54mm SCALE PLASTIC KITS
FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS: 1791 - 1803
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.
Vacancies are all foreign regiments above are detailed in Table 3, below.
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.
Vacancies above are all foreign regiments. See Table 3, below.
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.
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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Copyright by George Grasse