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"Shade of Blue for French Facings in the 1690's" Topic

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Terry3702 Aug 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

I am working on a French army for the Nine years War of the 1690's and keep coming up with the same dilemma – what is the best shade of blue to use for facing colors??? Most prints show it as a lighter blue, and Grant in his book "From Pike to Shot 1685-1720" describes it as turquoise blue (which seems to match most prints).

I would expect the shade for royal regiments like the Dauphin or du Roi would be a royal blue, but what about the non-royal regiments? The German regiments coats???

Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated.


Winston Smith02 Aug 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

All together now….
It faded in the weather.

Terry3702 Aug 2018 10:41 a.m. PST

Thanks Winston, I understand that, and also that different dye lots, etc. make for different shades. But what is the general consensus for a starting base color? Dark blue, navy blue. royal blue, turquoise blue, light blue????


nnascati Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2018 5:00 p.m. PST

From a quick Google search, I'd say Royal Blue should be correct, maybe mixed with a bit of green to give it a teal shade for some units.

dbf167602 Aug 2018 6:20 p.m. PST

Buy the Robert Hall CDs on Louis XIV's army and ALL your uniform questions will be answered. Available from Baccus in the UK and On Militaey Matters in the US.

Hector Blackwolf03 Aug 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

The short answer is there were probably numerous shades and little in the way of conformity. Wargamers are likely much more worried about what colors our soldiers wear than quartermasters were.

If you want greater accuracy you would need to figure out what types of dyes they were using to produce 'blue'. A lot of natural blue dye I have seen tends to produce a color with a greenish tinge. So, teal or turquoise might simply be the most common result of ordering 'blue.'

For true dark blue they would probably need to use indigo, which would be expensive. So, I would suggest an intermediate blue with a hint of green. But, unless someone brings back some color photos it's hard to do much more than guess.

ToysnSoldiers03 Aug 2018 10:32 a.m. PST

It faded in the weather.

It did.

Terry3703 Aug 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

Thanks all! I have ordered the Robert Hall book/CD.I have been at the study of uniforms for over 60 years now so I am aware of the fading and different dye lots, etc. I was just wondering if there was a generally accepted color that gamers used.

The idea of a middle blue with a touch of green does make me think of turquoise though. Vallejo makes two different shades so that would allow for some variation too, and maybe stay with royal blue for royal regiments.

Thanks again,


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