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What are some things that reenactors can do to be more authentic?

Started by DOGFACE1944 , Jan 16 2008 09:57 AM

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#51 possum

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:49 PM

True ..... the other half of the American Army was 82nd Airborne. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/devil.gif

We all know that the war was won by the glorious 4th Armored Division with a little help from other - obscure - units. ;)

It would be great if some re-enactors would portray other units than 2AD, 29ID, 101AB, etc.
Where are re-enactors of let's say 5ID or 26ID or 6AD?

Erwin


Our group doing 6AD. Enjoy!

Jon

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#52 possum

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:52 PM

Our group doing 6AD. Enjoy!

Jon


More. I'm the skinny sod in the middle of the last picture.

Regards,

Jon

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Edited by possum, 07 July 2008 - 10:55 PM.


#53 Custermen

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 04:07 PM

Interesting inputs. It all sounds good. I like to go to see troops usually at Living History events just to see---and hopefully---handle their equipment. Then I would like to talk to them about their experiences that will hopefully shed light on what they've learned about living back in those days. And I always like it when I can ask a difficult question about a unit and someone actually knows their stuff. I think evey reenactor should be required to pass a written history test if they plan to be in direct contact with the public,

Most of my experiences has been with American Civil War reenactors and living histories. Some of those guys go a little overboard with plaid pants and homespun knapsacks.

But my #1 pet pieve is ---- DO NOT WEAR YOUR HAT BACKWARDS. You may look cool doing that on MTV but I don't think anyone born before 1956 wore their hat like that.

I have been to some live Civil War cannon competition that was great. You got to see them in action doing the real deal---no pretend here. Of course they had to have red flags and a range safety officer with a bull-horn. I can edit that out of the photos or try to hold my camera until he turn away. But it is hard to edit a hat and turn it around.

No. 2 for Civil War reenactors: Don't go to the field if your gun won't fire. The 20 grain powder loads on those .58 calibers do not make much of a noise. If it misfires, then it sounds puny and makes you look stupid. I borrowed a Sprinfield and a uniform so I could try out reeancting and the darn Nipple fractured in half right in the middle of a battle. An officer helped me purchase a replacement from another soldier and get back into action. MY guns would never do that.

Steve

Edited by Custermen, 11 July 2008 - 04:11 PM.


#54 twhigham

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:20 AM

Destroying a WWII barrel so the blank adapter doesn't show is damn retarded. Unless they start making repro M1's to use, if I find out you tapped a vintage barrel I'm slapping you like Patton. Putting a 'rat barrel' on a vintage firearm is even a dumber idea.

Only carbines have an obtrusive blank adapter, because no one has made anything better. There are 'hollywood' Garand blank adapters that are parked and only add 9/16ths of an inch to a barrel. If you can see it from 10 feet then you are very, very good.

Stop using propane MGs.. now THAT I can get behind.


I agree with PFarber on the M1 carbine barrel. Any M1 carbine made to or used by USGI is a piece of history that's being destroyed when you render the barrel unshootable. However, you can take a "shot out" barrel and tap it in such a way that it is still shoot-able, if the machinist knows his business. There's a link out there that explains how to do it (essentially, you drill the barrell and tap it, then recede it so the threads don't interfere with the rifling).

Swapping out barrels on a rifle just for a public battle or a tactical is a waste of time and money.

And the cheapest shoot-able M1 carbine you're going to find nowadays is through CMP for about $400, if you're lucky enough to meet their criteria.

My choice was to get the 2007 repro from Auto Ordnance and tap it for a BFA. Total cost was about $600. No history destroyed and only cost a little more than a CMP rifle, and a little less than a collectible WW2. Plus it came with the proper flip site, push-button safety, and no bayonet mount. And a warranty!

Re: propane MGs - I disagree on that. If you can hide the tank and the gas lines, then I have no problem with the propane machine gun because it adds a lot to the battle ambiance. The cost of ammo is pretty high otherwise.

Edited by twhigham, 12 July 2008 - 06:22 AM.


#55 Guest_swamp_fox_6_*

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:50 PM

I agree with PFarber on the M1 carbine barrel. Any M1 carbine made to or used by USGI is a piece of history that's being destroyed when you render the barrel unshootable. However, you can take a "shot out" barrel and tap it in such a way that it is still shoot-able, if the machinist knows his business. There's a link out there that explains how to do it (essentially, you drill the barrell and tap it, then recede it so the threads don't interfere with the rifling).

Swapping out barrels on a rifle just for a public battle or a tactical is a waste of time and money.

And the cheapest shoot-able M1 carbine you're going to find nowadays is through CMP for about $400, if you're lucky enough to meet their criteria.

My choice was to get the 2007 repro from Auto Ordnance and tap it for a BFA. Total cost was about $600. No history destroyed and only cost a little more than a CMP rifle, and a little less than a collectible WW2. Plus it came with the proper flip site, push-button safety, and no bayonet mount. And a warranty!

Re: propane MGs - I disagree on that. If you can hide the tank and the gas lines, then I have no problem with the propane machine gun because it adds a lot to the battle ambiance. The cost of ammo is pretty high otherwise.


You know, I had to think long and hard about how to properly adapt my carbine. Itís a CMP purchased inland. Couldnít stand the idea of a bignormous ugly red BFA that never worked properly, and actually would damage the front site. I didnít want to tap the barrel and damage this piece of history.

Then in the middle of the night, I had my epiphany Ė MILIONS of these were made (and can be found everywhere), mine is rack grade, has been rebuild sometime in its life, isnít attributed to be the gun that fired the shot that killed Field Marshall I Forget His Name, and if done correctly can still safely (and as accurately as a carbine is) accurately shoot live ammo.

I guess you can say I destroyed it, but I donít think so.

Cheers!

#56 twhigham

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:48 AM

You know, I had to think long and hard about how to properly adapt my carbine. Itís a CMP purchased inland. Couldnít stand the idea of a bignormous ugly red BFA that never worked properly, and actually would damage the front site. I didnít want to tap the barrel and damage this piece of history.

Then in the middle of the night, I had my epiphany Ė MILIONS of these were made (and can be found everywhere), mine is rack grade, has been rebuild sometime in its life, isnít attributed to be the gun that fired the shot that killed Field Marshall I Forget His Name, and if done correctly can still safely (and as accurately as a carbine is) accurately shoot live ammo.

I guess you can say I destroyed it, but I donít think so.

Cheers!


Recess the threads so it can shoot live ammo, and you can increase the street value on that mutt. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#57 Lt.

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:15 AM

learn the customs of the ww2 soldiers. know what they did in their free time, and how they acted.

#58 Gregory

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:56 AM

Gents,

In the field of "authentic"...

Airworthy CG-4A is coming!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/bravo.gif

The glider snatch airshows are planned with participation of C-47 and CG-4A. Can you imagine? The GIRs reenactors get ready!

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#59 Justin

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 07:44 PM

learn to talk like people did back in the 40's

just like in the old WWII movies, they always had a few guys with New Yorker accents or from the Bronx, Brooklyn, etc

or the Texan mid westerner

other regional accents

If you must cuss, say thing like "keaster", hmm thats all I can think of know, but there is a lot more lol

#60 edstorey

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:26 AM

I have not read every post on this topic and I am sure that many of the points I have to say have been noted, but here goes.

Too many elite units - not every unit in the military is Airborne or Commando.
Too many people holding rank from Sgt and above - someone out there has to do the work.
Too many overweight people - this I think speaks for itself.
Too many old guys - after 30 wear a nice jacket and tie and be the 'front man'.
Too many 'cowboys' - I saw it in the movies so that must be how it is for real.
Too many 'wannabees' - I could never cut it in the real military, so I joined a re-enactment unit.

I am not trying to paint every re-enactor with the same brush as I have seen some really good ones unfortunately human nature as it is, you tend to only remember the bad ones.

#61 Bill in VA

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:21 AM

I'll agree with almost all of the comments made to date, but let's look at reenacting realistically too. First and foremost, the vast majority of reenactors are in because it's fun. (And before we go any further, I'll point that I reenact so there's no misunderstandings.) They may say it's to honor the vets, and to some degree there's truth in that. On the other hand, as long as I've been reenacting, I fail to see any way that tactical events and buring blanks at each other honors anyone.

Of course, if we really and truly want to honor our veterans, why honor just one group? Why not volunteer some time at the local VA hospital, VFW/AmVets/American Legion Halls? Why not stand and place our hands over our hearts as the flag passes in review during parades, say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem at rallies, ball games, etc...? There are plenty of other ways far, far more effective than dressing up and playing army. (Before anyone goes off the deep end, remember that I said I do reenacting too!) But I'm digressing, so back on track...

Like I said, there are more things incorrect than correct with 99.9% of all reenactors/reenactments. The bottom line is we're in it to have fun. If we wanted 100% authenticity (or as close as we can get X years after Y war) we'd've joined the army and made it our careers, not our hobby.

Too many elite units? It's certainly true that not every unit in the military is Airborne or Commando. The elite are elite because they rise above common and the average. (And isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery, anyway?) Come on, let's be realistic: how many reenactors want to portray the 23rd Special Field Laundry Detachment? Or the 128th Regimental Mess Team? ("Is that a real maker-marked and dated Mark VIIa potato peeler?")

Us old, fat guys? Let's face it, we're the ones who have both the time and money as well as the means and ability to do the hoby. Ever price a restored Willys MB? Or spend time doing a frame-up restoration? Machineguns? Show me 20 year-old reenactor whos got the scratch to lay out $15K for a registered Thompson.

Too many people holding rank from Sgt and above - someone out there has to do the work. In my unit, the only ones who want rank are our new recruits. Unfortunately, most don't know enough about the hobby, military protocol, history, etc... so at least for our group, "somebody's got to wear the stripes."

Too many 'cowboys' Fair enough. I've seen a lot. I've even been a cowboy on occasion. No harm in single-handedly charging twin MG42s with nothing but a pistol when you know you're not going to die.

Too many 'wannabees' - I could never cut it in the real military, so I joined a re-enactment unit. Puh-leese! Are you freakin' serious??? Yeah, I've seen a few, a very few, guys over the years who let their weekend rank go to their head. And without fail, everyone of them has been put in their place by veteran reenactors or veterans/current military.

Remember, before folks go picking apart how unauthentic the hobby is and how it's not period correct, remember: it rarely is going to be authentic and period correct for the reasons stated above. That doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye and accept farbiness as the norm, just that we should examine the planks in our eyes before we go fussing about how farby the mote in our neighbor's eye is.

Stay safe, strive for authenticiy, have fun, and dive on a grenade once in a while. ;)

#62 Zippo Grunt

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 01:51 AM

Earlier in this thread GIs smoking Luckies or Camels is mentioned. Zippo lighters was given away to GIs with free smokes.
Zippo's entire production was distributed to Army exchanges and Naval ships' stores. WWII black crackle lighters were stamped "PATENT #203695". Other lighters produced 1937-1950 were stamped "PATENT 203695".

The Zippo WWII lighters are not made of brass,this was due to materials shortage during the war, Zippo had to use the more porous metal steel instead of brass, and the lighter could not be finished with chrome or nickel. Instead, it was covered with a special black crackle paint.

1946 saw the end of Black Crackle production.

Reenactors don't have to use them just to smoke, but heating rations in a helmet, lighting campfires, sparking fuses for explosives, hammering nails and even signaling to fellow soldiers with the famous Zippo click.
Alot of GIs decorated lighters with coins,unit emblems,and "dagger engravings" and trench art.

You can buy 1941 Replica Black Crackle Zippos with U.S. Emblems they sell for around $60

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#63 T-Bone

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 04:28 AM

And a BIG!!! Don't......

Don't start smoking just because they did in the 40's.....

Although probably 9 out of 10 GI's smoked Luckies or Camels during WW2, that's something you do NOT NEED to re-enact...


That's right, be a man and liberate some Gauloises...and the kids love them! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif


T-Bone

#64 20thecbgreene

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:06 PM

You dont have to go to the extreme like i do wearing WWII boxers and t-shirts, but hide your modern stuff from sight. I as a hard core Reenactor dont want to see your sponge Bob night clothes, or watching finding NeoMo on your lap top computer. Yes , these are all things i have see while reenacting. Here is what i say.

Wear Period correct clothing
Eat food out of a C,K, or D-rations while in the field
talk the 40's talk
do mail call
listen to record while playing card game
go with 1940's Military field manuals say about things, not the modern ones say
Research and more research
smoke Lucky Strikes or Camels
chew Gum
depending on the event time period you portraying, shave or don't shave a few days before. not all guys shaved daily in the field
get a hair cut. Try to get a 1940's hair due
use period WWII communication equipment in the field, NO NEXTEL'S or Radio shack radios
make you bed the right way.


I try to put together a mail call for the guys in my group at every event. Try to have weapons inspections in the morning. Help new members in your group out so they will buy the right stuff and train them on safety, safety, safety. This is some form me.

#65 hotlead

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 09:52 AM

Now, I don't reenact anything, I do have a deep appreciation for history and those who made it, and have been collecting this stuff since I was 10.

That being said, I think if someone wanted all the old, fat, non-regulation guys out, then 90% of the reenactors and 100% of all the cool equipment would go as well.

I think most of the young healthy males that fit some folks image of what they want in thier reenacting units, who feel a sence of duty and respect for this country and it's history, are already wearing cammies and running around with a rifle.

Just my opinions, looking in from the outside.

#66 ColBob506

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:13 PM

I've put off jumping in on this for a coupla days to cool off.
Yes,I'm old at 45.That said I'm not fat,(but I know some fine reenactors that are)and as the song says I'm not as good as I once was but I'm good once as I ever was!I've had a coupla heart attacks and 2 TIA's,broke a vertabre on active duty and destroyed a disc,have neuropathy in my feet and arthritis in several joints yet none of the young guys in my unit would say I can't hang.Make the hobby better? I got an idea and with all due respect I am not singling anybody out nor do I wish to urinate in anyones wheaties,but mayhaps we could lose those imperious,holier then thou tight rumped jerks who do want to soggy up someone's breakfast food and with malice of fore thought make other people's enjoyment of the hobby be reduced.In other words.....lighten up Francis!My M-1 is for shooting and I bought the blank adapter I chose,a little long? yup,but I can change it out fast and easy it works for me...lay-off.I wear alot of original stuff cause I am the same size as the original owners and got it cheap and have had it for years.Elites? durn tootin,I've been a soldier,I'm in the hobby(only one of many reasons) to be a hero.
A goodly number of you have had some good ideas and all valid to some extent,but keep in mind it is a hobby and if we become too exclusionary it will become an incredibly small hobby.
At this point I will apologise to anyone who's feelings I've hurt,I don't usually vent this vociferously,but in my defense my feelings were a might wounded too.I believe this to be a great hobby and it's filled with a diverse and truly wonderful bunch of people and we should all remember it and extend creedence to everyone's participation.

#67 Dirteater101

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:14 PM

Ok, let me set this strait.

INTERNAL BARREL THREADING: If done properly, trust me I have done dozens of these. It will NOT EFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE WEAPON. I did this to several of my personal arms and have no problem. A few of them it improved the shot group by essentially recrowning the barrel. This should be your main issue, unless you are one of those sick types that dose not take their weapon to the range.

NEVER PUT A "RAT" BARREL ON A WEAPON: unless it is a machine gun with adjustable headspace this is a really bad idea. These weapons were not meant to have their barrels arbitrarily swapped out. And chances are if the rifling is gone, than the headspace is out too! And yes sloppy headspace with a blank can cause serious damage to the weapon and more importantly the shooter. Besides for those of you so worried about loosing the "collector value" of your rife by threading it, You do more damage to the collector value of the piece by taking off the original barrel than threading it.

If you are that worried about hurting you rifle, don't take it out, it is just that simple! If anything a threaded barrel will increase the value of the weapon to the right person. Comes pre BFA'ed! That is if you are a good reenactor and give your fellow reenactors first crack at the weapon. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

My pet peves:

THOSE FREEKING PROPANE GUNS. For the love of all thing holy please TURN THE GAS UP!!!! It will help to let people know that that grill lighter you have on your jeep is supposed to be a machine gun. Hard to take a hit when you just hear a faint " PPPPPPPppppppFFFFfffffffffffffff................................"

UNITS INSISTING ON "COOKIE CUTTER": Unless they are prtraying a basic training company this looks so bad.... No two combat troops looked alike. This axiom probably extended to the legions of rome to the way I have my pouches on my IBA. Yet do not go the other way and go for "uncommon". Uncommon gets you shot at usually. Few reenactors get that opportunity for that "wake up call".

FILTH: There is not enough of it.....

TRAILER QUEENS: These are the vehicles that never get dirty or have a single scratch. If you want that stick to the car show circuit. These are military vehicles, scrape off the mud and paint out the scratches when you are done..... I have lovingly restored an M-37 that I regularly beat the living snot out of on a regular basis. Too many pretty jeeps out there. I will leave the "every vehicle owner is a captain plus" Rant for another day.....

Avoid these sins and you will start to look better.

"Go fourth my children and cry havoc Just show up for formation in the mourning"

...steps off soap box........

#68 mpguy80/08

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:38 PM

I tend to agree with the lst few posts... I've not had my first tactical with the unit I've chosen yet, but I spent 28 years doing it for real. A few points I'd like to make...

Definite Do's:

Eating C, K or D Rations - Nothing would ruin the feel of what I'm trying to reenact than someone pulling out a Burger King Double Cheese Burger at chow. It's only maybe one or two meals at a tactical... Paint a couple of cans of tuna or chicken chunks OD and use a P38 to open em... it wont hurt ya. The D Rations were meant for emergency rations, not to be eaten as a candy bar. Three 4 oz bars is one full day's ration (600 Calories each = 1800 calories)

Wear period correct clothing: Even if its repop gear, make sure its the right stuff. nothing ruins the look more than M1956 gear at a WWII Tactical or Static Display

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk: People in the 40s talked a specific way. Not so much cussing. Learn period phrases and their meanings. WWII Soldiers didnt walk around with their pants around their knees, nor did they walk around checking their package all the time. Leave it in the present when you are reenacting the past.

Sunglasses: Unless you are reenacting a pilot, dont wear them... sunglasses were not that prevalent in WWII among ground pounders.

Weapons/Blank adapters: Try to have a period weapon. I personally have a 1955 M1 Garand, and a mil spec Universal M1 Carbine (lucky find there), and a Thompson Auto Ordnance M1911. All are unmodified and look the part. I too have one of those long blank adaptors for my M1 Garand. I couldnt justify paying $90, when a $60 one will do.

Discipline: Learn it. Get used to it. I was a Staff Sergeant in the national guard before I went active duty, and transferred to Active duty as a private. I'll have to do that again once I join my reenacting unit. Its not an easy transition, but its one I've made before. If you arent in charge, take orders like a soldier and do what's expected of you. Salute the officers, and say yes sir or sergeant. Get used to it on the tacticals and it will come easier during the displays. If you have issues, dont take them out in public. Suck it up and bring it up during the after action review.

After Action Reviews: USE THEM!!! They help you find out what went good, or bad. They help you find new ways to do things, and to get better at our hobby, which is to REENACT, not act up. Remember, a good reenactment will be viewed by those vets available to watch. Show them you respect what they went through by doing things as close to actuality as you can. A bad reenactment makes even the ones who did everything right look bad, and leaves a sour taste in event organizers mouths. The goal is to be invited back to the next event.

Chain of command: Every unit should have one, even if the unit is made up from enlistedmen. HOWEVER... I agree with Colbob506... Leave the holier than thou attitudes in your duffel bag. Just because you are in charge, doesnt mean you cant seek the counsel of the men you lead. Look at Band of Brothers... One of Capt Sobel's problems is that he had that attitude. He wouldnt listen to anyone, treated his men like dirt and alienated the very men he was tasked to lead. Lt Winters was a respected leader because he listened to his men, and valued their opinions. He may not have taken their advice most of the time, but he respected their input, and most of all, he LISTENED. The lowest private may have that one idea that will win the battle.

Weight: Again, I agree with Colbob506... I'm 48 years old... I'm not a spring chicken anymore, I'm retired Army, and still, I want to do reenacting. I'm not the 135 pound private that went through Basic all those years ago, but, I feel I bring a lot of knowledge and experience to whatever unit I join. If you limit the unit to thin skinny soldiers, you will be blessed with a very small unit indeed.

Its not a hobby for me... its the idea of making people aware of just what it was that us soldiers have gone through. I want to use my unique knowledge to teach others what we band of brothers have gone through to fight for the freedoms for the rest. If you are a leader, and you have no military experience, dont be afraid to ask those who have. No one will look bad of you for it. No matter what rank you hold in a unit, keep an open mind, and always be of a frame of mind to learn something out of every tactical or display. Isnt that what we are ultimately trying to do?

Wayne

#69 20thecbgreene

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:48 AM

I guess im unsure why some people reenact the way they do http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif , but I will say this, at least there is reenacting and lets all reenact how we each want to. I under stand that you may feel like not being to authentic for a tactical cause there is no public to do so. If that is how you feel and that's ok. I posted above was how i feel and do reenacting. My unit also reenacts all out like me. Sorry to u fend any of you folks out there, nearly adding in on how i try to do what i think right. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif again sorry to u fend any one out there.

#70 mpguy80/08

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:57 PM

I guess im unsure why some people reenact the way they do http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif , but I will say this, at least there is reenacting and lets all reenact how we each want to. I under stand that you may feel like not being to authentic for a tactical cause there is no public to do so. If that is how you feel and that's ok. I posted above was how i feel and do reenacting. My unit also reenacts all out like me. Sorry to u fend any of you folks out there, nearly adding in on how i try to do what i think right. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif again sorry to u fend any one out there.


Not offended at all here!!! You bring some very valid points to the conversation!!!

Wayne

#71 H. Chinaski

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:37 AM

My first post.... You want to be realistic? Pretend to smoke! 99% of the soldiers had this habit in the 40s... I don't smoke but when someone takes a pic of me in my impression, i lite a cigarette with my repro zippo... Cheers, H. Chinaski

#72 Armed 2 tha Teeth

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:20 AM

My first post.... You want to be realistic? Pretend to smoke! 99% of the soldiers had this habit in the 40s... I don't smoke but when someone takes a pic of me in my impression, i lite a cigarette with my repro zippo... Cheers, H. Chinaski


I think that statistic is on the high side. Not to mention that lighting a cigarette for every picture doesn't add anything to authenticity because every soldier didn't smoke every minute of the day.

#73 H. Chinaski

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:48 PM

I think that statistic is on the high side. Not to mention that lighting a cigarette for every picture doesn't add anything to authenticity because every soldier didn't smoke every minute of the day.

I take your point. But, apart breathing, what soldiers did every minute of the day? Cheers, H. Chinaski

#74 mpguy80/08

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 04:34 PM

I take your point. But, apart breathing, what soldiers did every minute of the day? Cheers, H. Chinaski


They Soldiered.... *grins* :rolleyes:

Edited by mpguy80/08, 15 April 2009 - 04:35 PM.


#75 H. Chinaski

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:27 PM

They Soldiered.... *grins* :rolleyes:

Also they thought of their sweethearts back home... Out of joke, often were taken pics of groups of soldiers, just to represent that sort of brotherhood and friendship that soldiers live fighting a war. When someone asked a soldier to take a photo of him, he often called his friends around him. Cheers, H. Chinaski


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