As one of their first wave of brand new sets, Waterloo 1815 chose to add to the considerable number of models appropriate for the battle of Waterloo with this set of Dutch Belgian Artillery. This is the latest is a line of sets which recognise the considerable part played by the Dutch and Belgians in that momentous campaign.
The makeup of this set is similar to the Esci artillery sets in that it contains four guns and a small crew for each, and there is no team, limber etc. The differences are that this set provides five figures per gun, and there is no choice of calibres for the guns. However, since nearly all the Netherlands artillery at Waterloo had 6-pounders this is of no consequence. The crew follow the Esci pattern with an officer (happily NOT holding a telescope), man with ramrod, man with match and man carrying a roundshot, plus a fifth man using a handspike. All the poses are pretty good and appropriate.
The set is of Foot Artillery, and we can say this because the men have ordinary shoulder straps rather than rolled wings on the shoulder, and their shako has a round badge rather than crossed gun barrels - both distinctions of the horse artillery. All wear the uniform worn for the first part of 1815, for although a new shako was issued in that year, it was not until after Waterloo, so these figures are accurate for that battle apart from the fact that the plume was not worn on campaign (but can easily be trimmed off). Their uniform, which was relatively simple for the time, is correctly portrayed in all other respects. It was much the same as that of the infantry, with a single-breasted coatee and trousers over gaiters and shoes. The shako was the infantry pattern, being Austrian in design with peaks front and rear. All except the officer are carrying full packs, which is a bit much when serving guns, so this look is probably more regulation than when actually in action.
The gun carriage is very nicely detailed, but the design is far from accurate. For the Waterloo campaign the Dutch used French Gribeauval guns, but the carriage in this set has a single trail, in the style of the British (a style not considered by the Dutch until 1819). Worse still is the carriage is almost flat, which would surely have been inadequate to withstand the punishment it would get during normal use. The front is pointed, which is also wrong, and although there are two sets of sockets for the gun barrel - one for travelling and one for firing - they are very close together, a style for which we can find no evidence. In short, the gun carriage is of no use to anyone, Dutch or otherwise.
The figures are very reasonably sculpted with good accurate detail and no flash. However the gun should be substituted by a French gun from another set, which obviously counts against this set as a whole. Still, so long as you are prepared to buy those extra guns, the figures are quite usable and do at least boost the very small number of sets depicting Napoleonic troops from the Netherlands.