Sunday, 21 September 2008

Tedious Inattention To Detail

Prussian musketeers ought to have white lace on their tricorns: at least that's the inflexible rule that's somehow burnt itself into my brain. And so the men of my version of IR 12 (I'm currently painting the second company) have white lace on their hats. It never occurred to me that the Prussian army, in an inattentive moment, might allow any slippage of my golden rule.

Unfortunately, when checking Bleckwenn a few odd uniform details came to hand. Firstly the neck stocks are red, whereas before I've come across only white or black. But, more alarmingly, their hat lace appears to be gold - not just for officers but for rank and file as well. I took this last to be a printer's error, especially as the unit's drummers were still properly decked out with white lace on their hats (and drummers are a truly tarty lot given half a chance). And so, while I duely painted red on the neck stocks, it was the pot of white paint that I reached for to complete the hats.

But today I happened to be reading Duffy in an idle moment. And here I read 'In the veteran regiments the troops wore stocks (neck-cloths) of red, and sported expensive braid and buttons on their coats'. So now I am wondering whether the expensive braid extended as far as the hats, while mulling over the hazards of careless reading.


andygamer said...

The pictures in the Bleckwenn 4-volume booklets are (from left to right) a grenadier that shows what the musketeer or fusilier other ranks' uniform looks like; a sergeant with metallic lace; an officer with metallic lace; and the drummer.

You "take" the drummer's hat, tricorne or fusilier mitre, and put it with the grenadier's uniform to get the line infantrymen's uniform.

No Prussian units had metallic lace for tricorne-wearing other ranks; it was always white. (And never matched button colour like in the French and Spanish armies.)

And it's a great source--enjoy!

Bluebear Jeff said...

When presented with a disagreement amongst experts, my personal choice is almost always to go for the more colorful option . . . but that's just me.

-- Jeff

Andy Mitchell said...

Thanks for setting me right on this Andy: with this bit of info the Bleckwenn books make a lot of sense. Its unusual to find that my prejudices were, for once, putting me on the right track.

andygamer said...

You're welcome, Andy.

And the expensive braid and buttons comment of Duffy's is to differentiate them from the plain coats of all of the Fusilier regiments that had Swedish cuffs and plain coats whether with or without lapels. (Almost all of the Fusilier drummers just have swallows' nests and no arm lace either, for example, for the Fusiliers.)

Der Alte Fritz said...

...which makes the painting of fusiliers all the more easier. :)

Andygamer's interpretation of Bleckwenn is correct. You can generally "take it to the bank" that what he (Andy) says about the SYW is very accurate and well researched.