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Revell

Set 02573

Austrian Dragoons

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1992
Contents 15 figures and 15 horses
Poses 8 poses, 7 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours White
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

During the period sometimes referred to as the Lace Wars, Austrian cavalry consisted of cuirassiers, dragoons and hussars (and later chevauxlegers). By tradition the cavalry had been strong to meet the threat from Turkey, although its performance during the Seven Years War was mixed.

Revell started its range for this conflict with the Prussian Infantry and this set of Austrian cavalry, and thankfully this proved to be a much better effort than the first Prussians. Eight poses is a good number for a cavalry set, although several are taken up by speciality figures. The drum is one of several features which betrayed the dragoon's history as mounted infantry, and while it seems large it is sculpted in the correct size. The standard bearer has a flag that is only engraved on one side, and the design is of the Imperial eagle rather than the illustration provided on the box. The rest of the men are in the usual sword-waving poses, and one man is using his carbine from the saddle - luckily Revell have provided a standing horse for him.

All the figures are correctly uniformed for the Seven Years War, though dragoon dress did tend to vary between units at this date anyway. One feature of dragoons, the aiguillette on the right shoulder, is present and correct, though the shoulder strap on top of the left shoulder seems to be at odds with some pictures where it is well down the back of the shoulder. The drummer has been given swallows nest wings, which is correct, and all have the long queue. It is a small point, but most 'German' cavalry wore a moustache, so we would have preferred these figures to have them too. However the regiment depicted on the box art, the Regiment de Ligne, were famously clean-shaved at the battle of Kolin and thereafter.

Such a large number of horse poses is unusual for most manufacturers, but is warmly received as it allows a much more diverse and realistic scene. However in this case we were not convinced by one or two of the gaits, although all the animals are well proportioned. Their saddle, harness etc. is also correctly done, including the pistol holsters, so it is a little disappointing that none of the figures is actually using a pistol. The men fit the horses very well, which is always a sign of good quality.

Style-wise we liked these much better than the Prussian Infantry, but they seem a little thin. Their heads in particular are pretty small, which is very unusual for this scale, though this is nothing too serious. There is a noticeable amount of flash, but again nothing disastrous. Detail is excellent, with all the many buttons on the coat and buckles on the belt showing clearly. With the dragoons of most nations being dressed in a very similar fashion, these figures could easily serve in almost any army of the time. A most useful set of eighteenth century cavalry which has been pretty well done, though it is a shame that Revell never made cuirassiers or hussars to match.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 9
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"The Austrian Army 1740-80: 1 Cavalry" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.271) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9781855324152
"The History of Cavalry" - Facts on File - Z Grbasic and V Vuksic - 9780816021871
"The Lace Wars Part 2" - Ward Lock - Liliane and Fred Funcken - 9780706355666
"Uniforms of the Seven Years War 1756-63" - Blandford (Colour Series) - John Mollo - 9780713708226

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