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"British Napoleonic Uniforms by Carl Franklin " Topic

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2,325 hits since 2 Jun 2009
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Flight Sergeant Reggie Inactive Member02 Jun 2009 5:44 a.m. PST

I just purchased " British Napoleonic Uniforms : The First Complete Illustrated Guide to Uniforms, Facings and Lace" by Carl Franklin from Caliver Books.

I was surprised to see that the colour of the jackets of Other Ranks of British Infantry was not red or scarlet but a strange Salmon Pink. Redcoats were in fact not red! I also see that the colour Rifle Green of the 60th and 95th Rifles is in your book a very odd shade of blue green.

I assume there was a problem with the printer and not the work submitted by Mr. Franklin. My friends at Caliver books thought it might be a problem with the transfer from jpeg to cmyk, whatever that means.

What a shame as the book is beautiful in every respect except for the accurate colour of the uniform. The research and the quality of the book is great, except for this colossal error.

To be fair, I had heard rumours of problems with the colour plates. I went ahead and ordered it anyway as I need the exacting level of detail for some new Perry British units I was commissioning. Besides, how bad could it be?

I have asked History Press if they intend to recall the defectively printed copies and re-issue the book with properly coloured plates. I'll let the TMP readership know their response.

I feel very sorry for Carl Franklin. His work deserves better.

Marc the plastics fan02 Jun 2009 5:51 a.m. PST

Thanks for the heads up – I will hold off buying until the printing is sorted out

GJM FIGURINES Inactive Member02 Jun 2009 7:05 a.m. PST

interesting point reggie but as most of the plates are in
British red albeit a slightly strange shade and the couple
of rifle regs are in an odd green colour i mentally put this to one side as only a minor irratation…….the book
is a blessing in disguise

so for me as a proffesional figure painter its not a problem
and i have the book………and refer too it on an almost
daily basis

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member02 Jun 2009 8:19 a.m. PST

Apart from the odd green colour of the rifles, the book is pretty decent, the facing colours are all pretty good matches etc.

The colour issues were in transition from supplied art to printing, and it was on sale before Mr Franklin himself had seen a copy.

Even with the few issues, it is still and excellent and complete refernce.

Edwulf Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2009 11:11 a.m. PST

After a few years in the hot spanish sun i wouldn't be surprised if there wasnt a few pink/purple/browny looking jackets kicking about.

Gertrude Inactive Member02 Jun 2009 1:04 p.m. PST

I was disappointed by this one I'm afraid. Examining two areas about which I know something, the overview of Infantry and the 95th section, I found so many errors as to wreck my trust in the rest of the book.
I have the two artillery books and rated them highly. I figured the artillery books seemed almost too comprehensive to be real, and this third book has confirmed my apprehensions. Tellingly, though, I don't know the artillery in any depth, wheras I have spent some time recently digging on the 95th. There appears to be an attempt to fill all the gaps in our knowledge of uniforms, and guess what, the gaps are there for a reason; lack of source information. When an informed guess has been made, I like to know about it, not have it boldly stated with no source. Add to that common and ancient misapprehensions on accoutrements, the old trotter knapsack canards etc and you have a curate's egg. A bold attempt, but a miss for me.

summerfield02 Jun 2009 4:16 p.m. PST

The artillery books relied upon Victorian drawings and after publishing the drawings of Dupin made in 1816 you can certainly see the difference.

I was frustrated that he had "corrected" the drawings of the block trail in Copenhagen and neglected to look at anything other than British sources.

It is a useful book to consult with the additional texts. Hopefully in a few months there will be the reprint of Adye (1813) that has been sent to the publisher today.


summerfield05 Jun 2009 12:43 p.m. PST

Dear All
I have now seen Franklin's book at Caliver Books and his red for the rank and file is not far off. It should be a bit browner than it is. Officers wore scarlet and the R&F wore a brick red. The dye was mordanted Madder and varied in shades of brick red upon the brown side.

The Rifle green should be almost black, a very dark green rather than the mid green.


GJM FIGURINES Inactive Member07 Jun 2009 2:09 p.m. PST

i agree with Stephen……………….but must state
the book is still a cracker despite the minor niggles



summerfield07 Jun 2009 3:18 p.m. PST

Dear Ged
It is good and does the job. I know the problems of colour reproduction. There were a few issues over my own books. It is not on my shopping list at present as money is short. I would need to study it to look at the areas that are controversial.


Flight Sergeant Reggie Inactive Member07 Jun 2009 5:32 p.m. PST

On balance, I also agree that it it is still an excellent resource and I'm happy to have it in my collection. I would say, any serious collector should have this in their library. Just beware of the printing issues I mentioned to avoid any surprises.

GeorgethePug Inactive Member09 Jun 2009 10:46 a.m. PST

I just recieved my copy today …….. and I'm very very happy with it …… the details are wonderful and nothing is left out.

The colors on the Jackets might not be 100% BUT ….. We all know this something that has been fought over a 1000 times on TMP …… French Blue, Light Infantry Blue, Bavarian Blue, Russian Green ….. everyone has the thoughts ……… but do not let this stop you from getting this wonderful as the other details are just outstanding !!!

I wish there were others who would take the lead and do more books like this !!! These books too me as a painter are just a huge time saver ….. the Red or Green is not correct ……. who cares …….. we all know what color is is ……. or what we think it is more the truth !!

Again ……. if your tierd of pouring over 12 books to find the info …… no its all right in one volume !!!

GJM FIGURINES Inactive Member09 Jun 2009 2:35 p.m. PST

well said George………its invaluable to me as a professional painter



summerfield09 Jun 2009 2:41 p.m. PST

Dear George
It is hoped that my books give enough information for the poor figure painter. I was one 20 years ago and it paid me through a PhD.

I take a different view of computer drawn figures which for me do not appeal.


GeorgethePug Inactive Member09 Jun 2009 2:59 p.m. PST

Stephen can I ask what books you wrote ? I'm sure I have some of them ?

I just love the idea of these books that cover each regt ect .. makes life so easy for both the collector and painter, or history buff.

I love painted or water color pictures as much as the next guy ……. but u imagin the costs for a volume such as this to have all hand done pictures ???

summerfield10 Jun 2009 5:08 a.m. PST

Dear George
(2004) Cossack Hurrah: Russian cossacks and iregular cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars, Partizan Press
(2005) The Brazen Cross: Russian militia, Freiekorps and Partizans, Partizan Pres
(2007) Napoleonic Artillery, Crowood Press – Alas no colour plates.
(2008) French Artillery of 1824 – Volume 1 Gribeauval, AnXI System and Drill Book, DP&G, Doncaster [16 colour plates]
(2009) Prussian Infantry 1808-40, Volume 1 & 2, Partizan Press [Full colour with contempory prints incluging the Bauer plates, Knotel etc…]
(2009) Dupin's British Napoleonic Ordnance, DP&G, Doncaster [50+ contemporary technical drawing plates]

Just completing Adye (1813) reprint with a 30 page introduction puting this important book in context.


GeorgethePug Inactive Member10 Jun 2009 5:54 a.m. PST

HI Stephen –
I have 3 of your books on my list from Partizan Press …… I love the Prussian Armies, Infact I'm doing the 1806 Army in 1:20 Scale using AB figs …. its been a huge project with around 4,000 Figs.

Are there any plans to expand your Prussian books to cover the 1805 Armies ? It would be great as the cavalry are very tough in this period.

summerfield10 Jun 2009 6:16 a.m. PST

Dear George
Yes there are plans for 1806 but I have a number of books to do before that. Contact me off-line if you wish. I have the Kline plates and a number of others.

There was a great change in the ability to do short print runs last year so it was all in colour the Prussians. Alas the Cossacks and the Brazen Cross only had a few colour plates despite the rest were in colour.


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