C & C Sutler ???

Cavalrykyle

Private
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
45
Location
West Plains, Missouri
Generally, having your unit purchase a few sets of Uniforms/Traps from C&C and the like is a great idea. After the event is over, they just turn the kit in. As time progresses and they buy piece by piece, the less they will have to borrow. Spending $500.00 for full kit for loaner (Minus rifle, of course) is decent for any Unit to do and not too burdensome on the company treasury.

My very first event, I wore full loaner gear from C&C and it served its purpose. No "Stitch Nazi's" gave me flack nor did any of the veteran members. They were just happy to see a new face in the hobby and show me the ropes. Since then, I've pretty much bought everything I need for a full impression. I'm just short of having a Shelter Half, Great Coat, and an extra gum blanket. Depending on their income, it is best to save money and borrow kit until they have enough to buy quality gear. Only two items out of my kit are not "Campaigner" Quality so to speak, which is my Frock and Trousers, but even at a Campaigner Event, I was not belittled or anything of the sort. (Which, I know many people fear).

My unit has these three things as "Must Get" first: Hat, Blouse, Footwear. Then build from there slowly but surely.

We all know it is an expensive hobby to start, but once you have everything (Generally 1-3 years to acquire everything), then the only thing you will spend is on Powder, Caps, and unit fees.

(Sorry if this is a bit winded, but I know any advice and tips will help)

Our situation is a tad bit different. We have several thousands of dollars wrapped up in loaner saddles/tack/uniforms and equipment. We charge a twenty dollar rental fee per event for use of gear. We encourage our "recruits" to purchase a basic
Generally, having your unit purchase a few sets of Uniforms/Traps from C&C and the like is a great idea. After the event is over, they just turn the kit in. As time progresses and they buy piece by piece, the less they will have to borrow. Spending $500.00 for full kit for loaner (Minus rifle, of course) is decent for any Unit to do and not too burdensome on the company treasury.

My very first event, I wore full loaner gear from C&C and it served its purpose. No "Stitch Nazi's" gave me flack nor did any of the veteran members. They were just happy to see a new face in the hobby and show me the ropes. Since then, I've pretty much bought everything I need for a full impression. I'm just short of having a Shelter Half, Great Coat, and an extra gum blanket. Depending on their income, it is best to save money and borrow kit until they have enough to buy quality gear. Only two items out of my kit are not "Campaigner" Quality so to speak, which is my Frock and Trousers, but even at a Campaigner Event, I was not belittled or anything of the sort. (Which, I know many people fear).

My unit has these three things as "Must Get" first: Hat, Blouse, Footwear. Then build from there slowly but surely.

We all know it is an expensive hobby to start, but once you have everything (Generally 1-3 years to acquire everything), then the only thing you will spend is on Powder, Caps, and unit fees.

(Sorry if this is a bit winded, but I know any advice and tips will help)

Our unit has 1000s of dollars wrapped up in loaner saddles, tack, and gear. As our members upgrade their gear, we purchase replaced items to use as loaner gear. We are just stretched too thin on loaner items and are looking for a "lower cost" starter uniform for members to start out with. Thanks for the input and advice.
 

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Tin cup

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Texas
It's a commitment, you have to decide you are in it for the long haul. One thing I'm not seeing discussed is that if you have the cheap blanket-wool **** uniforms, and incorrect shoes and hillbilly hat, a Zouave rifle, good luck in joining in on QUALITY events like those held on many actual Battle Parks!

If you have quality uniform/equipage/weapons, from the git-go, you can open up doors that get you with quality units, at quality locations, with quality scenario's. Main/lame-streaming it will fail you in the long run. Unless that is all you are interested in.

There are ways you can cut down the cost, you can pull up instructions on how to make period groundcloth's, shelter-half tents...order patterns for clothing...the info is out there, just have to look it up, I know, I have done it.

Kevin Dally
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
1,067
In all fairness, CnC uniforms are not the much derided blanket wool uniforms, just as they're not museum quality replicas. They're solidly mainstream. My private soldier belts and gear actually came from them, as did the trousers I'm wearing now, that I got from a recruit who left the hobby. I've never had any trouble. If your recruits bring a teachable attitude and cheerfully try to contribute to the period "zone" they'll be more respected than if they were wearing top shelf gear and only want to talk about panzers.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
2,049
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
I have always thought that units offering loaner gear was a good program, while you decided if the hobby interested you enough to invest in quality equipment "for the long haul." Let's face it, for a number of teenage new recruits "the long haul" is going to be a few years until they develop preferences for other young adult type behaviors like cars, jobs and dating. The best part about saving up for a quality kit is you can recoup a greater share of your costs if you decide to sell your gear at some point or leave the hobby. And if it doesn't happen that way, the recruit won't have wasted the money on the first less expensive first kit that ended up not meeting their needs.

Of course, this is how units get their loaner gear...when guys who went with low cost gear, decide to stick with it and then upgrade to better gear. It is more expensive that way though. Same thing with a musket, if you get a good one and make the historical accuracy modifications (defarb it) then you will get more of your investment back out of it if you liquidate.
 
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Redcoat

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May 3, 2017
Messages
143
Museum quality as compared to mainstream kit is akin to bagpipe music. The general public doesn't know quality from ****.
 

Mild53

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
1,008
Location
Maine
I have new (very cash strapped) recruits. C & C Sutler has uniform package deals that start at around $250 and go up from there. Jean wool options, trimming options...etc, etc, etc. Has anyone purchased from them ? And if so, what is the quality like ? We look for used gear all the time...but need a decent source for recruits to obtain "cheaper" starter sets. So if anyone has used C & C Sutler, please let me know. Thanks.
I've worn and used my gear from C&C for over 10 years now. They have the patina from field use and have served me well.
 

Tin cup

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Museum quality as compared to mainstream kit is akin to bagpipe music. The general public doesn't know quality from ****.
It's comments like this that really tell me a lot about a person...they obviously don't CARE! You would be surprised what difference a person can see in a lame-stream wool-blanket uniform, and genuine wool kersey, or jean cloth! Tell me this photo of Robert Hodge, and the guys he's with, doesn't show the difference?

Kevin Dally
Hodge example.jpg
 

Old Breck

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Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
57
Location
Garden City, Michigan
Museum quality as compared to mainstream kit is akin to bagpipe music. The general public doesn't know quality from ****.
That's a really poor attitude in regards to the general public, and one I don't agree with. In my experience, the general public may not be able to say why one impression is better than the other, but they for sure can tell it. They may not be able to verbalize why in the above photo Mr. Hodge looks better than Mr. Heritage, but they know.

What I think is a bigger issue is that a lot of reenactors, even if they understand, are willing to look past an obviously in-authentic appearance or attitude, using excuses such as the above quote or putting up with farby BS to swell the numbers. But then again, I bet a lot of reenactors really don't understand the whole "authenticity" thing.

Which is why the hobby has fractured and will continue to separate into two different wings; and never the twain shall meet. You really don't even have an authentic adjunct at Gettysburg this year (to my knowledge), and that tells a lot.

But back to the point of this thread

With the plethora of used, quality gear, I really can't understand why people will continue to buy lower quality gear.

One simply needs to take a glance at the various Facebook pages and reenacting sites to see a huge amount of campaigner quality gear. More often than not, this stuff is for sale at prices lower than used mainstream stuff, and is of much better quality and construction.

If units are serious about improving they're impressions, they need to encourage people to buy this used stuff, instead of buying garbage upfront, and then "trading it in" at a later point.

Maybe people don't know what to look for?
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
1,067
I've seen that people want to buy their own gear, new, not used. It's also pretty difficult to piece together a kit from pieces here and there. Especially for beginners. Used campaign gear is not going for bargain basement price anymore. A starter set is still a good option.
 

Redcoat

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May 3, 2017
Messages
143
I didn't realize I had a bad attitude.

Too many people on this forum seem to think that unless you can afford museum quality gear, you shouldn't be involved in re-enacting. This thread seems to be more about bashing C& C and other suppliers that provide perfectly good quality for a reasonable price because their gear is a reasonable alternative to spending a fortune. The fact is most young people cannot afford the ridiculous cost of "quality" gear, and those of us north of the border have to pay an additional 35% due to the exchange in currency.

It seems that too many people in this thread and others like it, is filled with elitists. And anyone who has a sense of humour is ridiculed or talks about affordable alternatives that fit the bill gets shouted down. Some folks need to get a sense of humour and stop staring at the historical button holes on their undersized frock coats. :wink:
 

Redcoat

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Messages
143
Tell me this photo of Robert Hodge, and the guys he's with, doesn't show the difference?
It's comments like this that really tell me a lot about a person...they obviously don't CARE! You would be surprised what difference a person can see in a lame-stream wool-blanket uniform, and genuine wool kersey, or jean cloth! Tell me this photo of Robert Hodge, and the guys he's with, doesn't show the difference?

Kevin DallyView attachment 176787
I don't see anything different, unless your are referring to the fact that there is only one relatively young man in the photo. What is he doing there? Isn't this supposed to a hobby for us senior citizens?
 

Tin cup

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Texas
Tell me this photo of Robert Hodge, and the guys he's with, doesn't show the difference?

I don't see anything different, unless your are referring to the fact that there is only one relatively young man in the photo. What is he doing there? Isn't this supposed to a hobby for us senior citizens?
Open your eyes!

Kevin Dally
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
1,067
In one sense, comparing the men in that photo is like comparing apples and oranges. Rob is wearing jean cloth; they're mostly wearing wool. Brand new, straight out of the box those two materials look different - with jean cloth looking rustic. Rob is portraying a soldier on the march. They're dressed to walk down the street in a parade. So that's an issue of context. He's visibly younger. 'Nuff said there. Really, the comparison isn't between the quality of the clothes; the comparison is HOW the clothes are worn.
Reenacting has its own market economy. It also has its own "wall" (as Seth Godin termed that high obstacle that keeps all but the most determined out). Uniforms are probably the best example of the "wall" for the hobby. There are hobbyists whose mantra is "go big or go home." (They might not really say it, but its a guiding principle.) Going big means spending money. Its the ante for playing. They want to play with the other highly dedicated hobby enthusiasts who are willing to pony up those sums as well. Elsewhere on the sliding scale is the hobbyist who is interested in the Civil War, but doesn't have those deep pockets. This individual opts for the cheaper gear, sometimes even knowing the imperfections, because its the best he can afford. Fill either of those uniforms out with someone who is willing to engage in period activities, actually wear and use their gear, and you have a good reenactor. Fill out eithe one with someone who won't research, won't drill, won't attempt to cook or eat period food, et cetera... aaaaaaand you still have a farb. Clothes don't make the reenactor.
 

MIKirby

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Aug 24, 2017
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Location
North Canton, OH
In one sense, comparing the men in that photo is like comparing apples and oranges. Rob is wearing jean cloth; they're mostly wearing wool. Brand new, straight out of the box those two materials look different - with jean cloth looking rustic. Rob is portraying a soldier on the march. They're dressed to walk down the street in a parade. So that's an issue of context. He's visibly younger. 'Nuff said there. Really, the comparison isn't between the quality of the clothes; the comparison is HOW the clothes are worn.
Reenacting has its own market economy. It also has its own "wall" (as Seth Godin termed that high obstacle that keeps all but the most determined out). Uniforms are probably the best example of the "wall" for the hobby. There are hobbyists whose mantra is "go big or go home." (They might not really say it, but its a guiding principle.) Going big means spending money. Its the ante for playing. They want to play with the other highly dedicated hobby enthusiasts who are willing to pony up those sums as well. Elsewhere on the sliding scale is the hobbyist who is interested in the Civil War, but doesn't have those deep pockets. This individual opts for the cheaper gear, sometimes even knowing the imperfections, because its the best he can afford. Fill either of those uniforms out with someone who is willing to engage in period activities, actually wear and use their gear, and you have a good reenactor. Fill out eithe one with someone who won't research, won't drill, won't attempt to cook or eat period food, et cetera... aaaaaaand you still have a farb. Clothes don't make the reenactor.
Aye, I fully agree. Attitude makes the impression. The way one goes about things is the make or break. If one can only afford mainstream kit at first to get started but has the correct attitude of humping their kit around, making and eating period rations, and does the research will have a far better impression than someone with an expensive quality kit but not the right attitude.

I've stated prior that I built my kit doing what I could afford. As of now, three things are not of "Campaigner" Quality. My Frock, Trousers, and Leathers. It is a very expensive hobby to start, but it is not expensive to have the right attitude about it.

I also highly suggest any "Mainstreamer" to try one "Campaigner" Event. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is good to see the spectrum of the extremes in the hobby.

I also agree with what has been said prior about the "Rift" occurring in the Hobby. I may have only been in it for a year, but I fall in with a Mainstream Unit primarily, and have fallen in with a Progressive Unit as well. Doing so, I have seen the "Rift". There tends to be a bit of bashing on both sides around the fire at night, which is a shame.

I understand that it is just a hobby, but overall, the objective is to keep history alive.
 

7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
1,067
I prefer the campaign end of the hobby myself but being clear on expectations is important. If you know the event day is going to be busy, don't try to cook, just eat out of your haversack. If conditions are going to be cold, I pack a sleeping bag. No event is improved by my freezing at 2am. And if the point of the event is to recreate some specific field action, don't feel bad about going to local fast food. Not every event requires the same actions. On the other hand, if the point is to live out of your pack for 2 or 3 days, engaging in pretty much period activity, then do it with that understanding.
 


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