After the problems of the Silesian Wars, Austria had devoted great energy to reforming her artillery. As a result, by the outbreak of the Seven Years War she had undeniably the finest artillery arm in Europe, with modern standardised equipment and well trained professional gunners. It performed admirably during the war, and became the model for other nations in the following years.
By the time Revell released this set they had established a reputation for making excellent artillery sets, and this was to be no exception. Compared to some sets that provide four or six poses, the 15 on offer here seems positively excessive, yet every one is perfectly valid and useful. With such a large number of poses, virtually every feature of serving the guns has been depicted, from heaving the guns into position to lighting the powder. Several are simply standing, which of course happened a great deal as others performed their tasks, or while the order to fire was awaited. In general officers would be mounted, which is not the case in this set, although with such a wealth of poses on offer it seems harsh to complain about this.
These men are 'German' artillery, the other kind being Netherlands, which was distinguished by red lapels on the coat. Their uniform has been correctly sculpted in all respects, including the pouch on the front of the belt and the tall boots. Equipment too is well done, with the matchcase for those with a match and so on.
The majority of Austrian artillery pieces during the Seven Years War were 3-pounders, and three such pieces are included in this set. They feature the drag rings each side of the barrel to allow the gun to be pulled forward, and are generally a very good model with authentic detail.
Finally the set includes a four-horse team with drivers. Each horse is different - a luxury which obviously makes the model more realistic but one rarely delivered by manufacturers. The harnessing, while inevitably still somewhat simplified, is nonetheless better than most artillery sets, and the two drivers, who are again different from each other, carry full whips and complete the model. Although we have painted our drivers in the normal artillery uniform, it should be noted that such drivers were generally contracted civilians and so not uniformed at all. The limber is of the M1753 model, which was double-draft (i.e. the horse team was in pairs), which is correct for the Seven Years War period.
The standard of sculpting is excellent - on a par with that of the corresponding infantry and cavalry sets, with realistic stances and clothing. We found more than average amounts of flash, but where parts needed to fit together they did so without difficulty. Recruits for the artillery had to be at least 171cm tall, thanks to the hard physical nature of their work, so although these figures are a bit too tall the difference is not so great,
Once again Revell delivered a high quality artillery set, with flawless accuracy, a generous range of poses and great sculpting. It is a great shame that this was also the last set for this period, particularly as Prussian artillery was noticeably different and should have warranted a set of its own.