by: Todd Michalak [ ]
In 1810 the Red Lancers, formally known as the 2nd Regiment of the Lighthorse-Lancers of the Imperial Guard. This regiment was comprised of three Dutch troops which were primarily German soldiers of the Guard Hussars that were, decree, given the option to join the Berg Lancers and/or one of the Dutch Regiments within Napoleon’s Army.
After realizing the ranks were short, needing to be filled in order to establish a subsequent decree was signed allowing the acceptance of these Germans. Commanded by Colonel Pierre Eduard Colbert, dubbed “Iron Man” due to the many wounds sustained throughout his career, the Red Lancers would go on to prove themselves to be Napoleon’s most elite units. Through strict discipline through the leadership of Colonel Colbert and glorious battle in the 1812 invasion of Russia along with their perseverance against the Cossacks in 1813 & 1814, their legend would grow.
Showing great loyalty and bravery, the Red Lancers would charge gallantly in the Battle of Quatre Bras to no avail and it would be these Red Lancers that would inevitably accompany Napoleon upon his retreat at Waterloo.
Riding atop Chestnuts and Bays (horses) wielding lances, Model XIII flintlock light cavalry musket and light cavalry saber, the Red Lancers wore vibrant scarlet colored uniforms trimmed in blue to match other regimental lancers.
Master Box’s 1/32 Napoleons Red Lancer Napoleonic Wars kit is a styrene injection molded model comprised of 45 parts contained on one sprue. There is one Red Lancer, his trusty steed and a young maiden supplying the solder with a drink, for him and his horse. The kit comes supplied in Master Box’s standard end opening box with a fine rendition of the scene portrayed by the kit. In typical fashion, the instructions and painting layout is printed in color on the back of the box.
To be honest, I was a little let down after sliding the sprue out of the box; there seemed to be quite a bit of flash on almost all of the parts. Typically, most MB kits I have come across are crisp and free from flash for the most part and I am a bit unfamiliar with other kits that are a part of their Napoleonic War Series. All the flash aside, the parts themselves have decent detailing right down to the Lancer’s uniform and the scene to which it depicts is pleasant and somewhat unique.
In constructing this kit there was a fair amount of clean up that needed to be done. I picked the horse to start with…seemed like as good as any of a starting point. For the most part the joints lined up, with the exception of the horse’s butt. Good thing he has a tail. Even though the joints met up, there was plenty of clean up that needed to be done. The inside section of both the front and back legs had some pretty heavy mold seam lines that needed some attention. The head is molded in one piece minus the ears; however, there was a seam line that needed to be sanded that went down the center line of the head.
The rider’s saddle comes in two pieces. The seam did not meet up cleanly and needed some sanding to bring it back into shape. Moving onto the Lancer himself, there is a basic 6-piece construction to him and then added items like the hat, sword and other various items. Again, there was a bit of cleanup that needed to be done to get the parts ready for assembly. The legs fit nicely together whereas the torso part needed to be shaved on the inside of the coattails as this prevented the upper body from cleanly meeting the legs. The arms were fairly straightforward with minimal cleanup of the mold seams. With the head, there was a mold seam that ran down the middle of the face. A little careful cleaning in this area was needed to preserve the facial features. The instruction are little help when constructing this figure as the smaller item’s locations are not shown too well; a quick check on the front picture does help clear up some of the grey areas. There are no parts to fabricate straps for the reigns.
With the maiden, the cleanup was a bit easier as the one-piece molded head had the seam line in the opposite direction and more typically going down over the ears instead of the face. One area of concern is how the upper body meets the lower section of the body. There is a sizable gap in her lower back. The figure is designed to be leaning back as if to look up at the rider, but the joint does not support this. There will be the need for filler in this area. There is no dog included with this kit as seen on the front relief.
Although there is a considerable amount of flash with this kit and some work involved in making some of the seams line up properly there is a decent amount of detailing put into this kit to make a fun little project for someone interested in the time period or subject and with some time and some patience this has the potential to be built up into a nice little vignette.