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Steve B actually brought this up and made a VERY valid point....i think the dividing line starts between colletcors and re enactors at the FARBS.

 

Thos re enactors that actually with a little research could look so much better rather than the shambles that they look.

 

For those that dont know a FARB is a re enactor thats looks so hideously WRONG dressed up in WW2 uniform that its embarrasing to see

 

They not only in my opinion do themselves no credit but dishonour the veterans upon whose lives and sacrifices we can actually continue this great hobby.

 

I try to research the impression i undertake beforehand to do the unit/impression justice because i would hate to have an MOP.(.Menber of the Public) point and snicker at me saying my impression is wrong.

 

 

and with near 30 years behind me i think i got it just right..

 

How do you guys see FARBS and what steps do you take to get it RIGHT ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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usmcraidergirl
For those that dont know a FARB is a re enactor thats looks so hideously WRONG dressed up in WW2 uniform that its embarrasing to see

 

Oh, gosh! The Civil War reenactments here are FARB city. It is common to see these super overweight guys taking a knee halfway through a charge - no joke! ermm.gif

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How do you guys see FARBS and what steps do you take to get it RIGHT ?

 

I was in Bastogne 2 weeks ago as a re-enactor. I re-enact 101st Airborne , 502nd PIR and i was deeply ashamed of what i saw were too 101st AB re-enactors. With this i mean : black belgian army boots , postwar pistolbelt , 11year old kids with M1 carbines , .. . I was wondering what if some veterans see this ? thumbdown.gif That's why i was thinking of doing 2nd or 4th armored at events where there are a lot of BoB re-enactors. Even in my re-enactment group there are some FARBS , but there isn't any better club in Belgium which i can join. I was thinking of finding some club in Holland which fits me but since i'm just 18 and i'm not very mobile (don't have a car) it's kinda hard. The picture i added is 're-enactment' in Belgium. As you can see the material is there we only need the right people to use them.

post-158-1167818281.jpg

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Johan Willaert

And the winner is........

 

2006-042.jpg

 

 

The Jeep was running at 5MPH and imagine hearing a deafening 'Lili Marlene' coming from the loudpeakers somewhere on that Jeep... :rolleyes:

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One of the best shows for farbs has to be beltring[and some 40's railway shows] :D What a geek fest :blink:

 

Cheers,

 

Dave.

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One of the best shows for farbs has to be beltring[and some 40's railway shows] :D What a geek fest :blink:

 

Cheers,

 

Dave.

 

 

I remember Johan posting some pictures on a dutch board.

Here they are :

 

beltring5rb7.th.jpgbeltring1cp0.th.jpgbeltring6fc8.th.jpg

beltring2ot6.th.jpgbeltring4yg8.th.jpg

beltring8fn7.th.jpgbeltring3su8.th.jpg

Copyright : Johan Willaert

 

w00t.gif

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Jan we were at Bastogne too..pity there was no snow.......youre pic looks good at the top.

 

Lets not turn this into a "Farb bash" guys.....just get back on topic onto how do we re enactors do the research or how do we prepare to get it "right"

 

Forums like this and wartime pictures do it for me.

 

The biggest trouble that happens is people dress how "They" perceive the GIs to look

 

the two biggest areas of crimes against re enactors must go to AIRBORNE troops and USAAF re enactors....

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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The biggest trouble that happens is people dress how "They" perceive the GIs to look.

 

Spot on Lloyd!

 

As a dealer of (original) militaria, I will freely admit that farb reenactors are often a royal pain in the backside but can also provide some excellent unsolicited and unintentional entertainment. The authentic guys (and gals) are great folks to deal with. The farbs, however, have a really wierd sense of how things 'should' have looked in 1939-45 that seems to be based solely on word of mouth from their equally uninformed pals or just their own never-been-in-the-Army 21st century metrosexual fashion sense.

 

The most notable thing is this blasted "KHAKI" nonsense. Everything must be khaki (what they mean is Jungle Joe Tan), and none of the dozens of variant shades of olive drab will do. We get more problems from reenactors... "I am sending back the 1943 dated pistol belt because it is incorrect for my (D-Day to V-E Day) impression. This is olive drab. It should be khaki". What?! Evidently the members of this goofy khaki cult have never bothered to look at any original photos. We no longer argue the point (why bother?) but I think we will try to start getting some of these conversations on tape for entertainment purposes.

 

As to the weight issue, this is why I quit doing US Civil War events. Besides a lack of time, I'm just too big. I no longer look like a Civil War soldier. I now look like an average, had a few too many milkshakes middle-aged militaria dealer. I took great pride in doing authentic only events and invested a lot of $$ on my kit. Not going to compromise now only because it would be convenient.

 

Back in 2005, I had a great opportunity to sit and visit with several 'E' Company 101st Airborne veterans at the Show-of-Shows. We were at the same table together for about 3 hours - it was great! I will not mention the one gentleman's name, but I asked him point-blank: "So, as a veteran, what do you think of these reenactors? Do you take their efforts as a compliment, or are you put off by the idea that people are running around wearing the uniform?" He was very gracious. I am paraphrasing a bit (did not have a recorder running of course), but his response was: "I think it's great! It's nice that folks are so interested. It really makes me proud." (drumroll) "Except for the fat guys. We didn't have anybody that looked like that. They probably wouldn't have made it into the service at all, much less the Airborne."

 

As for vendors, there are some very good ones out there these days! Full disclosure - I am friends with Rollin Curtis. I am unashamed to recommend his business, though. Rollin has made a very detailed study of the uniforms and equipment, and can probably tell us more about how things were made by the contractors during WWII (US and German) than anyone else I have ever met. No vendor is ever going to be 100% perfect, but on the items where Rollin has invested many thousands of $$ on tooling, material, patterns, etc. he has really gone the extra mile to do it right the first time.

 

http://www.atthefront.com

 

Worth a regular visit if for no other reason than to check out his 'rants'. (located at the top of the "NEW" page. Some are shop talk, others have less to do with reenacting than just an expression of his odd sense of humor, but there are some real classics in the 'rant archive'.

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Johan Willaert

As mentioned before, too few re-enactors study up on their impression. Also they neglect the details that could make their impression just that bit more authentic.

How many of those WW2 GI's have chewing gum or chocolate in their pockets? Some spend thousands on their gear but don't bother to spend 50 dollars on a pair of period eyeglasses or vintage wrist watches...

What's even worse is they don't want to spend a hundred bucks on good reference books!

 

In the internet age and with so many books and info available, sometimes I cannot believe what stupid questions are being asked......

 

Jeff asked a vet what he thought about those re-enactors... I did the same thing at the Normandy Cemetery in 1999. I asked him what he thought about those 'GI's running around in full combat gear and armed between the crosses....

His reply was "Whatever makes their clock tick..."

 

I gave up re-enacting when the original stuff I used became too expensive to replace when worn out and when I had no longer the age and appearance of the WW2GI!

 

Johan

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My feelings on farbs pretty much echos what Lloyd and Johan Willaert have already said.

 

I wonder, though: As soon as someone mentions farbs, why does everyone start talking about the fat guys? I agree that the Schultzies, baby hueys & blimpies do not represent the average WWII soldier, but then I don't think they are the worst problem.

 

I know a couple of the guys pictured on the big reenactors website, and have met a couple of the others. The two I know were both very upset that their photo was even taken. Not, as you might suppose, because of their fear of ridicule, but because they were already aware that their appearance was not consistent with the average WWII soldier, and did not want anyone to think they were trying to represent themselves as such.

 

I think the true danger of farb-ism is in the details, and the subtle, insidious lack of attention to details.

 

Here are a few of my pet peeves:

 

1. World War II in Europe was NOT fought exclusively by E Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airbone Division against the 1st SS. I know this may come as a revelation to many reenactors, but there were also non-elite units on both sides! Before Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, no one was doing 101st Airborne. If anyone did a US airborne impression, it was almost always 82nd because the 82nd started out in Africa, and fought through to the end of the war. Most US reenactors did 1st Infantry Divsioon for the same reasons.

 

2. There are now more jeeps in existence with 101st Airborne markings than there ever were in all of World War II.

 

3. The 101st Airborne rarely, if ever, rode in halftracks and on tanks. Go to any event, and especially a parade, and see how many reenactors dressed as airborne there are riding on or driving vehicles. Unless they were in the back of a truck or an airplane, the airborne troops pretty much walked everywhere.

 

4. Vehicles. I mentioned the plethora of airborne marked jeeps above, but here are a few more gripes about reenactor vehicles: Most jeeps did NOT have a machine gun mounted on it - anywhere! They were transportation, not combat vehicles.

 

Most WWII military vehicles did not have American flags flying from the fenders, windshield, radio antenna or anywhere else, particularly all of the above. IF they did fly a flag, it was a 48-star flag, not a 50-star flag!

 

Wartime vehicles were not properly marked in every respect, and were not shiny and new with armor-alled tires, chrome lug nuts, heaters, etc. They were used and abused and featured mud, dust, dents, scratches, trash on the floor, muddy footprints, etc.

 

The crews lived out of their vehicles, and that showed in the items stowed in and on the vehicle: bedrolls, packs, blankets, buckets, boxes & bins were found all over them. Many had extra stowage racks welded on. Most did not feature an example of every weapon in the US arsenal, unlike many reenactor vehicles.

 

5. Individual clothing & equipment: Most reenactors, besides being too tall and too well fed, are also too clean. Unless they are portraying a unit that just got off the boat from England, the reenactor should look like a soldier that has been living in the field in the same uniform for days, weeks or months. His weapons should be clean, but his uniform should not.

 

Not everything was "khaki." Multiple manufacturers made multiple items using mulitple materials received from multiple suppliers. There is no way that everything will match, and there is no field soldier in the world that even noticed or cared. An extreme example of this school of though is a man I spoke to at a militaria show. He had a 1942 jeep, and was looking for 1942-dated webgear, and specifically, a 1942-dated holster made by Rock Island Arsenal to go with his 1942 serial number range Rock Island Arsenal .45 caliber pistol!

 

Just because it looks the same (to you) doesn't mean it is the same. French double buckle boots, although 1/2 the price of repros, are not an acceptable representation of the US WWII double-buckle boots.

 

Just because the armored division patch is flat edge and does not have the nickname tab does not mean that it is an authentic patch. The army did not have the dark army green borders on their patches in WWII, and I don't care how much you argue, or how many you bought, or how cheap they were, they still aren't right.

 

Not every paratrooper had a wrist compass. Or a .45. Or a luminous marker for the back of his helmet. Or a folding stock carbine. Or pockets sewn on his sleeves. Or rigger-made ammo pouches. Or a short-handled t-handle shovel. Etc. And by the way, the first aid packet tied to the helmet net is more of a Market-Garden thing than a Normandy thing.

 

The modern GI angle head flashlights are not the same as the WWII ones.

 

WWII soldiers did not wear white cotton tube socks with red racing stripes around the top.

 

WWII soldiers did not have Timex digital watches. Most didn't have watches at all.

 

WWII soldiers did not have plastic rimmed, vari-shade aviator style glasses. Most WWII soldiers did not have sunglasses - period.

 

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. As they say, the devil is in the details.

 

I admit that there is a difference between new guys just starting out, and veteran reenactors. This is not a cheap hobby, and most folks can't afford to buy everything, and get it right, their first time out. I also believe that the reality is that there are often different standards between private reenactments and

public living history events.

 

Different reenacting organizations have different standards, too. There have been a few attempts over the years to come up with some nationwide standards, but partially due to the politics and squabbling between clubs, I don't think that will ever happen.

 

Thanks for reading my rant!

 

Steve

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Steve i and may be most will agree with you on most of your points thumbsup.gif

 

But i have to differ on this statement

5. Individual clothing & equipment: Most reenactors, besides being too tall and too well fed, are also too clean. Unless they are portraying a unit that just got off the boat from England, the reenactor should look like a soldier that has been living in the field in the same uniform for days, weeks or months. His weapons should be clean, but his uniform should not.

 

my grandfather was 6'6" and had to have his battle dress[im a brit btw]made for him as the max was 6'4 and 38 waist,I to am tall 6'4.

I'm not saying it was the norm but never say never ;)

with the to "clean" bit even hbts needed to be cleaned and not all gi's spent there hole time in the "field",i have spent time in the "firing line"and know full well how dirty etc you can get thumbsup.gif

 

Thanks for you input,

 

Dave.

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Steve..you have "NAILED" it in ONE buddy.....every Farbism known to man

 

Straight AAAAAs for you my buddy

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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I agree with most of the above, but I would like to point out that there is also a middle category of WWII vehicle owners who are not in re-enacting. I have collected US WWII stuff for about 15 years now, which is 2/3s of my life. I have an original and fitting US uniform (although I'm not an re-enactor) which I wear on parades with our jeep. My father however loves our jeep and other WWII military vehicles, but he doesn't give a damn about uniforms or the correct equipment. At first he would just wear his normal civilian clothes during parades, but over the years I managed to get him in a more suitable attire, such as a civilian pair of trousers resembling (quite good I must say) HBT pants, old style Dutch army boots which resemble WWII US jumpboots, a khaki shirt and a repro tanker jacket. Hardcore re-enactors would describe him as a FARB, but that would not be correct since he is not into re-creating any specific appeareance, but he just wants to wear some 'green stuff' to blend in with the jeep a bit, and he is too old to resemble a credible soldier anyway. That his attire is not correct on details couldn't concern him less. And there are many more vehicle owners that feel the same way; to them the vehicle is important, not the clothing of the driver. I think that is the big difference with re-enactors, and something they not always understand. :rolleyes:

 

I think you have to be a re-enactor before you can become a FARB. think.gif

 

Greetz ;)

 

David

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I think you have to be a re-enactor before you can become a FARB.

 

Humm.....i beg to differ on that mate..

 

Dave.

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usmcraidergirl

You guys bring up a lot of great points! Not much more I can say on the issue.

 

Of course I, as a female, have never been able to reenact in anything - since around here it is mostly just Civil War soldiers (rarely any women dressing up and when they do it is only for the wives of the reenactors). So, I can't say I speak from experience of a reenactor.

 

But, as a spectator, I do agree with what everyone said - the uniforms (head to toe) are very important to an entire impression. Yet so many of the Civil War reenactors here use those bargain basement places for Civil War uniforms. The worst one I've seen was a polyester union officer uniform with kind iron-on like rank on the shoulder. I'm sure people from space could have seen how bad that was! It really kind of hurts the whole idea of it.

 

Just my two cents...

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And the winner is........

 

2006-042.jpg

The Jeep was running at 5MPH and imagine hearing a deafening 'Lili Marlene' coming from the loudpeakers somewhere on that Jeep... :rolleyes:

 

 

Johan,

Is that a cell phone hanging on the belt of his jump jacket???

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