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Examples of Fake Fantasy & Reproduction Wings


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I see distinct similarities in this current batch of fake WWI era wings. All have incised stars in the upper portion of the shield..and all have brass "US" letters, instead of gold. Were these all made by the person? Any idea who's producing them?

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Looks like this is the place for wings so will give it a try.

 

Are they real, part real, or noreal?

The star appears to have been added on later. And then repaired again.

The star is possibly a rank insignia general star that was added on rather crudely the second time?

 

The pin assembly on the back may have been sodered on when the original broke?

 

Have at it.

 

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post-8808-1277154665.jpg

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Patrick,

Great questions all, and let me answer them and then I will tell you what I have been told regarding these wings (And again sorry about the pictures, I really need a new camera, it’s amazing what a 7 year old can do to one of these! ).

1. Yes, the hardware it 100 % right and matches other LGB wings I have owned.

2. Size: yes, Location: yes, Font: yes, LGB mark: yes , Sterling: Well I did have a problem with this, but I have since learned ( from this forum actually) that this in a valid mark

3. Yes, these have the patina you would expect of wings from the 40's at least. And they are very heavy, thick strikes.

When I bought these about 10 years ago, from a dealer who didn't usually sell wings, I was told that they were WWII era strikes (my word not his) . To back this up the standard balloon wing was on an old sales card, with the “"Keep em flying" logo”. Found in the 70’s during a base closing. Everything about these wings is stone cold right. HOWEVER, I was told by a VERY advanced collector that the rumor was that these were made in the early 70s by LGB, using original dies AND hardware. SO what do I have here? Thoughts?

 

Paul

 

I wanted to come back to this question about the wings. First, most LGB WWII vintage wings in this pattern use a base wing with riveted device in the center. I have seen just about all the variations, gunner, bombardier, navigator, etc. I suspect that this represents a sale strategy by Balfour; make a base wing and then add what you need to make it more specific. Since by WWII when these patterns of wings were being made (this is clearly a war-time pattern), the demand for balloon pilot badges would have been all but non-existent. However, I suspect, that like the 1913-style Military Aviator badge, Balfour may have put together a general collection of display or salesman copy wings to showcase their craft. Since they had no intention to produce them, they would not have

been made like the other wings.

 

I wonder (and maybe Cliff has some ideas) if the reason why the balloon pilot wings were so much thicker than the normal run of wings by LGB, if they did not intend to actually make a production run with them? Based on this, I would suspect that what ever LGB wings we see now may be restrikes from the original die that was made as a prototype, and doesn't represent an actual production run of the wings from WWII?

 

Here is an example of what a production run WWII vintage LGB wing looks like (minus its central device). And then a wing with the device riveted on.

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Looks like this is the place for wings so will give it a try.

 

Are they real, part real, or noreal?

The star appears to have been added on later. And then repaired again.

The star is possibly a rank insignia general star that was added on rather crudely the second time?

 

The pin assembly on the back may have been sodered on when the original broke?

 

Have at it.

 

post-8808-1277154660.jpg

post-8808-1277154665.jpg

 

Hello,

 

Hard to say, but I think it may have a chance at being good. It has clearly been modified/repaired. It doesn't look like it was done professionally, but I have seen some rather "ad-hoc" repairs using things on hand. I think you need to provide us with better and clearer pictures of the wings to see if the base wing is a good one or a fake.

 

Best

 

Patrick

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I wonder (and maybe Cliff has some ideas) if the reason why the balloon pilot wings were so much thicker than the normal run of wings by LGB, if they did not intend to actually make a production run with them? Based on this, I would suspect that what ever LGB wings we see now may be restrikes from the original die that was made as a prototype, and doesn't represent an actual production run of the wings from WWII?

 

Patrick, your belief that what ever 'LGB pattern' balloon pilot badges we now see are really restrikes is in line with my own because the company has produced restricks in the past and, for whatever it may be worth, I've never seen a legitimate WWII produced balloon pilot badge made by LGB. Adding to that, I have several biographical pre-WWII and wartime produced badges that when viewed from the back an indention for the balloon envelope can be seen that is deeply recessed into the badge. This occurs when a new badge in the master hob is struck from the rear by a 'male' punch to force the metal as deep as possible into the die.

 

Below are two examples of legitimate balloon pilot badges which better illustrate what we should look for when examining the back of such insignia.

 

Cliff

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Somehow I missed seeing this section of Patrick's post:

 

... is it me, but does it seem that the most recent Pink and Green book went from being a well researched and critical examination of USAAF wings, to a catalog of someone's very expensive (and currently being auctioned off) collection? :think:

 

Several have been sold for very expensive prices but are they all of them really as good as others might wish to have us believe?

 

While most wing badge collectors are aware of lost wax casting to make reproductions, how many know about another process called centrifugal casting? Centrifugal casting is a means of making better quality badges not possible using the lost wax casting method. The technique works something like this: With the aid of a small electrical motor an articulated arm is used that is free to spin around a vertical axle. The entire mechanism is usually enclosed in a tub or drum to contain any hot metal should the mold break or an excess amount of metal be used. Single use molds are first prepared using the lost wax method. Then a small amount of metal in a crucible (a sort of ceramic pan) next to the mold is heated with a torch. When the metal is in a molten state the arm is released, forcing (by centrifugal force) the metal into the mold. The high forces imposed on the metal overcome the viscosity, resulting in a finely detailed badge with few or no air bubbles. Similar results may be obtained via vacuum casting or pressure casting.

 

Odds are that no one is using this process today... at least not to any great degree but several years ago there were a few fellows around that were known to.

 

Caveat emptor and let those interested draw their own conclusions. While I am not implying that any specific badge that was offered or will be offered is a bogus one, it is strongly suggested that several of them deserve a much closer look.

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Every one a hideous fake.

 

Absolutely my friend! But big money continues to be thrown down for this seemingly unending collection of crap. Did you see the final prices on the five he listed last week?

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