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1943 dated British small pack. Real or repro?

Article about: Hello all, recently purchased this '43 dated 'small-pack' from e-bay but I'm a liitle suspicious of its authenticity now that I have it in my possession. I may be wrong (I do hope so) but I

  1. #1

    Default 1943 dated British small pack. Real or repro?

    Hello all,

    recently purchased this '43 dated 'small-pack' from e-bay but I'm a liitle suspicious of its authenticity now that I have it in my possession.

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    I may be wrong (I do hope so) but I was immediately drawn to how untarnished all the brass-ware is. I would expect at least some tarnishing at the edges of the buckles and in those difficult to get at places with the Brasso and lint but there is none. It also lacks that smell that all the rest of my old webbing has. My concern is that it's a repro that's been blancoed and sold as original. I've never held any repro in my hands before so I don't know how close it is to the real thing and this small pack is otherwise really good. I've added a photo of an original RAF 'L' strap hook next to this new one for comparison and as you can see the new one looks like it was made yesterday.

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    It has been blancoed in the late-war darker shade of green so it's impossible to see any stamps on the 'L' straps and the cloth compartments inside remain intact and unmarked. The makers stamp and date is also pretty robust as you can see. Alternatively, has anyone come across any unissued kit for sale that has brass this pristine before? Original small pack with repro straps perhaps?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated chaps.

    Many thanks,

    Ian.
    Last edited by canti44; 08-18-2013 at 06:34 PM.

  2. #2

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    Hello all,

    hope no one objects to me bumping this thread for the Sunday evening viewer's?

    Cheers,

    Ian.

  3. #3

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    I'm no expert, but I have this pack does not cause rejection.

  4. #4
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    The fabric looks great imho. Cant explain the state of the brass though. Maybe someone went over it with a dremel tool? Unless you paid a small fortune for it, it does not make economic sense to forge these as they are not 'that' rare. The modern repros that I have seen over here can be spotted from 20 meters away.

    Oz

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys, your input is much appreciated. I agree too, the quality of the bag is first-rate and why go to the trouble of faking an item that is cheap and easy to find? As I said before I've never handled any repro gear so I take comfort in your observations OZ!

    The only thing I can think of regarding the brass (which looks like it was cast yesterday) is that the pack may have belonged to a re-enactor who went to town on it with the brasso. That or it was recently bought in un-issued state and the brass remained unaffected by the passage of time.

  6. #6
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    I have been reading the book "Brasso, Blanco and Bull" by Tony Thorne about his often funny experiences during his post war National Service training in England. In the book he mentions how they had to get all their kit looking absolutely top-notch with perfectly applied green blanco and faultless brass which may help to explain the state of your pack if it has been in storage since then. The book is a good read if you can find one.

    Oz

  7. #7
    NCA
    NCA is offline
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    Never heard of that maker but the small pack is certainly genuine 'economy' version.Modern repro's never get the webbing quality 'just so'.Like has been said, possibly cleaned up by a reenactor last week or blancoed and bulled 50-70 odd years ago by a soldier!
    I have brass items from the 40s without a trace of tarnish on them...

  8. #8
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    I have many canadian items with pristine brass....almost. Not uncommon.
    "You will get all the rest you need in the grave"

  9. #9

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    Hello NCA, thanks for your input. The blanco appears a lot darker in real-life than on the photo's and I was surprised by that too. Most of the webbing I have already is either un-blancoed or the 'pea-green' colour. Judging from the excellent site 'Blanco & Bull'...

    The Blanco shades over time | Blanco and Bull

    this small-pack has been blancoed in Blanco No. KG3 Khaki Dark Green (Dark) which by D-Day appeared in general use for troops fighting in North-West Europe, which would make sense for a 1943 manufactured pack.

    Blanco No. KG3 Khaki Green (Dark) | Blanco and Bull

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