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Fake Vietnam insignia


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vintageproductions

Those 173rd were made in the early 90's. The same person who sold these also had jump wings, Branch insignia plus numerous other shoulder patches. Like Gil said they were made for re-enactors in Hong Kong. When you actually hold one of these in your hands you can see instantly they are not real.

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VAWARMEMORIAL

I was at a show a few years ago and this guy had a bin of reproduction "in country made patches" he sold them as reproductions but he had about 200 different patches and 100 of each one. They were really nice looking, all were hand made and made with natural fibers and dies I am sure that they are now being sold as real on ebay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is a very well known and respected dealer from Northern Virginia who has a wide offering of reproduction patches currently being made in Vietnam. He sells them as such and priced appropriately.

 

See the thread:

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...t=0&start=0

 

Please post on that thread any comments about the patches you may see there.

 

I do have a book planned on the patches being made in Vietnam, but I have found it almost impossible to get ahead of them!

 

If you would like to see a selection being offered by one vendor, check out the following website (it takes awhile to load):

 

http://peacefulpigs.com/catalog/index.php

 

And yes, you are reading correctly... these are being sold direct from Dalat, Vietnam.

 

One thing that the folks at Peaceful Pigs managed to do was to drive a lot of shysters OUT of the market by undercutting their overblown prices. From what I am told, they get a lot of business from veterans who want their unit patch, but do not want to pay ridiculous prices for them. I imagine they do well with reenactors as well.

 

If you are going to collect in this field, I recommend picking up a few known but inexpensive reproductions and keep them on hand to compare with items you find at shows or auctions.

George_1.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Justin,

Are you askng if Peacefulpigs make repro covers? I do not think repro covers are being made with so many orginal covers still out there being sold buy vendors and on e-bay..

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  • 3 weeks later...
usmc-collector

ok some more patches, I think all of them are reproductions/fakes or novelty patches, any comments appreciated

 

front side

 

post-31-1202235723.jpg

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Well... let me see if I can take this apart....

 

Starting with the two VNMC pocket patches. The top one looks like it was poorly done by a hand guided sewing machine. There are a lot of similar patches currently being made in Vietnam right now for the tourist trade. Typically the embroidery is somewhat thick, clumsy and lacking in detail. This lacks the fine thread and detail of wartime made examples.

 

Also note that while the patch looks worn and "aged", there are no holes around the border to show that it was ever actually sewn onto a uniform. This is a common mistake for many repro artists.

 

Many repro patches of this type have excess cloth folded over the back. This one has been trimmed to the border.

 

The second one has been mass produced by a large machine loom. This is also typical of the current repros in the tourist market. Because of the machine process, many of the fine details are missing. This type of embroidery was not used during the period.

 

The winged skull is supposed to be a USMC Force Recon wing. I am not expert on these, but most of the originals I have seen have been in color and hand embroidered.

 

The patch with the wings and air tanks is for an RVN Frogman. The example shown in Cecil Smyth's books differs in many details. The wings should be segmented, the bar across the top of the tank should have four sections, and the entire badge should have a white border. Also, this is cut square... more typically such a badge would of had excess material folded at the edges. Sewing on a badge like this straight to the uniform would result in frayed edges. The embroidery, while detailed, looks weak.

 

The green ARVN jump wings look US made on cotton OG-107 material. These were sold in the US Army PX for wear by US troops. It is okay, but hard to date. It could be from the wartime period, or later into the 1970's.

 

The black ARVN jump wings appears to be a modern reproduction. The stitch pattern in the parachute canopy betrays them. I am willing to bet the thread is synthetic. Interestingly they look to have been genuinely worn. They may have been worn post war by a veteran.

 

If you want an excellent book on ARVN Airborne Insignia, check out the book by Harry Pugh.

 

I tried to find a website with good photos of VNMC/ TQLC insignia, but was unsuccessful. Sorry.

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My first serious post ...

 

Below are pictures taken from a militaria shop in Hong Kong in 1985-86 - even back then there was a plethora of fakes being produced. What got me suspicious was that all of the arcs were done in the same style - even when for different units. By then they were also producing replicas of VN printed insignia and the first of the bevo copies started appearing. US and VN militaria have always been popular in the Far East (HK and Japan specifically) and it is no surprise then and now to see the occasional individual walking down the street wearing fully and correctly badged combat jackets as streetwear.

 

HKShop.jpg

 

I will place another post in the 'Insignia' section of this forum of some patches I have collected over the years of items which may/may not be genuine - my second serious post!

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  • 1 month later...
ok some more patches, I think all of them are reproductions/fakes or novelty patches, any comments appreciated

 

front side

 

post-31-1202235723.jpg

 

 

I've attached scans of what I believe to be an original ARVN frogman patch although you never know now a days. You can see the differences.

post-1389-1205426241.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
Jeff Ashenfelter

Tonomachi, although a beret flash here is a photo of an original ARVN seal beret insignia. I had posted these over on the WAF international section earlier. You can see the variation in detail. Jeff. Sorry having some size issues. Will keep trying.

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Jeff Ashenfelter
Tonomachi, although a beret flash here is a photo of an original ARVN seal beret insignia. I had posted these over on the WAF international section earlier. You can see the variation in detail. Jeff. Sorry having some size issues. Will keep trying.

post-2827-1207876223.jpg

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  • 9 months later...

What an incredible thread. I do have a question tho, I read earlier in this thread an MF patch identified and is legit, it has a gauze type backing, another patch later that's id'd as fake also has gauze type backing. I'm a bit confused and know next to nothing about these patches at present. But I seem to recall that some of the original VN patches I had acquired just after the VN war ended had gauze backing. Am I right in surmising that originals and fakes can have gauze backing? Any difference in them? I can't see a huge diff between these two other than the loose strands on the fake.

 

Thanks

Chris

post-5036-1231640109.jpg

post-5036-1231640252.jpg

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The term "gauze back" covers a wide variety of backing materials. You will find both fakes and originals made with a gauze or white cotton mesh back.

 

There is a difference between the two examples that you showed.. the width of the gap between the strands (or if you prefer, the "interval" of the threads). The Thai made USAF patch has a much wider interval than your Mike Force example. It may seem to be a small thing, but it is just one more way to separate patches as to where they came from. You will also find differences other patches with the thickness of the threads used for the backing, the use of reinforcing threads at different intervals, various materials used, etc.

 

As far as the black and white photo, the gauze back is just one aspect of the patch. Actually similar if not the very same material was used on patches made in Thailand during the war. This is what made me think that this was probably made in one of the original shops. Less convincing is the use of synthetic thread for the design as opposed to a natural silk or cotton. Also the shape of this patch was poorly done, where the period originals were usually cut more carefully. And to top it off, I know who was making them an that he was having them made post war in Thailand.

 

To summarize, a gauze back does not mean the patch is bad. But it may be one more feature to use to identify patches coming from a particular shop or source.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are a couple of interesting items that are currently offered on eBay as printed Vietnam War patches for US units. Opening bid $7.95.

 

They looked odd from the beginning, but I later realized where I have seen these before. See if you recognize them...

MACV_vnbuysell.jpg

1st_CAV_vnbuysell.jpg

4th_ID_vnbuysell.jpg

9th_ID_vnbuysell.jpg

173rd_ABN_vnbuysell.jpg

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Although there is some variation in the colors and design, I do believe these were cut from a Vietnam Veteran's flag. These can be had for $3.95 opening bid on eBay plus shipping. That's quite a mark up for just cutting one up!

VN_Vet_Flag_small.JPG

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vintageproductions

Definately not a Paki piece. Hard to tell from the photo but could be newer Viet made or possibly a Korean made piece.

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