by: Jean-Luc Formery [ ]
The KitEduard's VVS figure kit comes in their standard top opening cardboard box. In it there are two dark grey plastic sprues bagged in a ziplock bag and an instruction sheet.
With what is provided on the two plastic trees, you can assemble one pilots and... five crew members!? In fact I don't know if "crew members" are the appropriate words, I should have rather used "Political Commissar team". I would not have liked to be a Soviet WW2 pilot returning from mission at that time! I don't know if this was intentional by Eduard, but from the box cover artwork and the figures included in this set you get the feeling that the Russian where... how can I say, a bit more "wait and see advocators" and buraucratic than the people of other Air Forces. Especially when you compare this box to the RAF box of the same manufacturer.
The overall moulding quality is typical of Eduard's previous efforts in the same field. If you already have an Eduard figure kit, you probably know what I mean. The figures are molded is several pieces (two legs, torso, two arms and the head) and this doesn't make the assembly easier. Sometimes this gives an "unnatural" look to the figure but it is not as exacerbated as in their RAF set. In fact, it seems that Eduard are more comfortable in doing standing figures than dynamic ones. I found sink marks on some torsos but nothing too dramatic.
I've built three figures from the set: the pilot, the officer and one "Political Commissar" which is writing something using a clipboard. Overall, the figures look in fact quite good. The pilot and the officer can be placed so they shake each other's hands and this is a very nice initiative from the Eduard sculptor as it can be the starting point of an interesting story. I also placed one of the figures aside an ICM one and you can see they can be used in the same diorama. Both are similar in quality even if I prefer the head of the ICM figure which looks more "natural".
Unfortunately this new set, like the RAF one, doesn't provides any additional accessories. There was a table, some tools and armament in the Luftwaffe set and a very nice bike in the Japanese Army set for example. Both even had a small photo etched fret for the smaller details parts. There is nothing like that in this VVS reference despite the fact that the price is the same!? Only six figures, that's all! In the old ICM Soviet set (n°48021) you have six figures, three fuel drums, three Jerrycans, a table, a ladder, two buckets and a bench vice. The latter is dificult to find though but sometimes you can find one as a bonus in an older aircraft release from the ukrainian manufacturer.
ConclusionThis is a good set produced by Eduard, especially when compared to their ugly RAF effort. But you get less for the same price when you compare this set to others produced by Eduard. There is also a nice alternative from ICM to take into consideration if you want to do a VVS diorama. If you can't find one, the Eduard figures are more than acceptable.