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Just wondering if there is a reasonable basic guide, or more precisely,  which is the better option.

 

Perhaps @Black Knight @Ratch @Ted @Jim Wasley  who have done various figures may have some input.

 

Now, I have a look around Amazon,  and while there are lost of individual titles on countries, or in the case of the larger powers, specific areas, I was looking for a reasonable overview, that is not massively expensive. 

 

There seem to be 3 main contenders that fit this

 

The very prolific Philip J. Haythornthwaite, who has done uniform books from The English Civil war to the First World War  (I ordered an ECW one as it was cheap and had reasonable reviews, and did overview guides originally in the 1970's, which look vaguely familiar from the library from my school days.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uniforms-Waterloo-Colour-16-18-June/dp/B004VF7OS6

41bht4j-W1L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

and 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uniforms-Napoleonic-1796-1814-Philip-Haythornthwaite

Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars, 1796 - 1814

 

This pair , 

Arms and Uniforms: The Napoleonic Wars Part 1 The French, British, Prussian and Spanish armies Hardcover – 12 Nov. 1973

by Liliane Funcken  (Author), Fred Funcken 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0706314069

and part 2

which look decent, and get reasonable reviews, 

 

which look reasonable, albeit OOP and not that cheap.

 

 

the most modern, but seem a compilation of earlier works, as  I noted the author and his pseudonym have been very prolific, but look a reasonable overview.

 

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars: An Expert, In-Depth Reference to the Officers and Soldiers of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Period, 1792-1815 Hardcover – Illustrated, 20 April 2016

by Digby Smith AKA Otto Van Pivka

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Illustrated-Encyclopedia-Uniforms-Napoleonic-Wars/dp/0754815714

61tJu8ODPjL._SX385_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

 

I'll have a search as well, just because someone does lots of books, doe not mean they are reliable

(eg currently Richard Franks who churns out titles which are error riddled) 

just curious to expand my knowledge base a bit.    I know there are various sites, but, I like books and I already spend far too much time in front of a screen....

 

Thanks in advance

T

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That last book is my main one.

I also have several other books, old ones, which whilst not uniform books per se do have details on various uniform in them

eg the Royal Marines in the Revolutionary War

"For the Glory of the Marines!: The Organization, Training, Uniforms, and Combat Role of the British Marines During the American Revolution"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0963526901/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This gives changes to uniforms during the 1700s and regulations about uniform, clothing and personal appearance, which carried through to 1805 - 1812

 

"Redcoat"

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Redcoat-British-Soldier-Horse-Musket/dp/0006531520/ref=sr_1_11?dchild=1&keywords="redcoat"&qid=1626047979&s=books&sr=1-11

Don't mix this up with Bernard Cornwall's novel of the same name. This book is a 'must have' in your library if you are interested in the period

 

I have collected various books, papers, pamphlets and memoirs about regiments I'm interested in for the Napoleonic Wars period. There are several memoire books by soldiers of the 95th* and by others who were at Waterloo

* The Recollections of Rifleman Harris

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1978393652/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

A useful website is this one;

http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/unites.php

I've downloaded just about all the uniform pages I want. Whilst they are basic they give colours etc but the books give the details

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Almark published a few books about Napoleonic soldiers such as

French Lancer regiments

French Artilery

Regiments at Waterloo

And of course Osprey have loads of regimental uniform bokks.

 

Regards Toby

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I have the last one - pretty good for the price.

 

I also have the Armies of the Napoleonic Wars.

 

The problem I find on the subject is that there were so many countries involved and each had so many different uniforms and which varied over the period that these books (and I assume others) can only show a tiny fraction of the total uniforms that existed.

 

So I find that whenever I am looking for something - even as straightforward British Line Infantry - I am usually disappointed.

 

Some of the nicest reference material I have seen are the leaflets that come with Perry 28mm miniatures - if only they could bring them all together with others in a booklet - I’d buy it.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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I would say, as a general point avoid books by most European writers especially for British subjects and until you get to know the subject any books over 20 - 25 years old. Very old books which have colour illustrations may not be correct. More modern research in modern books is better

eg. I have a book which was rated highly in about 1971 which shows the 27th with white lace whereas their lace was actually a mellow yellow

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12 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

I would say, as a general point avoid books by most European writers especially for British subjects and until you get to know the subject any books over 20 -25 years old. Very old books which have colour illustrations may not be correct. More modern research in modern books is better

eg. I have a book which was rated highly in about 1971 which shows the 27th with white lace whereas their lace was actually a mellow yellow

Your initial pointers have gone on 'the list' , certainly ones to consider. 

I'm sure the Encyclopaedia one will turn up even cheaper at some point.

 

I guess that the marines book is where your got the info for you IIRC, 1808(?) marine with a Nock gun figure you posted in here a while back, I may have the date wrong,  can't find it at the mo.  but it was a good conversion.

 

More hunting about,  

I found this cheap on ebay , £3.10 posted, and had decent reviews, and is a newish book.

9781857532210-uk.jpg

 

and this  for £7.50 posted, which is was an awful lot cheaper than it was most places. 

9780706363395-uk.jpg

 

which is older,  

"Volume two starts with the Imperial Guard, and then moves on to 'Allies of the French' (from Confederation of the Rhine to Italy and Naples, etc.), and the Swedish, Austrian and Russian armies."

 

I found some images and they looked very well done.   Points on issues gratefully received @Black Knight 

While searching, it said the Funcknen's had access to some specialist libraries while they were doing their research,  and the drawings are superb

 

IMG_1686.JPG

 

 

This in particular looked like it was going to be really helpful, I did do some Airfix 54 mm years ago, which I still have, varying from completed to part done,  and even got a Historex Life Guard from a little shop in Brighton that was blinkin' expensive in comparison, the Airfix mounted figures have prices of 65 to 85p, the Lifeguard was £2.75!! 

 

IMG_1687.JPG

 

IMG_1689.JPG

 

from http://aquestionofscale.blogspot.com/2018/06/nostalgiabook-reviews-l-f-funckens.html

 

I suspect a lot of the older Historex figures are based on this? 

 

Thank for the input,  be interesting to see what these are like.

 

cheers

T

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9 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

I guess that the marines book is where your got the info for you IIRC, 1808(?) marine with a Nock gun figure you posted in here a while back, I may have the date wrong,  can't find it at the mo.  but it was a good conversion.

This chap?

1805%20Royal%20Marine%2C%2055s-L.jpg

 

Actually the basic inspiration came from Bernard Cornwall's 'Sharpe' books. Which are quite historically accurate in regard to the Peninsula War. Then we were doing a Royal Navy / Royal Marines display for Telford so this chap was knocked up

Bernard Cornwall's 'Sharpe' books are not only a good read but he has used a lot of information from the memoire books, eg that one by Rifleman Harris who features in the books.

 

For research into equipment I visit(ed) as many Regimental museums as I could, also the Royal Armouries in Leeds where I was able to handle a Nock, a couple of 'Baker' rifles, a Bess and a French musket and bayonets. If you can visit regimental museums. 

 

Those books are all very fine.

One error that the European writers make about British soldiers is they show them in action wearing their knapsacks. Only on very rare occasions did the British wear their packs in battle. Ever since the 1200s the British soldier leaves his personal belongs with the 'baggage' at the rear. Some armies supplied and trained by the British did the same, eg the Portuguese and the Prussians

~~ Look at that book 'Wellington's Army' - the Scots have their knapsacks on

 

As you get more and more books you start to see the conflicts in information and you have to cross-reference, then you need more books

Don't trust these old books which are based on old research and old libraries. They are a good start but need confirmed with newer research

eg. you know how Vikings are always depicted wearing horned helmets? They never did. That info is based on copied info based on drawings a chap did in about 1870 of costumes for the opera 'The Ring'  (details afair)

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I also bought this 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/173004448048?hash=item2847de6130:g:PekAAOSwWHBaHcwd

 

They are period drawings/paintings.

 

You can find Knotel plates by googling images but thought it was worth paying such a low price to have them collected together for me.

 

 Not particularly well ordered and often lacking any information but for a few quid thought it worth adding to my references.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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On 7/11/2021 at 7:41 PM, Troy Smith said:

The very prolific Philip J. Haythornthwaite, who has done uniform books from The English Civil war to the First World War  (I ordered an ECW one as it was cheap and had reasonable reviews, and did overview guides originally in the 1970's, which look vaguely familiar from the library from my school days.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uniforms-Waterloo-Colour-16-18-June/dp/B004VF7OS6

41bht4j-W1L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

I have this book, and the Peninsular War, and American War of Independence books from the same series. I like them but I'm no expert. There is only one view of each uniform presented. The pictures have character but are not very large, crisp, or detailed.

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I vaguely recall some kind of compilation of Eugene Leliepvre's plates in a book or several volumes. Can't find any reference to it. Might be faulty memory, it could be Lucien Rousselot, but definitely some kind of compilation of Napoleonic uniforms was produced. They were expensive at the time. No doubt ferociously so now. I couldn't find it with quick Google but it's out there somewhere. 

 

Always had an interest in Napoleonic affairs but the subject is enormous. So many countries, armies and regiments. Reading Zamoski's book on 1812. I was struck by how many non French soldiers took part. Even that one campaign would take several volumes to cover the uniforms. 

 

I would echo

@Black Knight

and recommend 'Redcoat' by Richard Holmes which apart from being a good read is rich in detail for anyone interested in the British army of the redcoat era. 

 

Edit: https://www.casematepublishers.com/napoleon-039-s-army-1790-1815.html

 

This is the book of Lucien Rousselot paintings. 

 

It's available at some eye watering prices. 

Edited by noelh
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I have an extensive Napoleonic library with many of the titles suggested, however my most used reference when I used to do figures was Commodant Bucquoy"s twelve volume series "Les uniformes du premier empire".

 

I remember it being expensive when I bought the set new in the early eighties so lord alone knows what it costs now or even if it is still in print. when the volumes came I never regretted the expense.

 

There are a lot of these contemporary prints available on CD now'a'days, I got the complete Knotel set a few years ago for little money.

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May I add some more?

Remember that the 'Napoleonic' Wars period as it is commonly called was actually an interrupted long war of 26 years, 1789 to 1816

As in any period of that length there were a great many changes to everything

 

If you go to any of the military or regimental museums search out the old serviceman/woman who volunteers there

There are basically two types of curators at the museums

1. the paid or volunteer person who is interested in preserving the contents

2. the paid or volunteer ex-service man or woman who wants to look after their regiment's history

 

Number 1 can only give you basic information and sometimes wrong info

Number 2 can give those snippets of info that you are looking for

 

eg. At Enniskillen Castle museum for the 27th Foot and 6th Dragoons I found out from the old soldier curator that the 6th only ever rode pure black horses and at Waterloo the 6th did not have horses with docked tails unlike all the other British Horse there 

 

Pamphlet books put out by the Regimental's and sold by them often have good info, often including info on what they have on display

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Interesting BK, We regularly visit relatives in Monaghan. Not too far from Enniskillen. While I hear the shopping in Enniskillen is great, I'm sure I can finagle my way to visit the castle. I have a soft spot for the 6th and the 'skins'. 👍

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@noelh The Enniskillen Castle museum has a small display about Enniskillen and a wee café at the main entrance. The bit devoted to the 27th foot and the regiments it evolved from and then evolved into, eg the RIR, are in the old castle keep. Be aware, you need to up several flights of stairs, which whilst modern and fairly wide they are steep.

The things for the 6th, eg a Universal carrier, a Ferret, a display with mannikins, and more are in the old ammunition shelters around the courtyard, opposite one side of the old keep. There are a few big guns around the courtyard. The shop/mini museum for the 6th is rarely open now, not that was very much in  it anyways.

If you see any old guy sweeping up around the 6th's displays he's most likely one of - or the only - old soldiers who look after it and will be willing to talk to you.

 

22 minutes ago, noelh said:

I have a soft spot for the 6th and the 'skins'. 👍

What Irish/Ulster man interested in military history does not? :lol:

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2 hours ago, Black Knight said:

@noelh The Enniskillen Castle museum has a small display about Enniskillen and a wee café at the main entrance. The bit devoted to the 27th foot and the regiments it evolved from and then evolved into, eg the RIR, are in the old castle keep. Be aware, you need to up several flights of stairs, which whilst modern and fairly wide they are steep.

 

What Irish/Ulster man interested in military history does not? :lol:

Excuse me, I'm not so old that I can't manage a few stairs. 😂😬 

 

Oh yes the Inniskillings are up there in terms of interest. I still have a Historex Inniskilling in the stash. Besides Grandad was a pre war  regular in the Royal Artillery, an old contemptible indeed. So I'm very interested in that part of my history. 

 

You mention a Universal Carrier. If you ever venture into the Free State have a visit to the national museum in Collins barracks. They have one in half Irish and half British markings. Plus lots of other stuff marking our shared history. 

Edited by noelh
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3 hours ago, ERK said:

Give this a try  -   you just need to scroll through the different pages  for Armies/Units/Regiments/etc, its been very useful to me with my Waterloo dio.

 

Erk.

 

http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/detail_uniformes_uniteBR.php?rubrique=U&uniformes=112&drapeau=


This is fantastic, now if only there was one for the Peninsular War.

 

But this just indicates just how big the Napoleonic Uniform question is - a whole site, looks like 100s of different uniforms and that is just from Belgium 1815.

 

Imagine how many there would be for all the nations covering the whole geography and the whole period 1803-1815. That’s why books can only scratch the surface.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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That's a great resource. Had a quick look through. But you could spend hours ploughing through it. 

 

I looked up the British Hussar regiments. It's Ironic that the old Airfix 10th Hussar kit could be built as any any Hussar regiment at Waterloo except the 10th. Who had red shakos rather than busbys. 

 

 

Edited by noelh
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The work of Lucien Rousellot is also excellent and highly regarded for its integrity there is also a book of his work that I have and that is another most excellent and authoritative tome, as has been mentioned his work is also available 'pon CD's for a modest cost sans text.

 

The Eugene Leliepvre plates used to appear with the Historex kits are authoritative works of which I have a complete set and seem freely available digitally on the internet.

Edited by dromia
Fact correction, Eugene Leliepvre did the Historex plates not Rousellot.
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In response to the OP I have all three he is looking at.

 

I really like the Haythornthwaite book and its image style however it is not complete as it is a representative selection of uniforms of the period.

 

The Digby Smith book is very good also with good history and excellent plates but not totally comprehensive.

 

The Funcken books cover everything and the plates have good detail but their style is the least appealing to my eye.

 

It is not an either or situation as you need all three them being complimentary in content, the actuality of what was worn is anybodies guess as orders were one thing but supplying to meet them was another thing. Also it was not an age of much standardisation combine that with material shortages, appalling logistics and exigencies of service gives you much latitude in dress, style and colours.

 

Work by artists such as Aaron Martinet's prints is of great importance as they are primary sources draw from life, it is hugely entertaining and informative to compare what such works show as been seen with what the regulations at the time would have had them wearing.

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Thanks to @dromia and @Troy Smith for mentioning this thread ...

I'd add Napoleon's Army: As Depicted in the Prints of Aaron Martinet to the mix

51zaajtb46L._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

As I understand it, the plates in the book were drawn from life; the target customers were soldiers based in Paris, so very accurate in detail.
Some plates were reused, but that only serves to high-light regimental differences.

 

My copy is white with a Hussar (or Chausseur) Officer on the cover

 

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I started off with Otto von Pivka;s ARMIES OF THE NAPOLEONIC ERA ISBN 0 7153 7766 3, but then discovered there were better informed books and my references grew:

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series – Chasseurs of the Guard ISBN 0-85045-056-x

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series – Flags of the Napoleonic Wars (2) ISBN 0-85045-174-4

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series – The King’s German Legion ISBN 0-85045-192-2

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 42 – The King’s German Legion ISBN 0-85045-299-6

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 83 – Napoleon’s Guard Cavalry ISBN 0-85045-288-0

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 84 – Wellington’s Generals ISBN 978-0-85045-192-4

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 87 – Napoleon’s Marshals ISBN 0-85045-305-4

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 98 – Dutch-Belgian Troops Of The Napoleonic Wars ISBN 0-85045-347-X

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 119 – Wellington’s Infantry 2 ISBN 0-85045-419-0

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 126 – Wellington’s Light Cavalry ISBN 0-85045-449-2

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 141 – Napoleon’s Line Infantry ISBN 0-85045-512-X

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 149 – Prussian Light Infantry 1792-1815 ISBN 0-85045-540-5

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 152 – Prussian Line Infantry 1792-1815 ISBN 0-85045-543-X

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 167 – Brunswick Troops 1809-1815 ISBN 0-85045-613-4

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 172 – Prussian Cavalry Of The Napoleonic Wars 1807-15 (2) ISBN 978-0-85045-683-7

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 206 – The Hanoverian Army Of The Napoleonic Wars ISBN 0-85045-887-0

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 339 – The King’s German Legion (2) 1812 - 1816 ISBN 1-85532-997-2

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 371 – Wellington’s Dutch Allies 1815 ISBN 1-84176-393-4

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 496 – The Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine 1815 ISBN 978-1-78200-617-6

 

Osprey Men-At-Arms Series 496 – The Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine 1815 ISBN 978-1-78200-617-6

 

SOLDIERS A HISTORY OF MEN IN BATTLE CN 3158

 

BRITISH MILITARY UNIFORMS From Contemporary Pictures

 

BRITISH CAVALRY UNIFORMS Since 1660 ISBN 0 7137 1043 8

 

BRITISH INFANTRY UNIFORMS Since 1660 ISBN 0 7137 1127 2

 

AN ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNIFORMS OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS ISBN 0-7548-1571-4

 

UNIFORMS OF WATERLOO ISBN 1-85409-394-0

 

WELLINGTON’S ARMY ISBN 1-85367-501-6

 

Brassey’s History of Uniforms Napoleonic Wars Wellington’s Army ISBN 1-85753-221-X

 

Brassey’s History of Uniforms Napoleonic Wars Napoleon’s Army ISBN 1-85753-220-1

 

Napoleon’s Cavalry ISBN 0 85045 339 9

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