Wednesday, 9 December 2009

British Napoleonic Uniforms by C E Franklin, The History Press 2008

If you haven't come across this book and you are thinking of painting any British numbered regiment of infantry or cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars, this is the reference for you. I must admit I usually go for generic facing colours when painting Hinton Hunt British, with the idea at some time when I have finished painting all the troops I will identify them as units and maybe combine them in historical brigades and divisions. This has partly been in recognition of the limitations of my painting, and partly I suspect from laziness. Now I have this book I will have to rethink, certainly when I embark sometime in 2010 on a major British painting programme.

The book contains a full page plate for each of the regiments mentioned above, together with text notes. The illustrations and colour printing are lavish. The book does not cover named but un-numbered regiments, foreign regiments in British pay, regiments specially recruited for service in the colonies, or the veteran and Garrison battalions. So if you want KGL or the Chasseurs Britanniques it is back to the Ospreys.

It is hard to conceive of a better one volume painting reference for this subject. It has a fairly hefty cover price (although understandable given the subject and quality of printing) of £40, but is available at considerably less from Amazon, and on e-bay. (Other on line book retailers are also available).

Highly recommended though if you are thinking of investing in it you may want to try and see a physical copy of it before buying - there has been some talk of a reprint being required because of some of the uniform colours, so you should probably check you are happy with these first. I must admit I feel I should maybe try to pick up a cheap second copy so I have a best copy and a painting copy.

I'm told his book on British Napoleonic Field Artillery is also rather special, although I haven't seen it.


Fire at Will said...

Looking at the copy in my local library the other ranks red coat is very pale e.g. a distinctly pink shade. Not at all like the colours in period paintings

lewisgunner said...

Sounds a really good book.

I just recieved some Rose guns produced by Garrison. they are great I had a few way back when and these and the French officers, british sergeants etc are a great addition. Thatnks for the heads up. Rose 20mm are available at