In the Russian army, Cossacks were the most famous lance-armed cavalry, but there were also a number of regular uhlan regiments. They performed all the usual light horse roles of scouting and skirmishing, but could also participate in full scale battles when required.
These uhlans are dressed in a typical uniform that was found with little modification in the armies of many players in the Napoleonic Wars. Distinctly Polish in appearance, the square-topped czapka headdress was the most recognisable feature, but all elements of the uniform are correctly shown on these figures.
The poses demonstrate a good deal more variety than most lancer sets so far made, but unfortunately one of these are of dubious authenticity. Most are fine, but one man is holding his lance like a javelin, and seems about to hurl it forward, which is only likely to come from frustration or desperation. However he could also be performing part of the little-known manoeuvre by which he turns the lance around to defend against pursuing cavalry behind him. The man with lance tucked under his arm and thrusting it down at his victim is a particularly unusual but worthwhile pose, and the lance is encouraged to stay where it is by fitting a groove along the man's arm. However, like several of his comrades, this join requires gluing as there is no means of support. The lances themselves are about 3 metres in length, which is good, and reasonably straight (which is an improvement on some previous sets from this manufacturer), though they do require some trimming as they are joined to the sprue in many places. Several of the lancers have drawn swords, which might suggest that they have lost their lances, and one is using the pistol with which they were all issued. A very good selection.
The sculpting is not too bad, but not as crisp or sharp as would be expected from the likes of Zvezda, for example. There is no flash to worry about, and the men fit the horses well. Strelets say each man is designed for a particular horse, but we found most figures fitted most horses without difficulty. The horses themselves are OK, though one or two of the gaits did not seem entirely natural to us. The uhlans had rounded corners on their shabraques, but some of those in this set are square.
The guidon has been engraved and the design is that of a dragoon regiment rather than the standard cavalry pattern. Whilst this was a surprise, we were unable to find any firm evidence for the guidons carried by uhlans, though most light cavalry did not carry any when in the field. As we have said, with a little imagination and/or paint, these figures could serve in many Napoleonic armies. Some nice poses and a reasonable level of detail should mean these have many uses, and are a welcome addition to the already crowded market for Napoleonic cavalry.