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"Saxon Gardes Du Corps coat color?" Topic

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Dr Jeckyll Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 2:35 a.m. PST

I could use some help from the forum here.
I cant seem to find out what coat color to choose for my (1810-13) Saxon Garde du Corps cavalry!
The reference pictures I have found, seems to show anything from an off-white/beige color in one end to a canary-yellow color in the other end, with all shades between these two extremes in between.

I have tended to trust my Elting book (prints by Knoetel), but here it seems Knoetel the elder has them in pale-yellow:

a251910262c341f191eac953cfbe9094-1 by Erik Salvador, on Flickr

while Knoetel the younger has them in beige:

af4f39a8152e8ddc1e7f8b995c3549eb by Erik Salvador, on Flickr

Any thoughts on what to decide on here?
Right now I have half the regiment (12 figs.) in yellow coats and the other half (12 figs) I redid with light beige coats. Would be nice to make a decision here…

Any and all advice would be very welcomed!

ccmatty Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 2:53 a.m. PST

I think this is a great question as I am about to paint a unit of Eureka 28mm Garde du Corps myself. I thought they were a kind of a cross between the two. A beige/yellow, being more on the beige side of the spectrum.

I will be interested to hear the thoughts of others…

Thanks for posting this question.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 3:05 a.m. PST

An interesting question indeed. A few of the more recent postings here.

TMP link

TMP link

I had ago at the Eureka 28mm G du C some time ago


Probably the one picture that inspired us all, from Uniforms of the Retreat from Moscow


Dr Jeckyll Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 3:56 a.m. PST

Thanks for the links Deadhead, I did read these posts initially, and some of the figures are fantastic paintjobs, yours also!! I do like the way you make the stands into small vignettes each one on its own:)

I am doing mine using the AB 15mms figures depicted in the 2nd TMP link above, and I have half of them in the color Jemimna Fawr has done them in, the other half look allot like the color you have chosen. Now I realize that I should have done them in dark grey breeches instead of full dress buckskin like I did…:-I

I think the picture from Haythorntwaithes "Retreat from Russia" you have posted above gives a hint that the coat color should be allot paler than the yellow of the Von Zastrow cuirassier (behind him), but I still find it hard to define the color. Faded buff? Faded pale yellow?
I would be happy to do all of them in either color, but just dont want to end up seeing some photo in 2 weeks that proves that I chose the wrong color.

BTW: the sculpts are wonderful!! Seeing the two regiments side by side charging ahead stirs something inside indeed:)

von Winterfeldt13 Mar 2017 4:46 a.m. PST

Here a Garde du Corps of 1806 from a contemporary print


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 5:43 a.m. PST

Exactly the pale buff yellow I would have imagined. But not the yellow of the Zastrow. I think mine are too deep a yellow/buff colour. I think von W's print or Haythornthwaite's illustration is nearer it.

But so many different impressions


Two modern artists' impressions and one from the Borodino panorama (NB trumpeters on black horses);




von Winterfeldt13 Mar 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

the yellow of Zastrow Kόrassiere is certainly different

Mick the Metalsmith13 Mar 2017 9:03 a.m. PST

contemporary watercolours from the period are not reliable due to possible fading.

dibble13 Mar 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

Paul :)

4th Cuirassier13 Mar 2017 10:33 a.m. PST

In the same way that Bavarian blue is the same blue as the Bavarian flag is the same blue as a BMW car badge is a circular sample of the Bavarian flag with a tyre around it…Saxon jacket yellow was, I betcha, the same gold as the gold of their flag.


The Schoenbrunn and Austrian artillery pieces are the same colour, i.e. Theresien, the said empress' favourite shade of mustardy yellow.



Austrian gun carriage



Some things don't change.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

If it was the colour of that gun carriage, I would be one happy pixie. I would love to think they were
Vallejo 70913 (Yellow Ochre) with a wash of Sepia from GW and highlights of Iraqi Sand (70819)…

Because that looked great to me.

They look like Haythornthwaite's figure. That was all I asked for mine. It was a nostalgia thing.

But these are a royal bodyguard, meant to be wearing a cuirasse remember (few do remember that). They would not want to look like they were fresh from Desert Shield/Storm etc…. The lighter look seems right for a parade ground. This is a Guard unit!

Something tells me Von W and Dibble are nearer to it. I do not want this to be so. I will not change my figures and…if only someone does better Saxon G du C, I will stick to my colours…even if wrong!

One of the most iconic units of the era…but not well represented in 28mm. (brilliant in 18mm, but that is not TOTS…The One True Scale)

von Winterfeldt14 Mar 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

Look at contemporary prints, modern artists usually are a much worse source – exceptions prove the rule – to gain any good basic informations.

That contemporay water colours fade – is a weak argument, it would depend where they were stored – there exist brilliant picture mansucripts from the medieval times with very vibrant colours.

Lucky us – today with internet – a lot of the best contemporary sources are to be found accessible and most often for free.

Dr Jeckyll Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

I agree with Von W on the importance of going to the original sources. I guess I forget that even though the Knoetel prints (the elder) are old, they are separated from the napoleonic period by more than a hundred years and are as such by no means first hand like the Martinet prints og Lejeunes paintings for example.
Not to perpetuate the discussion unnecesarily, but why would the color of a coat alone fade on a painting. Would not all colors fade (black horses and landscape also) equaly if such was the case?
Look at the early trooper in bicorne above, the coat is light beige, the stripes on the coat bright yellow. Hard to imagine selective fading as responsible for that, deliberate different coloring by the artist is perhaps more plausible?.
I think I have sufficient "evidence" to go with the color of that coat, but will not claim all other colors wrong for that reason;) (yours look awsome deadhead!:) thanks for all the usefull feedback gents!

4th Cuirassier14 Mar 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

If in doubt, go with what you like most. If there's doubt who can say you're wrong?

I suppose one colour in a painting could fade differently to another. Isn't there a word for it – "fugitive"? The opposite of "colour-fast".

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Any Model box in a shop window shows that reaction to UV light. Never heard of "fugitive" but it does sound right! The spine of any book versus the cover when years on a shelf. Green fades to blue. Red just vanishes. The contents of a book should be far more resistant indeed, not so exposed.

I am increasingly convinced that they were in a very light sandy colour, with little yellow in it. "Iraqi Sand" from Vallejo….not the colour of a Gendarme d'Elite waistcoat and breeches (which my G du C are)

Great thing about this forum though, the quality of expert response you can get, without anyone abusing each other!

Le Breton14 Mar 2017 11:46 a.m. PST















Le Breton14 Mar 2017 11:50 a.m. PST

Do we want to imagine that when they went to helmets after 1806 that the Kollet got a bit darker/yellower?

von Winterfeldt14 Mar 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

@Dr jeckyll

I agree – we can establish more or less a trend and from that on we have to chose how to paint our figures – taking into the consideration the scale of the miniatures and the scale of the miniatures.

In my view Garde du Corps were the only regiment to retain the light buff, or straw yellow coat colour, while all other heavy cavalry regiments changed to white.

Le Breton put up very nice sources, I add – Lindt – btw – not Garde du Corps



Le Breton14 Mar 2017 8:13 p.m. PST

Von Winterfeldt, thank you – and Mr. DIbble – also for excellent images.
I think that the Saxon evolution in uniforms, equipment, tactics/techniques, etc. is quite interesting, and deserves very careful attention to period sources. Adn with the intenet, we can easily co-operate in this effort.

dibble14 Mar 2017 8:37 p.m. PST

Well! If I have the pictorial information, I will (unless someone has already given good information) always try to help out ….whoever it may be!

Paul :)

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2017 1:33 a.m. PST

also – very nice downloads on Gallica – recommended – all about Saxon army





Three Armies Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 3:02 a.m. PST

Iv'e worked painting and sculpting figures for over 35 years, and I find the debates over the 'right colour' a bit pointless really, it is all conjecture, it can only ever be a guess. Fpr the record this is what I did with mine. I used good old humbrol yellows because I'm 'old skool' lol


von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

"Iv'e worked painting and sculpting figures for over 35 years, and I find the debates over the 'right colour' a bit pointless really, it is all conjecture, it can only ever be a guess. "

I would agree that it is pointless to discuss the exact shade – of a colour, there would never be a conclusion and even individual coats – the hues and colour would vary.

But I disagree absolutley that it is pointless to discuss colours, by discussion one is able at least to establish a trend – so the "yellow" of the Garde du Corps – is different what we could understand out of a yellow of today.

The pictural evidence pretty much narrows it down – I agree – one still has a leeway of interpretation, and then again painting style and scale of miniature would play an important role.

But I reject the nihilistic approach – that such discussions are pointless.

In the end – it is much better to show the variations that did exist and then to chose from those – at least that is my opinion.

For sculpting cut of cloth, dimensions of equipment, human anatomy, artistical skill, tactics, are of course of the pillars to create a good historical figure.

Now without any reasons the Perrys or AB or Franceso Messori or Frank Germershaus – are top notch in producing superb miniatures – combining all the above demands and dealing with those challenges.

4th Cuirassier15 Mar 2017 3:27 a.m. PST

Fabulous uniform though, whatever shade of yellow one takes.

What did the infantry wear in 1805-7? White?

Le Breton15 Mar 2017 4:21 a.m. PST

Yes, white ….


von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

in 1806 they did carry the Kittel over their white coats


von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2017 6:42 a.m. PST

also Sauerweid's Saxon army of 1810


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