Thursday, October 6, 2016

Uniform Uniforms

While looking at the photos from our club's recent trip to Fr. Ticonderoga's annual AWI reenactment it struck me that the photographs of this pair of American skirmishers were wearing the same uniform, but when looking closer the differences in the color of the uniform jacket, the wear and dirt on the white trousers and the difference in the equipment was striking. I noted this to our club's mailing list and the discussion was quite interesting - interesting enough that I thought sharing the photos and some thoughts here might be of interest to the readers. 

One of our members discussed the uniform differences with the reenactors. They cited that uniforms and cloth were sourced continuously and often not from the same source. Dyes were not standardized until the mid 1800s, and of course fading due to wear, sun exposure and washing all take their toll. At least up through the black powder periods, these are all excellent reasons to vary not only the shades of your uniforms, also the base tones. The thing that struck me the hardest is that the coat on the right is a more reddish brown than the one on the left. It's not just newer and brighter, it's a completely different tone.

I hope to experiment with this a bit on my next AWI unit. I encourage others to do the same.



5 comments:

Adam Carriere said...

Its a great point and applies to other periods and armies. If your on face book the group "Authentic Farbs" has tons of pictures of not quite regulation uniforms and equipment and lots of examples of variation in units form the ACW period on ward (lack of cameras limits the earlier material).

Giles said...

Lots of useful details in those photos, AJ - the straps going under the shoes, the light colour of the soles of the shoes.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I noticed the gaiter straps being different, but I didn't notice the soles! So many differences we can emulate in our figures. Thanks for pointing that out Giles.

Cincinnatus said...

Excellent point. 18th c dyes faded significantly throughout a campaign season. Coats were oft times issued by lottery, so you might indeed see French lottery coats and threadbare coats knocked together by a regimental tailor!

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

More to the point look how those red coats stand out!