5 July 2016

Austrian Napoleonic Infantry Facing colours post 1809

One of my great passions within the hobby is painting Napoleonic figures, and like all painters my style has changed over the years and so too has the colour palettes I use, as my knowledge has improved through research. Napoleonics for many are a thorny issue and one visit to TMP will see you run into more rivet counters than a shipbuilder has rivets. I am sure it is the manner some of these people display openly in forums that turns many a potential player away from the period. Now that's not to say that I am not a bit anal when it comes to the period, I spend many an hour researching units that I am painting, and for me personally I am happier when a unit is turned out as close to what it should be based on the information available.

However when it comes to colours it can be a minefield, many images were painted well after events. A lot of colours are just descriptions used by the writers of the time. Sometimes we have good period plates to work from but time my have faded the colours. So I take the approach of consistency into my work. What I mean by that is using the same colour palette for an army, for example I use a specific triad of blues that I like and looks right on the gaming table for French line infantry. Yes it's to my taste and based upon the historic colour, but too another it may be too blue, not dark enough or any other number of reasons they can come up with. Painting figures for a living though means that I really have to be consistent, its no good me turning out half an army in one shade and the other half in another. So I have been steadily writing down the colours I use for different armies over the last year as I work figures for them.

This brings me nicely along to my most recent work, researching the Austrian Infantry facing colours. I have a customer that is wanting a very large amount of figures painting and obviously I want to be consistent as I am well aware that several colours can cause issues and debate. I also may have to paint Austrians for other customers in the future. I wanted for the most part to be able to go straight to a bottle of Vallejo paint and have the main colour without mixing where possible and of the 24 colours used I only had to use a mix for 4 of them.

Above is the resultant chart from my work, the vallejo colours are written alongside, I hope this helps someone in the future, please note it may look very different on your monitor to the colours from the bottle due to some technical stuff that I really don't understand.

Well that's all I have for now folks back again soon


  1. As a 6mm painter I'm not much into the triads you favour but I can see a utility for this chart beyond the facing colour of individual Austrian units I could for instance use the light pike grey option here as the main uniform colour for my Austrian 1809 Jaegers so thank you for sharing

  2. We all love this nerdy behaviour! Ta lad!

  3. Very interesting and helpful post. Many thanks, Loki.

  4. It's this level of commitment that makes you stand head and shoulders above the rest my friend.

  5. Useful to see an interpretation of the colours in use

  6. Common sense AND useful info. Bravo sir!

  7. Very useful thanks Loki! I want to repaint my 15mm Austrians one day.

  8. David Hollins did the same exercice a couple of years back; the chart was included in my old Website. I can send it to you if you wish. I just had a look in my archives, and you did good as your colour choices are almost identical to what he picked.

    1. Iannick I would appreciate that I have sent you a Facebook Message with my email. I have been working from many sources and plates that I have in my possession so more information is always good and thank you.

  9. Very cool and helpful! This is my new desktop background for a while, as I sort out my colors. Cheers Loki!

  10. Thanks for sharing the results of your careful research. I am working on 28mm Austrian miniatures and this is extremely helpful


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