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101st Airborne Re-enactor


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Southpaw156

Hello all,

 

I'm new to the forum, so bare with me. I recently got in contact with a local WWII re-enactment club and am looking to join. However first I need the gear. I am interested in re-enacting as a WWII 101st Airborne paratrooper, complete with the gear he would have had on the D-Day invasion. I have a few things but not many, and gotta get the rest. I know it's gonna be expensive, and I am on a college budget so it may take awhile, but I am determined to do this because it has always been a dream of mine to be able to share my knowledge of WWII and love of history with others, and in a sense, bring it to life. If anyone has any tips (or is selling) on how to acquire the best, most authentic looking gear and uniforms (or how to get the best deals), I would appreciate the information. Thanks!

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Hello all,

 

I'm new to the forum, so bare with me. I recently got in contact with a local WWII re-enactment club and am looking to join. However first I need the gear. I am interested in re-enacting as a WWII 101st Airborne paratrooper, complete with the gear he would have had on the D-Day invasion. I have a few things but not many, and gotta get the rest. I know it's gonna be expensive, and I am on a college budget so it may take awhile, but I am determined to do this because it has always been a dream of mine to be able to share my knowledge of WWII and love of history with others, and in a sense, bring it to life. If anyone has any tips (or is selling) on how to acquire the best, most authentic looking gear and uniforms (or how to get the best deals), I would appreciate the information. Thanks!

Welcome! I used to live in Jacksonville and worked all over Fla. with CSX railroad.

For my money,when I reenacted airborne back in the mid 90s,I got my helmet and

jumpsuit from AT THE FRONT in Kentucky.The web gear came from the extras bought

off other reenactors.You'll get other opinions from a bunch of other people but for where

your at ATF will get orders to you sooner.What you might really want to try first is to do

what you're doing now and that is get it from the guys here on the forum.I sold off my gear

in the late 90s.Anyway good luck.

Freddy

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RANDALL 1953

ATF makes great stuff and great service. Other suggestions would be to keep checking the for sale posts here or on any other re-enactment forums. Also Ebay where you may get a bargain now and then.

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There is plenty of field used U.S. WWII gear out there at bargin prices. If you go for the basic para, this should be inexpensive gear wise. The boots and uniform should be bought repro because we all know why. The helmet you could go a bunch of different ways. From my experience, Ebay seller 505th82ndairborne sells some nice aged helmets or J Murray Inc. or Toppots sell helmets with the factory look. It's up to you. I'm sure that the forum members could probably hook you up with everything you need or want. Good luck.

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Southpaw156

That's too bad to here you sold off your stuff. I would have gladly bought it from ya. I'm actually at Flagler College in St. Augustine just south of Jacksonvillle. Thanks for the tips.

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Hello all,

 

I'm new to the forum, so bare with me. I recently got in contact with a local WWII re-enactment club and am looking to join. However first I need the gear. I am interested in re-enacting as a WWII 101st Airborne paratrooper, complete with the gear he would have had on the D-Day invasion. I have a few things but not many, and gotta get the rest. I know it's gonna be expensive, and I am on a college budget so it may take awhile, but I am determined to do this because it has always been a dream of mine to be able to share my knowledge of WWII and love of history with others, and in a sense, bring it to life. If anyone has any tips (or is selling) on how to acquire the best, most authentic looking gear and uniforms (or how to get the best deals), I would appreciate the information. Thanks!

 

First of all, welcome to the reenacting world. Yes, you've picked something that is fairly high cost, but is oh so rewarding once you are in to it. I sat down and made a listing of all the items I have (keep in mind I can put up four different impressions) and found to my surprise I'd spent quite a bit, but was tempered by the fact that it included weapons too. Anyone wanting a list and the total, PM me...

 

That being said, lets start with weapons...

 

If you are able, I would get in contact with the Civilian Marksmanship Program. You can get a good M1 Garand for a fair price of roughly $600 delivered last I looked. You wind up having to wait a bit for it, but its worth the wait. You can check local gun shops or gun shows for deals on Carbines or Garands as well. I picked up a new in the box Thompson M1911 for about $465 and paid about $15 for double diamond grips to give it the war time look.

 

Uniforms...

 

Try to stay away from the really low priced stuff out there. Remember you get what you paid for. I would suggest picking up the M1942 Jump uniform from At The Front (www.atthefront.com). They have both unmodified and rigger modified versions. I have the rigger modified version with the elbow, knee, and pocket reinforcements, and I'm very satisfied with it. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that they are made to the original specs, so the crotch seam is single stitched and will more than likely blow out. A little pre use reinforcement of the crotch seam is needed. Other than that, the suit is durable, and looks great. They also have the M1943 rigger modified uniforms used in the jumps for Market Garden. The M1942 Standard set is $140, the reinforced set goes for $150. A 506th specific set runs $200 due to the added arm pockets.

 

Boots...

 

You can get boots from several different places... ATF (At the Front), What Price Glory (WPG), or WWII Impressions. I got all my boots from ATF. I have the PAratrooper boots, the M1943 double buckles, and the roughouts. All are good quality boots, and Colin has a good return exchange policy, given that the boots haven't been worn or treated in any manner other than trying them on. Also, if you lose an eyelet, you can return them and they will reset the eyelet. Boots will cost you roughly $125.

 

Helmets...

 

You can get a helmet on ebay, but you will pay through the nose. ATF has two options. You can get both the M1C and the M2 D-bail. Both come with airborne chin straps and airborne liners. You can get an economy M1C helmet for $100, but the economy model might have a post war plastic liner... I would spent the extra and go for the WWII parts model at $225. The M2 D bail will run you $275.

 

Equipment...

 

I use a mix of original and repop gear. This is where ebay can be your friend. You can pick up original items for less than the reproduction houses (ATF, WPG, WWII IMP). The trick is not to get into a bidding war for the items you want. If after a few tries at picking up the items on ebay you cant get what you need, you can always hop over to ATF etc.

 

You can pick up most of what you need (minus weapon) at ATF as a complete impression deal for between $585 (one uniform and gear) to $695 (two uniforms and gear).

 

I hope this helps you. I've attached a photo of me wearing the ATF reinforced jumpsuit, helmet, and a mix of ATF and original gear. This is the basic look you are going for. If you have any questions, please, dont hesitate to send me a PM!

 

Wayne

post-3743-1268845349.jpg

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  • 10 months later...
I'd be inclined to also recommend UP FRONT for realistic equipment..............

 

I whole heartedly agree with your assessment... Original gear is what you should strive for. the Gear is fairly affordable... Original gear and weapons will go a long way towards your impression.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Hello all,

 

I'm new to the forum, so bare with me. I recently got in contact with a local WWII re-enactment club and am looking to join. However first I need the gear. I am interested in re-enacting as a WWII 101st Airborne paratrooper, complete with the gear he would have had on the D-Day invasion. I have a few things but not many, and gotta get the rest. I know it's gonna be expensive, and I am on a college budget so it may take awhile, but I am determined to do this because it has always been a dream of mine to be able to share my knowledge of WWII and love of history with others, and in a sense, bring it to life. If anyone has any tips (or is selling) on how to acquire the best, most authentic looking gear and uniforms (or how to get the best deals), I would appreciate the information. Thanks!

 

You can use this forum or go to the WW2 Reenactors Forum for cheap uniforms. They'll be used but that's fine. Often guys are unloading them as they get out of the hobby. If the combat uniform is too large (within reason) then that's ok as WWII Soldiers often layered clothing underneath. You can get boots, gear and even weapons there also.

 

This forum is good for getting gear and peripherals. Don't bother trying to get an original WWII Para helmet unless you have a looooot of cash- If you're not sure if something's original then ask on this forum. You can get some original uniforms here like wools and hbt's at good prices as well. Original US Para stuff is as rare as a pregnant male unicorn so watch out for people selling anything labeled as "original wwii paratrooper" anything.

 

Ebay is a good place to get cheap original gear, or original gear at the same price. Often the original gear is more sturdy, even being over 60 years old and sometimes cheaper. I picked up a rubberized wwii mussette bag for $24. on ebay that would have cost m $50 as a repro. The original mussette is a beast as far as sturdiness when compared to any repro I've ever seen. Much of the wwii era gear is common enough so that you can use it without fear of not being able to replace it. I have two original mussette's for about the same price as one repro.

 

Beware of sellers claiming something to be WWII- often it's not and often they don't know any better.

 

Check before buying.

 

Rock

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