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Hougoumont - Work in Progress

Posted by Captain Sibourne on 24 Sep 2019, 17:42

Dear All, many thanks for your comments. Beano Boy, as you rightly point out, there will be a haystack, or at least the burnt remains of one after it set light to the roof of the barn and then in turn burnt the chateau. On the subject of white trousers, as Chris Dodson gently enquires, there is a question mark about whether the Foot Guards wore them: Dighton says they did but he may have see them in Paris after they had been issued new kit in the aftermath of Waterloo. With regard to the Nassauers, my understanding is that of the two green coated Nassau regiments at Waterloo (the Orange-Nassau regiment wore blue), it was Colonel Kruse's that wore white shako covers (he ordered that they be removed late in the afternoon because they had become a magnet for the fire of French voltigeurs) but that the other regiment at Papelotte did not wear these shako covers. I'm not aware of the Nassauers wearing white trousers but would be interested in the evidence.
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 01 Oct 2019, 20:05

I've been working on the kitchen garden at Hougoumont. More pics available on my Blog at http://generalpicton.blogspot.com

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More to come!
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Posted by Peter on 01 Oct 2019, 21:26

Wonderfull work! Keep them coming! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Marvin on 02 Oct 2019, 00:08

What joy to see! Thank you for sharing your work, it brings a feeling of awe toI see an ambitious diorama like this.
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Posted by Beano Boy on 02 Oct 2019, 01:15

Well evidence is out there just Google Nassau Infantry At Waterloo.

Really nice set up and base. Toy soldier style of painting i love it. BB
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 02 Oct 2019, 14:10

Thanks BB, I loved your own Hougoumont! I have seen modern pictures of Nassauers in white trousers but haven't seen an original source showing that (although I have seen officers in grey trousers). Can you point me in the right direction?
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Posted by Iain on 02 Oct 2019, 17:54

As Criss said, the 4 Guards Light Companies did not have white trousers... (only used for Guard Mount in London and Windsor)
Iain  Belgium
 
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Posted by Iain on 02 Oct 2019, 18:47

Captain Sibourne…, Hi !

Firstly…, I would like to congratulate you on your courage, patience and your enthusiasm.
However, I am unable to congratulate you on the spelling of your name. Captain ‘Sibourne’ was spelt Siborne.
But that’s not important !

I suppose…, you have checked out BB’s Hougoumont ? If not…, then please do so, there is not a more perfect model of the farm in over 200 years. (independent of course of the one by Captain Siborne in London)

Question… Have you ever visited the NAM Museum next to the Royal Chelsea Hospital ? A must-see. (despite Siborne’s surrounding woodland and gardens being a total disaster)
It was the southern wood that stopped Napoleon using artillery on the farm…, but I see no medieval wood or lanes through them in your images. Nor kitchen gardens !

As you have only used the gardener’s house and offices (no chateau) then the next priority must obviously be the surroundings.
This is one of my major criticisms I have of all (ALL) models of a re-enactment Hougoumont ! If you are re-enacting a battlefield, you must FIRSTLY decide on the time of day. (Siborne chose 15h00) Hougoumont in the morning certainly does not present our Hougoumont as it was in the afternoon. (as half of it was up in flames)
In addition, as you are presenting the gardener’s house with the killing zone to the front…, the bodies were 4-deep in places.

What’s more and probably more important than the buildings, was the surrounding gardens and woodland. Nothing is correct in your images ! I don’t criticize you here…, as all modelmakers give priority to the bricks. However, this ‘battle within a battle’ in the morning, ‘did not take place inside;’ everything tactical was green.
There is not one single hour on the 17th and 18th that didn’t change concerning the troops. However, the wood, the 3 orchards, the 2 vegetable gardens, the Chemin du Goumont with its double poplar trees and (MUCH MORE important) La Rue aux Loups; (the sunken lane) were all 10 times more important than the exterior walls of the chateau-farm.

However, congratulations on your work so far.
Yes…, I know, it’s far from finished !

Lol…, it would be worth your while buying my book next year. It will explain everything !
Kind ReGuards…, Iain.

PS Please don’t forget that the two windows above the southern gate were bricked up. (to avoid taxes)
Iain  Belgium
 
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 02 Oct 2019, 20:32

Dear Iain,

Thank you for your helpful email. If I could take your points in turn:

1.being a computer illiterate I originally registered as Captain Siborne, but was unable to log in, so re-registered as Captain Sibourne. I am familiar with the correct spelling and have even made the acquaintance of his Great GG Grandson, who by happy coincidence is an architectural model maker.

2. My previous entry acknowledges BB's excellent model.

3. I am a friend of the NAM and have lectured there.

4. This is a work in progress, and yes I do know that Hougoumont is bigger than the Gardener's House, see this picture:

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5. My model is in fact of the whole battlefield, not just Hougoumont, see my La Haie Sainte and La Belle Alliance for sections thereof:

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6. My chosen time of day is 1800 and i agree it's silly to show all stages of the battle happening simultaneously.

7. I agree casualties were high - the model is under construction - here are some more pictures since yesterday.

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5. I agree that Dighton and others show the windows blocked up.

6. I would love to buy your book but won't be taking my model apart.

7. It's funny what catches the eye. On another forum, attention has focussed on whether brassicas could be harvested in June. The general view is that I am wrong and that it is too early in the season. Again, despite this horticultural evidence, I'm unwilling to dig up by cabbages.
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 02 Oct 2019, 20:40

PS left off my La Belle Alliance

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Captain Sibourne  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 02 Oct 2019, 20:46

Hi James.

You are right as far as I am concerned about the veg and Der Feldmarschall, ( a keen gardener, concours).

As for criticism about your project this is in my mind very unfair as it is still work in progress.

Keep up the good work.

Do not be deterred.

Chris.
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 02 Oct 2019, 20:57

Thanks Chris, in his defence, Iain is generally supportive and I'm always open to suggestions, although stacking the bodies four deep may exhaust my supplies. By the way, I'm getting round to the haystack. See my blog for some early thoughts. All suggestions welcome!
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Posted by Beano Boy on 03 Oct 2019, 00:18

( Epic in every small figure way. :thumbup:
Lovely photographs. :thumbup:
Great looking buildings too. :thumbup: BB
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 03 Oct 2019, 06:33

Thanks BB, you're a kind man!
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Posted by Egbert on 03 Oct 2019, 08:20

An impressive performance … :thumbup:
I find your buildings beautiful and the depiction extremely realistic! :oops: :drool:
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Posted by Susofrick on 03 Oct 2019, 09:30

This is very much a wow-project! I enjoy your work a lot an love looking at the figures and try to find out where they come from. Now I think I found 3 ESCI-ACW Union figures. :-D
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Posted by Captain Sibourne on 03 Oct 2019, 15:03

Dear All,

Here are some more photos taken from the east looking west. More on my Blog at:

http://generalpicton.blogspot.com

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Hope you enjoy them!
Captain Sibourne  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 03 Oct 2019, 16:44

i agree with our Gunnar, a wow project indeed.
Good for you Captain, :thumbup:
i quite like the bubble and squeak cabbages! BB
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Posted by Iain on 04 Oct 2019, 13:50

Good afternoon Captain…, sorry for not getting back to you sooner. (I must have a look at my settings)
And once again…, congratulations. That must have taken years to do !

Lol…, pity about the cabbages !! In fact, there were no vegetables in the formal garden, just flower beds and shrubs. Although, according to satellite radar images, there’s a hint of what could have been a large rectangle of raspberries or the like to the north of the flower beds, with a hedgerow dividing it from the orchard strip. Lol…, who knows; perhaps the gardener Van Cutsem had his famous strawberries there ?

In fact, there were two vegetable gardens, one where the French are fighting in your last image, and the other along the western wall with the western lane and a line of poplar trees separating them both. The southern kitchen garden stretched east-west the full length of the formal garden wall before meeting up with the great orchard. Perhaps not easy to visualize as that part of the farm is a little complicated.
To get a good idea about the layout, the best sketch is Adkin’s ‘Waterloo Companion,’ page 332.
Note…, the whole farm was surrounded by one single hedge. (“with trunks as thick as your arm”)

Three aspects not well indicated in this drawing is the sunken lane. (ease-west at the top) It should turn abruptly northwards just above the pond. Also, the southern area is just as important as the top half and he has eliminated the two paddocks on the right. In addition, on the left, the western kitchen garden extends south before turning into a third orchard which envelopes a good part of the wood to the south.
He also has an error there where the lane junction near where your cabbages should be…, he just has a simple fork, however, there was another lane from that fork leading SW that headed for Genappe. The one visible moving down SE and cutting the wood in two, led towards La Belle Alliance at Plancenoit. (and on that corner is where all the French entered…, this was at 10h00 and before the French Pioneers started using horses to uproot the great orchard’s eastern hedgerow)

I know absolutely nothing about this type of model making and I find it amazing to see how each soldier is positioned differently, depending on the situation.
However, as seen in that last image, it’s a pity the soldiers aren’t slightly smaller (or vice versa) as they are the same height as the wall. Don’t forget that the Nassau, Jaegers and the Coldstreamers needed to build platforms to shoot over that wall.
Oh ! And please don’t forget that the farm had two haystacks ! The second was smaller and was at the northern tip of the western kitchen garden. When the Scots Guards were retreating from the wood, Privates Matthew Clay and Robert Gann stopped behind it to return fire. From here, they could see the Northern Gate, noticed that it was open so ran over to gain entry. Clay then tells us that he saw Col Macdonnell carrying the log to help close the gates.
http://blidworthhistoricalsociety.co.uk/10501.html

Great work…, Kind Regards…, Iain.

PS I’m working with ‘Waterloo Uncovered’ for the time being. (traumatized soldiers doing archaeology) I think I’ve discovered a cellar under the chateau; so I contacted a friend of mine Christian Deglas. About 25 years ago, I bought a copy of a Belgian beer book he had just published and he signed it for me…, however, it’s been in the attic ever since. In the meantime, I was convinced that with all the cereal surrounding the farm, the gentleman farmer Antoine Dumonceau surely produced Lambic beer. (for the model; in those days the height of the corn was much higher than it is today – shoulder high)
As such, I wrote to Christian (surprise) and he contacted Anthony Martin (of ‘John Martin’) who produces the Waterloo beer at the Mont Saint Jean farm/brasserie. Anthony wrote back saying that there is no evidence of Hougoumont producing beer, but there is the possibility that they produced cider. With over 1000 apple trees, they must have needed a cellar.
I mention all that simply to say that we now know there is a possibility that the contents of the northern outhouses didn’t just have carts…, there could also have been cider-making equipment.
Will keep you updated.
Iain  Belgium
 
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Posted by Iain on 04 Oct 2019, 14:38

PPS Again congratulations... I've just noticed that you have that Genappe track leading SW !! And I also noted the platforms to fire from !

Kind ReGuards..., Iain.
Iain  Belgium
 
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