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Filling out that empty gear


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I have a question for everyone, and I apologize if this has already been covered or part of this should be posted in preservation. When you display an ammo belt on a mannequin, what do you guys use to give the pockets a "full" look? I know I could use dummy ammo or even empty brass on stripper clips, but I'm worried about the brass corroding or adding unneeded weight. I currently have a mounted ammo belt that I cut some cardboard to fit the pockets and the same for the pistol mag pouch. Plus this route would save the unnecessary weight from being placed on the gear and uniform. Is this a no-no, or safe for the long haul? Also anyone with a M1910 haversack display, what do you do when you don't actually have a full pack of original equipment? I'm looking for a way to also give it a full look minus all the equipment actually being inside. I think what I am going for would be called the "short roll" (no shelter half or rations) Ideas and input are greatly appreciated. Thank You

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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Over time, the acids in the cardboard could discolor the item, or absorb moisture and cause molding. I sometimes use scrap material, old white tee shirt or un bleached muslin. Looks ok and is safer that many materials. Polly fiber batting may also be ok to use, but I have not looked into it too deeply. The full pack is more of a challenge. I think Styrofoam blocks covered with a vapor barrier and acid free cloth would do the trick.

Preservation is part common sense and part science. You want to reduce unnecessary strain on materials, control humidity, prevent damage from corrosion (oxidation) caused when certain materials come in contact with each other. Like brass & leather, metal & canvas, oils & cloth. Sometimes tough to do if displaying assembled equipment.

Good luck with your display. Post some photos when your done.

Collecting and learning since 1970

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Life Member, Disabled American Veterans
Member Dorsey-Liberty Post 14, American Legion

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Thanks, I will definitely be making a change then. What about using the acid-free foam board cut to fit and layered then wrapped in a safe, inert cloth? Or is only the paper part of the foam board acid-free and I still have the possibility of off gassing from the foam itself?

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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You nailed it. The paper part is acid free, the foam may be a problem. your plan of using inert cloth is a good idea.

Good luck.

Collecting and learning since 1970

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Life Member, Disabled American Veterans
Member Dorsey-Liberty Post 14, American Legion

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I just stuff some extra clothes or towels in a haversack to make it full. They're not that big so it doesn't take much to fill them.

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Looking for: Washington and Oregon Coast Artillery items

Any items related to the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia River and the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound, 1860s-WWII. This includes items from Fort Stevens, OR; Ft Canby, WA; Ft Columbia, WA; Ft Worden, WA; Ft Casey, WA; Ft Flagler, WA; Ft Ward, WA; Ft Whitman, WA; Camp Hayden, WA; and the following units that served at these forts:
Columbia River: 33rd, 34th, 93rd, and 160th Companies, CAC; and 18th and 249th Coast Artillery regiments
Puget Sound: 26th, 30th, 62nd, 63rd, 71st, 85th, 92nd, 94th, 106th, 108th, 126th, 149th, and 150th Companies, CAC; and 14th and 248th Coast Artillery regiments

Coast Defense Study Group member & site representative for the Columbia River forts

ASMIC member

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A friend of mine cut up some wedge-shaped wood blocks, painted 'em dark grey and uses them as fillers in his rifle belt pockets. Does the job!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Thanks everyone for the reply. Sabrejet, it the paint going to be a long-term concern? I know I am getting deeper into the hobby, but I would like to avoid making a mistake. Any thoughts?

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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So don't paint the wood! I think you're in grave danger of driving yourself insane worrying about the consequences of every little action! Example....collectors go on about the potential dangers of using polystyrene heads to display helmets because of their chemical make up. I've got mint WW2 helmets which have been on polystyrene heads for 20+ years in some cases. The sweatbands which are in contact with the polystyrene 24/7 are still in perfect condition. I don't lose any sleep over it. They're already 70+ years old and will certainly out-live me! ;)

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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So don't paint the wood! I think you're in grave danger of driving yourself insane worrying about the consequences of every little action! Example....collectors go on about the potential dangers of using polystyrene heads to display helmets because of their chemical make up. I've got mint WW2 helmets which have been on polystyrene heads for 20+ years in some cases. The sweatbands which are in contact with the polystyrene 24/7 are still in perfect condition. I don't lose any sleep over it. They're already 70+ years old and will certainly out-live me! ;)

 

You are right. I think I may be going too far. Most of my small collection is WWI and it has lasted this long. I think that I may be able to do the cardboard. I'll wrap it with some cotton fabric to create a "barrier" between the ammo belt and cardboard and call it done. Thanks for your always sound advice.

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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I have used bubble-wrap, folded into the rectangular or other shape required. If worried about chemical seepage, just wrap them with acid-free paper -- such as some stores (crockery, household stuff) have in great supply at the check-out lanes. A musette filled with bubble-wrap is quite light.

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Thanks for all of the insight. I picked up some unbleached, 100% cotton muslin and some acid free paper. The paper was from an art sketch book. So I am cutting, folding, and stuffing my 3 WWI ammo belts. Thanks again for the replies. Mike M

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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