Thursday, 5 December 2013

Shading white flags; a question of greys...

UPDATE 13th January 2014: As people are likely to have missed my latest comment here it is:

Well, here we are in a grey and dismal January - and I've had plenty of time to consider where to go with the grey shading on the flags. I've decided on a classic compromise (which used to be a British tradition). I'll tone down the grey, probably to somewhere between medium and light. I'll need to experiment. And as FB said, people can always print the flags out lighter anyway.



Der Alte Fritz has posted a comment on my latest flags, those of the French regiment Provence, asking me to tone down the grey shading as he thinks it too strong and that there should be "a more subtle transition from the basic white color". I'd be interested to know what others think on this as I've been trying various strengths of grey shading on the white areas of the flags and on the completely white flags, as some people may have noticed.

I've been vaccillating over what works best. Lately I've preferred the darker shading as it seems to me that, especially on a flag that will be around 3-4cms square in use, a more subtle shading will simply not show too well at all. And as you can see if you put "white flag" into Google images, in the real world it very much depends on a subtle and complex combination of light and material how dark the shadows in white flags look. A thick material in bright sunlight can have very dark shadows whereas a light material in bright sunlight will probably often have light shadows as much of the light travels through it rather than leaving surface shadows. And so on. (As 18th century French infantry flags were of thick pieces of silk taffeta sewn together I suspect they would show dark shading in bright light.)

So, I'd like to know what people think; do lighter greys work better than dark on these white wargames flags? I've posted an image here showing 3 different levels of shades of grey on a white French flag to give an idea of possible variations and to help people see those variations in contrast to each other.



Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment Provence

First raised as a regular French unit in 1674, Provence had 2 battalions. It was at Hastenbeck and then Rossbach, where it was brigaded with Poitou Infantry and suffered heavy casualties, including its colonel seriously wounded. At Rossbach it was second in the centre (reserve) column behind Poitou. In 1758 it was at Krefeld but not engaged. In June 1759 a battalion of the regiment was attacked in its post at Erbefeld by troops of the Prince of Brunswick and driven back, with some men killed and wounded and 92 taken prisoner. However, it retreated in good order. In 1761 it was at the battle of Vellinghausen and fought well but suffered heavy casualties. Its final battlefield appearance of the war was at Wilhelmstahl in 1762. [Details from Kronoskaf and C. Duffy's Prussia's Glory.]

The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1675 to 1780.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757: