The Leib infantry were dressed much like the rest of the Brunswick infantry, apart from the falling plume on the shako, and the contingent was instantly recognisable by its all black uniform. These troops saw service first with the Austrians and then the British, and in several theatres, including the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign, so were a very useful and long-overdue addition to the Napoleonic range.
These men wear the shako with drooping horsehair plume and the hussar dolman-style coat.The coat is short with no tails, which shows these men to be in British service, so they can be used from 1810, although the Leib battalion itself only formed in 1813. Also indicative of this is the British-style water bottle, which is correctly modelled on all these men, as is all the equipment and the musket. The uniform was overwhelmingly black, so colourful they were not, but they certainly looked dramatic and are very 'chic' to our modern eye.
The poses are the standard selection, though there are two quite similar marching poses. As in other HaT sets there is a figure with a ring hand, and in this set this figure can be made to carry a musket, a small drum, a very small drooping flag or a horn. Because the hand is sculpted hanging by the soldier's side, it does not convincingly 'carry' any of these items, which all fit into the hand with a peg except the horn. However for wargamers who may be less concerned about such details, this does provide a number of possibilities for one basic figure. Add the accessories available in other HaT Napoleonic sets and you have a very flexible figure.
As well as the various accessories, this set comes with eight extra heads. Four are wearing the Corsican hat with hunting horn badge, and could be used to convert the figures to light infantry of the Avant Garde. The remaining four wear the infantry shako with pompom instead of the falling plume, which would allow the figures to be converted to line infantry. This much increases the usefulness of the set and at a stroke allows most Brunswick infantry units to be modelled. Apparently such small accessories can cause problems when the plastic is injected into the mould, but their inclusion is to be applauded and will delight many customers.
All the figures are nicely sculpted and intelligently posed. There is a fair bit of flash in places, and there is a slight mismatch of moulds on some poses which is only apparent close up so is not too much of a problem. The sculpting does occasionally go astray, such as the heel of the right leg of the first figure in row two, but overall the detail is good and accurate, and the many extras that are included make this set excellent value.