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"Painting advice for French and Russians II" Topic

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MrZorro14 Jan 2020 7:58 a.m. PST

Hello again guys. The Old Glory's 15's French and Russians arrived. Really happy with the service and products. As recommended in this forum I primed them Krylon white and started to paint the French first.

I want to go with France 1912 invasion of Russia colors. I decided to start with the French line infantry so I am using Vallejo Dark Prussian, the hat is black, white over the obvious white parts, the shoes are black or very dark brown, skin as normal too, no problem there BUT then OMG, I am not sure how to go with the rest of the equipment.

Looking for reference and I see some show a light brown leather backpack, others dark brown, black, cow skin beige, not sure what way to go. Also the blanket sometimes is grey and sometimes is beige and even olive green.

For the Dragoons green jacket with red is the obvious and black boots but the pants come in brown, green, white and grey. which is the right one?

Foot arty seems to be mostly blue uniform with grey gaiter/legging, is this correct?


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 8:58 a.m. PST

You are actually right in your estimations. The items you have identified did vary greatly in colour due to differences in manufacture and the effects of campaign. In the latter situation this could lead to items fading away or even having to be replaced by local items. Napoleonic armies were rarely that uniform.

Timmo uk14 Jan 2020 9:26 a.m. PST

I think you need to spend some more time researching. For example, French dragoon regiments have various facings red, orange, pink or yellow.

Have a look on Pinterest there's a lot there that will be really useful.

MrZorro14 Jan 2020 10:27 a.m. PST

Yes, I see Pinterest is an incredible resource.

Cerdic14 Jan 2020 10:54 a.m. PST

The French backpack is normally represented as being a mid to dark brown colour. However, they did vary quite a lot. I remember reading a diary written by a British soldier who fought in the peninsular war. He described a field being full of white lumps because the French had abandoned their backpacks when they retreated!

So you have a fair bit of leeway as regards colour. Personally I would keep each regiment the same, but that's just me!

Blanket roll? Paint it grey so it is different from your brown pack?

Dragoon trousers? Fancy full-dress uniform was white. On campaign they would wear 'overalls' that should be grey, but could easily be something else according to what was available.

Infantry and Foot Artillery gaiters. Regulation was white in summer and black in winter.

MrZorro14 Jan 2020 12:12 p.m. PST

Wow, 99% of what you said I did not know. very interesting facts. Thanks Cedric

MrZorro14 Jan 2020 12:15 p.m. PST

How about those "pom pom" style round ornaments the Line Infantry has in their helmets? what do they mean? I see them in different colors? by rank, type, or why?

nsolomon9914 Jan 2020 3:32 p.m. PST

Pom poms on French Shakos varied in colour depending on the company in the battalion. In the Peninsula the French battalions largely used the late period 6 company organisation – 1 company of Grenadiers with red plumes, 1 company of Voltigeurs with generally green or yellow plumes, 4 companies of Fusiliers with each companies pom poms a different colour.

If you haven't got any uniform guide books there are lots of sources on the web for uniform guides.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2020 3:28 a.m. PST

Pinterest isn't a reliable source unless you can discern the original artwork/ artists. Your experience level suggest you won't know who legitimate artists are (valid).

Blanket roll? – French carry a rolled greatcoat over the top of the pack- they are not blankets. They varied from blue-greys to various beige/ tan shades from earliest to darker shades later. Make each unit (or by regiment) slightly different to add variety.

Same with packs- animal skins are never uniform in 'design' so neither are packs- the meticulous black of the Brits isnt matched in the French- so by all means add a splash of different shades again.

Nearly all units adopted 'overalls' as they are known- for campaign/ route dress- stiff canvas type material (with or without buttons); maybe a seam 'sidestripe' for flashier units; to protect the linen breeches and gaiters. Latter were nearly always black. Only the Guard and prestige units retain them for formal occasions. Grey 'route de marche' gaiters were abandonned/ not issued soon after the Empire commenced (ie 1805).

If your blue is particularly dark, I'd add a touch of white to lighten the shade slightly for a top coat. if you haven't heard of 'dry brush' technique, look it up. You will enhance look and appeal of your forces.
regards dave

MrZorro15 Jan 2020 9:36 a.m. PST

Thanks SHaT1984 Dave. Extraordinary information. I know I had to do a deeper research before adding any paint to the brush. I guess I was letting my anxiety win, when I saw the figures and I saw so many of them and the hours and hours it would take me to paint them, I kinda wanted to start painting speedy "assembly line" style in an standard fashion for all and be done with it.

Now, I am more relaxed and getting as much information as I can before proceeding with the painting process. I am still doing the assembly line painting jackets to all of them, then rifles to all of them, then hats to all of them etc. I am painting the sure things first and then I will add variety to the parts that I learned need variety.

JimDuncanUK16 Jan 2020 5:00 a.m. PST

Hello Juan

Looks like you have a lot of reading to get into the period fully. I've been doing it for nearly 50 years and I'm still learning.

Getting the basics correct is a good move.

Jackets are jackets although some folk will use other terminology for some units.

Rifles will usually be muskets (smoothbores) although some mounted troops will have carbines and a few light troops will have rifles with rifled barrels as specialised troops.

Hats will most often be shakoes, a few will be bicornes, some will be bearskins and there will be a variety of caps here and there. You will also get an occasional general level officer wearing a hat. Some cavalry will be wearing helmets, others busbies and some mirletons.

Please bear in mind in that everything that I have said will have an exception or three. You will come across them over the months and years.

Good luck.

Greystreak20 Jan 2020 6:45 a.m. PST

For your Russians, this site will help: link

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