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"Trumpeter Carabiniers during the 100 days campaign" Topic

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von Winterfeldt21 May 2020 4:27 a.m. PST

the French used three qualities

cadis (usually used for lining

in the information of the Administration de Guerre of 1808 – 24 colours for drap are liste, the most expensive and presumably best – was produced in Piémont, for tricot you find 5 colours and for cadis 16

Tassie21 May 2020 7:36 a.m. PST

A word of caution to the reliability of some of Faber du Faur's Carabinier uniform details.

Here is his watercolour of the action at Borovsk.


The Carabiniers are shown to the right of the painting, wearing a blue jacket of some sort.

However, look and you'll see that he also shows them using *red* saddle cloths and holster covers, laced in yellow (!)

Now, having studied the original inspection returns at Vincennes, I can assure everyone that red saddle cloths and holster covers are simply completely wrong.

So, I respectfully suggest that the passing of time between sketch (1812) and its reproduction as a watercolour (1828) results in his uniform details on the Carabiniers being less than reliable.

After all, as the saddle cloths are in completely the wrong colour, then the blue jackets might well be incorrect too.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2020 7:38 a.m. PST

Perhaps the blue habits/jackets stuck in his mind.

They might be wrong, then again they might not be.

Tassie21 May 2020 10:04 a.m. PST

Well, the inspection reviews, stores returns, cloth receipts and tailor's invoices all show that there was no second, blue habit.
And Faber du Faur's watercolours (not his on-the-spot sketches, I hasten to add) are looking less than reliable.

Van Damme21 May 2020 10:08 a.m. PST

Having a clear idea of the real color of the uniform distinctions (officers and troopers)confirmed by "eye witnesses" ;-) it would like to find out the real color of the portemanteau, house croupelin, edging of the shabraque.
Rouselotte refers to the regulations of 1812 (Les Masses d'Habillement) and mentions the color Blue Ciel. What was this color realy like?

Tassie21 May 2020 10:23 a.m. PST

Van Damme,
May I refer you back to my posts of earlier today, showing the original trooper's habit at the Musee de l'Emperi.
The schabraque wolf's teeth edging and saddle cloth would be made from the same uniform facing cloth as the collar, cuffs and turnbacks.
However, the portemanteau was made from tricot (jersey) not from uniform facing cloth.

Van Damme21 May 2020 11:30 a.m. PST

Does this also imply that for officers, their saddle cloth was the same color as their uniform facings (Thus being lighter than the troops)?

Tassie21 May 2020 11:54 a.m. PST

Yes, in my opinion.
See the contemporary portrait of the Carabinier officer, shown on a previous page.

Robert le Diable21 May 2020 12:27 p.m. PST

Amidst such a wealth of material, interest, argument and even speculation, I think the lengthy and detailed passage added by Van Damme puts the issues of colour and terminology beyond any reasonable doubt (certainly for Wargaming purposes?). From a personal perspective – an entirely amateur one which depends on the researches of others – the blue cuffs, collars, turn backs and whatever you call the frills around the edges of the cuirass look much better in this darker hue than they do in what has become the conventional hue.

[ @ 4thCuirassier: thanks for response and the pictures too. It may be of some interest – given what was posted re. the difference between dyeing yarn before making a garment, and dyeing a garment once made – to learn something of Mediaeval practice with regard to painting. The blue used for the Madonna's robe was often stipulated in contracts; it would be Ultramarine "of the first steeping" (that is, the blue derived from steeping the powdered mineral in a tub of water). To re-use this powder once this pigmented water was drawn off was to obtain a paler, slate-grey kind of blue. It's rather like re-using teabags.
Browning obviously never looked too closely at conventional representations – paintings or polychrome statues – of the Madonna. Maybe the old boy was thinking of Mary Magdalene.
Tangent re. H&H fascinating (though I had thought "Baal" a quite different kind of religious personage, rather than "Lord" in a variety of senses/derivations).
Good Luck to all.

dibble21 May 2020 2:16 p.m. PST

Gros probably hit the nail squarely on its head with this painting.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2020 2:52 p.m. PST

Artillery General Laribiosierre and his son. The son was mortally wounded at Borodino and the father died of exhaustion, and probably heartbreak, at Konigsberg after the retreat.

Tassie21 May 2020 3:04 p.m. PST

Wonderful painting.

Really quite moving too.

Robert le Diable21 May 2020 8:59 p.m. PST

Gericault made several paintings (both in oils and in watercolours) of Carabineers, and in one portrait – as far as may be judged from reproductions – the blue seems noticeably darker than in other pictures. The portrait, bust length and in profile, dates from 1814. In a watercolour, "L'Officier des Carabineers donnant la charge", the blue seems significantly lighter. It may, of course, have faded.

Robert le Diable21 May 2020 9:03 p.m. PST

Gros seems to have taken some liberties with the Trumpeters in the background of the Lariboisiere picture. No doubt he was quite unaware of the convention of dressing musicians differently from rank & file.
Gericault also painted a Trumpeter of the Polish Lancers (Garde) accurately, by the way. Parade Dress.

Tassie22 May 2020 1:07 a.m. PST

I agree, R le D.

Having said that, it should be noted that the last inspection review of the Carabiniers before the Russian Campaign shows that there were sufficient cuirasses at their Luneville depot to allow for the trumpeters to be armoured.

Of interest, the trumpeters in this painting are shown in armour, and both Rousselot and Vernet show Carabinier trumpeters wearing cuirasses too.

Tassie22 May 2020 1:09 a.m. PST
Tassie22 May 2020 1:10 a.m. PST
von Winterfeldt22 May 2020 2:08 a.m. PST

Looking at all the contemporary sources one seems to have quite a leeway to pick and to chose – I would opt for that one I like personally best – to paint my miniatures.

Tassie22 May 2020 2:15 a.m. PST

Von W,
I completely agree with you ~ it's personal preference.

The inspection reviews and magazine returns from Luneville state that there were more than enough cuirasses to arm the trumpeters, should the colonels so wish.

However, there's no actual proof, one way or the other, as to whether or not the Carabinier trumpeters actually wore them in the field.

Even Vernet's 1812 watercolours, produced for the Ministry of War, to illustrate the Bardin regulations, shows one trumpeter armoured, and his comrade just wearing a habit.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2020 3:58 a.m. PST

@ Robert

AIUI Baal just meant "God" but he gets a bad press in the Old Testament for being someone else's false god, and Baal thereby became his name. Browning was indeed taking a swipe at a lecherous old churchman who reflexively associated blue not with the Madonna's cloak but with her breasts, giving an insight into the level of his devoutness…

@ dibble

So that painting appears to show the cuirass cuffs and the habit facings in two different shades of blue, neither of them imperial blue – is that correct?

Tassie22 May 2020 4:28 a.m. PST

The "fraise" of the trooper's cuirass, it's edging, was definitely a darker blue, as it was made from "drap bleu impérial".

Robert le Diable22 May 2020 6:07 a.m. PST

Couldn't "Link" properly to the images posted by Tassie, but remembered one of Detaille's paintings had Carabineers – and, sure enough, another Trumpeter in the cuirasse. The painting is basically the same as the familiar one of Col Lepic and the Grenadiers a Cheval of the Garde at Eylau, only with different uniforms. Not contemporary, of course, but maybe he had seen those Luneville returns and made his own calculation….

Now that the authentic colours are established – does any manufacturer make such a Trompette figure?

Tassie22 May 2020 6:19 a.m. PST

Sorry that the link didn't work for you.

I've just tried them again from a different pc and they were working for me . . .

Tassie22 May 2020 6:25 a.m. PST

R le D,
In answer to your question, I think the short answer in both 18mm and 28mm is probably no.
The easiest thing in the latter scale would probably be to do an arm amputation / replacement on one of the Perry Carabinier troopers.

Robert le Diable22 May 2020 7:02 a.m. PST

The Computer (laptop type) which I've got the use of at present isn't exactly "state of the technology"! In 15mm, if I wanted any unusual figures, a bit of carving and/or glueing tends to be sufficient. Actually, I'm tempted to make a Carabineer Trumpeter in armour just to see how many people queued up to inform me of the "error"… (As a couple of contributors to TMP have mentioned over the years, collectors/gamers are now not just spoiled for choice, they're positively spoon-fed).
Good Luck. R le D.

dibble22 May 2020 2:30 p.m. PST

4th Cuirassier

"So that painting appears to show the cuirass cuffs and the habit facings in two different shades of blue, neither of them imperial blue – is that correct?"

What? It shows what it shows even the habit itself has a contrasting 'light, greyish-white' compared to the britches. The facing colour is about correct as per what has been outlined on this thread. At least the facing colour isn't akin to M.C.F.C blue that many illustrators, modellers and reenactors (I gag at the thought) show.

PS. I gag at the thought of reenactors, not Manchester City…:)

von Winterfeldt24 May 2020 4:24 a.m. PST

looking at all the Carle Vernet prints for the Bardin regulations, which are available for download, at least the officers had a light blue coat -for – tenue de société.

Also there are quite a view of the troopers in stable dress.

von Winterfeldt25 May 2020 9:14 a.m. PST

Faber du Faur again

The critics about the red shabraque (and therefore implementing that Faber du Faur is not a keen observer) is not valid there not without any reason I did stress to consult the original water colours according to which the plates were engraved – here you will see them with blue shabraque / saddle cloth.

Tassie25 May 2020 10:23 a.m. PST

If you'd like to provide us with a link, or an actual image of the *original* watercolour, von W, it would help to prove your point.

In any case, in 1812, the Carabinier regiments did not possess any pistol holster covers / chaperons (see boxes XC91 and XC93 in Vincennes) so it doesn't really matter if the watercolour shows them red or blue, does it . . .

von Winterfeldt28 May 2020 4:30 a.m. PST

There is no link, those plates are published by the Bavarian Army museum and by this the museum gains some money for their work, in case I find time I will do a small part of the painting there I am reluctant to do the whole plate and hope people would buy the publication to support the army museum.
And there are more colour deviations to those original engravings and later lithographs.

As for no pistol holsters, I have of course no access tho the SHD documents, but in case those published by Dawson are only valid for 1815 – this was at least my impression.

Van Damme28 Jun 2020 12:37 p.m. PST

I have another question, this time about the Colonels, Majors and the chef escadrons of the 2 regiments;
During the 100 day campaign, where they wearing the plumes on their helmets (White for Colonel, red over white for the major and red for the chef escadron)and especially during the battle at Waterloo. It looks great on the figures and makes them stand out, but is it historical correct? Or is this just parade dress?


Tassie28 Jun 2020 3:53 p.m. PST

Good question, Van Damme.

I have never seen a plume holder mounted on an original First Empire Carabinier officer's helmet. I know of eleven original examples.

Having said that, it's very possible that the helmets that have survived and are known about are those of either captains or lieutenants.

There were, after all, many more officers of these grades than there were colonels, majors and chef d'escadrons.

It would make sense for the Colonel and other senior officers to be able to be identified quickly, hence the distinguishing plumes, which is why senior officers in Cuirassier regiments wore them.

It's just that I have never seen a Carabinier helmet with a plume holder.

On balance, my opinion is go for it, if that's what you prefer, as the point can't be proved either way.

Hope that helps.

von Winterfeldt30 Jun 2020 6:41 a.m. PST

Actually I am quite fond that my cavalry wears plumes, officers, like colonel's might well have worn them deliberately in battle to be easier identified for their men.

Best would be however to check Dawson if those plumes were available at all, though officers had to buy their dress etc. privately anyway.

Tassie30 Jun 2020 11:22 a.m. PST

I agree with von W.

I can imagine de Beugnat (colonel of the 2e Carabiniers) with a white plume, even in the field, so that the chefs d'escadron and the brigadier trompette could find him quickly, in the heat of action.

Widowson30 Jun 2020 1:28 p.m. PST

Personally, I prefer cuirassier helmets without plumes, and I usually go in for full dress. That said, what about the link provided above, which shows a carabinier trumpeter, dated 1810, with cuirass, white bearskin, and a red jacket?

Van Damme01 Jul 2020 1:23 p.m. PST

Actually I am quite fond that my cavalry wears plumes, officers, like colonel's might well have worn them deliberately in battle to be easier identified for their men.

Best would be however to check Dawson if those plumes were available at all, though officers had to buy their dress etc. privately anyway

Would that be: (Napoleon's Waterloo Army: Uniforms and Equipment)by Paul L Dawson?

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jul 2020 4:35 p.m. PST

@ Robert le Diable

Gros seems to have taken some liberties with the Trumpeters in the background of the Lariboisiere picture. No doubt he was quite unaware of the convention of dressing musicians differently from rank & file.

Quite a notably unjust and somewhat ignorant statement Sir!

Given his pedigree, patronage and attention to detail, not to mention Master of classes to scores of artists that followed, ascendency in the arts and position close to the political and military whom he painted for a living, it is most unlikely that your assertion is true.

The painting being allegorical in nature, probably heralds the 'anciant classical' regime of trumpeting heralds (ie God-like) and are so dressed for effect.
Besides, do we even know for sure that they didn't wear the cuirass in full parade dress on ocassion?
[I have no interest in the topic itself, merely this outtake irked me],
kind regards

Widowson03 Jul 2020 1:50 p.m. PST


What about this guy?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2020 2:06 p.m. PST

It's a transitional uniform from 1810. Leliepvre also did one of the uniform with armor.

Robert le Diable03 Jul 2020 4:38 p.m. PST

@SHaT1984: Sorry, I certainly didn't intend any slight on Gros (one of the artists from this period that I particularly like), and really meant that the multitude of military conventions re. uniforms would not have been a principal concern (as distinct from portraying Murat in all his several fineries)However, I see that the words could have been better chosen.
With regard to one of the positions Baron Gros held, although he wasn't among the Savants of the Egyptian Campaign, it has occurred to me that an interesting skirmish scenario would be a small group of these civilians, with escort, surprised at an excavation by a party of Mameluks. Maybe with a nearby patrol of French Cavalry (no Carabineers).
Good Luck.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2020 3:08 p.m. PST

@ Widowson

Fabulous. Carabiniers just keep getting better and better. I'm having a trumpeter, he's going to wear a cuirass and a red coat and nobody can stop me.

Robert le Diable04 Jul 2020 3:34 p.m. PST

Same here, only mine will have a white bear-skin as well.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2020 5:21 p.m. PST

Indeed Robert. We just need Vallejo to produce a colour called White Goatskin Bearskin White and the job's done.

Robert le Diable04 Jul 2020 5:49 p.m. PST

"What is this 'we', Sir?" That is, I tend to mix paints rather than go for the kind of titles you've parodied, especially with regard to such things as, say, sheepskin shabraques or indeed various flesh-tones.
No doubt for this fellow a simple transplant from a Garde Chasseur a Pied would do, or even Garde Foot Artillery with the peak carved. One of the few occasions when delay in painting certain figures has been beneficial.
Good Luck.

Van Damme05 Jul 2020 5:08 a.m. PST

After reading all of the above comments, I`m thinking of painting the trumpeters for each squadron in a different color scheme which all past bye here on the forum. I`m converting figures for the first and second regiment of Carabiniers during the 100 day campaign and after looking at the available sites with resources their is no conclusive answer to what they been wearing during that campaign. So definitely at least one will wear a cuirass, some the green imperial livery and maybe some the restoration uniform. Just not sure on the blue (pre 1812) uniform.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2020 5:25 a.m. PST

>>@SHaT1984: Sorry, I certainly didn't intend any slight on Gros <<

Heh no apologies needed on my part ol' chap, just addressing the slight, people will take them as they are.

I'm doing just the opposite for having to convert my 1805 Carabiniers from Gren a Cheval by removing excess cords and aiguilettes; reshaping bearskin, adding Milliput (or Scupley) epaulettes, and giving them, like the 'Garde' (mine anyway) deux 'Aigles et l'Entendards' to bear.

And the distinction between regiments?- well my current one is the same conversion (of 30 years ago) wears the surtout, so in a contradiction to facts, I'll be painting the 'new First' with lapels in full dress habit. And trompettes epaulettes in white for the first, and blue for the' new second'.

>>Garde Chasseur a Pied would do- ahh no don't think so.
Those don't have a rear patch, which the carabiniers do.
Best of luck with them,
regards d

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