As with the rest of the army, the disastrous Jena campaign resulted in the Prussian artillery undergoing considerable changes, including the uniform. This set depicts the artillery in the 1808-15 uniform, which as with the rest of the army was closely modelled on that of the Russians.
This set comes in two types. The first type includes the 24 figures and four carriages, with three barrels for each carriage. The second type includes all that is in the first type, plus the four pack horses, but with the three gun barrels that were found in the first type Napoleonic Russian Artillery. The three barrels shown above are those found in the first type of this set.
The six poses include one artilleryman who has drawn his sword (presumably an NCO), and another who is carrying his musket. Artillerymen were issued muskets, but these seemed to have been left behind when going on campaign (apart from NCOs, who carried carbines), so the figure carrying his musket is of limited value. One man appears to be pulling something while carrying his trail spike over his shoulder. This is a correct pose and suggests manhandling the gun back into position after it has fired.
As with other early HaT sets the standard of sculpting is not all that it might be. The ramrod is a little too short for our liking, and none of the men have any detail on their coat tails. Scabbards follow the line of the leg and are quite two-dimensional, and folds in the clothing are less than convincing. The rather thin look to these figures is not pleasing to the eye, and tends to be in contrast with most other figures (although to date no one else has made any Prussian artillery anyway).
The uniform, though simple enough, has been properly shown, with all shakos covered in oilskins as was normal. From 1807 the artillery wore open collars, but around 1813 closed collars were introduced, though the open collar seems to have remained common for some time. Some of the men in this set appear to wear open collars and some closed. The men do not have packs, blankets etc., but these would normally have been stored in the rear before action anyway.
The gun carriage is much simplified, and missing some key features like the hole in the trail plate by which it should be hitched to a limber. However the provision of three barrels per carriage allows great flexibility of use. The common Prussian gun sizes were 6- and 12-pounder guns and 7-pounder howitzers.
The pack horse in the second type set comes with all the harness and two large bags which can be slung over its back. The bags need some gluing to make then stay in place, but this is a nice piece, though no substitute for the lack of a full team and limber.
This is a subject that has not been done elsewhere, which is remarkable considering the interest in Waterloo sets from many manufacturers. All the components fit together well, and there is little flash, but the sculpting leaves much to be desired. Still this remains the only set of its type, and HaT are to be applauded for enhancing their product and providing an unusual but necessary item in the form of the pack horse.