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Thoughts on these wings please


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#26 bschwartz

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:21 AM

I think the Senior Service Pilot has a very good shot of being good. I have two of these wings, one marked sterling (with the correct small font marking) and the other not. This wing seems to have all the characteristics of my wings. I can't tell from the photos for sure if they are there but finding small pools of solder under the pin and catch are good signs. Both of my wings have them.

Edited by bschwartz, 24 September 2010 - 11:22 AM.


#27 rustywings

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:03 PM

Tino, thanks for the nice close-up image of your Senior Service Pilot wing. The more I see of your wing, the more I like it. As Bob describes, the faint signs of pooled solder around the base of the hinge is another good sign. Is the wing marked "STERLING"? Or is it the silver wash over brass style?

Lonny, I think you took my words a little out of context. I was offering up laymans opinion on this specific wing...not Meyer-made wings in general. We all have our own check-off list when trying to determine if a Meyer's wing is a period piece or not. The need for a crisp raised hallmark, a stop-pin and hints of previously pooled solder are just three of my requirements.

Russ

#28 John Cooper

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the close up shots this has been a very interesting thread so far!

I am now not liking either of these wings for two reasons one of which will be contrary to common opinion.

1) scratched off sterling mark
2) sloppy pools of soldier at the base of nail head type posts

I bought a wing just like this and once I had it in hand I knew it was bad. It had the exact same two points listed above. Under very close inspection IIRC I found it to be a very good casting with the soldier added to make it more real looking.

I think I may have posted information about this in a thread if not I will have to dig up the high res photos I took. More on this later as time allows.

Cheers
John

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#29 Tino

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 03:37 AM

All you guys, thanks for the feedback!
Interesting to read the different thoughts and concerns, good learning stuff!

Russ, the Senior Service Pilot wings are the silver wash over brass style.

Anyone care to evaluate wings 13- 22?

Thanks again guys!
Tino

#30 militarymodels

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 07:42 AM

1) scratched off sterling mark
2) sloppy pools of soldier at the base of nail head type posts


Thanks John for pointing out the scratched off Sterling mark as my eyes could not catch the scratch from the pictures, I thought they were there. I too had a fake Observer wings that had very good details but the sterling mark was scratched off and when I handle it, I realized it was faked. The material was softer as you can slightly bend it.

As for the #13-22 wings, it's hard to determine based on the combined group pictures and picture quality. However, I think #15 Jostens is good. I've accquired a couple of them directly, they're my favorite. I like #13 as well but I need to take a closer look. Not so sure about #14 and I personally don't like #16 and 17.
Regards, Lonny

#31 John Cooper

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 08:59 AM

I have not been able to find the specific photos I am looking for but I hope these photos from a post back in April help illustrate what some faker are doing to catch folks off guard. Here is a case wing which has been refined a bit and even has some added details i.e. soldier pools... IMHO all in the attempt to fake a real wing.

Thhis was discussed in the following thread

http://www.usmilitar...d...ic=72392

Cheers
John

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#32 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:03 AM

wing 10 meyer shield
wing 11 sterling marked
wing 12 meyer shield


Hi Tino,

I have to say, I think all are Meyer restrikes, even the senior service pilot wing (based on the additional pics you provide). The thing about Meyer wings is that sometimes determining good from restrike is an art not a science. AND, no matter what, someone will always take the opposite tack and disagree with you. Still, Russ and Bob are pretty savvy about these things, so don't dismiss them out of hand.

Patrick

#33 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:06 AM

wing 13 marked sterling
wing 14 illegible (ahio?)
wing 15 josten sterling


The Josten seems 100% correct to me. The senior pilot wing is more than likely a post war/KW vintage wing, IMHO. The engineer's wing is a toss up but I am leaning :thumbdown: . In general I have not been happy with any of the AMCRAFT-style wings you have posted, but I'll address that later.

#34 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:09 AM

wing 16 sterling marked
wing 17 meyer marked
wing 18 sterling marked


I got to say that I believe none of these are vintage to WWII.

The TO wing is clearly a recent Meyer restrike. One thing I would suggest you do is compare that wing to the senior service pilot wing. Look at hardware, finish, hallmark, etc. Side by side comparison will help you weigh the pros and cons of a Meyer wing. Use the KNOWN restrikes as a tool to help discern the questionable ones. Just a suggestion.

Patrick

#35 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:11 AM

wing 19 marked acid test
wing 20 marked acid test
wing 21 unmarked
wing 22 unmarked


I think here you are batting 75% good :thumbsup: :thumbsup: The two nurse wings (gold and silver) I believe are fine. The gold nurse wing is a tough one to find.

The 3 inch flight surgeon wing is also a good one.

Sadly, I have serious doubts about the airship wing. But that is a very VERY tough wing to find.

#36 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:23 AM

I wanted to touch on the AMCRAFT wings. From the front, they look ok, but I would have some serious reservations about these wings.

Here is a side by side comparison with one of my glider wings.

One of the characteristics of AMCRAFT wings are the way the wings are die struck. It seems that they used some sort of striker that caused a the metal planchet to be "pinched" up around the shoulders of the wing--obviously something that required a great deal of force. Usually, this forms a very clear and sharp groove (that is sometimes even closed) as indicated by the arrow in the bottom image. The rest of the back of the wing is totally flat. In your wings, the backs look to be mounded and have a less distinct groove. This suggest to me that they were NOT struck but rather cast. This is one reason why you don't see many fake AMCRAFTS is because it is hard to fake this type of back with a casting. Your flight engineer wing has a similar looks, which is why I am not in love with it.

Of course, not having the wings in hand makes it hard to be 100% sure. But in my experience, once you have studied a good AMCRAFT wing, the fakes stand out pretty strong.

Best

Patrick

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#37 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:27 AM

John,

I got to say, I was never 100% convinced that this wing was a fake myself. Just saying... :rolleyes:


I have not been able to find the specific photos I am looking for but I hope these photos from a post back in April help illustrate what some faker are doing to catch folks off guard. Here is a case wing which has been refined a bit and even has some added details i.e. soldier pools... IMHO all in the attempt to fake a real wing.

Thhis was discussed in the following thread

http://www.usmilitar...d...ic=72392

Cheers
John

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#38 rustywings

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:27 AM

Hey Gents,
For what's worth, the fact the Senior Service Pilot (#11) is not marked "STERLING" pushes me over the top as far as feeling it's authenic. I don't believe Meyer's reproduced any of their badges with an attached "legged star" that were not marked "STERLING". I know fellow collectors prefer to see the "Sterling" mark, but I think Tino has a very desireable badge in this piece.


John,
Not to play devil's advocate, but I see nothing wrong with your Flight Surgeon wing. Yes, the studs may have been repaired or replaced. But it has a nice authentic Amcraft produced caduceus applied...the wing itself appears die-struck. The word "STERLING" is a little blurred, but it still appears to be an Amcraft produced badge likely made for another company, hence no hallmark.


Russ

#39 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:32 AM

Hey Gents,
For what's worth, the fact the Senior Service Pilot (#11) is not marked "STERLING" pushes me over the top as far as feeling it's authenic. I don't believe Meyer's reproduced any of their badges with an attached "legged star" that were not marked "STERLING". I know fellow collectors prefer to see the "Sterling" mark, but I think Tino has a very desireable badge in this piece.
John,
Not to play devil's advocate, but I see nothing wrong with your Flight Surgeon wing. Yes, the studs may have been repaired or replaced. But it has a nice authentic Amcraft produced caduceus applied...the wing itself appears die-struck. The word "STERLING" is a little blurred, but it still appears to be an Amcraft produced badge likely made for another company, hence no hallmark.
Russ

Howdy Russ,

You and your "pushed over the edge" with NS Meyer wings.... wink wink nudge nudge say no more. :w00t: (I'll be posting an interesting thread about an interesting NS Meyer wing very soon which will make this clearer).

Just goes to show you that when it comes to NS Meyer wings, you have to decide what level of comfort you can live with and then be happy.

Tino, it looks like you have some nice wings in your collection. I hope you don't feel picked on over the others, but the ones you do have are very nice. That collection of medical wings is very good.

#40 militarymodels

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:45 AM

The Josten seems 100% correct to me. The senior pilot wing is more than likely a post war/KW vintage wing, IMHO. The engineer's wing is a toss up but I am leaning :thumbdown: . In general I have not been happy with any of the AMCRAFT-style wings you have posted, but I'll address that later.


Hello Patrick,
I'm wondering based on what criteria that you think the #13 Senior Pilot wings are post WW2/KW vintage?
Assumed they're good wings, I believe these wings could be late WW2 period as well. Regards, Lonny

#41 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:09 AM

Hello Patrick,
I'm wondering based on what criteria that you think the #13 Senior Pilot wings are post WW2/KW vintage?
Assumed they're good wings, I believe these wings could be late WW2 period as well. Regards, Lonny


HI Lonny,

Good question.

First, IIRC the senior pilot rating during WWII required 5-7 years and around 2000 hours of flight. Thus almost ALL of the pilots who earned their wings in WWII (starting in about 1941), would not have had achieved the requirements for senior pilot status until after the war. As you know, most of the WWII pilots would have left the service soon after the war's end (as the military shifted to a peacetime posture), and only with the start of the KW and the increase in reenlistment military service would these pilots rate senior pilot status. This suggest to me that most of the "late" WWII senior pilot wings are likely really post WWII/KW vintage as that is when the WWII trained pilots would start to achieve senior pilot status.

Second, this style of wing is common for late WWII badges, and I suspect much of the stuff that was made during the war would have continued to be used into the post war years (until after the KW, in fact). Granted it is impossible to know WHEN this wing was made, but from point number 1, likely it would have only be authorized to the vast majority of pilots AFTER the war.

Third, in my experience, early WWII vintage senior pilot wings tend to have a smaller size star. This is not a 100% rock solid basis of determining early to mid WWII and late and post WWII wings, but I have found it is a good general characteristic. Compare wings on Bob's site and you will see what I mean: http://www.ww2wings....niorpilot.shtml

Fourth, I have seen this particular wing in a number of groupings of WWII pilots. In almost all cases, the pilot served in the KW and it was about that time that the wings were earned (and worn).

So, I guess you are correct, that these wings could have been from late WWII time frame, but the VAST majority of WWII pilots would not have be rated for this until post WWII/KW. No way to tell when something was made vs when it was worn, of course. But, my feeling is post WWII/KW.

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 25 September 2010 - 10:12 AM.


#42 militarymodels

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:55 AM

First, IIRC the senior pilot rating during WWII required 5-7 years and around 2000 hours of flight. Thus almost ALL of the pilots who earned their wings in WWII (starting in about 1941), would not have had achieved the requirements for senior pilot status until after the war. As you know, most of the WWII pilots would have left the service soon after the war's end (as the military shifted to a peacetime posture), and only with the start of the KW and the increase in reenlistment military service would these pilots rate senior pilot status. This suggest to me that most of the "late" WWII senior pilot wings are likely really post WWII/KW vintage as that is when the WWII trained pilots would start to achieve senior pilot status.


Patrick,

Thank you for the very informative answer. However, if I recall correctly, the Senior Pilot Wings was established in 1937, it was called "Military Airplane Pilot" which required a pilot must have at least 12 years as a military pilot and a minimum of 2000 flying hours. The name was changed to "Senior Pilot" in 1940. I would think some WWI veteran pilots must had had qualified for this criteria around that time, hence, the army established such recognition. Nonetheless, I think the 2000 flying hours that included training and such. So from WWI until 1945, there got to be a handful of pilots qualified to wear the Senior pilot badge.
Regards, Lonny

#43 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:14 AM

Patrick,

Thank you for the very informative answer. However, if I recall correctly, the Senior Pilot Wings was established in 1937, it was called "Military Airplane Pilot" which required a pilot must have at least 12 years as a military pilot and a minimum of 2000 flying hours. The name was changed to "Senior Pilot" in 1940. I would think some WWI veteran pilots must had had qualified for this criteria around that time, hence, the army established such recognition. Nonetheless, I think the 2000 flying hours that included training and such. So from WWI until 1945, there got to be a handful of pilots qualified to wear the Senior pilot badge.
Regards, Lonny


Hi Lonny,

No doubt pilots who earned their wings in the 20's and 30's would have been more than likely certified for the senior pilot rating by the time WWII started, but you have to recall that prior to the very late 30's, the US AAF was a rather small force. To give you an idea, only about 50-60 pilots, were authorized to wear the military airplane pilot badge in 1937 and the AAF was not rapidly expanding (IIRC they were only producing about 500 pilots a year at that time). By 1940-41, when the USAAF finally began to increase the number of pilots it was training, and the peak wasn't reached until around 1943 or so-- then most of those new pilots would been below the criteria for senior pilot status before the war ended. That is what I mean by most of the WWII trained pilots would simply not have had the time to be rated as a senior pilot (the wing in questions is CLEARLY not a "Military Airplane Pilot" wing).

That being said, it possible that some of the early pre-WWII/1930's vintage pilots may have achieved the senior pilot rating by the end of the war (and they would have more than likely been rather "senior" in rank), but I suspect it was miniscule compared to the number of WWII trained pilots who would have achieved senior pilot ratings by the KW.

To reiterate, I suspect that these could have been made late in the war with the anticipation that they would be needed, but I still rather suspect that they were made post war/KW when they would have been actually a greater demand.

Best

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 25 September 2010 - 11:26 AM.


#44 pfrost

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:25 AM

One other thing, I have noticed that sometimes collectors draw rather arbitrary lines in the sand. WWII always seems to be better or more collectable than post WWII or KW vintage. I suspect that the stuff made and used in WWII (be it late or early war) was pretty much the same stuff used in 1947 to 1955 or so. In the case of the senior (and command) pilot wing requirements, they were not likely all that commonly worn until the post war years. So, I guess a collector kind of has to ask, if this is MADE in 1945, is it less valuable if it was likely WORN in 1948? The wing is what it is, a nice vintage senior pilot wing that is likely "born" no earlier than 1945. After that, it is just fun debating for debating sake.

Patrick




Hi Lonny,

No doubt pilots who earned their wings in the 20's and 30's would have been more than likely certified for the senior pilot rating by the time WWII started, but you have to recall that prior to the very late 30's, the US AAF was a rather small force. To give you an idea, only about 50-60 pilots, were authorized to wear the military airplane pilot badge in 1937 and the AAF was not rapidly expanding (IIRC they were only producing about 500 pilots a year at that time). By 1940-41, when the USAAF finally began to increase the number of pilots it was training, and the peak wasn't reached until around 1943 or so-- then most of those new pilots would been below the criteria for senior pilot status before the war ended. That is what I mean by most of the WWII trained pilots would simply not have had the time to be rated as a senior pilot (the wing in questions is CLEARLY not a "Military Airplane Pilot" wing).

That being said, it possible that some of the early pre-WWII/1930's vintage pilots may have achieved the senior pilot rating by the end of the war (and they would have more than likely been rather "senior" in rank, but I suspect it was miniscule compared to the number of WWII trained pilots who would have achieved senior pilot ratings by the KW.

To reiterate, I suspect that these could have been made late in the war with the anticipation that they would be needed, but I still rather suspect that they were made post war/KW when they would have been actually a greater demand.

Best

Patrick



#45 John Cooper

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 08:38 PM

John,
Not to play devil's advocate, but I see nothing wrong with your Flight Surgeon wing. Yes, the studs may have been repaired or replaced. But it has a nice authentic Amcraft produced caduceus applied...the wing itself appears die-struck. The word "STERLING" is a little blurred, but it still appears to be an Amcraft produced badge likely made for another company, hence no hallmark.

Russ


Russ & Patrick,

I would love to think it is real and maybe it is since I value both your opinions!

When looking at it I found that under magnification it had evidence of what I consider to be casting. Additionally when I confronted the seller his reply was "what did you expect..." I think I was the only bidder. From this even the seller considered this a 'bad" wing. I do not recall what I did with that wing... I sure I was able to get almost a complete refund and keep the wing since it would cost more to ship it back.

I may have to send it to one of you guys to a hands on inspection to see what you think when you have it in hand.

Cheers
John

#46 Tino

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:03 AM

Hi guys,
Thanks again for your expert opinions!

No worries Patrick, I don't feel picked on or bad about the "bad" wings.
I had a chance to buy all the wings in one package deal, I did my homework as best as I could before I purchased the lot and realized there were some questionable pieces in there.
You buy the good with the bad and adjust the price accordingly.

Overall I did pretty good spotting the bad ones, for the most part I spotted the same questionable wings, however I did think (hoped) the wasp wing was a good one.

Yesterday I took the three questionable wings (engineer and the 2 amcraft wings) to 2 jewelers to find out if the wings were cast or die struck, they both thought the wings were die struck.

I am also willing to send out the badges for a hands on inspection.

Thanks again you guys!
Tino


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