It’s your last chance to see the “Battle of Waterloo” exhibition before it gets dismantled on 22nd June for its venture back to its creator in Germany.
A stone thrown from the N22 on the Cork to Killarney road The Toy Soldier Factory has hosted the huge diorama since mid-2015, that has 15,000 hand-cast and hand-painted 25mm scale metal miniatures that replay key moments during the epic Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
This was a battle between three military legends of their time, Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor and the allied leaders, Arthur Wellesley, also known as the British Duke of Wellington and the Prussian Field Marshal, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. The display room is packed with information on the event and how it ties with Ireland, as there was a surprising percentage of Irish present, from the Duke himself to three of his top generals all the way to a sizable percentage of his British regiments where up to 40% consisted of Irish recruits.
This incredible setting and all the stories told by thousands of survivors and veterans of that faithful day inspired André Rudolph, a long-time customer of the Cork-based Toy Soldier Factory, to use their ‘Prince August’ Napoleonic rubber moulds to hand-cast 15,000 soldiers, to represent the much larger amount of soldiers present during that historic event. The battle scene has sparked up a huge interest in modelling. The visitor centre has seen a huge increase in visitors and bookings for their adult & children’s Make & Paint workshops, which have become a roaring success.
Over eight long years André painstakingly researched and recreated the diorama showing the centre of the battlefield including the stone-walled farmhouse, La Haye Sainte, that served as a defensive bastion for the British Allied forces, which consisted of Dutch, Belgium and German allies as well as English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish troops. A fitting tribute to a battle that helped decide the faith of Europe. Military enthusiasts, who have visited the actual Waterloo, have complimented us on just how accurate the exhibit is.
Admission is only 4 Euro per person (children 10 or younger go free). Watch an introduction to the battle on a giant video screen.
Opening hours from 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday. Visit www.toysoldierfactory.ie for more information or Tel: 026 404342