Vendor Feedback

Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
270
Location
Lockhart, Texas
I wore the MB&S Houston Depot cartridge box and cap box all weekend at the Resaca, Georgia 159th anniversary reenactment-including for several hours in Sunday's rain. It was a joy to be portraying Texans in the Army of Tennessee and wearing spot-on replicas of Texas depot made accouterments. And I saw a few days ago on the MB&S website that the Houston Depot cartridge is indeed still in the catalog.
 

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ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,437
Location
Near Kankakee
Notice manufacturers and suppliers. Word gets around on the internet. Show a weak hand and all will know about it shortly. Make and offer an honest product and all will know about it shortly. Know also that the guy or gal who answers your phone is your ambassador.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
69
Location
Woodstock, Georgia
Hello wool-clad comrades!

New here and been out of reenacting for a while. Time to refresh my impression. I am shopping for a CS shell jacket. My search found no less that 15 sutlers willing to sell me a coat. I would like to throw out to the forum a request for feedback from folks who have bought shell jackets from any sutler.

When I started many years back, County Cloth kits were held in high esteem by fellows I fell in with in the Maryland US unit. Thinking that would be a good place to go again, I found the web site and started shopping. I was very confused by the limited offerings and what options were available. So I wrote a nice email to the proprietor asking for help. What I got back was a snarky reply that helped me decide to cross that vendor off my list. My thinking was if a vendor is giving you guff BEFORE that have your money, I can't imagine what customer service might be.

Thanks for you time and advice...

Regards,
Jim
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,888
Location
South of the North 40
Hello wool-clad comrades!

New here and been out of reenacting for a while. Time to refresh my impression. I am shopping for a CS shell jacket. My search found no less that 15 sutlers willing to sell me a coat. I would like to throw out to the forum a request for feedback from folks who have bought shell jackets from any sutler.

When I started many years back, County Cloth kits were held in high esteem by fellows I fell in with in the Maryland US unit. Thinking that would be a good place to go again, I found the web site and started shopping. I was very confused by the limited offerings and what options were available. So I wrote a nice email to the proprietor asking for help. What I got back was a snarky reply that helped me decide to cross that vendor off my list. My thinking was if a vendor is giving you guff BEFORE that have your money, I can't imagine what customer service might be.

Thanks for you time and advice...

Regards,
Jim
Go to page 1 of this thread and start working your way to the end. For CS gear my first two suggestions are Andrew Kasmar then Wambagh & White then I suggets a look at the consignment page of Stony Brook. All three are mentioned on this thread.
 
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
634
Location
Deutschland
I bought my Richmond Depot II from Ben Tart, and some other stuff before that, and I've had very good luck with him. His jean wool is excellent, and he's a nice guy who's prompt to get stuff to you when you order. He also does blanks, so if you're interested in trying some sewing but don't want to take the plunge and make a whole jacket from scratch, you can get one of those and just do the topstitching and buttonholes (that's what I did with my RDII).

Andrew Kasmar, sadly, stopped taking orders back in April, from what I've heard. Now that he's finished with college, he's on to other things. Wambaugh & White are also excellent, though, and have also always given me great customer service.
 
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
634
Location
Deutschland
Andrew Kasmar stopped taking orders... Well ****. I hope he is able to start up again as I do believe he was one of the better out there.
That's my understanding, though if anyone finds out differently, post here and let us know, because I never did get a chance to order a battle shirt from him! And yeah, I never heard anything but rave reviews about either him or his work. I wish someone made a battle shirt kit, actually- it might come out looking like ****, but at least it would be my ****!
 

Dave Hull

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
1,773
Location
Northern Virginia
I had some great luck over the last six months picking up a few odds and ends to improve my kit. I grabbed a W&W trouser kit off AC which had never been made, and my wife put them together for me in record time. Great trousers, but the size runs big. The kit was a 38 waist, so either I am now down to a 34 or they are about a 42. Picked up a used Sekela early war NY knapsack and shirt off CW reenactors, both in pristine condition. The shirt is great, but it is right warm on those sunny 97 degree days here in Virginia. Added the rifle of the Regulars, the 1855 Springfield Rifle in near mint condition, at a great price off Gunbroker.com to go along with my '42. Now I can do a Regular impression from Mex War through Appomattox. Wanted to grab a few items of snivel gear (great coat and gloves along with a spare set of leathers and canteen) off this forum, but the truck blew its diflucal and needed a new computer.

The kits are definitely the way to go if you or someone you know is a seamstress/tailor. Sack coat and trousers kits set me back about $175. Had I bought them completely hand sewn from W&W, it would have been close to $1,000.

I have been waiting for a fellow on FB to finish off his last run of caps, so I can get my order in on a couple of custom 1858 McDowells, a Type I and a Type II. I have not seen his caps up close but they look great from the pictures and at $75 each, better prices than the old cheapo Sutler row stuff. Another fellow looks to have great caps as well going for $95, but he seems to crank out more Confederate than Federal caps. If you have not seen Caps and Kepis and D.F. Smith Repros on FB, you may want to check them out.

I have also been secretly eyeing Ben Tart's blanks. After the last few events where the temps were in the mid to upper 90's, I know the lighter color uniform of my ancestors has certainly got to be a shade cooler than that dark Federal Blue sun magnet. A few of my Confederate pals have nothing but the highest praise for Ben's stuff.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
69
Location
Woodstock, Georgia
I had some great luck over the last six months picking up a few odds and ends to improve my kit. I grabbed a W&W trouser kit off AC which had never been made, and my wife put them together for me in record time.
Sorry for the blog newbe question but what is W&W and AC?

Second not so new question, do you know any US Regular group in or around Georgia?

Thanks for the post.

Jim Stevens
US Infantry, detached
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
13,236
Location
Mississippi
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
28
Location
Burlington Wis.
I had "Missouri Boot and Shoe" make me a Confederate bayonet scabbard to fit an old bayonet. I sent them my bayonet measurements, and it came to me in perfect shape, sans the dye (as I requested), and I couldn't be happier. Excellent workmanship. Highly recommended.

Rebel Dave
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
41
Location
Pennsylvania
my 2 cents...

I have been in the hobby for 31 years. It is very interesting to see the many different goods available. In the old days, it was only a few vendors supplying, so everything was "mainstream", and there was truly only one level of "authentic". Now, of course, there is so much to choose from, I can only suggest to "shop smart". Avoid the imported junk. Decent goods can be had for not much more, and will last much longer. One does not have to go all out to start. Get the best gear that you can afford, that fits YOUR impression, and do not overly concern yourself with other fellows' kits. I have found that my kit has been improved over the years simply by upgrading items as they wore out. I have always tried to keep a generic look in general, and only added "special" items when necessary. That way, one can fit in most anywhere. As for vendors, I think that there is excellent information on this site, but I can say that living near Gettysburg, I see quite a variety of product quality variations from the vendors there. Everything from "sutler row" quality to very good products. My personal kit is mostly items from S&S in Gettysburg. Tim Sheads is a good man to do business with and has excellent items at competetive prices. I tend to replace items as I need them from his shop. The only two items I have not replaced is my Jarnagin cartridge box (a very decent quality item) and my Navy Arms Springfield.
I also suggest learning as much as you can, and be wary of so called "experts", who think they know everything, and are all too willing to share their "expertise". You will learn much by doing! Remember "the only thing UNIFORM about the UNIFORM is that it isn't UNIFORM". I neither do or do not advocate "hyper authenticity". Try to make as good an impression as you can afford and get out there! I have a VERY good kit that I have built at reasonable cost and can show up well enough. It is also worn and soiled, but certainly not like the real soldiers' kits. Wear and use the items as long as safely possible. No matter what you kit contains, THAT is the most authentic thing of all!
I certainly am still learning after all these years, and have certainly learned a lot, but there is always more information out there to find.
I hope this helps...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Descendant of
Pvt Jacob Welsh 107th PV WIA-POW
Sgt Daniel Welsh 87th PV KIA
Pvt Joseph Kauffman 10th VA KIA
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 7, 2014
Messages
28
Location
California
Milk creek is a rip off. Paid for a hat from Teresa and have been waiting since October. Would not return my calls or emails. Finally called her from a blocked number and low and behold she answered. Could tell she was not happy to hear from me. Told me she had just shipped it. I asked her for a tracking number and magically got disconnected before she could give it to me. Tried calling back and wouldn't you know it, no answer! That was on December 1st. I want the hat or my money back. She has yet to send me either.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
34
Location
Haifa Israel
Personly i highly reccomend the Honest sutler for jacket and coats. Their quality is superb and the people are very nice (check their facebook page ). For footwear and shoes i love the shoes Robert land makes. I have very large feet and was able to find my size.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,107
Caps-Dirty Billy and Greg Starbuck
Hats-Tim Bender
Confederate Shell Jackets-Jim Warhiem (Wolfie) he has access to originals and his are the best I have encountered.
Shoes-Robert Land, but he says that this is his last year; I've also heard good things about Missouri Boot & Shoe.
Leather-Nick Duval
Overall IMHO best sutler for authentic gear-S&S (Tim Sheads, Gettysburg, PA); you get what you pay for.
Union sack and frock-NJ Sekala or CJ Daley


Again, in IMHO the first thing people see is your face/head, don't scrimp on headgear, buy authentic a great federal forage cap or well made kepi is very noticeable from the typical feedbag cheap **** that the run of the mill sutlers sell.

If you are cash strapped, spend on headgear first, get a jacket and pants (lots of used good stuff on ebay and reenactor forums) then upgrade the jacket and pants when you can afford.

The most expensive item will be the firearm, choose with care, you don't want a M1816 conversion for 64-65 events. You also don't want to be carrying a model '63 Springfield to 1st Manassas. Get something that will get you through all 4 years, '61 Springfield or '60 Enfield, unless you have the funds to have multiple arms for various periods.

Listen to your group, I was naïve and went out and bought a Sharps rifle because it was on sale, haven't used it yet and that was 20 years ago. I also was in a hurry to outfit and bought a load of **** that didn't survive my first year in the hobby.

If you can borrow until you get a feel and not tick anyone off, that's the best route, this is an expensive first cost hobby!

Since the 150th is past there is a lot of gear for sale and that might be the best buy.

Good Luck!
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
243
Location
Cooperstown, NY
I get nervous about ordering clothing for impressions and this is why. I work at different museums that use Reenactors for different time periods at their events. About five years ago I needed a carriage hat for an impression I was doing from a hat maker I hear recommended on the forums. I gave the hat what I thought was plenty of lead time to be made before the events which was six months. Three months passed and I started preparing for the events by going through my clothing and called about the hat. I was told that they would get back to me. Four months passed and I told myself well it has to arrive any day now. I was on month six with no hat and having to scrounge up a hat by spending more money on something that was close to what I needed. I wrote the hat off as a very expensive lesson which arrived a year after I ordered it. I myself, am not as forgiving after that experience. I ordered a hat for a hefty price. I understand the waiting time for hand worked items and expect at least 3 months but past four and I want a refund with an apology for wasting my time. The hefty price also should include a REASONABLE wait time. If they are a business and can not meet goals then they need to hire more staff or get out of the business.
So, that is why I get nervous about ordering hand worked clothing.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
558
Location
Fargo, ND
I just started in reenacting about a year ago, and made my first purchase of a Union Army sack coat, US leather belt, forage cap and a haversack from Regimental Quartermaster in Gettysburg. They were prompt in answering emailed questions before I ordered and shipped the completed order before they said the sack coat would be finished! Can't beat that!

I liked the fact that I could (and did) order U.S. made goods. I figure that the Union Army wasn't wearing imported uniforms, so why should I? I do appreciate knowing about the other vendors mentioned in this list and will check them out as I add equipment.

Alan
 



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