French uniforms

A section devoted to questions and answers for this period.
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lee sherman
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French uniforms

Post by lee sherman » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:51 pm

Silly question but French coats are grey, but I've seen paintings were they don't look grey at all it's more of a dirty beige cream colour. Is this colour the real colour of the coats or is it just the pictures and paintings inks or oils that have faded to this dirty colour?.

Thanks

Lee
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Re: French uniforms

Post by Glorfindel » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:27 pm

This is one of those much-debated subjects that pops up regularly
on various forums (fora ?) and can result in much gnashing of teeth
and pulling of hair.

Anyway, my understanding is that, although there would a number
of shades, most were off-white /very light cream. Not grey.

This post on TMP covers the subject well :
http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=143879

I did like this coment :
"...people were debating which breed of sheep would provide the wool
used in the coat." Clearly, wargamers now have wide experience in
country matters...

One important factor to bear in mind is the state such a light colour
might be in after a few weeks in camp (particularly as the coats were
brushed clean, not washed).

Whatever your interpretation of 'off-white' you can be pretty sure that
at least one frenchman would have worn that colour !!


Phil
lee sherman
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Re: French uniforms

Post by lee sherman » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:25 pm

OK I'll stick with my Vallejo Silver Grey for coats and breeches its a very light grey but not like the vallejo Off white which I use for shirt sleeves cravats and stockings otherwise I think they will just be ALL off white the entire figure, as for ink shade it seems brown rather than black is used?
BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: French uniforms

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:43 pm

I think the confusion comes from the use of the term "gris-blanc" which most of us with schoolboy French not unreasonably translate as
"grey-white". But it actually means off-white - I would look to mix a little light tan into your white to give it more of a cream tone, but that's just me.
lee sherman
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Re: French uniforms

Post by lee sherman » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:06 pm

Also I've seen read that some officers were allowed to wear the blue coats of the King is that the livree du roi coats same style as the drummers? I know later they were ordered to wear coats as the regiment but with gold or silver edging but I'm doing mine early period 1672

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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: French uniforms

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:19 pm

Uniforms were pretty much in their infancy in the 1670s, and almost every army's officers dressed differently from their men (I believe that crimson coats were quite common amongst English officers), and sergeants were still wearing reversed colours in some armies well into the the early 1700s.
Rebel
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Re: French uniforms

Post by Rebel » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am

Chaps,

the term is actually gris-mêlé and means 'mixed grey'.

Basically as it was being spun, the raw wool was mixed with a blue thread giving it the pale grey effect - don't ask me how, am not a tailor - I assume to make it a bit more robust. Incidentally have read somewhere that Austrian cloth was shot with yellow.


Mike
lee sherman
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Re: French uniforms

Post by lee sherman » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:46 am

Unless king Louis xiv wanted his troops uniforms at the height of fashion and style maybe he was making a statement saying my troops don't use just plain boring grey wool look closely and you see a pale blue mixed thread aswell go on look, look closer 😄 otherwise surely just adding another thread of whitish grey thread would make it tougher as the blue is just a dye?
TheRightfulKing2013
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Re: French uniforms

Post by TheRightfulKing2013 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:39 pm

I think the 1660s were a period of transition to grey uniforms which took until the 1670s to complete. Some units seem to have worne brown uniforms in the 1660s, for example the Carignan-Salieres regiment which was sent to Canada in 1665 wore brown coats with I think grey cuffs. Mercenary regiments wore national colours like blue coats for Germans, brown coats for Italians and often redcoats for Swiss (though at one point Swiss pikemen wore blue aqccording to Osprey's book "Louis XIVs army").
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