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Greg

How did you start?

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At what point did you get into collecting, why and how? What was that first cherished item?

 

 

 

For me I was 14 and ordered a Swiss 1956 SIG Bayonet from US Cavalry for $15 USD. I had been buying other military surplus for a while (clothes, boots, etc) but this was my first bayonet. I wanted to collect swords but that was far outside the budget (and still is!) so I downgraded to bayonets. Luckily the Swiss make simply amazing items and I became hooked. I still have the bayonet, though I did stupid things with it back then (like tried to put an edge on it, I though all knives needed and edge and clearly the silly swiss had not done this to their bayonet for some odd reason).

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I bought a copy of The Armourer out of curiosity one day when i was waiting at the Central station in Glasgow.

I have always loved the look of the third reich stuff,but after a quick check i realised that the prices were out of my reach.

I have now started to collect ww1 CDV's of German infantry,along with east german militaria.

The DDr stuff is still quite cheap,but the prices are rising,especially the embroidered flags and the dark coloured tunics.

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Good to see you back Dave :) I see the three original Amegos are all on line :D

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good to be back.

I'll try to keep posting,honest guvnor!!

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Excellent Dave, the forum has been quite busy recently considering we still have few members , working on a new web page just now ETA about a month the forum will be more prominent on it so hopefully that will give us a boost too.

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:blink:

 

Sounds daft but when I think about it I probably started when I bought a badge as a kid that was shaped like an Iron Cross. This was more Hells Angels than Nazi and I had to ask my dad about the background. :huh:

 

Interest in military subjects started with the packets of 1/76th figures by Airfix boubht in the Woolworth's store in Dalkeith. :P

 

Collecting really began for me in the early 70's when a lot of British stuff was sold off cheaply by the then goverments, greatcoats, helmets, gasmasks, bayonets, tunics etc. :lol:

I still have some of these items.

 

After that I have collected on several themes. :rolleyes:

 

Dave.

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I guess when I was about 10, just letting people know I was interested, then basically begging and scrounging, relics of old guns, war souvenirs etc. When 18 or so, between drinking and women, on to Birmingham market, British badges for half a crown, German badges for ten shillings.

Then to the new phenomena of militaria shops, Derek Lord's great place near Cotteridge, Adrian Forman, etc.

Even though now I may be a jaded old bugger, I can still get pretty enthusiastic over this second hand junk.

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My collection started when I was very young. My Grandfather gave a West Wall medal and War Merit Cross that he had brought back from his time in Germany during WW2. In his loft he has a lovely HJ knife, K98 cleaning kit and helmet I used to play with. Lost interest in militaria till turned middle aged and started reading loads of autobiographies of soldiers on the Russian front and last days in Berlin. Got hooked on buying medals and badges since then. Still have great passion for relics alleged to be from the areas that most interest me ...Stalingrad etc. Justify my expenditure to the wife on basis of great investment returns of most of the badges and medals but dont ever expect to sell any. Hopefully junior will share my passion. Wife not too impressed when she found me on babes in uniform section several nights in a row. Now she is refusing to wear the helmet I bought her in bed and arranging net nanny.

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Well im only 15 and ive been coleccting for just over 2 years ive always been intrested in ww1 and ww2 mainley ww2 .but it started with my freind giving me an anti-aircraft gun shell or bullet .and it just started from thier then i got a job and i bought moreand still continue coleccti B) ng

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Well yes, I guess I was about 13 or 14 when I obtained a percussion pocket pistol. No hammer but it was brass, so polished up nicely. I saw a name engraved on it, plus some proof marks. Some library books told me when and where it was made. I was truly hooked.

Since then I have had many collections come and go, but it remains a life-long fascination .

Just a bit of advice from one of the ancients, read as much as you can, watch the History channels, and don't become a lone collector, try to get out to fairs and shows, and handle the goods if possible.

Try to get to know other collectors, (Avoid those who know-it-all, nobody does ). Don't be hasty with your purchases, it's a bit early to specialise, but something will light a spark and get you into a definite period or subject.

Finally, watch out, there are piles and piles of really attractive, impressive stuff out there, and a lot of it is pure fake, and those making the fakes are very, very clever, like foxes.

(Mind you, as the saying goes, a fox in a hen coop signifies nothing, unless he is cleaning the feathers out of his teeth, nothing to do with the above, but a clever saying).

And good luck !

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Yeah i watch alot of history and love it at school and try to save as much as possible for my colecction ive got about 10 things at the moment but ive got alot of colecctiong years ahead. But historys always been my thing even from an earley age. but it takes me about 2 to 3 weeks to earn 100 or more and its gone soon as i get it for colectiong

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I just dont understand :o my mum calls my colecction bits of metal and well if its german my gran just nags i mean im not doing anything so why r do they seem to disagree with coleccting :angry:

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My grandad was like that. I remember my mum told him that she was going on holiday to Germany and he threw her out his house. This was in the 80's. As he said the bastards tried their best to kill me why the hell are you going there. Memories die hard.

 

Probably just as well he died before I hooked up with my ex. God knows what he would have made of my daughter.

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I just dont understand :o my mum calls my colecction bits of metal and well if its german my gran just nags i mean im not doing anything so why r do they seem to disagree with coleccting :angry:

 

What sort of stuff you collected so far Reece? I started off with a West Wall medal my Grandfather brought back from his time in Germany during the war. Once I started earning money I started buying cheaper end medals and badges. Now there is no really cheap stuff around but I still love campaign badges, medals, the odd SS item and bits of fieldgear.

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Well from ww2 i have bits and peices a few medals an raf pill box i thinnk it is anyway it was my grans cousains he was shot when coming home for leave from northern africa . a medal for 25 years service (german ) a ww2 medall british for being in the war . a german silver wounds badge . a ww2 hitler stamp . some british cleaning stuff . old 303 magizines. raf binoculars part of an mg42/43 feeder . a german stripper clip thts all really im getting a british helmet in a few weeks not really much :(

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My grandad was like that. I remember my mum told him that she was going on holiday to Germany and he threw her out his house. This was in the 80's. As he said the bastards tried their best to kill me why the hell are you going there. Memories die hard.

 

Probably just as well he died before I hooked up with my ex. God knows what he would have made of my daughter.

 

well my great grandad (ww1) my gran says he dident speak about the war he was in . ino he was at the somme but she says thats one thing he dident talk about and well my gran remembers the bombings and in when she went to germany she was called an english pig mabe thats why and her cousain was killed in the war

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Well from ww2 i have bits and peices a few medals an raf pill box i thinnk it is anyway it was my grans cousains he was shot when coming home for leave from northern africa . a medal for 25 years service (german ) a ww2 medall british for being in the war . a german silver wounds badge . a ww2 hitler stamp . some british cleaning stuff . old 303 magizines. raf binoculars part of an mg42/43 feeder . a german stripper clip thts all really im getting a british helmet in a few weeks not really much :(

 

 

Not bad so far Reece. Trouble is doesnt matter how much I have in my collection it is never enough. Always something else to buy.

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Apart from pigeon-fanciers, and bus spotters we are the most misunderstood set of folk on the planet ! That's why we cluster like lost beasts on forums such as this !

Reece, try explaining that it's like reaching back into the past and bringing back a piece of history with you. That 25 year service medal represents a large percentage of a guy's life. You are slowly but surely assembling a whole load of stories. Don't be too hasty though, there is an awful lot of rubbish out there, not just repro, but stuff which when you want to trade it in for better things will be hard to off load for a decent exchange.

Oh ! Do remember condition is very important, if you have to pay a bit more for something in fine fettle, 'twill be worth it in the long run

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yep but i think that my coleccting will never stop until i stop and wehn my old i MEAN OLD OLD ww2 will be ancient history to kids :o hope people will still honour the sldiers of all sides who fought in ww1 and ww2 i defonetley will

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yep but i think that my coleccting will never stop until i stop and wehn my old i MEAN OLD OLD ww2 will be ancient history to kids :o hope people will still honour the sldiers of all sides who fought in ww1 and ww2 i defonetley will

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Reece,

 

As much as Newlyn and I disagree on many things he is someone to listen to when talking about collecting (and specifically on German items). You will spend much money over the years and some of it will be wasted on fakes and crap. We all have. Never be put off by that.

 

On the last version of the forum I posted 2 or 3 items that I had spent money on only to discover at a later date they were dogs. Never let your mistakes put you off. No-one on this forum has not made mistakes that have cost them money. It's part of the game.

 

As Newlyn says - buy quality. In the last year I have bought 2 groups only. That's not down to lack of money it's down to lack of quality from what I wanted.

 

I have bought a WWI Trio to a 15 year old at a snip of about £80 because the other guy and the other bidders were too lazy to research the Group -

 

and

 

- a Group of 7 to a chap in the RMLI that stretched from 1890-1945. He started with an RN LS&GC in 1905 and ended with a WWII Defence in 1945 for his work in the ARP. That is a whole life time!!! It also has a 1st and 3rd Class Corps LS&GC. 1st Class are common but 3rd Class!!!!! I have been collecting these items for 4 or 5 years and have never seen a 3rd Class for sale either in a single or a Group. Hen's teeth are more common. That's 2/3 the value of the Group alone.

 

Research. Know what you are looking for. Learn. It's better than school.

 

I collect to the KOSB. On E-bay just now is a MM & Trio. I want a Group like this. But I won't buy it. I know the seller and could get it taken off e-bay and pay under the going rate. However, there is no MM Citation for this and his service papers were destroyed. All there is, is a MIC and a LG Entry. Where is the research? Where is the man's life? You have to know when to let an item go.

 

You are young and have time on your side. Be careful and decide what way you want to go in your collecting field early. And stick to it. The odd branch offs are fine but remember your main field of collecting.

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Graeme is right!

 

I started collecting at 15 and here I am 11 years later with a bayonet collection valued around $8,000 USD and growing. I originally began collecting anything and everything before starting to fill out niche areas. I use to acquire 12 items a year when prices still were ok. Now I am down to 2-3 items a year hard sought out but I can ensure are original. Plus, many of the usual places I would go are now picked clean (there is a antiques market in Gettysburg PA that will proudly vouch that I stripped of every good bayonet they had... it was an undiscovered source by collectors till then).

 

When I began collecting I believed having items was the most important thing.. this is FALSE. THE most important thing for collectors is books, guides and networks. Collecting forums like this, Armourer magazine (ok I ended my subscription after their bungle of SS dinnerware) etc are crucial to know the market. You NEED you collection guides. I have several bayonet books and they are heavy and bulky but without them I could never ID what it original and what is junk.

 

If you become super obsessed, to study the stuff. Get an internship with a museum or get to know curators. Or, go get a Masters degree in warfare studies or battlefield archeology and do it professionally (both are available in Scotland) :-p

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Yeah well at the momnet i collect anything and everything but i want to stick to one thing but i dont know what its a REAL hard disision.

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Definitely a good idea to specialise or else your collection won't go anywhere I collect only Eastern Front Panzer related items, although as these items are quite hard to get I have just gone off on a tangent and am also collecting the Britains Rourks Drift Zulu war figures ,they don't really fit in with the collection but look good I was alway a big fan of the film Zulu.

 

I don't think it's such a big problem when you are just starting out, buy a few different types of items and get a feel for them.Then chose you favourite item or what interests you the most ,you can then trade in your other items and move in the direction you want to go in.

 

That's what I did ,I've collected Afrika Korp items , British Medals ,Pickelhaubes and now Panzer would like to think I will be sticking with Panzer for the foreseeable future.

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Yeah well im thinking of collecting german medals and different types of helmets

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