HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE

HISTOREX NCO

54mm SCALE PLASTIC KITS

FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS: 1791 - 1803

 

TABLE 1: FRENCH LINE INFANTRY FACINGS TABLE OF 1791

TABLE 2: FRENCH LINE INFANTRY FACINGS TABLE OF 1792

TABLE 3: COMPLETE LIST OF VACANT REGIMENTS 1789 - 1792

TABLE 4: USING VALLEJO ACRYLIC PAINTS TO MIX THE COLORS

 

A SPECIAL NOTE

In the tables below, there are significant differences regarding the arrangement of the coat pockets on the rear skirt, vertical (en long) or horizontal (en travers).   I would tend to follow the Historex painting guide but I have shown other sources so you can decide.

 

BACKGROUND HISTORY OF FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR INFANTRY

As of the storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789, French infantry regiments stood at 104 of which 79 were native French, 11 Swiss, 8 German, 3 Irish, and 1 Walloon (Belgian).  The Artillery was ranked 64th in the Line and the Troupes Provinciales were ranked 97th.  On 21 July 1792, the twelve foreign regiments were assimilated into the army.  On 20 August 1792, the remaining Swiss infantry  regiments of the line were disbanded.

The Regiment de Gardes Françaises, infantry of the Maison du Roi (King's Household), participated in the Bastille assault and were immediately disbanded by order of the King.  They were the corps around which the Gardes Nationales Parisien were formed shortly after.  Incidentally, the Royal Blue uniform of the Gardes Françaises was the direct inspiration for the color "bleu nationale" that was used as the color of the uniform of the Gardes Nationales and, later, the infantry of the army of the Republique de France in 1793.

The other Maison du Roi infantry regiment, the Gardes Suisses, were destroyed when the Paris mob and Provincial Militia stormed the Tuilleries Palace on 10 August 1792.  This precipitated the disbandment of the Swiss infantry regiments of the line.

 

TABLE 1: FRENCH LINE INFANTRY FACINGS TABLE OF 1791

Historex kits HXH012 and HXH013 model French Line Infantry according to the Regulation of 1791 which replaced the Ancien Regime Regulation of 1779.  The white uniform was retained and a new helmet was introduced.  Further, regiments were placed in twelve-regiment facing color groups not including the  foreign regiments which continued to wear their distinctive colored uniforms.  Regimental names were abandoned and each regiment was known only by its number that had more to do with identifying its seniority in the "line".  However, names still meant something and unofficially they were used for quite some time.

Regiments 1 through 48 were French regiments so the table worked out in "twelves" as planned.  Beyond that, the table is interrupted by the absence of foreign regiments which retained their seniority in the "line".  For example, the fifth group of "twelve" contained a foreign regiment, 53, which was skipped.  The next Scarlet started at 67, and so on.

The "x" below indicated that the uniform clothing article was to be in the facing color.  Where the "x" is missing, the uniform clothing article was in the dark blue coat color piped in the facing color.  The "-" means that there are no more regiments specified as to facings beyond 102.  At the time that the facings were assigned, there were two groups of  foreign regiments not included in the table: twelve foreign regiments per se that were assimilated into the army on 21 July 1791 and ten Swiss regiments which survived until the mob assault on the Tuilleries Palace on 10 August 1792 - they were all disbanded shortly after.  Table 3 - French Line Infantry Foreign Regiments 1789 - 1792 is a detailed listing of all foreign regiments and their uniform attributes.

For revisions to the facings table due to the assimilation of twelve foreign regiments on 21 July 1791, see Table 2, French Line Infantry Facings Table of 1792, also below.

 

Black 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Violet 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Pink 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Sky Blue 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Crimson 49 50 51 52 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61
Scarlet 67 68 70 71 72 73 74 75 78 79 80 81
Royal Blue 82 83 84 90 91 93 102 - - - - -
Lapels x x x x x x x x x x x x
Collar x   x x   x x   x x   x
Cuffs x x   x x   x x   x x  
Cuff Flaps x   x x   x x   x x   x
Buttons Yellow White Yellow White
Pockets 1 Vertical Horizontal
Pockets 2 Horizontal Vertical
Pockets 3 Horizontal Vertical

Vacancies are all foreign regiments above are detailed in Table 3, below. 
 
1  Crowdy, Terry.  French Revolutionary Infantry 1789 - 1802, Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 403,  p. 35.
2  Historex Kits 30H012 and 30H013 instructions and painting guide.
3  Funcken, Lilian and Fred.  Arms and Uniforms, The Lace Wars, Part 1, page 83.

 

 

TABLE 2: FRENCH LINE INFANTRY FACINGS TABLE OF 1792

 

In 1791, foreign regiments were removed from the line largely because of their dwindling numbers and the sweep of "all things French" throughout the military.  Vacated foreign regiments were replaced by native French regiments and the 1791 facings table had to be reworked to fill in for the new regiments in the line.  Regiments 1 through 48 remained unchanged from the 1791 table.  Vacancies still occur for the Swiss regiments and they are listed in Table 3 with their uniform distinctions. 

 

Black 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Violet 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Pink 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Sky Blue 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Crimson 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Scarlet 61 62 67 68 70 71 72 73 74 75 77 78
Royal Blue 79 80 81 82 83 84 87 88 89 90 91 92
Dark Green 93 94 96 98 99 101 102 103 104 105 106 107
Light Green 108 109 110 111 x x x x x x x x
Lapels x x x x x x x x x x x x
Collar x   x x   x x   x x   x
Cuffs x x   x x   x x   x x  
Cuff Flaps x   x x   x x   x x   x
Buttons Yellow White Yellow White
Pockets 1 Vertical Horizontal
Pockets 2 Horizontal Vertical
Pockets 3 Horizontal Vertical

Vacancies above are all foreign regiments.  See Table 3, below. 
 
1  Crowdy, Terry.  French Revolutionary Infantry 1789 - 1802, Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 403,  p. 35.
2  Historex Kits 30H012 and 30H013 instructions and painting guide.
3  Funcken, Lilian and Fred.  Arms and Uniforms, The Lace Wars, Part 1, page 83.

 

 

TABLE 3: FRENCH LINE INFANTRY FOREIGN REGIMENTS 1789 - 1792

 

This is as complete a list of French foreign line infantry regiments that existed at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 and were all dissolved by 1792.  They are absent from Tables 1 and 2 above because they maintained their distinctively colored uniforms and did not fit into the facing color scheme adopted for French regiments. 

 The foreign regiments were divided into two groups: the eleven Swiss regiments and the twelve foreign regiments (8 German, 3 Irish, and 1 Walloon).  In general, Swiss and Irish regiments had dark red (garance) coats.  All of the other regiments wore dark sky blue coats.  Foreign regiments are generally referred to as the "twelve" that were assimilated into the army on 21 July 1791.  The eleven Swiss regiments dwindled in strength but were maintained on the army list until the disaster of the Tuilleries Palace on 10 August 1792 in which a substantial part of the Gardes Suisses, a separate Maison du Roi regiment, were destroyed by the mob.  Ten days later, all line infantry Swiss regiments were disbanded.

In the table below, uniform distinctions of the eleven Swiss regiments and the twelve other foreign regiments are taken from Terry Crowdy, French Revolutionary Infantry 1789 - 1802, Osprey Men-at-Arms 403.  The other sources sued to cross-check are 1) Historex NCO instruction sheet that comes with their kits HXH012 and HXH013; 2)  Funcken, Lace Wars 1; 3): and 4) Haythornthwaite's French Revolutionary Wars.  However, for the twelve foreign regiments, note that there are  differences between the sources which are explained in the footnotes.

 

No. Name Nationality 1 Disbanded Coat 2 Lapels Collar & Cuff Flaps Cuffs Button Color 3 Pockets 4
C 7 H 8 F 9
53 Alsace German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet scarlet scarlet W V H H
62 Salm Salm German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet dark sky blue scarlet W V H H
63 Ernest Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red black dark red black W H - H
64 Salis Samade Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red lemon-yellow dark red lemon-yellow W H - H
65 Sonnemberg Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red sky blue sky blue sky blue W H - V
66 Castella Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red dark blue dark blue dark blue W H - H
69 Vigier Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red beige yellow red beige yellow W H - H
76 Châteauvieux Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red yellow red yellow W H - H
77 la Marck German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet scarlet dark sky blue W V H H
85 Diesbach Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red sky blue sky blue sky blue W H - H
86 Courten Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red dark blue red dark blue W H - H
87 Dillon Irish 21 July 1791 dark red black black black Y V H V
88 Berwick Irish 21 July 1791 dark red black dark red black Y V H V
89 Royal Suédois German 5 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet scarlet scarlet W V V V
92 Walsh Irish 21 July 1791 dark red black black dark red Y H H V
94 Hesse-Darmstadt German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet dark sky blue scarlet W H V V
95 Salis Grisons Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red dark blue red dark blue W H - H
96 Nassau German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue scarlet scarlet dark sky blue W H V V
97 Steiner Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red dark blue dark blue dark blue W H - H
98 Bouillon German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue black black black W H H H
99 Royal Deux-ponts German 21 July 1791 dark sky blue black dark sky blue black W H H H
100 Reinach Swiss 20 August 1792 dark red white white white W H - H
101 Royal Liégois Walloon 6 21 July 1791 dark sky blue black black dark sky blue W H H H
 
 Nationality  refers to the country of origin of the majority of men in a specific foreign regiment.
 Coat and facing colors: dark red is garance, dark sky blue is bleu celeste foncé, scarlet is écarlate, beige yellow is chamois, and black is panne noire.
3  Button Color (includes lace and piping color): Y = Yellow (Gold for Officers) and W = White (Silver for Officers).
 Pockets (these are the rear skirt pockets): V = Vertical (en long) and H = Horizontal (en travers) .
5  Originally Swedish but recruitment dwindled and re-classified as German in 1742 though officers had to be Swedish.
 Recruited from the Walloon area now part of Belgium.
7  C = Crowdy, Terry.  French Revolutionary Infantry 1789 - 1802, Osprey Men-at-Arms No. 403, pages 33-34.
8  H = Historex Kits 30H012 and 30H013 instructions and painting guide but for the twelve non-Swiss foreign regiments only.
9  F = Funcken, Lilian and Fred.  Arms and Uniforms, The Lace Wars, Part 1, page 83.

 

 

TABLE 4: USING VALLEJO ACRYLICS TO MIX THE UNIFORM COLORS

The following uniform colors are suggested as starting points for mixing your own colors.  These mixes are the base color to which is added a lighter color (usually off white) for highlighting or a darker color (usually a dark brown) for shadows.
UNIFORM COLOR VALLEJO COLORS
Dark Red (garance) Vallejo VC0946 Dark Red (3 parts) and VC0909 Vermillion (2 parts)
Black (panne noire) Vallejo VC0950 Flat Black (3 parts) and Vallejo VC0995 German Gray (1 part)
Beige Yellow (chamois) Vallejo VC0916 Sand Yellow
White (blanc) Vallejo VC0951 Flat White (4 parts) and Vallejo VC0988 Khaki (1 part)
Crimson (cramoisi) Vallejo VC0926 Deep Red or VC0946 Dark Red or either mixed with a little VC0814 Burnt Cadmium to get a darker shade than either of the two by itself.
Violet (violet) Vallejo VC0811 Blue Violet
Royal Blue (blue de roi) Vallejo VC0809 Royal Blue
Dark Blue (blue foncé) Vallejo VC0925 Intense Blue
Pink (rose) Vallejo VC0944 Old Rose
Lemon Yellow (jaune limon) Vallejo VC0952 Lemon Yellow
Sky Blue (bleu céleste) Vallejo VC0944 Deep Sky Blue
Dark Sky Blue (bleu céleste foncé) Vallejo VC0963 Medium Blue (2 parts) and Vallejo VC0901 Pastel Blue (1 part)
Scarlet (écarlate) Vallejo VC0817 Scarlet
Dark Green (vert foncé) Vallejo VC0970 Deep Green
Light Green (vert clair) Vallejo VC0942 Light Green
Golden Orange (aurore) Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre (3 parts) and VC0944 Old Rose (1 part)

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ADDITIONAL HELPFUL PAINTING GUIDES

Crowdy, Terry.  French Revolutionary Infantry 1789-1802.  Osprey Men-at-Arms Series No. 403.  London: Osprey, 2004.

Crowdy, Terry.  French Revolutionary Infantryman 1791-1802.  Osprey Warrior Series No. 63.  London: Osprey, 2003.

Elting, John R.  Napoleonic Uniforms, Volume 1.  New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.

Funcken, Liliane and Fred.  Arms and Uniforms: The Lace Wars, Part 1.  London: Ward Lock Limited, 1977.

Haythornthwaite, Philip.  Uniforms of the French Revolutionary Wars 1789-1802.  Poole, Dorset UK: Blandford Press, 1981.

 

 

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