Looking like Virgil Hilts For Under $250.00, Can it be done ?

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Update:
So the next to the last item for the Hilts impression arrived today. I know some of you guys have been patiently waiting to see this thing pull together, so I’ll keep this short for now. I was able to find a vintage late 1940s to early 1950s baseball glove for a reasonably cheap price that fit nicely into our budget .
The glove cost $15.00 with $5.00 shipping for a total of $20.00.
View attachment 42309
Now the glove was in pretty rough shape but I was able to bring it back into reasonably good condition with a light treatment of Pecards Brown. You can see the results for yourself .
View attachment 42310View attachment 42311View attachment 42312View attachment 42313
So here’s where we stand with the budget

Boots ................$70.00
Pants ................$27.29
Sweat Shirt........,.$11.88
Flight Bag............$10.00
Watch.................$5.23
Ball glove.............$20.00
Total..................$144.40
Budget Balance ....$ 105.60
Well ... the last item the A2 is on its way .
Stay tuned.
Looks like a catcher's mitt?
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
Actually, what I'd like to know is how many US WWII aviators carried baseball gloves of any variety on missions? Or were Red Cross parcels the stuff of sporting dreams?

I, along with most 50 plus something members I feel sure, am having huge fun with B-Man2's posts on this thread and, as he often says, historic accuracy is not the point. But I cant help feeling that to anyone else in any other time McQueen is rather like a WWII re-enactor wearing kit from Top Shop or a Darth Vader fan wearing a deep sea diving suit and passing it off as original
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Actually, what I'd like to know is how many US WWII aviators carried baseball gloves of any variety on missions? Or were Red Cross parcels the stuff of sporting dreams?

I, along with most 50 plus something members I feel sure, am having huge fun with B-Man2's posts on this thread and, as he often says, historic accuracy is not the point. But I cant help feeling that to anyone else in any other time McQueen is rather like a WWII re-enactor wearing kit from Top Shop or a Darth Vader fan wearing a deep sea diving suit and passing it off as original
Stan
Thanks for the kind words
It’s interesting that you posted this . Since I starting doing this I’ve been reading up as much as I could find on the filming of this movie and in MCQueen himself . Unfortunately a lot of it isn’t flattering however with regard to the Great Escape a lot of what I thought to be true with regard to that iconic outfit that he wore was spot on . He did have the Chinos tapered and tailored , he also cut the sleeves off the shirt based on his wife’s recommendations as Mulceber had
mentioned.
 
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mulceber

Well-Known Member
Actually it’s a infielders glove . They are a bit smaller than a catchers mitt. Also a catchers mitt doesn’t have fingers.
It also doesn’t help that it’s a vintage baseball glove, which in general were a bit more stubby and shaped a bit like a catcher’s mitt until...maybe the ‘70s?

Unfortunately a lot of it isn’t flattering
Yeah, I can imagine. From what I’ve gleaned, McQueen was a junky with many vices: booze, sex, adrenaline. Not a happy combination.
 
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Thomas Koehle

Well-Known Member
i'm soooo curious to see that result in the end ... - i was pretty sceptical in the beginning but really impressed now about the outcome so far ...

For that 250 bucks i was expecting it is possible maybe to do a "Mowgli" from "THE JUNGLE BOOK" costume but not VH
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Update:
Well guys , those of you who have been following this thread have really been patient and have had some pretty good suggestions as well . So I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. Today I received the A2 jacket, that I had my eye on and took a few photos of the unboxing of the jacket . I’ll share those with you all in a moment . Initially, I thought that when I received the jacket, I would scuff it up on some high point places similar to the movie jacket however, when I got the damn thing it was in such nice condition, that I can’t bring myself to intentionally sand it or rough it up. The jacket is a 28 year old 1992 USAF Orchard contract jacket, it's the only year that Orchard had a military contract. I’ve taken a number of photos of the jacket, because after all, this has really been what we’ve all been waiting for, hasn’t it? So after I finished photographing the jacket . I began the process of turning it into an facsimile of a Hilts’ jacket. Let me say that it’s not perfect or even close to perfect, but once again remember, we are going for a particular look and not authenticity. So now, here’s what you are all waiting for, the cost of the jacket and our budget . Well, the balance of our budget, left from all our other purchases, was $105.60 . The jacket with the shipping was.... Wait for it!!!
F07EABA3-748B-4436-AA66-B6AE929639EA.png

THAT’S RIGHT !!! $91.69 including shipping... Leaving us with a whopping $13.91 under budget. More than enough for a couple of pints for sure!
So, here are the photos of the jacket for your review .
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Ok I couldn’t wait to show you guys, so here’s what I did. There wasn’t time to obtain a shoulder decal or have a Hilts name tag made for the jacket, so I made my own name tag out of a scrap of the correct color of leather. For the shoulder decal I used an original WWII Roundel patch . I made the epaulet captains rank from that same piece of scrap leather and painted and aged them . Then I took a pair of captains bars and secured them to the underside of the collar. Since I didn’t have time to have all of this sewn to the jacket, I took double sided tape and attached everything to the jacket . So without any more drama ..... the $91.69 Virgil Hilts A2 Jacket .
A87D8BD5-C476-497E-88F0-DB64D558A1A9.jpeg

Now if the jacket had come to me in a little more beat up shape, I would have attempted to sand the high points for more realism . But for our purposes I think this will be ok. Tomorrow I’ll put on everything I’ve purchased and we’ll see how this whole project turned out.
Cheers
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Awesome find, Burt! I especially like the color of that jacket. Looks exactly like a Hilts jacket should. And it's just a helluva nice jacket!
Jan and I have talked about this jacket and at this juncture I'd like to express an opinion. This isn't a criticism or a knock on anyone, its just an opinion. I've often wondered why these early models of the reintroduced USAF A2 Jacket , are looked down upon by a number of collectors. Like most of you, I've watched many get excited about low cost jackets made by foreign manufacturers, and read about the quality of their jackets, and the quality of their materials. Hey, that's awesome and I'm glad to see the hobby spreading out and new manufacturers entering the mix. We continue to need people like that to further the knowledge base and the artisanry of the hobby. So once again, I'm not knocking anyone who believes in, likes, makes, or buys those products. What I am saying is that part of this hobby has always been the history of the jacket, the period it was worn and the people who wore them. The new (if 28 years old can be considered as new) A2 jackets, are as much a part of that history, as any other jacket worn by a pilot or air crewman in any other war or military period of service. Some of these early production jackets are made from some of the nicest goatskin you can find. The prices on them are ridiculously cheap, they sell for less than the cheapest repro's, and are made in the US, under government contracts, but most of us pu-pu them. Some of the older guys will remember a time back in the 1950's and 1960's, when no one wanted WWII A2 jackets, and you could buy them for $18.00 to $25.00 each. It was around that time period that I bought my first A2 jacket. After that, for Christmas or my birthday, whenever I was asked what I wanted, I would tell whoever was asking that I wanted another A2 jacket. Over time my collection grew and more importantly, back in those days you could often find mint A2 jackets for those prices. I often hear several of the younger guys here saying "boy I wish I was around back in those days", well to some extent you are. These A2 jackets that sell for $80.00- $125.00 today are the jackets that will be collectable in 10 or 15 years to come. Just look what's happened to the original G-1 jackets. 10 years ago you could buy them for chump change. Today Vietnam G-1 jacket prices are going through the roof . My personal opinion is, that some of you younger guys are letting an opportunity to own one slip thru your fingers. For my money, I would rather have one of these goatskin jackets with a history than a newly made repro without a history.
OK, last time around.....this is just my opinion..... and of course we all know that old saying, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one"....OK, I agree, and that's mine.
Cheers

Here's another early USAF Saddlery A2 Jacket from my collection, purchased for $125.00. The goatskin is very nice............Just sayin ;)
7E81BFB5-F921-4645-B78F-491B7C25FA6C.jpeg
 
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London Cabbie

Well-Known Member
Jan and I have talked about this jacket and at this juncture I'd like to express an opinion. This isn't a criticism or a knock on anyone, its just an opinion. I've often wondered why these early models of the reintroduced USAF A2 Jacket , are looked down upon by a number of collectors. Like most of you, I've watched many get excited about low cost jackets made by foreign manufacturers, and read about the quality of their jackets, and the quality of their materials. Hey, that's awesome and I'm glad to see the hobby spreading out and new manufacturers entering the mix. We continue to need people like that to further the knowledge base and the artisanry of the hobby. So once again, I'm not knocking anyone who believes in, likes, makes, or buys those products. What I am saying is that part of this hobby has always been the history of the jacket, the period it was worn and the people who wore them. The new (if 28 years old can be considered as new) A2 jackets, are as much a part of that history, as any other jacket worn by a pilot or air crewman in any other war or military period of service. Some of these early production jackets are made from some of the nicest goatskin you can find. The prices on them are ridiculously cheap, they sell for less than the cheapest repro's, and are made in the US, under government contracts, but most of us pu-pu them. Some of the older guys will remember a time back in the 1950's and 1960's, when no one wanted WWII A2 jackets, and you could buy them for $18.00 to $25.00 each. It was around that time period that I bought my first A2 jacket. After that, for Christmas or my birthday, whenever I was asked what I wanted, I would tell whoever was asking that I wanted another A2 jacket. Over time my collection grew and more importantly, back in those days you could often find mint A2 jackets for those prices. I often hear several of the younger guys here saying "boy I wish I was around back in those days", well to some extent you are. These A2 jackets that sell for $80.00- $125.00 today are the jackets that will be collectable in 10 or 15 years to come. Just look what's happened to the original G-1 jackets. 10 years ago you could buy them for chump change. Today Vietnam G-1 jacket prices are going through the roof . My personal opinion is, that some of you younger guys are letting an opportunity to own one slip thru your fingers. For my money, I would rather have one of these goatskin jackets with a history than a newly made repro without a history.
OK, last time around.....this is just my opinion..... and of course we all know that old saying, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one"....OK, I agree, and that's mine.
Cheers

Here's another early USAF Saddlery A2 Jacket from my collection, purchased for $125.00. The goatskin is very nice............Just sayin ;)
View attachment 42405
That was educational and actually makes sense. I don’t seem to have the expertise or time in finding these things and lazily end up going straight to a new jacket. Maybe I should start looking. What always worry’s me is ending up with a flea ridden moth hole rag...
 

Cocker

Well-Known Member
Actually, what I'd like to know is how many US WWII aviators carried baseball gloves of any variety on missions? Or were Red Cross parcels the stuff of sporting dreams?
As far as I can remember, those were indeed part of Red Cross stuffs for POW. Sporting goods, board games, etc etc...

@B-Man2 now that's an absolute steal for 65 bucks!!
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Ok I couldn’t wait to show you guys, so here’s what I did. There wasn’t time to obtain a shoulder decal or have a Hilts name tag made for the jacket, so I made my own name tag out of a scrap of the correct color of leather. For the shoulder decal I used an original WWII Roundel patch . I made the epaulet captains rank from that same piece of scrap leather and painted and aged them . Then I took a pair of captains bars and secured them to the underside of the collar. Since I didn’t have time to have all of this sewn to the jacket, I took double sided tape and attached everything to the jacket . So without any more drama ..... the $91.69 Virgil Hilts A2 Jacket .
View attachment 42403
Now if the jacket had come to me in a little more beat up shape, I would have attempted to sand the high points for more realism . But for our purposes I think this will be ok. Tomorrow I’ll put on everything I’ve purchased and we’ll see how this whole project turned out.
Cheers
Ditch the shoulder rank mate!
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
That was educational and actually makes sense. I don’t seem to have the expertise or time in finding these things and lazily end up going straight to a new jacket. Maybe I should start looking. What always worry’s me is ending up with a flea ridden moth hole rag...
Yes but at least wit will be an original flea ridden moth hole rag complete with genuine fleas and moth holes.
 
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