1710 is often described as a watershed year for the War of the Spanish Succession, for while it started with Allied successes in Spain such as Almenar, it ended with some notable triumphs for the Bourbon cause which seemed to confirm that it would be Phillip, not Charles, who would hold the Spanish throne. British troops served in Spain alongside their allies for much of the war, but ultimately were unable to impose the unpopular Charles on the Spanish people.
We tend to be averse to sets that claim to contain an entire army since so complex a subject can hardly be well covered in just one box. This box contains a fair number of foot and mounted figures, plus one gun, so makes a brave attempt at it, but ultimately can only deliver so much. Luckily with so many similarities between armies at the beginning of the 18th century these can be used in conjunction with other sets, but it is still worth mentioning that while seven mounted poses is pretty good for a cavalry set, the infantry and artillery have suffered as a result.
Most of the cavalry have also been issued in other sets which we have already reviewed, so reference should be made to the pages on Catalan Cavalry and Cavalry of Phillip V , where six of these poses can be found. Only the middle figure in the fourth row is new, but he is much the same as the rest. Our only additional comment when used as British cavalry is that these men are dragoons rather than horse, as all horse (and indeed some dragoons) carried their sword from a shoulder belt rather than the waist belt utilised by all these figures.
The gun too has been seen before, and reference should be made to our review of Catalan Artillery & Barricade for comments on that.
As we have said, most soldiers of the time looked quite similar regardless of their nationality, with the tricorns and coats with big cuffs being fairly universal. However there are two characteristics of these figures which make them less suitable for British infantry. First, all wear a belly box when British infantry wore a cartridge pouch on the right hip suspended from a shoulder belt, which all these figures lack. Second, one man has a square pack held high on his back by straps around his shoulders. While this type of device was very common much later, we could find no evidence for this arrangement at the time, when haversacks were slung over one shoulder and were little more than bags.
As we have said, six poses does little to deliver a varied and useful infantry unit, and when the officer and drummer are removed we are left with just four poses, all of which are in the process of firing.
The usual rather chunky GerMan style of sculpting is on show here again, so while detail is not too bad items such as limbs are rather fatter than they should be, although we thought the faces were quite well done. The perennial problem with this series is the weak plastic, which makes muskets, swords and other extremities liable to breakage.
As with the rest of the Succession War range from this manufacturer this set is intended to be a part of the whole collection rather than a comprehensive depiction by itself. The good number of cavalry poses cannot hide the rather sedate, even boring, nature of most of them, with straight backs that do not give the energetic impression of the box artwork. Much the same goes for the infantry, although as part of a firing line they would have little scope to show much energy anyway. The gun clearly lacks any crew, although several other sets do have those, so this set tries to cover far too wide a subject. The incorrect aspects of the infantry mean that most of the material unique to this set is of limited use, so this is a disappointing product all round.