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British Infantry Drums

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by akaryu, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hello fellow Planeteers,
    I'm aware this might sound like a rather silly question, but I'm having a go at some vignettes involving British drummer boys both in the AWI 1775 and at Quatre Bras 1815 and whereas the regimental devices painted on the front of the drum are well documented, I have no idea what the actual drums were made of and if and what colour they were painted. Any info would be very welcome.
    And yes, my own ignorance in this matter baffles me:confused:

  2. mick3272 A Fixture

    Hi Pierre
    The Drum shells were made of sheet Brass, with wooden rims top & Bottom.
    As for colours as a rule the drum shell would have been painted in the Regimental facing colour, with the heraldry painted on top.
    At the rear of the drum a strip where it rests against the leg would have been left as polished brass, as the paint would have been scuffed off.
    Hope this helps.
    Dan Morton, Mirofsoft and akaryu like this.
  3. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hello Mick, thanks a lot! That is just the info I need!(y)

  4. Tony Barton Active Member

    I think it's a matter of some discussion when wooden-shelled drums gave way to the the later brass shells: my guess, and it is a guess, is about 1840.The French used them earlier.
    Wooden ones were certainly usual in the 18c , and perhaps during most of the Napoleonic Wars, they are somewhat lighter.
    It's one of those areas in need of a little research!
    Whatever the material, the back half plain wood or brass, often with concentric nail head patterns surrounding the 1" soundhole in the middle.
    Front half in facing colour as Mick says, with Device.
    The wooden hoops could be plain red ( shown by Morier and other later 18c paintings) or variation on red/blue/white. One common pattern, which became standard later , was to have hoops with red edges, blue centre, with a wavy white line running along the blue. ; or white, edged red, with blue wavy line : Guards 1780s used that pattern.
    At the inner edge of each hoop was the white rolled edge of the drumskin, forming a distinct line. Roping and buffs were pipeclayed white. Sticks black.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  5. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Thank you very much Tony, excellent info! I'm planning a small vignette of the 23rd Welch Fusiliers in 1755 and one of the 28th at Quatre Bras 1815, each one with one infantryman and a drummer boy. That would then call for wooden drum shells. This is the forum at it's best indeed! Astounding what one might not know even after 40 years in the army.
    Thanks again,
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    I have quite a collection of Drummers from different periods-I had tried to research the materials but as has been said there is very little available on the subject. The posts here have proved very useful.

    Many thanks....Keith
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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