Friday 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas and New Year to All - and another Regiment Nikolaus

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday and New Year, and to thank everyone for visiting the blog, commenting and for using the templates in various ways. I'd also like to thank those who have commissioned flags and other items from me.

The template above is actually one I posted a long time ago and it turns out that the regiment did in fact eventually become Regiment Nikolaus (but King, not Saint... ;-)). The colours of this drummer of the regiment are certainly right for the more recent version of Santa or his helpers - red and white.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Royal Navy Midshipman, full dress

This is another of the 1748-pattern British Royal Navy uniforms. Around 1758 a white collar patch with button and twist loop was introduced. For daily wear aboard ship a much less formal dress was worn, often more or less the same as the slops worn by the crew.

Thanks to Moshe again, as this was another of the templates I designed for him.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Royal Navy Captain, undress uniform

Until 1748 there was no regulation uniform for the Royal Navy and officers wore whatever they wished. In that year the first regulations for officers' uniforms were laid down, after a petition to the Admiralty in 1746 for a regulation uniform by officers who wished to be identified as officers in the Royal Navy and to be assured of the respect due to those in the service of the Crown. Regulation clothing for ratings was introduced only in 1857 but since at least the early 18th century a sort of uniform was produced by the supply of purser's "slops", mass-produced ready made clothing that sailors could buy from the ship's purser.

This is the undress uniform of a captain - dress uniform did not have the lapels but had more gold lace.

This was part of a commission of templates of 18th century naval uniform by Moshe, who kindly allowed me to present this for general use.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Order of the Golden Lion of Katzenstein

With the blessing of Reich Duke Wilhelm of Beerstein, David Linienblatt has produced a crisper and clearer version of the star of the Order of the Golden Lion of Katzenstein, which is offered here to those recipients of the Order who would like a new version for their blogs.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Trooper, Saxon Garde du Corps 1756

According to Johannes Eichhorn and Eberhard Boltze (details differ slightly). Text to follow sometime...

Wednesday 13 October 2010

French infantry officer in summer campaign dress, North America

Wearing a gold-laced waistcoat with brown leather dragoon-style bottines, plush breeches and the gorget marking his rank, this officer is from one of the red waistcoated French regiments in North America like La Sarre, Guyenne or Bearn.

Monday 4 October 2010

Fusilier, Summer Dress, Compagnies Franches de la Marine, Canada 1750s

In bonnet de police, regimental waistcoat or veste and Indian leggings, this is a fusilier of the colonial infantry dressed for summer campaigning in Canada.

More text to follow...

Friday 1 October 2010

French Line Infantry North America, Summer Campaign Dress - Other Ranks

Text to follow soon plus more French in summer campaign dress...

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Generic WSS Cavalryman

Just a quick item - with more work it could no doubt be improved but this might be of some use to the WSS enthusiasts. When I get chance I'll do a few WSS infantry templates too.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Coming soon - French infantry in summer campaign dress, North America

In North America the French infantry often fought in the summer in their long-sleeved waistcoats without the heavy justaucorps. That will be the next uniform type I'll depict, with a couple of variants of other ranks' uniform and an officer in gold-laced waistcoat and gorget.

Monday 27 September 2010

Private, New Jersey "Blues", North America 1755-1763

One of the best of the locally-raised Provincial regiments, the New Jersey Blues were named after the blue coats they wore; blue became the commonest colour worn by provincial regiments towards the end of the war. They were at Oswego and Ticonderoga. In the field almost all provincial troops wore hunting shirts and buckskin breeches or Indian-style cloth leggings rather than their "full dress" regimentals. Even officers, who bought their own uniforms and therefore tended to be better dressed than the rank and file, wore hunting shirts and buckskin breeches on campaign.

This website: suggests they had a fairly rough war: "Indian raids along the colony’s northwest border in the summer of 1755 prompted the raising of a thousand man regiment of “Jersey Blues”, as well as a force to garrison forts along the Delaware.  The Blues saw considerable combat.  One detachment of the regiment was captured at Oswego in 1756 and another wiped out in a fight at Sabbath Day Point on Lake George in 1757. Another 300 were surrendered to the French at Fort William Henry in 1757 and some of these men were massacred by the Indians."

Friday 17 September 2010

British Light Infantrymen, North America 1759

Light troops were much in demand in North America and "the most active resolute men" from the regular line regiments were selected to form a body of Light Infantry. Generals Amherst and Wolfe ordered their light infantrymen to put the sleeves of their coats on their waistcoats, add wings like those of grenadiers but larger and to extend down the sleeve, to have no lace but to keep the lapels, and to add two extra pockets of leather for ball and flints. They were to carry a knapsack "as the Indians carry their pack", that is, very high between the shoulders, have a cartouche box under the arm on the left side suspended from a leather strap, carry a canteen covered with cloth under the knapsack and have a tomahawk in a rough case with a button in a leather sling at the side. Fusil, bayonet and powder horn were also carried. The leggings had leather straps under the shoes and the tricorn hat was cut down into a cap and flaps added so that it could be fastened under the chin for warmth. The result was not pretty and must have given many of the more traditional officers and NCOs apoplexies but it was practical.

Initially the light infantry fought with the rangers on guerilla operations but in 1759 they led the army up the Heights of Abraham to Quebec. In 1760 they were returned to their regiments but the experiment was not forgotten and in 1770 line infantry regiments were given light infantry companies to make 10 companies per battalion (including 8 battalion or "hatmen" companies and a grenadier company). (Already in 1755 some regiments had been experimenting with "picquet" companies which were also forerunners of the light company and which were copied from the French.)

Friday 10 September 2010

British 80th Foot, North America 1758

Uniforms of privates of the 80th Regiment of Light Armed Foot (Gage's Light Infantry), 1758.

Although the ranger units were useful and effective in their own way, it was felt that regular units of light infantry were needed in North America. In 1757-8 Colonel Thomas Gage raised a unit of 500 light infantry at his own expense. They proved useful throughout the war but especially in the suppression of Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763-4, when, at the end of the SYW, a number of tribes (especially in the Great Lakes region) rose up against the British as a result of dissatisfaction with the British policy of treating the Indians as a conquered people, in contrast to the previous French policy of conciliation. The regiment was disbanded in 1764.

Their uniform was unusually drab, as it consisted of a short brown jacket with black painted or japanned pewter buttons, brick red waistcoat and breeches, and gaiters of varying colours, often brown, grey or blue-grey. Many men had shortened muskets, some with browned barrels. The authorities clearly had problems accepting so unorthodox a uniform, as by the end of the war the unit had a new uniform of a red jacket faced orange. Headgear was a jockey cap, usually cut down in various ways from the cocked hat and  with flaps that could be lowered to protect the head in bad weather.

Monday 6 September 2010

British Ranger Officer 1750s

This is a somewhat speculative uniform, based on an illustration by G A Embleton, but is probably close to the sort of uniform British ranger officers wore, at least at the beginning of the campaign before they ended up in rags or stolen civilian or military items like everyone else.

Sunday 22 August 2010

British Rangers 1750s

Although the most famous, then and now, Roger's Rangers were not the only irregular light troops employed by the British. Many wore a uniform, more or less, of cut-down double-breasted military-style jacket, often in green, as shown here, with Indian additions like leggings. Moccasins were the usual footwear. Some wore variations on normal civilian frontier costume and like soldiers everywhere when clothing wore out they wore what they could get, by fair means or foul. The strong Scots influence is shown by the Scots bonnet worn by one of these. The other wears a cut-down tricorne, with a front flap that could be lowered to protect the eyes from the sun. Weapons usually included musket, long knife and tomahawk. Indian-style backpacks were also common.

I was commissioned to do a variety of ranger types and Moshe who commissioned them kindly allowed me to post these on the blog.

Sunday 15 August 2010

Some historical flag work in progress...

I'm in the middle of doing some historical flags for a friend and thought I'd post a snapshot of the the state of play on the "worktable", to see if people recognise what's being worked on - it livens up the time! ;-) This particular batch I will probably offer as a set for people to download if there's interest, when they're finished. (And yes, I realise there are two of the same flag top left - there is a reason for that. :-))

Update 14th October 2010 - here's an updated rough showing the correct number of fleurs de lys on the cross of the flag of Royal Roussillon - 48 and not 49, and also naming most of the units! (See Chartrand's "French Soldier in Colonial America" for pictures of the flag of Royal Roussillon and of La Reine from the official pattern book; that pattern book is one volume that should definitely be in print!) 3 of the flags are very near completion and I'll post a snapshot of them sometime soon.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Bavarian "Knecht" or Driver, on foot with gaiters

Here's one of the essential, if unsung, characters of any army, a driver of the train. Mounted drivers wore long cavalry boots and the pack horses had red saddle cloths with the Bavarian arms in the corner. Each driver carried a short curved sword (rather like the grenadier sabre) attached to a white leather waistbelt, probably with a brown leather scabbard and brass sword furniture. Breeches were buff leather. The red stock was probably more typical of the early period - by the later SYW red stocks were kept for parades and were being phased out in favour of black.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Hesse Kassel IR Prinz Carl, Musketeer 1762

First raised 1683. Organisation SYW: 2 battalions each with 4 musketeer companies: each battalion also had a grenadier company which together formed a grenadier battalion with the 2 grenadier companies of another regiment.

Chef: 1755- Prinz Carl von Hessen. Kommandeur 1760-1770 Oberst H. A. von Lossberg, General Major. 

Main actions in SYW: 1757 Hastenbeck 26.07.1757; 1758 Krefeld 23.06.1758; 1759 Bergen 13.04.1759, Minden 01.08.1759; 1761 Vellinghausen 15-16.07.1761.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

New Poll: Is there a need for a separate website for the templates?

 In the image above the artist gets to grips with web design on a prototype 18th century computer... ;-)

Several people have suggested in the past that the blog is not a very good format for displaying and presenting the templates and I think there's some truth in that. With the linear format of the pages older templates disappear into the dim and dusty recesses of the blog. I have considered doing a supplementary website where they can be more accessibly and clearly presented. The problem is that at present I have too little time to do more templates as often as I'd like and making a website will eat up even more time I don't really have, so if I were to embark on creating a website even fewer new templates would be done in the near future. Hence the poll to gauge what sort of popularity a website would have to see if it would be worth the effort (although I make no promises that even if a website is overwhelmingly popular, it will happen soon or even at all!). But it will be helpful to get some idea...

UPDATE 16.07.2010: Thanks to everyone who commented and voted on the poll. I'm thinking about how to go ahead now and will report back when a decision is made!

Thursday 3 June 2010

Saxon Feldjägerkorps Revisited

Thanks to John Cunningham I now have an illustration of a Saxon Feldjäger from W. Dittrich's Sächsische Uniformbilder (1620-1810). Dated 1735, it is very similar to the uniform described by Schirmer in Pengel & Hurt and which I illustrated below from the verbal account. Differences include no button lace on the cuffs and an aiguillette on the left shoulder rather than the usual right. The figure is shown dismounted so no detail of horse furniture is given. Dittrich's plates also include Feldjäger uniforms of 1765 but they are very different in cut and detail and show a distinct change in style of Saxon uniform after the Seven Years War.

A quick plug for John Cunningham's figures here; he has revived, markets and is expanding a number of classic 20mm wargames figure lines (Les Higgins' splendid ECW and Marlburians, for instance) and now has available the Wodensfeld 20mm SYW French. If you would like to know more about these or any of John's other 20mm ranges, please email him on: CunnJoh [at] aol [dot] com for details.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Hesse Kassel Artilleryman (after Witzel)

This is the post-1761 regulations Prussian-style artillery uniform as depicted by Witzel (full book reference, see below). As with the other units it is highly likely that this uniform was late seeing service in the SYW.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Map and plan resources using Gimp (and Photoshop)

Some useful map and plan Gimp brushes here: for those of you doing ImagiNations work. Many more Gimp brushes including some other map and plan-related material here:

If you're a Photoshop user you can find many brushes including map ones here too:

Note that many Photoshop brushes can also be used directly in versions of Gimp later than 2.4.

Gimp is a free program for image manipulation and creation that can be downloaded from here: and information on the Gimp can be found here: Many tutorials are also available from the Net.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Hesse Kassel Foot Jägers - Variant 2

This version is based on the work of Rudolf Witzel, Hessen Kassels Regimenter in der Alliierten Armee 1762, 2007, which shows the army in its very Prussian-style uniforms after the 1761 regulations. Note, however, that there is evidence that just about the whole Hessian army were still in their previous uniforms at the end of the winter of 1761-2 (thank you to Christian Rogge for the information!) so this shows the new regulation uniform rather than how they actually appeared in the field until perhaps much later!

It seems more and more likely that various features of version 1 (see below) (e.g. the plume) may have been extrapolated from the American War of Independence uniform and not relate to the SYW period at all. Reliable information about the early SYW Hessian uniforms is not easy to find.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Hesse Kassel Foot Jägers - Variant 1

During the SYW there were 2 companies of foot jägers, to which were added 2 companies of mounted jägers in 1759. They fought in many small and large actions during the war, most notably at Sandershausen against the French in 1758 where, from their position on the right wing of the Allied army, they caused many casualties in the French infantry.

As with all Hesse-Kassel uniforms there seems to be much disagreement about the details. This is based on the version given by Pengel and Hurt and the Heer und Tradition Plate 91.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Hesse Kassel Artilleryman

Hesse-Kassel contributed a substantial force to the Allied army, including a fairly powerful artillery arm. The artillery were dressed in a sober uniform of blue and crimson/red. More to follow on the Hessians...

There seems to be considerable disagreement on the details of the Hessian uniforms of the SYW, at least in part because the uniforms do seem to have changed and evolved throughout the war. This is the version of Schirmer via Pengel and Hurt. I shall next post the version of Rudolf Witzel in  his recent book (2007) on the Hessian army of 1762. Kronoskaf's version, based on many sources, is different again.

Update 12.05.2010 - I'm currently working on various Hessen-Kassel uniforms but finding it difficult to find definitive information on the uniforms, as every secondary source seems to disagree on the details. I should shortly receive a copy of Rudolf Witzel's book on the HK army of 1762 (only parts of the book are viewable on Google Books) and I know that that book, useful though it will be in many ways, will only add to the confusion about uniform details. This is getting as bad as French SYW uniforms...

Thursday 15 April 2010

NCO of the Saxon Feldjägerkorps

Apart from a verbal description of the uniform from Schirmer via Pengel and Hurt I can find nothing about this unit so if anyone can tell me more about its role in the SYW, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

Straw-coloured gloves were worn, and the carbine and sword had brass metalwork. Officers wore a sash but it is not known if they also wore a gorget or the customary green breeches. The style of the waistcoat is speculative, as is the style of the silver lace and that of the shabraque, although the colours are known.

Sunday 11 April 2010

Saxon Henneberg Militia 1756; militiaman

The County of Henneberg was a detached part of Saxony well to the west in Franconia. As it was so isolated the inhabitants were expected to raise militia companies for their own defence; they were probably first raised in 1730 and disbanded in 1756.

Other ranks (in white with blue facings, shown here) had straw-coloured leatherwork with brass fittings and the usual musket and bayonet. They wore long grey stockings, not gaiters. Again, the Saxon-style lapelled waistcoat is speculative as the verbal description from Schirmer via Pengel and Hurt does not specify.