In theory the Imperial Guard was just that, a guard for the Emperor, but in practice his immediate guard was provided by the Chasseurs. However this did not stop them from taking an active part in many battles, and they enjoyed an excellent reputation throughout the army.
Revell have made a fine job of the poses for this elite unit, with a good mix that includes some that are particularly fitting for their special role. When in the field the chasseurs accompanied the Emperor, and formed a cordon around him whenever he stopped. Several pictures show these men sitting on horse with either sabre drawn or musket rested on the thigh, and both poses are included here. The usual charging poses include one of those difficult ones where the sword is held in front of the man, and there is also a trooper using his pistol. The animation achieved by the sculptor is excellent, with some very realistic and three-dimensional figures.
Though they were chasseurs, these men were uniformed as hussars from 1800. Initially this included the pelisse, but many became damaged and were often missing after about 1805, and were withdrawn completely in 1809. However the other aspects of the uniform remained fairly constant throughout the Empire period, so these figures are correctly uniformed for almost the whole period as none of the troopers wears a pelisse. The uniform, which is that worn on campaign, is correct in all respects and all the fine detail, particularly on the dolman, has been well done. The officer alone wears a pelisse, and while this would have been unusual even for officers during the later period it is easy to imagine some retaining them as a symbol of their rank, even having them repaired with their own funds.
The inclusion of a dismounted figure is unusual for cavalry sets, and is much to be applauded. In this instance the figure is clearly standing guard, and in theory could be used as a sentry for the Emperor, although if he were then he would have the decorations on his colback which were always worn when in Napoleon's presence. He is dressed like his mounted comrades, so his horse is probably not far away.
The figures carry the curved light cavalry sabre, and all the troopers are also armed with a musket - a firearm for which several types were issued. The troopers would also have been issued with a pistol, but apart from the man using his, this is hidden under the saddlecloth.
There are a generous six horse poses in this set, with all bar one having the correct furniture and fittings for the chasseurs. The rearing horse is clearly that of the officer, and wears a leopard skin saddlecloth commonly used by officers, although this was usually full-dress only. All the horse poses seem natural, and the inclusion of a standing pose is particularly important as it permits the mounted sentry pose.
This is yet another top quality set from Revell, with no accuracy or mould problems, just well sculpted and realistic-looking figures and horses.