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Waterloo in 20mm world's largest diorama under construction (on view at NAM Chelsea Oct 20 & 21)

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posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 12:13 PM
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20mm refers to the size (less than an inch) of the figures 100,000 of which will fill the Waterloo diorama so large it will have to be shown by section. I am fortunate enough to be involved as a volunteer and I am amazed at the progress so far. It will be displayed at the National Army museum NAM in Chelsea (London?) in October and other sections will include Papelotte, Hougemont, Saint Belle Alliance, La Haye Saint and the French cavalry charge against the British squares. The completed diorama will be nearly the size of the tennis court with strategic walkways to allow viewers to see all parts it. It will be summer of 2022 before expected completion. There are dozens of volunteers contributing and my small part is painting a single regiment of the 4th French cuirassiers. Lucky Londoners will have the opportunity to see this in person and tickets will be available soon.
My personal satisfaction comes from knowing none of this is digital but all hand-created by volunteers all around the world donating their time and talents. My hope is that it will find a permanent home where people and especially children will become excited to learn about history and perhaps working with their hands to make and paint models; something I have found immensely satisfying my entire life.

Plancenoit; the tiny town to the East of the main battle where the Prussian army under Blucher pushed the French out of town at the point of bayonet. The sheer brutality of Napoleonic battles is almost beyond comprehension. The fighting swirled around the church and the town changed hands several times.


Brutal house to house fighting pushes the French Imperial Guard out at heavy cost; 80% casualties among the Young Guard Division


Accurate depiction of how artillery deployed and the additional caissons and wagons that accompanied them:


Closeup of French cuirassiers


Custom casualty figure


The orange square in the bottom right shows the area covered in the pictures above. The other orange squares represent finished sections.


Hopefully the diorama will not only find a permanent home but an internet presence where people around the world can see it. You can follow the construction from it's humble beginnings as well as check for updates at generalpicton.blogspot.com...
Though as yet un-named I would be remiss to not mention the manufacturers of both metal and plastic figures who have contributed so generously of raw figures to fill diorama. The response from them has been incredible even to the degree of designing custom figures for the project.
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edit on 6-9-2021 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-9-2021 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals
Not a ton to add, either than awesome. It's even cooler you're a contributor. I hope lindybiege does a video on the completed set



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: SwampFox999

I have a good feeling Lindy Beige will get involved the history buff he is. Brilliant guy and very funny. There are already several top historians involved but names aren't ready to be released quite yet. This entire project was the vision of a single man joined by his father who have put this entire project together. This was based on his inspiration from the original diorama built in the 1830's and enlarging it to include the whole battle which covered several miles. Talk about a logistical nightmare but here is proof it is coming to life.



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals
That really is quite amazing. At some point my lady and I would like to spend a few years in the U.K. this will get added to our list of things to do and see.



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: SwampFox999
Among the amazing things is his wife tolerating this diorama taking over their entire house temporarily. Sacrificing on the home front in the finest British tradition.



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

That diorama is absolutely stunning.

I lived in Beligium for a while during my youth. I remember visiting Butte du Lion mound,
also known as Lions Mound. I was a dumb teen, but man did that place leave an impression on me.

I remember there was a theater that played a movie that was without any words, so it was suitable for nationality. It was all about he battle of waterloo. I swear you could feel the battle... Seeing these figures does the same thing. I can even hear it...

I get the same feeling for some of the civil war stuff. Went to visit Franklin Tennessee, and I swear you can still smell war in the air.

PS. I'd love to see more close ups if they are available.
edit on 4-9-2021 by JAGStorm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2021 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

I had read several books before visiting Franklin and I had the same experience. Knowing 7 Confederate generals fell in doomed assaults against Federal earthworks fully knowing it would fail. Despite that they nearly broke through but the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of John Bell Hood ("I gave an arm and a leg for the cause, now you go do it"). The poor army of Tennessee lost their chances with the death of Albert Sydney Johnston.

I forgot to add the buildings you see were all scratch built by Mr. Cowan Sr.

edit on 4-9-2021 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2021 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm
For you Jag a few closeups. Every unit is painted in their correct color facings and uniforms as well as being deployed on the diorama as they were in the actual battle. Every detail possible is retained to remain true to the historical battle.
French Young Guard who bore the brunt of the attack




french cuirassier bugler



posted on Sep, 5 2021 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

Love all the detail, the little figure getting hit!!!

Second scene from bottom reminds me of yet another battle area.
St. Augustine Florida.

There is a living museum. They have a tour of a Spanish war hospital.
The scene you captured reminded me so much of it.

Wounded soldiers, spread out on a slab and they would literally saw their arms or legs or whatever was wounded off…uggg.

I also learned there that they figured out that soldiers that had pneumonia had a significant better chance of survival if they sat them up in bed vs. laying flat.
I guess as different as all war/battles are, there are a lot of similarities too.



posted on Sep, 5 2021 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: JAGStorm
Medicine was basically the same for several hundred years although Napoleon's personal physician Dr. Larrey instituted several reforms that helped save many lives and limbs mostly by creating an ambulance corps to carry off the wounded ASAP. Due to overwhelming demand and a shortage of horses most of the wounded at Waterloo had to wait days for assistance if they couldn't walk. It sounds like you had a very interesting childhood visiting historical sites. I was fortunate similarly but limited to what was the East coast and never made it farther outside the US than Montreal Canada.



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 12:25 PM
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Shameless bump. The worlds largest diorama and only 2 people are interested? C'mon man!
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posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

Holy Moly there guy...! The scope of the thing is mind boggling.

What's also neat is that your a part of the history of it becoming what it is.


Big Congrats!
Johnny



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyAnonymous
::Bows:: My gratitude Johnny.
Thanks for your interest.



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 08:19 PM
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I’m still wrapping my head around the size of it all to scale. Some of the pics, due to the detailing and position of the camera, really looked like crane shots from a set.



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 09:41 PM
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That is one great compliment sir, I will be sure to pass it along to the deserving parties. I should have known better than to get involved with some mad Englishmen but my inner Anglophile would not be denied despite my rooting for the French to win. If for no better reason than to not see Marshal Ney executed for treason against the King.



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

Wow. I'm blown away.
I wasn't expecting anything so massive, so intricate, and so simply amazing.

Thanks for sharing this ATA....a brief look at history and modern-day folks who want real history to live.
edit on Mon Sep 6 2021 by DontTreadOnMe because: clarity



posted on Sep, 6 2021 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: DontTreadOnMe
It's a tad crazy to think every figure has each individual part painted and all the buildings are reconstructions from the historical sources. I can't think of any other project using so much hand labor (giant quilts excepted) for a single purpose. It will deserve an online presence and plans are gelling to make guided tours and educational videos. The ultimate dream is to have a camera program so you can pan anywhere on the diorama you want, probably with pop-ups to label and describe units,personages and actions. I love people who dream large and I may be guilty of urging it on.



posted on Sep, 7 2021 @ 07:02 AM
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a reply to: Asktheanimals

That would be awesome. Especially pop ups to ID a particular soldier and then share some letters to home or pictures of personal items like a pipe and tobacco bag or even a family sword.



posted on Sep, 7 2021 @ 10:02 AM
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Tickets are now on sale!!

From the email announcement:
Major General James Cowan, Trustee of the ground-breaking veteran support charity Waterloo Uncovered, is delighted to invite you to an exclusive exhibition of his previously unseen diorama of the Waterloo Battlefield. * ATA Note* The Plancenoit section is what will be displayed and not the entire battlefield currently under construction.

Private View
Wednesday 20th October & Thursday 21st October
19.00 – 21.00

Tickets are £45
All proceeds kindly donated to Waterloo Uncovered
This exhibition is made possible with the support of three iconic institutions - the National Army Museum, the Royal United Services Institute and the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
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posted on Sep, 7 2021 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: Asktheanimals

It's a tad crazy to think every figure has each individual part painted and all the buildings are reconstructions from the historical sources.


I'm a big fan of projects like this. And so came back again and enlarged the photos to really get a close "look-see" and was amazed once again.

I just recently watched an Adam Savage video (from the TV Show MythBusters). Many folks don't know that he's worked on countless Movies (and other) in creating realistic models, objects and devices. In almost every case he has said that the small subtle 'inclusions' of say the color of the thread holding the shirts buttons are as significant as the larger visuals.

It's all about creating the realism, even if the shot never included a close-up scene where we see the buttons-threads.. it all adds to the realism that your subconscious catches... if only for a fraction of a second it helps cement the realist value of the creation.

So yes sir.. I can truly appreciate the efforts of yourself and everyone involved in making this 'Diorama'.


Johnny


edit on 9/7/2021 by JohnnyAnonymous because: Teeny tiny typos.. almost too small to see




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