ARM: Review - Zvezda 1/35 scale WWII Cossacks

Kit Review: Zvezda 1/35 scale Kit No. 3579; Soviet Cossacks WWII; 102 parts in grey styrene; price and availability vary
Advantages: four mounted figures in one kit good value; nice animation of the horses and good detailing of the Cossacks
Disadvantages: no materials for reins or straps; two sets of two identical horses and figures limits poses and adaptability
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for any Soviet or Russian cavalry fan
    Mention Russia and the Steppes and the first thing that comes to mind is the Cossack. These legendary cavalrymen have lived their lives there for over a thousand years, and their independence and ferocity in combat are well known. One of the most famous series of paintings in Russia is that of the Zaporozhe Cossacks writing a letter to the Sultan of Turkey after he demanded they submit to him, in which the Cossacks are seen trying to outdo each other in getting the most references to pig into the letter to the Muslim Sultan.
    Recently the Russian Army raised two brigades of Cossacks and they in their traditional costumes are part of the Army. While they are nominally modern troops with modern equipment, they retain their horses for show and ceremony.
    Zvezda has now released a kit of their WWII grandfathers and it builds into a set of four Cossacks with sabres and Moisin carbines in a charge. The kit consists of two sets of two figures and two horses, but for modelings sake the parts are swapped around in order to arrive at four unique figures at the end of the day.
    The horses each consist of six parts left and right sides, tail, head and main, and ears. These parts are swapped around and the small plastic bases are premarked for installing the pegs on the horses feet to ensure that all four horses will have a solid base to stand upon. Anyone who has ever worked with the 1/30 scale Historex horses will find this system familiar. Note that some hot knife or pyrogravure work will be needed to fluff up the manes and tails to get a more realistic appearance.
    The same goes for the figures. Each figure consists of six basic parts legs, arms, torso and head with Cossack cap. Each figure also has kit which is attached, such as a dagger, binoculars, a bread bag, pistol holster and map case, plus an empty scabbard. Two figures also have Moisin carbines slung behind them, each with a separate bolt assembly. They are topped off by capes which are in various states of flying behind the figures.
    The only major thing missing in the kit is material to make reins, stirrup straps and attachment straps for the scabbards to the figures. Based on modelers tastes this can best be provided from either 0.005" styrene sheet or the thin lead foil from the tops of wine bottles. But it is a problem in a kit like this when they do not provide the material.
    The figures are also easy to upgrade to current day standards by simply swapping out the Moisins for AKM or AK-74 automatic rifles. Its nice when traditions are reinstated and upheld!
    Overall this is a nice set and shows once again that Zvezda has caught up to Western companies with its figure sets.
Cookie Sewell
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On Apr 19, 4:51pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hi there.
*IF* the horses in this kit are the same ones as the ones in the two horse and riders set #352 also by Zvezda then the horses are multi- pose and there are *SIX* possible variations you can construct. With careful cutting and glueing you can even create a horse that is rearing up.
Cheers from Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote in wrote:

Any relation to the Italeri kit of years ago? I think there were two figures and horses in that one.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
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Hi there.
I think it is the same kit. I really liked the fact that you could get 2 of 6 possible poses from the horses and that they could be posed in full gallop.
Cheers from Peter
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As noted there are two identical sprues of each one in the kit, and as they use the Historex system where all of the parts can mate up with each other it gives the options. Same with the two different figures.
An inexpensive but decent way to do things up, as it gives the builder the option.
Cookie Sewell
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