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Russo-Japanese War Painting Guide (Imperial Russian Army)

Russo-Japanese War Painting Guide (Imperial Russian Army)


A general guide to aid the wargamer get his armies skirmishing, battling and campaigning on the table! (also available to download from the 'Wargaming' section of this website).



The Imperial Russian Army uniform was based on the M1881 regulation uniform introduced by Tsar Alexander III.

 INFANTRY (Division of two Brigades each of two Regiments each of three/four Battalions. Six/eight MG).

·         Tunic. Dark Green with collar piping and shoulder boards in the same colour (see below). White plain tunic in summer usually dyed shades of khaki with shoulder boards.

·         Trousers. Dark green. Red piping down seams for Guard.  

·         Forage Cap. Black peak or peak-less. Dark green piped in red around crown and top and bottom of hat band. Band in regimental colour (1st red, 2nd   blue, 3rd white, 4th dark green) with red or yellow numeral. Oval cockade (orange (inner), black and white rings). White plain cover in summer usually   dyed khaki.

·         Belt Equipment. Leather brown belt equipment. Aluminium or wooden water flask (copper cup). Tan or khaki bread bag.

·         Boots. Black

·         Greatcoat/Blanket Roll. Earth-brown or grey-brown with collar patches and shoulder boards (as tunic).

·         Rifle. Mosin-Nagant M1891 7.62 bolt action rifle with leather brown strap.

·         Officer. As above except the more senior officers retained white tunics. Two rows of tunic buttons (see below). Red piping on trouser seam.  Brass sword hilt, black scabbard with brass fittings. Leather brown belt or silver belt with orange/black horizontal stripes. Black Nagant M1895 holster. Light bluish grey greatcoat. 

       CAVALRY (Division of two Brigades of two Regiments each of six Squadrons)

·         Dragoon. Dark green double-breasted tunic with two rows of silver buttons, Yellow collar piping, shoulder boards and polish style cuff chevrons. White plain tunic with shoulder boards in summer usually dyed khaki. Blue-grey trousers. Black peak dark green forage cap with plain white or khaki cover. Brown leather belt equipment. Sword as infantry officer. Black boots.

·         Cossack. Dark blue (Don, Astrakhan and Ural) or dark green tunic. White plain tunic in summer usually dyed khaki. Trousers blue-grey or black. Black fur hat. Cap band, hat crown, shoulder board and trouser piping: Don, Siberian and Kuban, scarlet. Ural and Semirechensk, crimson. Oranberg and Terek, light blue. Astrakhan, Trans-Baikal, Amur and Ussuri, yellow. Black or brown leather belt equipment. Sword as infantry officer. Light or dark wood lance. Black boots.   

·         Horse Equipment. Brown leather horse furniture, dark green saddle cloth. Grey, khaki or dark green blanket roll. Dragoon version of the Infantry rifle with leather brown strap.  

 ARTILLERY (Brigade of two Divisions each of two Batteries each of eight Guns)

 ·         Uniform as per Infantry, piping, shoulder boards and cap bands, red. Artillery equipment apple/grass green or olive drab.


Shoulder Boards. Base colour: Guard Infantry, red (1st Division white piping). Line Infantry 1st Brigade, red. 2nd Brigade, blue. Grenadier Infantry, yellow (piping. 1st Division red, 2nd blue, 3rd white, 4th green). Artillery and Engineer, red. General officer, Imperial Rifles and Hussars, zig zag braid (Suite of the Tsar white piping). Cavalry wore all possible combination of lace and base colours.

Rank Insignia. Officer: Button colour braid lengthways stripe over base colour. Gold: General officer, most Guard, Grenadier, Line, Rifle and artillery. Silver: Staff officer, some Guard, Grenadier, Line, cavalry, Cossack, engineer and medical. General officer, wide braid. Field officer, 3 braids. Company officer, 2 braids. Warrant officer, 1 braid. Other Ranks. White or yellow bars running crossways and regimental numeral. Sergeant, 3 bars. Corporal, 2 bars. Lance Corporal, 1 bar. Private, no bars.


 Sources. ‘Uniforms of the Imperial Russian Army’, Mollo, Blandford Press 1979. ‘The Russo-Japanese War 1904-05’ Ivanov & Jowett, Osprey Publishing 2004.  

 See Also:

 ·         JACKLEX MINIATURES OLD SCHOOL NEW LOOK RULES. ‘MUCKDEN TO MEGIDDO’, Early 20th Century Wargame Rules by ANDY CALLAN. Available to download from the ‘Wargaming’ section of this website.

·         JACKLEX MINIATURES RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR ARMY ORGANISATION SHEET.  Available to download from the ‘Wargaming’ section of this website.

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