The Thirty Years War was a complex and traumatic event in the history of Europe where participants and war aims seem to shift every few years. At various times mercenaries were in common use, including many from Eastern Europe - particularly Poland, which supported the Imperial cause and had its own battles at the time. Mars have already made a number of sets for the Eastern European involvement in the war, and the difference this time is the figures are dressed for the cold and wet of a central European winter.
In the seventeenth century, warm winter clothing was generally thick woollens and fur - the latter was particularly common in the East. All the men here are so dressed, with an array of thick coats, cloaks and sturdy boots. Such clothes largely hide regional characteristics of clothing, although a couple of these figures wear the traditional Polish and Hungarian kontusz coat, but the hats and caps are a clearer indication of origin and the various styles here are all appropriate for the subject, with a lot of fur-trimmed caps on show. One figure stands out both in terms of costume and weaponry, for the first figure in the final row looks to be a Tatar with his quilted coat and bow by his side. Such men certainly served in Poland and Lithuania, and would reasonably have found themselves further west too. All the clothing and weaponry looks authentic, which is always a good start when considering any set of figures.
This being Mars, however, things rapidly go on the slide once we consider the quality of the figures. The really quite crude and deeply unattractive sculpting we have so often seen from this source is in evidence once again, with some horrible proportions and generally very poor sculpting. The detail is at times not too bad, although this set does not make great demands for detail, but much of the time elements are indistinct and quite poorly done, and the overall impression is very negative. The faces are appalling, with some apparently moved round the side of the head (all three firing figures display this gruesome feature), while several have little of the upper part of the head - the eyes are over two-thirds the way up the head. Mars have not always been the best for flash either, but here it is relatively low key and not too onerous to remove.
The poses are all reasonable choices, but in execution they leave much to be desired. All are very flat, which is nowhere better illustrated than with the man using his musket as a club, as he holds his musket precisely over the middle of his head and looks very unnatural. The few men with drawn swords and the axe-man add some action to the poses, and the musketeer poses are fair choices for soldiers of this date.
You will have heard it before on this site; this Mars set is quite accurate but suffers badly from very poor sculpting, with flat and horribly proportioned figures that even their mothers would find it hard to love.