We don't like sets that include different troop types, and particularly ones that mix nationalities, so this set of mixed British and French was never going to be popular with us. It includes eight British artillery figures with two guns, and eight French artillery figures with two guns, and was one of several produced by Esci to try and cover as much subject matter as possible with as little investment as possible. Later they would separate these components into two separate sets, happily, but until then the customer had to buy this set to get the figures for either side.
Since we have done complete reviews for the separated sets, it makes sense to refer the reader to those reviews at British Artillery and French Artillery for full details of each. For this review then we will simply summarise these two reviews.
The British are Royal Horse Artillery, with the characteristic Tarleton helmet and hussar-like uniform. Since there are eight figures and two guns the implication is four men serve one gun, though Napoleonic guns usually had a crew of two or three times that number. The poses are OK, though the officer would be struggling to steady his telescope with only one hand. All the men have tails on their jackets, but in reality there were no tails, although this is the only serious error in accuracy. The two guns are a 6 pounder and a 9 pounder, mounted on the Congreve carriage and with the axle boxes that contained a small amount of extra ammunition. Like the men they are nice models but not without some issues of accuracy in the detail.
The French represent an Old Guard company of Foot Artillery of the Imperial Guard, and wear the uniform dating from 1810. Again four poses serve one gun, and these poses are virtually identical to the British, so the same comments apply here. In addition, there is a large uniform error, because the bearskin of these troops did not include a front plate like the one depicted on these men. The two pieces of ordnance are an 8 pounder gun and a 6-inch howitzer. The guns are mounted on the Gribeauval carriage, and include the small ammunition chests carried between the gun carriage brackets. Again, nice, neat models which are simplified but not too bad.
The figures are nicely detailed and accurate apart from the problems already mentioned. Some liberties have had to be taken with both the barrels and the carriages in terms of losing chains and other small items, but the detail is as good as could reasonably be expected. Where the set really falls down is that in cramming in guns and men from two nations there is no room for horse teams, caissons etc, and there are only four poses for each side. It therefore compares poorly with other much more comprehensive artillery sets, particularly those from Revell, Italeri and especially Zvezda.