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There's some "artist" or "ar-teest" that sets up at a local antique show, and has 4 or so "sculptures" of turtles, using M-1 helmets for the shells.

 

Thankfully, I haven't noticed any front-seamed ones....but it makes me gag everytime I see the guy.

 

They aren't that impressive looking, honestly. I hope his slow sales help prevent him from making more of the things.

heh-heh....I understood the distinction between "artist" and "ar-teeest!" Cracked me up! :lol:

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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Although this story is not US militaria related I feel it fits here. I know a family locally who have a relations Victorian British Royal Artillery dress sword, medals and dress sabretache. At some point they decided to clean the sword and sabretache with liquid metal polish and in doing so removed all acid etching from the blade and destroyed the shagreen grip of the sword, and in trying to polish the bullion on the sabretache they basically destroyed it, and what's left is caked in a layer of grey-ish white dried on polish.

 

I don't have pictures and would not post them on the forum if I did as it's not US militaria, but if anyone wants to see what a sabretache looks like google "Royal Artillery Sabretache" to see what they wrecked.

 

Matt.

Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

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I admit it. I'm guilty. But it's not my fault. Many years ago I needed a shoulder bag. I found this in a surplus shop and loved it. Perfect size and lots of pockets. I thought that it being made out of light and dark green material was pretty cool and the fact that it had a very faint 1944 date made appeal to the history buff in me. For the next 10 or 15 years or so I took this thing everywhere with me until it got into the sorry state you see here. It was only then that the whole internet thingee came along and I discovered that I had basically destroyed a neat bit of militaria. Doh! I rarely use it anymore, but I am still very fond of it and have it carefully packed away. Lots of fond memories of many travels with it near and far.

 

 

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I just want to say that I both love and hate reading these posts.
I have a small compulsion to want to make things perfect. After a few bone-headed stunts and the following complaining (or whining as my wife puts it) my lovely wife established a rule that I am not allowed to mess with, fix, clean, etc. any militaria I buy for at least two weeks. By then the desire to "improve it" has worn off I am able to enjoy the item for what it is, as is!

My poor stunt was attempting to clean the dust of a nice untouched WWI U.S. helmet by simply washing it with cold water. Well the water took off both the dust and a good amount of the texture as well. Live and learn!

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I admit it. I'm guilty. But it's not my fault. Many years ago I needed a shoulder bag. I found this in a surplus shop and loved it. Perfect size and lots of pockets. I thought that it being made out of light and dark green material was pretty cool and the fact that it had a very faint 1944 date made appeal to the history buff in me. For the next 10 or 15 years or so I took this thing everywhere with me until it got into the sorry state you see here. It was only then that the whole internet thingee came along and I discovered that I had basically destroyed a neat bit of militaria. Doh! I rarely use it anymore, but I am still very fond of it and have it carefully packed away. Lots of fond memories of many travels with it near and far.

 

 

Put a shelter half on top and on sides, an entrenching tool cover and shovel, lower pack and you are good to go!

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I'll admit one from many years ago. I had a grease gun magazine bag covered in that jungle preservative grease. Decided to wash it off in the washing machine. When I opened the lid later that day, all that remained was the lift the dot and the brass washer from the drain hole in the bottom. Not a stitch of fabric anywhere. Fortunately I didn't destroy the washer and the wife never found out!

 

Back when I was collecting field uniforms from the Vietnam War, I came to the realization that heavy starching was not good in the long run for the extended life of the uniform.

 

Starch tends to make the fibers of the fabric very stiff, and in time they can break.

 

Fair enough.

 

So I started a campaign of removing starch from uniforms as I acquired them. However, one of my first attempts was a disaster.

 

I took a poplin (as in non-ripstop) 23rd ID jungle jacket that was badged up with a brigade insignia, CIB, etc. that was heavily starched and threw it directly into the washing machine, warm setting, perma-press.

 

Well, this process removed the starch all right. It also produced a rip right up the center of the backside of the jacket. AAAARRRGGHHH! I did my best to repair it with iron on patches pressed into the inside of the jacket, which worked fairly well. But was definitely no longer in "original" condition. And I did that all on my own!

 

By the way, the right way to do this is to gently take the starched item and soak it in warm water in a bucket for about four days. THEN run it through a washing machine on a very gentle cycle. Works like a charm.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I bought a Posthumous Navy Purple Heart recently in MINT condition and the person selling it threw the PURPLE BOX and all the Paperwork, documentation and letters into the trash days earlier. He actually TOOK the Purple Heart out of the Navy Purple Box and threw the box away.

 

Ughhhhh

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Climate is dangerous for certain collectibles. Such as insects in Hawaii.

 

I once bought a wonderful Vietnam era 18th MP brigade arm brassard that had been made on felt material. It had cut felt letters that had been sewn on, as well as a local made 18th MP shoulder patch.

 

It had come in a zip lock bag, and I left it in there. It got buried under a pile of things on my desk. I didn't get back to for about two months. Unfortunately I had not sealed the bag.

 

When I finally did find it under a pile of school work and homework, it was infested with white, worm like larvae. I had no idea what was breeding in there, but they were merrily munching away on the felt.

 

I forget what I did next, but I killed every last one of them. This was before I knew the trick of freezing items to kill off the resident wildlife.

 

I mournfully put it away, and years later a friend of mine said he would love to have it for a display, holes and all. So it found a good home, but will never forget that lapse in judgment.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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One last one...

 

When I was still a teenager, back in a fabled time when random WWII militaria was undervalued and would show up in antique and junk shops, I came across a Luftwaffe anti-aircraft gunsight.

 

It was a neat kind of thing, and if you put a flashlight in the right spot, you could see a little airplane silhouette in the aiming reticle.

 

It had the original blue-gray paint, stamped markings, and a Luftwaffe acceptance stamp, complete with the flying eagle logo.

 

But with WWII being such a dirty affair, it had a layer of black dust covering it.

 

So being 17 and inexperienced with such things, I proceeded to wash it with warm soap and water. I stopped short of completely obliterating the acceptance stamp. It is however, forever blurry.

 

The happy ending is I donated it to I believe the National Museum of the USAF where it probably rests in their archives today. Or the Ordnance museum, one of the two.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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My story come from a WWII 460th bomber pilot in his own words.
He is still alive and won't say his name here.

He told me when was a kid his uncle Burt was a WWI Air corp airplane mechanic in Europe.

When he came home from Europe he brought home with him a WWI plane clock and a tail section off of a WWI German Folker.

Well growing up his uncle Burt was a great influence on him with airplanes and flight and gave him the items he brought home from WWI years earlier and was all for him joining the AAF in 1941 ROTC flight student.

He graduated top of his class and become a flight instructor in 1942-43

Him and his brother as kids had a big fight one day.
His brother knowing how much he love the items that uncle Burt gave to him his brother grabbed the tail section of the Folker out of his room and ran past him to the out side and threw it into the burning barrel and smiled as he said it was gone in seconds.

Never did tell me what he did to his brother but I end up with the WWI plane clock.

I too was even lost for words as I heard the story for the first time.

He has a amazing photo collection of his 460th bomb group and one photo he has was taken from the bomb Bay of his B24 on a bomb run with the doors open and below his B24 plane a photo view of another B24 breaking up and going down.

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My personal confession.... As a teenager - which was a LONG time ago, I had somewhere, somehow, come up with a 1950s USAF flight helmet with visor and liner. It was all white, and not too bad in terms of condition.

 

So what kid wants a plain old WHITE flight helmet? Which was not nearly as cool as the decorated helmets like I used to see illustrated on the model boxes for Korean War airplanes?

 

With that in mind, my old friend Krylon, in glossy blue straight from the Coast To Coast, was painted on the helmet. That didn't come out too terribly bad, and yes I masked things off, but the attempt to hand paint yellow stars on it - again, just like in the pics - well, that didn't go so well. So I had an old flight helmet with glossy blue Krylon paint and really crappy, poorly shaped, oblong, Testors yellow model paint attempts at stars. A bunch of stars. Like two inches across sized stars.

 

I think that attempt was when I realized no more "attempts" at things. I ended up trading the helmet off to a dealer when I was in my 20s, so it is out there, and no doubt some collector is wondering what IDIOT added the glossy blue Krylon and the calf-crap yellow star thingies. Now you know.

 

And next week I will tell you about the WW1 German helmet I repainted a Krylon green color.... Yes, I was a kid, and it DID need to be painted as it has been a rather rusty basement find...

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I have two to share- I met a WWII veteran at a gun show and he mentioned that he had brought home some "Nazi knives and daggers." Over the course of our conversation, he agreed to let me come by his place and see them and to possibly buy them. A couple of days later, I called the vet and he told me to come on by. When I arrived at the vet's home, I was greeted by the vet's wife. She told me to head out to the garage where the vet was. I went out there and found the vet "putting a new edge" on all of the knives and daggers with a grinder. He had put an edge on everything- SS dagger, SA dagger, police bayonet, and a lion head sword. Talk about making a guy sick!

 

On another occasion, I was having dinner with a much more advanced collector than me. While we were eating a WWII vet comes walking in wearing his painted A-2 flight jacket! (this was around 1981). My buddy struck up a conversation with the old guy and even bought him dinner. He told us all about his time in the Mighty 8th. My buddy tried like heck to buy the jacket off the vet's back, but it was cold and the vet kept refusing. My buddy finally made him an offer the vet couldn't refuse. The vet told my buddy to go get some cash and to meet him at his house. The vet headed home and we headed to an ATM. We couldn't have been ten minutes behind the vet getting to his house. In that short amount of time, the vet had taken his jacket off, and had proceeded to get some paint out and had been "touching up" the paint on the jacket. I can guarantee that the vet didn't have the same skill that the original artist had had some forty years earlier. I thought my buddy was going to cry. I can still see the paint runs on that brown, leather canvas.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Hey Guys,

 

This almost a wrecked militaria story ; ) Prior to my Dad's passing, he still had a couple of items he brought back from the ETO, a Nazi armband and a 70'' x 30" NSDAP flag. Outside of the RZM paper tag on the armband getting a bit eaten up by moths, they were both in nice condition, considering. One of my brothers asked if he could have the flag, fortunately my Dad entrusted both items to me probably because my brother mentioned he wanted to use the flag to cover his coffee table and who knows what plans he had for the armband. Ummm... :o:D

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Not as bad as some other stories here, but when I first started collecting about 5 years ago I didn't have much money so I would buy the more salty pieces of field gear and draw or freshen up the US stamp.

Collecting WWI 26th Division Machine Gun and Infantry related Helmets, Equipment, Groupings, Photos and Dog Tags!


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Here's one:

 

I've seen that and similar cuts made back in the 80's for troops who wanted a lighter helmet for FTX training.

 

I did it myself once using a 2" hole saw so the shell looked like a colander.

 

With a Cover over it it looked the part

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Not as bad as some other stories here, but when I first started collecting about 5 years ago I didn't have much money so I would buy the more salty pieces of field gear and draw or freshen up the US stamp.

 

Actually, I knew people who did that to their gear on active duty. Those US stamps tended to fade, so why not spruce them up with a black marker?

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Actually, I knew people who did that to their gear on active duty. Those US stamps tended to fade, so why not spruce them up with a black marker?

had several shirts over the years where the printed name tapes faded and the colored over them in marker to darken the letters back in

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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I think my example falls into a category of wrecked militaria. When you have a collection, you always worry about moths and rust and other dangers. Well this is an item that I always wanted---a Recognition Model made by the Cruver Company.

 

EBay prices were pretty steep for the common Messerschmidth or Focke-Wulf. I found a nice bomber that no one seemed to want and it fit in with my collection of militaria of the Italian Campaign. For less than $30, I won a nice example of an Italian 3-engined bomber, the Savoia-Marchetti SM-84. The bakelite was a little cracked in a few places and some wing engines twisted.

 

Photo of it on display in the glory days.

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I kept it on display in my office. Then I moved one summer and packed it away for a few months. That began its down-fall

 

Now the tail is broken off and it has major cracks that makes it questionable if it is safe to pick up. Some have told me it can be epoxied but the gaps in the pieces are major.

 

 

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My pet peeve are the folks that will take original posters and mount them onto foam core or even laminate them. A real travesty.

 

attachicon.gif resize laminate.jpg

 

 

You and me both. I was in an antique store a few years ago and there was an absolute beauty of a Norman Rockwell poster from WW2. The catch? Someone had dry mounted it to cardboard and it had turned brownish. ?

 

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My story come from a WWII 460th bomber pilot in his own words.

He is still alive and won't say his name here.

 

He told me when was a kid his uncle Burt was a WWI Air corp airplane mechanic in Europe.

 

When he came home from Europe he brought home with him a WWI plane clock and a tail section off of a WWI German Folker.

 

Well growing up his uncle Burt was a great influence on him with airplanes and flight and gave him the items he brought home from WWI years earlier and was all for him joining the AAF in 1941 ROTC flight student.

 

He graduated top of his class and become a flight instructor in 1942-43

 

Him and his brother as kids had a big fight one day.

His brother knowing how much he love the items that uncle Burt gave to him his brother grabbed the tail section of the Folker out of his room and ran past him to the out side and threw it into the burning barrel and smiled as he said it was gone in seconds.

 

Never did tell me what he did to his brother but I end up with the WWI plane clock.

 

I too was even lost for words as I heard the story for the first time.

 

He has a amazing photo collection of his 460th bomb group and one photo he has was taken from the bomb Bay of his B24 on a bomb run with the doors open and below his B24 plane a photo view of another B24 breaking up and going down.

That was a horrible thing to do. Punk kid brother!

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I have two to share- I met a WWII veteran at a gun show and he mentioned that he had brought home some "Nazi knives and daggers." Over the course of our conversation, he agreed to let me come by his place and see them and to possibly buy them. A couple of days later, I called the vet and he told me to come on by. When I arrived at the vet's home, I was greeted by the vet's wife. She told me to head out to the garage where the vet was. I went out there and found the vet "putting a new edge" on all of the knives and daggers with a grinder. He had put an edge on everything- SS dagger, SA dagger, police bayonet, and a lion head sword. Talk about making a guy sick!

 

On another occasion, I was having dinner with a much more advanced collector than me. While we were eating a WWII vet comes walking in wearing his painted A-2 flight jacket! (this was around 1981). My buddy struck up a conversation with the old guy and even bought him dinner. He told us all about his time in the Mighty 8th. My buddy tried like heck to buy the jacket off the vet's back, but it was cold and the vet kept refusing. My buddy finally made him an offer the vet couldn't refuse. The vet told my buddy to go get some cash and to meet him at his house. The vet headed home and we headed to an ATM. We couldn't have been ten minutes behind the vet getting to his house. In that short amount of time, the vet had taken his jacket off, and had proceeded to get some paint out and had been "touching up" the paint on the jacket. I can guarantee that the vet didn't have the same skill that the original artist had had some forty years earlier. I thought my buddy was going to cry. I can still see the paint runs on that brown, leather canvas.

 

Allan

Some if these stories are so painful to read....

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