Topic FAQ for the Roman List
Red, or white, or PINK... no one is exactly sure and it's a no-win topic. It has been re-hashed on this list (and others) more times than we can count. Yeah, it's good for a list-traffic pickup, but that's about all, as most people have made up their mind and are not going to change. Here's the correct answer as to what colour tunica you should have: DO WHAT YOUR UNIT SAYS!
If you're a member of a big group (fifty+ members minimum), you have a lot of historical knowledge, you have a lot of reenacting experience and maybe a lot of (real) military experience plus the other members of your group want you to be, then you may be justified in appointing yourself a junior officer and you may be accepted as one by the reenacting community. On the other hand, if you start up your own small unit and appoint yourself a Centurio, everyone will think that you're a dork or an a-hole: the choice is yours.
Most experienced reenactors would recommend that you join an established group when you begin reenacting, and there are a lot of them about, catering to most interests. This way, you learn the hobby and get to meet like-minded people. Lots of reenactors have a secondary (or even tertiary -- look that one up in your dictionary) impression or belong to more than one group. But if you are really desperate, and can find people who want to do the same thing, then start your own group: but you'd better be goddamned good, or everyone will think you're an a-hole.
When you first start out, nobody is going to dump on your head if you have cheap, slightly inauthentic gear, but the whole point of reenacting is to be as authentic as possible and if you're wearing your inauthentic stuff after you've been reenacting for a while, then there's something wrong. In any case, buying cheap crap can be a false economy. Many times, if you join a big, established group as a newbie, you can be sure that someone will be able to lend you authentic gear until you can afford to get your own.
It depends on your unit! It all comes down to that.
...and the mullet?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, No, NO, NO, NO!
Why not? The Roman Legions were made up of a diverse mix of men recruited from all over the Empire and sometimes outside of it.
If it isn't being advertised by one of the big vendors, post a question to the list. Someone, somewhere, will know of someone else who once met this guy... you get the picture?
The bottom line for most Ancient Period reenactors is some kind of real evidence showing Roman soldiers wearing or doing something under normal circumstances. If you can come up with this, then you're more or less home and dry. What good reenactors don't like are unusual or exceptional practices being presented as the norm.
Again, ask you unit what they require... all of which means that there is no single right answer: if you're a member of a group (or joining one), go with their policy.
A Farb is a reenactor who is not authentic but there are many different sub-species of the genus. It would be quite possible to put $15,000 into an impression and still be Farby, and equally possible to lay out $500 or so and not be. It's mostly about attitude: if you're striving for authenticity in all aspects of your impression, even if you can't afford to buy your own Ballistae, then you're ok; but if you're cutting corners, then watch your back, because someone, somewhere, is going to say it!