When Frederick II, later styled 'the Great', came to the Prussian throne, the army had very few light cavalry. During his reign their value was appreciated and their numbers expanded, with many fine hussar regiments being created, under some fine commanders like von Zieten. It is these men that are depicted in this set.
The artwork for this set shows the 5th, 'Black' or 'Death' hussars, though during the Seven Years War all Prussian hussars wore much the same uniform except the busbies of the first four regiments - differences were in small detail and in colour. Therefore these figures can represent many hussar regiments, and indeed many from other armies as others copied the Prussians as their reputation grew. The uniform with mirliton cap, pelisse and dolman is well represented here, with all the detail that makes hussar uniforms so distinctive (the plumes on the mirlitons were only introduced in 1762 - trim them off for earlier years). Strangely however none of the men have any cuffs on their dolmans, when they should have pointed examples, so this will have to be painted on instead. Some sources suggest that hussars rarely wore dolman and pelisse together when in the field, although despite this we are almost happier with the hussars as modelled here because they look so good. Most (but not all) have been provided with carbines, which are correctly held by broad belts over the left shoulder. A thinner belt over the right shoulder supported the cartridge pouch, but some of these figures have this over the left, which seems to be random. One pose shows a man using one of the pair of pistols that were issued to all ranks, so he is skirmishing, as is the man firing his carbine from the saddle. The two figures without carbines wear a rosette on the cap rather than the death head emblem, indicating that they are officers. The only quibble is extremely minor and barely worthy of mentioning. Three of the poses appear to be without a moustache, though in fact all would have had one (only the trumpeter has clean-shaven).
The sculpting is first rate (unlike the corresponding infantry set) and the poses are well animated and believable. There is plenty of action in these figures too, with both charging and more relaxed poses to ensure there is something for everyone. Charges were always conducted with swords, so the men with pistols and carbines are skirmishing, patrolling etc., which is an important aspect of this set. The man with arm wrapped round his neck might need to be careful not to behead his horse, but generally these are great poses.
There are six horse poses, with a variety of gaits including at least one that is standing still - a necessity for the men attempting to fire their firearms. All the horse furniture etc. is correctly modelled, and animation is good. Many have some flash between the legs which is the price to be paid for realistic poses for four-legged animals. The troopers correctly have a brace of pistols under the shabraque, but these do not cause this cloth to bulge at all, which looks strange as the ends of the pistols can be seen.
In sharp contrast to the Prussian Infantry set, this is an excellent set with plenty of variety, excellent craftsmanship and almost perfect accuracy. Prussian hussars did not exceed 165cm in height, so the average size of these figures is slightly higher than it should be, but this does not materially detract from a very nice set.