Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6588; German Don Cossacks Balkans 1944; 132 parts (128 in grey styrene, 8 etched nickel); price US $11.95
Advantages: another new set of cavalry figures; different choice of nationality
Disadvantages: no material included for reins or stirrup straps; no rigging instructions
Recommendation: for experience figure modelers
The Don Cossacks were an independent lot but made the mistake early in WWII of siding with the Germans against the Soviets. Alas, when the Soviet Army took back the Donbass (Don River basin) things did not go well for the Cossacks. Worse yet, those who surrendered to the Allies were sent back to the Soviets; to this day there are a number of arguments as to whether it was right or wrong, as the Soviets immediately shot all Cossacks who were repatriated.
DML has now produced a set of two Cossacks in the combined dress they wore in German service - traditional Cossack caps and trousers with their sabres, but wearing a German field blouse with Cossack insignia. The figures are new but the horses are from their 8th SS Cavalry Division "Florian Geyer" set (No. 6046) and are backed up with two generic German sprues (the =93A=94 kit sprue and the =93A=94 weapons sprue).
Each Cossack comes in six base parts (head, torso, legs and arms) with a separate cap. A third horsehead is included to create the picture shown on the box art of one Cossack standing on the ground checking his mount=92s bridle (the other figure is mounted).
While nicely etched nickel two-piece stirrups are included, DML has not provided either any material to make reins or stirrup straps or rigging directions. These are essential for a mounted figure, and it is a shame they did not include anything of that nature. As a result, this set is best for someone used to rigging horse figures and who has a supply of favorite material (lead foil, 0.005" styrene, or other thin material for straps) and knowledge of how to install it.
Artwork is by Zgonnik and is of the =93stick here and follow the box art=94 type of directions.
Overall this is a beautifully molded kit but let down by not being complete.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.