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Waterloo museum tells Napoleon's story with Playmobil

22:09 09/05/2021

In a bid to make the commemorations of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon accessible to all, the Wellington Museum in Waterloo is presenting an exhibition entirely made of customised Playmobil figures.

There is a large model, approximately seven metres by five, evoking the battle of Waterloo using approximately 1,200 Playmobil figures and parts and several dioramas reconstructing famous scenes from the life of Napoleon such as the Pont d'Arcole, the torchlight vigil at Austerlitz, the military school of Brienne and the consecration and the coronation.

Laurent Lafont, who is a professional Playmobil installation maker, created the dioramas with help from Robert Borriello for the battle scene. The figures are Playmobil but the uniforms and accessories (backpacks, hats etc) were largely created by enthusiasts to stay as close as possible to the military equipment of the time.

The battle model also presents several emblematic buildings made with Playmobil parts, sometimes modified to be faithful to the architecture or the colour of, for instance, the farms of La Haie Sainte, de la Belle Alliance and de la Papelotte.

The model of the battle does not capture a particular moment in time but rather brings together known episodes of the engagements with charges of cavalry, the formation of the English squares or the arrival of the Prussians.

An educational booklet has also been drawn up for young visitors. Véronique Maton, the exhibition manager at the Wellington Museum, said: "The Playmobil makes it possible to address a wide audience, with an exhibition that is both fun and educational."

Written by Richard Harris