18th Century Artillery and Wagon Colours

Continental Artillery at Williamsburg Virginia.

Continental Artillery drilling at Williamsburg, Virginia. American artillery of the Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783, initially used outdated artillery pieces with iron barrels and some captured British guns with lighter bronze barrels. The wooden parts of gun carriages were painted red, green, yellow, grey, or blue, or only varnished to protect the wood. The colour of artillery carriages apparently depended on the availability of suitable paints and stains. In later years, France supplied artillery pieces which were already painted French artillery green, a medium olive green mixed from ochre and black.

Artillery and Wagon Colour Table

Nation Year Wood Metal
Austria   ochre black
Bavaria   bluegrey black
Bavaria 1760 red black
Covered ammunition wagons of the Bavarian army were painted red.
Denmark 1708 red yellow
Danish bronze guns and mortars were painted red with yellow metal fittings, and black wheel rims.
Franconia   red? black?
Covered ammunition wagons of the Franconian Circle were painted red.
France   light grey dark grey
France   red black
France   blue with fleurs de lis black
Until the introduction of the olive green artillery colour, French guns and wagons were painted in a variety of colours.
Great Britain   grey black
Hanover   red black
Hesse-Cassel   white, with red wheel spokes and red trail chest red
Some of the guns used during the Seven Years’ War were supplied by the County of Schaumburg-Lippe (Bückeburg).
Hesse-Darmstadt   medium blue black
Prussia   medium blue black
Russia   red, later apple green black or unpainted
Saxony   black yellow
Saxony   dark green black
Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg ca. 1800 green and white striped gun carriage, unpainted wooden wheels black
Schaumburg-Lippe (Bückeburg)   white black
Württemberg   yellow black
Würzburg   red black

Iron gun barrels were usually painted black to protect them from rust. Bronce gun barrel only needed to be cleaned and polished. Civilian farm wagons and covered wagons were often left unpainted, stained brown, or just varnished to protect the wood.

Seven Years’ War Miniatures