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HaT

Set 8014

KGL Light Dragoons

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1998
Contents 12 mounted figures and 12 horses
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

The King's German Legion made up a considerable part of the British forces during the Napoleonic Wars, and they were very highly regarded. Although this is the only set to portray these men, their uniform was almost identical to that of their British counterparts, which also means these figures can represent British Light Dragoons (ignoring those regiments that were Hussars in all but name). The three KGL Light Dragoon regiments had styled themselves Hussars from early in their history and dressed accordingly. In 1813 the two regiments of KGL Heavy Dragoons were converted to Light Dragoons, and were eventually issued the Light Dragoon uniform that had been introduced for other Light Dragoons from late 1811, and which is shown in this set.

The most notable element of this uniform is the shako, which closely resembled the shako worn by French infantry at the time, and was consequently criticised by the Duke of Wellington. This item is correctly modeled here, though in practice the troops would often have had an oilskin cover over it. The rest of the uniform looks correct at first glance, though there are some minor errors. The sword scabbard is very indistinct (this is a common failing in HaT cavalry figures), but what is there seems a little too straight for the curved sword the men correctly wield. Also, the man at 'sloped swords' carries a virtually straight weapon (apparently this is due to the limitations of the mould-making process). All the men wear two belts over the left shoulder - one for the carbine and one for the ammunition pouch. This is correct, but all of them have the ammunition pouch squashed under the carbine belt to the point of making it flat. Since this carried 20 pistol/carbine cartridges it should be less flat than it is. The square lapels are correctly done, although these would generally be closed when in action rather than on show as here. Finally there should be a fringe of lace (called the 'waterfall') at the rear of the waist which is not modeled here.

The two horses are both charging and are quite well sculpted, although the pose of the first pictured above is unnatural. The sheepskin is too square at the front as it should only partly cover the blanket and pistols. All the horses have shabraques, which are correctly modeled but were normally left behind when the men were on active service. The bridle is not too bad but simplified to a degree - for example it lacks the cross-straps on the horse's face.

The figures have a noticeable level of flash all round the seam, though this is about average for this manufacturer at the time. However there are no excess areas of plastic to remove. Detail is pretty good, and the human poses are all reasonably natural.

Though all the men have been provided with carbines, it is a pity that none are using them. Yet again we have a set of HaT cavalry which has one or two very minor faults but which overall is a very well turned out product. When a reviewer can only find tiny details to quibble about you know that the set is pretty sound, and that is certainly the case here.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 9
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"1815 The Armies at Waterloo" - Seeley, Service & Company - Ugo Pericoli - 9780854220724
"British Cavalry Equipments 1800-1941" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.138) - Mike Chappell - 9781841764719
"British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660" - Blandford - Michael Barthorp - 9780713710434
"British Cavalryman 1792-1815" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.8) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781855323643
"British Napoleonic Uniforms" - Spellmount - Carl Franklin - 9781862274846
"Napoleonic Wars: Weillington's Army" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Ian Fletcher - 9781857531732
"The King's German Legion (2) 1812-1816" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.339) - Mike Chappell - 9781855329973
"The Thin Red Line" - Windrow & Greene - DSV & BK Fosten - 9781872004006
"The Waterloo Companion" - Aurum - Mark Adkin - 9781854107640
"Uniforms of Waterloo" - Blandford - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781854093943
"Waterloo Men" - Crowood - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781861262837
"Wellington's Army" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Special No.5) - Neil Leonard - 9781872004792
"Wellington's Light Cavalry" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.126) - Bryan Fosten - 9780850454499

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