My good friend Jim and I were talking this evening over port and cigars after a fine meal, and the topic of 'historical accuracy' in uniforms came up. I thought perhaps you fellows (and ladies!) might be interested in my thoughts on this matter.
Certainly, it should be apparent which side your small lead soldiers are on - this is quite important. But I feel that a dogged insistence on absolute accuracy in painting is a bit too much to ask. For some of our noble fellow-hobbyists, it seems that it is all that matters. Not I.
In particular, I pretty well always paint Colonial-era (and as an extension, VSF) British in the red coat and blue trousers. I know perfectly well that Her Majesty's infantry changed from that uniform in 1879-80 to the kharkee coat and trousers. I acknowledge that the kharkee (or butternut, as our Southron friends would name it) is much more practical than the red coat. But dash it all, it lacks style. So, unless I purchased the miniatures previously painted (something I rarely do), my British soldiers will be in red. Sepoys and native contingent might appear in kharkee, and the Martian Sepoys are in fact, uniformed thusly. But their British officers and NCOs are in glorious red.
I have even been known to mix Sudan-era British with Zulu War-era British, who lack puttees of all things! Now, not in the same unit (that way lies madness, I assure you!), but within the same army, most certainly!
Jim is a big fan of Napoleonics as well, and we will probably move into that era in the near to middling future. Perhaps 2009. And we have agreed that we shan't overly worry if the lace on the 18th Foot is yellow rather than white and the piping that was supposed to be leaf green is, in fact, more of a kelly green. Good sense shall prevail.
Naturally, just to be contrary, I am constantly asking what the right colors are for a certain period of this or that. But just because I know what the proper colors are does not mean that I feel bound to use them - I may opt for an earlier or later color scheme.
Finally, for the record, I got nothing finished today. I did get a bit of basing worked on, and actually applied a bit of paint to those 25mm Minifigs Scots of Jim's, but nothing finished. For that reason, the Pledge Counter remains unchanged - I only modify it when a miniature or piece of terrain is ready for the tabletop.
Good evening gentlemen.