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"Cool Colonial Units" Topic

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688 hits since 14 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 10:24 a.m. PST

Alright, having invested in British grenadier rules, Warlord Games Supplement "Rebellion" and numerous British grenadier Scenario books, I am ready to start amassing figures.

Now, whereas the British and Hessians are relatively straight forward (That is aside from the confusing variety of British Light infantry caps)the Colonials utterly confuse me.

I am not fussed about theater or year of the war so much as getting together 8 or so of the most handsome units of say 2-30 figures per unit.

Not necessarily units with the most spectacular outfits (Although I certainly wouldn't rule them out) or with the best war record but rather visual appeal, variety etc.

So i thought people could weigh in with their top two or three most handsomely clad units and with the best flags too!

Note, that it would be helpful, if you mentioned what sorts of figures would be in the mix (ie. enlisted men wore hunting shirts and caps but officers wore regulation uniform and tricorne).

I'll be doing up my collection in 40mm miniatures but please feel free to mention other scales available for other readers.

Thanks in advance for any guidance here.

Yours Faithfully,


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 10:44 a.m. PST

Handsome units?
Lafayette's Light Infantry. Two battalions. Dressed in the finest French fashion. Snazzy caps.
And flags.
TMP link

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:10 a.m. PST

I would have to use Tarleton legion helmets on French uniformed bodies?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

No. Just standard American uniforms with LI caps.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:33 a.m. PST

So what's Henry Alexander Ogden painting here? Is he trying to sell Helmets?


historygamer14 Jun 2018 12:07 p.m. PST

I thought all that American Light gear was captured before it arrived?

Cool units:

Washington's Life Guard
Pulaski's Legion
Any of the legion


Volunteers of Ireland (who appear in a good number of southern battles
British Legion (no one seems to know for sure what the foot element looked like)
British riflemen (okay, same as Lights, but with a rifle!)
Queen's Rangers
A good number of the Loyalist Horse units with different uniforms
British buffed faced units
16th Light Dragoons in Tarleton helmets

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 12:53 p.m. PST

I never knew the 16th wore a Tarleton. You've made my world a larger place.

When you say "Any of the legion." Did you mean any of the legion of legions or did you mean…THE Legion?

historygamer14 Jun 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

There were a number of different continental legions.

The Tarleton helmet worn by the 16th had fake leopard skin around the base.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

No uniform was more magnificent than what the Virginia and North/South Carolina back country Militia's wore at Kings Mountain and Cowpens.

Proudly Made in the USA!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

2nd Canadian Regiment ("Congress' Own Regiment")
Glover's Marbleheaders in "sailor rig"
"Light Horse" Harry Lee's Legion


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 3:36 p.m. PST

Two favorite cavalry units.
3rd Continental Light Dragoons in the timeless white coat with sky blue facings.
Philadelphia Light Horse in The equally lovely brown and white.

BigDan Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 4:51 p.m. PST

Several years ago, in a thread on TMP, our very own Winston Smith put together a guide to collecting units for AWI. IMO that would be very helpful for you.

I have it printed out and tacked to my wall at home, I haven't followed it to the letter but it was a great starting point for me. I'm away from home for the next couple of months so cant give you the link but perhaps someone else can help with a link?

Terry3714 Jun 2018 8:02 p.m. PST

I am partial to the British 35th with orange facings and the 54th with popinjay facings. Then Morgan's or 1st Pennsylvania Rifles, any Hessians, and also for the Americans Sherborne's in browan coats faced yellow and green small clothes and 4th Maryland in purple hunting shirts with red collars and cuffs and buff trousers.

Here is a good source, and mostly from Lefferts work. At the bottom of the first page is the link to the uniform plates.



Bill N14 Jun 2018 9:08 p.m. PST

"Coolness" is a subjective term. I like the southern campaign through GCH, but the infantry is a monotonous succession of blue faced red, black faced red and a little brown faced red. If you choose to do SC Continentals at least some of the flags are known, plus they wore leather caps.

If I was looking to do a handful of Continental units in iconic cocked hats, wanted uniform diversity and could live without flags, I might look at the 1st through 4th New York regiments that served in the Northern/Canadian front in 1775: Blue faced red, Light brown faced blue, Grey faced green and Brown faced red. I suspect the reality was many in those units were in civilian clothing which you could depict or ignore. No hunting shirts though until Arnold's contingent arrived.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:07 p.m. PST


Why not do like the rest of us and invest in some uniform books like Mollo, Troiani, Lefferts and Ospreys. Do that first then come here for any further clarification and opinion.

Coolness is in the eye of the beholder. Do your research, pick a campaign your interested in and go from there. This period is different than most. There is a lot conjecture when it comes to uniforms of this period. There are no shortcuts.

I would start here,

TMP link

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:11 p.m. PST

I would re-think your scale. 28mm is the sweet spot in this period. There are so many wonderful figures available in that scale. Much more than either 15mm or 40mm.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 9:22 a.m. PST


I have bought several books on the subject and I'm doing my best to understand it all but it's a complex subject.

Perhaps Im mistaken but I thought the boards were about sharing knowledge even when I have none to offer myself.

It seems to me if I had to know everything before I started posting on here, I might never get started.:)

Thank you for the link.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 9:53 a.m. PST


I like orange facings as well. I have a good mind to do some of the same unit's I've done for Napoleonic British for AWI as well, such as the Buffs.

@ColCampbell, very nice that Canadian uniform. Also, seems there are more cavalry units than meets the eye for the AWI period.

Other things I struggle with for actual figure mixture. it seems that no matter what the unit for the Americans, they have quite a mixture of styles in their uniforms within a unit. For instance, is it artistic license or do the regular Continental units have men in shirts/Hunting shirts within them as well?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 10:15 a.m. PST

Here are a couple of links on supply problems in the continental army. When you can't supply shoes and blankets in adequate numbers, matching uniforms take a back seat to more critical issues.



Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 3:44 p.m. PST

Another vote for Sherburne's Additional Continental Regiment, with the brown cost, faced yellow, with green pants and vest:



MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 3:58 p.m. PST

@Florida Tory

That is a handsome regiment!

I have Digby Smith's An Illustrated History of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War and they have them in grey under clothes. I prefer the green more. Thanks for pointing that out.

@79thPA, that was a very interesting read.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 8:02 p.m. PST

If you're looking for a "cool" unit how about some 1775-6 upjumped militia that had an actual Grenadier company with cloth miter caps?
As soon as I get the nerve, I'm going to do some head transplants.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 11:38 p.m. PST

Wow! Nobody hit on the 2 nd NH with those great light blue coats!

cavcrazy16 Jun 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

Webb's regiment, they wore red with yellow racing's! Great looking colonial regiment. They are in my army.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2018 9:20 a.m. PST

Webb's definitely looks cool – another unit in my army, too.

And another favorite of mine is the New Jersey Blues, with the grey/blue combination, and buff breeches:



Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2018 5:01 p.m. PST


Good then you are well on your way. There are threads with book recommendations but since you can't search TMP directly you can try to search for the TMP. Welcome to the American Revolution!

Normal Guy17 Jun 2018 5:05 a.m. PST

2nd New Hampshire has been a favorite of mine.

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

26th Continentals 1776

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