Ausreenact

 
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Uniform Supply & Support

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Some seventy years after the event, the authentic depiction of a World War 2 serviceman or servicewoman presents unique challenges to the re-enactor, but these challenges are neither insurmountable nor prohibitively expensive. The one essential element is time. All members’ impressions – and many have multiple impressions at their disposal – are works in a continual state of refinement and adaptation, relying on meticulous research, peer comment, item availability and of course budgetary constraints.

Items of original equipment are still relatively easy to obtain but their frailty means that they are best suited to static displays, where they are not subject to the rigors of field-use. They are after all investments, and as collectors we see ourselves merely as the custodians of them, preserving and protecting them for future generations.

That said, original items do possess a distinctive appearance which often makes them stand out and it is not then uncommon to see items such as field gear (leather, canteens, pouches etc) and helmets used more active settings.

Since the 1990s, there has been an almost exponential increase in the number of vendors offering reproduction uniforms, field gear and personal items; anything and everything ranging from toothbrushes to great coats, from wine labels to ammunition pouches. This growth has resulted from the growing popularity of the re-enactor movement in the US, UK, Europe and the former Soviet Union, and provides German, Italian, American, Russian and British reproductions, and to a lesser extent, French and other European items.

Naturally enough, the price of these reproductions generally (though not always) reflects the quality of their materials and manufacture. Some uniform items made in Europe and the US for example can be virtually indistinguishable from the original, and hence they command significantly higher prices than those emanating from China (a very large supplier) and South Asia. There are always exceptions to this rule however and it is through the experiences (good and bad) of club members and other re-enactors from around the world that considered recommendations can be made to any new member.

We each have our favoured suppliers; some we choose for their uniform cut and fabric, some for their field gear, some for their postage rates or payment methods, and others simply because they are the only one offering a particular item. When we meet then as a group or as individuals, we are able to compare, advise and comment.

Our members’ display German (Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, SS, Volkssturm and Deutsche Rotes Kreuz), Russian and Australian impressions and hence a wide knowledge and support base can be provided. And it is always with the ultimate intention of assisting each other to create that perfect period look.

Where to begin?

A complete impression is not a prerequisite for joining Ausreenact, but rather it is the desire and preparedness to build one over time.

Choose the nation whose serviceman or woman you wish to represent, then select the branch of service and the time period (uniforms did change). Consider first some basic items eg head-wear and great-coat. For photographic purposes, these provide an excellent beginning.

Simply ask any member and we will do our utmost to offer constructive and appropriate advice on vendors, items and prices from around the world.

What are you waiting for?

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