How Soldat Completes Your Project
'I want mine with the works!'
Layout & Sewing
The average customer project comes to fhq with no insignia or with bad insignia sewn in place. Having teamed up earlier on phone or email I have a good idea of what kind of an outcome is desired. Between us we plan how to use insignia the customer has, which in some cases original, and if needed what fhq can supply.
Some projects are based on a period photo or historical reference. Others are based on what the customer has to work with. That is the case with the Fliegerbluse used in this project. Over 50 years of experience, study and massing of information that I bring to the plan during the layout phase is critical; my wide knowledge band helps me thing of a plan to combine your 'bits & pieces' into a collection display that takes a prize spot in your 'bunker'. In this case the customer had a very nice, near original looking Luftwaffe Reconnaissance Clasp in Gold with bar he wanted to create a uniform display with historical background. He also had a unique ribbon bar that mixed the Iron Cross II Class with, Ost Front or Russian Campaign medal with a Romanian Flyer's Medal for Valor with Swords and Anti-Communist Service medal all combined with a Luftwaffe Fliegerbluse.
Period photos are a standard guide for insignia and medal placement. We do this all the time. But when a customer wants specific insignia incorporated into a project with what I call the works which includes a background history and that needs to be unique, something special to really draw interest, then the work begins on one of the end fhq products, a historical background paper! I want this to be right before we start spending money sewing insignia!
In this case the final product revolved around a late war recon unit that flew the first operational jet bomber, the Arado 235. The end goal settled on I went to work. Sewing included collar insignia, adding late pattern, officer grade BEVO national insignia, fitting officer boards with rank stars as well as officer style buttons to a standard Fliegerbluse for daily use. Next we mounted the clasp, ribbon-bar, Iron Cross 1st Class and Pilot / Observer Qualification Badge with correctly done loops ( the Germans did not stick the pin in the cloth in normal practice).
Through the Soldat Time Machine
Professional Vintaging Process
Nearly every project done at fhq goes through the time machine. Once our customer base discovered how great it was that their replica fit into their collection of original items, even when only vintaged to what I call 'New Old Stock'. Over the years I have learned to match replica insignia to original in patina which really opens a lot of doors for collectors to make use of insignia or uniform combinations never thought possible. In backhanded compliments over the years fhq's Time Machine has been blamed for 'confusing collectors' and 'contaminating the collectible market'! Since I only offer this service to customers for their use only, not for resale as originals; I have to smile.
Comparing the photos with those in the layout & sewing you can see the subtle change in color and finish that you see in an original uniform that saw use, was put away or brought home as war booty. Insignia and awards are treated in such a way to make all blend the story of this uniform together!
Add In Some Extras!
Add an officer's Fliegermütz & leather flight jacket that have been vintaged. Ad an Erkennungsmarken.
Add an individual history for your project, like a mini-SOLDAT book!