G-1 Customization Project

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Qaribbean, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    Good evening all!

    I’m brand new here and have been lurking for a while after coming across some of the great postings on flight jackets during my Googling. This is a wonderfully quaint site in general and I’m glad I found it!

    I’m based in the UK and I wanted to seek some advice on sourcing and attaching squadron patches/name tags for a project I have for my first G-1.

    As I'm new, just a bit of background from me! Many years ago while at university I got my hands on my first leather flight jacket (I already owned a classic green B-15) which was an Avirex made Ed Overend Flying Tigers A-2 I bought pre-owned. I eventually gifted it to my brother as my desire was always for a G-1. I’m a lifelong armchair aviator and have always been more drawn to naval aviation!

    Similar to this great creation from another poster here https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/g-1-patching-help.93981/ I wanted to finally get a reasonably priced G-1 and patch it in honour of a great aviator I admire, Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, USMC. If you haven’t heard of him please give his name a quick Google and check out his autobiography, “Into The Tigers Jaw” - he was the first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps General. I was hoping to patch it in relation to his time as CO of VMFA-314 (he was a Colonel at the time).

    So, for my creation there's two questions:

    1. The Jacket

    Firstly I came across Avi Leather's G-1 through searches, outside of Eastman its one of the few high quality jackets I've come across in Europe and I've seen positive reviews here on the forum, BUT they appear to have been out of stock for some time in the 40/42 sizes, and I never got a response from them when I previously reached out on email. Given there's is so reasonably priced for such a great looking jacket, I'd like to keep to a budget of up to £400 max if I go elsewhere - would love any suggestions on best options for that budget.

    2. Patches

    I came across popularpatch.com a US based site and immediately found the VMFA 314 patch for the right breast:

    [​IMG]

    As well as the MCAS Miramar patch (where 314 are based) for the left sleeve:

    [​IMG]
    Contemplating an F-4 Phantom patch for the right sleeve (also my favourite US-operated aircraft) or possibly a simple USMC emblem patch. But I'd love advice on best options for sourcing the name tag and getting the patches sewn on. Again I'm based in the UK so any options based here would be most ideal.

    Appreciate all input and have a great day!

    -Q
     
    automatic likes this.
  2. Why not purchase an original G-1 off of Ebay? Probably cheaper and a great canvass for patches.
     
    Peacoat and bn1966 like this.
  3. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    I totally agree with HossierDaddy, if I wasn’t a 48 in G-1’s an original would be my favoured route. In your chest size there should be options.

    Failing that Five Star Leather are making some that would fall well within your budget.
     
    Qaribbean likes this.
  4. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    Paging @Deacon211. This seems like it would be right up your alley!
     
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    It may be that the Marine Corps reserves the right sleeve for a combat patch; that is, a unit with which the aviator has flown combat. That 's the Army way, but the Marines may be different. @Deacon211 should know and can advise you.

    Welcome to the Lounge. PC
     
    Qaribbean likes this.
  6. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    Definitely an option to look at eBay but I was more hoping to get something good quality but new that I could own for many years and allow it to become vintage with me over the years. I thought AVI LTHR option looked great and then seeing the reviews on this site I was sold, but as mentioned there’s radio silence from the company!

    I hadn’t come across Five Star Leather before, just checking them out and there’s some very affordable options so thanks for the recommendation!
     
  7. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    Thanks Peacoat and good to know about the right sleeve - I did also come across a patch for Chu Lai airbase which was the base 314 operated from in the late 60’s:

    https://www.popularpatch.com/marine...s/base-chu-lai-south-viet-nam-1965-1971-patch

    But not sure if that would’ve been commonly worn.

    Helpful to know if MC placement is slightly different to Navy; as you mentioned, a combat patch on the right sleeve from a unit they’ve flown, I assume you mean a previous unit? Gen Petersen’s squadron prior was VMFA-212, a now disbanded squadron and probably a harder patch to source.
     
  8. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    That looks to be an infantry patch and not an aviation patch, but then I don't know for sure.

    A combat patch is authorized to be worn on the right sleeve, at the shoulder, after the individual has completed his tour with the combat unit.
     
    Qaribbean likes this.
  9. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I think AVI took a bit of a hit when the company that were manufacturing their jackets started selling identical models on ebay for a third of the price. I'd be surprised if they've gone out of business entirely, though, given their website is still operational.

    https://www.silvermans.co.uk/collec...leather-flight-jkt-mk2?variant=19083900715062 I've seen these in person -though not handled - and they look good.

    Might be able to get a deal on an Aero or similar online as the USN designs don't seem to be as popular as A2s.
     
    bn1966 and Qaribbean like this.
  10. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    Ah, good to know! I liked the model of AVI’s, the 55J14, the distinctive cut on the pockets, the appearance of a trimmer fit than some I’ve seen, but learning more about the contracts and also some recommendations above I’ve seen other 55J14’s elsewhere.

    I know Silverman’s well, the B-15 I mentioned that was my first flight jacket was bought from them in person at the store 18 years ago! Funnily enough where I live now in East London, their store is actually only 15mins away so now I think about it, might be worth a trip to see what their fit is like...!
     
    Edward likes this.
  11. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    My Five Star below.

    I supplied an original Conmar zipper and buttons from MASH Japan, sourced rack n rib knits from eBay and my own mouton for the collar. Shawn has since covered the earlier type knits and mouton options.
    If they’d fit I’d buy a lightly used issued Goatskin G-1 and put the wear into it and change the mouton and so forth. Goatskin takes years to patina much.

    596D5392-14DB-4541-AC64-85CF388AD6A6.jpeg
     
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  12. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Yes, and even then there may be little to no patina. I have a 1962 G-1 that has creases and some graining, but` almost no patina.
     
    Edward, HoosierDaddy and bn1966 like this.
  13. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    That looks great!

    was taking a look at Five Star since it was recommended and took a liking to this option:

    https://www.fivestarleather.us/coll...n-jacket-usn-real-goatskin-leather-fur-collar

    Extremely well priced and seeing yours is quite reassuring.
     
    bn1966 likes this.
  14. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    It’s not an Eastmans et al but comes in at a fraction of big name prices and works perfectly well. Measurements on the website didn’t work for me and Shawn is more than happy to do custom for a few ££ more. Super easy company to work with and great communication. Build time and shipping was very fast.
     
  15. Qaribbean

    Qaribbean New in Town

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    Well contact him about getting a commission cheque as you’ve pretty much sold me on them!;)

    And agreed, I know it’s not Eastman but I don’t have the money for them and as they say, “the man maketh the clothes”!

    Also good to hear shipping was so easy as I’m also in the UK.
     
    bn1966 likes this.
  16. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Five Star are coming along in leaps and bounds. I’m pretty much done shelling out big bucks on jackets now & buying from Shawn has put the fun back in and taken the financial risk out.

    For the money you get a very decent wearer and for me that’s enough. People that know me have assumed my FS G-1 was another Eastman, not that they know jackets but it must look decent enough.

    I went with 1 mm Goatskin in seal brown, the thin hide was to ensure a light wearer. The NOS G-1 Conmar zipper from MASH Japan for me really makes the jacket. If I was doing the project again it would be with the Conmar and go with Five Star for everything else now there is more choice in mouton and knits.

    Shipping was very cheap indeed from Pakistan and quick, payment process is very easy with Shawn too, he sent me an invoice and posted the day I paid.
     
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  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Ah, you're only round the corner then. I live almost opposite the Blind Begger.

    One of the things I love about goat. I like a jacket that breaks in, but I'm not so keen on the "worn out" look. ;)
     
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  18. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    I stood outside the Blind Beggar about this time last year following a meet up with some of the FL chaps over in Shoreditch :)
     
    Edward likes this.
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I must have been close. Wasn't able to make that last met-up - combination of work and the missus being ill if memory serves. Hopefully wen we're next able to have one safely - December 2021?
     
  20. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Would be good to do a meet up next year, mid November is usually the ELC ‘Pop Up’ which is a good rallying point. I wouldn’t mind a couple of pints in the summer either when we are out of this mess...
     

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