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"Colour of Austrian Artillery" Topic

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adcharley16 Jun 2005 4:33 p.m. PST

I know that Austrian guns were a yellow colour (described variously as Imperial yellow or yellow ochre). Can someone tell me what this colour really is? Surely it can't be a bright yellow as it would attract attention and be hard to keep clean(?). I am also assuming black (gloss) metal fittings and a bronze coloured cannon.

Also in the wurst (horse) guns, what colour would the seat and associated wodden parts be?

Any comments would be welcomed–perhaps Dave Hollins has some ideas here?

Is there a Vallejo colour that would be suitable for these?

donlowry16 Jun 2005 8:06 p.m. PST

it is a slightly brownish or grayish yellow; somewhere between regular mustard and gray poupon. Go to a store that sells paints for artists, it's a standard color in oils and now in acrylics. Or just add a tiny bit of black to yellow paint.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx17 Jun 2005 3:00 a.m. PST

It is a mucky yellow–all the colours and details of the guns, which (contrary to popular myth!) represent the key change in gun development, are covered in NV72. The yellow does as Don says have a bit of black in the basic yellow and it should be noted, the regs clearly state black for metal parts, this Imperial yellow on wood (the striped guns shown in some illustrations are just artists' embellishments). The Wurst seat (which contrary to another strange claim) were only on the gun trails (except the 1810 rocket wagon) were just treated leather, so would be a mid-brown.

WKeyser17 Jun 2005 3:57 a.m. PST

Dave where the gun tubes left bronze/steel or where they painted black also as I seem to recall.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx17 Jun 2005 6:17 a.m. PST

This is a much-discussed question. The regualtion says that all iron parts on the carriage should be painted–largely to avoid rust and so, it would apply to iron barrelled guns. However field guns were of course bronze and so not subject to rusting–Seele in 1799 and the 1757 reg illustrations show bronze barrels. The surviving barrels on display in front of the HGM do not appear to have been painted, although these are probably official designs which were not actually issued. However, the muskets were issued in raw wood and blacked later by each regiment, so the application of paint was done by the regiments and depots. Klein certainly shows black in a cuple of his pics, which were in field use. The answer is probably that you would not be wrong either way!

Doc Ord17 Jun 2005 9:29 a.m. PST

There is a painting of the 1866 Battle of Sadowa showing "The battery of the Dead" & the guns are clearly bronze with yellow carriages & black iron fittings. The yellow is very dull-almost a yellowish-tan.

donlowry17 Jun 2005 4:46 p.m. PST

I can't vouch for the Napoleonic period, but in the ACW bronze tubes were definitely left unpainted. Since bronze does not rust, the only reason I can think of for painting bronze tubes would be to give the men something to do or to give more business to your brother-in-law in the paint business!

rmaker17 Jun 2005 9:26 p.m. PST

The problem with painting bronze guns is that they look terrible as soon as you fire a few rounds–the paint blisters and peels because bronze transfers heat so much better than iron. Iron guns eventually do this, too, but it takes longer and it IS necessary to paint iron, while bronzee does just fine unpainted.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx18 Jun 2005 2:32 a.m. PST

However, if you look at the barrels outside the HGM and elsewhere, there do have a form of verdigris on them, so they do not remain shiny. The blast from the powder will also get in any small pits around the barrel end. I suppose a painted barrel would also reduce any sunshine reflection, which could point up your position in battle–although they do not think much about camouflage in those days.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx18 Jun 2005 2:55 p.m. PST

Verdigris is probably the wrong term–they have gone a sort of dull grey and quite close to how they look in the b/w photos. If you look at the pic of the (probably) 18pdr being moved on p.42 of NV72, the original colour version shows the barrel in that mid-grey, so it is not the results of 100 years being outside.

Widowson07 Feb 2006 12:36 a.m. PST

This is one of the reasons I never built an Austrian army. Between the ugly yellow gun carriages, the grey uniforms and the persistance of bicorne hats—jeez. Talk about ugly!

StGeorgeGrenzer07 Feb 2006 9:59 p.m. PST

Bicornes are a Napoleonic fashion statement, just ask the Little Corporal…:)

donlowry07 Feb 2006 10:06 p.m. PST

Bronze, like its component copper, turns light grey-green when it oxidizes. (But as far as I know it just forms a thin layer and doesnt keep eating away at the metal like rust does with iron.) If a gun was not occasionally polished it would turn that color, but I can't imagine any sergeants letting things go that far. Old ACW bronze guns still sitting out on battlefield parks often acquire such a green patina.

French Wargame Holidays08 Feb 2006 2:30 a.m. PST

I have a paint mix chart somewhere from the Napoleonic assn comunique I'll try to track it down.



Goldstar18 Apr 2006 1:21 p.m. PST

Just searching for ideas on painting Nap Austrian artillery colours and came upon this thread. It seems to me that the original question was never answered.

I use GW paints (yes I know and yes I've heard it all but I HAVE THEM OKAY!) and found the following combination gave pleasing results:- Base colour = Vomit Brown, wash with Flesh wash & highlight with Sunburst Yellow. Once the black paint has been applied to the metalwork the cannon looks quite good.


flimflamman18 Apr 2006 5:25 p.m. PST

I say use what paints make you happy. For my French and Russian artillery woodwork, I still use treasured enamels from many years ago, which for my money can't be beaten! If they dry out I'm….

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