B-Beautiful in a B-10..! (The ultimate American Beauty cloth flight wear)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by PADDY, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. DustMite

    DustMite New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    Mmmmmm

    Plenty to be thinking of in the next coming weeks. Telling the misses that I have spent another £50 on an old jacket (Shhhhhhhh!) What she dont know, wont hurt, untill she does find out that is, OUCH!!! :eusa_doh:
     
  2. Pip

    Pip A-List Customer

    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Worcester - UK
    I've had an Aero B10, which I've since sold. It was a very nice jacket, well made and extremely comfortable but being the "stitch Nazi" that I am (ww2 living historian and one that is obsessed with accuracy) I sold it and have since ordered an Eastman B10, which is due on the 10th June.

    Although I've contacted Eastman to see if they'll make mine without the damned USAAF decal on the shoulder, fingers crossed.


    Basically, it depends what you want it for. If its for casual day to day wear, then I'd say the Aero, but if you want a 100% (or near as humanly possible) accurate reproduction, then the Eastman would be the best choice, despite the extra £100 it brings to the price tag.
     
  3. Burnsie

    Burnsie Registered User

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Virginia
    Why?
     
  4. Pip

    Pip A-List Customer

    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Worcester - UK
    Generally they weren't found on B10's prior to October 1944, which is when the decal starts to appear in small numbers, and even until the end of the war in Europe many didn't have them. When ones goes through the photo archives of many FG's and BG's, the decal isn't there on the majority of B10's (when I saw majority I don't mean a 9/10 majority, but a fairly significant number regardless).

    This is from a "wearing as a reenactor/living historian" perspective rather than a wearing it everyday in normal life view though ;)

    Unfortunately I've had an email off Gary Eastman saying this isn't possible, not quite sure why but hey ho [huh]
     
  5. DustMite

    DustMite New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    Eastman

    I have bought a bit through Estmans, they are very nice, especialy the USAAF O.D. Officers Crusher Cap, which eventually arrived nearly 6 months after ordering it.

    So yes they sell very, very lovely things, but a bit over priced, and the waiting time is terrible. If they are going to sell stuff that expensive, they need to get stock control under control. But yes, their B-10 is certainly the best, but very, very , VERY expensive. You would not like to get it dirty, as the originals most certainly did. I have had this on other forums, that Eastmans jackets, A2's etc, just too good for war time production. Having seen plenty of original A2's, they were made in a hurry. Different shades on the same jacket, sticking all over the place. Eastmans jackets are beautiful things, but way over book with quality, nothing like war time production.
    sorry [huh]
     
  6. Pip

    Pip A-List Customer

    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Worcester - UK
    But surely there's a big difference between "being too well made" and "being wrong". I know that I'd rather have an item which was too well made than a jacket which was just wrong, certainly from a reenacting standpoint.


    Incidentally, my B10 arrived very promptly, on Friday in fact. Ever so happy with it and it compares most admirably to my friends August '44 manufactured B10...other than that bloody decal lol . On other notes, whilst you're quite right in some respects about a lot of wartime stock being hideously made, there was a fair bit which was very well made as well. Simply depending on the manufacturers, time of manufacture and the individual manufacturing it.


    Apologies if the above sounds a little hostile, that's not my intention at all :)
     
  7. DustMite

    DustMite New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    Made

    I did not say they were hideously made, just made in a hurry,and maybe to a war time price. They certainly would not have been made to a todays standard of £400 - £500 for an A2? But, we wernt there, so how can we judge anyway, what they lookd like when they were new. Looking over made and over priced can still look wrong for a re-enactor. Such is like, nobody can win....
     
  8. Hawk_Eye

    Hawk_Eye One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    My recently acquired used Real McCoys Japan Stagg B-10, size 44.

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  9. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    England
    I'm a little late to the party, but here goes anyway.

    The Pike Brothers B-10 isn't a repro as such (I believe they've added 2cm to the length) but it's because of that lack of in-built authenticity that it might be worth considering: it'll fit a frame that's not 'straight up and down', as my mum would say. I tried one on yesterday and it's a very well made, nicely constructed jacket. A bit longer than I was expecting, but very nice.

    Their 'Navy' version is in a heavier (dark blue) fabric and looks to be way warmer than the khaki one. I liked both. I'm considering the blue one...

    Both have good quality alpaca wool linings.
     
  10. DustMite

    DustMite New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    Pike

    I have a Pike, use it at events, and driving the jeep in. No problems, nice constructed jacket. Of course the purists will say "Its not right, it has the wrong number of stiches in the side pockets! I have an Eastmans one, much better, and only cost £345, great value" ....PAH! :p

    Any repo is a repo! No matter how much you paid. I dont mind getting my a bit wet, or a bit mucky, that is what they are for. The Pike one is a good jacket.lol
     
  11. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    England
    Yes, clothing's meant to be worn.

    On your other point about purists, I should add that I'm no re-enactor. In fact, I'm a re-enactor's and museum curator's nightmare: the 'inauthentic time traveller', a mix of styles between the 1890s and the 1960s -- the generic past -- most of which are recreated from repro and surplus clothing plus assorted bits and pieces from all over the place. Stuff I like, in other words. The Pike B-10, if I get it, will probably be worn with early 20th century style high-waisted trousers (including British 1902 pattern kahki wool trews), English veldtschoen country boots and a WW1 tam o'shanter or Gor Blimey cap.
     
  12. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    In what way is the Pike "inaccurate"? Is it more than such a tiny difference in measurement? I do like accuracy myself, but as someone who is most certainly never going to be re-enacting the part of post 1943 WW2 USAAF aircrew (I'm at least ten years too old, for one thing!), I'm not so worried.... I've seen these jackets compared unfavourably to the Eastman before - I thought on grounds of quality, but if it's merely a matter of a few very specific details, then for my purposes the price differential leans heavily in favour of the Pike. Fair option, or Stupid Boy? I do also like the look of the blue one.
     
  13. DustMite

    DustMite New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Cumbria, England
    B10

    This type of discusion will never end, as it all comes down to , "I paid far more for my kit than you, therefor, it has to be better". As I said, a repo is still a repo, no matter how much. lol lol lol

    If you are happy with what you have, leave it at that. Dont try and justify to other people, why you paid twice as much for a certain item, just dont say.

    Is this repo snobbery ?
     
  14. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up


    Is which snobbery?

    Sounds like there's some shut-uppery there.

    I'm sure that everyone who buys a repro is quite aware that it is indeed a repro. A repro is a repro but not just a repro. Not all repros are equal.
    A repro should attempt to emulate its namesake, not just be vaguely similar..

    Some repros are far better than others and they generally cost more.
    Fair enough.
    Generally, the more expensive ones are made from better cloth and are superior in cut, cloth construction, hardware and sewing. Also, the more expensive ones generally observe the mixture of detailing, proportion and other nuances which go toward the look and feel of the real thing.

    So, I would say that a more expensive repro would usually be a better repro.

    But some people just can't see the difference in quality, or likeness, they can only see the difference in price.

    I'm not a reenactor either but I prefer quality and if I want a copy of an item of clothing, I want a good copy, which is also a serviceable garment.

    Yes, this discussion could go on and on...

    I guess it's true then that the Pike Bros. "B-10" is an homage, rather than a repro.


    B
    T
     
  15. bbc1969

    bbc1969 Familiar Face

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I thought I would post a couple pictures and some thoughts of my ELC B-10 that arrived yesterday.

    I am very pleased with the jacket. I wear a 48 or 50 suit jacket depending upon maker. So when it comes to flight jackets and their usually slim fit, it is hard to get one that does not look like a sausage skin on me.

    I was a bit worried, but ELC got it exactly right. The jacket is well put together, and I was very impressed with ELC's attention to detail. Right down to the quality of the packaging, receipts and other customer service details.

    I was surprised how "itchy and scratchy" the alpaca lining is. Never had an alpaca lined jacket before so it was an unknown to me.

    I am not a re-enactor, nor do I plan to go out and turn wrenches on my car or an airplane. I must admit that if I was going to purchase a jacket to go out and "intentionally" get down and dirty in, I would have went with a more economical choice.

    But, I like historically accurate (as close as it can be) so I was willing to pay for the ELC. I am sure the Buzz jacket is great, but I can actually GET my size from ELC ;) .

    Due to the exchange rate, it was a doable thing for me. I looked at the jacket several times in the past year, but before the exchange rate changes I could not justify it.

    One thing that was annoying, was that ELC does not charge you until they are ready to ship. In my case they had to make the jacket, and I was not charged till 8 weeks after my order. That equalled out to nearly 70 dollars. They tell you that up front, and it still a good deal (compared to prices I would have paid a year ago). No customs fees either.

    Here are a few pictures:

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  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    I nearly started a new threa, but then remembered this one... I have just chanced across what seems to be another new B-10 repro, selling on eBay. Price of the jacket plus shipping to the UK or US seems to be in and around USD299 / GBP £200, so much the same price-wise as Aero. Seller seems to be based in Singapore, so I should imagine the jacket is of Far Eeastern manufacture. Different label than any of the other repros I've seen. Two versions available, dark mouton collar and light shearling.

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    From the blurb:

    "Our B-10 flying jacket featured with the olive drab cotton stain drill material, the Alpaca and Wool Pile Undyed Natural Color lining, and the 1/2 Inch white Shearing collar, it come with a 1940s' style left open brass black oxidized front zipper, and the correct type buttons and snaps."

    Look like they're sized on the small side - the 42" is listed as measuring 43" pit to pit!!

    They certainly look nice jackets, though. FWIW, the dealer also carries quite a lot of other WW2 repro stuff at very keen prices. The RAF Battledress / Service dress is tempting.
     
  17. SIGGY

    SIGGY A-List Customer

    Messages:
    496
    Location:
    Florida,east coast
    patch on coat at top

    Hello Paddy,you may already know it,if not the patch on the jacket at top is of the 5th Fighter Squadron ,Known as "The Spitten Kittens" I know a retired LT.Col. from this unit he was a P-51 pilot and knocked down 5 ,it was with the 52nd Fighter Group.
     
  18. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    Is that the core difference - accuracy, rather than quality? I might have paid a bit more for the Eastman, but since it's now heading closer to double the price of the Aero....!

    If the one I posted above was available within the UK rather than direct from the Far East I'd be tempted to give it a shot as it really looks nice. Too much of a risk, though, if it doesn't turn out to be all that. Aero is looking likely to be an option.... I wonder would they do me a discount if I said I wanted to buy an A2 also.... lol
     
  19. Pip

    Pip A-List Customer

    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Worcester - UK
    I'd say so, the Aero B10 was of very very good manufacture and the quality was second to none. I loved the jacket :D


    Incidentally, just got an A2 from Aero...yum yum ;)
     
  20. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,577
    Location:
    London, UK
    Cool, I think Aero may be my go-to, then.

    :eek:fftopic: Which model A2 did you go for? I'm planning, once funds are a little more sorted, to order myself a russet 'Real Deal'. In the longer term, I have my eye on one of John's GoodWear Aeros, but that'll have to wait until the exchange rate swings further back in our favour!
     

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