For many years some manufacturers have been making sets of Napoleonic artillery with just the guns and crews – no sign of the means to move the gun. Although some sets have included a limber, notably the Zvezda French Foot Artillery, you always got more guns than limbers, and buying sufficient limbers to move several batteries could be very expensive. Now at last a manufacturer has made a set with just a limber, so exactly the required number can be purchased and all those old guns from Esci and others can be moved around.
This set contains three identical sprues, each one sufficient to make the illustrated model of a six-horse team with three out riders. The horses are attached to the limber by means of ropes and harness, much like the real thing although inevitably somewhat simplified. There are four horse poses, which is enough to give the team a natural unregimented look while still showing them all advancing at the same pace. The harness fits into the horses using pegs and while we found the pegs benefited from a slight reduction in size all the parts fit together pretty well. The soft plastic used here means care needs to be taken to avoid tearing thin pieces though.
The riders - three identical poses as seen here - sit very well on their mounts. They are dressed in the pre-Bardin coatee and so are appropriate for the period from about 1807 to 1813. Their simple uniform is correct in every respect and has been well sculpted.
The wheels of the limber are 14mm (1 metre) in diameter whereas the Gribeauval standard was 1.22 metres, but apart from the simplification we have already mentioned this model is correct. The way the horses are harnessed also makes it a very pleasing model, and we are happy to relate that the soft plastic takes ordinary polystyrene glue very firmly, so construction is easy and secure.
The limber is a little more simplified than the Zvezda model, but both could easily be placed side-by-side on a game table with little apparent difference detectable. The HaT figures however are not in the full finery of those from Zvezda, which is an important bonus in our view. Every Napoleonic gun hitches to the limber’s pintle without problem apart from those of HaT themselves, ironically, as HaT failed to provide a pintlehole in their carriage!
This is a product that has been needed for a very long time, and in general has been done very well.