The moment of victory. Sportsmen feel it, and hopefully soldiers get to feel it too if they find themselves in combat. It must be all the sweeter if the victory was particularly hard to achieve, or seemed very unlikely at some point, and the fact that you have survived largely intact when many others have not can only make the moment all the more memorable. How you mark that victory has perhaps not changed so very much through the centuries. We would imagine a resounding cheer pretty much fits the bill in almost all cases, and certainly there are plenty of instances where officers called for three cheers for some victorious commander, plus many others when the soldiers offered them willingly. The two middle figures in our picture seem to be doing just that, and quite convincingly too we thought. The other two, well they are giving a polite round of applause, and while it is perfectly possible, we would question how often soldiers at Waterloo or anywhere else broke into applause when victory was achieved. Also, why are they clapping to the side of their face? Okay, so we know why (it is easier to mould), but that aside we were not entirely convinced by those two poses, particularly the British infantryman who’s hands are perilously close to his bare bayonet.
The uniforms on display in this set are a brief cross-section of some of the major Allied infantrymen at Waterloo. First is the British line infantrymen, dressed and equipped entirely as per regulation, followed by a highlander also properly dressed and kitted for Waterloo. The third man is a Prussian Jäger, wearing a uniform much like that of the ordinary line infantry of the day, although we would have expected most such men to wear a cover on their shako as was the norm. Finally we have a member of the Landwehr, in Litewka coat, campaign trousers and peaked cap, all of which are quite typical. This man is reasonably well-equipped for the militia, but he does also carry a small axe as a sidearm for want of a sabre. All of these figures are correctly dressed and equipped.
The sculpting is good and if not quite the most elegant style that the very best figures can offer these days, then certainly good enough for most. Detail is good, as are the proportions, and you will observe on our photo that there is a relatively modest amount of flash around the seam. However it must be pointed out that another copy of this set in our possession has a great deal more flash, completely filling between the legs of the militia man, so while it is often true of many sets, here in particular the quality can vary greatly.
Although cheering figures have been made before, this is still an unusual choice for a pose, so a very specific subject for a set. We did wonder why there is only one copy of the sprue in the set, when several of each pose would make as much sense as many other more traditional poses, and there is certainly room in the box. Clearly these are just a sort of bonus figure for the many other sets of these types of soldier already available, so it is an interesting idea that may appeal more to collectors than those looking to build a table-top army. To use a food metaphor, these are the cherry on the cake rather than the cake itself, but nicely done and certainly something a bit different.