Seeing an image of a Napoleonic uniform still brings emotional feelings in me. My whole life is actually filled with a few names; Napoleon and Waterloo.
From my tenth, everything that has something to do with those two names has my interest. The colors, the uniforms, the massiveness of the impeccably dressed Dragoons, Cuirassiers, lancers, infantry, artillery ... whether it's French, British, Prussian, all uniforms of the Napoleonic era are beautiful to me.
The Waterloo madness really began for me around the age of ten, when my oldest brother had seen the film of The Battle of Waterloo. The stories he told about the film called such strong feelings in me and my brother that we immediately started painting Airfix Waterloo soldiers.
Within weeks we had hundreds of soldiers painted on our miniature Waterloo. Figures such as lancers that did not exist by itself, we made ourselves. Swords from Cuirassiers where cut off and steel pins where used as lances. The French Imperial Guard , we made ourselves, the French Grenadiers on horse were made by cutting off the helmets of foot grenadiers and we placed bearskin hats on their heads with glue
The madness of painting gave me the nickname Mr. Waterloo. My mother had the biggest problems for getting us off this madman painting job. It was not an easy time for her.
From the Waterloo maguette in 1970 are only a few black and white photos preserved. Obviously you now laugh at the quality of the painting, but at that time we had a lot of viewers among friends and acquaintances for our Waterloo project.
In those 40 years much has changed. The offer of Waterloo miniature figures is enormous. Even the paint is greatly improved. The Humbrol paint has been replaced by acrylic paint that much better stuck to the plastic figures. Better figures, better paint and better brushes and a much better painter...
I still do not know what enchanted us about Waterloo. Were it the uniforms only ...? The story of heroes in a fight? The incredible story of the return of Napoleon .....? I do not know. But at least I know that the madness after 40 years still lives in me and I enjoy it still....