Monday, July 18, 2011

Military Modelling 1997-09

I have always been fascinated by military history, from ancient times to World War II. The Napoleonic period is particularly rich in military uniforms and due to the availability of first class figures from Historex of France, I was able to assemble and paint a small number of these. It was when a great friend and work partner of mine, Chris Littledale, put forward the plan for a 'toy and model museum' that the germ of an idea to create military dioramas was conceived. The result is five dioramas based on Napoleon's rise and fall. The dioramas are between three and four feet long by about two feet deep and as may be imagined, they took a long time to build. Looking back I find it difficult to believe that I created them, because my style of painting was generally suited to large numbers of figures rather than these superb individual pieces. The diorama titled "C'est la Garde", for example, has 140 figures. In addition to these there are, of course, the buildings and scenery to be modelled and painted. Two dioramas feature the Emperor. The first is "Freedland" which was based on the famous picture painted in about 1830 by Messonier and shows Napoleon in Chasseur uniform. The other is "The Retreat from Moscow" in which the Emperor appears in his famous grey overcoat.