Bavaria was one of Napoleon's largest and most loyal allies, and her troops saw action in many theatres of war, both alongside and opposite the French. It was therefore very good news when this set of infantry was released.
The eight poses include all the usual favourites, and are well thought out. The man reloading his musket is a neat solution to what is a very difficult pose to model without producing lots of excess plastic. The figure on the right of the second row above is particularly interesting as he is an attempt to get more out of the available poses. The sideways stance of this figure means some detail is lost on his front, but the effort is worthwhile because his right hand is modelled empty but cupped, ready to hold something. The two items supplied are a musket and a very small flag (which is too small to be much use). Both the resulting poses are useful, so HaT should receive credit for this innovation. The observant may notice that the marching man has his right leg forward, which means his right arm should also be forward, not back as here.
All the figures are modelled with the famous Raupenhelm, the enormously high helmet that looks absurd to us today, but certainly made the Bavarians distinctive from most other armies. This was brought into service in 1799, and remained so for the whole Napoleonic Wars, but there are some aspects that more specifically date these troops. The infantry carried their pack on a shoulder belt until 1808, when it was changed to being carried on the back, as modelled on these figures. Also, officers did not wear the Raupenhelm until 1805, retaining their old-fashioned bicorn. Finally, the officer here wears a sash, which is correct up until 1812, when this was withdrawn and they wore a gorget to indicate rank instead. However, in their Bavarian Artillery set, HaT provide an officer identically dressed except he wears a gorget rather than a sash, so the two can be swapped round depending on the desired period to be modelled. Excellent thinking once again from this manufacturer.
All the figures have plumes on the right of their helmets, marking them out as either grenadiers or, from 1811, sharpshooters, although by trimming off the plume they can be converted into the more common fusiliers. In terms of accuracy these figures are fine, although the officer has been given a short-tailed coat like his men when it should have tails extending to around the knees.
The sculpting on display is pretty good, although as we have said some detail is lost in places where the figure is side on to the mould. There is some flash but not a lot, and occasionally there seems to be a mismatch between the two halves of the mould, causing an ugly step around the edge of the figure.
These figures are good and can even be painted to represent light infantry, thus making them useful for most of the Bavarian infantry. With some knowledge of the uniforms of other states of the Confederation of the Rhine, these figures could serve there too with little or no conversion. However it is as Bavarians that they are welcome - an important component of Napoleon's armies up until 1813 has at last been produced.