The Union Army 1861–65 (1) The Regular Army and the Territories | Armorama™

Announcing OSPREY PUBLISHING's new book THE UNION ARMY 1861-65 (1), an illustrated study covering US regular troops and volunteers from the territories.

This is partial text from the full article (usually with photos) at

Nice review, Fred. When I was a CW reenactor, we had an acronym PEC: plain, everyday, common. You wanted your kit to represent what the AVERAGE soldier looked like. There is too much emphasis on odd-ball accoutrements and equipment that few soldiers used. The average rifleman on either side carried remarkably similar gear, and I hope the book conveys that (the corporal on the cover with an officer’s sword raises some doubts in my mind!).

I am for the first time ever, painting a civil war subject, a Confederate drummer boy bust from a company called FeR miniatures who make outstanding products btw. The detail and sculpting is excellent. Virtually no clean up required. Anyway, having never delved into the civil war era before, I have a few questions maybe you can help me with:
Was the star on the cap embroidered or was it a badge and what was it made of and, what color? I have the box art to refer to but if only helps so much.
Also what was the brim made of and should it be gloss or semi gloss or flat? (Also the strap across the brim with the buttons ).

Thanks for any help!

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My progress so far:

The Cap is the wrong color, I started with a mixture of Prussian Blue from Vallejo but I’m going to redo it with a medium grey color.


Confederate caps almost exclusively had painted cloth or cardboard brims, so they should be flat with perhaps some gloss surfacing where they might have been polished. The star looks fake to me; I don’t recall seeing any caps with stars on them, but check “Echoes of Glory” if you want a good primer on CW clothing, it’s a three-volume set but you would only need Arms And Equipment Of The Confederacy. IF there was a star, it would have been embroidered and sewn on. HTH.

Great thank you so much Bill

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Hi Laoye, in the plate commentary, the sword is identified as a Model 1840 NCO sword. Does that appear accurate? How about the rest of the kit?

Richard, really nice bust.

Thank very much Fred. It’s coming along slowly. Takes me forever lol. I still have to do the rest of the uniform which shouldn’t take that much longer .

I also have to highlight the star on his cap.

Thank god god it’s only a bust!


“Hi Laoye, in the plate commentary, the sword is identified as a Model 1840 NCO sword. Does that appear accurate? How about the rest of the kit?”

Hi, Fred, it’s Bill Cross.

On closer look, it is the 1840 NCO sword, but I doubt a corporal would have worn one. Below is the NCO sword unsheathed. Early in the war, that sort of thing would have been common, but by mid-war, most NCOs had put away their extraneous gear. Officers had swords, but America didn’t make enough for the huge armies it raised for the conflict, and since officer’s supplied their own kit, they either carried imported swords or even used the earlier 1812 models. I carried an unidentified European relic when I did an officer impression that I later sold. It had no marks of origin, but I bought it from a reputable dealer who know what it was.

By 1864, officers are no longer carrying swords or revolvers, and are often wearing enlisted-man’s clothes so as not to be killed by sharpshooters.
1840 NCO sword

Fantastic work there Richard. You’ve painted a natural yet characterful face- wonderful work on the skin tones and hair.

Thank you very much for the kind words Karl. As I said I’ve never done a civil war subject so I’m kinda flying by the seat of my pants lol. This is a thoroughly enjoyable piece to paint. May have to do some more ACW subjects.

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Thanks to all for the replies !