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"Voltigeur Shako Plumes in the Peninsular War" Topic

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430 hits since 8 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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MiniPainterMatt Inactive Member08 Jan 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

Hi all,
This may be an amateurish question, but I am just putting my toe into the napoleonic gaming world. To start, I want to do British and French light infantry detachments for Sharpe's Practice. I noticed that some French Voltigeur figures are cast with (and color plates depict) a tall Shako plume, while others have a shorter one (almost a double line infantry pom-pom). The Victrix plastics box contains heads with both. Am I correct that the tall plum was more of a parade look and the shorter one worn in the field? Or did some voltigures wear the longer one in the field. If so, would a single company on campaign have some of each? If I'm way off here, I am happy to be educated.

Artilleryman08 Jan 2019 7:53 a.m. PST

The shorter, tufted pom-pom was the field dress with the plume primarily for parades. However, some voltigeur companies did wear the plume in the field. Whichever style you choose, I would put the whole company in it. It is probably more likely.

MiniPainterMatt Inactive Member08 Jan 2019 7:56 a.m. PST

Exactly the info I wanted. Thanks, Arty!

Garde de Paris Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2019 10:56 a.m. PST

My ambition was to have 4 "Divisions" of French infantry for my Peninsular War French army, each of 12 battalions, each of 36 figures in 30mm (later 28mm for the demise of the 30's). I have 8 battalions done for the Ist (corps) Division; and 8 for the IInd (corps) Division, and will never do the others! So I love as much dress uniform detail as I can do.

Even when I do Victrix figures in overalls, I try to do the voltigeurs with the tall plume. I have no problem with mixing them with the stubby plume, or none at all shot away or lost. Chaotic supply problems in Spain!

65eme de ligne in my IInd Division Victrix plastics 4 men with green ball, scarlet tuft. 1 with fatigue cap with green base, scarlet bag, all edged yellow, as though captured from a Spanish light infantry depot. The 6th figure is done to represent a "guest" soldier from the 88eme to ligne as a "soldat de companie des bon tireurs!" in white breeches, black knee boots with no cuff; brown, long-tailed dark brown officer coat (captured from Portuguese?) edged green. French bearskin with no plate and no bag, carved to look like Spanish grenadier bearskin. All 6 have green epaulettes fringed green, with scarlet "moon" as for typical light infantry chasseurs. Good unit for Sharp's practice? By the way, this unit drummers had a yellow shako edged black; and the grenadiers wore bearskins witrh scarlet plume, but with only white flounders on the side, and a brass grenade in the center front. They also had scarlet fringed epaulettes with white "Moon." Very distinctive unit.

27eme de ligne with the 65eme in my IInd Division overalls, yet tall plume in yellow ball, lower half of plume yellow, top green. Epaulettes are all green with yellow Moon. Green bands and cords on the shako another 27eme identifier. The Grenadiers seem classic brass plate, white cords across the bearskin and down as flounders; scarlet plume and back patch with white cross. Drummer lapels are ?aurora? or orange, edged yellow. Yellow chevrons on the sleeves (I will NOT do). Bucquoy shows these two regiment details.

94eme (or 95eme?) de ligne in my Ist Division again Victrix. Voltigeurs with yellow pompom and cords (black bands on shakos), lower 2/3 plume green, top 1/3 yellow. Epaulettes green with yellow moon. Grenadiers are unusual with bearskin, but all scarlet cording and plumes, no brass plate! even the tassle at the top front is scarlet. epaulettes totally scarlet. From another source around 1806, I used sky blue lapels, wings, cuff flaps and turnbacks all sky blue edged yellow.

Who says the French line infantry are "all the same?"


Artilleryman08 Jan 2019 11:26 a.m. PST

Not me. In Napoleon's army, 'uniform' was an aspiration, not a reality.

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