SPECIAL THANKS. I would like to thank Paul Watson for his sponsorship of several lead figure collections on this blog. Having decided to clear his spare/surplus figures, he generously forwarded them on with no other requirement than they deserved to be restored.

Friday, 11 March 2022

New York National Guard (71st Battalion)

Decided to home-cast a new battalion for my late 19th Century American army. Some of the New York National Guard uniforms were quite distinctive, so here is my rendition of the 71st Battalion. I have quite a few sources for their uniform and as they all differ its fair to say the period 1870-1910 allowed commanders quite a lot of leeway as to the cut and style of their dress uniform. 

The surviving items below are c.1880-90.


This white hat belonged to the 14th U.S. Army Regiment, probably a musician, thought it would look good with this unit. The fifer was drafted from my spares box, white bearskins were also popular with National Guard units.

The Hat below belonged to the 71st Battalion at one time.

MGB
FOOTNOTE, some additional files on the New York National Guard, a suitable opportunity to capture the period.


10 comments:

  1. Great pictures of your new figures on parade MGB - very smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks MJT, its always a morale boost to see odd bits of pewter, tin, and lead turned into something that can be used on the gaming table. But these figures are a bit of a hassle, comprising four cast pieces, and milliput epaulettes.
      Michael

      Delete
  2. Smart looking unit, especially the musician

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Tony, it is a smart uniform, and definitely a navy blue, deeper than Prussian, or even the dark blue of the Royal Artillery.
      Michael

      Delete
  3. A very dashing unit indeed Michael, excellent work! They should serve you well! It is surprising how Napoleonic they look, but then that was the epitome of military style on the battlefield! Your references are wonderful too, I've learned more today about my state's militia than I ever knew before! Thank you for your meticulous research!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brad, I thought it might be of interest to you. By the way, while both the United States and the Empire were suspicious of each other, there was a 'joint manoeuvres' held in Canada. The rank and file in both armies got on quite well but Canadian soldiers thought the American uniforms looked old fashioned, one newspaper described their coats and accoutrements as looking more appropriate to the Napoleonic Wars, just as you thought!
      Michael

      Delete
  4. The grey uniform looks so much like updated CSA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi 'Q', I do agree with you on that. I have about 250 American uniforms on file for the 1870-1910 period. About a third of the National Guard adopted grey, the remainder are mainly blue. Surprisingly, very few adopted green. About a third kept 'Napoleonic' cut-away coatees, while the Empire went entirely over to tunics by 1870. Still, it offers some fine alternatives for using West Point cadets!
      Michael

      Delete
  5. A constant source of magnificent amazement, Michael - almost every day is a wonderful school day :) Thanks for the knowledge and the joy of seeing the collection :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Paul, the real drift into lead and pewter 54mm figures was due to that bloke up north!
      Michael

      Delete