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HaT

Set 8251

French Light Infantry Chasseurs (Action)

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2010
Contents 32 figures
Poses 4 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Blue
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

A typical French light infantry regiment from 1808 consisted of four bataillons de guerre, each of which usually had six companies - one of carabiniers, one of voltigeurs and four of chasseurs. The chasseurs were like the fusiliers in the line infantry - the most common element and rated below the elite carabiniers and voltigeurs. In practice the differences in deployment were thoroughly blurred, but HaT have made a splendid job of depicting each of these light infantry types, and this set forms one of their sets of chasseurs.

This 'action' set only has four poses, and the word 'action' is not really the first word that springs to mind. What we have is a man firing, another loading, one advancing and one standing with bayonet at the ready. There is a good argument for saying this covers all the basics, since as light infantry these men would generally move forward in skirmish order, fire and reload in pairs so each man is always covering the other, and then retire when the main infantry formations advance on each other, or the order to withdraw is given. But that does nothing to add any excitement or interest here. Now for some, gamers in particular, that may not matter, but we would have liked to have seen more of interest here. Still all the poses are fine in terms of authenticity, and as we say all the basics are covered. For other figures that might go with these poses see the complementary command set.

All these figures have the classic shako which was introduced from 1806, and the habit-veste that only began to be replaced after 1812, so these figures are appropriate for these six years. Everything about their uniform is correct, and has been very nicely done. The plumes and diamond plate are at the front of the shako, the habit-veste is fine and they wear breeches tucked into gaiters shaped to resemble hussar boots. There is nothing here to suggest any compromises for campaigning, so no trousers, shako covers and so on - everything is as per regulation (although there were many regimental variations). From 1808 these men were banned from wearing sabres, but this order was widely ignored, and everyone here has one, in a dual frog along with their bayonet.

Sculpting is very good indeed, with good clear detail and no flash. Every man has a peg on his back onto which the separate pack must be attached, and this join is so well done that it stays without gluing (although gluing is still recommended).

The splitting of this subject across three sets allows the customer to buy what they need without having lots of figures that they do not. It does mean you have to buy three sets to get all the poses, but we are in favour of this approach and think most will like having the choice.

While a few more poses would have added some interest to this set it does enough to cover the very limited target set by its name, and with no accuracy problems and a very high standard of production it is a good quality product. Taken as a part of the whole range of light infantry produced by HaT it is a very creditable component of a comprehensive coverage of this particular subject.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon's Army" - Brassey - René Chartrand - 9781857531831
"Napoleon's Light Infantry" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.146) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780850455212

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