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"Perry Minis. small historical details maybe underappreciated" Topic

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Baranovich30 May 2024 10:27 a.m. PST

In going through my 28mm ACW project, I found some details in the Perry metal packs that I was very impressed with.

Having studied the ACW my entire adult life and also reenacting as a Union soldier with the 14th Conn. and other units for 25 years, my eye caught a few things that some gamers might not be aware of or might not have thought about.

It's clear that Perry did their research homework when sculpting the ACW range.

In the six-figure pack 'Union infantry in frock coats and with knapsacks', there's a few really cool tidbits.

Firstly, the attention to detail in varying the way that soldiers strapped their knapsacks. Look at the guy on the far right. You'll notice that his knapsack cross straps in the front are hooked vertically onto his waistbelt. The rest of the soldiers in the set have them strapped across the chest in the usual "X" shape.

That was indeed an historical alternate way to attach the front straps that took some restriction off the chest and made the knapsack's weight a bit more balanced.

It's cool that this is represented on the model.

When you turn the models around, there's another nice historical tidbit. Some of the soldiers have their knapsacks topped with a roll and others do not. This is representing something that is actually referencing a knapsack regulation and a variant of the regulations and something that even some reenactors are not even aware of despite using the equipment for years.

The straps that were issued with the standard double-bag knapsack were, by the army regulations technically NOT "blanket straps." They were intended to be "greatcoat straps." Again, strictly per the regulations, the soldier's shelter half and wool blanket were meant to be folded and stored inside the knapsack's two interior compartments. The top of the knapsack with the straps was meant to carry the sky blue greatcoat for cold weather. Sometimes the rubber blanket was folded around and rolled up with the greatcoat to make one combined rolled bundle, and both were strapped to the top of the knapsack, which made the entire affair quite top-heavy and unwieldy.

So I decided to portray these men as being straight regulation and carrying their greatcoats as a roll exactly as the regulations specified. Now certainly many soldiers did indeed use the straps to carry the rolled woolen blanket on top so that they could fit other things in the knapsacks, perhaps more personal effects, etc.

The other soldiers in this set of course have apparently ditched their greatcoats altogether and have opted to carry just the shelter half and woolen blanket and get by with that. Now of course, obviously many soldiers ditched the knapsack altogether and opted for the more comfortable blanket roll slung over the shoulder.

ccmatty Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2024 12:54 p.m. PST

Thanks for sharing! Love your contrast work.

Have you tried or had any success mixing contrast colors? So, if I wanted to achieve a darker blue, mixing the black and blue together for example?

Baranovich30 May 2024 2:43 p.m. PST

Hey there ccmatty,

Most welcome, thanks for the feedback!

That's a great question about Contrasts. In my fourth year of using them, I can report to you that mixing Contrast or Speedpaint colors is a difficult proposition.

They don't mix in the same way that regular miniature paints do.

The problem is that because they are transparencies that form their color by allowing the white or light gray primer underneath to show through essentially, you don't get new colors when you mix them in most cases.

I attempted to mix some of the Contrast browns and I discovered that the stronger of the two basically "ate up" the weaker one. It had the same effect of adding medium to darker Contrast. The color itself wasn't changed.

Now, the Contrasts can certainly be lightened with acrylic medium, that works quite well. I've diluted many of the darker Contrast which creates a lighter, more subtle shade of the same Contrast color.

But going in the other direction as you are asking, trying to make a blue darker by adding black. My concern is that you're going to end up getting murky black no matter how much blue you add.

In other cases of mixing Contrast colors, they combine and form a muddy, neutral, murky color rather than a ligher or darker shade what you were attempting.

I just painted another group of Union soldiers with the Stormfiend Contrast blue for the coats. I tried diluting to make it a little lighter and less blotchy and that worked very well. But as I said, that was only adding an acrylic medium, not actually mixing two colors.

Greylegion30 May 2024 3:51 p.m. PST

I can really appreciate the detail and differences among the sculpts. The insight on the regulations is interesting, as well.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2024 8:46 p.m. PST

Just a note concerning greatcoats. They were issued for winter months and put in storage during the spring/summer/fall months. So if the troops are on campaign its likely that it would be a blanket or poncho on the pack. Great worrk on the paint jobs.

Baranovich31 May 2024 12:01 p.m. PST

@Dn Jackson,

That's largely true. However, there was much gray area in between when armies set out in the early spring. Even in May the evenings could become quite cool if not outright cold. Even a spring or early summer night picket duty could be quite chilly. So the greatcoat, in some commands soldiers may have been encouraged to take them along at the start of a spring campaign.

The same might apply to the early and mid autumn. By the end of September and early October nights could become quite cold. So while not yet winter the greatcoat may have been considered a necessity by some commands or individual soldiers.

You are right that the greatcoat was primarily a "winter" piece of gear. But the need for an outer coat certainly extended beyond just strictly the winter months.

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