Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Black or white?

Posted by Martin on June 29, 2008

Landwehr work-in-progressAnother small update on progress. I’ve been following a thread on TMP about Prussian landwehr uniforms with some amusement. As usual, there seem to be several TMPers who are content to make categorical statements about things with little or no historical evidence to support their assertions. In this instance, there were some people prepared to state definitively that the straps for things like cartridge cases were white for the landwehr. Well, sorry, no…

We’re talking about poorly equipped militia units from a nation with sorry finances in a continent almost totally exhausted of all resources after 20-odd years of constant warfare. There’s no way that a regulation insisting on white staps could have been honoured. Equipment was begged, borrowed or stolen from where ever it could be found. And that meant straps were a mixture of colours. Yes sometimes white but far more often black. I’ve previously posted Knotel plates of Prussian landwehr here and the mixture of strapping colours can clearly be seen in them.

What’s this got to do with the current painting progress? Well, I was working on the figure shown here while this TMP thread was happening and, as you know, I’m striving for a campaign look with my Kurmark landwehr. I do actually want a mix of black and white straps so this chap has just happened to get white ones to offset the black the others painted so far have received. Other bits of progress on this figure include canvas coloured straps for his bags, completion of the footwear, trousers and litewka along with the now traditional muddying up of things. I think he’s coming along rather nicely.

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3 Responses to “Black or white?”

  1. Frank Catinella said

    I agree, I have just received my Landwher from Peter F. and I will try and recreate a campaign look, with various trousers and straping. May I also add that I have copied your ‘red’ and it works very well. And in a note of sycopanthisam the Landwher are brilliant. If you could ask the Dragoons that were ready to go on the workbench, but now relegated whilst I do the Landwher, they would probably agree. I am trying to see if I can get away with an army of Landwher but the ‘sweet shop’ that is Calpe certainly precludes this.regards
    Frank

  2. El Mercenario said

    You’re right, Landwehr belts used to be black, but not always as they were forced to use captured equipment due to the lack of supplies. However, although I like to give some variety of colours to my militia battalions (some grey and black frock coats and caps, irregular coloured cuffs, etc.), I prefer to paint all the belts of the same colour. I had to paint a Silesian Landwehr regiment of four battalions, so I painted three with black belts and the fourth one with whitened equipment. Maybe not very rational but looks great!
    Javier

  3. peter said

    guys slightly off topic-but i am painting up russian greandiers 1812-1814 soon.and soursces like osprey are confusng me a bit.as far as i can understand the 3 btn GRENADIER regt was 1st=greanadiers/2nd&3rd batns fusiliers with elite companiesattached.Did the 1st REAL GRENADIER btn have elite companies within its organisation or were they all equal and uniformed accordingly eqully with no elite pom poms etc???

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