Sunday, 14 June 2009

Waterloo: the film programme

The programme cover

The recent purchase of a number of new books for my military library this week has meant I have had to have a radical re-organisation of my bookshelves. In addition, I brought a number of books back from my mother's house this weekend. Whilst looking for these in the loft I found my copy of the programme for the film Waterloo (1970).

It's a long time since you could buy a souvenir programme of a film at the cinema! I went to see Waterloo in the Odeon Cinema, Walton, which is no longer there.

The 32 page programme is full of great photos from this massive Italian/Russian production. It tells the story of the 100 Days and also has a little about the making of the film. Nowadays, of course, they would turn this into a £19.99 paberback book.

Proper squares!

As a film it has dated somewhat and suffers from Italian dubbing syndrome but you cannot fault the way that the battle scenes are done. We will never see the like of these again. No-one will employ 20,000 extras when they can computer generate lots of little people for a fraction of the price but the effect just isn't the same.

Box loads of Highlanders! A bit mountainous for Belgium (actually the Ukraine)

Talking of little people it was the photos in this book that made me go out and buy boxes of Airfix Highlanders. Here is half of a full page spread where you can count 300 men in the Highland regiment in the forground. A bit of a contrast to Sharpe!

Dutch 27th Jaegers

Well, I continue to try to clear some of the part-finished backlog on my painting table. Today I finished four more Jaegers. The two Flank company ones complete my first company of six. The two centre company ones start off my next company. I really like the uniform of this regiment which is why I started my Napoleonics with this rather than French or British line.

I'd really like to get a few more on the go but as I am trying to clear myself some space I will work on some French line which have been sitting on the table for months.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

British Napoleonic Uniforms by Carl Franklin

I have just started painting some Perry plastic Napoleonic British Infantry and I was in Foyles today when I spotted this book. It's just come out (about ten days ago) after some delay, I gather. It's subtitled The First Complete Illustrated guide to uniforms, facings and lace and that is exactly what it is. Every numbered British cavalry and infantry regiment gets a full page colour plate detailing uniforms and lace covering both the earlier periods and the Waterloo period. So on a typical page there will be about ten pictures of jackets (officers, men and musicians) with details of lace, officers' breast plates and buttons. The Cavalry section gives all the shabraques and harness details as well. This is just a tremendous resource for the figure painter and I know that I will be using it for years to come.

There are no artillery uniforms presumably because these have been covered by the same author's companion book British Napolenic Field Artillery, which I have just ordered.
I am at the point where I have to decide which regiment to model first (one from Picton's Division no doubt) and this will help a lot. The only thing which would have made it really complete would have been illustrations of the regiments' drums and flags but then it is really a uniform book so that can't really be expected.