Monday, 7 October 2013

Gran Colombian uniforms

 A number of people have requested more information about uniform colours for the Gran Colombian Army of Simon Bolivar. I have managed to get several original period prints plus later artists impressions from Terry Hooker and others at the South American Wars forum on Facebook, as well as directly from sources in Venezuela. Above you can see an image of the Antioquia Regiment, which is close in many respects to the uniform regulations set down for the Patriot army in 1813 by Simon Bolivar. Later prints of the army uniform from 1826 seem to confirm that this was the desired uniform.

The second most common set of uniform images indicate that many units also wore just the gorillo fatigue cap (basically the same as the French 'Bonnet de Police'). It is likely that many, if not the majority of the troops would have worn only sandals or been barefoot. Above you can see an original print of this uniform and below a more modern interpretation.
The reality of campaigning though means that before 1819-20 there was little uniformity either achieved, or if achieved, maintained. Reading "Conquer or Die" by Robert Hall, gives a good indication of how quickly the British Legion battalions became ragged and unrecognisable after only a few months on campaign. Additionally, because of the loss of troops due to disease, desertion and battle casualties, many differing units were brigaded to form new battalions, with a mix of many different uniforms, and new recruits without any.
I will be putting up more images of uniforms as I receive them, with the focus very much being on primary sources. After the first unit of Gran Colombian figures in shakos are released we will be working on the sculpts for the troops in fatigue cap and sandals as represented in the images here. Of course all suggestions and requests are very welcome.


  1. I agree... this info is great. a similar round up of primary sources for the Spanish uniforms would be great too!

    1. Thanks Rob. I'll dig out some information on the Spanish for a preliminary post. Obviously there is a lot more information about them. Their uniforms are very varied and most information is based on period descriptions and the well know prints of the troops at the Port of Cadiz in Spain (were most units embarked for South America from.