When Warlord Games was recently visited by the ever-popular Adrian ‘Ady’ McWalter, author of the Black Powder books Albion Triumphant, Volumes One & Two and A Clash of Eagles, as well as the brand new supplement for Epic Battles: Waterloo, The Hundred Days (Designer’s Notes Here), he brought down some of his converted Epic Waterloo miniatures. It transpires that Ady had decided to pursue a completely unique project – the 2nd Netherlands Division at Waterloo!
As soon as I saw them on the photography table, I knew I had to find out more, so I collared him before he left to grill him how his force came about. As it turns out, his work is the perfect subject for another instalment of Conversion Clinic!
The first of many questions I had to ask was “why?” While the Nassauer infantry of the Division fought well at Waterloo, the performance of the Dutch and Belgians has historically been much-maligned (particularly in a certain series starring everyone’s favourite Yorkshireman!). To Ady, this was a grave injustice, as deeper research would suggest in fact that they too fought bravely, and to far greater effect than their reputation claims. It was also something of a challenge to him to see just what level of customisability he could squeeze out of our plastic sets – as we’ll see, it’s a lot!
We’ll start with the simplest of the bunch. His Belgian line infantry were made from British infantry sprues and with a different coat of paint were transformed, the uniforms being similar enough at Epic Battles scale to pass off nicely. Similarly, French infantry became Dutch Jaegers with a new paint job. With the majority of European armies of the period following either a ‘British’ or ‘French’ style in their uniforms and equipment, this method is a great way to add diversity to a force without too much effort at all.
Sometimes, however, a little extra work is needed to get a unit looking just right, and Ady has really knocked it out of the park here. His Dutch Militia are made out of British line infantry, with the heads very carefully removed with a razor-saw and replaced with British Rifleman ones. This gives a completely different look to the models once painted, and he’s refined the process to the point where he’s been able to knock out eighty models in relatively short order. Using a razor-saw does require some care, though, and Ady tells me that the very last stand he produced finally led to a slight injury. No matter – as we all know, if you bleed on a model, they perform better in battle (we at Warlord do not encourage such ritualism – ed.)!
Similarly, his Dutch and Belgian Carabiniers were produced with a simple head-swap. For the Dutchmen, Ady used French Dragoons with the bicorned head of the plastic French commander, while the Belgians were made from French Cuirassiers with their heads taken from the Lancers. Ady reckons the cavalry were rather fiddlier to make than their infantry counterparts, but I think we can all agree that the effect on the tabletop is stunning! To accompany his forces, he’s produced some Horse Artillery by the simple method of adding Green Stuff pom-poms to the plastic French sculpts – an elegant solution that I fully intend to steal for myself!
Ady isn’t anywhere near done with this project, as he intends to have both the 2nd and 3rd Netherlands Divisions fully represented in the future. Once they’re done, he says he’ll be moving on to the legendary Black Brunswickers, some of my all-time favourite troops of the period. For the wonderfully fancy Avant Garde hats worn by some of their forces, he’s planning to use the heads from our Epic Battles: ACW Iron Brigade – I can’t wait to see them on the tabletop in the future! While certainly a little time-consuming, it’s fantastic to see what can be achieved with some conceptually very simple conversions. If you’ve got a similarly unique Epic Battles force, please do get in touch – we’d love to see it!
Try Your Own Hand
Ady achieved all his conversions using the contents of only the British & French Starter armies (oh, and a little green stuff).
Very nicely done…. I am not the only one using the same ideas it seems! We have a document in our Epic FB group which records possible conversion ideas. I hope articles like this does inspire more people to see the flexibility in the figures.
Is there a picture of the Dutch Jaegers?
Does this mean Warlord won’t be releasing specific miniatures for all of the Seventh Coalition forces for Epic Waterloo?
Interested in Brunswick cavalry? I just completed a Hussar and Uhlan Brigade conversion. Also the Duke of Brunswick and a Cavalry commander. Where can I share?
Interested in Brunswick cavalry? I just completed a Hussar and Uhlan Brigade conversion. Also the Duke of Brunswick and a Cavalry commander. Can I share here?
Sorry for the double post.
For those interested Brunswick cavalry conversion clinic here.