Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1:72 Early Rus from Orion

According to the earliest East Slavic record, the Primary Chronicle, the Rus' were a group of Varangians among others like Swedes and Gutes who lived on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in Scandinavia and as far as the land of the English and the French. The Varangians were first expelled, then invited to rule the warring Slavic and Finnic tribes of Novgorod. Later, the Primary Chronicle tells us, they conquered Kiev and created the state of Kievan Rus. The territory they conquered was named after them as were, eventually, the local people. -- Wikipedia

I have seen the Rus as they came on their merchant journeys and encamped by the Itil. I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor caftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and a knife, and keeps each by him at all times. The swords are broad and grooved, of Frankish sort. Each woman wears on either breast a box of iron, silver, copper, or gold; the value of the box indicates the wealth of the husband. Each box has a ring from which depends a knife. The women wear neck-rings of gold and silver. Their most prized ornaments are green glass beads. They string them as necklaces for their women. -- Ahmad ibn Fadlan, Muslim diplomat and traveller

These are unpainted 1:72 figures from Orion Miniatures from Russia and the Ukraine. Orion focuses on figure sets based on Eastern European history and their figures are well sculpted for the most part. What is extremely disappointing though is the very poor quality of the moulds. Each figure is virtually surrounded by flash and took a large amount of time to trim off all the excess plastic. I do hope Orion addresses this problem. It would be a shame for them to lose sales because of inept mould-making and casting in spite of the interesting subject matter and good sculpting.

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