Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

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Friedland1807
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Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Friedland1807 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:05 pm

Hi Folks,

I already own a repro French Imperial Guard Bearskin, but want a shako to go alongside it in my home display cabinet. Unfortunately I'm up to my eyes in vet bills and car insurance at present so can't afford one of the lovely ones on show at the Living History Fairs.

To this end I've decided to go the long route and make my own, but haven't been able to find details on dimensions such as height, diameter etc (if indeed they were standardised?).

I've long experience with model terrain making and so forth, so pretty confident I can pull out something that is half-decent. Plus I've acquired a few of the necessary materials such as Buckram, woollen felt etc along with a local carpenter who is happy to produce a hat block for me at little cost.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)



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John Waller
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby John Waller » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:46 pm

You will need to buy or make the callotte - the molded leather top. If you decide to make one you will need to wet mould the leather over a custom made former. The peak has 'lice track' moulded design so you would need make a mould or again buy a peak. Add in the plate, chin scales, rosettes, hooks, cords, plume or pon pom. I have made one as an experiment/practice piece and now know why they are expensive! Good luck:-)


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Friedland1807
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Friedland1807 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:19 am

John Waller wrote:You will need to buy or make the callotte - the molded leather top. If you decide to make one you will need to wet mould the leather over a custom made former. The peak has 'lice track' moulded design so you would need make a mould or again buy a peak. Add in the plate, chin scales, rosettes, hooks, cords, plume or pon pom. I have made one as an experiment/practice piece and now know why they are expensive! Good luck:-)


Thanks John. Well, I've infinite time to spend on this and no doubt it'll take a few attempts!

I'd be interested in hearing about how you went about creating your own though.

Would it be possible to post up the size/dimensions of the one you did too? (approximates would be ok).

P.S. I was about to mention that I was impressed by the way a guy had made his own Belgic Shako a while back...then I realised it was your good self! :D



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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Nigel » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:15 am

Friedland1807 wrote:Hi Folks,

I
I've long experience with model terrain making and so forth, so pretty confident I can pull out something that is half-decent. Plus I've acquired a few of the necessary materials such as Buckram, woollen felt etc along with a local carpenter who is happy to produce a hat block for me at little cost.


Thanks :)



Now that's good I've been looking for one who will make a round block for a while will he do two ?


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

Friedland1807
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Friedland1807 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:39 pm

Nigel wrote:
Friedland1807 wrote:Hi Folks,

I
I've long experience with model terrain making and so forth, so pretty confident I can pull out something that is half-decent. Plus I've acquired a few of the necessary materials such as Buckram, woollen felt etc along with a local carpenter who is happy to produce a hat block for me at little cost.


Thanks :)



Now that's good I've been looking for one who will make a round block for a while will he do two ?


Hi Nigel.

I will see the chap in question later. Also, I've emailed another fellow I know who could also (hopefully) supply them at a reasonable price.

I'll message you as soon as I hear anything!



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John Waller
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby John Waller » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:07 pm

Friedland1807 wrote:
Nigel wrote:
Friedland1807 wrote:Hi Folks,

I
I've long experience with model terrain making and so forth, so pretty confident I can pull out something that is half-decent. Plus I've acquired a few of the necessary materials such as Buckram, woollen felt etc along with a local carpenter who is happy to produce a hat block for me at little cost.


Thanks :)



Now that's good I've been looking for one who will make a round block for a while will he do two ?[/qquoHi Nigel.

I will see the chap in question later. Also, I've emailed another fellow I know who could also (hopefully) supply them at a reasonable price.

I'll message you as soon as I hear anything!


Me too please. Would like a couple of cylindrical blocks.


Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Friedland1807
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Friedland1807 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:13 am

[/quote]

Me too please. Would like a couple of cylindrical blocks.[/quote]

No problem guys. I've now tasked three different people i know with this. Two from my workplace and another who runs a joinery business in the town. All of them have agreed to "have a go", so I'll see what they come back with regarding exact pricing and product. Again, I'll keep you all posted.

I'm bloody determined to get these sorted somehow! :D



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Neibelungen
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Neibelungen » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:49 pm

1801 217mm (Cavalry version, probably adopted by infantry legere ? )
1806 230mm diameter 41mm deep
1810/2 244mm diameter 41mm deep (See Bardin drawing for 1812 onwards)
1815 215mm diameter. Back slopes. (How many of this pattern were in use is debatable for 1815.

Total hight varies depending if infantry or cavalry, date and troop type, plus chevrons come and go of different widths. Not all have a buckle back either.

Most French regulations are available on the internet in their original format in online libraries and only take a little effort to translate.
Images of numerous originals are also online and show many different variations to the shaping of the top, depending on manufacturer's method.


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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Nigel » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:47 am

Friedland1807 wrote:


Me too please. Would like a couple of cylindrical blocks.[/quote]

No problem guys. I've now tasked three different people i know with this. Two from my workplace and another who runs a joinery business in the town. All of them have agreed to "have a go", so I'll see what they come back with regarding exact pricing and product. Again, I'll keep you all posted.

I'm bloody determined to get these sorted somehow! :D[/quote

fantastic look forward to news


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

Friedland1807
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Friedland1807 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:29 pm

Hello Folks,

A quick update on the Hat Blocks.

I've emailed several people about producing them, and talked to a couple of guys at work/locally. It's slow going and most of these have yet to get back to me again (I know one or two are very busy so I'll be patient). As for the rest I've no idea especially when they initially reassured me about the ease of the task at hand.

I've decided to give it until the end of next week. Regardless of this, I'm purchasing a wood lathe and producing them myself. I've plenty of space at the back of the house, and we've been considering turning the summer house into a workshop of sorts for some time.

So that's the long term mission. Added to that is if it's a success then I'll be happy to provide hat blocks to anyone on here who requires them at an affordable price.

Again, I'll keep everyone posted.



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John Waller
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby John Waller » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:03 pm

I have used polystyrene hat blocks from Mr Polystyrene's web shop on eBay. To make a cylindrical block tall enough to block a belgic or stovepipe cap you need to use two blocks fixed together. Good enough for several hats.


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Neibelungen
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Re: Making a French Line Infantry Shako, dimensions?

Postby Neibelungen » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:28 pm

My experience of making hat blocks is they usually take about £50 of wood and about £50 of labour, which isn't much less than a commercially made one from Guy Morse Browne Hatblocks.

They aren't difficult to turn, but a lathe capable of coping with an 8" square block of wood without shaking itself apart or destroying the bearings is required. Wood selection is important because of the steaming and pinning involved. Pine tends to warp and split and oak etc is very hard to pin into.


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