For a very long time there had been a desire for command sets, and none more so than Napoleon's staff. With the enormous growth in the hobby in recent years such sets became practicable, and Italeri answered that desire with this set.
Obviously the individuals depicted here were not numerous, so there are only a couple of examples of each pose, but many poses have been included. First and foremost there is the Emperor, mounted on his horse and wearing his familiar grey greatcoat over the undress uniform of the Guard Chasseurs à cheval. With him there are a number of Marshals of France, along with aide-de-camp and generals, both mounted and on foot. These all wear fairly typical uniform, though Marshals in particular would often adapt and adopt non-regulation items to suit their personal tastes. However the shakos to be found on two of the aide-de-camp are noticeably too squat. The general dressed in dragoon uniform is holding a telescope to his eye with one hand. Esci have produced this pose several times, but it is a bad choice as the man would be unable to see anything without steadying his telescope in the manner of the mounted marshal.
The set includes two copies of a Mameluke figure that is presumably meant to depict Roustam, the Emperor's personal servant, or other mameluke servants. Like all Mamelukes Roustam wore a very colourful costume that included very baggy trousers, yet this figure wears tight breeches, which is a silly mistake that spoils what is otherwise a good figure.
When in the field, Napoleon had a personal bodyguard of Chasseurs à cheval who took station around him when he stopped. Two such troopers are depicted here, one of which carries a carbine. Both have been given epaulettes, which are incorrect and should be removed, but both are missing their sabretache.
Five horse poses have been provided, mostly standing, with a variety of horse furniture. These are right for the set, and could also come in handy as extras for other sets as standing poses are rare indeed in cavalry sets. At the time this set was made the grazing pose was unique, yet when not on the move horses spend much of their time grazing, so a great pose.
The detail is superb and the overall quality is up to the usual Italeri standard. This set marked a turning point in the Italeri range as it was the first to be produced in a colour other than the much-hated silver, which in itself was a cause for celebration. This is surely as good a set on this subject as anyone could have hoped for, and offers enormous possibilities for conversion.