In 1808 Prussian army uniforms underwent some considerable changes. Greatly influenced by those of the Russian army, the new uniforms had to be inexpensive and practical, and in many ways were superior to what had gone before.
The figures in this set are of the line infantry wearing the new uniform. With only minor changes this appearance lasted until 1814, when more fundamental alterations were made, but many units had yet to receive the new uniform by the battles of Ligny and Waterloo at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The shakos and double-breasted tunics are strongly reminiscent of the Russian style, as is the habit of wearing the greatcoat 'en bandlier' as seen here. The men wear gaiters to below the knee, a pack with canteen attached and a bread bag. All this is correct for these troops for the later period while on campaign, and all has been well sculpted except for the shako. This has an oilskin cover, which is perfectly correct, but the basically cylindrical shape of the shako has been greatly distorted with a dramatically raised front sloping steeply down to the rear. A pompom at the front of the shako would have caused a slightly raised front, but nothing like that shown here.
The dismounted officer has a coat with longer tails, and is waving his épée. He has trousers with buttons right down the seam, and, unusually for the time, he has a knapsack, an item officers were required to wear from 1809. His senior mounted comrade has a similar coat but has chosen to wear a cap, though still with an oilskin cover. The drummer has a good sized drum, and has the swallow's nest wings and apron appropriate to his function. The NCO correctly carries his musket on the right side while the men carry theirs on the left.
Though Revell have again provided less than the standard 15 poses of many other sets, those that are here are pretty good. The running man is dramatic but perhaps a little over the top, though this is a minor point. Many will be pleased to see that officers, drummers and flag-bearers have been included, so the whole set is well balanced, and offers all the poses a wargamer is likely to need.
The sculpting is excellent, with good detail and an overall natural feel. They are a little slimmer than the figures from other manufacturers, notably the Hat Reserve Infantry, Jäger and Lutzow Freikorps sets, and their ultra thin bases mean they appear a little shorter, though in fact they are a typical size. We were pleased to see the flag-bearer carries a plain banner which can be painted as required or even substituted with a preprinted paper one, though both the flag and stave are of the correct dimensions. Our review samples had little flash, but beware, for we have seen some examples that have enormous amounts of flash - check before you buy if possible.
This is a very nice set which almost perfectly captures the (regulation) look of Prussia's main infantry regiments as they participated in the wars from 1813, and with so many French and British Waterloo sets having been available for considerably longer, this was a welcome set that was long overdue.