Wednesday 24 August 2022


The next phase of the Waterloo Remodelled project is, arguably, the main event of the Waterloo story, namely the French cavalry charges onto the Allied squares.

To date, we have completed Plancenoit (14 sections), Hougoumount (nine sections) La Belle Alliance (two sections), La Haye Sainte (two sections) and Papelotte (two sections).  The cavalry charge requires 50 sections, so bigger than all the rest combined.  This is therefore a major undertaking that is requiring careful thought.  

It's probably as well to start with the plan which is shown in this picture:

Completed squares are shown in red, with others still in production.

I then pegged out an area on my (drought affected) lawn, creating fifty sections and put down the completed squares to give a sense of scale.  It's enormous!

The target area, with grids:

And in detail:

Meanwhile, the team have been hard at work producing cavalry.


Red Lancers:

Polish Lancers:

Line Dragoons:

Empress Dragoons:

Horse Grenadier, test, with many on the way:



Guard Chasseurs:

Grand Battery:

Dutch square:

British Light Dragoons:

The Emperor's Service Squadrons


Napoleon's Imperial Headquarters could not be complete without the four service squadrons of Old Guard cavalry that routinely protected the Emperor on campaign.  Currently, the headquarters is shown with Napoleon and his mounted and dismounted staff around La Belle Alliance as Old Guard infantry march up the chaussee.

To the rear, two of Napoleon's carriages have come off the paved road to shelter from the artillery fire behind the Inn.

I want now to enhance this scene by the addition of the four service squadrons and more of the eleven carriages that accompanied the imperial retinue.

To that end, we are working on the four squadrons but it is hard to find appropriate figures at rest, given the proclivity of most manufacturers (other than Strelets) to show cavalry charging around the place waving their swords, rather than standing.  Moreover, it's almost impossible to find a good 20mm/1/72 Horse Grenadier in any pose.

Luckily, we have received a donation of Qualicast figures, including two hundred at rest Empress Dragoons.  Regrettably, these came without horses so we had to improvise.  The first step was to gather enough horses, first by utilising the new found magic of 3D printing and secondly by gathering up enough French officers' horses which have the same saddle furniture.

Chopping the heads of 100 metal Qualicast dragoons and attaching Airfix Old Guard heads with the front plate covered over was quite a chore, but seems to have worked out.  Here are the results:

In this picture, set up temporarily before transfer to the actual diorama, the Horse Grenadier squadron is shown with the band of the Empress Dragoons behind. Whether these were at Waterloo must be highly doubtful, but who can resist figures this colourful?!

Horse Grenadier trumpeters, with their very own kettle drummer.  The officer in front is wearing a rather fancy Murat fur-edged coat.

In front of the Horse Grenadiers are the beginnings of the Chasseur Squadron, along with two carriages kindly painted by Liam and in the case of one carriage, scratch built.

.And now for some pictures by Liam and Graham, showing their contributions.  To start us off, Liam's two carriages. The first is by Franznap:

The second is scratch built and is genuinely extraordinary:

Secondly, some close ups of Art Miniaturen Chasseurs, with pelisses added:

In addition to the metal ones, Liam is working on converting plastic figures.  he has done wonders with those colpacks:

And finally, some of Graham's standing Qualicast Empress Dragoons mounted on spare plastic horses.  There will eventually be 100:

The fourth and final squadron will be from the 2nd Lancers (the 1st Polish Lancers taking part in the charge) and will be undertaken by Liam who has some tremendous ideas for this; more to follow!

Finally there is some dispute about whether Horse Grenadier Trumpeters wore white bearskins.  The argument goes that this was a late Victorian invention, perhaps mimicking the white bearskin of the Scots Greys Kettle Drummer.

Among the late Victorian romantic stereotypes, there are however some pictures that to my eye look much earlier.