As in most armies, the Royal Artillery of the British army was a highly trained and better educated branch of service, and both officers and men were proud of their technical expertise and the fact that commissions could not be purchased. This meant that the artillery could not expand at the same rate as in some other armies during the Napoleonic crisis, and so remained relatively small for several years.
Like most 1/72 scale figures from this company, those in this set are scaled down from their 1/32 scale range. A set consists of four guns, each with a crew of four, which is much the same as the Esci British Artillery set, but much less comprehensive than the Revell version. A gun could be said to have five principal crewmen plus a number of other gunners for duties such as manhandling, so four is not an accurate reflection of the required crew. The poses here do not even reflect the principal actions for serving a piece, however they are all quite reasonable, and we particularly liked the man carrying the bucket, who really looks like he is carrying a heavy load.
These men wear the Belgic shako, which makes them suitable for the 1812 to 1815 period. They correctly wear the same uniform as the infantry (only the colour of the coat was different), and the firer also has the pickers on his crossbelt. They do not wear packs, but all other equipment is being worn, so we see the haversack and water canteen, as well as the cartridge pouch, powder horn and bayonet.
The gun is a pretty good model with a fair amount of detail, and simple to put together. This is claimed to be a 9-pounder, though we felt the barrel was a little short for such a calibre. The wheels are noticeably dished, i.e. are splayed out toward the top by having them at a slight angle on the axle. This was done to make the wheels stronger and less prone to damage, but such a feature is rarely seen on models such as this. We found the axles a little too long, causing the wheels to be further apart than they should be. However this is easily remedied by shortening the axle slightly.
Compared to the Revell set, this set does not offer much. However it does include more guns than its rival, and for some wargamers four crew is more than adequate for their needs, while limbers are not necessary. Those items that are included in this set are well done, with great sculpting and detail, and not excessive amounts of flash. It is a pity that one crewman is carrying shells with no propellant and no wooden shoe, or sabot, but overall accuracy is good. A limited set but a good quality one that looks really appealing.