• Welcome to Peterborough Wargames Club. Please login or sign up.
October 17, 2021, 01:47:28 pm


Note for prospective members:
* Please choose a screen name that reflects your real name
* Please drop an email note to the info@ address introducing yourself.

Waterloo uncovered - James Cowan charity project

Started by Andrew Riley, September 12, 2020, 09:47:11 am

Previous topic - Next topic

Andrew Riley

Several members will have seen the great article by Conrad Kinch 'Uncovering Waterloo' in Miniature Wargames edition October 2020 (apologies if someone has already mentioned or working on this).
Based on a project to help ex-servicemen James Cowan is hoping to assemble a new diorama on the scale similar to Siborne's - and respectful of that mammouth achievement. There is a call for people in the hobby to paint 1/72 or 20mm plastic or metal figures to a wargaming rather than collectors standard.
I'd like to propose to our noble Chairman and honourable Secretary we consider working as a club to submit at least one unit for the display at National Army Museum. For more info please see:


I agree - I will volunteer to do some painting for this. I also have some unpainted 1/72 airfix napoleonics to donate if they need them.

Andrew Riley

We have made correspondence with James Cowan who is a retired British Army Major General and a trustee of Waterloo Uncovered, a charity that supports wounded ex-soldiers come to terms with their conditions through the medium of archaeology. Every year, the charity conducts a dig at Waterloo and, in the first few years, the focus was at Hougoumont.
One of the techniques employed by Waterloo Uncovered has been to compare the diorama built by Captain William Siborne with the modern archaeological evidence. An idea was hatched to construct a new diorama of the battle in homage to Siborne, but taking advantage of modern scholarship. At the outset, the project already had about 40,000 metal and plastic soldiers available. Huge, but nothing like the numbers needed to replicate the battle at 1:1 scale. The French started the battle with 72,000, Allies had 64,000 and Blucher brought about 40,000 onto the battlefield, requiring 176,000 figures. At the rate of painting (about a 1,000 a year) it would have taken 136 years to complete the project. So the ratio has been modified to 1:3 and a call gone out to volunteers, collectors and wargame clubs.
It is hoped the diorama will be on display at the National Army Museum June 2021.
In discussion with our Chair and Secretary we requested permission to contribute the French 72e Regiment in Reille Corps, 5th Division, 2nd Brigade under Campi.

Andrew Riley

After the Monday night club Zoom call discussing the topic I received an email saying we had been allocated 1/72 battalion of the 72e Regiment and if time the 2/72 battalion. Each battalion in six companies - 1 Grenadier, 1 Voltigeur, 4 Fusilier composed of about 50 figures making 300 per battalion.
Uniform painting advice is available, Vallejo Dark Prussian blue the standard French coat and the figures most likely HAT, Zvezda or Waterloo 1815 (perhaps some Newline metals if needed for officers).
Any volunteers (3 already) please let Mike or myself know how much you might help, ideally painting a company of 50 but prepping and basing help would be welcome also.
I think it would be great for the club to be listed as a contributor to such a worthy cause.
Many thanks

Andrew Riley

With the 1st Battalion safely arrived at the main depot, and passed painting quality inspection by the Sergeant Major, I have begun the 2nd Battalion. Hat French Marching (fusiliers and grenadiers) seem to be in short supply, no doubt due to the huge requirement by the project but I did manage to get a box of Zvezda voltigeurs so they will keep me busy in May.
The diorama in its current state will be on display at the National Army Museum (Chelsea) Mon 18th - Sun 24th October (nearest tube is Sloane Square).
The organisers have asked for volunteers to help with setting up/taking down and also to act as informed exhibition guides/stewards. There is no need to commit to more than one day and is a great opportunity to see the museums other exhibitions. If anyone is interested please drop me a line.