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Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

Dear Roger,

Yeah, Russian shoulder straps, pompom centres, plumes, flags are all great fun. I really enjoy the 1802–07 uniforms. (Hannoverian field battalions for 1815 :grin: :upside_down_face: :slightly_smiling_face: !)

For me, I went around in circles and settled mainly on a combination of information from Viskovatov, The Napoleon Series (, issues of Soldats Napoleoniens and a wonderful book "L’Armee Russe Sous le Tsar Alexandre 1er de 1805 a 1815" by Marcel Gayda and Andre Krijitsky (with English captions by Stephen Summerfield).

The book, originally published in 1950, was published in 2016, in hardcover, as 'a completely adapted reworking of the original French 1950 volume by Le Sabretache' by Ken Trotman, so you'd be able to get it easily and for less for postage than me, I'd say.

It's even more fun if you go back to the Potemkin reforms (for Kosciousko's revolt and early wars against the Ottomans) and then on to the 'back to the future' uniform under Paul I—if you want confusion and uncertainty go there! Not a reversion to a Frederickian-style uniform, but based on it with Russian adaptations and a real backward step for the men after the ahead-of-its time Potemkin uniform (figs for that available in 1/72 from Hagen).

All great fun and trying to piece a puzzle together is a big part of the joy, I reckon.

I hope that I am not putting Asher off with all this. I am trying to indicate how interesting the search can be and that it can continue as a lifelong thing.

In the end, settle on something, paint the figs and it will 'do' for one's purposes!!

Kind regards,


Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

Agreed, the research can indeed be just as interesting as the buying and painting of the figures themselves. Its all part of the hobby, and it can be an eye opener too when you come across sources that completely turn on its head what you had become acustomed to knowing.

I will have to give Viskovatov another look I think. As you say, its probably a case of combining the info from several sources in regards to painting up some Russians for Smolensk/Borodino.

I am hoping that the 1805 facing colours did indeed make their way into the 1812 uniforms, as there was some much more vivid colours used than what I have normally painted.

Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

I wouldn’t want to mislead you Roger, they were simpler from 1810 with collar standardised to red, like the turn backs had been. Shoulder straps by division. No Pom-pom centres.
That page on the Napoleon Series I gave the link to has it, the book I mentioned and I think Viskovatov does too?
(I’ve not painted any of my late Russians yet).
Cheers James

Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

Just like anything James this sounds like something that gets easier with time and practice. Modeling the the American War of 1812 has given me some very modest experience in these sorts of matters, but that small theater of war is child’s play compared to the entirety of the Napoleonic Wars. Thank you for the recommendations though. The goal is to also have a entire bookshelf filled on the subject someday, but I have to start somewhere, and these seem like some great options. Thank you again!

Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

Hi Asher

For 1815 cant get better than the Mont St Jean website already mentioned, its superb

Another good on line source is the Napoleon Series - lot of links to original uniform plates, which form basis of a lot of the modern plates used.

Bavarians are good starting point, from your list, as they fought both for and against Napoleon and Strelts have a great and growing range.

French will provide opponent to almost every other army and many allied forces used French style uniforms, with added colour.

I would recommend the following books which can be found second hand fairly easily:

Fred and Liliane Funken Arms and Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars (2 vols) - not entirely reliable but excellent overview and the pictures inspired many of us to get involved in first place!!

Blandford Books - mentioned above (Retreat from Moscow, Waterloo and The Napoleonic Wars)

Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Digby Smith, Lorenz Books another helpful overview and relatively cheap

Histoire & Collections - the 1812 or 1814 campaign books contain uniform schematics of most of the units involved (the text is less useful) but if you can find 'Soldiers and Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars (FG Hourtoulle) that is perhaps the best single book IMHO, covers topics across the whole period and the artwork is fantastic. Its probably bit more pricy

Osprey Men At Arms series covers most armies, pick the more modern versions though.


Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?

Thank you John! I’ll add those to the list. I really appreciate the guidance and advice. Obviously building a French force is a must for the napoleonic period (I’ll have to use a variety of brands for this) but after that I’m basing my other factions mostly off of what Strelets has available. I really love the way they are approaching this range of figures. Organizing it by firing line, in square, in attack, on the march, etc… Since the British (highlanders and regulars) and Bavarians are further along than most other factions I have made them my focus.

Re: Napoleonic Uniform References?


one last suggestion if its Bavarians:

free uniform plates always a good thing!

HaT do Bavarian Cavalry and Artillery, to supplement the Strelets new range of Bavarian infantry