So it was the late 90’s, that a new company was coming into play now and they were HaT Industries from the USA. They made their very first couple of Napoleonic sets in 1996 with box sets 8001 of the French Mamelukes and set 8002, Prussian Dragoons and set 8005 Prussian Uhlans. Today they are a very keen player in plastic 1/72nd figure scale and some of the sets they have produced lately, are very well detailed.
The first time that I saw the HaT figures were in late 2001 in the Model Zones model Shop in London. The shelves were packed with HaT latest figures. As well as more new Napoleonic sets there were also Ancient figures too. Again it was something new and fresh for the gaming table. While taking a good look at these new sets, I found a box of set 8003 British Rocket Troops that came out that year. I was to learn later, on via their web site, that there were much more on offer. I brought one box of Rocket Troops and a box of the Prussian Dragoons. Once home I had a really good look at these and on the next day, I went back to the shop and brought another box of Prussian Dragoons and two boxes of Prussian Uhlans. The Rocket Troop figures were well sculpted while the Dragons and Uhlans were like the old Airfix style moulds. But over the years they have grown in to a reputable company and with the number of Napoleonic sets available now, which we never had as a young war gamer but if you are starting up in this hobby today, you will be over whelmed with what’s on offer to you. HaT are also doing a very good range of French wagons at the moment including Light and Heavy Ambulances, six horse limber, baggage and pontoon wagons with the possibility of some Prussian wagons in the future.
I am now a very keen HaT collector and with new sets coming out each year, I don’t think that I will ever finish my Waterloo Army. There are many other and new companies coming out with plastic figures all the time and that the variety of figures and periods is now endless. Two companies that produce Napoleonic figures for more for the 1812 War are Strelets and Zvezada, both are Russian companies although Strelets were first produced in Russia but then moved to the Ukrain in 1998. Not keen on these but then again they are not for the Waterloo period.
There are far too many figure sets to write about but please go and look on their web sites. I have now collected more than I have painted, but that is the beauty of this hobby, it never ends.
My attention is now to the terrain on the gaming table and again this has grown so fast over the last ten years. If you follow this blog then you will know that I have been collecting the Hornby derelict farm set and also the Conflix fantasy buildings that don’t look out of place with my Napoleonic armies. New scenery is always being made and when I look at some of my old stuff it does look very old now. But until that time of when I can have my own war gaming room, then I shall hold off on buying these at the moment.