Welcome To “The Bargain Basement”

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hi guys!
I’ve been thinking about doing this thread ever since I posted the Virgil Hilts on a budget thread
I was looking at that thread the other day and thought that I might try and pick up where that thread left off, with finding reduced cost options and products for some of us who are on a budget , have limited spending power , or if you’re like me, just refuse to spend ridiculous amounts of money on some of this stuff. Now, I realize that some of you believe that “you only get what you pay for”, and to that extent, I respect and agree with you on
that point however, I also believe that in this hobby there are many times where we, “don’t get what we pay for”. In fact, how many times have we seen products who’s prices were jacked up simply because they were repros of military or vintage made items with a “ US “ mark stamped one them. Often times we’ve seen items that were sold by some of those same manufactures on the commercial market with no stamp for far less . Or items that were commercially sold that closely resembled those “ US” marked products at reduced prices. So with this in mind, I would like to start this thread to provide options for all of us who are interested in seeing less costly products, that would still be quality gear but at reduced prices . For clarification, this thread will not criticize or demean the manufactures who sell their ridiculously high priced products. We all know who they are. Instead it will simply bring “ options” to your attention that may or may not work for you.
Hopefully many of you will come across reduce cost quality items ( notice that I didn’t say cheap here) that may be of interest to the rest of us, and will post some information about those products here. So with that in mind let me begin with a very good quality item that I recently purchased on Amazon .
After reading a recent thread on “1942 Flying Gloves” I did a little detective work to see what was out there on the commercial market that looked very close to those WWII Gloves, and would be a quality item at a reduced cost from the current prices, which in one case is in excess of $100 US for a pair of leather or horsehide gloves. So ... here’s what I found.
Here’s a photo of “1942 Flying Gloves”
C6CE01DD-A387-429F-A3DE-8137D3D4FB3F.jpeg

Now here’s a photo of commercially made Buffalo hide gloves made by the Illinois Glove Company and sold on Amazon for $12.99 US.
524A9C8A-77C0-41EA-B516-309EDA8CC66B.jpeg

The only issue is that these gloves come with an elastic band sewn into the interior of the glove that gathers the top of the glove around the wrist .
47D21398-9438-4289-BFB6-E6F1CC86D3D0.jpeg

Once that is removed you have essentially the same glove .
COST SAVINGS $110.00 vs $12.99.
Is the authencity difference between these two sets of gloves worth the price difference ?
It’s your money ... you make the call.

PS. If you guys like reading about this sort of information please let me know in your comments. If you don’t see any value in this type of post , please let me know that as well.
Thank you.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
basically, the airmen, para gloves are roper gloves, and the can be found on many sites and greedbay.. different colors, hides, etc. I remember that there was a guy on eb from the uk selling para gloves [with wrist strap] a couple years ago. none of the afore mentioned were over $35 the pair.google "roper gloves".
 

Thomas Koehle

Well-Known Member
Hi Burt!

Due to the fact that i'm in the US quiet often i already realised those gloves are available at most of the bigger truck-stops or gasstation aside of the highways for less than 20 bucks - the guys in Europe may not have a clue about that ...

So i think it is pretty helpful for anybody in search for proper "substitutes" for period gear.

I absolutely love this kind of "market research" - looking forward to any other news ...
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Hi Burt!

Due to the fact that i'm in the US quiet often i already realised those gloves are available at most of the bigger truck-stops or gasstation aside of the highways for less than 20 bucks - the guys in Europe may not have a clue about that ...

So i think it is pretty helpful for anybody in search for proper "substitutes" for period gear.

I absolutely love this kind of "market research" - looking forward to any other news ...
Thomas ... I have about 5 or 6 more items that I think many here will be interested in hearing about so stay tuned :)
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
So ... it’s been a slow day today, so I thought I’d post another “Bargain Basement” advisory.
A few years ago I was searching in vain for an original mint Mechanics A-1 sweater. Try as I might, I couldn’t find one that was mint and when I finally did, it was a size small or a medium . Eventually I gave up searching and dropped a tidy sum of cash on an ELC Mechanics A-1 . Roughly about $176.00 US .
I had that sweater about 3 months when out of no where a friend of mine called me up one day and said “ he knew a guy “ who had an original in a large size but it wouldn’t be cheap . Ok understandable, most of these things didn’t last long, what with heavy wear , unforgiving washing machines and moths, most were beat up with holes or destroyed . Well the short story was I found a mint A-1 sweater in a large size and once again shelled out some big bucks. Which brings me to the real story . A few years ago I found “Outdoor knitwear”. An on line store operating out of the UK . I was looking through some of their collections and to my surprise I found a NIFFI Mechanics A-1 sweater with a $60.00 price tag. I was curious and wanted to know more about the sweater . So for $60.00 I ordered one . When it arrived I was floored . The sweater was 100% wool and was every bit as good as the original or the ELC ones for far less money. So without further explanation here’s another “Bargain Basement Special”.
Here a photo of the Niffi on the left , the original on the top right and the ELC on the lower right . The color difference means very little as there were several different shades of OD and Khaki during the war , sometimes due to different contractors, sometimes from the same contractor using materials from different dye lots.
134E2419-F09F-44D9-B07C-BB207FF479FB.jpeg
FB726532-4282-475C-BA0D-89E096672D09.jpeg

I
567282CE-9238-49C7-94F2-117998830CFE.jpeg

Under that photo is an original A1 and under that is the NIFFI Mechanics A-1.
COST
Original ..... 1st born male child
Top Tier ......$176.00 US
Niffi brand ....$60.00 US
SAVINGS ........ $116.00 and 1st born son!
The sweater is a great quality piece of kit and
the difference in prices are noteworthy
It’s your money .... It’s your call.
If you enjoyed the review please let me know in the comment section. If not please let me know that as well.
Edit : Oh and I forgot to mention OutDoor has BOB and Sub Mariner Sweaters as well
 

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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Good and useful review. Colourwise the Niffi sweater resembles more to the original than the ELC.

PL: Hope you'll find us a good quality T-shirt that matches the ELC / BR shirts
Hi Jack
As I mentioned there were several different colors of khaki and Olive drab during the war, depending on when, what and who made the article of clothing. AT The Front ...has a great write up on that, here’s the link in case your interested in reading about that


The color difference could also be attributable to washing as the ELC has never been washed and the other two have.
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
So ... it’s been a slow day today, so I thought I’d post another “Bargain Basement” advisory.
A few years ago I was searching in vain for an original mint Mechanics A-1 sweater. Try as I might, I couldn’t find one that was mint and when I finally did, it was a size small or a medium . Eventually I gave up searching and dropped a tidy sum of cash on an ELC Mechanics A-1 . Roughly about $176.00 US .
I had that sweater about 3 months when out of no where a friend of mine called me up one day and said “ he knew a guy “ who had an original in a large size but it wouldn’t be cheap . Ok understandable, most of these things didn’t last long, what with heavy wear , unforgiving washing machines and moths, most were beat up with holes or destroyed . Well the short story was I found a mint A-1 sweater in a large size and once again shelled out some big bucks. Which brings me to the real story . A few years ago I found “Outdoor knitwear”. An on line store operating out of the UK . I was looking through some of their collections and to my surprise I found a NIFFI Mechanics A-1 sweater with a $60.00 price tag. I was curious and wanted to know more about the sweater . So for $60.00 I ordered one . When it arrived I was floored . The sweater was 100% wool and was every bit as good as the original or the ELC ones for far less money. So without further explanation here’s another “Bargain Basement Special”.
Here a photo of the Niffi on the left , the original on the top right and the ELC on the lower right . The color difference means very little as there were several different shades of OD and Khaki during the war , sometimes due to different contractors, sometimes from the same contractor using materials from different dye lots. View attachment 46096View attachment 46094
IView attachment 46095
Under that photo is an original A1 and under that is the NIFFI Mechanics A-1.
COST
Original ..... 1st born male child
Top Tier ......$176.00 US
Niffi brand ....$60.00 US
SAVINGS ........ $116.00 and 1st born son!
The sweater is a great quality piece of kit and
the difference in prices are noteworthy
It’s your money .... It’s your call.
If you enjoyed the review please let me know in the comment section. If not please let me know that as well.
Edit : Oh and I forgot to mention OutDoor has BOB and Sub Mariner Sweaters as well
I bought an ELC A-1 on the day I found out that we were set to have a 1st born male child! The Niffi brand is pretty damn close and well worth the asking price. I am still waiting for my mum to knit me a vest with a pattern I bought off eBay decades ago.. The wool is there, just missing the motivation..
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Another slow day so another “Bargain Basement “ advisory . This one was posted before in the Hilts thread, but I’m so happy with the results, that I thought Id post this one again. I’m talking about the quality and workmanship of a pair of Ralph Lauren WWII style Roughout boots. These boots are a great value for the money, which by the way is pretty damn cheap compared to buying current repros from top tier companies. I did a quick assessment and the cheapest pair of quality repro roughouts , similar to these are in the $199.00 to $225.00 price range . If you shop around on EBay you can find a pair of these RL boots for between $80.00 to $125.00 and they are top quality boots . In fact they go one better than most of the high end repros out there, by incorporating a Corded Sole , the same as the US Marine Corp WWII boon dockers had on there boots. The RL boots come with a pull tab and a sewn on label that you’ll need to remove but once completed they are a match for the high end repro roughouts at about a third of the price. As a comparison model I’ve used a pair of dubbed top tier boots that I’ve had for a few years. So take a look at these and let me know your thoughts . As always “ It’s your money .. It’s your call”
COST $125.00
TOP TIER REPROS $225.00
SAVINGS $100.00
Cheers
77A8D3AA-68A7-4928-95DB-1A164F5D47C0.jpeg
E587A424-1060-47A1-8116-DFF8255D7D3D.jpeg
4DDDB97F-839B-4214-9291-0F3FEF29D61B.jpeg
63BD5395-6543-4C23-9D45-00F47A1D30DD.jpeg
BD2663C2-AF59-43AA-9D1B-6AB8ED769829.jpeg
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DEDB5E47-A5C5-465B-9B79-AF1EE55BFB37.jpeg
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I can vouch for the RRL boots. Got a pair of the roughout years ago and used "Sno Seal" on them to work for the wets. Excellent boots for sure. And I got them for like $150 at the time, give or take.
Thanks for the feedback Butte :)
It definitely beats dropping $225.00 plus for a pair . This is what “Bargain Basements” all about , trying to find alternative options without dipping into your kids college fund .;)
 
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Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Hi Jack
As I mentioned there were several different colors of khaki and Olive drab during the war, depending on when, what and who made the article of clothing. AT The Front ...has a great write up on that, here’s the link in case your interested in reading about that


The color difference could also be attributable to washing as the ELC has never been washed and the other two have.
That guy at ATF is hilarious. I live for his bulletin emails !
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
So ... it’s been a slow day today, so I thought I’d post another “Bargain Basement” advisory.
A few years ago I was searching in vain for an original mint Mechanics A-1 sweater. Try as I might, I couldn’t find one that was mint and when I finally did, it was a size small or a medium . Eventually I gave up searching and dropped a tidy sum of cash on an ELC Mechanics A-1 . Roughly about $176.00 US .
I had that sweater about 3 months when out of no where a friend of mine called me up one day and said “ he knew a guy “ who had an original in a large size but it wouldn’t be cheap . Ok understandable, most of these things didn’t last long, what with heavy wear , unforgiving washing machines and moths, most were beat up with holes or destroyed . Well the short story was I found a mint A-1 sweater in a large size and once again shelled out some big bucks. Which brings me to the real story . A few years ago I found “Outdoor knitwear”. An on line store operating out of the UK . I was looking through some of their collections and to my surprise I found a NIFFI Mechanics A-1 sweater with a $60.00 price tag. I was curious and wanted to know more about the sweater . So for $60.00 I ordered one . When it arrived I was floored . The sweater was 100% wool and was every bit as good as the original or the ELC ones for far less money. So without further explanation here’s another “Bargain Basement Special”.
Here a photo of the Niffi on the left , the original on the top right and the ELC on the lower right . The color difference means very little as there were several different shades of OD and Khaki during the war , sometimes due to different contractors, sometimes from the same contractor using materials from different dye lots. View attachment 46096View attachment 46094
IView attachment 46095
Under that photo is an original A1 and under that is the NIFFI Mechanics A-1.
COST
Original ..... 1st born male child
Top Tier ......$176.00 US
Niffi brand ....$60.00 US
SAVINGS ........ $116.00 and 1st born son!
The sweater is a great quality piece of kit and
the difference in prices are noteworthy
It’s your money .... It’s your call.
If you enjoyed the review please let me know in the comment section. If not please let me know that as well.
Edit : Oh and I forgot to mention OutDoor has BOB and Sub Mariner Sweaters as well
I’ve ordered one Burt . I hope you can live with the consequences if it is crap ......;)
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
You won’t be disappointed and I’d definitely like to hear your review of it once it arrives . :)
As it’s already in the UK, i should know soon.
I’ve had two of the ELC sweaters - both second hand - i couldn’t get rid of them quick enough. Too thick and heavy. They sagged something rotten !
Dave
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
Okay, got my RL roughouts and waiting for the Sno-Seal to arrive.
Great buy. Was that you Burt who found these? Thanks.
Where are you sourcing the red shoelaces? 40" I believe is correct?

Regards,
 

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