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HaT

Set 8042

French Light Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2001
Contents 48 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Blue
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Although the role of light infantry was meant to be considerably different from that of the line infantry, in practice the French light infantry were little different from their line comrades, except in some details of uniform. However the light infantry were senior to the line, and considered themselves superior as a result. This made them more inclined to modify or even ignore decrees from above which they disliked.

The poses in this set are a fairly standard bunch, with the usual advancing and firing poses, though there is no marching pose. The third figure in the second row is moving forward and holding his musket in an unusual way, almost as if on the march, though the musket would be on the other side if this were so. The last figure on the same row is a sergeant, and he is carrying the fanion, which was a company marker flag, fitted onto his musket.

The uniform is that introduced in 1812 for all infantry and issued over the following months. The 1812 habit-veste is worn by all, as are campaign trousers. However this unit has chosen to ignore the order to remove one of the crossbelts, and still retain their old pattern with sabre and bayonet briquet, a common feature. Equally, they all have fringed epaulettes in the old style. Given the increased propensity of these troops to disregard changes in uniform which they did not like, these figures are a fair reflection of the light infantry of the late 1812 to 1815 period.

The overall standard of sculpting is quite good, with the usual attention to detail on well-proportioned figures. Flash is not much of a problem, though there are a number of extra 'tabs', which need trimming off. However there are some unpleasant problems in certain areas, most notably the faces. Many of the figures with their face in profile, i.e. side on to the mould, have the right side quite well done but the left is much poorer. This may well be to do with the position on the mould, but this does not excuse the small misalignment of the mould in some cases - most notable on the faces. The figure standing and firing is an exception, with a normal left side of his face but a very ugly blob on the right. One final problem with these profile figures is that the shako peak is flattened, virtually touching the nose, or simply missing. One man is missing half the fringe on his epaulette, and we felt the fanion droops very unconvincingly.

Though the last paragraph sounds bad, all these problems are relatively small, and only a close inspection is likely to reveal them. Otherwise this is a fair set which once again provides a large number of troops present in the last years of the Napoleonic wars. In addition, as HaT point out, these figures can also serve in the ranks of several of the German armies that were allied to Napoleon.

Ratings

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

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