This list is about 95% complete as of this date. I've researched what is is currently on the market so you can acquire items. This is not to be confused with the official impression list issued earlier in the season. This is a "how to acquire items and what to do with them once you have them" kind of list.
The purpose of this document is to visually supplement the already existing Impression Standards for this event and allow a participant who has virtually no impression to build theirs rapidly. These items are NOT the only source for equipment but reputation of seller and cost was taken into consideration when putting together this list. Original and reproduction items as well as original photos, documents and commentary will be added. Everybody is welcome to advise and contribute therefore this guideline can change across time. When changes happen the document will be re-dated. Links to items will be provided so that you can purchase the recommended items.
Timeline to build Impression
It is likely it will take 30 days to put together this impression once you have received all items. It could take you longer depending on your schedule and how quickly you catch on. This will give the participant plenty of time and work around busy schedules. Someone can do it in less time but it is recommended you allow yourself plenty of time both for shipping and time to put together the impression. Tommy looks simple, and it is, but it takes a lot of small steps compared to other WWII impressions.
Understanding and applying the document
*** Three stars will contain basic tips, thoughts and commentary on items.
Questions & Answer in section and General Clarification Statements
Once people start to encounter issues we will update this document with problems and fixes so the same questions are not always being repeatedly asked. It is crucial each member voices the hurdles they encounter so we can work through this together.
Required Items and Duplicates & Optional Items:
If you order everything on this list, you will have lots of extra items. It is up to you to ask questions and build your own impression. If you are new to reenacting or unsure about this impression, you will be paired with a helper who will walk you through building your kit. Optional Items are simply not required, but something you may wish to purchase.
Part I: Helmet, Tam, Camo Scarf & Air Recognition Panel
The WWII British helmet had two major variants: early MKI and standard production MKII. They were derived in style from the WWI MKI Brodie helmet but they were made and assembled differently and with different components. British manufacturers varied in paint colors across time but what we see as a normal aspect from 1940 onwards is a green paint, a lighter brown paint (close to BD in color) or from late 1943 onward a very dark brown w/ aluminum oxide texture (about the same color as dark chocolate). All three of these colors would have been in the 15thScottish Division. By Normandy Helmets could have been painted by manufacturers, Re-furb depots in England or by the soldiers themselves during routine maintenance. Manufacturer painted helmets vary widely from smooth to textured, semi-gloss to lusterless, but the norm is a lusterless paint without texture. The norm for re-paint is generally an in-expensive chip brush but compressed air guns were used as well. Sand textures are found with re-painted helmets.
***Re-painting your helmet- Do not add new paint to a WWII helmet which has nice paint. MKII helmets are affordable and can be found needing paint.
Adding Net & Camo & shell dressing to your helmet
WWII Helmet Nets came in all shapes, sizes, thicknesses and colors but in NW Europe generally centered around two major variants- British nets and the thicker Canadian nets. Original Nets are allowed but for those of you wanting to leave a nice original out of the field or looking for a field worthy net the best option for a thin standard issue British net is probably At the Front’s GI net, either shade will work, you can even Rit Dye the khaki one a super dark brown to make a known English produced variant . Americans, Brits and Canadians were all wearing each other’s nets and it’s likely there were ones made in countries which were virtually identical ones made in another country. ***A note on WPG Repro Nets:WPG Nets are not the best quality and seem comparatively small, when you stretch them it exposes undyed white areas.
Scrim was used to camouflage a soldier’s helmet. It came in three basic colors on large rolls- Green (dark or light), Brown (dark or light) and tan (mustard or un-painted, but still waterproofed). Jeff Foster will produce at least three colors for $12.00 per set of three colors and send them to each person. They will be correctly painted, treated, look, feel and smell like the original stuff.
Part II: P-37 Web Gear & Blanco, E-tool & T-Handle Shovel
Web gear varied from unit to unit during WWII. The purpose of this section is to get as close to how the 9th Cameronians wore their equipment. Web gear is going to be one of the hardest aspects of this impression to get right. Many of you have original gear, others will rely on reproduction from various sources. The gear I recommend is the Kay Enterprises from SOF UK. It seems to be made of the same basic quality weave, color and brass fittings as the original P-37. Most of what is on the market now will work, so don’t get worried if you have another set, but if you need a web set and you can afford it, this is probably the one to get.
MKVII Water Bottle: Originals (on Ebay or history bunker UK), Repros from WPG & SOF are all acceptable). Be aware that some originals and repros will have brittle e corks so you may want to drill out a plain wine cork and replace the one you receive before hitting the field. https://thehistorybunker.co.uk/British-P37-Webbing-Water-Bottle
Blanco & Application- Blanco was used to uniformly color, camouflage, condition & waterproof issued web gear. Different units used different types of blanco but in general from 1944 onward the 2nd Army used the darker green KG no. 3 (khaki-green no. 3 shade). Original Blanco is considered a collector’s item. Shoe paste has been sued with mixed success. Currently there are several sources of post war/ or reproduction blanco are out there from the powdered Dutch post-war often found on Ebay or British WWII Sale/ trade forums, this is acceptable if you can find it, just make sure it is KG No. 3. Block or powdered blanco should be applied with a sponge in a concrete area you can clean. Blanco will get under your nails so either wear gloves or prepare to look like a dirty freak for a few days. ***Application tip for traditional block blanco which was taught to me by a Korean era British soldier (H.D. Rogers): Get a saucer and place dry block of blanco into saucer. Take another saucer and fill with water. Soak sponge in water and rub on top of block until liberal amount of blanco is on sponge. Wet webbing with water and uniformly apply blanco, repeating this process frequently. Let dry for 24 hours. ***New web gear may need two applications of blanco for deep green appearance. ***Make sure to blanco only the fronts of pouches, packs and carriers and take apart web set and belt before application. http://www.pegasusmilitaria.com/product/blanco-block-no-kg3-normandyarnhem/ https://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/kay-canvas-liquid-blanco-1944-no3-kg-dark.html
WWII Era T-handle Shovel- Currently there are no known sources past Ebay for WWII Shovels. A reproduction shovel was recently found on Amazon but has been discontinued. Jeff Foster owns 6 originals which will be brought to the event and will be loaned out to people who need them (first come first served). PM me if you need one. The WWII originals seemed to be unpainted wood and were bri-waxed or linseed oiled wood with black painted head. Paint should be applied with a brush or sprayed flat engine paint. Tape off the wood to keep drips or overspray from the wood.
Ammunition Boot https://www.smwholesaleusa.com/shop-footwear/wwii-british-ammo-boots *** The best boot on the market now is the SM Wholesale boot for the movie Dunkirk. ***We highly suggest you call SMW to order from them. Sizing on their Ammo boots has been running large. We also recommend calling to avoid any delay with your order. To this date participants have not had any issues with orders or exchanging boots when calling the company directly. *** WPG Boots are also authorized if that is what you have. *** Lenon boots are also great but unlikely to be available until after the event and they are not better quality when compared to the SMW boot. *** Combat finish *** Ladder Lacing Socks *** Socks are one of the hardest aspects of this impression to get right. The original socks were 100% wool. Reproductions may look right but provide little performance compared to the original. Combine this with a lower quality ammo boot and your footwear is a problem. There are two high performance Fox River socks which look close to the British army sock. The Nosk heavy sock looks more like a civilian sock and the trailhead looks like a british standard issue sock except for the black footbed which will be hidden by the boot while worn. Either of these socks is a good alternative. Socks, like underwear is not something which can make or break an impression, so it is up to the individual to keep socks hidden if they’re not period. https://www.foxsox.com/trailhead-heavyweight-crew.html https://www.foxsox.com/trailhead-heavyweight-crew.html Gaiters (blancoed) *** Original, Belgian or Quality Reproduction. WPG Gaiters Repro http://onlinemilitaria.net/products/1527-UK-P-37-Gaiters-or-Anklets-Improved-Run/ WPG Belgian http://onlinemilitaria.net/products/1525-UK-P-37-Anklets-Original/?bc=no?bc=no
Part VII: Weapons, Chargers, Bandoleers and Blank Ammunition