Any Napoleonic infantryman would expect to see his more senior officers mounted on a fine horse when in action, yet very few sets of infantry include such a figure. Lately this has been addressed with some fine command sets, and here we find one from HaT that covers a number of the armies of the Napoleonic Wars.
The first figure pictured above is a Russian officer. He wears a typical uniform with long-tailed coatee with two rows of buttons, a bicorn with large plume and legs covered by overalls, which was normal when on campaign. He has the usual symbol of rank - a sash round the waist - but unfortunately he is missing the other ubiquitous item, a gorget at the throat. An officer’s rank was indicated by his epaulettes, which were introduced originally for the left shoulder only in 1807, the right following in 1809. This figure has both, and wears no queue, which became optional for officers in 1806. Apart from the missing gorget everything here is accurate.
The Russian’s sword arm is separate (see image of sprue) which allows a little room for variety although the epaulette limits this. More likely this is a device to fit quite a wide pose on the small sprue. The corresponding mount is the first in the second row, and again is entirely correctly done in terms of horse furniture. The walking pose is pretty good too, so together they make for a really nice model.
The second officer is Spanish, and wears a uniform fairly typical of many nations in the earlier Napoleonic Wars. His long-tailed coatee has square lapels, he wears fringed epaulettes and has a sword belt across the right shoulder. He also wears the usual gorget and has typical riding boots, making him entirely appropriate for a Spanish officer, perhaps more common in the early part of the Peninsular War than later. As with the Russian his sword arm is separate, but again thanks to the epaulette there is little room for variety in how this is placed. His horse is the second in the second row, which looks fine and is also entirely typical. Both man and horse have simple but natural poses and look good.
Figures three and four are both Prussian, and both date to later in the Napoleonic Wars. The third figure is an infantry officer with the shako and uniform that appeared from 1808. He wears a cover on the shako and overalls on his legs, and in all respects is ready to go on campaign. He too has a separate right arm which allows him to fit on the sprue. The fourth man is an officer of the Landwehr. While entitled to wear the same uniform as the line infantry, this man is following the popular fashion of wearing the Litewka. He also has the usual Schirmütze cap with peak, and like his compatriot has a sash around the waist. Unlike the other figures this man has no separate arm. The horse in the last row is intended for the Prussians, and looks fine, including the Guard Star on both the shabraque and the pistol cover.
All the figures and horses are well sculpted, with good detail and proportions. The separate arms fit on the relevant shoulders very well and while they will need gluing the join is well done as you can see. The men sit on their horses effortlessly and there is no flash. The poses are simple but very appropriate and everything looks very good. The small size of the sprue limits the number of figures in this set, which is a bit disappointing considering how many different mounted officers there could have been, but these figures are certainly an extremely useful addition to many a Napoleonic army, and being very well made they make for delightful little models in their own right.