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Thread: Buzz Rickson's B-2...a pictorial review of an endangered species!

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  1. #1
    Practically Family JanSolo's Avatar
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    Buzz Rickson's B-2...a pictorial review of an endangered species!

    Hello everybody,

    Today I’d like to post a little pictorial review of my Buzz Rickson’s B2. Since these are quite rare and good pictures are hard to find especially on non-Japanese sites I’ve decided to take a couple of detail shots to give you an impression of how a BR is constructed.

    First of all I want to thank Original Flight Jackets Germany for ordering a jacket they normally wouldn’t carry in their product range. Also I have to thank Rob Brace of Eastman Leather for being very helpful. He never got tired to answer any question I had regarding the fit/details of the jacket. Last but not least special thanks go out to John Lever who sparked the interest in the BR version of this rare flight jacket.

    The jacket:





    The B-2 is a reproduction of a flight jacket that only saw a short military service. The B-2 entered the Army Airforce at some point in the 1930s long before the US became involved in WWII



    However it was soon superseded by the much warmer all-sheepskin jackets that were much more suitable for the freezing temperatures in high altitude bombers.

    I can see why this decision was made. The B-2 is without doubt a warm jacket due to the wool/silk pile lining but it never gets near the degree of insulation you can expect from a B-3, Irvin or M-445.
    At the time it probably was more complicated and more expensive to make than a sheepskin jacket

    As you would expect, the Buzz replica is very well made with perfect seams and great attention to detail.

    Here are some key features and observations:


    • Shell is made from semi-aniline seal horsehide which is nice and thick with a good weight behind it. But it’s also surprisingly pliable and perfectly wearable right out of the box. The jacket is substantial but not ridiculously heavy. Interesting to see that the hide comes from Europe:



    • The lining is greyish-brown moquette which is a type of blanket cloth which looks and feels very much like “Teddy Bear” fur.



    Warp is black wool, weft is grey-brown three-ply silk which is trimmed and combed to create a fur-like surface.



    • The collar is very thick, soft and amazingly plushy with a very interesting olive hue which is impossible to capture with my auto focus camera.





    I know it’s sheepskin but the collar looks and feels so dense and soft that it could easily be mistaken for some other animal.

    • All zippers are heavy duty “Hookless” repros with a complicated stopper box assembly.





    I have to say that the main zipper looks very “old school” almost like a museum piece. All parts that could suffer from premature wear are covered with sheet metal- a fact that I really like.

    • The jacket fits much better than I expected it would . The fit can be compared to an alpaca lined Aero Café Racer. Not sure if such a combination exists but the fit is definitely similar. Trim and long sleeves, narrow arm holes, slim body, and bike style cuffs. Of course it lacks a bi-swing back and various bits and pieces but all in all the B-2 reminds me of a very warm fur collared Café Racer. Here's a view of the 2-piece back. Please note that the horizontal seam just keeps the heavy lining from sagging. There is no separate yoke:

    Thanks,
    Jan


    "Out into the cool of the evening strolls the pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams begin and end there."

  2. #2
    Practically Family JanSolo's Avatar
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    Some more shots with that strange looking Westphalian:







    Thanks,
    Jan


    "Out into the cool of the evening strolls the pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams begin and end there."

  3. #3
    One of the Regulars alfyman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    This Jacket is Very Nice, Fits you very well, Thank you

  4. #4
    I'll Lock Up ButteMT61's Avatar
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    Wow Jan, that's gorgeous! Thanks for the review and pics - a real lovely and unique jacket! And just in time for fall
    How long did that take to get made?

  5. #5
    "A List" Customer Fifty150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ButteMT61 View Post
    Wow Jan, that's gorgeous!
    You're pretty cute too.

  6. #6
    I'll Lock Up ButteMT61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fifty150 View Post
    you're pretty cute too.
    !

  7. #7
    Incurably Addicted Edward's Avatar
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    Rufus, who used to post here (his job keeps him too busy for forums these days) has one of these, so I saw it in person a couple of years ago. Absolutely stunning jacket. In some ways I prefer it to the B3. I would adore to have one of these myself, just never quite had the cash to hand....

    It's a real shame, IMO, that Aero don't give the B2 a go, I think they could make a gorgeous version.
    If in doubt - overdress.

    Vivienne Westwood

  8. #8
    One Too Many Joel Shapiro's Avatar
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    Great jacket. Is Buzz still making it? I can't find it on HPA's site.

  9. #9
    One of the Regulars Fly Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Rufus, who used to post here (his job keeps him too busy for forums these days) has one of these, so I saw it in person a couple of years ago. Absolutely stunning jacket. In some ways I prefer it to the B3. I would adore to have one of these myself, just never quite had the cash to hand....

    It's a real shame, IMO, that Aero don't give the B2 a go, I think they could make a gorgeous version.
    I'd love to own one of these as well - Not going to happen at present unfortunately, which means I'll be stuck trying to find one second hand in a year or so!

  10. #10
    Practically Family John Lever's Avatar
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    Jan,
    Great review, very well considered remarks and excellent photos. Lets hope you get some cooler weather soon so you can wear it and enjoy it.
    I have the same jacket and it looks like mine has a slightly more russet hue to the horsehide, but this could be the photos/white balance. Also some of the earlier BR jackets had collar buckles rather than the buttons and loop closure.

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