Friday 3 January 2014

Waterloo Project: A "broomin' good paint job - 150-strong French battalion

If this isn't enough to get the wargaming juices flowing for Waterloo 2015 I don't know what will!  As promised in the previous Waterloo posting  Kevin East has now finished his first custom-painted French battalion for our 1:3 scale Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte games.

I'll hand over to Kev to tell you more:

"Hot off the painting blocks is my first French battalion- all 150 of them! I include some photos of them at various stages on the broom stick sections that enables me to access all round the figures for painting purposes. I usually use an electric glue gun to stick the metal figures on the broom stick sections and use blutak for plastic ones. The metal figures are easy to prize off using a chisel post varnishing. Then super glue to the plastic bases and watered down wood glued sand for the ground. After painting the sand I use flock for grass. I usually titivate the bases with grass tufts, flowers and rocks to complete a realistic effect. I worked out it takes just under two hours of painting per figure. Hope you like the effect en masse.

The French battalion is all Perry metal figures. it proved expensive! But the good thing about the range is Perry offer the same posed figure with or without greatcoat. This added to the fact that there are 6 slightly different poses to each pack so that means there are a total of 12 different fusilier and 12 different light/grenadier company figures that can be used to make up the battalion. This makes for a more 'random looking' set of figures when put together so adds to the realistic atmosphere. Of course one could always mix in a box or two of the plastic figures that perry do in French infantry march attack pose and then there is an infinite array of possibilities to make the look totally realistic. Perry really have thought of everything!

The flag is a third battalion fanion from Graeme Black of GMB designs. Here is the website French armies
They are great as they provide 2nd(white) 3rd (red), 4th (blue), 5th (green) and 6th (yellow) battalion fanions for line and also have them for the light battalions for the period where all you have to do is paint the regimental number in gold and the job is done! Perry also provide battalion as well as the regimental command packs which makes life easy for the figures. 

I am now on the 180 strong French light infantry battalion I am producing. That should take 3 months! ( although I already have 60 figures from my existing collection)."

Kevin sent me loads of photos so why should I deny you, gentle reader, the chance to enjoy them? The close-ups show his amazing artistic technique, these look more as if they've come out of an oil painting than being bits of sculpted metal covered with pigment

Here are two other views of the whole battalion. Each company is 24 figures strong and you can tell them by the different coloured shako pompoms and the Grenadier and Voltigeur companies are at the back in this attack column formation, representing approximately 450 men.

Some close-ups of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs to finish off


We hope to field about 6 to 8 French battalions like this at any one time in our various Waterloo scenarios.

I'm currently working on a 50-strong Nassau Light Company so hope to show you them in a couple of weeks.


  1. Amazing! Absolutely amazing.

    Best Regards,


  2. Wow!! That is a lot of work! Very impressive!!

  3. No that is what I call a wargames unit! Amazing!

  4. Wow

    Great work. I'm beginning to get excited


  5. Thanks guys for the nice comments. Keeps my enthusiasm going especially when I have another 120 figures undercoated and ready to paint! Onward to the next battalion now! Cheers.


  6. Phenomenal piece of work. Well done.

  7. I am looking for a beginner set. What would you recommend?

  8. Hi'd be great to know your identity?
    Are you looking for a starter set of figures or paints?

    If its paints I would recommend the foundry paint system (which is what I mostly use) They are useful as each colour comes with three shades for the dark, mid and light tones of any particular colour you want. The Napoleonic paint starter set is ideal for British and French units. It is what I started on. Please see the link:

    Paint brushes are always the bone of contention as getting good ones at reasonable prices are difficult. Foundry do some good ones but are not the best. They are good to start with though:

    I have found Rosemary and Co - Kolinsky sable Series 22 - just the best! Perhaps for future projects though? Please see here:

    For figures, I prefer, Perry Miniatures metal although I do and have painted some of their plastic ranges as they are cheaper especially when you require a lot of figures. Beware as they are fiddly to construct as they are like putting together an Airfix kit for some of the figures. They do French, British, Prussian and Austrian plastic brigade deals. The cheapest being £78. Please see :

    Also Warlord games do a nice if not better starter combination set where you get Allied/British and French protagonists. Some plastic, some metal in the pack as well as the bonus of some cavalry to paint. Please see:

    Oh and just for good measure if you want to see the uniform colours of units at Waterloo I suggest this as your first stop:

    Good luck with that long list. If you need any further info please leave another message.
    Happy painting and I hope you get to into the hobby as it does become very engrossing! ENJOY!

    All the best and kind regards.


  9. Thanks so much for all the information!! I will check them all out! I have never painted miniatures before so this will be a completely new endeavor. My name is Suzzette and I am in Texas!!

  10. Hi Suzette.
    Great to hear from you and all the way from Texas too! So pleased to hear you are going to 'give it a go' at painting miniatures! I wish you all the best of times in doing so. I realise that all the websites I have provided you are European which is not so great from Texas!
    Since you are starting from new it may be that this book by the miniatures artist Kevin Dallimore will be helpful for you as it explains how to use the Foundry paint system of the three shades (available only on eBay and Amazon as it is out of print):

    It may prove a little expensive so please ask questions and I will help if you need. Its an exciting creative process that I really enjoy particularly when you see the miniature 'coming alive' through the various stages of painting.
    Anyway - enjoy!
    All the best.

  11. Hi Suzette
    If you feel personal help from Kevin East would be helpful rather than go via these blog comments you can email me at and I'll pass on your contact details.