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"What color is “drab”?" Topic

17 Posts

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18th Century

700 hits since 16 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Winston Smith16 Feb 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

It's a color often used to describe cheap undyed Continental uniforms.
Or is it?

I've used a dirty off-white, and then stained it with The Dip. In this case, Minwax Tudor Satin.
What do you use?

nevinsrip16 Feb 2019 11:19 a.m. PST

I used a light tan color. I also use several different color washes to vary the color.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

I use a greyish light brown.

Vallejo Kahki mixed with Iraqui Sand or Stone Grey.

The Dip is Good.


Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

I've read on several Civil War uniform discussion sites that drab covered a wide range of coloring. All three of the uses that nevinsrip, epturner, and you describe could probably fit the bill.


Winston Smith16 Feb 2019 7:50 p.m. PST

So it's like khaki, butternut and feldgrau. grin
Whichever bottle is closer.

Bill N16 Feb 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

So now that we have that 18th century mystery solved, what color is "light"?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 8:58 p.m. PST

"Light" is brighter than "dark".

I thought everyone knew that. ;-)

Zephyr116 Feb 2019 10:47 p.m. PST

"Light" can mean "faded", or even "It's been washed (cleaned)"… ;-)

Winston Smith16 Feb 2019 11:09 p.m. PST

There are those out there who think we're not treating this seriously!

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 4:47 a.m. PST

Normally there was a dye recipe in the "Mix three pints of Podgornian Amber with 3/4ths of an Amphora of Swabian Peach and a dram of Blackish White and then throw it in the swamp for a fortnight." vein.

FlyXwire17 Feb 2019 6:30 a.m. PST


Btw, besides The Dip, an ample dry-brush of tan can do wonders for making many colors 'drab'ish.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 7:25 a.m. PST

In mid-C19th English usage,'drab' was the term used for a mousey-cinnamon-brownish shade that was used in home waters before 'khakee' finally won out as a general term, equally vague.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 8:38 a.m. PST


Personal logo 7th Va Cavalry Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 9:05 a.m. PST

My wife tells me I don't put half of this effort into deciding my own clothing for the day.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 3:48 p.m. PST

For pix you might look at the current "Poldark" -- the Cornish miners all wear sort of beige homespun. It's interesting because you can really see how someone might enlist just to get a red coat.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 5:00 p.m. PST

They gave you a red coat? All I got the first time was tan or a sort of off green and one blue suit you never got to wear. Then the next time everything looked as though it was moldy, even when it was clean. I finally got a dark blue coat again, but I had to pay for it myself and I think I wore it twice.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

There are those out there who think we're not treating this seriously!

What they don't know is that we are treating this seriously!


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