Freikorps had existed long before the Napoleonic Wars, and were intended for raiding, harassing the enemy and generally doing those things for which the regular army was not well suited. In February 1813 Major von Luetzow was given permission to raise such a unit which was to become the most famous of them all. In early 1815 the infantry element was taken into the Line as the 25th regiment, and as part of the fifth brigade they spearheaded the final attack on the village of Plancenoit on 18th June 1815.
The four poses as shown on the top row above cover the basics - marching, advancing and firing, and are fine as far as they go, though four poses cannot go very far. The last figure on the row has a separate musket which needs to be glued in place, though this is a fair fit. The men wear the Litewka, and generally have a uniform appearance - a far cry from the early motley view created by this unit. One man has his pouch on the front of his belt, suggesting he is a fusilier while the rest are musketeers. Some of the men have a sabre and some do not, which is reasonable given that not every man had full kit by this date.
The family of King William I of the Netherlands also held the German state of Nassau, so Nassau's forces formed part of the Netherlands army. These forces comprised 8.5 battalions at Waterloo, and had a strength of over 5,000 men, or roughly 10% of the total Allied infantry (some sources suggest as many as 7,000 men). Each battalion had six companies, one of which was of grenadiers as depicted in the second four figures in this set.
These four poses also cover the basics - marching, advancing and firing, and all are usable. The uniform is that in use from about 1810, and while a new style was being introduced by Waterloo, it seems many still wore this older style on that day. The grenadiers have the fur colpack with ornaments (which may have been removed prior to battle), and all carry a sabre. These figures also have fringed epaulettes, which were in the process of being replaced by shoulder roles at this time. By choosing to portray the older uniform on show at Waterloo, HaT have made these figures usable for some previous campaigns such as that in Spain, where they fought both for and against the French. A Dighton print shows these men with rolled greatcoats or blankets round their body rather than atop their packs, but it is not known which was the more common practice. In short, therefore, these are entirely accurate for one style used during the battle.
HaT sculpting quality can be very variable, but happily this set represents the top end of their range. All the figures are nicely proportioned and with plenty of well-defined detail. There is an average amount of flash, but no other excess material. Our biggest complaint is the very small number of poses, which means both units are only really given a token presence. However, given the small number of such troops that actually took the field, it seems doubtful that a manufacturer would produce a full set of them, in which case at least four poses is better than no poses, and of course both present possibilities for conversions for those so inclined.