In some line of products, you will see the sculpt of one figure being reused with different paint to cover different regiment. This is an old technique and good idea as it allows collectors to have access to more variety of pieces and maybe have their favorite regiment covered that way. However, this has one trade off; If you put all of those figures together, the trick becomes quickly visible as they all share the same silhouette. With the time, manufacturers came with interesting solutions to hide the “repaint” effect. Last month, First Legion released a bunch of Russian Hussars and they did a clever thing. So let’s have a look at the NAP0665 - Russian Pavlogradsky Hussars Trooper With Lance...
The piece by itself is what you would expect from a standard First Legion toy soldier. It is excessively well detailed and finely crafted. Reins on the horse are made of fine metal ribbons and look perfectly at scale with the character. Mandatory patches of modeling grass are attached to the rectangular base of the toy soldier. By the way, I always enjoyed those rectangular bases. They remember me of the tabletop wargaming figures with their bases designed to easily stack tight formations of soldiers. Plus, they make nice clean bases for individual displays. It’s just clean looking.
But what is very interesting with this figure is to compare it with its counterpart from the Izumsky Hussars: the NAP0659 - Russian Izumsky Hussars Trooper With Lance. They are not exactly the same! The hussars are true repaints, but the horses are different and this is enough to do the trick! The sculpt for the horse in this case comes from the NAP0658 - Russian Izumsky Hussars Trooper With Sword. In fact, this whole sub-collection of hussars was designed to hide as much as possible the repaint effect by swapping horses and hussars before gluing them together. By building their collection a bit like lego blocks, First Legion was able to have two different looking regiments by using the same pieces. It also means that collectors can have both regiments in the same display and they will look good!
Are they the same or are they different?
About the 2nd Pavlogradsky Hussars, it was officially formed in 1783 and was disbanded in 1918 during the Russian Revolution. Within that time period, they took part in different conflicts including napoleonic wars. This is why you can hear about this regiment in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace, although there are some minor accuracies in the battles it took part in.
Talking about War and Peace, many people know the 1956 movie version with Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda. But there is another interesting version of that novel that was produced by the Soviets in 1965-1967. It’s a 4 part film series and it was restored 2 years ago by Janus film. This version is a must see for every fan of Napoleonic wars. I leave you there, with a very dramatical trailer (that is obviously not a repaint).