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"British and French colonel uniforms?" Topic

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Lord Ashram19 Feb 2018 4:02 p.m. PST

Hey all,

Okay, I am mortified to admit this, but I am struggling to find decent references for uniforms for British and French colonels. I have no idea why; this shouldn't be hard… but I can't find good samples of fronts/backs of the uniforms. Anyone recommend a good online source?


Lascaris19 Feb 2018 4:09 p.m. PST

Has an image of the front of a French colonel

Has front and rear for a chef de battalion

Has the front view of a british Lt. Colonel

Camcleod19 Feb 2018 7:10 p.m. PST

The Cent Jours site has a few plates with Colonels:
French – link
British – link

Lord Ashram20 Feb 2018 6:35 a.m. PST

Thanks Las, Cam… still struggling to come up with more… looking to give some references to a sculptor… was looking for a few, but man… there isn't a great single source online that I can find that shows the details, like the cuffs and the like. I am amazed that this is such a struggle.


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 8:03 a.m. PST

Is your problem with French Line Colonels?

Relatively simple. Two gold fringed epaulettes, gold bands top of shako, rest fairly standard Officer rig, cuffs, slashes, turnbacks on long coat tails etc.

Try Rousellot. Centre figures, one mounted and one on foot rear view look right for a sculptor. Painting though……..The mounted chap may be a major after all. His fringes are gold, but are the epaulettes silver or gold? Same for the smaller lower stripe on the shako, silver or gold? I cannot tell…but for a Colonel, everything gold!

Of course these are pre the Bardin reforms. What date are you planning? Later the coat front changes to the style on the right, no exposure of the waistcoat

After all, even for British colonels the headgear changed from Bicorne to Belgic "shako"


Lord Ashram20 Feb 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

Actually, at this point, it is the British. It seems ridiculous, considering I've got 30,000 Napoleonic figures, but for some reason…?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

Then you have a far greater problem, but mostly that comes to the painting, not the modelling.

Basically an officer's rig, plus a sash, gorget and two fringed epaulettes (gold or silver according to button colour). Headgear either the bicorne (early) or the Belgic Shako (late)…except of course for all the exceptions eg Light Infantry, Fusileers, Rifles, Highlanders etc…where the sash, the headgear, the shoulder decorations all differed. Never the "uniformity" of the French Line infantry

The colonel's epaulettes were distinguished by both a crown and star, too small to worry us.

Cannot quite follow the problem, unless you are looking for some specific regt. Many a colonel figure produced in many a scale and, in print, Osprey or especially Franklin's British Napoleonic Uniforms, of course, the ultimate source for reference. Mt St Jean, Cent Jours site is great too….and mostly correct.

Epaulettes varied in detailed design according to regt of course.
Give us a bit more info as to what you are looking for?

What period and what unit, or at least what type of foot infantry unit? Actually I now notice I have been assuming infantry… we all did. Cavalry, Artillery, indeed every branch of service had…….

Lord Ashram20 Feb 2018 2:28 p.m. PST

Thanks Dead… yeah, I basically know how to paint the stuff up… but I'm trying to show a sculptor the parts, in detail, and trying to get shots of, for example, the cuffs… it isn't that easy, because there are just SO many examples of different things out there, you know? A bit overwhelmed:)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2018 2:52 p.m. PST

So you mean bog standard Line Infantry Colonel, 1815?

I am sure many of us could track this down for you if so.

But you are right, there are SO many examples (exactly as you said) because the British Army is notoriously like that. Regimental traditions are a nightmare. Which unit and especially when?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2018 9:55 a.m. PST

The offer is still there to help and I am sure there are many far more expert than me, who would contribute.

Question remains which unit (now we have established British Army and probably infantry) and when?

von Winterfeldt28 Feb 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

search for the postings of dibble, he supplied immense detail for British officers, including details for cutts and such like – otherwise visit the site of Markus Stein and see his photos of actual original items like coats in high quality

dibble28 Feb 2018 9:02 p.m. PST

Look! Get your mounted officer in the same uniform as the officers below him. Put him on a horse with a shabraque of the regiment's facing colour, bordered with either gold or silver braid, again depending on the what the regimental officer's lace is. A bicorn worn fore and aft with gold tassles at each point and or perhaps a cockade brooch, or a 'shako' with a gilt cap-badge gold/silver tassels & cords and gold/silver cockade button.

Make sure that he has an fringed epaulette on each shoulder (not flank company officers 'wings')…Job done. A colonel….

If you must have Cuff rank distinctions, then here's the chart.

Though why they are needed in wargames armies are beyond me.

Just to add:

officers of white or black facing regiments would have had scarlet shabraques.


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2018 7:24 a.m. PST

Well von W was right in suggesting that Dibble would once more come up with the goods.

Must ask where this chart originated? Never seen it before and priceless.

Not heard further from Lord Ashram as to whether we have answered his question now and whether progressing with his sculpting plans

dibble02 Mar 2018 12:31 p.m. PST


It came from a very, very good and very, very important (world) renowned source.

The first person who gets where it came from wins a virtual coconut….:D

Paul :)

Windy Miller04 Mar 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

National Army Museum?

As Dibble says, British infantry colonels wore the same uniform as the other battalion officers, but with two fringed epaulettes – in either silver or gold depending on regimental lace colour. They would almost certainly be mounted, and before the 100 days Campaign would have worn a fore and aft bicorne. Light Infantry and Rifles were obvious exceptions but I'm not going there in this post!

dibble04 Mar 2018 6:21 p.m. PST

Nah! it isn't the National Army Museum.

But I will give you a clue. It didn't come from a museum.

Paul :)

Fatuus Natural05 Mar 2018 3:34 a.m. PST

de Bosset's 1803 charts?

Prince of Essling05 Mar 2018 6:17 a.m. PST

HM the Queen's Royal Collection?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

We may never find out. Not sure he ever told us where the sword on The Antiques Roadshow came from, after he teased us.

The Search function is lost, but I am sure he never di spill the beans

dibble05 Mar 2018 6:11 p.m. PST

The Prince wins the Coconut!

The Sword was Mercer's sword, still in his family along with a sepia portrait of him.

And yes, I did spill the beans.

Paul :D

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 7:05 a.m. PST

You did! I wronged you………….

Tango0104 Jul 2021 10:00 p.m. PST

Napoleonic French Line Infantry Colonel



Tango0105 Jul 2021 4:28 p.m. PST

French Marshals and Generals

Good job!



dibble06 Jul 2021 12:20 p.m. PST

I'm glad that someone reposted this. I forgot to add that those cuff-rank distinctions were but a proposition.

And a link to my Uniform post
TMP link

Tango0107 Jul 2021 9:41 p.m. PST



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