This is one of the small number of Napoleonic game pieces designed for the Art of Tactic system, and in total we have a cannon and six crew figures, representing Russian artillery. Anyone familiar with the Zvezda range might find this set familiar because many of the figures are almost the same as poses in the excellent Russian Guard Heavy Artillery set. Not that there is anything wrong with that - those poses were great and so are these, but this time every figure is posed to be active at the same time, as can be seen when the whole model is put together like this. Now the somewhat odd-looking poses pictured above make sense as we see two men manhandling the gun by the wheels whilst a third aims down the barrel and an officer directs. Another gunner waits to swap out the barrel while a sixth man is ready with a fresh cartridge. It is a great little scene and very naturally posed.
Some of the poses are achieved by having multiple parts to the figure, which helps to make sure they are perfectly natural yet have no unwanted plastic. All the pieces are perfectly engineered to fit well without the need for glue, and the results are stunning. The same quality goes for the gun, which has more parts than most sets to ensure you get a top quality model with loads more detail. The gun barrel is about 22mm in length, which at a scaled up length of 1.6 metres makes this probably a six-pounder.
Attention to detail extends to the uniforms, which are all correct with the curved top shako and all its ornaments introduced from 1812. So with perfect accuracy, superb sculpting and faultless poses, you would think this product had everything going for it, and in many ways it does. However it should be noted that the large base shown in our completed model is the only one provided - there are no individual bases for each man - so that limits their use for more general modelling and wargaming. Also, since this product repeats some but not all of the contents of the aforementioned Guard Artillery set, we have to ask what was the point repeating that exercise but on a smaller, more expensive scale? This set offers nothing new, and you will get better value for money and equal quality from the large set, but this still remains an excellent little model that we enjoyed putting together.