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Trenchrat - Display work in progress. Opinions welcome!


TrenchRat
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world war I nerd

Hi Trenchrat,

 

I've been following the progress of your display with great interest. Like everyone else, I must compliment you on how you've presented your collection. It's the best I've ever seen. Excellent work.

 

On another note, I have seen at least three wartime photos of Doughboys wearing camouflage painted helmets in the trenches. True, the practice of wearing camouflage helmets was not widespread in the AEF, but based on the period photographs, displaying a camouflage helmet as part of a WW I Doughboy's combat uniform is the exception rather than the rule but technically correct.

 

I've also seen several photos of AEF officers wearing a "Sam Beige Belt", much like the one shown on your officer. The belts were comprised of a web pistol belt and a cross strap borrowed from a pair of 1907 or 1918 pattern suspenders. Mills also made something called an "equipment Strap" that closely resembled one of the suspenders mentioned above that could have also been used as a cross strap. I particularly like your modified canteen cover. I once had a leather British Webley holster dated 1918 that had a 1910 pattern wire belt hook sewn onto the back, like a canteen cover, so it could be hung from an American made pistol belt.

 

It just goes to show that when it comes to WW I field equipment just about anything goes. One should be very careful about claiming something like, "They never wore those," etc. etc.

 

Anyway, you've created a beautiful display. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Brian

 

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WWI Nerd,

 

Thank you for those awesome compliments ! I certainly appreicate all the feedback...

 

It's good to know that there is photo evidence of camo'd helmets in the field; on the earlier WWI Infantryman post, I neglected to mention that the helmet on that figure also shows signs of there being some blotches of black paint on it. it's not easy to see, but there is some there.

 

The fellow who sold me the pistol rig with the cross strap referred to the set as a "tan brown belt", so I guess there may be several interpretations? Either way, it is kinda neat...

 

On Romantic's web site "Doughboys" he shows a USMC officer coat with one half of the 17/18 suspender serving as a cross belt. Since seeing that I have kept my eyes open for one of those on the loose.

 

As for the "equipment strap" well, I am not too sure if I have seen one of those yet. I recollect seeing some sort of strap, much like a '36 field bag strap, but with spring clips, being sold as a WWI strap, but being not too familliar, I passed on it. May have been a mistake? I know in Hayes book on collecting WWI, he shows a similar strap as part of the gas mask carrier rig, but I have never seen a strap such as that used in lieu of the cord...?

 

Interesting about the Webley holster. Like you say, "anything goes", so, again, this makes one think of how many individual items are still to be found that have been altered to accomodate a particular need. Such actions may de-value an item, but such personalizations are true one-of-a-kinds. One of my belts had a pocket removed to, presumably, fit a smallet waist. Got it quite cheap, but, it makes one think of how slender the soldier was to have had to do that. Doesn't get much more personal than that, does it?

 

Anyway, thanks again for your comments. All of this just adds fuel to the fire of what else there is to find outside of the "usual"...

 

Glenn

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world war I nerd

Just so you know, the Mills equipment strap is shown in the reprints of their catalogs. And yes it does have a spring clip on each end. It sounds as if the strap you passed up was a Mills equipment strap. I had one that as part of a group. It was attached to a French made mussete bag that was lined with oilcloth. I didn't realize that it was a Mills strap until some years later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WWI Nerd,

 

Geeze, I feel like I screwed up with that opportunity. I thought it sure could have been of WWI vintage, but not being certain, I just didn't pull the trigger.

There has been alot of that for me lately...!

 

Welp, I will keep a watch out for those, or maybe go looking for such a thing...although, I presume that they are quite rare...

 

Thanks for the information. I think I should find one of those reprints...make better decisions then...

 

Glenn

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Good day all...

 

Pretty much completed the "construction" portion of the room this weekend...or at least as much as I can do at this time. The only decision remaining is the color of the lower portion of the walls. There is a chance of the room expanding in the next several months, so I only determined to complete that half of the room that will not change. The photos show the figures from 1916 thru 1918. The WWII section of a tad complete but it is that portion of the room I hope to expand...well, that and the portion of the room there the 1900-1915 figures reside...

post-92682-0-12681100-1395066661.jpg

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Overall view...

 

I Know the small stools look a bit odd under these guys, but I am trying to find a way to "mask" them...

post-92682-0-16416600-1395066812.jpg

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I am adding two more reconstructions to the lineup.

 

First is a reconstruction ca. 1911. This figure wears a 1907 pattern coat modified as per the 1911 spec’s. Oddly, only the collar was altered with the billowed pockets remaining, er, billowed. The new collar features the short lived “double disc” configuration. The coat is dated 1909. Instead of the proper campaign hat at this point, I added the 1907 winter hat for the time being. He also wears the 1907 suspenders and 1903/06 belt – both Mills stamped. Everything is super clean on this guy…

 

 

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I am adding two more reconstructions to the lineup.

 

First is a reconstruction ca. 1911. This figure wears a 1907 pattern coat modified as per the 1911 spec’s. Oddly, only the collar was altered with the billowed pockets remaining, er, billowed. The new collar features the short lived “double disc” configuration. The coat is dated 1909. Instead of the proper campaign hat at this point, I added the 1907 winter hat for the time being. He also wears the 1907 suspenders and 1903/06 belt – both Mills stamped. Everything is super clean on this guy…

 

 

post-92682-0-16366900-1395069056.jpg

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Another view...

 

This fellow's coat is tiny. If you have seen my comments on the mannequins I use, you may find it amusing that this one is actually a female form that was accidentally sent to me instead of the size 38 male I ordered. I decided to keep it rather than go thru the hassle of sending it back. It just so happened that this coat fit that dummy. I had to pad the waist with some foam, but it is a perfect fit....

post-92682-0-51307100-1395069363.jpg

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The collar...

 

Also used one of those small male heads I mentioned in previous posts...perfect match for the female dummy...

post-92682-0-84159700-1395069955.jpg

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The second figure is ca. 1953.

 

The helmet is a rear seam. The 52 dated M51 field jacket is just about perfect. The jacket cost me a wopping $15.00...

I have plenty of gear for this figure and hope to post that tomorrow...

post-92682-0-91225700-1395070140.jpg

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