Pegasus Hobbies - War against Fascism (7267) _________(EXT)
|No. of Figures||2 Germans, 3 Civilians, 12 Russians|
|No. of Poses||17|
|Additional Items||1 horse, 5 flags, 1 banner|
|Optimal Period||1939 -1945|
When it comes to Pegasus Hobbies and their vibrant 1/72 sets targeting WWII, nothing is surprising or impossible, the company familiarising the customers with top sculptured and cast miniatures, in lifelike poses, most of the time based on reference images and proposed within innovative sets. The comprehensive 1/72 catalogue of this manufacturer related to WWII addresses more armies involved in the conflict, the largest number of sets aiming at the German and USSR ones. However, until now none of their classic sets accommodated representatives of both, but inside “War against Fascism”, collectors, gamers, or static model builders can find not only Russian soldiers and civilians, but also two German troopers as well as few German related items. This attention grabbing offer is sneaked between a series of 1/72 sets issued by Pegasus Hobbies on WWII Red Army and the German Paratrooper, all launched in the same time in 2013, after a couple of years of silence in the field. The miniatures, gathered and introduced in an eye-catching style, arrive in the well-known and highly praised Pegasus Hobbies quality, so other key reasons for reflection over a set that addresses both to Red Army and WWII German fans.
As title and artworks clearly suggest, the main topic are the Russians and definitely this is one of the most out-of-ordinary and attractive tenders ever made, all poses truthfully transposing in the scale images depicted by WWII Russian propaganda posters or famous photographs and films shot in the period. Of course, the German soldiers have only a background role and just two are encountered, obviously, as victims. Nevertheless, the set is an important source for the interested hobbyists searching for casualties, especially taking into consideration that such poses are quite hard to find in the scale.
Modellers not involved in the Red Army may find quite important things here, apart the two German troopers, the kit putting forward few Third Reich flags and a banner, separately provided. In standard approach, those are held by Russian soldiers, as captured trophies displayed during a parade, most properly the Victory Parade organised in the Red Square on June 24, 1945, for celebrating the defeat of the Third Reich. In addition to these, the same group of hobbyists can utilise the three civilians, two women and one child, particularly in an Eastern Front village, but in some extent, the same characters might be deployed in other areas as well, either as refugees or local people. Moreover, in the box there is a saddle horse, and with few items of gear and with slight interventions, it can be turned into an animal serving in the WWII German Army.
Packed in the customary Pegasus Hobbies 1/72 figure box, the title and the front artwork, illustrating “Death to the German fascist invaders! “ poster, make a first introduction of the main ideas of the set. However, the term “Fascism” refers to Mussolini’s regime, but no Italian is delivered, the real theme being War against Nazism, as Hitler’s National Socialist Party was abbreviated. Maybe for marketing, poetic or other reasons the two terms were inverted and such approach is often encountered in various media. Still, on the back of the box more comprehensive clues are featured, in the form of the classic brief introduction drafted by Pegasus Hobbies for each of their sets. The present one use the Nazi term and succeeds in a clever manner to summarize all content, mentioning troopers fighting in the Great Patriotic War, Mother Russia, and Victory Parade, including the banners and Zhukov. Furthermore, next to it there is offered a large image presenting the assembled and painted version of all the miniatures, an extremely useful method for allowing clients to get an accurate picture on what they are going to purchase. The content is hosted by a single large sprue, and even if assembly is required, no guidelines in the field are provided. Anyway, composing the miniatures is easy, parts excellent fit in position and glue with the common polly-cement adhesive, everything here being cast in hard-plastic. The mode of emplacing the pieces on the sprue and the back artwork definitely ease the process, putting the whole content together being a question of minutes.
While the main intention of this website is WWII Germans, the present review will analyse only those soldiers and the inter-linked flags and banner, also making reference to the civilians and horse. It also should be highlighted that some information in the opening chart and the one with the rates at the end of the review takes into account only the just mentioned miniatures.
With the poster “Death to the German fascist invaders! “, displayed here as front artwork, M. N. Avvakumov expressed his vision on how the aggressors should be treated, portraying a victorious Red Army trooper having between his legs the corpse of a German soldier and happily waving a large Communist flag while propping the shoulder stock of his rifle in the neck of the victim. The prone character, subject matter of this review, is provided directly on a larger base and due to the Kar98K with bayonet placed next to him, he certainly had just lost a close combat. Those wanting to utilise the miniature in other locations must allocate some time and efforts for detaching it from its location. Modelling knife or other improvised tools are recommended for the surgery but evidently, the figure will miss all back details. Nevertheless, this is not a problem while in the same way the corpse will be displayed inside a diorama and when removing it, special care should be granted to the beautifully sculptured hair and to the right hand. Except the Kar98K ammunition pouches, no other gear is visible on him and the original in the poster embodied an NCO based on the white shoulder boards, fact raising no accuracy problems if deciding to respect that bearing in mind that in conformity with KStN, often NCOs were armed with rifles.
The principal German attraction of the set is the standing trooper, also defeated in close combat by a Red Army warrior which starts sticking the bayonet in the chest of his opponent, the related hole being visible on the German fighter. Practically, the ensemble is composed by two separate figures on their own bases and they are found in “Will not give up the attainments of October!” propaganda poster, created in 1941 by M. N. Avvakumov and V. Scheglov. Both army-men are extremely dynamic and recreate a genuine scene that could take place very often on the front line and in a certain manner, Russian artists manifested a preference for that, lots of WWII posters illustrating such fights. Nonetheless, many filmed or photographed references confirm that close combat fights, with various standard or improvised weapons, were common on the WWII battlefields. Theoretically, the soldiers were endowed with sophisticated arms, firing lots of bullets per minute but they frequently ran into such situations. The German army-man is going to fall in a moment and does it in a very credible manner, the position of body, limbs, and head fully supporting the natural move. He is armed with a Kar98K with bayonet fixed in its place and also his gear is in complete accordance with what is seen in the poster, respectively bayonet sheath, ammo pouches, gas mask container, and canteen. Moreover, the Kar98K has got the related sling which persuasively waves in the air. Because of the high authenticity of this miniature, he can easily embody not only a soldier overpowered in close combat, but also one hit by a bullet, the hole in his chest fitting to various types of wounds. There are known more photos taken during real assaults, not propaganda, illustrating German soldiers armed with Kar98K with bayonets that were just hit by enemy bullets or shells and are about to fall, fact reiterating the great versatility of the miniature. Likewise, in the box there is another Russian soldier that can fight with the German trooper, namely the one originating in the poster “Death to the Fascism”. This will not stick the bayonet but will hit his opponent in the face with the shoulder stock of the rifle, another usual practice on the battlefields or during prisoner escort or police duties.
On the other hand, for several years the masters of these two German soldiers have been exhibited on Panzer46.com, a website interlinked with Pegasus Hobbies. Dedicated to Mike Creek, one of the most avid 1/72 German buyers of sets issued by the company, the abstract information supplied there gave the impression they promote a new set on WWII German soldiers, but they finally land here.
As regards the civilians, the woman holding a child in her arms reassembles the legendary “Red Army Soldiers, Save Us!” poster by Viktor Koretsky, released in 1943, a work of art with a great impact on troopers. It is said the artist received letters from front line soldiers mentioning that they kept the poster folded in the uniform pocket, close to the heart, like an icon. In the black and white poster, the young woman and her child are threatened by a German bayonet with few drops of blood on it, the Pegasus Hobbies artist succeeding in an incredible manner to immortalise in plastic the attire, stance, and even facial details and hair-cuts of both characters, no matter how small was the space. Due to the poses, this is a very useful ensemble, excellent finding its place in front of an izba, in a village or in a refugee column. The kid and palms of his mother are cast as a separate piece and attaches to the woman’s body via pin and hole system, and even if stays good there, wise it would be to use glue as well for enhanced results.
The other civil woman of the set descends in the 1/72 scale form a well-known poster issued at the beginning of WWII under the name “Motherland Is Calling!". Irakli Toidze’s work wanted to raise moral of the Red Army soldiers after the disaster faced by the USSR when Barbarossa Plan was initiated. Embodying Mother Russia, the elder woman wears a red dress and holds in the right hand a scroll with the text of the Russian military oath. The left waves in the air, as stimulating the soldiers to better fight, and certainly, as the country she embodies, this is not a slim woman, and any man should stay away from her big palms. According to his own words, the author was inspired by his wife’s stance and face, when she ran to announce him about the German invasion, after hearing on the radio the frightening piece of news. Obviously, her face was aged in the paintwork and different versions of the poster were issued, the military oath being written in a multitude of languages spoken on the vast USSR territory. The 1/72 miniature faithfully copies the original and certainly it is a very theatrical one, hardly finding its place in a scenario depicting real life. However, limited utilisations might be possible for her, especially if modifying a little the pose of her arms. Besides, employing it as a statue could be a role properly matching this character.
Considering the attire of both women and child, corroborated with the fact that same clothes were worn hundreds of years before and after WWII, these miniatures are highly adaptable and can be deployed in various scenarios along more centuries not only during the aimed conflict.
Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov was appointed by Stalin as Victory Parade inspector, also giving to him the privilege of playing the leading role, while the Supreme Commander preferred to watch the parade, accompanied by high officials, from Lenin's Mausoleum. Zhukov rode through the parade on a white stallion named “Idol” together with Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky who mounted a black stallion. An equestrian statue of Zhukov, commemorating the scene, is emplaced in front of State Historical Museum, on Manege Square in Moscow. According to some sources and rumours, Stalin did not lead the parade while he was afraid not to fall from the horse, other versions saying that he considered that the results of the war had been much below the invested efforts. Zhukov, as a former cavalry officer, excellent rode during the parade and his equestrian statue shows him with the right hand in the air while his 1/72 copy depicts him as saluting the troopers when riding along the lines. Anyway, both versions are fully covered by the images and movies shot during the parade, of course his attitude being analysed also in conjunction with the horse pose, on the move and with the tail almost straight. It is really impressive how accurately the sculptor portrays both the horse and his rider, the 1/72 Zhukov having on the chest an impressive numbers of medals, as in reality. The rider perfectly stays in the saddle, either seated or a little raised, propped in the stir-ups that are sculptured with the related straps on the boots. Zhukov adopted the two just mentioned ways of riding during the parade while the horse appearance was the same as illustrated by Pegasus Hobbies. Because of that, corroborated with the fact that his trousers and footwear look similar with the WWII German ones, it will be a pity not to use those if turning the figure into a Wehrmacht or Waffen SS army-man. Of course, the torso and head should be removed, recommended being to keep the left arm while the hand excellent grabs the reins. For the rest of the body, a Preiser or Caesar hard plastic torso, ideally matching the size of the retained limbs, effortlessly glues on the Pegasus Hobbies legs, the same companies providing superb heads with multiple choices for covers, too. For a permanent fixation of the rider in the saddle, particularly if the tandem is going to be repeatedly moved, a drop of polly-cement will do an excellent job in this purpose.
The tall and pure breed horse is a piece of art, moving at slow trout, with one leg up from the ground and with the tail straight, as previously highlighted, the animal representing a faithful 1/72 replica of Idol as it has remained in the history thanks to a series of photos and the films shot during the Victory Parade in Moscow. Anatomically correct, well balanced and shaped, with muscles, legs and hooves perfectly done, he also received a very fine expression of the head, the sculpture of eyes, nose, ears, mane and tail making a strong impression. The presence of complete harness, including in scale accurate girth, breastplate, and bridle, as well as crownpiece, cavesson, and nose band, complete the image of a first-rate 1/72 saddle horse. A plus brings in the correctly curved reins that prolong a little from the neck for reaching the left palm of the rider, as normal it should be. The saddle is a Russian pattern, different than the WWII German one, but gluing in various locations specific items of gear can diminish the differences. In addition, various saddles, including captured ones, were used by WWII Germans, so this does not raise a special issue if the hobbyist decides to enrol the stallion in another army than the designated one. While Zhukov had a parade blanket beneath his saddle, the sculptor carved slight details in its bottom part, so it should be better trying to remove those if the horse is going to serve into German Army. Modelled in two halves, the parts of the horse combine well, without too evident undesired spaces that ultimately can be covered with white putty or other materials. Coming without a special base, the animal stays good with his three legs on the ground, no matter the rider is mounted or not.
Concerning the flags and standard, Pegasus Hobbies included those with the same Victory Parade in mind, the Russian colour film shot on that occasion showing in a celebre scene, at the end, various captured Nazi symbols being thrown away into a pile. The cameraman insisted in presenting one famous banner, belonging to “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” (abbreviated LSSAH) which also featured on the board the name of the Fuhrer. Still, flags and banners appear in the film not only in that scene, but also during the parade, the first line of soldiers staying few steps ahead the rest of the units and holding those trophies down while Zhukov and his comrades rode along the lines. Five flags and the LSSAH banner are separately supplied and on the poles are placed the palms of the bearers. Perhaps the manufacturer wanted to supply the necessary and most representative materials the hobbyists need for recreating that historical scene, with soldiers holding the flags down and Zhukov riding between them, and absolutely, the proposed goal is achieved in an outstanding manner.
The flags are partially folded around the poles and are painted dissimilarly on the back of the box. During the Third Reich existed a multitude of Nazi flags and most of the patters sampled on the box respect the originals. Furthermore, the film recording the referred moment reveals various flags, although the most numerous were the well-known red ones with Swastika on a round white background. The sculptor offers light etching on the fags for easing painting but while those are folded, a clear identification of the model is hard to be made. All the five flags forwarded are identical and small Swastikas appear on the unfolded parts. In addition, thoses received fringed ends and the pole top has the spearhead frame, with the Eagle emerging nicely shaped for Braille Scale, although the piece is cast full, without space as it was in reality.
An impressive achievement in terms of sculpture, cast, and mould represents the LSSAH banner, giving full emphasises to the remarkable resources of this company. On the tiny board modellers with good eyes can clearly read the name of the Fuhrer and the pole top records complete and accurate details. The famous Swastika comes properly shaped, surrounded by silver bullion with gold inserts wires and with a Gold Eagle on top. Featuring Adolf Hitler in the box name, it is about the second pattern of the LSSAH banner, the first one having NSDAP initials. Modellers have few options for painting the banner, with variations of the silver box with gold background or with black background and letters in silver or gold. Originally, the banner had below the name box a detachable red square standard with Swastika in the middle but during the Victory Parade that standard missed, so it is not delivered here as well. The same type of banner was available for other Third Reich entities, on the box being engraved various names or even symbols such as for Totenkopf division, so hobbyists can easily delete the name of the Fuhrer and rewrite another according to their own needs.
The banner and the flags reiterate the careful research work deployed as well as the passion for fine details and accuracy. The utilisation of these symbols out of the envisaged context is harder, but definitely those items are valuable assets for hobbyists wishing to depict parades organised in the Third Reich. Though not numerous, appropriate figures for parades are encountered inside a large array of sets, the best choice being Preiser’s “WWII Infantry rifle-men lined up”, but also Pegasus has a very good one in “World War II, the War Game”.
Both flags and banners had two section breakdown poles, the fixation place being almost exactly where the palms of bearers are emplaced now. So, in case the hands are removed from the poles, the painting of the related silver device will possibly cover or minimize the traces of the intervention.
Anatomy of soldiers and civilians fully respects the human proportions and the facial details are quite impressive, the manufacturer successfully catching the original expressions and haircuts as depicted in the posters, photos or films the miniatures are based on, a remarkable achievement bearing in mind the tiny space available in 1/72 scale in this purpose. The class of small details is enhanced not only by the shoulder and collar boards, perfect buttons, pocket flaps, and natural creases, but also by the microscopic characteristics featured on the banner, flags, and horse blanket. The size of rifle and gear of the German soldiers complies with similar items created by most manufacturers of toy-soldiers in the tall side of the 1/72 scale. Due to their extraordinary M36 uniform and overall size, these army-men best match with figs issued by Preiser, Zvezda, Imex, Dragon, Revell, and obviously, Pegasus Hobbies. Similarly dressed civilians are supplied by Caesar’s “WWII Underground Resisters” and “WWII Partisan in Europe”, as well as in other sets available in the scale. Likewise, sizes of horses permit more variations than human bodies, but maybe it is good to know that the animal introduced here is fully compatible from this point of view with the famous Revell/Preiser’s ones from “German Artillery”.
Cast and mould complies with the high standards of this company, the product arriving with a fairly low level of flash and the multi-part tactic has prevented the appearance of excess of material. Assembly is more than facile while the miniatures are made of hard-plastic, the same material permitting fast removal of flash and not influencing the primary attributes of paint, enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils being excellent hosted and succeeding to resist without special protection even after heavy handling. In addition, the hard plastic allows lots of upgrades, transformations or conversions, major attributes, especially within such a set.
“War against Fascism” is a must for those modellers searching for iconic images of the Russian victory over the Third Reich, but inside there are available several German soldiers, flags and banner, as well as few civilians that might be rare and useful stuff for other categories of hobbyists, the full and incredible potential of this set having to be valorised as it deserves. An exclusive source for unique items, presented and delivered in a brilliant manner by a top manufacturer, reconfirming Pegasus Hobbies’ leading position in terms of innovation, level of sculpture and marvellous ideas. Likewise, it accommodates the first WWII horse by this manufacturer, showing the difficulties in the field have been overcome in a magnificent way and giving hope that the long awaited “WWII Polish Cavalry”, and eventually new sets on the topic, might reach the market one day.