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What better way to spend rainy days in Holland than mucking around inside with your children. Add to that a bit of painting of model soldiers and you are warming the hearts of Napoleonic buffs.

However, for Hille de Gooyer that wasn't quite enough so he and his two sons, Barry and Jordy (11 and 8 years old), decided in June to build a diorama of the battle of Waterloo.

At a gentle 3.5 metres by 2.5 metres, the diorama project has taken on an epic scale.

Hille and his lads have 1200 1/72 scale figures to paint, buildings to make and terrain to develop.

They have just passed the 400-figure mark and celebrated with a bottle of champagne. Young Barry and Jordy had to forego the French champers and used non-alcoholic apple cider instead.

The target date for completion of the diorama is November this year and the guys are finishing a box of figures a week (20 to 50 figures).

They are using Italeri, Revell and Airfix figures and - from the photos - we reckon they are doing a damn fine job!

So far the diorama features La Haye Sainte (finished), Hougoumont (under construction), the French positions and Wellington's army.

The scenery looks terrific with the guys using Heki grassmats customised with raindrained grounds. They make the trees and bushes themselves, "using the tiny roots from bucsus trees and detailed with loose material from 'Bush' fabrics".




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