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"French Line & Leger uniform colour..." Topic

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The Tyn Man13 Mar 2021 7:15 a.m. PST

I've been painting Nap 15mm figures since the mid 80's and have always painted the blue of their tunics the same colour. I guess I've notice this in the past, but in the Osprey Men at Arms series 141 and 146 the Light Inf seem to have a lighter blue uniform than the Line Inf. Was there a real colour difference or is it just a printing issue.

What have you done in the past….. just asking.


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2021 7:27 a.m. PST

Just a printing issue. I think the colour used for both ligne and légère was bleu foncé. Either way, when you see the real items and most other illustrations they are the same colour.

The Tyn Man13 Mar 2021 7:43 a.m. PST

Thanks Gordon for the quick reply. I was kind of hoping they were different shades for a more "diverse" look on the battle field. So I guess I just K B O for now…. ;)


Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2021 8:23 a.m. PST

Well…nothing stopping you from using a different blue…similar but lighter etc. Dye lots were many times different…faded uniforms etc.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2021 9:29 a.m. PST

Dave is right. In the days before colour-fast dyes there would be a lot of variation in production, let alone the fading that would take place on campaign. A difference in shade would be very likely between a newly deployed unit and a veteran battalion with months in the field.

SHaT198413 Mar 2021 4:10 p.m. PST

Well despite the intent being true, there really does appear to be some slight difference to some legere uniforms.
Whether they kept them longer, wore them harder or there really was one less bucket of dye in the cauldron, many, many, many contemporary illustrators, and significant 'experts' and indeed extant habits do exhibit a shade lighter of blue.

Hence while my base is the same colour, I have of design done a heavier 'highlighting' of the colour on my legere than on line.

Only because this is the only photo I have in close-up anyway, an old WIP pic of my Chasseur/Tirailleur Corse command mock up before being finalised in 2019.

IMG_3345_sm_example Fr Legere blue by DaveW, on Flickr.

This is probably the most extreme 'lightening' I've done in 25mm, and only do it to a few select pieces to make the stand out among the crowd. Many ADCs get the treatment, despite their sky blue facings anyway.

Trust that helps too,

SHaT198415 Mar 2021 2:59 p.m. PST

>>Just a printing issue.

Just goes to show how much 'faith' or trust to put in publications of any time.
Editorial decisions and artistic 'interpretations' made without actual knowledge or authors input. Seems to have/ is occuring since the cat has been let out of the bag…

Like the too 'light' French Dragoon green (who was first- publisher or Humbrol!) and equally distracting (if more difficult to confirm) Russian jaeger that should only have been 'lighter' than dark green cloth…

The Tyn Man17 Mar 2021 6:28 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the comments. I have a few light units to still paint, so I think I will do a lighter blue on one or two of them down the road, so to speak.


SHaT198417 Mar 2021 2:22 p.m. PST

You're welcome.
Trust it goes well, d

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