Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Building of the week - La Haye Sainte Leven Miniatures

Now you may guess why I have been having to base up older buildings to keep up a weekly building. In reality that's just a half truth as painting time it's not had three weeks of time devoted to it. I had started it a couple of weeks ago but it suffered the sit and wait period as I knew once I picked it up again I would work solid till it was finished but I was wanting to do something that bit different so allowed it to sit till I was really in the mood for it and I have to say it was a good call.

I have based it on a 120mm square tile though it actually hangs over by nearly 2mm on the one side. When I paint it up again it's going on a much larger tile as I want to include the gardens. This one has not had the full treatment as it's for Mike at Leven Miniatures and he did not want more than a basic base job. 

La Haye Sainte is one of those iconic historic moments that really capture peoples attention and it's great that Mike has given it the Leven Treatment and even better that he has released it not as a whole but in such a way as you can buy several of the buildings without having to buy the whole thing more than once if you want a couple of the buildings for other farm complexes as the style was used a lot in the area and elsewhere.

Each section costs £2.50 with each building being one section and the walls, gate and small piggery and you can take a closer look here. So for £10 you can get your hands on a rather splendid looking piece of wargaming gold. I just hope Mike will go the whole nine yards and do Hougoumont to his range.

The walls throughout have distressed rendering or in Ian speak bricks showing through ;-) The detail is excellent, you can see the individual bricks recessed where the render is missing and whilst it has a fair few patches they are not overdone and each patch is different so you don't get a repeat pattern feel going on. The house even has some patches hidden by the stables that would only come into play if you painted it up as a separate building which is a nice extra touch.

Mike has paid a lot of attention to detail with him working in the gap between the barn and the stables. Personally I would not want to try getting in via that route against a determined foe. Texture and detail was great as regular followers will not be surprised to hear.

I could not find many images that seemed to agree on the roof tiles, some had all red, others all slate. In the end I went with a mix of the greater consensus and what I thought looked best. On the whole it was another easy paint but with a few tricky bits to keep it interesting. For me it had the right level of detail and work and I could quite happily paint up a second one on the back of the first but can't at the moment as Lee had the other three I bought. Actually I am looking forward to seeing how Lee gets on as his style is so very different to mine.

You have to love the stables and I can see that doing well as a separate standalone building though of course Leven already have a similar stable block but the shape is reversed again allowing you to have both on the same table without the buildings looking too similar. 

I know the set will be a big hit, especially with the anniversary of the battle being a couple of years away but they will shine as stand alone buildings as well. I already have the set on order but I will at a later date also add more of the buildings and use them in singles or on other farm tiles, expect to see the results in coming months. I have 16 other buildings and such on order from Leven as it is and only a few of them are repeats of what I already have!

I would have liked detail of windows on the dormer windows as I find it difficult to do matching squares and whilst it's a minor point left me head scratching a little. In fairness if that's all you have to worry about it's got to be considered a success.

Square doors on the inside of the gatehouse and round on the exterior just as in the real thing. Makes you wonder why so many of the Belgium farms were built in this way, was they intended to be defensive positions in times of war or was it to protect themselves from the lawless?

All the parts went together well, I had to sand one wall section down a little at it's base to make it the same height as it's adjoining section and it's best to get it all positioned so you are able to be sure it all fits together and you are sure how to make it up but it's just basic stuff. I was in a  bit of a rush mindset so did not do the best job of sealing off gaps. Lee has made some of his up pre-painting and not a gap to be seen so it's not the models just my rush rush rush.

I have to admit this is the most impressive building set yet from Leven that I have seen. It's easy to just see this as a Napoleonic building set and pass on but given the number of farms on the French Belgium boarder region it would be good for WWI and WWII and the periods either side of the Napoleonic era. Split the buildings up and all of a sudden you have even more uses and locations.  I would like to see made available more wall sections to marry up to these allowing other possible variations though anyone with a reasonable modelling skill won't have any trouble adding the required sections.


  1. Wonderful work on this Ian! I have a bit of a thing about models of La Haye Sainte!!

  2. Excellent work Ian, all that for only £10!

  3. That is an amazing bit of kit there

  4. It's turned out well, and I agree for 10 lbs., that's a good deal.


  5. An impressive looking building

  6. Excellent review Ian. Very good work.

  7. That's a great looking model with your lovely paintwork (and photos!)

  8. @ Roger, Thanks, I think it's got to be one of the most modelled buildings in the history of wargames

    @ Ray, well I did have to buy the base as well LOL, It's great value which is the cornerstone of Leven.

    @ PanzerKaput, Your not wrong, as seems to be the case it took painting it up to see just how good it was. I have another on order so will be doing it again at some point.

    @ FMB The price is good, a nice bit of resin went into it.

    @ Scotty, I like that you can just buy parts to make up other farms as well.

    @ Sebastofig, Thanks, good to see you back and blogging agaiin.

    @ James, Thanks, I felt it deserved the extra pics