The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw (Part 3: The Artillery)

Duchy of Warsaw Horse Artillery at the Battle of Raszyn 1809

In Part 1 of this series I looked at some infantry regiments of the Duchy of Warsaw and in Part 2 I looked at Prince Poniatowski and his generals.  This time I’m going to look at the artillery.  All models are 15mm AB Figures, painted by me.

Foot Artillery

Foot Artillery 1809-1811

Polish Foot Artillery initially wore a dark green kurtka coat, of the same pattern as the infantry.  This had collar, half-lapels, cuffs and turnbacks in black, all piped scarlet, with additional scarlet piping down the lower breast and on the tail-vents and pockets.  Buttons were brass and scarlet fringed epaulettes were worn.  This was changed in 1811 to a French-style habit-veste in the same colours.  This had a cutaway at the lower breast, revealing a dark green waistcoat.

Breeches were white and worn with black or white gaiters.  However, white coverall trousers were worn on campaign, or heavier dark green trousers in winter.

Headgear was initially a black czapka of the infantry pattern (basically a square-topped felt shako), decorated in the same manner with a brass band above the peak surmounted with a metal eagle above and a white cockade.  Above the cockade was a scarlet pompom.  Scarlet cords and a scarlet plume were added in full dress.  In late 1809 the czapka was changed for a French-style black shako, with all badging and decoration remaining the same, though the pompom was now carrot-shaped.

Equipment consisted of two white cross-belts, supporting a sabre-briquet and a black cartouche decorated with a brass grenade badge.

Curiously the AB Figures Polish Foot Artillery are dressed in the early kurtka with the later shako.  Going by the dress regulations, this pins them to the period of relative peace after the end of the 1809 war with Austria, but before the start of the 1812 war with Russia…  Ah well, they look great… If you want to, you could use French Foot Artillery figures for 1812-1813 period.

Horse Artillery

Horse Artillery 1810-1813

Polish Horse Artillery were initially dressed  similarly to the Foot Artillery, in a dark green kurtka with black facings and scarlet piping and scarlet epaulettes.  However, the cut of the kurtka was of uhlan style with full lapels going all the way down to the waist and pointed cuffs, without flap and buttons.  The collar was decorated on each side with a scarlet grenade badge.  The scarlet epaulettes had brass scales along the strap.

In 1810 this coat was changed to a habit-kinski of the same style as the Chasseurs à Cheval, which had a different tail-turnback arrangement and instead of lapels had a single row of buttons and scarlet piping.  All other details were the same as before.

Breeches were dark green with a wide black stripe down the seam, piped with scarlet.  These were worn with hussar-style boots with scarlet lade edge and tassels.  On campaign dark green overalls were worn, again with a black stripe edged in scarlet piping and reinforced with black leather.

Headgear was initially a black uhlan-style czapka with white piping and cockade, scarlet cords, scarlet pompom, scarlet full-dress plume and badges very similar to those of the Foot Artillery.  This was changed in 1810 to a black fur colpack with green bag piped scarlet, scarlet cords, white cockade and scarlet pompom, topped off with a scarlet plume in full dress.

Equipment consisted of a brass-hilted sabre with steel scabbard, suspended from a white leather waist-belt secured with a large brass buckle.  The black leather cartouche was decorated with a brass grenade badge and was held by a white cross-belt worn over the left shoulder.


The artillery arm of the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw was initially equipped with captured Prussian guns, but soon began to receive French Year XI Pattern guns.  Following the 1809 war, they were also then equipped with a large number of Austrian guns.  Carriages were initially left in their original colours (light blue for Prussian and yellow-ochre for Austrian guns), but all were eventually repainted to French ‘Artillery Green’ and some captured guns were remounted on French gun-carriages.

If you’re interested, the recipe for French Artillery Green was 99 parts yellow ochre to 1 part lamp black, which also happens to be the same recipe as WW2 US Olive Drab.  So you can’t go wrong painting your gun-carriages the same as your Shermans…  In Humbrol Enamel terms that’s 155 US Olive Drab, but as a personal choice I like my French guns looking a touch greener, so use Humbrol 159 Khaki Drab, which is the colour I use for WW2 British vehicles.  Gun barrels were generally polished brass, though some captured Austrian guns might have been painted black.  Metalwork on the carriages was painted black.

That’s all for now.  In the fourth and final part I’ll look at some cavalry regiments.

A Note Regarding Bases

Someone was asking recently how I do bases.  There’s no great science to it and I don’t buy pre-made PDF or metal bases.  I simply use Daler-Rowney artists’ mounting board, which is cheap, is about 1.5mm thick and comes in a variety of sizes, but which I buy from my local art supplies shop in large A1-sized (roughly 2′ x 3′) sheets.  It’s coloured on one side and white on the other and can be easily cut with scissors.  It has the advantage of being far less prone to warping than ordinary cardboard when painted and then dried.

Having cut base to size, I stick a piece of magnetic vinyl on the underside that’s about 2mm smaller than the base, so that it doesn’t protrude from underneath the base on any side due to my usual inaccuracies in cutting.  The magnetic vinyl stops the troops from sliding around and damaging themselves in the steel tool-boxes I use for storage.  My dear departed signwriter mother used to use this for making removable vehicle signs and I would then get the off-cuts.  My stocks lasted for nine years after her death, but finally ran out last year.  There are companies selling magnetic vinyl directly to wargamers, but I bought a load from a company called First4Magnets, which works out quite a lot cheaper than dealing with a hobby middle-man.  I’ve also bought magnets for tank turrets and aircraft from them – all excellent and a hell of a lot cheaper than those sold by wargame companies.

I then stick the painted figures to the base using UHU contact adhesive, which takes about two hours to dry before applying the base-texture.  I then paint the base with slightly-watered PVA glue and dip into fine, DRIED sand (I used to use fine dune-sand off the beach, but now use supermarket play-sand, which was very cheap and one sack provides enough sand to last me decades.  The PVA and sand takes about two hours to dry at normal room temperature, but I usually stick them in a long biscuit tin and sit them on top of the radiator, which usually dries them in less than half an hour.  Then I paint the bases in Humbrol 29 Dark Earth and after drying, dry-brush in Humbrol 94 Brown-Yellow.  Once the paint is totally dry I paint irregular patches of well-thinned PVA and then dip into Woodland Scenics Blended Turf flock, which in the I buy from Hattons.  Done. 🙂

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic French Army, Napoleonic Minor States, Napoleonic Wars, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw (Part 3: The Artillery)

  1. Martin Radcliffe says:

    I’d clean forgotten the artillery even wore green. Very smart they look too.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Yes, it’s a very pleasing colour scheme. Now I come to think of it, the Italian foot artillery wore an identical uniform to the late Polish uniform – dark green habit-veste with black facings, scarlet piping, scarlet epaulettes and shako with scarlet decorations, so you could use the same figures for both armies. Italian guns were painted grey though.

  2. Pingback: The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw (Part 4: The Cavalry) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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