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"British Buff-Faced Regiments?" Topic


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Garde de Paris25 Jun 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

I am in the process of assembling and painting Victrix 28mm plastics, 40 figures each for the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot in the Peninsular War uniform, and the 48th Northamptonshire Regiment of Foot, Peninsular, as well.

1. Does anyone know of a special "buff" facing color for either or both regiments? I painted 40th some years ago, using Stadden 30mm wargame figure (1960's) and used Hubrol "unbleached linen" at tine. They are in the Waterloo uniform = Belgic shako, uniformly grey overalls.

2. I am painting buff crossbelts, and buff flap for the back packs, but do not know is pack shoulder straps, musket sling, and vertical straps over the back pack flap would have been buff a well. (I did the Waterloo Stadden 40th with black pack, white straps, white belting all around!)

3. Would the small turnbacks on the uniform coat have been buff or white?

4. I can't believe that at 80 I never noticed that the side-satchel, under the light blue water flask, is actually a dirty grey! I have been using off-white, almost buff, for all!

Never too old to learn!

GdeP

Garde de Paris25 Jun 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

I am in the process of assembling and painting Victrix 28mm plastics, 40 figures each for the 27th Inniskilling Regiment of Foot in the Peninsular War uniform, and the 48th Northamptonshire Regiment of Foot, Peninsular, as well.

1. Does anyone know of a special "buff" facing color for either or both regiments? I painted 40th some years ago, using Stadden 30mm wargame figure (1960's) and used Hubrol "unbleached linen" at tine. They are in the Waterloo uniform = Belgic shako, uniformly grey overalls.

2. I am painting buff crossbelts, and buff flap for the back packs, but do not know is pack shoulder straps, musket sling, and vertical straps over the back pack flap would have been buff a well. (I did the Waterloo Stadden 40th with black pack, white straps, white belting all around!)

3. Would the small turnbacks on the uniform coat have been buff or white?

4. I can't believe that at 80 I never noticed that the side-satchel, under the light blue water flask, is actually a dirty grey! I have been using off-white, almost buff, for all!

Never too old to learn!

GdeP

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 8:23 a.m. PST

Great question and quite profound.

White lace still, so edgings, chest front (and wings esp for Light battalions or flank cos) would not change.

Buff otherwise went way beyond just the cross belts. Unwhitened leather for them of course, but also musket slings, pack webbing….anything that was carried.

Coat Tail turnbacks…. of course buff, not white (even though the general rule everywhere else was white, whatever the facing colour).

What everyone forgets. Occifers' breeches (if not covered by overalls…. as they would be on the field)…they were buff…not white!

Finally that haversack….for any British unit. Fear not. You have it right. Grey would be odd for a natural fabric. Off white makes a nice contrast with pure white belts and lace. I use Iraqi sand from Vallejo, adding a darker GW wash and highlights. Not grey…yellower/browner than white tho'. Its strap was the same. Worth knowing. Two white cross straps (one for cartridge pouch, one for bayonet) but one more over the right shoulder for the haversack. Go for that contrast with that strap….off white

Garde de Paris25 Jun 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

Thanks, Deadhead! I know you do not wargame, but paint for accuracy.

I am puzzled about what to do with the back packs. Perhaps if I carve away the straps on the lid of the Victrix packs, all buff would go well. I have seen illustrations of British packs that way in Osprey books. Some day might even be decals of the Inniskilling castle, which would NOT
I have done all the officers of both regiments with buff breeches. God save the King!

GdeP

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 9:10 a.m. PST

Now I am impressed.

Some do remember the buff cross straps, some will do the leatherwork on the musket sling and backpacks, a few will do the coat turnbacks, no-one does the occifers' breeches…..in buff.

Nice one……..

Back packs though? Tell me more. I thought you just meant colour of straps over a black "Trotter" backpack (Yeah, I know, there may have been no such thing…much controversy)

Do you mean the whole pack was perhaps summat other than black for Buff Regts? Tell me more!

The answer may lead me to despair mind you.

Like von W pointing out that my whole Mameluke band should have been on greys. I wept…but fixed that!

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 9:11 a.m. PST

Deadhead is spot on re the haversacks and everything else.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

I am less sure now. The backpack thing. NB not the haversack!

I know the "Trotter" is very controversial and we do hear of KGL etc being a law unto themselves re colours of packs………

Hope to spin this out more. I want to learn here.

My wargaming ended in mid 70s. I collected large series of metal WWI figures. No idea of the maker but 20 mm more than 25mm. British and German in helmets and infinitely better than plastic Airfx. Solo wargames, I was massacred every time I played.

So I did Overlord and Market Garden in 1/300. I made Wacos and Hamilcars (they were some of my best work) used very poor commercial metal Horsas and C47s. My drops were massacred. I scratch built LCTs, LCMs, LCAs, LCIs and LCIl, LCVPs, LCTRs, LCGs…you get the picture…..my assault forces rarely got to the beach…Spielberg's SPR was tame by comparison.

Nowadays, I chop, stick, sand down, swop, copy the work of others and let others chuck the dice……..

But I do love picking up tips from the experts

Garde de Paris25 Jun 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

I have not, these 2 years, been able to get to my Osprey books from storage, but I recall an illustration of a battalion of the 27th with a wide backpack, whole cover in buff, ?no straps?, with a blue disk and white castle in the middle. Buckled closed at the bottom, may have had two straps on the sides closing over a grey-looking "thingy." I seem to remember an "envelope" concept.

Where are you, Dibble – our "human encyclopedia?!"

In "Uniforms of the Peninsular War – 1807-14" by Haythornthwaite – 1978 – illustration 7 shows the back of a soldier of the 5th Northumberland Regiment of Foot with a light brown pack, sides and all, fullyu-enclosed. and 2 vertical white straps to close it. A red disk with white Roman number V in low-center. Rather ramdom-shaped bag – not a rigid box. Nice rendition of the Gosling Green – look like a modern military olive.

This, the 5th, is the last plastic Vixtrix battalion I want to do. I use Elmer's white glue, put 2 figures on a tongue depressor. I try to have the two figures in the same pose

I now paint the figures without heads, arms or packs. I start with the collars, and am "going mad" trying to get a yellow-browny-greeny colour, as unpleasant as I can make it. No luck so far.

I will have the first rank of 40 about to launch a bayonet attack, second rank with musket at the carry in the left hand. A la El Bodon where they attacked up hill and drove French light cavalry away from a surrounded Portuguese battery.

It gets complicated! I do not want to base these figures, but still need to be sure no 2 are side-by-side carrying shoes; or cooking utensils. Joy and frustration of Victrix!

I will do the drummers in white coats, sergeants with solid crimson sashes – no gosling stripe – and I want to find someone who will do the regimental colour in pale yellow – not the gosling colour. I think the drum casings will be all right with gosling panels in front, light brown wooden body.

Marvelous regiment with many oddities.

GdeP

attilathepun4725 Jun 2017 11:08 a.m. PST

Good luck on your project. Guys like you, with your passion for the odd details, make wargaming great. I must admit, however, that my own quest for getting all the details right has declined since I first got into miniatures gaming, due to problems with availability of figures that exactly match the units I want to build, and it really does not affect the gaming from a purely competitive viewpoint.

42flanker25 Jun 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

I probably don't have to add that the Fifth also claimed "the privilege of wearing a White Feather distinction gained (it is said) in action."

This non-regulation ornament, worn instead of the regulation white-over-red feather or 'tuft' ordered in 1800, had been worn since 1778- allegedly- to commemorate the battle of La Vigie on St Lucia. It went unchallenged until 1824 when finally they obtained official authority to keep it.

What condition a white feather or 'tuft' would have been in by September 1811, is another matter.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 12:55 p.m. PST

You got it right about painting the torso first then adding the arms and heads. Learned that the hard way when none of my figures seemed to be looking at what they were doing and I couldn't get the rifles to match up with the hands.

Garde de Paris25 Jun 2017 1:41 p.m. PST

Hello, Attilathepun47: Thanks for the complement, but I have not gamed in the past 14 years – for lack of fellow gamers – and enjoy trying to do things accurately. These details also help me exercise my brain, which even surprises me at 80! The Victrix set gives a lot of individual options, but itself is not perfect, for one cannot make undercuts in plastic mold. For example, the bullet pouches are tiny.

Hello, 42Flanker: I can't believe I planned to the do 5th way back in 2012, and it is now the last of my 7 to even start! All these unconfirmed details caused me to do the 5th last of my 7 British 40-figure Victrix battalions, and I believe you advised me about the white feathers back in 2012 (linked below). Wings only for the flank companies (how to designate the light company without the green hackle?) I'll just use the current hackle castings, all white – for they may never get off my cabinet shelf, and not a soul I currently know has any idea what they are.

TMP link

Davbenbak: Yes, the heads can be a problem. I now paint the torso's and then add the heads when I decide what the separate figure will be doing. I completed the 9th Foot last year, firing by file from the center, and the heads worked out well. I am working on the 45th Nottinghamshire's scrambling in defense as on the day before Talavera de la Reina. The 27th will have front rank kneeling on guard, second rank standing on guard. The head angles and turns will save them from the "Toy soldier" look! The 88th (Connaught), 23rd (Royal Welch Fusiliers), 5th, and 48th will be at the advance.

As an aside, the Victrix British sets drive me crazy with the need to have one soldier without headcover! The French have plenty of spare heads. The French arms also allow me to vary the British units well – British sergeants with brass wire kurzgewehr's; pikes; whatever on guard, at the port; etc.

GdeP

plutarch 6425 Jun 2017 4:32 p.m. PST

It sounds like the backpack could have been the earlier "envelope" pattern, which (according to CE Franklin) was made of "coarse linen" and had a regimental badge or "identity" in the middle of the rear face. An uncomfortable-looking buff-coloured thing, which was apparently replaced by the Trotter from 1805 onwards.

42flanker25 Jun 2017 6:16 p.m. PST

No, Gde P, I wasn't in on the 2012 party. I hadn't joined TMP. I am not surprised that the information in Franklin re. feathers caused confusion. Not very helpful at all.

I have to be honest and say I am not 100% sure about the flank coy situation. The Fifth seem to have seen themselves as unofficial Fusiliers, deriving from their capturing a passel of French grenadiers at Wilhelmstahl in 1762 and appropriating their bearskins. The tradition of white feathers taken as trophies on St Lucia was convenient icing on the cake.

As there was no consistent pattern among the official Fusilier regiments (7,21,23) re flank distinctions, we can't use them as a template for what the Fifth did. The postwar evidence suggests all coys of Fifth wore white feathers and we have pictures from 1799 of the 7th Royal Fusiliers Light coy wearing white feathers on their LI caps, so it would not be entirely anomalous, although that was pre-1800, when the Regulation feather was ordered!

As with fusiliers, the light coy of the Fifth would identifiable by the lack of match case on the pouch belt.

(Yes, I know….)

Jabba Miles26 Jun 2017 4:50 a.m. PST

@Deadhead my buff faced battalions' officers have buff breaches and the other ranks buff trousers/overalls, may have to check the turnbacks now though.

Garde de Paris26 Jun 2017 7:10 a.m. PST

Oh the details! I may just go "Imaginations" with them, as I did with the mythical drummer of the 36th!

GdeP

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2017 11:39 a.m. PST

Hmm. I yield to most of you on uniform expertise, but there are hints here and there that the old pattern of painting the backpacks in the facing color--often with some sort of regimental distinction--went on for quite some time after 1805.
--you've got orders that backpacks in the Peninsula be painted black, which suggests they weren't already.
--you've got references after that to backpacks blackened by smoke, which suggests orders to paint them black had not been rigorously enforced.
--and at least as late as 1814 or 15, if I recall correctly, one could sometimes spot militiamen who had enlisted in line regiments because they were still wearing backpacks with regimental distinctions.

From my own military time, I'd suggest a sort of "Gresham's Law of Supplies" to the effect that only the most strong-willed or influential officers will get the new issue out of the supply system as long as there are any of the old ones to hand out. And you don't have to visit the early 19th Century to see units on overseas service (or militia) being late in line for new gear. I don't think we can be so sure about the pattern of issue as to exclude either Trotters or envelopes for a Peninsular unit, and with uncertainty comes freedom. Paint what pleases you.

dibble Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

Here you go! have a read through these threads, one is about buff facings, the other is about backpacks.

TMP link

TMP link

And this which has hundreds of contemporary and near contemporary pictures which also includes many pictures of buff faced uniformed officers wearing white belts.

link

Paul :)

42flanker26 Jun 2017 10:17 p.m. PST

'BRITCHES' !

Just sayin'

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 2:38 a.m. PST

Naw.

71st was a Highland regt. He would have called them "Breeks"!…..not Britches or Breeches

4th Cuirassier27 Jun 2017 2:46 a.m. PST

@ dibble

It seems to me that there are grounds for some pretty wide variation in backpacks.

For years I thought the Airfix Highlanders' backpacks were wrong but it appears they may be correct for an earlier period of the wars.

I really like the idea of militiamen having different equipment. I've been wondering for a while how to make British militia look different to line. As well as not having flags it seems like backpacks could be a good visual aide memoire.

Facing coloured backpacks though. Blimey. The 56th (West Essex) regiment had purple facings…the 35th (Sussex) had orange facings…

Garde de Paris27 Jun 2017 4:34 a.m. PST

Dibble to the rescue again, as always! I hope you are around 35 years old, for at 80 I do NOT want to outlive you!

Note that he shows the Inniskillings with the buff pack, but with two vertical straps, and the castle in the center – from Osprey.

GdeP

42flanker27 Jun 2017 5:21 a.m. PST

Deadhead, actually, naw yersel.

Who's 'He'? We weren't talking about the 71st but breeches (britches) in this instance would be a technical term, to distinguish between the regulation lower garment, coming down to the knee, and trousers or overalls covering the whole leg.

'Breeks' could refer to any netherwear, but perhaps not in front of the more delicate ladies.

dibble Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2017 8:16 a.m. PST

GdP,

I'm in my late 50's and I so enjoy helping anyone with these types of inquiries if I have the information. It's a special pleasure to help you though as you really show sincere appreciation towards people who help in these matters.

Paul :)

Garde de Paris27 Jun 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

Your data have been a GREAT help, Paul. They even let me do the 9th Foot drummers with red/white slanted "panels" on the drum bands, top one way, bottom the other!

But I need to scrape off the chevrons from my 88th Foot, for I seem to remember their drummers has plain white sleeves.

Many, many thanks to you!

GdeP

Garde de Paris20 Jul 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Waited a long time to correct my mistake: The 88th Foot was a yellow0-faced regiment, and the drummers wore a yellow coat with plain sleeves – no chevrons.

I believe I got that info from Dibble a couple years ago when I started on them! the man just keeps the great data coming!

GdeP

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

and that means the crossbelts etc stay white, which looks so much better than the buffed leather of buff faced regiments.

and yet, what am I now working on? 52nd and 71st. All I now need is those heads for Light Infantry from Brigade Games in the USA. I just know they are somewhere mid Atlantic right now…..sure of it.

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