After all the upheavals of the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 and the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Army of the new entity had had little time to organise and establish itself when it found itself facing the French during the Hundred Days campaign. The 2nd Carabiniers, a regiment of Belgian troops, were considered an elite unit, and they participated in the Battle of Waterloo, helping to throw back several French cavalry charges and initially joining in the pursuit of the defeated French at the end of the day.
As usual with resin sets you get only a few figures in this box, just the six riders and horses shown. The poses of all the men are very good, each holding his sword in an appropriate way, and with the bodies nicely animated to match the pose (so the man with sword thrust forward is also leaning forward). All the horses are clearly at the full gallop, so they match the dramatic picture on the box, and in general all the poses are realistic and well done.
The 2nd Carabiniers wore a crested helmet, a short-tailed coat with squared lapels, and overalls with long riding boots, all of which has been accurately done here. It is reported that the men also had their cloaks rolled and slung over their right shoulder at Waterloo, and these figures too display this practice. The horse furniture also looks very good, with the square shabraque, sheepskin cover and rectangular portmanteau all being correct.
The sculpting is good, with nice proportions and good detail, though the latter is not as sharp or clear as on many plastic sets, perhaps because of the resin material. Because of the great fragility of resin, the long thin swords are provided separately, and while we have not tried it we would imagine it would be a tricky task to place blade on hilt, with only a tiny surface area to accept the glue. For the same reason some of the scabbards have extra material to support them, and certainly on our sample nothing was broken. However extreme caution must be taken when cutting away this extra resin as breakage is a very real danger. The men sit on their mounts quite nicely, but will require gluing to stay put.
The fragility of resin is the main reason we do not like it as a material, and all such figures need to be handled with care. However these are nice figures with no accuracy issues and highly attractive poses. The level of detail is also good enough for many, and with almost no flash the main problem will be in attaching the sword blades and removing the supporting resin from the scabbards. Once that is done the result will be some fine figures that to date have not been rendered in plastic by anyone.
More recently, this set, or rather the mould, has been re-engineered. With later batches the whole of the right arm - and sword blade - are a separate item, so need attaching at the shoulder. The sword is still fragile, but at least the area to glue is larger. Also some of the supporting struts on the scabbards has gone, possibly because the new material used is a bit more flexible than normal resin.