It would seem that late Napoleonic French Cavalry is a real favourite with many manufacturers, so it was no surprise that only the third A Call To Arms Napoleonic set was also their second French cavalry set. When these Carabiniers appeared, however, Italeri had already released their set of the same subject, so had set a high standard for this set to match. The box tells us that these men are for 1815, but in fact they wear the uniform first introduced during 1810, so are good for the last five years of the Napoleonic Wars.
As we have come to expect from this producer, the level of detail on these figures is first class, and the poses are all natural and attractive, even though there are only four of them. The problem of sculpting the helmet with its comb is solved by not having any of the figures facing directly into the mould, which is neat, but does mean none of the figures are looking where their charging mount is taking them. The sculptor has done well to have the bodies twisted in a very natural position, and the proportions are good too, so the poses are full of life. Detail is very good, with the helmets, armour and clothing all correctly done, but unfortunately, as with the cuirassiers in set 51, these figures are much too slender to really seem like heavy cavalry - cuirassiers in all but name. Also quite a soft plastic has been used for these figures, and there is a noticeable amount of flash to be removed in places.
As with the men, so the solitary horse pose is of too small an animal, even though the larger horses were not always available. In fact this horse is that found in the cuirassiers set, so its inclusion is an economy measure, and should really have a round-end to the valise rather than this square one. Apart from the stature, however, the main problem is the charging pose is not the best match with the figures, so having just one pose is not adequate, and this would not be the best choice of pose.
It is the four poses, and particularly the sole horse pose, that make this set fall short of the standards set by Italeri in their corresponding set. Such poses as there are have been intelligently designed and well executed, and this is a good looking set, but the slender proportions just don't match the subject, and the inclusion of only one horse pose significantly limits its use. Although it does not suffer from the minor accuracy problems of the Italeri set, it still feels like the inferior product, although still certainly usable, particularly if mounted on more appropriate horses.