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HYTTY

Set 2001

Napoleonic Polish Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released Unknown
Contents 44 figures
Poses 22 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

The set is subtitled 'After the Battle, 1807 - 1814', by which it means there are no combat poses here. Instead there are 22 poses which include a wide range of figures doing many different things. Immediately after a battle the wounded would be a major concern, and there are two wounded men here. One appears to be assisted by a grenadier (second row above), though there is no satisfactory way that these two figures can actually be put together. There are several officers and men walking or standing, and one man wearing a greatcoat is waving his czapka on the end of his musket, presumably in celebration. Another man is carrying a (very small) eagle, and there is a seated vivandière pouring a drink into a mug, which is a very nice piece. We could not decide what the man holding his musket over his head is doing. Since this is after the battle, perhaps he is being punished for desertion or cowardice.

For no apparent reason there are also six band poses included in this set. As well as the bandmaster there are men playing the clarinet, piccolo, cymbals, horn and bass drum. Poses with complex shapes like musical instruments are always very difficult to achieve, and some compromises have been made here. The clarinet is being held to the side as are the cymbals, and the drum, which fits onto the figure via a peg on his chest, is not wide enough and is well off centre. Having said that however, this is a fair effort and the figures don't look too bad. Bands mostly only played on ceremonial occasions, and acted as ammunition carriers and stretcher-bearers during a battle. However this band is missing bassoons, trumpets, trombones, serpents, side drums and a jingling johnnie. What is worse, the sculptor has failed to take account of the drum when sculpting the drummer, so that with his drum attached he is front-heavy and cannot be persuaded to stand up on his inadequate base.

On the subject of uniform all these figures seem to be properly attired. The infantry wear the kurtka and czapka which makes them so clearly Polish, and varying degrees of kit, which seems authentic. The Grenadier and his officer both wear the bearskin and sabre. The band wear long-tailed coats and bicorns with long plumes. As might be expected, the bandmaster has a more flamboyant uniform, but these men would be appropriate for several armies during the Napoleonic Wars.

The amount of detail is very mixed. The band are nicely done, but the musket of the man waving his hat in the air bears no resemblance to a firearm at all. The sculpting is not particularly sharp, though most of the figures are properly proportioned. The man carrying his musket under his arm has actually got the weapon through his stomach rather than to the side. It looks OK from the angle shown above, but bizarre from the front. Also the infantry drummer has his drum slung around his knee, an acutely uncomfortable position that would mean he could not walk and use the drum at the same time. A small number of the figures are semi flat, which suggests either a different sculptor or some problem during the mould-making process. The flag-bearer is the worst example of this. As usual with HYTTY there is a considerable amount of flash, and a lot of trimming is required to rescue the figures. In our review set some of the figures were done in a semi clear plastic, which made detail impossible to see. We have painted these light grey to make them clearer.

The choice of a non-combat role for these figures will limit their appeal in some quarters, though their mediocre or worse standard of sculpting is more likely to deter some from purchasing this set. Figures like the band and the vivandière are perhaps the highlights in a mixed set which overall disappoints more than it delights.

Update: As is so often the case with this sort of manufacturer, contents can vary. We have had reports of boxes containing different quantities of the poses, and sometimes coming in a wide variety of different colours, all in the same box, but obviously off sprue. Like LW and the others, be prepared for the unexpected!


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 5
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 4
Mould 3

Further Reading
Books
"Borodino: The Moskova" - Histoire & Collections - Francois-Guy Hourtoulle - 9782908182965
"Jena, Auerstaedt" - Histoire & Collections - Francois-Guy Hourtoulle - 9782908182767
"Military Uniforms of the World" - Blandford - Preban Kannik - 9780713704822
"Napoleonic Uniforms Vol.4" - Emperor's Press - John R Elting - 9781883476205
"Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon's Army" - Brassey - René Chartrand - 9781857531831
"Napoleon's Polish Troops" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.45) - Otto von Pivka - 9780850451986
"The Napoleonic Source Book" - Guild - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780853689690
"Uniforms of the Retreat from Moscow" - Blandford (Colour Series) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780713707885

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