At the end of the Battle of Waterloo the Anglo-Allied army was exhausted. A difficult night before the battle, along with some hurried deployments in the preceding days, meant many men were not at their best at the start of the day, and although the battle only started late in the morning, it went on all day. By the time the French retreated from the field few in the Allied army were capable of chasing them, so the Prussians had that honour, while the allies attended to their wounded and surveyed the carnage all around them.
This somewhat eclectic selection of figures begins with a British pioneer wielding a felling axe. Each battalion had 10 such men plus a corporal or sergeant in charge, and this man wears regulation uniform and equipment. His clothing is the same as for the rest of the infantry, and he also wears an apron. He has laid aside his weapon, but carries a billhook as well as the axe. However his fur cap is a problem because this was only ever worn in full dress during home service, and was not even taken on campaign, so is wrong for Waterloo, where the normal shako was worn. Replacing the head with something more appropriate would be difficult thanks to the full beard which he correctly sports. Some Victorian artists had a preference for showing battle scenes with soldiers in full dress, which admittedly looks good, as does this figure, and his pose is quite energetic too, so it’s a nice piece.
Next we have a highlander, sitting on a small log and holding his head in his hands. He has taken off all items of kit and belts. The pose could be interpreted in any number of ways, but it is certainly unusual.
The third piece shows a British officer, presumably wounded, being cradled by an infantryman. Here again the infantryman has removed all kit and belts, which would seem fairly unlikely in battle and quite surprising after it too. Perhaps he is a drummer, where this would be easier, although his jacket and epaulettes do not indicate a musician. The officer wears a laced coat and trousers rather than breeches, and there is no other adornment visible. As a piece this would have been perfectly reasonable, but Linear-A went and rather spoiled the effect by claiming this depicts the death of General Picton. Although they have heard of Picton, they obviously know nothing about him, because he famously wore no uniform at Waterloo. Indeed he often went without proper uniform during his service in the Peninsular War, and on the evening before Waterloo he was described by one British officer as “…dressed in a shabby old grey greatcoat and rusty round hat.” At the time of his death in action he probably wore a frock coat, but certainly did not look like the figure here.
Finally we have a horse, which the box tells us is in its death throes. Obviously any Napoleonic battle had very large numbers of horse casualties, yet very few such models have so far been made in this hobby, so this is a particularly useful piece. The bridle tells us that it belongs to a light cavalry regiment, but it has an enormous sheepskin that is almost as large as a shabraque, which is not accurate for British cavalry.
The sculpting is pretty good, with everything being quite nicely detailed. The open hand of the wounded officer has not come out well however, but otherwise this is very presentable. There is some flash along the seams, and a small amount of extra plastic between the arms of the pioneer, which is unavoidable as the pose is a tricky one to do well.
To our mind the downed horse is the best thing about this set. With little or no alteration it could be used in many different situations, and in an age with vast numbers of horses involved in all forms of military and civilian life, the high toll of such animals used by the military should not be forgotten, even when there is no battle. The highlander is accurate and highly unusual as a pose, but unfortunately the pioneer has very limited use wearing that cap, and the downed officer is useful so long as you ignore the description on the box. Another very unorthodox collection of figures from Linear-A, and while it has many accuracy errors, the unusual poses should appeal to a large number of modellers.