Tuesday, 19 April 2011

18th century black uniforms- council sought...

I am considering painting up a 40mm infantry regiment with a black uniform...
I cannot find any evidence for 18th century infantry in black only the well known Prussian hussars. Does anyone know otherwise? I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and have your help-many thanks in anticipation!


  1. The only infantry in black uniforms I know of, is the von Favrat'sches Freikorps. Founded very late in the SYW it did not see action as far as I know.


    You find it in "Band V" under No. 07, just scroll down or search for "Favrat".


  2. What about the troops of the Duke of Brunswick?

    Again the Hussars are famous for their black uniforms. I thought that there were Schutzen or Grenzers that also wore black?

  3. Alan,

    Aside from Favrat's legion, Bleckwenn shows a black "uniform" for the Prussian Feldprediger...

    Russia had a few Hussar regiments rigged out in black (Akhtyrski, Isioumski, Ostrogozski, Soumski, Kharkovski).

    Beyond that, Inhaber Olley's Preobrazhenski Pandours come to mind.

    On paper at least, black seems to make for a very dramatic uniform. One wonders why it seems so universally cast aside - lack of colourfast dyes perhaps?


  4. Too hot in summer and too cold in winter, possibly? Mind you, the All Blacks do OK, summer or winter...

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  6. Archduke,

    Black would indeed be hot in summer (and the warmest possible shade in winter, if you are speaking of absorption heat in sunlight).

    An odd anecdote: I recall a summer working in rural Portugal some time ago, seeing aged widows heading out to their little fields (they were tenant farmers), head to toe in black and very dark brown wool, often with a kerchief. This was late July, 30 degree C by 10 in the morning and up to 40 by 2 in the afternoon. I was a mess in the heat. These ladies were however quite well adapted and tough, and sensible as well as they headed indoors when mad dogs and englishmen stayed panting out in the mid-day heat. Nevertheless, they really could take the heat while keeping up manual work, quite amazing.

    Might black, brown and grey, as homespun colours, have signalled civilian dress and so were less desirable for a distinctively military form of dress?


  7. Plus black tends to fade out faster than other colors in my experience so that may have been a factor too. To equip a hussar regiment with good quality, color fast coats is one thing, but a brigade or more is quite another.

  8. A most interesting discussion gentlemen...
    I have proceeded with a trial figure and am pleased with the initial results.The unit will probably depict a town militia unit from the capital of the Duchy of Tradgardland-Tradgardstadt.