This set was released well after the set of Highlanders from Airfix and the half set from Esci, which at the time were the only ones depicting Highland infantry. Highland soldiers have always attracted particular interest because of the kilt, so different from the soldiers of any other nation, so it was perhaps not surprising that Italeri should have chosen these men as one of the first four figure sets they ever made. Since there had only been one and a half sets made up to that point, there was certainly a need for more of these famous soldiers.
The 15 poses in this set certainly added to those from Airfix and Esci, and includes several not previously seen at the time. These include the private standing to attention, the sergeant and the ensign, correctly modelled without the kilt. All the poses are good apart from the man advancing and holding his musket up close to his chin, which looks rather strange. Amongst the more unusual ones are the bonnet-less man with the head wound and the man apparently suffering a wound to the shoulder. This is a good selection of old favourites as well as more interesting poses like the casualties, the sergeant (our favourite) and the ensign.
Uniforms are correctly shown, and detail is sharp throughout. All the men have the detachable peak on their bonnets apart from the officer, who was not permitted this. As the title suggests, all the men are grenadiers as they have wings on their shoulders (light companies would have the same), and the sergeant with the spontoon must be a grenadier as light infantry sergeants did not carry this weapon. The sergeant correctly has a broadsword, but some of his men have no scabbard for their bayonets. Also the flag is quite a bit smaller than it should be, but as it is limp and touching the ensign in many places it would be difficult to remove and replace.
The style of the figures is a little different from other sets, with every man having a somewhat rounded quality that is very difficult to describe. This makes the figures a little less attractive than, say, the Esci ones, but they are still more than useable. The kilts have been moulded with a check engraved on them, which is probably meant to aid painting as well as suggest the tartan on unpainted figures. On balance we would have preferred the kilts left plain like the Airfix ones, but this is a very minor point and many painters will welcome this feature anyway. The bonnets are somewhat disappointing however. In reality these were drum shaped and about seven to eight centimetres deep. On top of these were 'mounted' a number of black ostrich feathers - normally about six or seven. Of course this arrangement is impossible to model perfectly, but Esci did an excellent job in trying and Italeri should had followed their example. Instead, their men have a fuzzy ball above the bonnet that is uniformly spherical and has no suggestion of being feathers - not even hanging below the top of the bonnet. Once painted black this is much less evident, and again the complaint is minor, but since Esci had already done so well there was no excuse for Italeri. Generally detail is good and very clear, and there is very little flash to be found, although later runs of this set did have more.
Even with the reservations about the sculpting this is a good set with many fine features. It has subsequently been replaced by a new Italeri set of Highlanders which is superior in many ways, but these figures are still well worth seeking out.