News / Arts & Entertainment

Army of Tiny Soldiers Replicates Battle of Waterloo

One Man Creates Army of Tiny Soldiers to Replicate Battle of Waterlooi
X
June Soh
July 21, 2014 10:28 PM
Next year marks the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, when French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by an international force led by England and Prussia. Just in time for the observance, a retired U.S. military officer is recreating the battlefield - in miniature, with a quarter-million tiny hand-painted soldiers. VOA’s June Soh got a preview. Carol Pearson narrates.
June Soh

Next year marks the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, when French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by an international force led by England and Prussia. Just in time for the observance, a retired U.S. military officer is recreating the battlefield - in miniature, with a quarter-million tiny hand-painted soldiers.

“Each soldier is approximately six millimeters high or one quarter of an inch,” said Steve St. Clair, who has been painstakingly painting those tiny figures for 20 years.

So far he has 250,000 of them.

”Actually it is one of the most decisive battles in military history. It ended the Napoleonic era, number one. Number two, it had units from so many different countries in so many different uniforms.  I thought that will be very interesting to paint,” he said.

St. Clair grew up in a military family and served in the Army for 25 years.  He says painting figures is a way to balance his life.

“One of my specialties was anti-terrorism, which was a very stressful job. And when I come home, this was a way to relax because you can literally turn your mind off and just paint the figures,” he said.

The soldiers are recreated in precise historical detail, down to the colors of ornaments on their uniforms.

”I am painting the plumes on the top of the helmets of the soldiers from grenadier companies. They would have red plumes,” St. Clair said.

“Painting the figures actually is one step of rather long process. First of all, quite a bit of time is spent on research knowing what the units wore. The most complicated figures are Scottish highlanders with their plaid kilts.”  

The Waterloo pieces are stored in a chest of drawers in his basement. St. Clair said, so far, he has put 20,000 man hours of work in the collection.

“Compulsive maybe but not obsessive. There is a bit of difference," he said. "Obsessive means I have to paint every day and do this exclusion of other things. I have a lot of different hobbies.”

An estimated 200,000 soldiers fought at the Battle of Waterloo. St. Clair painted the extras so he could stage multiple battle poses.

The figures laid out on this model terrain represent about four percent of his entire collection. St. Clair says he would need an area about 190 square meters to put everything on display.

“There are no other collections in the world of a quarter-million figures. By the end of this year all of the extra should be done,” he said.

St. Clair wants to donate his creation to a museum but so far has no takers. But he hopes his tiny troops will find a home and can be on display for the bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Waterloo next year.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."