Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kroonprins Von Prussien: Part 2

OPTIONS: CHOICES & DOWN-RIGHT GUESSES

Having had last weekend away (wargaming of all things) I was back at my table and it wasn't long before I stopped staring at my 1706 Prussians and got stuck in. After hours yesterday and hours today I'm about half way with them but it struck me as I went how ill informed we are in spite of all the research and work people have done on this period when it comes to uniforms.

Even the sources for this regiment's basics of coats and cuffs can be seemingly contradictory and present the wargamer with options. Belaubre, Wilde-Leyden and Goldberg's (BWG) The United Netherlands: Holland and Seeland 1701-14 (my loose translation) have the regiment with either a blue coat with blue cuffs or a white coat with blue cuffs (imprecise notations). C.S.Grant's From Pike to Shot (1685-1720) has them with blue coats, waistcoat and cuffs for the grenadiers but red for all else. Where Grant is silent on neckerchief, BW&G depicts red, as does McBride in Osprey Man-At-Arms 97: Marlborough's Army 1702-11 for the Prussian grenadier - albeit from the Alt-Dohna regiment and from Knotel's illustrations. Everyone seems to put great stock in referring to Knotel (if they reference anything at all) but the problem with Knotel is that he was hardly contemporary (1857-1914).


Other items such as stocking garters have no reference at all that I can find so within whatever guidance I chose to follow, I can also apply personal preferences - or in other words, my guesswork. Speaking of preferences, I am allowing my mounted officer his own coat to better express his individuality and reflect the officers' preference during this period for non-uniform dress. I am not; however, extending this to company officers as my Prussian regiment will be more regimented or uniform in appearance than their contemporaries, in keeping with what I imagine their military attitude to have been.

So, I have opted for standard darker blue coats for this regiments and a lighter blue on the cuffs for my grenadiers - including one officer who I have identifying as an officer of grenadiers. You can see the filed off scalloping of the grenadier cap front plate and the green stuff tassel on the crown (to be painted white). Whilst there is no dispute as to the colour of the front plate, the same cannot be said of the cap crown itself - it seems some think it black and others blue. At the time of writing, I still haven't decided myself but I'll probably go black to differentiate from the Dutch proper. There is no specific reference to drummer's other than in an earlier period they had a lighter shade of blue - so light blue it is.

My rank and file figures (almost all Foundry) have no variation other than the colouring I have given the features of each man. My unit variety will, I hope, come from the officers who are all different (three company officers, two ensigns and the mounted Major) as well as the four sergeants coming in two poses. I have given these figures five basic hair colours (fair, dark brown, light brown, ginger and black). If I force myself to do at least one application per day I'll having them finished my next Sunday.

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