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Best Repro Mae West?

July 22 2008 at 1:07 PM

  (Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
from IP address 86.135.68.87

I was wondering what the best repro Mae West is (1932 pattern)-Pegasus or Sefton? I have seen both in person, but I have yet to see a real 1032 pattern Mae West so I have no idea which is better when compared. I also understand that Nigel Carver once mentioned that a guy who was in his RAF reenactment group (RAF at War)made better repros then bothe sefton and pegasus.

Also, I understand that Neil Bonnick made great reproduction mae west soles (including the bladder). Does he still make them? Or am I too late? Any thoughts?

Cheers, Philip

 
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AuthorReply
Neil Bonnick
(Login bonnickeng)
Forum Member
130.76.32.23

Repro Mae West + Bladders?

July 22 2008, 3:05 PM 

Hello Philip, I have not seen a Pegasus repro but I can comment on the Sefton repro 1932 Patt Mae West. I have an original '32 Patt and a Sefton made example so comparing the two, the Sefton must have been reversed engineered from an original. The Sefton is so good I wouldn't be surprised if one were to be passed off as original.
As for my long over due promise to recreate 1932 Patt Mae west stoles - this project is still alive. I have a good prototype bladder made and I was last working on a very accurate brass valve that I have reverse engineered from an original. Due to other commitments I have had to put this project on the "back burner" but I do hope to resume this soon.
I will notify the Forum just as soon as I can make a decent production run to allow affordable prices. It is not my intention to make profit on this, just to cover material costs and just a little bit of sweat!
Cheers
Neil B.

 
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(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Repro Mae West + Bladders?

July 22 2008, 3:38 PM 

Thanks for the reply Neil, I (and many other forum members) look forward to the arrival of youur sole.

However, please take time over it-I am happy to wait two years or more for it so long as it isn't too stressfull for you and the outcome is good. I probably have no doubt in saying that the final outcome will be of museum quality.

BTW-do you have any current teaser pictures, or is it still too early in development?

Kind Regards, Philip

 
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(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Repro Mae West + Bladders?

July 22 2008, 3:43 PM 

I forgot to ask in my first post whether the label on Sefton's 1932 pattern mae west is any good. Is it? I have seen one at the RAF museum at Hendon, and I too must agree in saying that I thought it was very good, just a shame that it was missing the sole and bladder ;)

Cheers, Philip

 
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Alex
(Login gate1)
Forum Member
91.104.10.166

32 Pattern Mae West

July 22 2008, 4:25 PM 

I dont have one myself and havnt handled enough to compare original with repro. But about three years ago I bid on a 'real' green '32 pattern mae west on ebay, but was outbid at about 750 or so (may have been more). Thankfully a friend from this site emailed me to say it was a Steve Silburn repro so I emailed the winning bidder to tell him, mentioning Steve and advising him to contact him to verify. He came back to say he knew Steve and he had confirmed it was one of his repros.

The winning bidder withdrew his bid, but had said he'd be willing to have bid (I think) 1500. So it fooled two of us although I was I think the more inexperienced of the two. But just goes to show the measure of a Silburn one at least, especially if you stick it in the wash once or twice.

 
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Philip
(Login Philip.ed)
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86.135.68.87

Re: 32 Pattern Mae West

July 22 2008, 4:33 PM 

OK, thanks for that Alex-please check your e-mails.

Regards, Philip

 
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(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: 32 Pattern Mae West

July 22 2008, 4:36 PM 

How can one tell whether it's a repro or not? Alex is, in my opinion, very experienced as far as RAF collecting is concerned so for someone like him to be fooled really gets one wondering...when I saw Sefton's repro I didn't relalise it was that good.

Cheers, Philip

 
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Alex
(Login gate1)
Forum Member
91.104.10.166

Experience

July 22 2008, 5:07 PM 

Thanks for your comments Philip. I have more experience in uniform and insignia, which I collect more than flying gear. In the main its experience and a 'nose' for things. I still get things wrong, as do most of us I suspect, and there are probably better people to talk on flying gear.

But certain delears, or makers put in little things that are tell tale signs to look for. Pegasus has authentic looking labels on their gear, but with the makers name 'John Neale and Co' (or similar) which I think is the blokes grandfather. The problem comes with experience in handling the actual item, which allows you to spot repros from then on. But with a bit of wear and tear, its becoming harder to tell.

 
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(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Experience

July 23 2008, 4:26 AM 

Thanks Alex, I knew about the Pegasus makers name-Henry John Neale and Co. (or along those lines) but it's telling a Sefton mae west from an original that intrigues me. I own Seftons brilliant b type helmet and d-mask and I can easily be able to say whether any b type helmet that pops up on eBay (or d mask) is one of his. But this is what Stephen wants-for sellers to be able to tell whether they are his or not. Which explains Alex why he was helpful in confirming that the mae west that you bid on a while back was one of his.

Cheers, Philip

 
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Alex
(Login gate1)
Forum Member
91.104.10.166

Mae West

July 23 2008, 7:14 AM 

I'm pretty sure in the case of the Mae West that was sold, the buyer came back to say Steve had identified it through the zip although I may be wrong. Makers usually know their own work anyway. Im sure he'd be happy to ID anything if you asked him.

 
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(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Mae West

July 23 2008, 7:49 AM 

Thanks for that information Alex-having never studied a real mae west in person I wouldn't know whether or not the zip was correct. However, I remember hearing this a while ago-although I can't think where.

OT-Alex any more info. on that Belgium seller? Did you get my e-mail? Sorry if I'm being impatient.

Regards for know, Philip

 
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Neil Bonnick
(Login bonnickeng)
Forum Member
130.76.32.145

Repro Mae West + Bladders

July 24 2008, 10:23 AM 

Gentlemen,
Thanks for your interest in my Stole. (I could have written "Bladder" but it would have looked odd!).
I have always wondered why Mae West stoles have not been reproduced in the past - not to say someone else couldn't still do this other than myself. But the problems with this is that of materials. It took me a while to find a supplier of the correct rubber. I wanted it to be of the correct thickness and colour. The thickness I have found, but the correct colour remains elusive.
The originals that I have are a wine red colour. My stole will be a tan shade or even off white - (depending on the rubber available). In the end, the only part visible to the outside the life vest is the tube. This I will cover in red or yellow silk which will be correct. In fact I will probably cover the bladder in silk too just to help the rubber last longer for those people who will be outside in the heat!
As for photos of my progress - I'll try to make some photos this weekend.
As for the 32 Patt Mae Wests - the quick way to tell the difference is with the rubberized backing to the green cloth. The original vest had a green rubberized coating whereas the repro that I have has the backing in black. So if you are wondering, just unzip the vest and look inside. If you see black it's a repro. The original vest will probably have its green rubberized layer perishing by now. Also, another distinction is the repro vests uses all rubberized cotton - my original vest only uses rubberized cotton for the "horseshoe" stole compartment part of the vest. The vest body is just plain green cotton.
I'll keep you posted with my stole progress.
Cheers Neil B.

 
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Philip
(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Repro Mae West + Bladders

July 24 2008, 11:55 AM 

Thanks for the information Neil, I look forward to the outcome of you stole project. Also, that information about the repro mae-wests is really very intersting, this forum is great or learning information like that.

I was just wondering whether you have a fixed price for your stole's or is it still too early in development?

Regards for now
Philip

 
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Neil Bonnick
(Login bonnickeng)
Forum Member
130.76.32.145

Repro 1932 Pattern Stoles

July 24 2008, 2:36 PM 

Hi Philip,
I will offer two options. The higher price option will be as true to original as possible with a fully functional valve. The lower price option will be just a representative shape bladder, made with the correct rubber but filled with a soft sponge to mimick as if the wearer had partially inflated the vest (as per instructions). This option will have a dummy valve. My aim is that both options will look correct when installed in a vest.
As for pricing - this still has to be determined. It will be based on how many people want a stole. The more material I purchase, the lower the price per unit.
I will not just make one item at a time unless someone is willing to pay the difference! I will make batches of stoles. I estimate after 50 stoles the interest will tail off. But we'll see.
When I am ready to start a batch I will anounce the prices then.
I will try to get this ready in a couple months.
Thanks for your interest.
Cheers
Neil B.

 
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Philip
(Login Philip.ed)
Forum Member
86.135.68.87

Re: Repro 1932 Pattern Stoles

July 24 2008, 2:58 PM 

A couple of months-that's no too far away :) Thanks for keeping us updated Neil, this project seems to become more interesting every post you make! It's also nice to hear that you will make two versions; a higher priced version and a lower priced version. Although, wouldn't this cause more hassel if you were to make it in large numbers? (Given that there were a large number of people interested) Or I may be wrong-which I probably am!

Cheers, Philip

 
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