B-3 Help

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by talos, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,283
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Is it okay to both own a black B3 AND stay on the Lounge? I hope so because, as you note, "there is a wealth of info hear(sic)," and I'd really like to stay!
     
  2. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

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    1,225
    Location:
    USA
  3. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    2,973
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    Japan
  4. talos

    talos New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    United States
    Oh man you gave me a good laugh! haha

    I actually ran into Schott's store today for literally 3 minutes as there was no parking around in Manhattan. I tried on a 32 size B3 even though I'm like a 38 and they didn't have any on the floor (didn't want to bother the guy working there) It fit but I couldn't wrap my arms obviously. It looked better than the Cockpit USA B3 I believe. I felt the leather and I liked it. I might actually go for it. The whole store looked right up my damn alley! I can wear that whole place! lol

    I will be checking out the other companies everyone else mentioned here. I have been eyeing them for sure. But like the original original B-3 with no pockets for my hands, that's like........what? lol Just because the army frowned upon soldiers having their hands in pockets...HUMBUG!

    As for the Thunder Bay...I'm looking for a larger funnel for the face. The collar on the the Thunder Bay seems to be smaller than a B-3 and it doesn't look like sheep fur, but some other animal. I want that giant funnel sheep fur to cover my whole head! lol I remember being able to clip those 2 straps in and hide my whole head in that B-3.

    Excellent help boys!! The search continues for a final decision!!
     
  5. talos

    talos New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    United States
    Hmm, it looks nice and heavy! But I need pockets :(

    I will consider this in the future though. You guys are pushing me to start this as a hobby now haha Quality stuff here!!!
     
  6. Jabos

    Jabos A-List Customer

    Messages:
    441
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Today I received my Eastman Redskin (my exact jacket is in the "studio" pic below). It is simply magnificent. These two "studio" pics are of the 1943 "house jacket" and the Rough Wear Redskin. I was leaning toward the house jacket but the Warhorse horsehide was irresistible to me on the Redskin. Eastman has just started using their Warhorse horsehide on both jackets and I love it. The color on the Warhorse horsehide is now almost identical to that of the sheepskin on my Rough Wear. The pics look like the horsehide is more red but that is not right in person. The studio pic is more color accurate. It is a tank of a jacket and worth every penny.

    image.jpg image.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  7. Interbak

    Interbak One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Stratford, ON, Canada
    You are allowed to stay, it just may help lighten your wallet a bit.

    B
     
  8. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,730
    Location:
    Canada
    Hi Talos,
    I think you've had excellent advice here from everyone - and if I may, I would kindly ask that you try to consider seeing beyond things such as mere colour as a criteria for your selection. There's a lot more to these things, as you're becoming aware.

    I would firstly echo what Interbak said. Like Interbak, I too wore an "Irvin" and an "A2" but made by Aviation Leathercraft for 18 years and was very happy - I loved my Irvin, but the A2 not as much but I wore it anyway and it served me well, but this was the late '80s and pre-internet research and ignorance was bliss. As it turns out, the AL Irvin isn't the most accurate repro jacket but it's undeniably warm and tough and has many fans, as I was then.
    But when it came time to replace them after these 18 years in the mid-00s, as they were too small on the chest, I wanted to replace them and upgrade them too - and so I first bought an Irvin from Eastman Leather Clothing - and I must confess that, at the time, the jacket that showed up left me feeling rather underwhelmed at first (!). I could see that it was better tailored, but it was so much lighter than my tough, heavy AL and the fleece wasn't nearly as thick and the russet colour was very apparent - when I'd been so used to the dark brown for so long. It just wasn't what I was used to and it left me unsettled! I just couldn't see the good thing that I was looking at due to my preconceived ideas of what something should look like ... I called ELC and spoke to Alan and he said that the AL jackets are over-engineered and not like the originals all were, and being thinner (as originals were!), they can be better tailored and made. And this made sense to me ... and I suddenly felt more open to liking this jacket ... and indeed, I loved it more!
    And again as Interbak says, this can become an addiction ... an obsession, if you like. But everyone has their thing, right? So let it be this ...
    Because the more you learn about the jackets and come to appreciate the different house styles, their history, the squadrons and bomb/fighter groups in various theatres, then the more you'll realise that you came into this interest with such a linear viewpoint.
    I think it's fair to say that we all have certain ideas of how something should look as it's "imprinted" on us from the first time we saw it - be it a photo, TV show or a film or whatever. We get that notion, even though what we think is correct may have been slightly erroneous, or in fact completely incorrect. But there it is.

    For me, as a wee lad watching films on the TV, I always loved the RAF Irvin jacket (the jacket that inspired the USAAF B-3) and never really wanted a B-3.
    But then I got my Irvin from ELC and loved it.
    Then I got the A2 and loved that.
    And then I'm loving the Irvin again the next Winter and thinking that I'd like another Heavy Zone jacket like the Irvin 'cos why wear the same jacket day in, day out for months on end? Why not have a change? It'll get lots of wear regardless ...
    So I looked at the ELC B-3s, and liked their Rough Wear B-3 - and it was russet. Now to me, B-3s were dark seal brown (near black, as pointed out) as that was how I first saw them in films and TV shows and my modeling reference photos. It's what I expected them to be like when I thought of a B-3. But the more I read and researched, the more I began to appreciate the russet "red skin" types and the way the war in Europe was being waged then (1942/3 was much different to 1944/45) and it then began to "speak" to me that that's what I'd prefer if I had one ... and I went for it; this jacket that hadn't meant so much to me for so long and a in a colour I'd never have once thought of for myself.
    And my old ELC RW B-3 became my firm favourite jacket amongst my ELC Irvin, A2, B-6, C-3s, Luftwaffe and L2. Who knew?! It made me feel special somehow (and still does) - like I'm wearing old-world armour for a fickle and shallow modern world. I felt then that it was "The King" of the ELC range - and it still makes me feel that way - a jacket I used to have no real interest in.

    So I hope I'm conveying what I'm trying to here - that it's good to hold off, spend some time here and research on the WWW and make the best choice you can, as, like Dumpster Diver says, it's good to go for broke and get the best you can afford. These jackets can be an investment and it can become a matter not of how long it'll last, but who you'll leave it to !
    Or maybe you're happy with less historical accuracies and a warm jacket (with pockets!) that doesn't break the bank. That's equally fine too, IMHO.

    Below are photos of me in my ELC RW B-3 (made 2007) that I took a couple of months ago - at the same time as the L-2A thread as I was intending to put these photos on the thread for the top 3 olympic jackets but never got around to, and this is my number 1.
    I have an ELC C-3 beneath it.

    ELCB-3#1.JPG ELCB-3#2.JPG ELCB-3#3.JPG

    They don't make them like this now (as mine is pre-warhorse leather - the original type as seen in ELC's "Golden book") - and if anything ever happened to this (God forbid!), as Aswatland says, I too think that the Perry mixed-batch is the new King and would be the only one I'd want.

    I hope that helps ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  9. talos

    talos New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    United States

    interesting! and I may say...that is a nice jacket! I think the only thing you're missing is a plane! :)

    I think I would have to check it out in person before I go for broke on one of them. Put it on, feel the weight, feel the leather. I don't think I've ever come across horse leather. (maybe I have and didn't know it) And it looks tough as a tank lol

    You wouldn't happen to know of any companies/stores that are within the NYC tri-state area that have these would you? I do feel that my mind has been set on a Schott already [huh] I figured to go to Schott's store again and check their stuff on the weekend since I was only in there for literally 3 minutes. You guys are very convincing for the true B-3's :) Very pretty stuff indeed!
     
  10. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    Just seen the photos of the new ELC Perry B3 in timeworn finnish. Normally I don't like the timeworn look, but wow.
     
  11. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,510
    Location:
    UK
    Great post 'Stand By' ...echoes of my own experiences :-D ...now hopelessly addicted & trying to spread the virus.
     
  12. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,603
    Location:
    England
    I have one, it is about 15 years old. looks great and it looks fairly accurate from the details of an original I had. Though I have worn it to death and has all the wear points of an original including bald spots, the surface finish is no where near an original and I doubt it ever could be mistaken for an original even if you wore it every day for the next 60 years. It is the surface finish that lets these jackets down.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,730
    Location:
    Canada
    The only retailer in the US is History Preservation Associates in Cherry Hill, NJ.
    But please don't think that I'm steering you away from a Schott and to an ELC. The point I was making is that I think it's wise to try and be open-minded about making a good choice and that may mean opting for another company entirely.
    I mean, I started out with Aviation Leathercraft and was indeed immensely happy for 18 years and felt that what I had was the best there was (and many other people love them, some of them here).
    And then I discovered ELC and became a devoted customer and spent a lot of money there.
    And then later, I came across Will and Amanda at Aero (as they were then) and became a fan when my ANJ-3 showed up (my girlfriend says it's her favourite of all my jackets), so then I was looking at Aero's website with an entirely new perspective of lovely possibilities …! :)
    Then of course, Will and Amanda left and set up Alexander Leathers, so then I see their range with possibilities. And they've done some amazing repair work for me there too.
    And having bought Buzz Ricksons L2s, I know of the amazing quality you get with that brand, so then I'm suddenly looking at their range as viable options …
    And so I'm really quite far from where I set out. And as such, I'm not telling you what I think you should do; merely that there are always choices other than the one you seem settled on. If you lived in the UK and were seemingly set on an ELC, I would still advise that, IMHO, you should make a weekend of heading up to Scotland and visit Aero (as they have a wealth of other devotees here, as you'll know by now) - and also drop by Alexander Leathers too whilst you're "in the neighbourhood". And you may well change your mind from what you experienced, saw, felt and tried on - or still opt for the ELC, but then you'd know that you made the best choice for you.
    At the end of the day, you pays your money, you takes your choice, as they say. And you have choices, is all I'm saying. The hunt (research) is an immensely enjoyable part of getting your jacket and you just may be surprised at what you decide in the end - if you allow yourself to consider as many options as possible.
     

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