Uniform Guide: Russian Uhlans & Cossacks

Yes, painting guides for the white Russian Cuirassiers, green dragoons and colourful hussars are easy to find online. Apart from the Baccus Painting Guide I consult the well-researched website napoleonistyka.com. Russian uhlans and cossacks are a different story however, no easy results. A quicky below, in addition to the regular sources, for myself and the Napoleonic wargame community.

Russian Uhlan colours 1812-1815

Lithaunian lancers

Blue jackets, grey pants, girdles, and saddlecloths, with the following distinctions:

  • For the Yamburg — raspberry collar/facings/trim, white shapka headdress, with red braid and pompon; white top half to the pennon, with a narrow raspberry stripe, and a raspberry lower half,
  • For the Orenburg — as above, but with raspberry shapka headdress, with yellow braid and pompon; blue top half to the pennon, with a narrow raspberry stripe, and a raspberry lower half, with a narrow blue stripe
  • For the Zhitomir — red collar/facings/trim; blue shapka headdress, with white braid and pompon; yellow/blue pennon
  • For the Siberia — as above, but with white shapka headdress, with red braid and pompon; yellow/white pennon
  • For the Vladimir — blue collar/facings/trim; blue shapka headdress, with yellow braid and pompon; yellow/blue vertical pennon
  • For the Taganrog — as above, but with white shapka headdress, with red braid and pompon; yellow/red pennon
  • For the Serpukhov — blue collar; red lapels, facings, trim: red shapka headdress, with yellow braid and pompon; blue/red pennon

(Check Mark Conrads translation of a Russian 1853 army handbook for more details). Russian lancers are probably overlooked by wargamers because they were converted from or to cossacks or hussars and less ‘iconic’ for the Russians than the cossacks or the big cuirassiers.

French or Austrian lancers can be converted, but for my 6mm Russian army I prefer the Baccus ‘Austrian’ Lancers. French Polish Lancers have a big emblem on their czapka apparently.

Lead Mountains 6mm Vladimir Lancers

Cossacks

Cossacks had an irregular blue uniform. My Osprey guide:

“simple; a blue jacket (with a white frog on the cuff or cape), fastened with hooks; a pair of loose trousers, a black lambswool cap made from which depends a red pandour sack, a plume on the side of the cap, or a cloth cap with a kind of sack hanging behind, in which he stuffs his provisons and a white or black hair Circassian short cloak’.

Red facings and trouser stripes were common; and ‘a broad leather belt, Principal weapons are a pike about eight feet long, and a pair of pistols. A black belt crosses their left shoulder, to which is attached a sort oftin cartouch box, holding ammunition, and surmounted with a ramrod.”

Front Rank Miniatures
Lee’s figurepaintingtherapyproject blog

In 6mm they can be painted as above or with more colour variation, to accentuate the irregular status.

PS the lancers on the copypasted 28mm Russian Lancer-image that is the featured image of this blogpost were painted by blogger Lace&Big Heads. Great paint job!

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