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Italeri

Set 6044

British Light Cavalry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2004
Contents 17 figures and 17 horses
Poses 9 poses, 5 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

Apart from Loyalist cavalry the only mounted troops used by the British in their American colonies (apart from mounted infantry) were the 16th and 17th Light Dragoons. These two regiments had very similar uniforms, so for the most part these figures could be used for either (although it is possible the 16th may have worn Tarleton helmets). However there were differences other than in colour, with the main ones being the badge on the helmet and the fact that the 16th wore their cartridge boxes on a belt over the right shoulder while the 17th wore theirs on the front of their waist belt. With all these figures clearly showing the famous death's head (skull and crossbones) 'Death of Glory' design on their helmets, these are certainly representing the 17th, which is as well as it stayed on in America longer than the 16th.

This is a typical offering from Italeri - beautiful figures with good detail but some incomprehensible errors in accuracy. The basic uniform of these men is fine, but the sculptor has given the majority of the figures gorgets, an international sign of an officer. The officer figure in this set is the man firing his pistol, which means that there are three officers here, a surprisingly high number. Since so many men have gorgets, the officer is only discernible by his sash (which is tied on the left when it should be tied on the right). The other problem with the men is the sword. Here it is 9.5 mm long (68 cms), whereas the real thing measured 94 cms, an enormous difference.

The usual generous number of poses are a fair array, but it is noticeable that more men than usual are looking to either left or right. This is because the complex helmet is hard to sculpt head on, so wherever possible it has been done in profile. As a result most of the figures look like they are involved in a close-quarter fight rather than a charge. A classic Italeri pose makes an appearance here, with the figure holding his sword in front, as in a charge. This is always a difficult figure to create, given the two-piece mould, and the result must be a compromise. In this case the main problem is the figure leans back in the saddle - hardly appropriate in our view. The trumpeter/hornist is very nice, and perfectly correct for this unit (although the instrument is rather small), and the standard-bearer has a nicely detailed standard. However dragoons did not carry standards - they carried guidons, which were a completely different shape and design - so one will need to be substituted here. Finally we have a rarity amongst cavalry sets - a wounded man. He is been very well done, and has his helmet and sword lying by his side, although he seems to have lost his scabbard (which is convenient for the sculptor). Dismounted and wounded cavalry are far too rare in our opinion, so it is refreshing to see such a figure included here. Initial reaction from the buying public seems to suggest that such figures are also very popular.

The four main horse poses on offer are fairly standard, but include one that really gives the impression of great speed. However we would have liked to have seen a small number of standing horses, as these men would spend most of their time on reconnaissance duties rather than engaged in charges. The downed horse is superb, and again such animals are incredibly rare in cavalry sets, despite this being a perfectly common situation. However some homework has been left undone here as the housings on the horses are not correct. These had rounded corners, not the points sculpted here, and the tassels should only be for the officers rather than on every animal. Also they should all have a brace of pistols - as it is one horse has two holsters (one of which is empty), and the rest have none. Even the holsters provided are not correct as they should be under cover rather than exposed.

As so often we have complaints about accuracy with this set, but overall this is a really nice piece of work. A few of the figures have a little flash, but most are clean. Needless to say detail is excellently realised, and the proportions are fine if you overlook the usual large Italeri heads. Each man should have a carbine, sword, two pistols and a hatchet, but some only have a sword. The poor accuracy features, particularly with the horses, are a disappointing aspect, especially as there can be no excuse for it. Yet on the other hand some imagination has been shown, particularly with the wounded man and the downed horse. Once again we have a fairly good product that could have been great with just a little more care.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 6
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

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