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There's a fine line to be walked in reenacting, just like in life, with dealing with difficult people (or reenactors who just don't care). Steve's right, the best way to lead may be by example. Yet some people just won't get a subtle hint and almost need to be hit over the head with the information. And some people will still refuse to budge. People are in the hobby for as many reasons as there are people, and each approaches it with different goals and interests and motivating factors. There's the side that says why do it if you're not doing it right, and there's the side that says a half assed impression may be the best history lesson that some kids ever get, especially with the way history classes are going in America's schools today.

 

If the event is just for the participants, then of course they don't want to look at farbs, but if the event is for school kids (I don't personally think it's an excuse) but there could be some wiggle room in needing a willing volunteer to give up a work day, or just deal with the kids. I have learned over the years that, yes some things are impossible to validate, and there's no way that so and so ever had such and such an item, but "there's always an exception to never." This isn't a new argument (as centennial CW reenactors debated wearing Sears work pants or original uniforms), and it will probably never be decided.

 

There's no cut and dry answer for how to deal with farbs except to play it by ear and deal with each one individually and try to have the best impression you can.

 

My two cents worth...

 

Steph

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Years ago, I saw a British reenactor wearing a WWII US uniform with merrowed 29th ID patches on both shoulders. I walked up to him and gave him a WWII 1st ID patch. I was happy to see him excitedly sewing the patch on after the removal of the others. I suppose it is up to everybody involved in the hobby to do their bit, with tact of course.

 

One thing I have noticed is the dislike between living history folks and reenactors. I personally feel uncomfortable wearing the uniform of those who served before me, so reenacting is out of the picture.

 

-Ski

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Here's a laugh for you. Think of it as those picture puzzles you see in the newspaper. How many differences can you spot?

 

Circa September 2007, my 3rd event:

2994848970010420891loYkiW_th.jpg

 

November 2008, after correcting my farb mistakes and adding a few pieces:

2778787700010420891EnKHVf_th.jpg

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Great thread. Being new to this site I thought I'd add my two cents as a re-enactor. Being a farb is in the eye of the beholder. We all make exceptions for farbisms for many different reasons. Good guys that may be too old or too big or even females that have a love of the history and respect for the veterans are always welcome in our unit. It's a hobby for enjoyment to be had by all and if someone wants to make the considerable investment to get involved in the outfit, we'll find someway to use them that focus on their strengths not their weaknesses. Many an overweight guy can take it slow and easy and be rear guard for the fast moving youngsters that have a tendency to outrun their support. Older members can drive support vehicles and gun jeeps and grab a rifle if they feel like it. In the tacticals, it's much easier to "get away" with these farbisms, and in spectator events, where there's more scrutiny, we don't try to explain away our bigger or older members. We emphasize the fact that these folks are usually more able to afford the very expensive vehicles and weapons and have the knowledge base that most of the "proper looking" younger members most likely can't afford! Not to mention that it's the older, bigger members that bring their son's and daughters into the hobby and help keep it going and preserves the memory of the vets' sacrifices. Don't mean to run on about this but I think all of us can find a farb just by looking in the mirror.

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Cobrahistorian
I fully agree with the statements allready made on the impressions.

 

Also a big terror is the way people carry their weapons (all types) around... Even the correct clad, equipped and detailed individuals. Like if they are carrying a M-16 or any other current model of pistolgripped automatic rifle....

 

Just a terrible sight and a total loss of the correct impression :(

 

I agree with most things that have been said here. Having been a Living Historian (I hate the term reenactor) for the past seventeen years, my outlook and attitude changed severely five years ago when I actually joined the Army. When I'm in the field carrying my M1 now, I carry it at the low ready, very similar to the way I carry my M4. It makes sense. A buddy of mine from my Living History group is an SF type. He carries his Thompson the same way. It isn't just a comfort thing, it is a survival thing. It was done in combat in WWII and is done today. Look at images of GIs moving through urban areas. I'd much rather have my rifle at the low ready so I can snap it up and get a shot off quickly.

 

When we started the First Special Service Force Living History Group, we set forth guidelines for authenticity that we adhered to strictly. Many units dont. I was at the Bulge weekend a few weeks ago as well, and there were two units that impressed the heck out of me. The 103rd and 83rd divisions. They were full of young guys who were doing a regular infantryman's impression. I had a particular interest in both of those units since my Grandfather trained with the 103rd and was in combat with the 83rd. These kids (wow, I feel old, I used to be one of the kids!) care about the impression they're doing and the history they're seeking to preserve.

 

I'm happy to report that there are groups out there that are making an attempt to do it right! Sure, they've got it a lot easier nowadays with all the repro stuff out there, but with quality events and quality units, cutting down on farbiness is possible.

 

 

Anyhow, stepping down from the soapbox...

 

Jon

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I'm not so much for the 'dirty and salty' look for living history, as would be granted with reenacting. If you're actually using repros in the field, it's natural to get them dirtied up and authentic looking, but if you're doing a living history display/impression, with real gear, there's no way i'd wreck it, dirtying it up, but rather just to show off the kind of uniforms they wore, gear they carried, weapons they used etc. I havnt really tried any, but would find doing these types of living history displays with REAL gear, much more appropriate than reenacting with all the khaki nazis and so called experts running their mouths off. I havnt tried it, as i said, but just know i couldnt handle it. There are farbs everywhere however, even on this forum, i remember a semi-argument that came up about a person's display, who this person swore black and blue that not a single soldier anywhere in the allied american infantry in world war two, would have worn a canteen or e tool on the front of his belt, for, if he needed to crawl along the ground, they would get in the way. Granted, it does make sense, but then, regard to one of the most famous photos taken during the war, of the E 506th boys standing in front of the square at St Marie du Mont, and you'll find none other than a trooper with his canteen smack bang on the front of his belt.

Nobody knows everything, and nobody should 'claim' to know everything about what soldiers did during their field time. These were scared young men, who did as they wished/preferred, and did whatever was necessary to survive at the time.

The year one also gets me, how someone has to have EVERYTHING made in 1942, or 1943 etc :P, or ALL second pattern etc, it's just ridiculous, nobody at the time would have even cared, there WAS a war on for christs' sake! Also carrying on from that is the jacket/uniform saga. All this myth about for eg, paratroopers not wearing tanker or flight jackets, because they were only issued to tank and flight troops. Think about it, it's christmas 1944 and you just jumped into a Belgian foxhole, you're near freezing to death with just your m1943 jacket, and you find a tanker jacket sitting in the hole. Do you pick it up and put it on, and get a little more warmth, or leave it there and say to your buddy 'nah i can't wear that, they're not issued to us, they're for tanker crews only''

Think people, THINK, some people get way too carried away on what 'the book' says, than what actually happened.

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Great thread. Being new to this site I thought I'd add my two cents as a re-enactor. Being a farb is in the eye of the beholder. We all make exceptions for farbisms for many different reasons. Good guys that may be too old or too big or even females that have a love of the history and respect for the veterans are always welcome in our unit. It's a hobby for enjoyment to be had by all and if someone wants to make the considerable investment to get involved in the outfit, we'll find someway to use them that focus on their strengths not their weaknesses. Many an overweight guy can take it slow and easy and be rear guard for the fast moving youngsters that have a tendency to outrun their support. Older members can drive support vehicles and gun jeeps and grab a rifle if they feel like it. In the tacticals, it's much easier to "get away" with these farbisms, and in spectator events, where there's more scrutiny, we don't try to explain away our bigger or older members. We emphasize the fact that these folks are usually more able to afford the very expensive vehicles and weapons and have the knowledge base that most of the "proper looking" younger members most likely can't afford! Not to mention that it's the older, bigger members that bring their son's and daughters into the hobby and help keep it going and preserves the memory of the vets' sacrifices. Don't mean to run on about this but I think all of us can find a farb just by looking in the mirror.

 

Thanks for the nice words, "old and overweight", I'm both, and have no problem with it, but I still like being a part of. I would have started earlier, but I never knew about reenacting at all, until I went to the 50th D-Day Anniversary at Normandy, France and saw some reenactors there. I could never impersonate a Paratrooper, Ranger, Infantryman, Marine etc., even if I was younger, I was a Tanker in the army, and that's what I do, a tanker without a tank, just that I put on a ww-2 uniform and try to keep that in line with my '70's tanker uniform that I wore, except for rank, I don't look like a T/4 anymore.

Last summer some Swiss reenactors asked me if I'd like to do a Marine Corps Tarawa display with them, I said sure, but not as a Marine, I don't look like a Marine, so I did a Army Air Corps Photogragher, and felt comfortable with that, as we all know, the 1st ID wasn't at Tarawa with thier tanks. So to the picture below, I'm the ol' fart on the left.

im002389.jpg

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After reading my last thread, forgot to add, that my feelings about being a Reenactor only apply to me, I'm only hard on myself. Like it has been stated in here somewhere, Reenacting is also supposed to be fun. As for Farbs, believe me, I've seen some over here, kinda like the OLD Italian western movies, before Clint Eastwood, remember the US Cavalry uniforms they wore, pretty bad! But hey, at least they're (Farbs) trying, and it gives us something to grin about.

I really did like the way "force scout" wrote his thread, very understanding about us "overweight oldies". Which brought to mind, WHO is the oldest Reenactor? I'm 55. And I don't know how old this old Trooper is, but at least he's still hangin' in there, he coulda bought some proper shoes though, but some us oldtimers do have problems with our feet, amongst other things.

oldcpatain.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

According to this picture evidence, they had large amounts of facial hair in WW2, and had black Panzer Commanders! Hahahaha!!!! :lol:

 

kriegs20command20001.jpg

 

2.jpg

 

P5010133.jpg

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willysmb44
According to this picture evidence, they had large amounts of facial hair in WW2, and had black Panzer Commanders! Hahahaha!!!! :lol:

 

kriegs20command20001.jpg

 

2.jpg

 

P5010133.jpg

That's a paintball team. I'd think even the most staunch anti-re-enacting type would agree it's not at all the same thing.

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willysmb44
In post #83 check out the man's ribbons!? :ermm: :think:
Could be a vet who also served after the war. We have a guy in our group like that, a MG gunner captured in the Bulge (28th Div) and became a USAF officer after the war and retired as a Major. His ribbon rack looks quite odd and his retired USAF blues have his CIB on them! :thumbsup:
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HoovieDude
That's a paintball team. I'd think even the most staunch anti-re-enacting type would agree it's not at all the same thing.

 

Paintball, airsoft, living history, reenacting. Whatever category they might fall under, it is a little disturbing me thinks. :lol:

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Paintball, airsoft, living history, reenacting. Whatever category they might fall under, it is a little disturbing me thinks. :lol:

 

K agree and it still falls under the comment I made in another post "farbys on here"... But some folk must have been wearing the label to get all upset about it... :think:

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At last year's "A Military Odyssey" (Europe's largest multi-period military show...http://www.military-odyssey.com ) I observed the following when my wife and I went back to our car for some refreshments. Whilst we were there another car pulled up nearby. Out got a middle-aged guy of ample build. He flipped up the hatch-back and proceed to don a WW2 USMC camo uniform, complete with helmet, web gear and carbine. Actually, in terms of accuracy it didn't look too bad, though it must have been a repro set as I doubt that originals would be available in XXL! The guy then shouldered his piece and disappeared into the crowd.

 

During the course of the afternoon we saw the guy again, several times. He obviously wasn't affiliated to one of the many re-enactment groups who were present as he was just drifting around alone from stall to stall like any other collector...but dressed as a Marine. Then, as chance would have it, when we were headed back to our vehicle at the end of the day, there he was again, changing back into his "civvies" before heading for home himself!

 

So..what does that make him (and others like him?) He presumably waits all year long for the opportunity to put on his uniform and live out his military fantasies. Being at a military show he just blended in with the hundreds of other uniformed re-enactors. I don't doubt he'll be there again in August this year..maybe in a different uniform this time?!

 

I'm not passing judgement..just pointing out that this hobby of ours embraces all kinds of enthusiasts.

 

 

Sabrejet

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shocktrooper15

Today (and as always) at a militaria/gun show I see that theres people that feel the need to wear combat boots, woodland BDU's or something to that effect, and web gear. Usually they are just people attending. They love it when people look at them. I cannot stand these people that go out of there way to dress up like that for the purpose of attention.

Regards,

 

Shocktrooper

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Dirteater101

Ohh... met those guys...

 

I am a vendor at the local gun and militaria shows... I will wear the acu pants and dessert boots, but with a ww2 enlisted mans shirt. Reason for it is I go to work before the show is over and really have no place to change out of the lower half....

 

But there are those few that come in in full or partial bdu's with instead of "u.s. army" it has "Michigan" or "Ohio"... And somehow I doubt these guys are in the military reserve.... Maybe it is a recruiting thing....

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Normandy 2010 :)

 

dsc04588.jpg

 

K9 Company, 2nd Battalion, 232nd Belgian Bicycle Brigade. Lost his bike and commandeered a jeep... LOL :blink:

 

Wayne

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As for living history uniforms NOT getting dirty, BULL! We do a ground crew impression and I tell the guys to change the oil in their cars or any other mechanic type job they do to wear their coveralls. I lubed one of our airplanes on nightshift to get mine nice and filthy. Mechanics should look like mechanics.

 

Scott

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