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Waterloo 1815

Set 021

Prussian Hussars

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2008
Contents 14 figures and 14 horses
Poses 7 poses, 5 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

After the disasters of 1806 Prussia suffered much, and had to greatly reduce the size of her army. Nevertheless she waited for a chance for revenge, and following France’s own disaster in 1812 the War of Liberation saw Prussia redeem itself and re-establish its army, and Prussian cavalry had the satisfaction of pursuing the beaten French on the evening of Waterloo in 1815.

Prussian Hussars for the later part of the Napoleonic Wars were entirely conventional in appearance, making these figures useful for many other armies with little or no work. The traditional dolman and slung pelisse are evident from our pictures, while all the men also wear buttoned overalls, as they should. By this time the shako was supplanting the busby as the preferred headwear of hussars internationally, and the Prussians were no different, although they were particularly noted for always wearing the oilskin cover when on campaign as worn by these figures. So far so good then, but another common Prussian characteristic was to wear the pelisse as a jacket rather than slung, so while these figures are not wrong their authenticity for a campaign is debateable and we would have preferred to see the pelisse unslung. Also the cuffs on the dolmans of these figures are very narrow and entirely straight – very different from the ornate pointed affairs that hussars of all nationalities sported. Those with a real eye for detail (you know who you are!) could justly complain also that the sabretache should have three straps rather than the two here. However there is no overlooking the fact that none of these men have a carbine – an item with which all regular Prussian hussars were issued.

Unfortunately the most common horse poses in this set are not particularly realistic. Such poses are often found in figure sets because they are easy to mould but other sets have much more realistic examples. The saddlery of these creatures is mostly OK although they seem to have the sheepskin cover over the saddle (which is correct) but not the familiar ‘wolfs teeth’ edging to this item. Equally the saddlecloth introduced in 1815 does not resemble these models. Finally there is no evidence of the brace of pistols that these men should have forward of their saddles.

As always the human poses largely speak for themselves, but those in this set are particularly energetic. Some effort has been made to represent the charge with sabre to the fore and the results are very good, but we liked all the poses. Sadly the flag-bearer is a waste – he is fine in himself but no Prussian hussars were permitted to carry flags in the field, so unless you like flags regardless of the historical authenticity then at best this figure might be the subject of conversion into something more useful.

In terms of the sculpting this is top quality stuff. The style is something like that of Esci or Italeri at their best, and it is a real pleasure to gaze over all the wonderful detail. So what that the sculptor has attempted to represent each line of braid on the dolman and therefore can only fit a few lines in, the result is beautiful nonetheless. The human form is natural and well done, and while some horse poses may not be good the animals themselves are otherwise well done too. We found almost no flash, and all the riders fit very well on their mounts, so with the crisp clear detail this set is a very well engineered product.

These are certainly glorious figures. Unfortunately the various accuracy problems will spoil the party for many. The cuffs can be fixed with paint, but if you want your figures to wear the pelisse then there is little that can be done about that. Adding the necessary carbines will be quite tiresome too. Still these are very attractive figures, and as we have said they have uses beyond the army of Prussia, making them a very worthwhile addition to the hobby.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 7
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 10
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Flags of the Napoleonic Wars (2)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.78) - Terence Wise - 9780850451740
"Prussian Cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars (2) 1807-15" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.172) - Peter Hotschröer - 9780850456837
"The Prussian Army 1808-1815" - Almark - David Nash - 9780855240752

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