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What was the first fake you bought?


Austin R
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First time i was burned was on a Dallas Wing a gun dealer had at a gun show.At that time i had never seen a real one in my hand.Took it back to him 3 weeks later at the next close gun show and he refunded my $$$ after his partner shamed him into giving me my money back.

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Luckily, I’ve only purchased two “fakes”; keeping with the trend, both of course were TR.

 

The first was a Luftwaffe field cap. I was at Shupp’s Grove in Adamstown, PA and stopped in one of the militaria dealers tents. The tent is actually run by a young kid, maybe 16 or 17. I saw the cap and it was missing the insignia and had a couple of moth nips. He was asking $60, which seemed low but I thought maybe because of the condition issues, this was the reason for the low price. Being the tough negotiator that I am (in hindsight, not so much!) I talked him down to $45; I thought I got a steal and even started looking for a nice cloth Luft adler to add to it. Well, after posting it to another forum, I come to find out it was a Janke reproduction from 70’s. Prime example, as Dave mentions, of researching beforehand.

 

The second item was purchased with a pretty large grouping of miscellaneous US and German items. It was an SS marked parachute knife; Runes, RZM # and some nice patina! After researching it, turns out it is a fantasy piece from the 70’s. It’s actually a pretty cool piece and when you add up the value of the items I purchased compared to what I spent, the knife was essentially free, so no major loss.

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I bought an TR infantry assault badge from a shady guy at a Canadian militaria show when I was 17. It was only $18 and I decided to take a chance on it not knowing any better, the seller claimed it was real just in rough condition. I sold it years later for the same price as a reproduction to a guy who needed one real or fake for some sort of display, so I guess it turned out okay in the end.

 

-Steve

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These are among my first fakes. They were all picked up around 1980-1981 when I was 10 or so. The 18th Airborne Division came from Quincy Sales. I knew they were repros (at $2 each!) but they looked cool. I kept them as my patch collection was a big part of my childhood. My dad would give me $5 at each gun show to get some patches. It used to go a lot farther than it does now!

 

-Ski

post-3043-1318007715.jpg

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GeneralCheese

My first fake was a utility cap, but I only paid $3 so it wasn't a big deal.

The next thing was a repro medical bad, but for $1 at a garage sale so that wasn't too bad either.

 

The most recent fake I purchased were some Vietnam boots for $4.

 

So all in all, I've lost maybe 8 bucks on fakes and repros. :P

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I got an early 45th Division and an 18th Air Force patch from Quincy Sales, in the early 1970's. For those who don't know, the first 18th Air Force patches were made for a Howard Hughes movie titles "High Frontier" that was never released.

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I got an early 45th Division and an 18th Air Force patch from Quincy Sales, in the early 1970's. For those who don't know, the first 18th Air Force patches were made for a Howard Hughes movie titles "High Frontier" that was never released.

Do you still have the patches? They sound interesting.

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My first fake was a $20 pair of repro "Vietnam" jungle boots made in Korea from an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine.

Still have them all beatup and worn today. The 1980s were great! :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was probably not my first fake, but it is the first one that I discovered! It was shortly after this that I quit looking at TR items. I bought this from an antiques dealer (US Army retired) in Aschaffenburg, West Germany. He carried a lot of military, so I trusted him.

 

post-203-1319126104.jpg

 

Now before someone says that I can't post this here, I want you to look closely at the coat. It is a USN khaki coat that has been dyed black and everything added.

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I got an early 45th Division and an 18th Air Force patch from Quincy Sales, in the early 1970's. For those who don't know, the first 18th Air Force patches were made for a Howard Hughes movie titles "High Frontier" that was never released.

 

Actually, from what I understand, the 18th Air Force patches that were made for the movie bring a pretty good price these days. Check with our member Bob aka vintageproductions.

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dogfacedsoldier

Hey this is a great educational topic. Beast, I know the dealer you are talking about. I can tell you a story about original German jackets made from German wool, thread and buttons and interior material all of WWII manufacture. I knew the tailor well, and the jackets were sold as WWII originals. The dealer liked to think of it as a "grey area" in collecting and the repro.trade. I thought of it as questioable ethics at best. Those kind of ethics get you shot around here. I never developed any real interest in TR or TR rennacting. I am strictly G.I. I got a British made Ike off ebay a long time ago, bad pics, and all. It turned out to be a Korean War British jacket, with WWII G.I. insignia. All of the insignia was real, and I didn't mind the jacket, but I paid more than it was worth. Only other thing I got burned by were some Vietnam patches acquired in a trade. I did have a dealer accuse me of taking off a rare patch from an Ike and replacing it with a fake. How stupid as I never take anything off any uniforms I get for my own personal collection. I got it from him in a trade, and he wanted to get it back, so I did and he accused me of taking off the original patch. I had shown the jacket on the forum and a good friend seen it 10-20 times before I traded it back. I don't know what expert convinced the guy his original patch was a copy, but someone did. No doubt to get the named Ike fornothing. I saw the jacket later, and it still had the original patch on it. I just had it with some people, who'll do anything to get something for less.

 

Jon

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in 1985 I bought what I thought was a posthumous WWII US Army Purple Heart with original documents. It turned out the documents were real and the medal was engraved by a bowling trophy shop. I lived and learned from that experience.

 

Kurt

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earlier this year i bought a USMC grouping from a dealer at the Bellflower Show. there was a case of medals, 2 uniform, 2 binders of info, and a portiat of the guy. i bought it under the assumption that the medals were all period (dealer told me they were). i got home and the medals were all crimp brooch but the documents were legit. later i found out that the bronze star was added to the group and the guy only earned the PH. oh well, the great thing is is that i have a huge binder full of original service records, even an order that the marine be awarded the PH. this experience taught me to learn my medals and always check the brooch before buying.

 

Philip

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My biggest heartbreak was kind of a "reverse" burn. I used to frequent a gun/militaria shop called "Stans Military Guns and accessories" as a kid of 10-12 years old, in Old Town Arvada Colorado, my grandpa would take me. I found at a yard sale a super nice WW1 M1917 helmet, it was almost virgin, the gent who ran it, Steve asked if he could keep it in his shop so a buddy of his could take a look at it (If I remember right). Well, within a week I guess he went broke or something happened and I never got the helmet back, the shop was locked up and within a few days after all the stuff was gone. Im still bummed. Hell thats been 17-18 years ago already

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Not really a fake since its partly from the war, but my first estate sale find; two m2 ammo bags held together with two straps over the top. I thought it was a special rigger piece, untill I did some research and found out Surplus Store owners customized the large amount of bags they had after the war to actually get someone to buy them. With a entrenching tool in the garage still having a $4.95 price tag on it from a hardware store, I should have known! :pinch:

 

-Artur

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A 12th Strategic Fighter Wing that was very well done, but I should have known better as nobody was bidding on it. It was from a well known ebay seller who I assumed was as fooled as I was. Once I got it, I realized my mistake and destroyed it.

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When I first started out, I was burned on some German medals...vendor laughed his way to the bank. Then I bought some books, and felt a little enlighened...I descided to build a library of reference books before I gave in to this addiction!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I never got into "enemy" stuff, so US has always been my collecting favorite. I was a WW2 reenactor for several years (US), but a German reenactor wanted me to come over to the dark side. I just couldn't do it!

 

Many years ago, I bought an 18th AF patch knowing it was a fake/fantasy piece for a couple bucks.

 

I also bought a couple more USAAF patches, also knowing they were repro, to fill my collection. I've since replaced them all with originals. Any new additions get blacklighted & burn tested.

 

I bought a nice boxed Distinguished Flying Cross, named to John M. Raws. I've tried to research it, but always come up blank. Can't afford to buy a subscription to Ancestry.com or others to actually find out. So, it's a real medal, but is the name fake? I just don't know. I've had it for about 30 years.

 

Almost forgot; I picked up a repro M1942 jump jacket used in Saving Ryan's Privates. The 101st patch looks like a real one (no glow). It's marked SPR on the inside, missing the belt. I think I paid $45 for it. Nice quality piece, though

 

My 1911 was made by Armscor.

 

So I guess I never really got "taken" on a piece that I already knew was fake & bought anyway.

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The first fake I bought was not selected by me to buy it, but I was a victim of fraud during online transaction.

 

It was nine or ten years ago. Stan Wolcott sold me from his personal website (not eBay) "WWII era M1 helmet" -- of course "original", "genuine", "authentic" and whatever else of such slogans. His catalog of the items for sale does not have the photos of militaria offered. I paid and he sent me very nice fixed bail M1 shell with... Belgian liner.

 

A brutal lesson for the future... :mad:

 

As I remember from late gunboards.com our well-known forum-fellow Cesar Maximiano has similar experience with Stan Wolcott.

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