Bavaria contributed greatly to many Napoleonic campaigns, and the uniforms of her soldiers have always been particularly popular, yet before the Golden Age of this hobby there were no figures to represent them. As part of their commitment to broaden the scope of Napoleonic figures HaT resolved that problem in 2000 with their sets of Bavarian infantry, cavalry and artillery, and now, almost a decade later, this latest set of Bavarians appears. At first glance this might seem like a repeat of their previous infantry set, but as we pointed out in our review of that set the men are grenadiers by virtue of their having plumes in their helmets. Simply removing these would make those men fusiliers, but now that is not necessary as HaT have provided this set of fusiliers, which formed the bulk of the Bavarian infantry.
The uniform of the fusiliers is well documented and as with their grenadiers HaT have made no mistakes here. The coat, breeches and gaiters are all correctly done, and the remarkable Raupenhelm with its caterpillar crest (and lack of plume for fusiliers) is accurate too. All the men wear their pack on their backs and supported by two straps, which dates them to 1808 or thereafter, and the rest of the kit is also good. It seems some fusilier drummers had plumes, which this drummer lacks, but whether this was the norm or even common is unknown. The last figure in the second row may be an NCO, in which case he is correctly armed with a musket.
These figures are nicely proportioned and the poses are all good and very useable. Only having four firing figures would seem a strange choice but this set really needs to be considered along with the earlier grenadier set, which had more firing figures. A couple of the poses are virtually identical between the two sets, but most are complementary, and this has allowed HaT to include a drummer and an NCO but no officer, since both the old infantry and artillery sets contain such a figure.
The style of the figures in this set is a perfect match with the older sets, which will certainly add to its appeal as to date no one else has made Bavarians. These figures are better in that they do not have any of the blank areas found on the old multi-purpose figure, but they are worse in not having such good detail. Much of the detail is there but it is frequently incredibly shallow and often very hard to make out. For example the helmets are very detailed items, and everything is there, but it takes a good eye and just the right light to see it, and it will easily be swamped when paint is applied. In some areas the detail simply isn’t there. Some of the muskets have no detail at all forward of the lock, and the sabre of the firing man is one-sided - the other is quite blank. Folds in clothing are also not always good, so again on the firing figure his left arm, although bent, has no folds at all. Cuffs too are somewhat variable between the poses, and often not a great representation of the real thing. We also felt the caterpillar crest was quite flat and understated on some of the poses, while it has been given a strange series of lines on the side which in no way reflects the soft textured appearance of the real thing. These deficiencies are all in the smaller detail so from any distance there will seem to be no difference between the old and new figures, and on the plus side we found there to be minimal flash here.
Despite the issues with minor details these are nice figures and a useful expansion of the range of Bavarians.