This is a list of my current impressions as well as those that are in progress. I’ve included a little information about each impression, including which group it was originally put together for.
This impression was put together for Scara Karoli, a Carolingian French unit that Marc and I both belong to. It’s an impression that only gets used once or twice a year, but it’s fun. Right now it consists of a linen under-tunic and a woolen over-tunic, wool pants, and wool leg wraps with turnshoes and a small cap trimmed with squirrel fur. The trim on the over-tunic is characteristic of Frankish clothing at the time, and there is some minor embroidery around the edges. Eventually, I will be adding some embroidery of boars, taken from a piece of period artwork, on the collar of the tunic. I carry a short seax as my weapon, and sometimes a spear. We specifically portray a unit that was sent to suppress some of the Saxon uprisings in what is now England, and we’re somewhere between soldiers and mercenaries.
I wish this impression got used more often, but sadly, medieval events are few and far between. Similar to my Frankish impression, this one consists of a linen under-tunic, a woolen over-tunic, wool pants, wool leg wraps, and turnshoes. I have a long wool hat trimmed in nutria fur, and both my tunics have lots of red trim and details, as was a distinctive feature of Rus clothing throughout history. I carry a short seax and a long spear as my weapons, though the seax is more of a utility knife than anything else. We portray a group of soldiers employed by a local noble, near modern St. Petersburg, with a heavy Viking influence that came from extensive trade relations with them. Eventually I will be making a larger caftan-style coat that will go over my current clothing to provide extra warmth.
14th Century Mongol
Though I do not participate often, in addition to being a reenactor I am also a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I participate in the SCA at reenactor-level standards out of my own personal preference. This impression is of an unmarried herder. Right now it consists of brown wool twill pants, a reversible del (coat) which is dark teal raw silk on one side and maroon wool flannel on the other, a cotton under-del which serves as underwear, and a hat and boots that were handmade in Mongolia. Eventually I want to add the over-vest that is often seen in the period and to also make a summer-weight del out of cotton.
This will be put together for use at Fort Ticonderoga’s French & Indian War events.
Revolutionary War Loyalist Militia
This is being put together for the Queen’s Own Loyal Virginia Regiment, the Loyalist unit that Marc and I belong to. I have it mostly done, I’m just lacking a frock coat or jacket at the moment (the one in the photo is Marc’s), as well as a firelock. My clothes are a mix of wool, linen, and fustian, and some of them are taken from copies of original garments – something that I can do much easier with my height and proportions.
Early 20th Century
This is one of my favourite impressions, albeit one that doesn’t get used often. I put it together for Frente Rojo, the Spanish Civil War unit that Marc and I helped create, and the clothes often get reused for some of my partisan impressions. Right now the impression consists of either a striped cotton collarless shirt, a worker’s jacket, leather workman’s boots, 1930s-style high waisted fish-back corduroy trousers, an anarchist identification scarf, and my wool newsboy cap, or of a collarless linen shirt, anarchist identification scarf, anarchist isabolino side cap, and a pair of indigo blue 1930s coveralls with a pair of Red Wing workman’s boots. If it’s cold, I can wear additional pants underneath the coveralls, and add a sweater underneath and/or a jacket on top.
This is by far my favourite impression and it was my first 20th century impression. I have different mini-impressions within the context of my general WWII Soviet impression including medic, machine gunner, motorcycle courier, and infantry. The impression was originally for my Soviet unit, Tretiy Vzvod, and uses the early war model M35 uniform and I carry a Nagant revolver for all but my infantry impression. I love this impression because it allows me to field as a woman and yet still be 100% authentic in doing so, as the Soviets were the first major army to enlist women in large numbers for combat positions.
WWII Civilian Correspondent
This impression is one of my most generic. I use it to attend private events that I would otherwise not be able to photograph without being registered as a reenactor. Half my clothes are US GI issue, half are vintage American clothes that I’ve picked up over the years. I have yet to get a period camera and instead use my modern Canon D7 hidden in a musette bag.
Ironically, this was one of my most expensive impressions and yet I’ve only used it twice. I originally put together this impression for the Don Cossacks unit that was a subset of Tretiy Vzvod, our Soviet unit, but the unit fell apart last year and has never really recovered. I have considered selling off the gear, though I do enjoy doing “German” and the Cossacks had women in the field, so I’m a bit hesitant to fully get rid of an impression that allows me into combat. Maybe some day it will get used again. For now, the impression is on a bit of a haitus until I find another Cossack unit to join or another use for my German gear. My gear consists of M42 German pants, an M36 German tunic, German field gear, a Soviet ushanka, and generic leather workboots, and sometimes a grey German army sweater. I carry a Mauser K98.
This impression is another favourite of mine. Not only do I get to be in the field in an active role, I get to wear comfortable clothes while doing so! I use this impression with various units and to attend events where I’m unaffiliated with a group. I wear a collarless linen shirt, a wool sweater, a scarf of some kind (often a German army one), a blue French workman’s jacket, brown twill or black corduroy pants (both in a 1930s high waist, fishtail-back cut), and workman’s boots. This impression works for pretty much any kind of 1930s-1940s European refugee.
WWII Russian Partisan
This impression is virtually indistinguishable from my WWII refugee impression with the exception of a few pieces of more militarized gear. I typically carry a Mauser K98 and carry ammunition either in my pockets or in an over-the-shoulder homemade ammo belt. On occasion I will carry my Nagant revolver as well, typically tucked in my belt.
WWII German Luftschutz
This is one of my newest impressions, something I started doing last year so that I could tag along with Marc when he does events with Kampfegruppe Martz. I wear Luftwaffe grey trousers and a blue Luftwaffe shirt, often with a dark grey Luftwaffe coveralls over everything or a mouse grey parka on top. I wear either a field grey M43 cap or a ridiculously oversized German fireman’s helmet. The Luftschutz were German civilians who helped out in times of need, such as during air raids, etc. They were much like the Civil Defense Forces in America or the Homefront organizations in Britain.
This is another fun impression that sadly I’ve only gotten to use a few times. The unit that Marc and I belonged to which organized the Korean War events kind of fell apart, and as such I haven’t pulled out this gear since 2009. I did really enjoy it though and hope to use it again some day. I wear a standard Chinese infantry uniform and carry a Mosin Nagant. When it’s cold I wear a set of Soviet telogreika pants and tunic which I have bleached out to be the color of the Chinese version. All in all it’s probably one of my most comfortable uniforms, and also one of the warmest. The Korean War event was the coldest event I’ve ever participated in, with windchill hovering around 15˚F on the first day, but I was quite toasty (except for my feet, which are always cold).
Korean War Civilian Correspondent
This was the impression that got me into 20th century reenacting, and it was the first time Marc and I ever reenacted together but sadly hasn’t been used since. Just like my ChiCom impression, this one has been packed away until a new Korean War unit comes along. My gear is mostly US GI issue with a few civilian items mixed in, including a heavy wool shirt from Woolworth’s and a civilian press bag, as well as some items I brought back from the year I spent living in Korea. My impression is based on photos of Marguerite Higgins, a female correspondent who covered the Korean War, as well as a few of Lee Miller, another female American correspondent.
This impression was put together for Premiere Regiment Etrangere Parachutiste (also known as 1REP), the French Foreign Legion unit that Marc and I belong to. My impression is similar to the one I use for my Vietnam War correspondent impression, and I use the same safari-style jacket, but much of the rest is different. I wear French army officer trousers, a civilian purchased shirt, my safari jacket with its correspondent insignia, a French “chapeau de brusse” and a pair of French Palladium boots. My impression is based heavily off of photos I have seen of female correspondents covering the war. Over the next few months I plan on putting together some nicer “in town” clothes including a dress, for wear during the unit’s annual Camarone Day formal dinner. In the past I have simply worn my correspondent clothes, but I would like to be a bit more appropriately dressed this year.
Vietnam War Civilian Correspondent
I initially put together this impression so that I could “ghost” at our Vietnam events and take pictures, but I have become increasingly fond of the impression and have been working on ways to improve it of late. I wear my correspondent’s safari jacket, a GI field cap, a men’s undershirt, US GI trousers, and my French palladium boots. I carry my camera, notebook, and assorted gear in a French FM 24/29 bag. In the past I have carried my modern Canon D7 camera, though this year I will be renting a Fuji X100 for the event so that I can have an excellent modern DSLR camera while also holding something that looks like it belongs in the 1960s. This year will also mark the first time that my friend Natasha and I will be joining forces to create an actual press corps at the event, something I am greatly looking forward to. My impression is heavily based off of photos of Jurate Kazickas, a female correspondent who covered the Vietnam War.
My Vietcong (or VC) impression is the first impression I fully put together after returning from South Korea. It’s simple, consisting of brown cotton pants I sewed from a pyjama pattern, a black Vietnamese shirt, an ID scarf, a French chapeau de brusse hat, and an AK-47 along with a chest rig to carry the mags. I’ve only used this impression twice, as I have discovered that I actually prefer my correspondent impression for our Vietnam events. I have contemplated getting into Vietnam War airsofting, and I suspect that if I get into it, this impression will get more use. It’s also a good impression to have around when I don’t feel like being an event photographer. Plus, it’s always fun to get to play with an AK!