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"Accurate Frenchies for Russia 1812 Help" Topic

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14 Jan 2020 1:40 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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    14 Jan 2020 7:57 a.m. PST
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MrZorro14 Jan 2020 8:57 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?


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 9:48 a.m. PST

Enhance your calm, MrZorro. Remember those calfskin backpacks were made from real cattle. I doubt the originals were all that uniform. Blankets were vegetable dyes in small lots, and subject to fade and stain. I've got four old Army blankets in a closet. If I were painting them, I'd use at least two colors. You're going to have to decide for yourself how much variance you want. Personally, in 15mm I'd just pick a mid-range reddish-brown for packs and gray for blankets, but you could use six colors for each without being wrong.

If I remember correctly, dragoon pants were an off-white, but gray was common for field use--and pants tend to be the least uniform parts of an 18th or 19th Century army. They wore out fast and no one cared much, so they get made up out of local cloth (brown in Spain) or taken from dead enemies (white or green in Russia.) Again, it depends on how much uniformity you want. In 15mm, I'd probably go with white, but you're not going to be wrong.

Relax. The important thing is to put painted troops on the table. You shouldn't be more worried about the niceties of pants and blanket color than the historical commanders were.

MrZorro14 Jan 2020 10:33 a.m. PST

Yeah, you are right Robert, I am used to paint more uniformed armies (WWII, WH). I guess I felt a little overwhelmed by all the options but in the end, common sense and historical availability are the key factors.


nsolomon9914 Jan 2020 3:25 p.m. PST

As the proud owner of 10,000+ 15-18mm Napoleonic figures (including several hundred OG 15's), most of them painted by 3 different professional painters could I make a suggestion? With 15mm figures its not wise to use dark colours. Whether it's French blue, Prussian blue, Russian green or the dark uniforms in the Austrian and British armies err on the side of lighter shades. 15mm figures are small and when viewed at a distance tend to blend into the scenery and absorb light. Use brighter shades to make the detail visible and detectable at a distance. And yes, in this period, equipment belts, packs, blankets, overcoats all varied in shade tremendously.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 4:09 p.m. PST

Also, the summer movement stirred up so much dust all uniforms were one color top to bottom.

MrZorro15 Jan 2020 9:39 a.m. PST

Ok, nsolomon99, 10K+ Nap Minis, WOW! is it possible to see some photos from your amazing collection?

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