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Set 53

German Cavalry 1914

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2003
Contents 6 figures and 5 horses
Poses 6 poses, 3 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Silver, Red
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


At the start of the Great War Germany had 110 cavalry regiments, but as the war progressed most found themselves surrendering their horses to the artillery and becoming little more than infantry as there were few opportunities for cavalry to play a decisive role. The regiments were split into the traditional types - cuirassiers, dragoons, etc. - but the uniform was by now quite similar for all, though each retained some distinctive feature.

Two of the four mounted poses are just sitting and doing little, one is holding a rifle and one is wielding a sword. Clearly the cavalry rarely found themselves able to get to grips with the enemy and use their swords, and indeed spent much time waiting behind the lines for the breakthrough that the infantry and artillery was supposed to achieve, so this is a reasonable choice of poses. The dismounted man is perhaps representative of the fate of most cavalry, though right from the start certain regiments, particularly dragoons, would ride to the action but dismount to fight. The dead man and horse are a necessary reminder of the fate of so many men and animals in that conflict.

The men wear basic infantry uniform, including the Pickelhaube, and riding boots. Some types of cavalry such as the hussars and uhlans wore distinctive headgear or tunics which made them easy to identify, but none of these do, suggesting they are dragoons or similar (the last figure in our first row looks to have a longer rear brim to his helmet, suggesting he is a cuirassier). Subtle variations such as the fact that some have standing collars and some falling ones suggest these are generic German cavalry, and as such are perfectly useful. One man wears the field cap, which was common enough both out of the line and in it, since the Pickelhaube offered no more protection. The two men with weapons wear the correct webbing and ammunition pouches (smaller ones for the cavalry), as does the dismounted man.

LW sets have not generally been of high sculpting quality, but although this one will not set any new standards it is at least an improvement on previous efforts, which is always good to see. The detail is reasonable and there is very little flash, though on one of the horse poses there is a huge area of extra plastic to be removed from behind the sabre. There are still some rather chunky elements, and these are certainly not elegant, but they are reasonable. The main problem is, as usual, the fit of the men on the horses. From the scans it is apparent that one man has a much wider space between his legs, and this is the only figure who sits comfortably on a horse. The rest require a fair amount of trimming and gluing to make it happen.

Once again LW chose a subject which had been overlooked when this was released, and bit by bit they seemed to be improving their output at this stage. This is a decent effort which produces some quite usable figures.


Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 5
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 6
Mould 5

Further Reading
"The First World War Part 2" - Ward Lock (Arms and Uniforms) - Liliane and Fred Funcken - 9780706318845
"The German Army 1914-18" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.80) - D Fosten & R Marrion - 9780850452839
"The German Army in World War 1 (1)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.394) - Nigel Thomas - 9781841765655
"World War One German Army" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Stephen Bull - 9781857532715
"Uniformes (French Language)" - No.243
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