This is one of three sets released simultaneously by HaT to depict Prussian infantry during the later years of the Napoleonic Wars. The other sets depict the bulk of the troops as they contain action poses and marching poses. The trouble with single sets is they force a proportion of officers, musicians and other specialists on the consumer, so by splitting their figures into three sets HaT allow the customer to decide the proportions of each that they will buy. This set contains all the specialists and other figures that are generally only present in small numbers on the actual battlefield, although some games require a higher proportion.
In general terms these figures are all correctly uniformed for the period 1810-15, as they wear the M1808 coat and knapsack with twin straps that was introduced in 1810. All wear shakos, which are covered with oilskin as was normal when on campaign, and most also have the greatcoat rolled across the body. Most have shoulder straps, which were phased out from 1813 in favour of epaulettes, although how quickly this order was followed is open to question. Also the collars are high and open, which again began to disappear from 1813. The musicians have correctly been given swallow's nest epaulettes, so all the uniform details are fine.
The top row begins with the standard bearer who, as might be observed, is lacking the standard. The pole and arms are a separate piece, which does much to improve the pose, and we would guess that the flag is only missing because there was not enough space for it on the sprue. Some may be disappointed by this, but many choose to add paper flags to plastic figures anyway and this way it is easy to add whatever flag is required, so we don't have a problem with the missing flag.
The rest of the row is made up of the musicians, a fifer, hornist and drummer. All are appropriate and correctly uniformed, and the hornist is a lovely little figure thanks to the separate right arm/horn, which makes an almost impossible pose very natural and lifelike. The drummer is equally good as he has a separate drum which allows it to be placed on the figure at the correct location and angle, something that is often done poorly in this hobby.
We take the first two figures in the second row to be NCOs. They are dressed in the same way as their men, and are really only distinguishable by the fact that they hold their musket on the right side. Ideally these two should have a cane as a mark of their rank, but otherwise these are fine. The three officers that complete this set are also rather splendid. Each has a separate right arm, which is interchangeable so the arms we have placed on the figures in our photograph are purely arbitrary. Their uniform is correct, although in 1813 they would have exchanged the shoulder straps they have for epaulettes. They all wear the customary sash and carry an epee, while wearing the standard infantry kollet but with longer tails. Dismounted infantry officers were obliged to carry a knapsack in the same manner as their men, and two of these figures do so. The third has no knapsack, so may usually be mounted or else has simply laid his aside.
The sculpting is very good, with clear detail and a very natural look. There is no flash anywhere and the separate arms fit quite well although will need gluing. As with the other sets the knapsacks are separate but fit comfortably onto a peg on the back, and this applies equally to the two relevant officers who, of course, do not have the pouch and sabre.
The proportions of different types is always a matter of debate, but if we had designed this set we would have tried to squeeze a second drummer pose onto the sprue, although in fact the sprue is already very full of the various pieces. However we cannot complain about the really nice figures on offer, nor with the fact that they are a set all by themselves. This is a very appealing set of figures that complement the others perfectly and between them provide a deeper level of coverage than this subject has had before. The Napoleonic figure market is already very crowded, but this and the others are still a very worthwhile addition.