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"British foot regiments red faced with red question" Topic

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Baranovich27 Oct 2019 2:43 p.m. PST

I'm doing some casual research as I prepare to paint two 28mm AWI armies.

In going through the history of the British regiments of foot, I was looking at the Perry Miniatures painting guide for various regiments.

I noticed that a number of foot regiments had red coats that were faced with red.

In terms of actually painting that on models, does anyone have any knowledge or sources that show if the red of the facing color matched the red of the coat, or was it a different red to provide contrast?

When you paint your AWI British do you purposely make the red facings like brighter or lighter than the coat to show a difference or do you just paint the entire coat and facings all the coat color?

I'm not even sure if I'm going to have any foot regiments with this red faced with red as I'm matching all my units to the flags I got. I checked and all of the units I'll be doing have different facing colors than the coat.

But the thought did intrigue and I might end up painting up a unit of red/red eventually.

Thanks in advance!

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2019 5:07 p.m. PST

I have a unit painted professionally;the painter used the same red. No on has objected to that in their war-game force. wink

I tend not to obsess about it in 25-28mm. If I were gaming in 54mm, I might worry more about it.

BTW, the regimental flag for a red-faced regiment would have a white field, so the unit wouldn't "match" the color.


Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

If you really wanted to show the contrast between the red coat and the red facings, just black-line the lapels and cuffs. During the AWI, the turnbacks were white so you wouldn't have to worry about them.

And Florida Tory is correct about the regimental colors. A red facing regiment's flag would be white with a red Cross of St. George and the standard Union field.


historygamer27 Oct 2019 5:51 p.m. PST

Same red. :-)

historygamer27 Oct 2019 5:56 p.m. PST

Lord Cornwallis' Regiment, the 33rd, was red faced with bastion loop lace. The regiment was regarded as the best in the Army.

Glengarry527 Oct 2019 8:45 p.m. PST

Would the drummers be in red? For some reason I have the idea the drummers were in white coats.

Jeffers28 Oct 2019 2:05 a.m. PST

White coated drummers for red faced regiments.

I tend to use a brighter red than most for British; red facings get a darker shade, so Vallejo orange red & scarlet works for me.

Londonplod Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2019 3:06 a.m. PST

Just run a dark brown wash to make the turn back stand out from the sleeve.

Steamingdave228 Oct 2019 7:14 a.m. PST

I have some British units with red facings in both my 18th century and Napoleonic armies. I just paint them at the same time as the coat/ jacket and give thanks I haven't got to do fiddly stuff on the facings. (I game in 10mm and 15mm)

Baranovich28 Oct 2019 7:24 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the feedback guys, much appreciated!

@Florida Tory,

No, I think I may have said it in a confusing way. When I said that I'm "matching up all my units to the flags I got" I meant that I'm doing the correct facings for the foot regiment itself based on the actual unit.

I'm not going to do a random red faced foot regiment unless I have the actual historical regiment with that regiment's flags.

I have a limited budget and space and I bought only about 6 sets of British foot regiment flags so far, and I'm painting all the units with the facings of those regiments. I'm not going to do a red faced regiment unless I actually buy flags of a foot regiment that had red facings!

Baranovich28 Oct 2019 7:27 a.m. PST

…just to follow up – I have seen some historical AWI games where gamers just randomly put regimental flags with foot regiments that historically had different facings. In other words they ignored the actual historical unit and just used the flags generically and painted whatever facings they wanted.

I suppose that's ok if you're doing generic games and not actual historical scenarios.

But for me I'm more of a purist. Whether I'm doing generic or historical scenarios I like my units to represent actual historical units where everything is in sync.

Virginia Tory28 Oct 2019 9:34 a.m. PST

Red facings are the same as the jacket color.

Bill N28 Oct 2019 10:15 a.m. PST

I only painted a few men for the 33rd so far. I used the same red for the lapels that I used for the coats. It was good enough for Mollo so its good enough for me. I may use black lining for the lapels and cuffs for officers and NCOs. Thanks for the idea Jim.

@Baranovich-Maybe they are just playing with what they have. I have a unit that in a 1779 scenario would be the 60th foot and in a 1780 scenario would be the 7th. I accomplish this by swapping out command stands. If I did a post-Cowpens scenario though the unit could find itself standing in for another unit, possibly one with different facing colors.

historygamer29 Oct 2019 11:17 a.m. PST

Not sure where this bizzaro idea comes from that the facing color was a different red than the rest of the coat. I'm pretty sure the 33rd Regt is well documented and does not include some of the stuff being discussed on here.

42flanker29 Oct 2019 12:01 p.m. PST

What I find interesting in the case of the 33rd is the deviation from the principle of a contrasting facing colour being used as a means of regimental identification. The red facings of the 33rd with bastion lace were certainly distinctive in principle but we might wonder how effective they were in reality.

Of course, that may only demonstrate the mistake of expecting that practical considerations of that sort played any significant role in such design choices.

Certainly, numerous regiments shared similar facing colours, thereby undermining the notion that the decorative details of uniforms were, for example, intended to help a soldier identify his regiment in the chaos of battle.

("regarded as one of the best in the Army"?)

42flanker29 Oct 2019 3:35 p.m. PST

i was just looking at the 'Uniforms of the Several Regiments of Foot,' the 1771 survey depicting grenadiers of the 1st to 70th Regiments, (a version of the 'Grenadier Book' kept in the Prince Consort's Library) the individual pages of which were posted here:

FWIW, in the image of the grenadier of the 33rd there does seem to be a slight difference of shade between the colour of his coat and of the facings. If so, this could be accounted for by the difference in cloth fabric used (weight, weave or finish).


Jeffers30 Oct 2019 3:36 a.m. PST

That's actually pretty close to the effect I get on my figures.

historygamer30 Oct 2019 6:25 a.m. PST

To my knowledge, all enlisted coats were made from madder red. If you are suggesting that the facings were made from a different material, and a different dye then what was it? The picture you have posted only appears that the artist used more of the same red on the facings and cuffs to make the lace stand out, not a different shade. Note that artist uses the same red for some of the heavier patches on the coat that match the facings exactly. Madder red. That's it. Made from the madder root.

Yes, the 33rd was regarded as perhaps the best regiment in the army.

Honestly, I can't say what the idea was behind the different lace, or patterns of lace. You got me on that one.


Look up the Morier paintings (same red), and other works by Troiani of the 33rd (same red).

No difference. Nor is there in the example shown, only more of the same paint (water color?) used on the facings.

Jeffers30 Oct 2019 6:54 a.m. PST

It's aesthetically pleasing to me to use a slight contrast, that's all that matters. If the Paint Police raid the house I'm ready to flush them down the khazi to avoid arrest.

42flanker30 Oct 2019 7:26 a.m. PST

Hg, my observation was based on the speculation that, given the obvious fact that lapels etc. of other facing colours were clearly not made of the cloth from which coats were made, the facings of the 33rd circa 1771 might not have been made of coat cloth but of whatever cloth was specified for lapels and cuffs. Whatever weave, weight and finish of cloth that might be, even though coloured with the same madder dye, it would reflect light differently and possibly therefore be tonally different.

As I said, it was my impression there might be a slight difference in the 1771 image, the facings showing a little pink by comparison, but these things are subjective, especially considering questions of artist's interpretation, age of artefact, and reproduction online or off.

However, following your suggestion of making comparison with the Morier grenadiers, there is no indication that I can see there of the lapels on the earlier uniform showing any such differentiation either on coat or cap. Given the red waistcoat and breeches which at that time were worn in addition to the red coat, it would perhaps have been a rash line to pursue, aesthetically speaking.


Clearer image here.

Meanwhile, what is going on with that 32nd grenadier's breeches?

Jeffers30 Oct 2019 10:04 a.m. PST

Considering what's going on on the left it could be anticipation…

Jeffers30 Oct 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

On a more serious note, why go to the expense of dying lapels a different shade of red to the coat?

Speaking of which, I will get mine now.

42flanker30 Oct 2019 3:23 p.m. PST

It's not a question of dying a different shade of red , it's a question of different texture of cloth, but it's probably academic.

Jeffers01 Nov 2019 4:07 a.m. PST

My point exactly. The different shade in the painting could be an accurate representation of the same dye on a different weave to simple artistic impression. When painting our toys there is also the scale effect etc etc so just paint what you think is right.

At least I now have a contemporary enough painting to use in evidence when the Paint Police batter my door down. Cheers!

I'll also show them the picture of the grenadier clutching himself.

historygamer01 Nov 2019 8:57 a.m. PST

Can either of you provide a example of a "different texture of cloth?" I've seen a good number of original coats in my day, and honestly, I have no idea what you all are talking about when it comes to facing cloth. But, I am willing to learn.

Jeffers01 Nov 2019 10:52 a.m. PST

Just idle speculation on my part as to why the 1771 painting shows a slightly different shade. But like I said earlier, it's the same effect I get on my toys so I'll carry on doing it my way. I'll be back at work next week so won't have so much time on my hands to prattle on TMP.

Meanwhile, I'm currently more involved with militia and civilian clothing…

42flanker01 Nov 2019 4:06 p.m. PST

Yes, Hg, it was indeed speculation as : "my observation was based on the speculation that, given the obvious fact that lapels etc. of other facing colours were clearly not made of the cloth from which coats were made… but of whatever cloth was specified for lapels and cuffs. Whatever weave, weight and finish of cloth that might be.."

So, I guess the question has to be- is it in fact the case that coat facings were made of the same weight and weave of cloth as the body of the coat, but in each case dyed the colour of the authorised facing?

This is not a subject of which I have any great knoweldge, having only recently begun to appreciate the intricacies of cloth making.

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