their depiction in a set was long overdue.
Many of these men wear the new pattern winter gear introduced in 1941, which consisted of a quilted jacket called a telogreika and quilted trousers. Leather boots have been replaced by valenki, pressed felt boots that could withstand sub-freezing temperatures, and the warm ushanka is much in evidence. Some are wearing their greatcoats, and some are also clad in snow camouflage suits, loose-fitting garments that covered the standard uniform. In all cases these have been accurately and realistically sculpted.
In addition to the normal poses there are a number which reflect the winter conditions in which these troops are fighting. The man on skis is an obvious inclusion in such a set, but the man firing his sub machine gun while still on skis is a more unusual but worthwhile choice. The man kneeling and firing, using his sticks to steady his weapon, is also very nice and adds to the flavour of the set.
The weaponry and equipment is standard Red Army issue, with several men using the PPSh sub machine gun which was widely issued to these troops. One man carries a PTRD anti-tank rifle, another common Soviet weapon that has not been portrayed in this scale before. The mortar is also very nicely detailed and well presented with the two crew. The barrel is about 16mm long, which means it is must likely to be the common 82mm BM41.
The standard of sculpting is excellent, with no flash to mar the figures. However as with all moulds things can deteriorate over time, and the 2010 release of these figures apparently suffers greatly from flash in many places, which presents serious problems when putting parts together or trimming delicate items such as ski poles. However if you can get the earlier pressings of this set then the quality is excellent.
This is a very important subject for World War II that had not been covered before this set appeared. Revell have done a first rate job, and the result is a set that looks good and allows many of the campaigns in the Soviet Union to be accurately recreated for the first time. Other similar sets now exist, but this set more than holds its value for those interested in that bitter winter fighting.