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British uniforms from American War of Independence (maybe also WSS?) through to Zulu Wars used red colour dye but some collectors paint their figures anywhere from a scarlet or blood red to with a more orange hue for Zulu war uniform. Was the orangey colour due to the dye being bleached in the sun or just worn out during many laundry washes for example? What paints/colours would you recommend for the British infantry in the field during:
- American War of Independence
- Napoleonic era (inc. War of 1812)
- Zulu War (or any other colonial war)
There was a Humbrol paint "British Scarlet" #178 that was more orange but that's discontinued now. Was planning on using Citaldel Evil Sunz Scarlet for all eras but Zulu War...
Thanks in advance,
Hi have you tried Model Color 817
Scarlet? It's very close to the old Humbrol master piece.
Humbrol had the best feldgrau 111 and the best blue for French Napoleonic infantry 104.
Sadly unmatched today IMHO.
Look for a fairly dull brick red which was the color of NCO's and private's coats when new - with campaign wear it became more brown. Officers had their own uniforms tailor made, and their coats were scarlet. Officers coats were made of a finer broadcloth and dyed with insect based cochineal dye rather than plant based madder dye of the other ranks so your officers should have a distinctly different scarlet shade to your rank and file figures in crimson.
Here's a few suggestions http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=301373
I think the British army changed from the brick red/brownish colour to something much more like scarlet not long before the Zulu War. Not with my books just now so can't check, I'm afraid.
It depends....watch the famous portrait of Wellington from Francisco de Goya....
Pure scarlet...I know I know...was a lord; but pretty near to Vallejo Model Color Scarlet
Haven't found my books, and this is not authoritative, but:
From the mid-17th century to the 19th century, the uniform of most British soldiers (apart from artillery, rifles and light cavalry) included a madder red coat or coatee. From 1873 onwards, the more vivid shade of scarlet was adopted for all ranks, having previously been worn only by officers, sergeants and all ranks of some cavalry regiments.
IMHO, trying to find an "accurate" colour is a fool's errand. The Model Colour mentioned sounds like a good bet, it's just not worth agonising over.
The results of a non-standard dye production, and the effects of lighting conditions, bleaching and dirt and distress all affect the appearance of colour and mean that there will be no one right colour. Then, you have to factor in the effect of scale.
The Way of Sanity, by contrast, is to pick a colour that looks right to you, but, I agree with the others that there would be a discernable difference between officers and ORs, so a flatter, more brick red for the ORs and a richer hue for officers. Don't overdo it, though, because the difference may not be so profound at scale.
As a footnote, scarlet, though having its origins in the New Model Army, had only recently become standard at the time of the WSS (there were, e.g. blue-coated regiments at the Boyne). Even then, as officers distained "regimentals", Marlborough was still having to remind his that they were supposed to wear red. Further, some officers wore crimson, some regiments clothed SNCOs in crimson, one or two seem to have reserved scarlet for SNCOs and above and clothed the men in crimson!
Totally agree, of course.. I just thought that Vallejo's scarlet could could be a good help and that old Humbrol's were very good too
Nothing else to say
The hours I've spent trying to decide upon "authentic" colours!
The revelation came with a photo of late war German tunics: about 10 of them. Not one was even close to the colours of any other. If a C20th industrial power (albeit getting a kicking from the Allies) could not colour match uniforms, what hope did C17 & C18th armies have?
I could add the received wisdom is to paint our small figures with a brighter shade than recommended because otherwise they'll look dull, even dingy (28mm figures, the reverse).
I took a picture of a rifle section of the Black Watch battlegroup in southern Iraq in 2003. There are nine soldiers in the photograph. No two are dressed exactly the same. Some have desert camouflage trousers and European camo tunics. Others have the reverse combination. Some had desert boots, others black leather footwear. Some kit was brand new. Much was faded by weather and time. With all kinds of variations in between. And that's the 21st Century. :smile:
Alan, that's what I thought too. Weathering and probably exposure to blazing sun, changes brand-spanking new red to more orange/scarlet over time.
Btw. Experimenting with Citadel's new Contrast paints recently, I found mixing 3 parts Gryph-hound Orange to 1 part Blood Angels Red gives me the shade needed for Wellington in India, or Zulu War British.
I once read a post a few years ago from a guy who had been in school just after WW2 who said that all the kids used ex British rucksacks to carry there books to school because they were so cheap at army & navy stores, & out of the twenty or so rucksacks there in the class not one matched another exactly.
which in my mind says that there is not one right colour but a range of colours that could be used for uniforms without being wrong.:slightly_smiling_face:
The Red has not changed, variation is about age and weathering, so like the guard at Buckingham palace for new uniform , and variations for service in the field.
Yes, they were all the rage (as in all the cool kids had one) when I was at school in the late 1960's. We used to paint all kinds of designs and pictures on the flap. They came in several colors: RAF blue and Army khaki, from various sources.
Some had been recycled and still had the serviceman's name or number on them, many of the ex army ones had been treated with "blanco" paste (which itself came in different shades of green, khaki and white); others were new unissued surplus stocks made in the UK and other countries. Canadian made web gear was different in color to Australian and Indian manufacture (hence the use of blanco paste to give a uniform appearance): Indian made webbing was a distinctive almost yellow shade of khaki compared to the light brown stuff made elsewhere, and often had black or gunmetal fittings instead of the usual brass.
When I am emperor of this galaxy though, I shall institute a rule that every army taking part in a war must us the same uniform all the way from start to finish, not change pattern and color half way through!
Can I get an Amen, brethren?:grin: