Sunday, 26 June 2011

Airsoft Arms and Accessories: Latest Additions

In a few weeks time I hope to be taking part in a WW2 themed game at Fireball, my regular site, and a month later, on the 21st August, I'm due to play in a WW2 game at The Tunnels, A first and Only site in between Kidderminster and Stourbridge

I decided to splash out on some more kit for these two games and here are the first couple of items; a Type II camouflage smock, made in the USA by S&M Wholesale, and an unissued WW2 German field torch made by Pertrix

I won't need the torch for the first game but for the second I reckon it will be an essential part of my kit. I've played at The Tunnels a couple of times before and although large parts of the site are well lit, significant areas have been left purposely very dark. I've no idea how much benefit the WW2 torch will be, with its tiny 4.5volt bulb but, hey, hopefully it will look the part

A view of the inside of the torch showing the modern battery and repro label. As yet, I don't have any bulbs. The torch is supplied without them and I wasn't aware of that when I bought it. Thankfully, the supplier has kindly agreed to send me some post free!
Take a craft knife, or perhaps a sharp fingernail, to the piece of paper stuck over the contacts and with a little bit of bending into position, away you go

Torches like this were supplied to the army by a number of manufacturers, Pertrix and Daimon being perhaps the best known and most widely used. They came in a variety of models, all very similar in size, and mostly fitted with leather flaps [some on the top only, others at both ends] for hanging on a tunic or coat button, by far the most common method of carrying them

They were used for general purpose lighting and for signalling. They were usually fitted with two or three perspex filters in red and green [like this one] or red, green and blue as well as a quick-release button on the top for signalling in Morse code. Some models had apertures at the bottom, whilst others had hinged lids over the glass, to allow the ground directly underfoot to be lit

The smock, which you can see a little of in the above pictures, is a Type II Plane Tree print smock purchased from the same place as the torch, namely Soldier of Fortune. Made by S&M Wholesale in the US, it's a good quality reproduction of the real thing with a lace up neck, elasticated cuffs and waist, two skirt pockets with metal dish buttons and loops on the front, back and shoulders for fixing additional camouflage material to it should you wish to. It's also completely reversible with autumnal colours on the other side

It cost just under £100, plus P+P, so not inexpensive but cheaper than buying it direct from the US and cheaper, too, than going to somewhere like Panther-Store in Europe

The use of camouflage clothing such as this was surely one of the most innovative and pioneering aspects of Waffen SS uniform production. SS-VT units had started using smocks cut from cotton duck material and printed in camouflage patterns as early as 1938. Earlier versions didn't have the foliage loops and, rather than skirt pockets, had slash openings above the waistband which facilitated access to the tunic underneath

Details of the elasticated cuffs and waistband

The smock was originally intended to be worn over the top of the y-straps, ammunition pouches and other equipment, being loose fitting around the skirt to allow access to whatever was underneath. It was very common, however, for equipment to be worn over the top of the smock and very often the skirt was rolled up under the elasticated waistband to allow soldiers unimpeded access to the lower pockets of the tunic

Detail of the 'inside' of the pocket

Detail of the foliage loops to the front, rear and shoulder of the smock

One final shot of the author's purchase being worn over the top of a GD tunic
This reproduction smock comes in one size only, large enough to fit chests 42-48 according to the maker's information. I don't know about that but, as you can see from the picture above, it's plenty big enough to fit comfortably over the top of a woollen tunic without feeling in any way tight or constricting

So, two new purchases that I'm very happy with and would heartily recommend. Can't wait to get them out on the skirmish field. Until next time

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