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WIP On The Evening of the Battle of Waterloo

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Hot_spur, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Hot_spur Member

    Based on a painting by Ernest Crofts, 1879.
    Evening of Waterloo.jpg

    PlanetFigure member peedee is working on this same project. You can see his thread here: https://www.planetfigure.com/threads/on-the-evening-of-waterloo.76019/ I recommend you look over his entire thread. Loads of information and background on his build.

    I started this ambitious project in 1995, and worked on it steadily for probably eight months, when some other project caught my fancy. I do not remember what that project was, but I suppose I thought, "Oh, plenty of time to pick this up later."

    In about 1999, a few life altering events took place for me, and I had to lay aside my modeling hobby until now. I was 46 years old in 1995. If you do the arithmetic, I am now 70. Plenty of time is no longer a luxury I possess.

    I really want to finish this work.

    The figures are Historex 54mm, and the scene is composed of seven mounted figures, thirteen horses, an 8 pounder cannon and limber, Napoleon's berline, roughly thirty figures on foot of various regiments, and Napoleon. The base measures about 20" x 20", and is sculpted from solid foam, with papier maché for the surface. Later it will be mounted on a hardwood base, and have a plastic cover.

    Most of the figure construction and conversion, was done in 1995. Luckily when I set the work aside, I meticulously stored everything in plastic compartmented boxes with hinged lids. A compartment was labeled with the bits and pieces for each figure - uniform details, muskets, swords, pouches, stirrups, horse furniture, etc., all nicely separated. If I hadn't done this I would have a real mess on my hands. I can't believe how organized I was. All was pegged into the base, then carefully stored so as not to get damaged

    The little bit of painting was just some base coat I fiddled around with when I got bored. I didn't do any actual finish painting.

    I have about ten foot figures yet to build and pose which go in the pile up in front of the Old Guard grenadiers at the lower right. These are included in my overall figure count.

    Peedee pointed out the error in Crofts' painting of only showing two mounts for the berline. It should have at least four. So I'm adding two more, along with an additional postilion. (Also included in my count.)

    So this is the background of my project and my post. Here is a photo from when I picked things up a few weeks ago.


    I will keep you posted as I make progress . Thanks for looking

  2. peedee A Fixture

    Geoff this is looking fab.
    keep on truckin' ;) :)
  3. Huw63 PlanetFigure Supporter

    This looks really great Geoff. I look forward to seeing some more.


  4. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Fantastic start! I inherited a copy of Historex’s Berline last year, I have yet to touch it though.
  5. TERRYSOMME1916 Well-Known Member

    Geoff what an amazing project and welcome back to the world of figure modelling, I myself came back to the hobby about 2 years ago after a 20 -30 year break and being a member of PF and talking to others on the forum it is wonderful to see just how many of us oldies there are still painting figures, no doubt picking up where you left off will present you with challenges but stick at it as we would all love to see this Waterloo classic completed.
    Not to many modelers produce these big Dioramas these days so this is really great stuff and I look forward to following your progress.
    Oda and Nap like this.
  6. Nap Forum Moderator


    Agree with Terry's comments Geoff ..look forward to more

    Happy benchtime

    Oda likes this.
  7. taliesin2013 Active Member

    Great work. Compliments.
  8. megroot PlanetFigure Supporter

    Amazing and time consuming
    Looking forward to the finished project.

    Oda likes this.
  9. Jaybo Active Member

    Wow! Keep it going. We all know how work intensive Historex kits can be.
    Oda likes this.
  10. Babelfish A Fixture

    I doff my Optivisor to you.

    - Steve
    Oda and MattMcK. like this.
  11. MaxTheDoc Member

    Great project. I look forward to seeing the progress.
    Oda likes this.
  12. stevee317 PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looking fabulous! If you need some parts I have pounds! I would love to contribute.
    Oda likes this.
  13. fogie Well-Known Member

    Stunning !! .... a worthy companion piece to the late Shep Paine's 'Eve of Essling'

  14. Wayneb A Fixture

    Impressive...…..Keep the vision alive...……..

  15. Hot_spur Member

    Thank you all very much for your posts.

    Stevee317, I may take you up on your generous offer if I find I need something that I can't find in my stash of spares.
  16. stevee317 PlanetFigure Supporter

    More than happy to help. I thought about the same them once upon a time but was a little time consuming back then.
    Nap likes this.
  17. Geoff Charman A Fixture

    What an amazing project to even contemplate, and what you have done looks great. I wish you luck for the finish Geoff.

  18. bucsfan21 Active Member

    Geoff, What an amazing undertaking! As someone else mentioned, a suitable vignette to sit alongside Eve of Essling by Shepard Paine. Look forward to seeing you finish it up (y)

    Best of Everything, Terry Martin-Member of the Atlanta Military Figure Society of Atlanta, GA
  19. Hot_spur Member

    Progress 6/10/2019

    I took a little break from working on the two additional mounts and postilion for the Berline. The two part putty I used to use was fileable and sandable within a few hours. The new stuff I am using takes at least a day to cure, so I decided to turn to other stuff.

    There were some mistakes made 25 years ago that I just discovered:

    I had this part installed upside down. I know it simply as a pole. (The French probably have another name for it.) It was a pretty easy fix. I just had to remove the iron strap, pry the other pieces apart a little to free the pins on the pole and twist it 180º. Here it is turned, but then I had to remove the bit with the rings and bring them around to the top. The kit instructions were very murky about this part. (I hadn’t moved the rings yet in this photo.)


    Which brings up a point I ponder from time to time. No one but the most avid rivet-counter would have noticed this mistake. Why take the time? (I never point out mistakes I see in others’ work.) I don’t know. I guess it’s a form of mental disorder.

    There were two sizes of horse tails. For the artillery horses they were larger, and for the Berline horses they were smaller. I mixed them up unknowingly, and got two small tails on two artillery horses, with two large ones, and on the Berline I got two small tails. It became obvious when I went to add the two horses to the Berline, that I only had two large tails in the box, (which would have looked weird) and I noticed the mistake. I broke the two small tails off the artillery and replaced them with large tails. (More insanity.)


    Then I decided it was time to add glazing to the Berline windows. A trick taught to me by a buddy many years ago for larger flat openings, such as buildings, tugboats, etc. - He showed me how to cut microscope coverslips - not the slides, but the coverslips which are super thin pieces of actual glass that can be cut with a diamond scriber, just like real glass. Unlike plastic or acrylic, glass doesn’t distort or scratch, so it looks ultra realistic. You can get the coverslips at most scientific instrument suppliers or online. Typically they come 22mmx22mm, or 24mmx50mm. I get a fair amount of breakage when the glass doesn’t snap accurately, but the stuff is cheap. You just have to be patient. (In the previous photo you can see one of the windows cut and ready to install - just to the top of my glass work surface. I used the kit supplied shades as the pattern.

    It doesn’t look so clear here, because my fingerprints are over the glass, but that will clean off after I get the glass glued in place with Kristal Klear.




    I followed the box art for the Berline, and painted the splash board, front and back, black instead of green. I started to take the carriage apart, and decided that all of my meticulous leather strapping which supports the carriage body would have to be totally redone. I just am not up for it. So I will paint the splash board green by hand, then weather it with mud and dust so it just sort of looks natural. It’s a serious compromise, but I’m going to call it good enough. 99.999% of people who see the finished scene will not know better. (I have to draw the line somewhere.)


    I made a miniature pair of spectacles and a map to set inside the coach along with the Emperor’s hat and telescope. No historical reference for it, just some artistic license.


    Here’s the Berline progress so far. Check out all of the harness tack on the horses. I make it by cutting lead foil from wine capsules into appropriate width strips. It lays beautifully. The forward postilion needs his hat, wig and right arm. Right now I’m working on the double trees and single trees (whiffletrees here in my area). Then the traces, which I am making from three strands of twisted lead wire, sold in spools for adding weight to fishing flies.

    This builds into an impressive model all by itself - a little over 11 inches long.



    All for now - more insanity to come.
  20. Grod A Fixture

    Fantastic project!

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