Restoration & Rescue Service
'Best $75 I ever spent on a cap!' Customer came to us with this horrible pirate Erel cap. 'Can you do anything for this? Just make it so I can put it on a back shelf and it won't stick out like a sore thumb!' I think you'll agree Soldat did that and more.
Above is what came into the shop. It was loaded with dye, that was what gave the brownish tint. That isn't the photo. This is a straight up pirate Erel cap. Real Erel are made in Germany even now a days. The dead give a ways are: price, horrible shape even for a out of the box Schirmmütz puffed up with foam backing that is fused right onto the cloth! Add a plastic cap band that is cut to the size of some Asian nation military cap, not fiber stock, chrome bright insignia, in this case full of epoxy in the back. I'm not even sure about the brass chinstrap buttons and cord on a crusher.
Talking with the customer I pitched taking this back to a crusher that has seen plenty of action and could have been picked up by a GI out of the shot up half track in Normandy or the Bulge. I also pitched letting my go whole hog on this with a through gutting, crushing, visor coating to look like periods crusher visors and refurbishing the insignia...the $75 special, nearly 3 times what the cap can be bought for. Not my business what you paid. My business is to make it look like it just came out of a foot locker you bought at a estate sale.
Couple of downsides I want to point out. The brown dye really knocked back the piping. The customer liked it; 'Like it was in oily water in the vehicle.' I could, for extra money, try a piping dye but it would still look dirty. I'd pitched doing it Panzer. The other downside was the insignia, it had been epoxied before and the wing snapped when I was reattaching it. I have done, well a lot of these, but stuff happens. I tell you that when we start even if there is a total melt down or color change not on me. The aging process is fast and furious. I've been at this for nearly 50 years and not much gets ahead of me but it can, especially on Asian products, even if they are sold by a 'US vendor'. I offered to sell him a set of insignia but he asked I try a field repair. Bit of period thread and who is to say the MG42 gunner didn't step on it, a real bit of individual 'history'.
Happy customer with a cap most anyone would be happy to put on the collection shelf.
Customer wanted period flight jacket to have shoulder strap loops, fix a missing loop on waist adjustment, add loops for metal eagle and repair the ripped out lining. We put loops over the holes someone had punched through the leather, a no-no. Nice all origionla piece ready for display! What can Soldat restore to help your collection?
Customer had a nice Artillerie Rock, but there was a problem with the sleeve, just not going to display well shorter and very wrinkled, which is not as apparent in photo as is really was. Tailor got after it and you can see the results. Actually dropped the right as far as possible, discovering a bit of mothing AND taking the let up a bit! But now this displays beautifully as you can see in customers photo!! What can Soldat restore in your collection?
Customer had this beautiful Gau flag but the hook edge was dicey! Several of the loops gone and others pretty weak. Right next to the name patch the structural seam was ripping away, take a look at the photos below. Working with the customers supplied cloth, tailor put it back together patching both sides and sewing into seam. Then replacing all the loops. Time machine the new patches and you have a very displayable flag! All the other holes, the customer wanted as that was condition! What can Soldat restore for you & your collection?!
Return customer sent his NSDAP Leader Schirm for restoration. The sweat band was cracked right along the vent perferrations and very brittle. The visor was partially in still held in place. The goal was restoration of original parts to where it could be displayed. I have to caution the customer about trying to show off the RZM tag, that band is not going to take to being peaked under!
Original OT M43 with replica Heer Trap, replaced with original OT Trap, zig-zagged to contain top fray. Customer commented in email to brother, 'You must see the latest restoration and repair completed by Cyrus. Thanks to him my M-43 Organization Todt cap now bears the correct trapezoid device. Amazing workmanship by a true craftsman!'
Restored this original bakelite bino case replacing the missing belt straps; brown or black. “I contacted Cyrus with an unorthodox equipment restoration request. Not only was he able to do it in a quick and timely manner, he was able to add a few small details which make it better than I expected! Thank you sir! - Bill K.”
Original NSDAP Leaders Cap to Cap Rescue Service with the visor detached and sweatband loose. Back on display!
Replica Rescue, Modification, & Vintaging
Unknown Chinese made SS Panzer M43 sent to Cap Rescue Service. Added nice late war officer BEVO handstitch top-flip style plus vintage. The offset button; factory quality control issue as the trap was lined up on the seam.
'Found in the Bunker Hitler' cap that needed a eagle reattached plus some vintaging.
As with many things in our market place, nowadays caps are made in China, Pakistan & other Asian shops. Nearly every brand name is now copied and sold at a far lower price which is very attractive to the budget conscious buyer. However some of these caps arrive from their source and are, well disappointing. The price is such that it is not worth shipping back overseas. What to do?
Not basically bad caps, but there is that plastic visor & poorly placed wreath & cockade, not to mention no eagle! After Cap Rescue here is the lot five ready to go back to the customer!
On the right as it comes right out of the box from a major online vendor. Took this Chinese cap and changed the piping color, added quality insignia, chin cord, & vintaging and out comes the cap on the left, a veteran Heeres Signals Officer's Cap!
Let's talk about making it better!