Sunday, 6 January 2019

La Belle Alliance Part 2

This model of the inn is based on Denis Dighton's very careful drawing and subsequent painting
I posted a research piece on La Belle Alliance a year ago and am now following up with a model of the inn and its environs.  Almost every contemporary picture of the inn (and there are many) look at the building from the north-west towards the south-east, so one rarely sees what it looked like from the other side.  What is however clear is that behind the inn was a barn and a covered well.

Dighton's picture

The only interior view of La Belle Alliance that I know of.

Coal trucks went up the road from Charleroi to Brussels, leaving a trail of black soot along the pave.  This looks like it was drawn sometime after Waterloo.

A good impression of the distance to the barn and piggery to the east of the main inn, with the well in between.

This picture shows Decoster's house in the distance.  Decoster (some times Costa or La Costa) was the peasant farmer who was used by Napoleon to provide local knowledge.  Less is known about the other dwelling on the right side of the road which will be the subject of my next blog entry.

A nice impression of the well.

This view rather truncates distance but it gets in all the main buildings from Decoster's house in the far distance with the approach to La Haie Sainte in the foreground.

At the time of Waterloo there were no poplars and the barn was added in the late 19th Century

A rare view from the east looking west to Belle Alliance.  The house that isn't Decoster's can clearly be seen on the left of the picture.

Wounded Grenadier falls from the column of march.  The fallen soldier is from Napoleon Miniatures, a small French Company making a range of resin figures that has sadly ceased trading, but occasionally reinvents itself

Overview - 1/2 Chasseurs are on the right, 1/4 Grenadiers march up the road.  The Emperor and his staff are in the foreground.

1/4 Grenadiers - a newly formed unit in Greatcoats.  The figures are mostly Revell, Hat and some Art Miniaturen. 

The Emperor and his staff just to the north of La Belle Alliance astride the lane to Plancenoit.  Napoleon is S Range.  I have eight Napoleons, so I agonised about excluding some of them, notably the Hinton Hunt.  In the end I chose the S Range and put him on a Rose horse - a small best just like Marengo.  The Chasseur escort is mostly Qualicast with one Marc Claus and one Legio figure.

The staff are mostly Art Miniaturen with a Guard of 1/1 Grenadiers in the background, mostly Zvezda and Art Miniaturen.

Drums and pioneers to the front.  The Drum Major is Franznap.

The Mounted Chasseur officer is S Range.  The troopers are Art Miniaturen.

ADC reports to the Emperor.  I love doing leopard skin saddle cloths.

Behind the inn

A blank space for the rest of 1/1 Grenadiers

The scratch built inn has been carefully measured.

The nearest Chasseur is by Marc Claus figures, the one over his left shoulder is Legio.  

Mostly Revell figures.

Staff at work behind the inn.  Some Hagen, some AM.

2/1 Chasseurs.  The mounted senior officers are by Franznap and AM.  The dismounted officer is Qualicast.

Two of the Airfix drummers in the background stand next to an officer from the only set that HYTTY ever produced for the Napoleonic era.

Mostly Hagen, Italieri and Franznap.

I'm pleased with the grass effect - teddy bear fur with paint.

The well

The marching officer in a greatcoat is from Lancier Bleu.

ADCs from AM.

Wounded man over shoulder - from Esci ACW, see below.

Mostly Hinton Hunt

Zvezda ADC gallops south - where is Grouchy?

The officer is from Lancier Bleu

Tete de colonne

The wounded man is HYTTY

The Emperor's carriages are brought up from Le Caillou for the triumphal entry into Brussels and pull off the chaussee to allow 1/4 Grenadiers to pass.  They stop in the mud to the south of the inn, sheltered from the artillery fire.

First carriage
The second carriage

The first carriage is an OOP item from Germerhaus - a lovely model that I bought in 2003 in Germany, but sadly unavailable now.  The second is a Minifigs carriage with the wheels changed to something a little less heavy.  The horses are from the Imex wild west stagecoach set.  The riders have heads attached from two General Picton figures by Strelets.  The two figures on the carriage are again conversions, both from Imex.

Band of the 2/1 Chasseurs, by Minifigs S Range

Art Miniaturen.

On the other side of the road, the tracks go south east to Plancenoit and north east to Papelotte.  On this side of the road, the track goes to Hougoumont.


1/4 Grenadiers advance up the road with 2/1 Chasseurs on their left

Cantiniere in the doorway

Wounded traipse south past the imperial headquarters

Wounded Grenadier receives aid.  Conversion from Lucky Toys (see below)

Company commander

A rather haughty demeanour

Cantiniere views injured soldier without obvious signs of concern.

There are 400 figures in 1/4 Grenadiers

Officer takes a break.  Conversion from Strelets Napoleon (see below)

Four ADCs


  1. Wonderful modelling!

    Best Regards and Happy New Year,


  2. Oh my goodness, that is stunning, I could spend ages looking at those images of the massed Guard and those wonderful carriages, the whole thing is a work of art! Once completed how/where do you plan to display it in it's entirety, because I would love to see it, it deserves to be a museum piece.

  3. Another amazing bit of work!

  4. Magnificent !! Outstanding work.

  5. Thanks all, it was fun to do and a lot more to come, but it all takes time. I too wonder where it might go - I'm working on it!

  6. Your Belle Alliance diorama is brilliant, GP!

  7. Hi WM, you are too kind! It actually all came together quite quickly, with more to come.

  8. De quelle marque sont les figurines des maréchaux à cheval? Merci par avance on peut me répondre à l'adresse:

  9. What mark are the figurines of the marshals on horseback? Thank you in advance we can answer to the address

  10. Cher Christian, J'ai répondu à votre adresse e-mail comme demandé, mais pour un intérêt plus général, le personnel est par Art Miniaturen