This is our third and presumably last review of the HaT Seven Years War Prussian Infantry sets, and this time attention is turned to the speciality figures that are often over-represented in standard figure sets; officers, musicians and flag-bearers.
The quality of the sculpting and of the mould is exactly the same as the other sets in this line, so to avoid repeating ourselves we refer the reader to our comments on the ’action’ set , which also describes the three types of hat choices this set provides.
We begin our look at this command set with the musicians. The set includes both a drummer and a fifer, which is great, and both are accurately done in terms of uniform and instruments. The drummer has an apron, and the drum is a separate piece which must be glued in place. He also has the swallows nest epaulettes on the shoulders, as he should, and has lace decoration on both sleeves in the form of chevrons. This is fine, and one of several possible legitimate forms of decoration. The fifer also correctly has the swallows nest epaulettes, but his sleeves are plain. This is perfectly common as not all musicians had extra decoration here, although we would usually have expected men within the same regiment to have had similar levels of decoration, whatever that was.
The third man in the top row is carrying the standard, or rather the staff for the standard as the flag itself is not supplied. This may annoy some, but many simply provide their own paper versions anyway, so we have no problem with this approach. He too is correctly attired, with the same uniform but not all the considerable burden of equipment the ordinary infantryman would carry. This man, who would be an NCO and known as a Freikorporal, is simply armed with a sword and carries a staff with a good finial on the end and some nice cords too, while his pose, which requires some assembly, is also very good. Notice that we have chosen a hat for this man, and while we could have chosen the fusilier cap too, the grenadier mitre cap would not have been correct as grenadier companies did not carry colours.
The next man is an NCO. He has basically the same uniform and kit as the ordinary men but lacks a cartridge pouch (as he has no firearm) and carries a cane as a mark of his rank. He is correctly holding a half-pike, which was more a symbol of authority and a tool for keeping the ranks in order than a weapon of war, and again we liked this figure.
Now we come to the officers proper, starting with the dismounted one at the end of the top row. As might be expected he wears a better quality coat than the men, without turnbacks and without any kit apart from his sword. The sash that is tied around his waist and knotted to the left side is another sign of his rank, as is the spontoon that he carries, although we would have preferred that he also had a gorget, which was a common feature. Like the NCO’s half-pike the spontoon is a separate piece that must be glued in place. Again a simple figure but well done and effective. As all officers wore hats even if their men were fusiliers or grenadiers this figure is moulded with a hat rather than having an option.
Finally we come to the mounted officer in the second row, who is dressed and equipped in the same manner as his colleague (although he does seem to have a gorget) but of course does not carry a polearm, so instead he was drawn his sword. In fact he has a choice of arms - either with the sword resting on the shoulder, as shown above, or held vertically as if on parade. Another simple but appealing figure who sits easily on his properly-equipped and well-posed mount, and unlike the lower ranks both he and the other officer are clean-shaven, as they should be.
All these three sets of Prussian Infantry are made in quite a soft plastic, which is not our favourite material, but we found that it was not particularly good at adhering to ordinary polystyrene cement, so we would recommend a stronger cyanoacrylate glue. However once trimming and joining the various pieces is complete this set provides some very attractive figures in undramatic but thoroughly sensible poses that are entirely accurate in detail (if somewhat too large) and should look great next to the ranks of ordinary soldiers going into battle.