So a bit of Russian Flat Plastic today, but possibly one of the nicest sets ever made, and certainly among my absolute favourites, despite the fact that I only have two or three and they are in storage!
On the making of them, they were sculpted by Lev Razumovsky; a renowned sculptor in the former Soviet Union (in Western terms: somewhere between Charles Stadden and Hillery Page - but as good as either!). Especially when you consider he had lost an arm fighting the Germans as a 17-year old?
This set, the Battle of Kulikovo - held on the banks of the Don, considered a pivotal point in Russian history, was one of his finest pieces and worthy of one of Russia's finest sculptors! As Russian flats go, it's quite late; these were sculpted in the mid-1980's.
Originally intended for metal-alloy (Mazak-Zamac) manufacture in the Leningrad 'Karburettor' Zavod (factory) which may or may not be connected to the Leningrad Forging factory ( Л Ш ) we've already looked at here on the Blog, it was in fact produced in a nice soft'ish polystyrene plastic from the 'off'.
These are the mid 'era' issue, coming one-army-to-a-bag with green 'site map' header cards. The set never got made in metal, due to the economic trials following the fall of the 'Iron Curtain', the first issue was produced in the most lovely colours; oxide-red, jade green, turquoise, Chinese-orange, a less pretty bone-white and the like, other (later) sets were in sky blue versus bright yellow, grey v. orange and then these red/Imperial blue sets were issued.
There are 15 figures in the set, on 14 bases and they are chunky bases! But that is what makes them so lovely, they are a treat to handle having a firmness, which - coupled with the level of etched-detail - makes them 'feel' substantial.
More recent issues are still findable in gold and silver, carried in Russia by FoB importers Alisa Toys, under their 1 Toy branding a while ago and manufactured in China by Vita Production Limited in much leerier carded artwork; although there are rumours of copies with a missing figure, and these gold/silver set may be them?
The originals are lovely, and whatever you collect, or whatever the brackets of you collection, or indeed the criteria you set yourself to collect under, I think you should have a few of these!
Lev Razumovsky tribute site with hard plaster masters (don't forget to click 'next')and the full set of figures.
I tried to find them on the Russian toy soldier sales site, but my Russian isn't good enough ('my Russian' is non-existent!), so if anyone else could post a link to other images - that would be nice.
At the Tulip Café...
42 minutes ago