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Advice on starting this hobby now??

Article about: I am really enjoying this site, and there are a lot of members here who have fabulous collections that were obviously started many years ago (unless they are obscenely rich!!). What advice c

  1. #1

    Question Advice on starting this hobby now??

    I am really enjoying this site, and there are a lot of members here who have fabulous collections that were obviously started many years ago (unless they are obscenely rich!!).

    What advice can you give for someone who wishes to enter this hobby NOW with an ordinary middle class income?? What areas would you recommend?? I am NOT looking at this as an "investment", but I would like for my heirs to one day receive more on ebay than I gave for the item originally!!
    PS: I know to "buy the book first"!!
    I am thinking about a "general" collection based primarily on ww2/vietnam american uniform & cap sets (preferably identified to the original owner) since they are still available & inexpensive with a few ww2 german medals & badges, a few heer/luftwaffe caps & visored hats, some basic heer/sa/luft buckles, maybe a few third reich daggers and some ww2 japanese items thrown in for good measure.
    Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks, Bill

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Hi Bill and Welcome.
    My advice would be to decide what you want to collect and which items will give you the most pleasure.
    Once you can be sure on that try and read up, research and ask about your chosen field(s), use the forum and it's members to help you. Everyone here was new at some point so don't be afraid to ask no matter how trivial you think your question will be.
    Don't over spend. Your family and mortgage etc are more important than militaria. I know it sounds obvious but I've seen people get loans to buy their items and ultimately not been able to afford to keep the item and the loan. Just enjoy the hobby and remember that's all it is - a hobby.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Wow, you dont want much do you!, thats certainly a "general" collecting wish, im glad your starting relatively small, well like anything else experience is essential when collecting, as long as you realise that at some point you will get stung, we all do, but the idea is to minimise the risk and expenditure, you have already stated the obvious, books , lots of them about the subject matter in hand, then get out to as many militaria fairs as you can, handle as many original items as you can lay your hands on, get the feel of original cloth, metals and manufacturers marks, speak to reputable dealers, collectors and above all dont believe all you hear about an item, the famous "my dad , uncle, next door neighbour or my friends relations brought this back from wherever" most of the time its a ruse for people to buy, believe the item not the story, if it doesnt sound or feel right invariably it isnt, unfortunately your starting at a time when the fakers have literally flooded the market and they get better each year, but with a bit of common sense ,and knowledge you will be able to find your way around, at first stick to one subject matter until you get it right then once you have collected enough of that type move onto another and so on, there will be bargains to be had but the higher end items do come at a price and thats where you really need to have a good knowledge of the subject, try to buy from reputable dealers , you will find other areas that you can glean a nice deal from but be careful, avoid E-BAY they are notorious for fakes and scam merchants, plus you cant see the item in hand before buying, above all always try to show the prospected buy on a forum, this one is second to none and have saved many people from parting with hard earned cash, good luck and hope to see your wares

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Welcome to the Forum and collecting. I think Adrian has given you excellent advice. Collecting 3rd Reich material is a real mine field these days. I started collecting in 1956 when there were few fakes and an abundance of original material. These days, I will often ask a trusted collector friend for advice on a certain item I may not be confident to judge myself. Move slowly and discover what you want.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Quote by davejb View Post
    Wow, you dont want much do you!, thats certainly a "general" collecting wish, im glad your starting relatively small, well like anything else experience is essential when collecting, as long as you realise that at some point you will get stung, we all do, but the idea is to minimise the risk and expenditure, you have already stated the obvious, books , lots of them about the subject matter in hand, then get out to as many militaria fairs as you can, handle as many original items as you can lay your hands on, get the feel of original cloth, metals and manufacturers marks, speak to reputable dealers, collectors and above all dont believe all you hear about an item, the famous "my dad , uncle, next door neighbour or my friends relations brought this back from wherever" most of the time its a ruse for people to buy, believe the item not the story, if it doesnt sound or feel right invariably it isnt, unfortunately your starting at a time when the fakers have literally flooded the market and they get better each year, but with a bit of common sense ,and knowledge you will be able to find your way around, at first stick to one subject matter until you get it right then once you have collected enough of that type move onto another and so on, there will be bargains to be had but the higher end items do come at a price and thats where you really need to have a good knowledge of the subject, try to buy from reputable dealers , you will find other areas that you can glean a nice deal from but be careful, avoid E-BAY they are notorious for fakes and scam merchants, plus you cant see the item in hand before buying, above all always try to show the prospected buy on a forum, this one is second to none and have saved many people from parting with hard earned cash, good luck and hope to see your wares
    Hey, I didn't list any SS honor daggers or SS general uniforms did I???? I did not think that list was THAT ambitious, under $2500...

    My brother told me long ago, "Buy the relic, NOT the story"........

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    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Thanks guys

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    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Quote by curio bill View Post
    "Buy the relic, NOT the story"........
    THAT is sound advice!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Similiar here, I got interested while serving as a member of the the military, reserve. We were equipped with mostly WW2 stuff back in the eighties. I got ripped off early, I ordered a MK2 British helmet, Silvermans. They sent me a British 1953 MkIV. The irony was that this was the helmet I was issued with on guard duty. So it was hardly impressive. Now it's one of my treasures. I bought a repro German M40 in a shop in Dublin. They also had for sale 'genuine' WW2 helmets for 10 extra. I was naive at the time, but not that naive. This was the early eighties. People seem to think fakes are a recent phenomen.

    Right now, my collection consist of a British MkIV helmet, a twenty year old repro German M40, a set of British 1937 webbing dated from the forties to the fifties as issued to me and a 70s M1 helmet bought from Nick of this forum, a PAGST, Fritz helmet and a faked Mk6 British helmet faked to look like it saw service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Plus of course my original Irish army uniform and an ex British combat jacket and a 1958 web belt and a few French forage caps. Also a British Mk2 which was sent to Irish army in 1941, one of which I wore when I served as a reservist in 1981.

    Frankly I love them all. Utterly worthless all of them. But they all mean something to me in one way or another.

    Thanks how you should see your collection when you start. They all must mean something to you. Otherwise it's pointless.

    My ambition now is to get a German WW2 helmet and a WW2 GI helmet. But also a selection of British helmets. To hold them is to hold a bit of history.

    That's the essential point I'm making

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice on starting this hobby now??

    Quote by noelh View Post
    Similiar here, I got interested while serving as a member of the the military, reserve. We were equipped with mostly WW2 stuff back in the eighties. I got ripped off early, I ordered a MK2 British helmet, Silvermans. They sent me a British 1953 MkIV. The irony was that this was the helmet I was issued with on guard duty. So it was hardly impressive. Now it's one of my treasures. I bought a repro German M40 in a shop in Dublin. They also had for sale 'genuine' WW2 helmets for 10 extra. I was naive at the time, but not that naive. This was the early eighties. People seem to think fakes are a recent phenomen.

    Right now, my collection consist of a British MkIV helmet, a twenty year old repro German M40, a set of British 1937 webbing dated from the forties to the fifties as issued to me and a 70s M1 helmet bought from Nick of this forum, a PAGST, Fritz helmet and a faked Mk6 British helmet faked to look like it saw service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Plus of course my original Irish army uniform and an ex British combat jacket and a 1958 web belt and a few French forage caps. Also a British Mk2 which was sent to Irish army in 1941, one of which I wore when I served as a reservist in 1981.

    Frankly I love them all. Utterly worthless all of them. But they all mean something to me in one way or another.

    Thanks how you should see your collection when you start. They all must mean something to you. Otherwise it's pointless.

    My ambition now is to get a German WW2 helmet and a WW2 GI helmet. But also a selection of British helmets. To hold them is to hold a bit of history.That's the essential point I'm making
    I think you are right. Not the monetary value, but the "history" feeling. That's one reason I am looking at the identified ww2 american uniforms, reasonable cost but nearly 70 year old historical items that they just aren't making anymore!! My bet is that they are the equivalent of the SS uniforms of the 80's.

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