Peter wrote:Hello Waggoner.
While I agree with colsjt65 and Mike ……
What shade of grey?
“There is some dispute between different authorities regarding the colour of artillery equipment. The contemporary paintings show a dark grey colour, but modern artists seem to prefer a blue-grey. As far as can be determined during the Napoleonic period all wood and iron work of artillery equipment was painted to protect it and the brass gunes were polished when circumstances warranted but were usually left dull on campaign.
“There are several indicators that the carriages were painted; Dickson recorded in December 1809 that his brigade had been sent to Quinta Nova for just that purpose. The facilities in the Royal Carriage department included 'painters stores and sheds for the painting of carriages' and there are several references to the cost of paint colours and oil. One reference in 1812 specifically refers to gun carriages painted in a 'lead colour'. One of the few paintings to show such equipment is David Morier's 'Royal Artillery in the Low Countries'*#; this shows a darkish grey, which matches the description 'lead'.
“According to later records of 1858 when white zinc oxide had replaced white lead, all wood was painted a grey, called 'lead', later 'white lead'.”
(Franklin, CE, (as in: “British Napoleonic Uniforms”), British Napoleonic Field Artillery, Gloucestershire, The History Press / Spellmount, 2012, p 36).
After citing the (proportions and) ingredients for preparing the paint for gun carriages from the 1858 List of Changes in Artillery Materiel, Small Arms and Other Military Stores, Franklin says “Tests conducted with the relevant pigments and oils give two quite different tones of grey”. [p 38]
Rob Edgar, a Napoleonic wargamer, through a combination of his own research, consideration of Franklin’s work and discussion with Dr. Stephen Summerfield, editor of The Napoleon Series’ Smoothbore Ordnance Journal, determines these are the two tones:
Like Dr Summerfield, he believes the correct colour is Mid Grey.
(Napoleonic British Artillery Colour, Thursday, September 23, 2010,
http://miniaturewargames.blogspot.com/2 ... olour.html)
Now, for the kicker: Your gun may be painted the correct colour, albeit bright green seems unlikely:
“In 1861, the colour of British artillery equipment was changed to green, to make the equipment less conspicuous, but this was abandoned in December 1862, and the colour reverted to the original lead colour” [Franklin, p 38].
While ironwork was painted black, the metal ends of the shafts, the elevating mechanisms, trunnion bearing, inside of the capsquares, axletree arms, linchpins and the washers were not painted but 'kept bright' and lightly oiled. [p 38]
Franklin appears a monumental piece of research. However, among numerous favourable reviews, I have come across two criticisms ….. of the 2008 edition:
i) Edgar observes that, contrary to Franklin’s descriptions in the text of “darkish grey” and “lead”, “all the illustrations are “very, very, light grey”.
(All the passages quoted by Edgar are identical with my 2012 edition).
Edgar says that notwithstanding Summerfield advised Franklin that his light colour was due to using an ingredient not in use during the Napoleonic period, it was too late “to reflect the new information”.
ii) The other criticism (again by Summerfield) is that the horse harness depicted is not of the period, but remastered Victorian harness.
(The Miniatures Page, Topic: Accurate diagram of RHA limber?, summerfield, 28 Jul 2009, http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=175199)
I’m very interested to know whether the colour and harness in the 2012 edition is different from that of 2008.
If any member holds the 2008 edition, could they please PM me.
# Painting can be seen on The Royal Collection’s eGallery: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/eGall ... il=magnify. There is a magnification facility.
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