reproing badges question on metal

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reproing badges question on metal

chad heckle
chad heckle

December 16th, 2005, 3:13 am #1

Hello all.
Well, my Seaforths Canada WWI impression is almost done. I was able to get an original 72nd clooar dog, and shoulder title. But only one of each. I also got an original white metal cap badge. Now I know that the Glenngary badges were of brass or bronze, and I only had one each of the collar and shoulder badges. So here what I did.
My family owns a Jewelery store/buisness. So, I sent the badges to our casting house and had them mold them, and then casted a matching pair of each to wear on my uniform, and keep the originals in my case. I also took the white metal cap badge, molded it, and cast it in brass. My original collar and shoulder title are both in what looks like blackend broze, or copper, and my casting house only casts in brass alloys, sterling silver, platinum, and all golds. So I had them cast in brass as that what the closest color. Was this just a variation in makers? Or were all of them done in bronze/copper. Another option is to copper plate them to give them the correct coloring. What are all of ya'll opinion?
One more thing, I will post pics when I can. Please understand, that I am not wanting to start selling repop badges. However, this casting house does an EXACT mold, down to the reverse tecturing and makers mark on back ( I know this is a touchy subject thats why I do not want to start a repop inventory shop) All I am offering here is if there are any groups out there who do not want to keep wearing original badges on all their uniforms, let me know and we can mold and cast rpros of them. This offer is for reenacting groups only, not collectors...sorry, I dont want these trying to be passed as originals. THEse are for correct field uniforms and dress uniforms only. We are trying to figure out a way ti insert and mark of our own so that they cant be passed as originals. You'll see why when you see the pics.
P.S. I am not the guy off ebay, just a reenactor trying to help out others.
Thanks,
Chad Heckle
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Ed Storey
Ed Storey

December 16th, 2005, 4:37 am #2

Sure, lets dilute the market with more reproductions which accurately copy everything, right down to the manufactures markings!!! Thankfully, you wisely limited these scheme to re-enactors so that you could make sure that you can potentially flood the market with these copies rather than selling piecemeal to collectors. As I have said before and I will said again, the demand for reproductions is going to kill the militaria market by swamping it with worthless junk.

Re-enactors have their place and I can understand the requirement to use reproductions instead of originals; I cannot for the life of me understand why the desire for exacting copies. I understand that these copies are not being made to be passed off as originals, but to assume that they will never end up being sold or mistaken as originals in years to come because of their exactness is to be naive in the extreme.

I feel that exact copying both sides of the badges is a foolish mistake and that REPRODUCTION should be firmly cast in the back of each copy. This will make it more difficult for the badges to be passed off as originals in the future.
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CHAD HECKLE
CHAD HECKLE

December 16th, 2005, 12:08 pm #3

You know,
this is exactly why I was hesitant to post this. If you read my post you will see that I am not wanting to "flood the market". All I am trying to do is help fellow reenactors out by not having to wear their originals out in the field. As a collector you should understand this. If I was wanting to flood the market, all I would have to do is start buying up originals and selling the repops on ebay or other outlets. But I am not am I? So, posting a tantrum on this message doesnt do anyone any good. I specifically stated that we would mark ours as reproductions so that they couldn't be mistaken as originals. We have even discussed grinding off the makers mark and replaceing it with our mark which is "CHAD". HOWEVER, one can never say never. And I cannot say that these will NEVER be sold as "original". Theres nothing anybody can do about it. People are crooks, and the crookks are out there. That is just the way of life. I have seen many items, not just badges, that are repoductions being passed off as originals/ Including uniforms, field gear etc. To think that badges are Never going to be reproduced is also "naive in the extreme" on your part. Once again, I am not a dealer that is trying to make millions of dollars by doing this. I do that by selling jewelerr to guys during the last week before christmas , I am just trying to help out my fellow reenactors because I know how hard it can be to find some of these items, and when you do, the last thing that you want to do is take a chance of loosing it.
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John E.
John E.

December 16th, 2005, 1:20 pm #4

Hello all.
Well, my Seaforths Canada WWI impression is almost done. I was able to get an original 72nd clooar dog, and shoulder title. But only one of each. I also got an original white metal cap badge. Now I know that the Glenngary badges were of brass or bronze, and I only had one each of the collar and shoulder badges. So here what I did.
My family owns a Jewelery store/buisness. So, I sent the badges to our casting house and had them mold them, and then casted a matching pair of each to wear on my uniform, and keep the originals in my case. I also took the white metal cap badge, molded it, and cast it in brass. My original collar and shoulder title are both in what looks like blackend broze, or copper, and my casting house only casts in brass alloys, sterling silver, platinum, and all golds. So I had them cast in brass as that what the closest color. Was this just a variation in makers? Or were all of them done in bronze/copper. Another option is to copper plate them to give them the correct coloring. What are all of ya'll opinion?
One more thing, I will post pics when I can. Please understand, that I am not wanting to start selling repop badges. However, this casting house does an EXACT mold, down to the reverse tecturing and makers mark on back ( I know this is a touchy subject thats why I do not want to start a repop inventory shop) All I am offering here is if there are any groups out there who do not want to keep wearing original badges on all their uniforms, let me know and we can mold and cast rpros of them. This offer is for reenacting groups only, not collectors...sorry, I dont want these trying to be passed as originals. THEse are for correct field uniforms and dress uniforms only. We are trying to figure out a way ti insert and mark of our own so that they cant be passed as originals. You'll see why when you see the pics.
P.S. I am not the guy off ebay, just a reenactor trying to help out others.
Thanks,
Chad Heckle
My sentiments exactly, Ed. When will people understand that unmarked repros do nothing more than kill the market for legitimate, genuine peices.

Even though your intentions may be 100% honourable, Chad, there are many out there whose are not. Many who would jump at the chance to flog worthless originals as genuine for a quick buck. Selling militaria is a huge money-making industry as we all know.

Scares me to think reproductions can accurately copy everything right down to the hallmarks...

And - I, also, have no problem with re-anctors and their need for reproduction pieces. I understand their case. But for the respect of those who wore these in previous generations...mark them "reproduction" PLEASE!!! If not for them, then think of the hundreds of people who enjoy militaria as collectors, enthusiasts, etc.

Also - that wasn't attitude on Ed's part, just the reality of the situation. Seriously, what did you expect posting that?
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chad heckle
chad heckle

December 16th, 2005, 1:50 pm #5

why does everyone think that any type of repro that I do for an individual is going to be unmarked? In both of my posts I stated that there would be some type of distinguishing "repro" mark on the back to indentify it as a reproduction. I know that there is A LOT of frustration when it comes to collecting anything. But it seems that you all who are collectors only, are so upset and irritated at the people who are producing nonmarked repros because of the chance of devaluing your collections (which I can truely understand) that when someone like myself who has stated that there will be distiquishing marks on the back, you guys completely miss the issue. ALL you seem to hear is "badge, copy, badge, copy, exact,exact", and take the oppertunity to complain, and voice your frustration over the entire issue. As opposed to saying something along the lines of, "well, as long as there are distinguishing marks, we appriciate the offer". And leave it at that. Becasue that is all that is was, an offer, I am not goign off and doing this by myself. This is only for those who want a copy of a badge that they already have.
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John E.
John E.

December 16th, 2005, 2:20 pm #6

Point well taken, Chad. It was not my intention to discredit what you are doing in any sense...it's a very touchy subject, indeed.

You are probably correct. As a long-time collector, I still shudder at hearing "repro" and "copy." In the early 80's I made the decision to dump my entire collection of german items b/c of the overwhelming number of reproductions flooding the market. My hope is that this doesn't happen to my Canadian items. 'Nuff said.
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Paul Harrison
Paul Harrison

December 16th, 2005, 2:25 pm #7

why does everyone think that any type of repro that I do for an individual is going to be unmarked? In both of my posts I stated that there would be some type of distinguishing "repro" mark on the back to indentify it as a reproduction. I know that there is A LOT of frustration when it comes to collecting anything. But it seems that you all who are collectors only, are so upset and irritated at the people who are producing nonmarked repros because of the chance of devaluing your collections (which I can truely understand) that when someone like myself who has stated that there will be distiquishing marks on the back, you guys completely miss the issue. ALL you seem to hear is "badge, copy, badge, copy, exact,exact", and take the oppertunity to complain, and voice your frustration over the entire issue. As opposed to saying something along the lines of, "well, as long as there are distinguishing marks, we appriciate the offer". And leave it at that. Becasue that is all that is was, an offer, I am not goign off and doing this by myself. This is only for those who want a copy of a badge that they already have.
Ed, John and all of the serious collectors will agree that there is a problem with the froliferation of fakes WRT militaria. There are numerous places where repros are being made. I did a google search and found one site in Pakistan that will replicate anything you want, (German, British, American, etc) and they will include original markings etc. I'm sure that the serious german (and commomwealth) collectors are more than a little unhappy as they watch their collections devaluate with this activity. With that said, as long as repros are made near to exact (externally) but totally wrong (badge backings, interior of clothing, reverse of webbing etc) I'm a little more supportive of the copies. The hope is that the copies can't be converted eventually into "well used" originals. When you get a guy who can make EXACT kit in all aspects, it becomes a problem. Chad, I'd think that you'd have the ability to alter the reverse of any badges you make, thus ensuring that anyone who collects (and does the required research) will know that it was made in 2006. The one advantage of Repros is that if you want to re-enact, it becomes affordable and in some cases, leads the member into a desire to add the real items to his hobby. To draw a parrallel. Twenty years ago most of the guys who shot long guns told me I did not need Semi Autos or handguns, they were bad. Had the shooting fraternaty stayed together as ONE group, we might still be able to recreate a little history on a range. The collectors need to remember that re-enactors have the same basic requirements but we ALL need to help police the "crooks".
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David Gordon
David Gordon

December 16th, 2005, 3:43 pm #8

If you want to make badges for reenactors or to serve as place-holders in peoples collections until they find originals, just alter the hanger on the badge. When worn or displayed on a fabric backing in a case, the clasp is generally not visible. Shouldn't matter to anybody since it would be an easy way to tell a copy from the real thing. We've had this discussion on plasic badges including the 1CPB example. Most of the reproductions being passed as real have incorrect or missing hangers on the back and so they are easy to spot when sold but work fine for people that want to wear them.
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Dave King
Dave King

December 16th, 2005, 5:38 pm #9

Chad, please don't feel that people are jumping down your throat on this--remember that no-one is questioning your motives or honesty on this. But those of us who remember the flood (and that is the right word) of restrike/fake badges that came out of England in the 1970s have cause to be concerned; I remember being offered a magnificent Guards Machine-Gun Battalion officer's sterling silver badge in about 1976 in London--without any hallmarks (which was illegal, actually!). Fifty pounds. I didn't buy it, as I was fifteen years old and fifty quid was simply more than I could afford (I did get a Newfoundland Forestry Battalion badge at a junk store on the same trip for fifty pence,though!

Question for you: who owns the dies/moulds for your repro'd Seaforth badges? Did you buy them from the casting house? Did you destroy them? What will happen to them if they're not in your possession, or after you die? Things like that tend to get used, sooner or later; and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that if the dies/moulds float around long enough, someone will start to cast up "Piper's" badges in silver, or 9kt gold "Commanding Officer's" issues, or some such nonsense.

Also, what happens 50 years from now when we're all gone, and your repro badges have a patina of age on them? It will be pretty much impossible to tell a 50-year old repro from a 120-year old original by that point--and that's without factoring in those who deliberately age things artificially.

Once upon a time, most of the Canadian repros/restrikes/fakes were fairly easy to spot; wrong metal, or solid back casting, or wrong fasteners. But things have changed. The recent numbered artillery badge repros are really, really well done. Already several have been mistaken (or, sadly, deliberately passed off) for originals. Whatever the intention of the guys who made the repros were, they will be misrepresented by a small percentage of crooked people out there. It's just inevitable human nature. My feeling is, why make it easier by producting exact copies--for display or re-enactment, it doesn't really matter what the reverse of the badge looks like.

Please give strong consideration to having the reverse of any further repros look totally unlike the originals--a solid, "satin" finish back, with your name and the date stamped (as deeply as possible!) would suffice. Besides, think of it as a legacy--maybe collectors in the 2100s will be paying big bucks for "original Chads!"
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Clive M. Law - Service Publications
Clive M. Law - Service Publications

December 16th, 2005, 5:49 pm #10

Good point Dave. Look at the Victorian copies of original suits of armour. They are collectable upon themselves.
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