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HaT

Set 8166

1805-1812 French Line Grenadiers

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2007
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Blue
Average Height 23.5 mm (= 1.7 m)

Review

These reviews usually start by setting the context of the set, but in this case that has already been done in our comments on Hat’s set of 1808-1812 French Infantry, a set which is central to understanding this release.

As we explained in our earlier review, most infantry battalions included one grenadier company, and the earlier set offered four poses to depict these men. This latest set seems to be something of an expansion pack for that set as it offers a further eight poses, but is otherwise much the same. Therefore our comments regarding the particular features of the earlier grenadiers apply equally here as the figures are almost identical and blend perfectly. The grenadier distinctions of fur cap and fringed epaulettes are present once more, as is the correctly badged cartridge box. The caps still display the full array of decoration, which was officially disapproved of but nevertheless appeared regularly. The officer bears a medal on his chest and has chosen to wear his gorget. As with the previous set, there are no accuracy problems here.

The range of poses available here has one obvious omission in that no one appears to be in a firing line. However it should be remembered that two such poses exist in the earlier set so while this makes the current set less useful, taken together all the basics are covered. The choice of poses is reasonable, although a couple are rather flat and a little awkward. Nevertheless the obvious large numbers of men marching and standing will please many.

As we have said the standard of sculpting is very similar to the previous set, although in a few places it may be marginally better. The style is a familiar one for those who already own HaT sets, and detail is good although some areas do tend to be rather too flat and perfect (for example the perfectly square coat tails). Also one of the poses (first man on bottom row) leans considerable both forward (which is fine) and to his right (which is not). Surprisingly he still stands on his base, and using the usual techniques his stance can be improved, but the lean to the side looks odd and while clearly deliberate does not make a convincing pose in our view. Still there is absolutely no flash anywhere, and any excess plastic is minimal or completely absent, so this is a well engineered product.

Taken alone this is a reasonable set but with some obvious gaps in the range of poses. Taken as an extension to the previous set this greatly expands the grenadier poses and anyone who finds a use for the first set will doubtless also find this one appealing.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Borodino: The Moskova" - Histoire & Collections - Francois-Guy Hourtoulle - 9782908182965
"French Napoleonic Infantryman 1803-15" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.57) - Terry Crowdy - 9781841764542
"Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon's Army" - Brassey - René Chartrand - 9781857531831
"Napoleon's Line Infantry" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.141) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780850455120
"Napoleon's Line Infantry & Artillery" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Special Series No.11) - Stephen Maughan - 9781859150535
"Wagram" - Histoire & Collections - Francois-Guy Hourtoulle - 9782915239744
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.144
"Military Illustrated" - No.35
"Tradition (French Language)" - No.47
"Uniformes (French Language)" - No.85

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