Help support TMP

"How Do You Paint Your French Ally Carraiges, Cannon, Etc?" Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

1:700 Black Seas British Brigs

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian paints brigs for the British fleet.

Featured Profile Article

First Look: 1:700 Scale USS Constitution

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian looks at the new U.S.S. Constitution for Black Seas.

Current Poll

736 hits since 27 Jan 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

DevoutDavout27 Jan 2023 2:42 p.m. PST

Hello all.

As you can probably sympathize in your earlier years of getting started, daily I find new information that changes my mind on my plans for projects. Luckily this is the one area of Wargaming I enjoy aging like wine, but I digress.

I was under the impression French ally artillery, carraiges, cassion etc would also be the olive green. The past week I have been looking through all the resources I can find for free (I *want* a library similar to many of yours, but it takes time and also want miniatures!) and have seen many sources showing Bavarian artillery and limbers in their same dark powder blue.

I have also seen in some paintings and thorough posts here, cassion and wagons in ruddy colors or what may be depictions of natural wood.

Is mix and match fairly common as we look at allies? Swiss seem to practically be French regulars, would they get the same artillery and trains? Whereas an ally like the Saxons or smaller forces I could see using more rag tag equipment in theory.

Also one curious question I have had that I have not yet come across a note of – how common would it be for enemy forces to take and repurpose anything from wagons to limbers? Artillery is hard to make, but I assume anything wheeled travel is hard to get quickly. I have noted a few places of mention armies taking local wagons, but nothing of enemy.

Sorry this is a bit vague and very broad. Basically if you would like to share any knowledge or simply personal preference, or how you have painted your forces, please share. Thanks.

Rakkasan27 Jan 2023 6:11 p.m. PST

All armies re-purposed captured material. It seems that France had a dedicated logistics system to make use of captured material. She provided captured goods to her allies (Poles for example seem to have been issued captured artillery and even uniforms). It seems logical to assume that captured wagons and limbers would eventually re-painted to national colors. However, that painting may not take place until a break in the campaign season. Therefore its possible to see variously colored wagons and limbers especially among allies or newly raised units.
I believe this is mentioned in With Eagle to Glory but do not have my books with me at the moment.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2023 7:42 p.m. PST

You'd certainly take supply wagons, but remember that limbers needed to be matched to guns. If you're issued captured Austrian guns, you need captured Austrian limbers to match, and all the major powers had their own artillery systems. In theory, Poland, Naples, the Kingdom of Italy, Holland, Westphalia and Bonapartist Spain should all be on the Gribeauval system--as should Bourbon Spain, come to that--but the further you get from the Tuilleries, the more likely you are to be given captured Austrian or Prussian 6-pd guns instead of An XI equipment. Swiss regiments in French service ARE French from an equipment standpoint, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were handed captured 6-pd guns. There were never enough An XI 6-pd guns. I every now and then see other gun colors mentioned for French satellite states, but I have my doubts, and from a wargaming standpoint, no one's likely to object to a French satellite gun in the usual olive green. As Rakkasan points out, stuff captured in 1805 and 1806 is almost surely going to be olive green by 1809. After 1809, the French aren't capturing a lot of guns.

Bavarians and Saxons had their own systems, and Bonaparte never shared loot with kingdoms not ruled by family members. As for colors, Saxons are supposed to be black with yellow metalwork, and even the museums seem a little uncertain about Bavaria--maybe blue wood and black metal, maybe dark gray and black.

14Bore28 Jan 2023 4:36 a.m. PST

I do have French guns in my Prussian army, some of 12pdrs were captured and decided to paint them French color. Guessed they would get repainted quick but maybe not straight away.

von Winterfeldt28 Jan 2023 6:23 a.m. PST

Bernadottes first corps had Hannoverian guns in 1805 and 1806, Soult fielded a lot of Austrian guns (and no doubt limers and amunition carriages as well) Davout took in some Austrian guns in 1805 and some Prussian ones in 1806 (allbeit temporarily) – why should they re paint them?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2023 7:50 a.m. PST

I would expect foreign guns and limbers to be relatively common, at least in the armies of France and the satellite kingdoms. We know Napoleon was issuing a lot of captured 6-pd guns prior to the 1812 campaign. We know Britain supplied equipment to a number of allied powers, but we don't often know the system of those guns. (I do know that the Loyal Lusitanian Legion was given captured and refurbished French equipment, so the British had a system for such things. And I seem to recall captured French guns in the Peninsula being given to the Spanish who were on the same gun system.)

I'd be a little surprised at the guns retaining the foreign paint scheme very long. Most of the gun captures were at the climactic battle of a campaign, and making everyone repaint their "new" guns seems like such an obvious make-work project when units are in garrison the following winter and spring. The obvious exception would be the fall 1813 campaign--a few captures in the spring, newly issued equipment from Britain, and a very limited time during the Armistice to train the new gunners. I could see Prussia especially with foreign equipment not repainted. But speculation is not proof.

von Winterfeldt28 Jan 2023 12:24 p.m. PST

re painting guns is as much as speculation than not paiting them, moreover most such obtained guns would be seen to be sort of makeshift solution anyway and therefore why bother to re paint?

Cerdic28 Jan 2023 2:38 p.m. PST

Gun carriages and limbers etc were made of wood. Wood rots when exposed to the elements for extended periods of time (such as marching about on campaign, for example!)

Therefore, repainting the wood as part of regular maintenance seems a likely occurrence. How often this happened is the question. Yearly? Every two years? Every five? Who knows…

DevoutDavout28 Jan 2023 9:56 p.m. PST

Thanks very much everyone. As usual I hesitate and feel a bit foolish asking a combination of newbie and broad question, but always heaped over with valuable info.

Thanks very much for the responses

Leaf fan29 Jan 2023 10:14 a.m. PST

There is a lot of material online. For example


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Jan 2023 12:00 p.m. PST

Why would one question re-painting? Beats painting rocks *evil grim*

Some Color Sergeant somewhere is always looking for things for Privates to do

COL Scott ret31 Jan 2023 11:23 p.m. PST

Anyone eve in any service will tell you that there is always time waiting, and better to keep the boys busy and grumbling at the sergeants than getting into real trouble. It also preserves the wood and helps to identify friend from foe.

so unless you are going without stop from one battle to another paint'em. That's my two cents.

4th Cuirassier01 Feb 2023 7:40 a.m. PST

Also don't forget that that while iron fittings were usually painted black, black paint on the iron tyre rims would have lasted about a day on the road. After that point they'd be on bare metal because all the paint's been scraped off. Wheel caps same thing. This is something you never see on tabletops…

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.