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Strelets

Set M010

French Guard Chasseurs in Winter Dress

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2007
Contents 48 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Blue
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, or at least the Old Guard, is often thought of as all being Grenadiers, but that is far from the case. Along with the Grenadiers there were several regiments of Chasseurs, and these forged as impressive a reputation as any others, serving in many campaigns including that in Russia in 1812 and the Waterloo campaign in 1815 – the two campaigns that seem to be the focus of this set.

Chasseurs and Grenadiers had very similar uniforms, with many of the differences being in colour or obscured on these figures as they are all wearing greatcoats. The only visible difference here is on the bearskins, which are correctly shown without a plate on the front or a patch on the top. All these men have full decoration on their caps, despite this often being removed before battle, which includes the tassels at the top. As chasseurs there should be two of these, but it is difficult to see if that is true here. Moving down the figure we are happy to report all the men have moustaches, as they should, but the coat presents some difficulties. This should be double-breasted, but while it is impossible to tell what style is used on many of the poses the rest clearly seem to have single-breasted examples. As is quite appropriate for the retreat from Russia, the coats display many tears and patches and are clearly in a poor state, suggesting some may have been acquired from other sources and not part of the regulation issue. To underline this ramshackle appearance one man has even acquired cavalry boots.

The box says the figures are intended to form a square, which means that we have a narrow range of poses. This naturally limits the uses for the figures, but as a group of men forming a rough square to defend themselves against Cossacks or Allied cavalry the poses work well enough.

It must be said these are not attractive figures. The familiar chunky style is apparent, particularly in the short fat scabbards, thick muskets and hat plumes, which are much too short. The figures are as detailed as they need to be, and the wear and tear of the clothing is nicely done, but areas such as many of the faces are really quite unattractive. Flash is at an absolute minimum however so the technical production values are very good.

The minimum height requirement, while not always rigorously observed anyway, was lower for Chasseurs than Grenadiers, and these figures are well sized as a result. However their style does not sit well with the various sets of Grenadiers already produced by other companies. Our reservations about accuracy can perhaps be explained away as non-regulation clothing in very difficult circumstances, but that plus the small range of poses will come as a disappointment to those wanting a full set of Chasseurs à Pied for Napoleon’s more successful military adventures.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 6
Mould 9

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