Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic War of 1812 – US Uniforms Query

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  • #5464
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    May I pick people’s brains? I have an urge to do the War of 1812 with 6mm figures.

    Firstly, as far as I can tell, US infantry uniforms were of similar cut to the British infantry uniforms of the time. Do I go for figures with the stovepipe shako or the Belgic shako?

    Secondly, am I correct in assuming that US militia tended to wear civilian clothes and looked reasonably similar at a distance to their American War of Independence predecessors?

    Thanks for any advice on these issues.

    #5870
    3rd95th
    Participant

    I’ve just spotted you commenting on a lack of replies in the naughty place!

    Definitely Belgic Shako. I’m not sure about the militia, but if they were in civvies I would imagine they’d look pretty much the same as their rebellious grandparents.

    If I find anything else I’ll come back. It’s a period I’ve been desperately trying to avoid doing myself. So far I’m succeeding-JUST!

    Neal

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    #5913
    dhauser
    Participant

    Richard saw your request on Frothers as I don’t usually frequent Napoleonic boards.

    I have loads of information on War of 1812; I’m a big fan of the subset period.

    US Militia are a funny thing; many states have fairly uniformed militias while some of the individual companies are in civies. As you move west the standard hunting smock becomes more prevalent. If there are specifics you are interested in let me know.

    US Regulars start the war in a shako; not really the stovepipe and then move to the tombstone shako.

    Two great search terms in Google Images:

    “war of 1812 state militias”

    “war of 1812 uniforms”

    Lots of great pictures and Google is definitely your friend here.

     

    Chickens got livers? I'm gettin' some!

    #5914
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Neal and Dhauser,

    Thank you very much for your replies!

    I am intending to use my Peninsular War British as the foundation of the British, with Canadian Militia and Native Americans added.  All my Peninsular War British figures have stove-pipe shakos.  This makes me want to choose the US-Canadian border in the early part of the war.

    Don’t believe that I have significant numbers of unpainted British, so I will have to buy new figures for the Americans.  It doesn’t matter whether I get figures with Belgic or stove-pipe shakos when I do my order to Baccus 6mm.  (If I end up buying too any figures with Belgic shakos I can always increase the number of early Peninsular War Portuguese.)

    #5922
    dhauser
    Participant

    At Chippawa Scotts regulars would be in the Belgic or Tombstone which is 1814, I seem to recall that the cut-over occurred between 1813-14. I think if you do a few regts in each you are probably good.

     

    Chickens got livers? I'm gettin' some!

    #5942
    dhauser
    Participant

    This URL has 13 pages of War of 1812 uniform “yumminess” and it is well worth a look.

     

    http://history-uniforms.over-blog.com/tag/uniformes/

    Chickens got livers? I'm gettin' some!

    #5950
    3rd95th
    Participant

    @DH

    Please stop this behavior immediately! You may be helping Richard, but I can fan feel my will weakening.

    It wouldn’t take long to paint a few battalions of Americans in 15mm would it?……. Blue Moon look good……. I’ve got the British/Canadians already with my Peninsula set up……

    I could put my other 97 projects on hold for a while…………I know I want to…….must resist……….

     

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    #5964
    dhauser
    Participant

    3rd95th You are welcome sir!

    Chickens got livers? I'm gettin' some!

    #5995
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Many thanks, Dhauser.  Link bookmarked.

    #6007
    Neil Scott
    Participant

    @DH Please stop this behavior immediately! You may be helping Richard, but I can fan feel my will weakening. It wouldn’t take long to paint a few battalions of Americans in 15mm would it?……. Blue Moon look good……. I’ve got the British/Canadians already with my Peninsula set up…… I could put my other 97 projects on hold for a while…………I know I want to…….must resist……….

     

    You know you will crack shortly

    Double six! I need a double six

    #6346
    3rd95th
    Participant

    I have a will of Iron! Anyway I still need to paint up the entire British Crimean Army to match your large mount of Russians yet!

    Found this link today though – has some explanations of the confusing US uniform situation circa 1812-1813

    http://www.history.army.mil/html/museums/uniforms/survey_uwa.pdf

     

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    #7041
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Thanks, 3rd95th.  Bookmarked.  I have not been able to get on the Internet much in the last few days, otherwise I would have thanked you before.

    #7343
    3rd95th
    Participant

    You’re welcome Richard.

    Cheers,

    Neal

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    #7373
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    6mm you say, do please share your pix as you paint them up.  The Osprey is dated, but quite good if you can pick it up cheap.

     

    I too have a willy of iron, but it gets rusty at pretty uniforms and small armies.

    #7389
    3rd95th
    Participant

    TEDDY BEAR FUR GAMING MATS!

     

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    #7413
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    BARBARITY!

    #9140
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello Richard!

     

    Great choice in figures and period.

     

    I ordered some figures from Baccus and picked the British in Belgic shako. I also ordered Spanish in top hat for the American militia, French Dragoons

    for American Dragoons, British rifles for American rifles, British generals and foot artillery. The top hat (or near close to it) was used by both sides for

    some of their uniformed militia. Although most of the Canadians were in shakos.

     

    I think for limbers the French riders are the closest, but I’ve not yet confirmed that. Should have that sorted out soon.

     

    I’ll be mounting them in a Polemos format to match the way Baccus sells their figures.

     

    Presently I’m writing a rule set for Baccus covering North American Wars 1754-1815 which could be released in 2016.

     

    Sadly I’ve not had time to paint them up, but hope to get started some time next year.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

     

     

    #10034
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Thanks, Glenn.  Sorry I didn’t reply earlier; I have been away from home and Internet for a couple of weeks, visiting relatives.

    The militia seem to be the hardest ones to sort out.

    I use something very close to the Polemos format for my Napoleonic armies (60x30mm bases, usually 2 lines of infantry or one of cavalry).  I do use 60mm wide by quite deep for the artillery, though.  The rules that I use have artillery with the same base width as other units.  I used to use 60x30mm bases for artillery, but found that I tended to be tempted to manoevre infantry and cavalry units immediately behind artillery, which seemed unrealistic.

    #10174
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello Richard!

    Although Osprey have some books on the subject the best source I have is “A Most Warlike Appearance”, by Rene Chartrand. The American militia wore a wide variety of uniforms, but one of the more common ones was the “top hat” and the only thing close to it is in Baccus Napoleonic Spanish line. So I’m going to use them for the uniformed militias. I also have their militia from the AWI line which will do nicely for any militia’s with no uniforms.

     

    I’ve used the 60x30mm base for all of my H&M armies. It just works out perfect with Baccus figures, 24 infantry in 2 ranks, 9 cavalry, 8 skirmishers and limbers all on one base. I use the 30x30mm for artillery and officers. Two bases covering everything, what could be simpler.

     

    I’ve been at 6mm for over 35 years with some 40,000 figures and with Baccus for the past 10 years. If there is anything I can help you with just drop me a line at [email protected]

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

     

     

    #10177
    poniatowski
    Participant

    Excellent resources…. all around.

    Might I ask one question though? Well 2?.. crud…  just a few more? Why 6mm? The War of 1812 battles are small enough you can do a very nice 1:20 in or even 1:10 in 15mm. the unifirms and variety are kind of somehting to show off. You will never need ot use a gymnasium to play and even the largest of battles will fit on a nice 6×10 table.

    Just curious. (I do 1812 in 15mm).

    #10182
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello Poniatowski!

    Good questions. If you go the Baccus6mm site you will see just how amazing these figures are. The blow up photos of these figures rival the detail of 25mm. When based in groups (battalions/regiments) the various colors do jump out at you. It’s generally not too difficult to tell the various units apart from a distance. You can paint different colored collars, cuffs and facings that do show up well in groups.

     

    You can play on any size of a table, it’s only limited by the space you have available. The bigger your table the more space, terrain, open flanks, etc. On almost every table players are forced to pay very close attention to their flanks.

     

    Most 6mm are single base units where no ratio is required, so your scale can be whatever you want it to be. However, if you do want to use a scale most of our War of 1812 and AWI games are close to 5:1. So although our figures are less then 1/2 the size of 15mm we often use double the figures. The numbers give a much better impression of units (in my opinion).

     

    There is also cost, 6mm are a lot cheaper then 15mm and faster to paint. If you want to out source the painting it can generally be done cheaper then the cost of just the 15mm figures!

     

    If you only collect 6mm you also never have to have different terrain for different scales.

     

    Today, a lot of people see the advantages of 6mm in all periods. Give Baccus a careful look and don’t be surprised to find they have period that will interest you.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

    #10192
    poniatowski
    Participant

    Glen,

    Wow…. well said and holy smokes.. they look very nice (did some surfing!). I guess you are correct…. in fact.. I am almost thinking I want to try them out. I know the range has been expanding… I have one chore though…. what to do with my 1000’s of 15mm…. ???

    I use a 1:20 for 1812 and a 1:40 for Napoleonics (in 15mm)…. BUT….. my ground scale is more geared between 6 & 10mm…..  I can easily envision ranks upon ranks of 6mm figs and a much better man:man ratio… WOW… I could potentially put 3 or 2 ranks per company and decrease the ratio to 1:5….

    This would be much prettier…. I have toyed with this often. AND.,.. have been looking for an excuse to go that route…

    I think at Fall-In! this year I will look for some baccus and send them off to be painted… I cannot paint anything smaller than 20mm WELL now a days…. so I send to OGP in the Ukraine.

    I think it could go very well…. my scale wouldn’t change, nor my base sizes… nor the way the game plays.. I would just have to change the “element” size to scale to the new ratio…

    My biggest hang up is that I have so many painted collectors quality French and Russians in 15mm for Napoleonic…. I would have to find a buyer to really dump ojne scale and move into another like that.

    #10229
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello Poniatowski!

     

    Thanks, glad to hear you liked what you saw, most people do. Selling your 15mm stuff should not be too difficult. I think there is a pretty healthy market out there for that scale. Some people sell them off at shows or on ebay.

     

    Yes indeed 6mm opens up a new world of possibilities, you just have to think very, very carefully on what your really after. Most people including myself did exactly what your talking about and had 3 rank companies. I was at the time using my 25mm mind, just like your using your 15mm mind. It took at least 25 years to figure out that I was not really looking at the true advantages of 6mm. To really take advantage of 6mm you should forget about companies, squadrons and ratios. Start thinking about battalions, regiments, brigades and single base units. Baccus sells their figures to match this kind of thinking. You buy a bag of infantry and they fit on a 60x30mm base and create 4 battalions of 24 figures in two ranks (12 per rank), cavalry is 5 units (regiments) of 9 figures in a single rank. This will allow you to quickly build big period armies. For the smaller periods such as the War of 1812 you simply consider these bases as part units. We generally consider them as half battalions and cavalry as roughly one or two squadrons. Some people do take it a step farther and use three bases for a battalion and one base as a squadron. Some also do in fact use 3 ranks of infantry and two ranks of cavalry. I stopped cramming figures into 3 ranks infantry and 2 cavalry years ago when it became clear that the middle rank just disappears. As you probably noticed when surfing 2 ranks creates the illusion of a battalion just fine. Also by spacing 6mm figures out a bit more you allow more light in, more color out. However, there is still a fair number of people who are doing exactly what your contemplating, putting 6mm figures on 15mm or even 25mm basing. The choices are endless and you will find that the hardest decision you will probably ever face with 6mm is how to base them.

     

    I would not worry too much about rules, almost any rule system will work with 60×30 basing as is or with a few minor adjustments.

     

    I’ve never used them but you might want to check out Fernando Enterprises as a painting service. Their prices seem to be reasonable with fair quality, at least in the photos.

     

    Let me know if in fact you do decide to change over to 6mm and what basing you settle on. If I can help you any further, just ask.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

     

    #10234
    poniatowski
    Participant

    Glen,

     

    Thanks for the quick response.

    For basing… I would definitely be keeping the unit as a company I have a ground scale of .015″ = 1′ or 1″ = 65′ (roughly 33 paces).

    Call me a masochist… but I really like the large games at small scale… I find that they are very doable. What I am considering is going from 15mm to 6mm to better match the figures to the ground scale.

    As for painting, well… I work for Old Gurard Painters in the Ukraine, I am their US rep.. so I woudl only be going that way.

    The only hurdle I have at the moment is that I have a very huge, very well painted collection (most unbassed) in 15mm.  I was working on Borodino in company level 15mm 1:40…. I think it would be so much more beautiful in 6mm… the problem is, when I started this project there really weren’t any good 6mm figures out there.

    So I am left with a huge colleciton of Russians, Polish and French, all in 15mm.. I would really have to sell them all to make the move into 6mm… that is a hefty price tag for someone to buy….. So, I have been wrestling with this for a few years. I even stopped buying the 15mm Napoleonics and started concentrating on 15mm FoW and such…. It would be a huge undertaking to try and sell them that the project has stagnated.

    I even moved on to doing 15mm war of 1812 since then too… 15mm works very well for those scales of battles.

    To me, honestly.. gaming is about the aestetics, friends and playability of the rules. Pretty much in that order. If I run a game, it is a presentation with friends food and a rule set that really grasps the era we are playing, but is very playable and fun….

    Isn’t that what it is all about any way, lol!

    But I say…. If I had a buyer for the 15mm Napoleonic collection…. I would be moving into the 6mm range as soon as the money cleared the bank!

    Dan

    #10253
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello my good friend Dan!

     

    Well clearly you have a focus, a vision, a dream, a system and good friends. What could be better. You just need a buyer. I’m sure you will find one or two with a little work. You might have to break up the collection but in the end it should fund your 6mm project.

     

    We just found that as our battles grew in size companies became too tedious to move, store, organize, etc., and took up too much table space. When we converted to single base double rank units our frontage shrank from 120mm to 60mm, which doubled the size of our table playing area. Obviously your aware of these problems and are prepared to deal with them. Good for you as your vision should translate into an awesome looking game.

     

    We did Borodino in 2012 on my 5′ x 9′ ping pong table and it just fit. I did have a much bigger table, but we gradually realized that we didn’t need all the extra space.

     

    My wife does not really believe that we actually wargame in our basement, as all she constantly hears is laughter. She thinks all we do is tell jokes.

     

    Anyway, good luck with your dream and keep us posted on how you progress.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

     

     

     

    #10311
    poniatowski
    Participant

    Glen,

     

    Thanks and cheers to you also! Many more years of great games and friends!

    I will lead into another question. The reason I use the company layout is simply because I struggle wiht “square” -ish bases… basically, the frontage and depth of a batallion is vastly different depending if the unit is in line of column… the “abstract” square does not reflect this well on a battlefield. I have heard many discussions as to explain the square…. but they never sat well with me. And as tactics and formations are very important to my game, being actually able to take those formations in the field, however cumbersome is very apealing and very pretty.

    Making a blanket statement saying the square represents all of th espace needed to do all of the things the btn needs to do is a little absurd to me because as you take into account REAL life frontages and troop depletion… it can be a game changer.. you can possibly have one btn actually squaring off against 2 in melee due to the oponent being understrength or having taken losses. Not to be too picky, etc… just a pet peeve…

    I agree wiht you though… doing away with all of that does make the games go a lot quicker and with the right mechanics in place can give equally historic outcomes. I have not problems with that at all. I just like having that many levels of command as it really comes into play when using orders and team play…

    Earlier someone mentioned that being the overall army commander can be boreing AND frustrating…. frustrating yes, but never boreing as that individual is constantly writing and changing orders base dupon th eoverall picture.. and the lower level commanders are always kept busy deploying and executing those orders. There really is lots to do AND, I must add, you have to have the right group to do this…. because if the overall Army commander came to push lead, they will be disappointed…. but, ther eis always that one guy who wants to be the king… and they don’t mind giving the orders and watching their subbordinates trying to execute them…

    It is a pretty unique playstyle that brings grand tactical and tactical onto the same table.

    As I said though, there are many systems….I am definitely not saying mine is best, it is just best for me.

    #10353
    Glenn Pearce
    Spectator

    Hello my good friend Dan!

     

    Good questions/statements, I fully understand your style of game. That’s how I played my games for about 25 years.

     

    We don’t use the square base, ours are rectangular which equal roughly the frontage of a battalion/regiment/battery in line. That allows us to deploy our brigades with reasonably historical frontages. The units themselves although called battalions/regiments they are actually a representation of a common number so the units that do face off against each other are fairly equal. Understrength units are simply absorbed, unless they are unique troops. The level of our games is mainly brigade vs brigade, so the individual units strength or size is not critical. Tactics and formations are also important to us, but at a higher level.

     

    Real life frontages and troop loss is also simply reflected at the brigade level.

     

    Our commanders are never bored, the stress is actually too much for some and they don’t want that role.

     

    The most important thing is your last phrase “it is just best for me” and that’s all that counts. New school gaming is not for everyone.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Glenn

     

     

     

    #10416
    poniatowski
    Participant

    That is great Glen! That is what I do look for in my games.

    the aestetics are so important to me, but I do realize that others do play for other reasons. Yes, I saw that a lot of th efigures are mounted in strips… was it 3 per rgt/btn.. that works as you have a firm proportion to work with. columns and lines wil be different structires on the field.

    Very cool.

    I am currently looking at how I could make the move. There are so many rules out there and there is a “best fit” for each era. Company level might not be the best for such large games… I can consider any rules set, as long as it is fun tio play and looks pretty on the table top!

    thxs, for the info!

     

     

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