Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blue Moon 18mm Confederate Infantry in Havelocks

Early Civil War regiments had some very distinctive uniforms.  Partly from a shortage of uniform supplies, and partly from a desire to appear different and unique, many regiments wore outlandish colors, headgear, or cuts of clothing.  By the time both sides ramped up their mobilization in the fall of 1861, standard uniforms became, well, standard.

As the war progressed, soldiers on each side all started to look alike, and that uniformity can bore a painter very easily.  That's the reason, I suppose, that most gamers have multiple zouave regiments in their armies, even though fewer than one in a hundred regiments wore zouave kit.

Still, I like that Blue Moon has released figures in more obscure dress, and I decided to try my hand at pack 15ACW-95 "Infantry in Kepi with Havelock."  The pack has 15 separate poses in a mix of right shoulder arms and right shoulder shift.


This is one of the more useful of the early war kits, as many regiments on both sides wore havelocks.  The havelock was a hot weather cloth cover for the kepi or forage cap.  The white fabric was supposed to reflect hot sunlight, and the cloth also was to keep the soldiers' necks from getting sunburned.


The havelocks rarely lasted long in the field, as the havelock insulated the soldier's neck and made it feel hotter.  Most ended up as coffee filters!  Still, some regiments were wearing them in the East as late as the Seven Days.



It was fun to paint some rebels for the early war, when most southern regiments would have appeared more uniform.  I was worried that the monotone grey uniforms would look too drab, but the lighter grey blankets, the khaki canteen covers, and especially the off-white havelocks all worked to make these figures pretty interesting looking.

The Blue Moon figures impressed me from the start, and this pack is a good example of the sculptor's excellent style.  The muskets are robust enough to endure rough handling on the gaming table.  The figures have good proportions, and the uniforms have enough sculpted detail to guide the painter's brush.

12 comments:

Moiterei_1984 said...

Very nice work on these fellows!

John Shoemark said...

Very interesting blog. I have built an early war Union force using the distinctly different regimental uniforms. I will check out Blue Moon for reinforcements.

Jonathan Freitag said...

I like the havelock look very much and the variety of early ACW uniforms in general!

Nice job!

Mark Ryan said...

Nice work! By painting different commands you could use these figures for both sides. Also painting up some in the blue with different commands might add a bit of fog of war by not placing the command stands or telling players who is on which side until engagement ranges. Just a thought...

DeanM said...

Nice work as always, Scott. Interesting tidbit about the havelocks - makes me wonder about the FFL in the desert wearing them. Best, Dean

Gonsalvo said...

A nice break from the standard ACW types!

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Nicely done as usual. The shading on the Havelocks is spot on. I like to mix in a few bare headed or officers to break up the mix. There's always the oddball guy that isn't wearing his hat. The painting quality is up to your usual excellent standard. I really think 18mm shows off your shading techniques well.

Phil said...

Excellent work, love these units!

Vinnie said...

Fantastic painting Scott. It is always a pleasure to see your painting

Pawel said...

Scott, what the base size do you use? Is it 1 inch x 3/4 inch?
What set of rules are you going to play? I've just received my first delivery of the civil war miniatures from the blue moon and currently considering the base sizes for RF&F.

Scott MacPhee said...

Pawel, I use Regimental Fire and Fury. My bases are 25mm wide by 15mm deep. I like the narrower depth when arranging the men in two ranks.

Pawel said...

So you inspired me to consider this size. I did a simulation - I did the paper 25mm x 15mm bases and attached the straight from the blister figures using blue tac.
10 bases looks really good especially in 2 ranks. "More realistic" may be good description of this effect. So there will be at least 2 RF&F players with this size of bases in the world. Probably we will not play against each other because I'm from Poland but we can always say - "I know the guy with the same bases"