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Full-size mannequins....pros and cons?


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I've always wanted a full-sized mannequin to display items from my collection. Up until now I've managed OK with two half-mannequins which I endeavour to rotate at regular intervals. However, the shortcomings are obvious...no heads or legs..so my uniforms can only be partially displayed. However, I have the opportunity to buy an ex shop display mannequin...male (obviously!) and in reasonable used condition, but more to the point, rather less expensive than the new ones advertised on various internet sites! Also, it's not such a "pretty boy" as many of them seem to be today! So...I'm aware of the advantages but what about disadvantages...are there any? Obviously, I suppose a certain percentage of my uniforms just won't fit? Some WW2 sizes are typically in the 36" range so below what would be considered an average size...if indeed the mannequin is "Mr Average"? Also, I recall a friend of mine buying an ex-shop mannequin but having to saw off half of each foot in order to get the boots on and off! :o

 

I know a number of you out there have such mannequins...some of you have several...and they seem to work for you. So, any tips and/or advise would be much appreciated, before I take the plunge and part with my hard-earned cash (about $100) Thank you!

"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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Full size ones can make a great display but as stated the boots/shoes can be a big issue.I have seen some guys split original shoes getting them on.Even worse I have seen them cut the shoes open in the back to fit.

 

One thing to consider is how the base attaches as well.Some of the rods used to secure the man dolly to the base will get in the way of the shoes or the uniform itself.Had severval expeiances where the base wasnt able to be used and the mannequin will fall over causing broken arms,hands or cracked body and head.I use to do a lot of displays but tend to do less or smaller displays now as the wear and tear on the mannequins and display items takes a toll.Plus they are expensive to replace if to damaged.

 

All in all they do make a very visual display and you can add a lot of things to them as well.

 

Good luck

 

RD

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On the half mannequin, I know a friend who uses the styrofoam heads on top, using a PCV pipe glued into head and body. Looks good. I have seen very impressive full size mannequins, and half. The half look good, and some just display the boots or shoes in front. No pants, yet everything else can be displayed on the half mannequins. My next ones will be the half ones.

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Full size will also take up more room. Now I am assuming you have plenty of room to play with so that may not be an issue. I didnt see you mention a size of the mannequin in question so I would def measure it to see the chest size. I would think that with a full size mannequin you would do your rotation of uniforms as you say you do with the halfsize? I would think it would be reserved for something special to display all the time? I think the full size display really makes your uniform pop and have some life. If you have the extra cash to buy one I would say do it! I am a fan of the home made full size with boards and a pillow and just sitting the shoes on the ground under the pants.

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I also have a couple dozen of what I call 3/4 style.THey are a form that has the neck,shoulders and full torso to the knees.They are great for uniforms and even field uniform displays.Plus they are made of flesh tone plastic and fairly light weight and less prone to damage when transporting.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Just one more thought ( at least the way I think ^_^ ), half mannequins allow us to show off what we really want to show - the jackets and hats! I mean pants are pants they dont really change much. The bread and butter of displays in normally the jackets or torso area.

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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Good advice from everyone, I will say that there is nothing like a full mannequin for a display. Half mannequins are fine and great for many applications, but it breaks the illusion because you can't really visualize the complete display.

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Thanks for your advice and comments so far guys. I'm listening! ;)

"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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IMO it totally depends what kind of display.

if you just have items setting for viewing.. then a half mannequin works well.

if you are trying to set up a "scene".. you absolutely need full mannequins.

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half mannequins allow us to show off what we really want to show - the jackets and hats! I mean pants are pants they dont really change much.

 

But in my opinion the shoes or boots do...

 

I am all in favor of torsos for jackets only, but once you add gear and equipment, then it has to be a full mannequin....

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I've thought of getting a couple of full size mannequins but space is an issue, so I have 3 torso display stands and one that has half legs (to the thigh) which is cool for showing the pants. I'm just working on my new war room right now and setting up my uniform display torsos so when I get it all finalized I'll post them for viewing.

 

...and by the way Ian, when we refer to pants over here, we actually mean trousers in UK-speak, as I understand "pants" has a different meaning over there :)

 

Rick

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I have six half mannequins and one full mannequin to display my items on. Both half their advantages and disdvantages, but since you asked about the full mannequin, I'll stick to that.

 

One of the big advantages of a full mannequin is that you are able to dress them in everything. With a half mannequin, I can't add a holster, belt knife, etc. With a full mannequin, I can add a drop leg holster, extra ammo pouches, and a knife. In my opinion, there is nothing better looking than a fully dressed mannequin.

 

There are are several disadvantages to a full mannequin. Ron really nailed it in his comment. Due to the steel rod in the leg and the mannequin being made of a composite material, routinely changing the pants can cause wear and breakage over time.

 

Also, putting boots on my mannequin is impossible. I refuse to cut up a good pair of boots just to have them on display.

 

Lastly, I find that getting the pants on the mannequin to be a job. That is why I rarely change the pants that are on mine.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Hi Ian

 

I would would agree with all of the above...

 

But

 

I am in a similar position, but i am struggerling to justify spending money on mannequins. Because the only ones i can find that have the right pose and don't look too campe are over 500 euro's about $800....

 

If i am going to spend the money i want it to look right....

 

But do let me know if you have any better options...

 

Regards

 

Tom

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I've had a few, but they take up a lot of room and they scare pets and small children (and I've got a lot of both...) So, only torso forms for me...

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I've thought of getting a couple of full size mannequins but space is an issue, so I have 3 torso display stands and one that has half legs (to the thigh) which is cool for showing the pants. I'm just working on my new war room right now and setting up my uniform display torsos so when I get it all finalized I'll post them for viewing.

 

...and by the way Ian, when we refer to pants over here, we actually mean trousers in UK-speak, as I understand "pants" has a different meaning over there :)

 

Rick

 

Yes, it does Rick....but these days it's interchangeable! :lol:

"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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How stable are they with a full load of web-gear and maybe a slung rifle?

"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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I've had a few, but they take up a lot of room and they scare pets and small children (and I've got a lot of both...) So, only torso forms for me...

I used to put my fully dressed mannequin right outside my daughter's bedroom door and just wait for the scream. It was all in good fun though and she would always find a way to get back at me.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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I like mannequins with heads - without them it's a bear to display hats and helmets and sticking a foam head on top of a mannequin looks funky.

 

I like these these 3/4th mannequins from amazon.com that have heads. These are US $79 each and don't have stands, but I have a similar mannequin (with no head) and a stand that would be easy to duplicate: attach a threaded pipe flange to the bottom of one leg, and a similar flange to a wooden base. After you put the pants on the mannequin, you screw a galvanized pipe into the flanges.

 

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How stable are they with a full load of web-gear and maybe a slung rifle?

They can be a bit front heavy when loaded with gear, so what I do is run a very high-tensile strength fishing line from the neck or top of the torso mannequin and run it to a small eye screw in the wall behind it, or if you can place it near a door frame, I set the eye screw into the edge of the wood frame, that way it saves a hole in the wall and it's more secure.

 

Rick

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They can be a bit front heavy when loaded with gear, so what I do is run a very high-tensile strength fishing line from the neck or top of the torso mannequin and run it to a small eye screw in the wall behind it, or if you can place it near a door frame, I set the eye screw into the edge of the wood frame, that way it saves a hole in the wall and it's more secure.

 

Rick

 

Typical Canuck ingenuity! Thanks Rick! ;)

"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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Gentlemen all...thank you very much for sharing your experiences. Much appreciated! ;)

"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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How stable are they with a full load of web-gear and maybe a slung rifle?

Mine has a large wooden base plate, so I have had no trouble whatsoever with having mine loaded with gear.

Always looking for US and foreign militaria from the Central American wars circa 1970-1990

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Ian i have a better idea !! why not use one of my mannequins !! so much more realistic and most of the gear is made to suit him !!! :D

 

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