Last year I was commissioned to paint the Spencer Smith 30mm Bavarians for their 1870 range. Wanting to get it right I started looking at some references which provided a surprisingly wide range of hues.
Inevitably the search started with the Osprey volume German Armies 1870-71 vol2, and very good it was too. I have cropped the picture above as I want to use the image for the purpose of fair review not just rip off the illustrators work. Nevertheless I am sure you can see that this comes in at the lighter end of blue shades and is not far removed from the classic idea that we have of traditional Kornflower blue.
Next I had the idea of looking at botanical illustrations of the Kornflower itself but this proved a dead end as they varied just as widely in the shade used.
So next up to the uniform bible itself, the works of Knotel. Surely he would be accurate especially on a German subject.
Now then, this looks pretty good, darker certainly but nevertheless light enough to clearly be a long way from Prussian Blue. I would have been quite happy with that but by that time I had started looking at the work of German war artists and it struck me that they were choosing a colour even darker.
And finally after all that what did I paint my own Bavarians?
And as John Ford said : "When the legend becomes the truth, paint the legend".