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Ratch

Ratch's 1/72 (1/76) Napoleonics

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1er and 2e Batallions, 3e Régiment de Grenadiers (Old Guard)
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I had mistakenly thought these were finished...
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In haste I had taken these previously painted figures and based them without first reading my notes. The 3rd Regiment were dressed differently to the 1e & 2e Régiments. The 3rd were of Dutch origin and wore white uniforms  :oops: So I removed then from the bases and started cleaning them up. Some had accumulated PVA in the basing process, and removing this lifted the paint on the Airfix figures. They had been primed with Vallejo Acrylic 74660 Gloss Black Polyurethane Surface Primer. This acted like a skin and I was able to easily peel the paint off using a dental probe (one of the tools I've acquired over the years.
30467552667_f0b26699a9_z.jpgDSC_0001 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45356501712_1052163325_z.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45356501592_8102eeb436_z.jpgDSC_0003 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
Unfortunately, the Esci figures were painted in enamels, long before I started using acrylics, so they will simply be overpainted with acrylics.

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The speed of my progress has surprised myself. I started re-painting yesterday morning, and this is what I had at teatime...

 

31572083668_cb3333a20d_z.jpgDSC_0004 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

44722796774_d0fa6e58ce_z.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

31572083528_4a7419f186_z.jpgDSC_0006 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

And at lunchtime today they're practically done.

44722795834_40d4c17116_z.jpgDSC_0011 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

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You are making me want to go and look at acquiring some Napoleonics - "get thee behind me Satan...."...

 

Nice work Ratch...

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Cheers :thanks:

1er and 2e Batallions, 3e Régiment de Grenadiers (Middle Guard)
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Another batch of re-paints, this time Esci set 214

One of each of the poses, front
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and reverse
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Mounted as 1er and 2e Batallions, 2e Régiment de Chasseurs (Old Guard)
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The next batch of figures hit the bench
31707474098_60f4279dbd_z.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr


In there are five sets: Two of Revell 02571 which were painted about 20 years ago and need touching up, two sets of Italeri 6065 (why I bought two I'm not sure), and my recent purchase of Odemars' PF-14.
31707473998_394e7f90de_z.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr


I'll be painting the whole of the Odemars set, enough Revell and Italeri for the 1st Foot Guards, plus one each of any remaining figures.
45529347362_9dfb277595_z.jpgDSC_0006 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

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Italeri 1/72 British Infantry 1815 (6095)
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These figures are quite specific. The top two rows are flankers of the 1st Foot Guards. Only they wore their trousers tucked into their gaiters and the wings on their shoulders were only worn by Grenadiers and the Light Company, so no centre companies represented.
The bottom four figures depict men from the 28th (North Gloucestershire) regiment. Their stovepipe shakos carry the usual front plate and also a rear plate only awarded to the 28th from the Egypt campaign. The two on the left are centre company men with their tufted shoulders and the two on the right are flankers with their wings. British battalions had one grenadier, eight centre and one light company (ten in all), so the centre companies are somewhat under represented.

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A repaint of Revell's 1/72 Napoleonic British Infantry (02571)
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I have completed painting the Odemars figures.
Major-General Sir Rowland Hill was Wellington's most trusted General, and much loved by his men. He commanded the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers). He wears the coat of a major-general half open, an officer's sash and a full length cloak. Dark tight-fitting pantaloons and hessian boots. He carries a non-regulation marmeluke sabre
30776866167_d68d79d018_b.jpgDSC_0001 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Brigadier-General Sir Robert Crauford was a successful commander of light infantry during the Peninsular War and was killed in 1812. Here he wears a plain undress coat and holds a map.
44992441814_d68d79d018_b.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton was one of the most famous characters of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars. He served with distinction during the Peninsular War, and re-joined the army for the 1815 campaign in Belgium. He commanded the 5th Division at Quatre Bras, where he was badly wounded but concealed the fact. On the day of Waterloo he was killed while leading an infantry charge on his horse. The figure here departs from the Osprey book, instead showing him as he might have looked at Waterloo, with entirely civilian clothing and brandishing an umbrella as he often did.
30776865977_1b2e3fb7be_b.jpgDSC_0003 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Major-General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole was made a major-general in 1808 and joined the army in the Peninsular the following year. He served well during the rest of the war in Spain and France but was not at Waterloo. This figure is of him dressed as he might be for dinner, with coat lapels buttoned back.
44992441744_6ee5bc2749_b.jpgDSC_0004 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Lieutenant-General Sir William Beresford was placed in charge of reorganising the Portuguese army, a task which resulted in that force being much improved during the later stages of the Peninsular War. However when he served as commander in the field, he was not a success and did not participate in later campaigns. This figure has him wearing the cocked hat of a British general and a pelisse-coat that was a popular if unofficial garment among British officers. He is waving one hand in the air, though it is not apparent why. The Osprey illustration depicts a moment when he is trying to rally troops (unsuccessfully), so this may simply be a gesture of anger.
30776865807_ed4e8294ca_b.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Lieutenant-General Sir Stapleton Cotton was promoted lieutenant-general in 1812 and commanded the British cavalry for much for the remainder of the Peninsular war. This figure shows him in the uniform of a general officer of hussars, for he was fond of splendid uniforms. He sits with his right hand holding something, possibly a paper.
44803234125_78a6a8242f_b.jpgDSC_0006 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham became a major-general in 1812 and fought several very skilful actions. He also served as Wellington's adjutant-general and enjoyed a good relationship with him, since he was his brother-in-law. After the Peninsular War he joined the British forces in America and was killed during the Battle of New Orleans. This figure shows him around 1812 wearing standard major-general uniform with an aiguillette on the right shoulder of his red coat.
44992441574_6f33310a6b_b.jpgDSC_0007 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

General the Earl of Wellington Arthur Wellesley needs no introduction of course and is here shown standing in a plain frock coat and hessian boots. This is typical Wellington attire, and although the figure is based on an illustration of him in 1812 (before he was a Duke), he would have looked much the same at Waterloo. Though he also wore a cloak at that last battle, he later claimed to have put it on or taken it off dozens of times during the day. He appears unruffled and calm, an image that seems typical of the man.
44803233865_3476a51968_b.jpgDSC_0008 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Military Secretary of Wellington, Lord Fitzroy Somerset was born in 1788 and served on Wellington's staff during the Peninsular War. He lost his right arm at Waterloo, but his main claim to fame was at his next battle, 40 years later as Lord Raglan and Commander of British forces in the Crimea, where he fought the famous battles of the Alma and Balaclava. This set has him wearing a frock coat and peering through an unsteadied telescope. He wears a blue coat similar to Wellington’s, and reinforced overalls.
44992441444_1794e46783_b.jpgDSC_0009 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Lieutenant-General Henry Paget, the Earl of Uxbridge was a fine cavalry commander who ordered the charge of the Union Brigade at Waterloo, where he lost a leg. This model shows him as he is thought to have appeared during the Waterloo campaign, in the uniform of a general officer of light cavalry. His shako shows the gold gimp denoting his rank, and he wears a fur-trimmed pelisse. He carries a light cavalry sabre.
30776865437_62c05d370c_b.jpgDSC_0010 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

The last four figures are of Highland Infantry, and are therefore nothing to do with Wellington's staff. The first two poses are common enough, while the third is of a man holding the side of his head and the fourth is an officer, resplendent in sporran and sash.
44992442864_d4f09130ae_b.jpgDSC_0011 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
44803233265_5a9cd5c50f_b.jpgDSC_0012 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
30776869597_c955d3ba31_b.jpgDSC_0013 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
30776869457_753d0eeafb_b.jpgDSC_0014 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

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Having cleared my bench I'm onto my next works. These were brought forth:
30939479017_3119ecd61f_z.jpgDSC_0003 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
I have been reading up on Prussians. It appears that they were in a worse state than France regarding uniforms. There were many style and colour variations even within battalions, so I've decided that only one of the four runners will be painted initially and the remainder can wait until they're needed for specific regiments and battalions.

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Whilst looking for the next set of figures to paint I discovered some conflicting information about the Chasseurs I painted up last month. I had given them white overall/trousers, following images found on the net. Reading the text in UNIFORMS OF WATERLOO indicates that the 1st & 2nd Chasseurs wore dark blue trousers/overalls. A dilemma! Do I repaint the set recently completed?
As I have another 40 figures (originally painted 30-or-so years ago) I can make an alternative set.
As they started.
45952299942_89a98263d6_z.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Starting the re-working with an Italeri officer.
45952299912_89a98263d6_z.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

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Blimey Ratch, a veritable figure painting machine !!

 

I am sure I asked you before, but I take you are gaming with these ?  What rule set ?

 

And by the way, repaint the Chasseurs, you know it will bug you otherwise.  Its not the pain of the painting, its the pain of the knowing....

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I intend to use them for wargaming. I read the AIRFIX magazine guide 4 Napoleonic Wargaming some time ago and that set me off trying to assemble as many figures as possible. I guess I should try a little skirmish soon to see if I can work it out.

Using these surplus figures I'll have the option of then in white or blue trousers 🇫🇷

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Having completed my previous set of Esci (214) Chasseurs, I came across some conflicting information regarding their dress. Having a batch of 40 figures left over, I decided to paint these in the alternative colours.


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I have now completed the HäT 1/72 French Middle Guard: Fusilier Grenadiers (8167). Here are one of each pose.
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I have started a review and build on the ATF and think its worthwhile posting here too. This set has been issued before in various guises since 1975. The contents have changed from the first release. It was issued as the Battle of Waterloo Assault Set (40604-3) from 1975 to 1980. Then reissued as Waterloo Battle Set (A50048) from 2008 to 2010. And again reissued as Battle of Waterloo 18 June 1815 Gift Set (A50174) in 2015 in Type 16F. Gift Set. Red Box with paints & glue inset.
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This box is stated as 1/72 scale but is actually 1/76 (HO/00) scale.
Contents:

  • Highland Infantry (S35)
  • French Cavalry (S36)
  • French Artillery (S37)
  • British Hussars (S43)
  • French Infantry (S44)
  • British Infantry (S45)
  • British Artillery (S46)
  • French Grenadiers (01749-1)
  • Prussian Infantry (01756-9)
  • Waterloo Farmhouse (1709)
  • Farm Accessories (A06044W)
  • Diorama base
  • 22 x acrylic paints
  • 2 x paint brushes
  • 1 x glue


The diorama base is vacuum formed in two pieces measuring 22 ¼ “ (566mm) x 11 ¼ “ (287mm) x 2 pieces = total area 22 ¼ “ x 22 ½ “ (566 x 574mm) with a 1cm lip surrounding each piece. The injection moulded sets are variously Highland Infantry (01735) in grey plastic, French Cavalry (01736) white, French Artillery (01737) white, British Hussars (01743) grey, French Infantry (01744) white, British Infantry (01745) grey, British Artillery (01746) grey, French Grenadiers (01749) grey, Prussian Infantry (01756) dark blue-grey, Waterloo Farmhouse (04738) white styrene and Farm Accessories (A06044W) in brown plastic. In previous issues the sets were boxed in their individual boxes but in this issue, they are merely polybagged.
            
Instructions come in an 8-page, A4 leaflet. Two pages deal with the safety statements and translations. The remainder are painting guides for each of the sets of figures in a basic format. One glaring error is the French Cavalry which, according to the sheet, wore red coats. I have not found any reference to cuirassiers wearing red, just dark blue.
Instructions:
45403888834_31dbafe010_b.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45403889134_8afc6d5276_b.jpgDSC_0003 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45403889114_8fb62de778_b.jpgDSC_0004 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45403889044_188f5171b2_b.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45403888784_d4468008b3_b.jpgDSC_0006 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr


It may be worth remembering that Airfix ventured into 1/76 Napoleonics rather tentatively in 1969 with just two sets (Highlanders and French Cavalry). Sales of these must have been encouraging because a further two sets were released in 1971 and three more sets in 1972. The last sets were issued in 1975 and 1979 respectively, so nine sets over an eight year period, starting with two reasonable sets and ending with two good sets, the middle period was a mixed bag with some looking rather rushed to exploit the interest of the market at the time before the fashion moved on. With hindsight the appeal of Napoleonic figures has not waned. Indeed, the output of HäT and other brands illustrates not only the potential market for well sculpted figures in accurate uniforms, but the longevity of the genre.

 

My reviews based on Plastic Soldier Review in conjunction with my own research.
British Infantry (S45)
This set has 15 poses, some of which do not seem fitting to the performance of soldiers during the Napoleonic period. For instance one is on hands and knees. Napoleonic soldiers did not crawl around, although occasionally they were told to lie down (as ordered at Waterloo), but this man could also have fallen. There are three of these figures. Two of the figures are men on the ground, apparently wounded, clutching their chests. There are two marching poses, with one having a particularly wide stride. Another pose is advancing with his weapon lowered, maybe reconnoitring, there are three of these. Three more are in a similar pose, but standing, their musket slightly raised. The other four poses are kneeling with bayonet set to repel (3), kneeling and firing (5), standing and firing (5) and standing and reloading (4). These are most fitting for forming square.
The three sergeants with spontoon is useful, though there is no ensign with the colours in this set for them to attend. However, with the spontoon levelled, is how sergeants kept the rank and file in line. Two NCOs stand at ease and a mounted Officer is included. His horse is at full gallop, so he is moving much faster than his men. A standing horse would have been a better option. Both a drummer and bugler are included, drummers were used to beat out orders while buglers would usually be with Light Infantry regiments. 
Uniform-wise the figures are pretty good. All the men have full kit, which is all properly done apart from the absence of mess tins. They all have tufts on their shoulders, which makes them centre companies. These made up the majority of British Infantry (80%) and only this and the Revell set have tufts. Everyone else seems to make flankers with their shoulder wings. The 'Belgic' shakos make the figures useful only for after 1812, are a little too large, and the plume is much longer than most of the time. Sculpting is fair considering these figures first appeared in 1972. The figures are quite stocky and though there is a reasonable amount of detail, articles as the muskets are quite plain, which makes the set look dated.
45403888924_79e613b16f_b.jpgDSC_0007 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Highland Infantry (S35)
First issued in 1969, the sculptor for this set clearly had in mind the British infantry in their squares as most of the poses seem suited to that scenario. One should remember that only four Highland regiments were present at Waterloo. The 42nd The Black Watch, 73rd Regiment of Foot, 79th Cameron Highlanders and the 92nd Gordon Highlanders. There are no real accuracy problems, but lots of little deviations and a few basic mistakes, which make these figures of their time. Highland regiments usually had the bonnet with red, white and black diced headband and black ostrich feather top with plume and cockade on the left and the kilt with red and white diced hose. Jackets had short skirts like the Light Infantry. The tuft on their shoulders mark these out as centre companies. On campaign, the expensive feather bonnets were often replaced by a normal shako with the three-line deep red, white and black dicing around the lower crown and the kilt replaced by grey trousers.
These are all in highland dress, feather bonnet, kilt, but no sporran. The kilts are plain if a little short. Some may wish for an engraved check to guide their painting efforts. Military tartans of this era were all derivatives of the Black Watch (the Military Sett) with white, yellow or red lines added for regimental distinction. None of the men wear a peak on their bonnet, which is perfectly reasonable. A reasonable job has been made of the feathers on the bonnet. The length of the bayonet seems to vary widely. 
Still the proportions of the figures are reasonable, though some of the poses are not realistic. All the men except the drummer, piper and ensign have the crossed belts on their chest but no haversacks and canteens for them to support.
Officers who were mounted wore trews (trousers made of tartan). Highland officers wore their crimson silk sashes over their left shoulder and hanging to the right hip, which our man does. He has a sword and wears a cross belt over his right shoulder which does not continue over his back, but then there is no scabbard to be supported either. The officer has the usual horse with separate base. It is standing and fits well so is useful for defensive troops in square.
There is just one advancing pose pointing his bayonet towards the ground, and no marching or standing in ranks poses. Eight figures are standing with musket lowered, seven standing firing from the shoulder, another seven standing and reloading, six kneeling firing from the shoulder, and another six kneeling with bayonet raised to repel. There is a falling wounded figure and a fallen man reminding us of the casualties of war. The ensign (flag-bearer) has been given a small base which hardly supports the flag. What is most obviously missing from the set is an NCO.
45403888664_d5a00dfcf6_b.jpgDSC_0009 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

British Cavalry (S43)
The choice of hussars to represent the British cavalry may seem strange, especially considering only three regiments, the 7th 15th & 18th wore busbies at Waterloo as these men do. Hussar dress had come to the British army in 1806, with the first regiments being so designated and uniformed, though they could not be described as a decisive element of the Allied army at the battle of Waterloo.
This set is a mixed bag. Airfix had established 12 unique poses in a cavalry set early on. Three of these figures are waving their swords in the air as though charging, and one man carries a carbine. Light cavalry was usually employed in reconnaissance and picket roles rather than full-blown charges, and the four neutral sword carriers reflect this. The trumpeter is holding his instrument, which should perhaps be a bugle instead, by the mouthpiece, which means he would quickly tire. The standard-bearer carries some sort of pennant - not like the guidon that such regiments would carry. The drummer belongs in the band and would never be seen in the active battle scenario, so his inclusion is wasted. The figure crouched beside his fallen horse reminds us of the casualties of war.
Airfix horses have always been separate from their bases, making them awkward to fit and flimsy when fitted. The horses in this set are not accurate. The sheepskin covering the saddle is correct, though not well sculpted, but the shabracque has a plain border when it should have the vandyking zigzag pattern. The bridle too is simplified and missing several key elements. The lack of accuracy extends to the men's uniform. The 7th, 10th and 15th Hussars adopted the dark blue and scarlet bell-topped shako, of which Wellington complained so much, it is having a similar appearance to the French shako. On active service Hussars wore grey or dark blue overalls, reinforced with wide black or tan leather seams. Equipment included leather pouch belt, pouch, waist sword belt with slings and sabretasche. Officers’ sabretasches were decorated with regimental devices or badges. By the time of the Waterloo campaign of 1815 some changes had been made: The 7th and 15th Hussars returned to the fur cap.
While the main elements of the hussar costume - fur cap, jacket with slung pelisse, breeches and hussar boots - are all present, though much of the detail is wrong. The fur busby is virtually square in section when it should be taller than it is wide, though not as much so as the earlier pattern worn in the Peninsular. The bag is also too large and hangs down the left of the cap when it should be on the right. Finally, there are none of the cords that held the cap on when in action. The jacket has a simplified form of braiding, though this is an understandable compromise due to the moulding process, but none of them have the two shoulder belts that held the carbine and cartridge pouch. Indeed, none have been provided with the carbine except the man carrying his. The sabretasche on these men is much too small, and is square, and overalls should cover the fine breeches and boots as they are in action. Most of the men carry a curved sabre, though this has been given a more extravagant hilt than was normal issue. 
The general standard of sculpting is reasonable, with the swords and scabbards being nice and slender. In general, these are nice figures, but the accuracy problems mean they are of limited use for Waterloo, though ironically, they are more useful for earlier periods in other armies. French Hussar Officers, sappers and musicians often wore similar dress i.e. colpack and pelisse.
45425016414_483073d60d_b.jpgDSC_0001 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

British Artillery (S46)
In 1793 Britain's first troop of horse artillery was formed, marking the beginning of the Royal Horse Artillery. As with the cavalry, horse artillery is generally seen as more exotic than their counterparts in the foot, so it was no surprise when Airfix chose to depict this unit in their expanding range of Waterloo figure sets. The set is sufficient to depict one gun limbered and on the move plus one gun in action. Each of the crew is a different pose, and all have their allotted task. There are two men with ramrods, one carrying and the other with the end removed, therefore in the act of ramming. The poses include an officer holding his telescope with both hands, a pose more fitting than the single handed one found in most sets. The man pulling on a wheel is performing a vital job, and the man with two buckets has inadvertently got his sabre entangled with the bucket! The mounted officer is brandishing his sword, but his horse seems to be engaged in some form of dressage. The uniform of these men has been accurately done here, with the 'Tarleton' helmet and the tailless dolman that were in imitation of the light dragoons of 1799. The lace on the dolman is limited by the scale. 
Six-horse teams were used to haul 3- and 6-pounders, and on occasion even 9-pounders, and a full team has been included here. The limber is nearly accurated, but the team is anything but. One wheeler (rear horse) has been correctly attached to the limber with shafts, and the rest of the team should be attached to each other and the limber with traces. One thin strip of plastic is supplied to link the limber with the three ridden horses but other than that there are no traces - the other two unridden horses are completely unconnected to anything! Given moulding limitations this is understandable and if the modeller requires an accurate set of tack, must resort to scratching as best as possible. Three drivers have been supplied for the team, and these are correctly uniformed as members of the Corps of Drivers, with the RHA Tarletons and the foot artillery jacket, complete with coat tails.
The two guns are of the Congreve block trail design which was normal by Waterloo, with the single bault and a small ammunition box each side of the barrel. Detail is better than many guns found in other sets, though for some reason Airfix have modelled rivets on the outer side of each wheel, which is not correct.
Airfix did not always pay great attention to authenticity, but this is one of their best efforts. The problems with the traces are likely to be caused by ease of manufacture and cost reduction rather than anything else, but the figures and guns are good, even down to little details like the crooked handspike. However, the age of the set is apparent in the number of mould marks to be found. The two crew riding the limber have a lump of plastic between them that fits between the ammunition boxes. This is to make them fit the vehicle more securely and would not be there in life. This is a set that even today represents the most complete set of British horse artillery made in plastic.
45250187355_a0ddf03e47_b.jpgDSC_0001 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

French Infantry (S44)
The uniforms are accurate, although not representative of the bulk of the French infantry at Waterloo. These men carry a sword on a cross belt over the right shoulder, which makes them all grenadiers - only one sixth of the line infantry were grenadiers, the bulk were fusiliers with different equipment. The Line Infantry grenadiers wore the taller shako with a cockade at the top front centre. Below this was the plate, either a rhombus bearing the eagle over the regimental number or an eagle over a semi-circular plate pierced with the regimental number. Brass chin-scales decorated with a grenade. Red top and bottom bands and side struts, pompon, cords and plume for parades. Short -tailed dark blue coatee. White lapels, cuff flaps and turn-backs. Turn-backs had red grenades. Red collar and cuffs. White piping to collar and cuffs. Red piping to lapels and turn-backs. Blue piped red cuff flaps. Variation included red cuff flaps piped blue or no cuff flaps at all. Sometimes the red piping was taken off the lapels. White waistcoat and breeches. Red epaulettes. Belts and small clothes were white. Black gaiters to below the knee. Ammunition pouches were black and bore a grenade badge. Packs were made from calf-skin. Greatcoat in various shades of beige, brown or grey. These figures have shoulder straps, like fusiliers, not the fringed epaulettes that grenadiers wore. In fact, Waterloo saw many French infantry with far less than the regulation uniform, but one very common aspect were trousers or overalls, which covered the gaiters seen here.
Most of the figures in this set seem slightly hunchbacked. The private reloading his musket is leaning so far forward he appears to be forcing the ramrod with all his strength. The bugler/trumpeter is holding his instrument by the mouthpiece with one hand, a difficult task in real life. French Line Infantry didn’t have trumpeters, so he might best be transferred to the French artillery or to a regiment of Légères. Another odd pose is the man running forward holding his musket to his left ear. The flag-bearer has lost his eagle on top of the staff, and the drummer wears a uniform identical to that of the soldiery, when he should have the regulation Imperial Livery, which was noticeably different. Some of the poses are very interesting and unusual, with none more so than the man evacuating a wounded comrade from the field over his shoulder. These are probably more suitable for the 1806-1811 period and if other problems are overlooked, might be used as voltigeurs.
46162853901_f5757d33f8_b.jpgDSC_0002 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

French Grenadiers (01749-1)
Raised in 1791 as the ‘Garde Constitutionelle’, they acquired their bearskins in 1799 and became the Imperial Guard in 1804. When Napoleon committed his Imperial Guard to action at Waterloo on the evening of June 18th, 1815, he was playing his last card, and it failed. The reputation of the Guard was unequalled - it had never been defeated in battle - yet it could not rescue the deteriorating situation. As a result, Napoleon lost France and the Imperial Guard disappeared into history and legend, only to be remembered and commemorated in many ways, not least in 1/72 scale plastic figures.
Airfix left this set until quite late in their range. However, what they produced was a well sculpted collection of figures, sharing many of the same figures as their 1/32 set. The 16 poses include some very useful pieces such as the drummer and porte-Aigle, both of whom are standing watching rather than on the march. The officer is much more animated, as are several of the men, though there are also several who seem to be on guard rather than at the front. The man sitting and holding his head in his hands could be a casualty or an informal relaxing figure behind the front line.
The detail on these models is excellent, allowing us to examine every aspect of the uniform. The Imperial Guard (1804-15) wore the imperial eagle on their yellow buttons. The 1st and 2nd Foot Regiments wore the same uniform as the Grenadiers of the Consular Guard. Black bearskins with brass plate bearing the imperial eagle between two flaming grenades. White cords to the bearskin. The top of the bearskin was red with a white woollen grenade. Red plume, cockade, dark blue coat with similar collar, square cut white lapels, red epaulettes. Red cuffs with trident shaped white cuff flaps (French cuffs), long skirts with red turnbacks with yellow grenade badges and a copper grenade badge on the lid of the black cartridge pouch.
The mouldings wear the bearskin, which has a grenade on the rear patch introduced in 1808. The turnbacks on the tails continue to the bottom, which feature first appeared in 1810. However, the tails themselves are long, hanging to the knees, which suggests a date prior to 1810. Details such as the vertical pockets and the design on the cartridge pouch are well executed without being so deep as to be exaggerated. The guardsmen wear gaiters to above the knee, and are basically in full dress except for the lack of the cords and a plume on the cap. The Guard are known to have worn full dress in several of their actions, though this is unlikely at Waterloo. It is probable that greatcoats were worn (due to the wet weather), at least until the regiment advanced for action.
The arms and equipment are represented well, though no-one has a canteen or water bottle of any sort (these were never official issue, but everyone acquired one). One NCO carries a spontoon, but I have not found any evidence of the French using such implements. The flag is plain and is limp, and the drummer has a decent drum. The officer's sword suffers from poor plastic flow and is too short in my moulding of this set.
This is a good set, well sculpted and with plenty of detail. There are minor inaccuracies like the man walking and carrying his musket on his right. He is not on the march as he should be carrying it on his left and holding it by supporting the trigger with an arm on his chest. However, Waterloo is probably the least appropriate of the actions for these men as they are far too smart. All the men have the required queue, moustache and sideburns, and really do look the part. An example from when Airfix were at the high point of their production.
44345606450_76d32db1ab_b.jpgDSC_0003 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

French Cavalry (S36)
When Airfix decided to make their Waterloo figures, it seems only natural that they would include French cuirassiers. The very epitome of French heavy cavalry, there were over 4,000 of them on the battlefield, more than a quarter of the total French cavalry. The figures themselves are poorly defined and lack the crispness of some other sets Airfix were producing at around the same time. They have been stripped of as much detail as possible, having no straps or plumes, and the horsehair mane is not well done even on figures that are sideways to the mould (which should make the sculptor's task easier). No man has a scabbard for his sword (except the one on foot), and no firearms are present. They have been over-simplified probably to rush them onto the market and they suffer heavily as a result. The horses too are simplified, with a basic saddle and cloth that does not even resemble the cuirassier horse furniture. The ears of the poor animals have been moved down the head for ease of sculpting, and no reins have been provided, though there is a strap running from the top of the bridle to the saddle, which is probably meant to be a rein but is not convincing. 
The poses themselves are useful, especially the unusual man squatting beside his downed mount (a mirror pose of their British Cavalry Set) and the unusual trooper leading his horse on foot. This last is easily the best part in the set, both in terms of detail and originality. One of the mounted men is carrying an eagle, though no flag is attached. This was not uncommon as flags were easily damaged in battle, but a guidon could be added if required. Rather than presented in regiments/squadrons on their own these figures would be best used intermingled with those from other manufacturers to bulk out the ranks.
44345606280_b0fccaacdc_b.jpgDSC_0004 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

French Artillery (S37)
This set has three guns, which Airfix described as 4-pounders. In fact, they are a little small even for that diminutive calibre, but there are many more serious faults than that. Though the barrel itself is fair the carriage has had little attention paid to how the original looked, and apart from having the classic two 'cheeks' it really has nothing in common with the real thing. It is greatly simplified and has crosspieces missing and in the wrong place. The wheels have nine spokes when they should have 12, and both the wheels and the whole carriage are much too small. The tops of the wheels stand 108cms tall, about waist height, when they should be 135cms tall for this calibre. 
The limber is worse still, being nothing more than a peg on wheels onto which the gun can be lifted. This really was a far more sophisticated device, but this representation is absolutely basic and completely inaccurate. Most glaring of all is that it has a two-horse team when four were used for 4-pounders. As is usual with Airfix the horses are 'pegged' onto the limber, with no attempt at harness and tack. The wheels of the limber are 72cms high, when they should be 102 - about the height of the supplied cannon wheels. Also, they have nine spokes like the cannon when they should have 10.
The crew wear the uniform with the double-breasted jacket with closed lapels that was introduced in 1812 (and appeared in 1813) for both artillery and infantry. They have the shorter gaiters and the shako with the correct features, so they are certainly appropriate for Waterloo. Curiously all are wearing a full pack, which while entirely right for the marching figure, would be very unlikely for the men serving the guns, and they also have swords which are much too long. The detail is not very good, so for example none of the men have straps to keep the packs on. Poses are unusual in that as well as the standard crew ones there is a sergeant figure and another on the march. Both are very useful, though there are three teams of horses but only two sergeants to lead them. 
The detail is not good, and they do show their age. At the time, they were made there was no real competition, but that situation has changed. Replacing the guns and limbers entirely and some deft work with a paintbrush will resolve or hide many of the problems, but as it stands this must be one of the poorest Napoleonic artillery sets ever made. Once again, mixing these with other sets now available may help to hide their inaccuracies.
44345605820_3afbfafe2e_b.jpgDSC_0005 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Prussian Infantry (01756-9)
These are Prussian Landwehr troops rather than regulars and Airfix made a decent job on them. This is a very good selection of figures. None of the poses are particularly outstanding, but all are useful and well sculpted. The flag bearer is worthy of special attention as the Landwehr were not issued with flags. This might seem like a real problem except that there is considerable evidence that some units carried a flag despite regulations, and indeed a small number still exist today. The flag is marked with the standard infantry pattern that is certainly not correct.
The militia were always at the back of the queue when it came to supplies, particularly during the rapid expansion of the army in 1813. By Waterloo the situation was a little better, but still men wore all manner of uniform and were often poorly armed. These figures are in regulation dress of Litewka coat and cap and are probably just too smart and uniform! In addition, they all have the full regulation infantry pack and equipment, which again was a rare sight in such units. Each man has a blanket/greatcoat neatly folded on top of the pack, when in fact it was almost universal practice to wear this rolled over one shoulder where it could also give some small extra protection from sword-cuts. Finally, every man has his bayonet in a scabbard on his left hip. The Landwehr often went without bayonets (sometimes they didn't even have muskets), and if they were issued then they were usually kept on the musket - only the lucky few had scabbards. 
Landwehr officers were supposed to wear the normal coat with tails of the Line infantry, but many chose to wear the Litewka like the figure in this set. It is just a pity that the desire of manufacturers to portray their subjects in the smartest and best possible uniform has been taken to a perfect ideal and produce figures that look lovely but were much scruffier on the battlefield. Once again, they would be more representative if mixed with figures from other manufacturers.
44345606170_d663fbae55_b.jpgDSC_0006 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Farm Accessories (A06044W)
These accessories had been thought lost (by some folks) since production of the original Battle of Waterloo set ceased in 1980, but the reissues of the Airfix Waterloo battle set included this runner. Initially they were referred to as Battlefield Accessories but are now described as Farm Accessories. Maybe it is because they have not been issued as a separate set that the tooling was thought to be lost. Much of the accessory sprues are taken up with the two wagons, and these are the most prized elements of all. One wagon is a closed-sided example. The front axle pivots in much the same way as Airfix’s Wagon Train cart and the two horses have pegs driven into their sides in the usual Airfix manner. The driver is unusual in that he is standing when it might be expected of him to be seated. The other wagon is much lighter and more open and is perhaps built to carry hay or other bulky items. This time only a single horse is used to provide traction and the driver is seated. 
Aside from the wagons, there are several smaller items. Most are intended to be cargo for the wagons, but there are also some unusual pieces. The barrels, chests, sacks and bales speak for themselves, and all are useful items that would be found in any supply vehicle. The spade and pitchfork are also commonly found in rural settings, but the small trolley looks more fitting of a railway setting. There is a simple log barricade and a small pile of logs - perhaps firewood for the farmhouse.
The two drivers are worth a closer look. Both have skinny proportions with the standing man having particularly thin limbs. If this man were to stand up-right he would be a giant. Both men wear typical country civilian dress of leggings and a smock, dress that could be worn from medieval times through to the mid-20th century. The seated man has a couple of bottles inside the box on which he is sitting. They are not the most attractive figures ever made, but so far no-one else has made anything similar.
Just to complete the picture, the nature of the subject means that all the parts in this set could be used for a very broad range of conflicts and periods, not simply Napoleonic. 
44345606030_98c67026b5_b.jpgDSC_0007 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

Waterloo Farmhouse (1709)
La Haye Sainte (sacred hedge) is a walled farmhouse compound at the foot of an escarpment on the Charleroi-Brussels road. It has changed very little since it played a very important part in the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. The capture of La Haye Sainte in the early evening was a major French breakthrough, which gave the French the advantage of a defensible position from which to launch the potentially decisive attack on the Allied centre, one that was to become the critical moment in the battle.
This is not an accurate reproduction of the farm of La Haye Sainte but a pastiche following its layout. The farmhouse looks taller in reality, it has dormer windows standing out of the roof. The thickness of the walls is good, though the lack of interior walls and the overly thick roof tiles are disappointing. Moulded in white styrene there are 30 parts in total. It is basically a snap together fit, like the other forts and castles in the Airfix back catalogue. This was a toy to be played with by children fighting their own Waterloo. 
44345605920_017bc218d6_b.jpgDSC_0008 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
46162852791_56284713b5_b.jpgDSC_0009 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

 

At 13:00, the French Grand Battery of heavy artillery opened fire before d'Erlon's Corps (54th and 55th Ligne) marched forward in columns. The French managed to surround La Haye Sainte and despite taking heavy casualties from the garrison, they attacked the centre left of Wellington's line. As the centre began to give way and La Haye Sainte became vulnerable, Picton's division was sent to plug the gap. As the French were beaten back from La Haye Sainte, the heavy cavalry brigades under Somerset and Ponsonby attacked. This action relieved the pressure on the fortress farm.
At 15:00, Napoleon ordered Marshal Ney to capture La Haye Sainte. While Ney was engaged in the glorious but futile 8,000 man cavalry attack, unsupported by infantry or cannon, on Allied squares on the Brussels side of the ridge, he failed to take La Haye Sainte.
At 17:30, Napoleon re-issued orders for Ney to take La Haye Sainte. The French had worked up close to the buildings by this time.
At 18:00 Marshal Ney, heavily supported by artillery and some cavalry, took personal command of an infantry regiment (13th Legere) and a company of engineers and captured La Haye Sainte with a furious assault. "The light battalion of the German Legion, which occupied it, had expended all its ammunition" and had to retreat. Allied forces were unable to counterattack immediately as they were in squares over the ridge. The French brought up guns to fire from its cover. Riflemen of the 1/95 in the "sand pit" to the east of the farm picked off enough gunners to make the guns ineffective.
At 19:00, thanks to the French garrison in La Haye Sainte, the Imperial Guard was able to climb the escarpment and attack the Allies on the Brussels side of the ridge. This final attack was beaten back and became a rout around 20:10 as the French forces realised that with the arrival of the Prussians from the east, they were beaten.

Edited by Ratch

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I shall start this build with the vac-formed diorama base. The 1cm lip around the diorama base mouldings requires trimming off. A craft knife can be used to do this. Score the plastic along the side of the moulding and bend the lip back. The plastic will split cleanly away. 
46105081621_6bc2e78033_b.jpgvac (1) by Richard Linnell, on Flickr

I used Tetrion No Nails to secure the bases to 4mm hardboard cut to size.
44288905460_2065e0e7e5_b.jpgvac (2) by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
45403889254_bfcd4e975f_b.jpgDSC_0001 by Richard Linnell, on Flickr
I also used the No Nails as filler on the joint.

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