After the disastrous defeats of 1806/07, Prussian was forced to limit the size of its army to just 42,000 men. One way in which it got round the restrictions was to implement the 'Kruemper' system, which had first been used by Frederick the Great. This basically required men to pass through the army in rotation, staying long enough to be trained before being replaced by raw recruits. In this way, when the Wars of Liberation began in 1813, Prussia could call upon a large quantity of trained men to form a reserve infantry and substantially expand the army. Throughout the rest of the Napoleonic Wars Prussia made good use of these men in all its campaigns.
With the sheer quantity of Napoleonic sets that HaT have produced there must be a temptation to produce much the same poses for each set since what is appropriate for one is probably appropriate for all. Happily they make the effort to vary their output, while still including the basic marching, advancing and firing poses that everyone expects. The poses in this set are fine, although we were not particularly keen on the figure marching with musket at the trail. The man using his ramrod would normally be looking at what he is doing, though this important activity is difficult to sculpt properly. The officer is particularly nice as he is not in the usual 'heroic' pose but quietly marching forward with his men.
Prussia's finances were not good in 1813, and the reserve naturally took their place behind the regular infantry regiments when it came to supply. As a result a wide range of uniform was worn, and continued to be worn even when the men were taken into the regular infantry. in consequence it would be difficult for these figures to be incorrectly uniformed, and in fact they wear the uniform designed specially for the reserves. Its motivation was simplicity and cheapness, and the result was a practical uniform whose main features were the peaked cap and the tunic without tails. This is correctly sculpted here, along with a good amount of equipment that not all reservists received. All the men are wearing the canvas knapsack on their backs, which was the usual alternative to the bigger and more expensive calfskin pack of the regulars. The officer is dressed much like his men, though he wears a coat with tails like his regular counterparts.
The sculptor of this set produces some of HaT's best work, and all these figures are very nicely sculpted with plenty of good detail and good animation. This is an important set that allows modellers to more accurately represent the sometimes-motley appearance of Prussian infantry, and should be a part of any late period Prussian army.