Kevin East's Hougoumont

Please have a look at my main blog post on how this model led us into a major Waterloo project.  But Kevin now explains how he painted  the model.

Kevin at his painting table
Painting the ‘Hovels’ 25mm Hougoumont was an absolute joy and very quick too.
Happily Hovels have put a painting guide on their website specifically for Hougoumont but this would also be very useful for any brick, whitewash, sandstone, pantiled and slate tiled buildings:
After referring to the Humbrol colour wall chart for enamels I discovered some of their colouring numbers for the matt enamels have changed or are incorrect : for 92 orange read 82. For 170 Brown Bess read 186. For 35 and 36 white read 34.
Garden walls and Humbrol pots
The biggest issue is making the building acceptable to paint in the first instance and hovels came up with the perfect solution which is to paint them with Sandtex bitter chocolate brown smooth masonry paint (available from DIY stores). This takes about 4 hours to dry – best left overnight, but is quick as it took me 3 hours to paint all the items in the photos with a standard house paintbrush. Latex gloves are a must!

View of the Chateau from the South
 The masonry paint is water based, however, for the painting of Hougoumont, Hovels suggest using matt enamel paints, which to be honest I hadn’t used since the 80’s as acrylics took over for most of my modelling needs. I thought why not and I wouldn’t need to varnish the buildings afterward, so I dug out the turpentine that I use for my oil paints and proceeded with their menu of colours onto the detail of brick first. It must be well mixed for dry brushing and it took 5 colours to get the effect of brick in the end but it was well worth the effort. Unfortunately using enamels means you have to wait until it is dry ( at least an hour) before lightly dry brushing the next effect on top. I did take the risk on occasion and it worked out just about OK but gets very sticky! Three sizes of flat brushes were used depending on the amount of detail.
Overall view of Chateau and farm buildings including a small
sample of British Guards covering the South gate 
  I must admit I bought too many of the same colour enamels as I thought I was going to get through them at a big rate especially on a model of this size. But dry brushing really doesn’t use that much paint and I quickly discovered that almost one standard pot size, barring a couple, of each colour was enough for the whole project.

The ten ‘real’ feet of garden wall was pretty repetitive to paint but then we are all used to that, painting hundreds of troops in the same colours so it’s a similar experience.
The whole lot including 116" of garden wall
(with some ruined replacement sections below)

In total everything took about five days to paint from start to finish ( 6 hour days). I am not the quickest of painters and love to put details in, but, I feel that, if they use their own painting menu to the full, then Hovels' painting costs for such a project are value for money..... but then where’s the fun and involvement in that when its such a joy to paint?
A 216 figure sample French battalion is arranged in column of attack
(of course in our landscaped wargame terrain they will be in woods)

Here’s looking forward to the 1:3 scale refight for Hougoumont that our Greatfield Wargames Group are putting on in 2015…………….the buildings are ready…… the landscaping and the troops!

Kevin has replacement ruined roof pieces and upper floors for the
later afternoon "on fire" scenario


  1. Looks like I will be staying in the area then ..

  2. More awesome stuff! Would love to have a Hougoument like this one day. One small thing - the door to the right of the southern gate was INSIDE the wall (where the troops on raised platforms are).

  3. Beautiful model expertly painted.

  4. Replies
    1. Thankyou - be sure to see the full report on our refight

  5. Nice project you have accomplished