EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oberhilse Field Service Uniform Trial

Oberhilse c1904. LtoR, Full Dress, 1890's service dress with simplified tunic and canvas leggings, belts and helmet cover, proposed olive drab field uniform and proposed field grey uniform.

I have a hankering to use my Meisterzinn 1900 Prussians straight up for a change. The upcoming Colonial campaigns  seem to be my best bet and I thought that perhaps just painting them field-grey would work and give me dual purpose WWI Germans. Unfortunately, they don't look much like Oberhilse troops to me, they just look like WWI Germans. Reminding myself that this project was not to tied to historical uniforms with resale value as long as it remained largely home cast, I decided to delve into some possibilities. A head swap always remains an option but I want to avoid it if possible.

So, I painted 2 new samples, an olive drab version with canvas leggings and helmet cover,  and a simplified blue tunic with the traditional light blue pants but with canvas leggings and a helmet cover. The presumption is that the progression went from the flashy full dress to a modified version then to  a drab uniform of one sort or another. A broad brimmed hat is also worn by some units. And yes there is a certain resemblance to an historical uniform.

So what do I select form the upcoming campaign. I have my favorite but the floor is open for opinions.  


  1. I like the simplified tunic and canvas
    leggings, belts and helmet cover,I would
    add drab or gray pants these I would use
    as reservists and then use the proposed
    olive drab field uniform as regulars.

  2. I sort of like keeping the blue . . . which maintains the red/blue motif . . . but all of them look good.

    -- Jeff

  3. My strong second choice would definitely be the olive drab with canvas.

    I like the "field grey" least of all.

    -- Jeff

  4. I too like the OD and canvas.it looks unique,a little different. good day!

  5. The left most chaps in the blue are my favourites.

  6. The field grey is good but very WW1 German which you said you wanted to avoid, the olive drab looks like a WW1 Brit who's put the wrong hat on, the canvas leggings look too clumpy. I would go for the full dress chap he looks a bit South Americanish.
    Best wishes Brian.

  7. Ross Mac,

    The left-hand figure looks like an amalgam of Spanish-American War-era field and full dress, and as such has the greatest appeal to me. It would certainly be a good choice for Reserve and Militia troops who have not yet begun to receive the 'newer' Olive Drab uniforms worn by the Regulars.

    Personally I would not opt for the Field Grey uniforms ... Far too Germanic!

    All the best,


  8. The figure on the far left would be my choice... Jeff

  9. Ross

    I like the simplified blue which I think fits the bill better. I like the field grey but as you say it looks to WWI Jerry. The khaki just looks generic with a spike on the helmet (could even be brit with the full dress helmet). You could also do a mix of field and dress uniforms - I think if colonial brits and Indians in khaki jackets and blue pants etc.


  10. I'll through my hat into the discussion and, while the olive drab and field gray uniforms to the right of the photograph are not unattractive, the full dress and service dress examples just have the certain, whimsical something about them. . . while remaining quasi-historically plausible.

    Best Regards,


  11. It's the blues for me, and the tunic and trousers contrast well with the helmet colour. A far more turn of century look as well

  12. I would also go with the blue. Even the Germans did not convert to feldgrau until 1904, so there is nothing wrong with blue; and the U.S. Marines were still wearing blue during the Boxer Rebellion. You can get all the greys, browns, and khakis you want in WWI and WWII armies; my vote is to stick with tradition, dash, and historical precedent!

  13. I also prefer the blue uniforms on the left. But then I'm not into "modern" era warfare (WWI or WWII or later).