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How Do You Display Your Crusher Caps?

Captain Krunch

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85
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Virginia/WDC
Hat experts, I need your help. I have a couple of replica WWII crusher caps that I would like to display. I purchased some styrofoam heads, thinking that this would be a perfect solution, but when I got the heads, I found out that they were too small. My hat size is 7 1/8, but the crushers just slid straight on down to the nose with no support.

So right now I still have my crushers sitting upside-down on the table with no place to go. Can anyone offer any inexpensive suggestions that will help me out of this dilemma?

Thanks,
Krunch
 

Old Fogey UK

One of the Regulars
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171
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Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Captain Krunch said:
Hat experts, I need your help. I have a couple of replica WWII crusher caps that I would like to display. I purchased some styrofoam heads, thinking that this would be a perfect solution, but when I got the heads, I found out that they were too small. My hat size is 7 1/8, but the crushers just slid straight on down to the nose with no support.

So right now I still have my crushers sitting upside-down on the table with no place to go. Can anyone offer any inexpensive suggestions that will help me out of this dilemma?

Thanks,
Krunch

Sorry for being a bit facetious before.
Seriously, I make white cardboard tubes the same size as the internal diameter of the caps and display on them. I think this looks less tacky than the styrofoam heads.
 

Solid Citizen

Practically Family
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922
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Maryland
I sold off all my crushers save two an officer Bancroft Flighter & an EM crusher, used to put them on styrofoam heads to, but thought that looked cheesy. Now they are on a book case with just rolled up tissue paper wads to slightly raise the crowns. Peter :beer:
 

Zemke Fan

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Phew....

Old Fogey UK said:
Usually on my head! I look at them on the shelf and can't resist the temptation to put them on.

I thought I was the only looney-bird who did that... Last night started out with the chocolate crusher and ended up with me trying on all of my uniforms again... Needless to say, my wife thinks I'm more than a little insane.
 

Biltmore Bob

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Please, Gentlemen...Don't take this the wrong way...I mean it, don't!

My wife thinks that I am crazier than Zemke's loon just for trying on the hats and caps that I have in my closet, and they are all contemporary. If I were to try on uniforms and crusers she'd have me comitted for sure.

My question...Other than the personal pleasure one gets from collecting and wearing uniforms/caps/acrouterments, what real value do they have? Would one be seen in a public place wearing the afore mentioned items, outside of reinactments and social functions? I have my old Marine Corps Blues, but I never would consider wearing them, even if I could fit into them. I have some of my old police uniforms hanging, but will never wear them.

Now...I'm not saying anyone here is crazy, other than me, so don't go all defensive on me, no insult intended. Man, I hate to have to put a disclaimer on everything.
 

PADDY

I'll Lock Up
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A thread that's head and shoulders above the rest!

Just love this thread Krunch, you're back and in fine form with this one my friend! And a very useful perspective for those of us who have headwear to maintain and display at home.

I got myself a glass head out of a charity shop (£5 (UK) or $3..!). Like the styrofome, it's a tad too small, but I put some stips of leather on the inside of my crusher's leather sweat band and it holds nicely! so you might try that (or utilise something else instead of leather strips).

<img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/Paddy_Middleton/32604-2.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">

As for Fred and his dressing up in WWII uniform/caps and looking in mirrors, well....maybe I caught that virus off someone in Fedora Lounge then, as in the wee small hours I have been known to parade around wearing a crusher or garrison hat, just because they look so 'darn cool.'

The crusher look (and the whole ensemble of pinks and greens and chocolates and A2's..etc) of the Army Air Forces just knocks the socks off the modern USAF look. Poles apart in my honest opinion. The chocolate crusher is the essence of the AAF 'look,' and sadly has no equivalent in today's modern service.

But when not wearing them, you really do have to take good care in maintaining them and displaying them. Some cracking ideas and suggestions coming out of this one guys..!

RE: Styrofome heads. Think about spraying it with a matt black paint, as it displays the crusher much more professionally IMHO, than the generic white...
 

Zemke Fan

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I'm a lucky boy...

Biltmore Bob said:
My wife thinks that I am crazier than Zemke's loon just for trying on the hats and caps that I have in my closet, and they are all contemporary. If I were to try on uniforms and crushers she'd have me comitted for sure.

My question...Other than the personal pleasure one gets from collecting and wearing uniforms/caps/acrouterments, what real value do they have? Would one be seen in a public place wearing the afore mentioned items, outside of reinactments and social functions? Man, I hate to have to put a disclaimer on everything.

Bob, I have a wife who tries on ALL of the clothes in her closet at least once a week (I kid you not), so I have a ready defense!

I enjoy collecting WWII items and focus on five areas: (1) uniforms that I can actually wear to reenactment events; (2) US Army (AF) colonel/general insignia; (3) USAAF senior pilot and command pilot wings; (4) squadron patches and cloth/bullion insignia from the 8th, 12th, DAF, and MAAF; and (5) RAF uniform memorabilia. My particular USAAF interests lie with the 56th FG (8th AF) and the 57th FG (DAF and 12th AF).

Next year my wife and I plan to spend several days at the Reading airshow/WWII weekend and to take in three to four hanger (swing) dances. So I will get a chance to wear some of this stuff.

On a personal note, I have the utmost respect for your service to America as a U.S. Marine, and I generally chalk-up your unbridled exuberance to the gung-ho attitude of everyone I've ever met from "The Corps."

-- ZF
 

Zemke Fan

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Pinks & Greens DO win hands down...

PADDY said:
The crusher look (and the whole ensemble of pinks and greens and chocolates and A2's..etc) of the Army Air Forces just knocks the socks off the modern USAF look. Poles apart in my honest opinion.

Mine, too, Paddy. Not only is the basic USAAF uniform superior in cut, color, and class, but the endless variation of shades (especially when it comes to shirts) lends itself to some great looking outfits. Add a droopy crusher and the uniform just couldn't look better. My only gripe is that there weren't more "big" guys in the USAAF. I'm still looking (although have nearly given up hope) for an officer's grade chocolate tunic and an officer's Ike jacket.

ZF
 

PADDY

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Bob and your hat crush...:)

Biltmore Bob said:
My wife thinks that I am crazier than Zemke's loon just for trying on the hats and caps that I have in my closet, and they are all contemporary. If I were to try on uniforms and crushers she'd have me comitted for sure.
My question...Other than the personal pleasure one gets from collecting and wearing uniforms/caps/acrouterments, what real value do they have? Would one be seen in a public place wearing the afore mentioned items, outside of reinactments and social functions? I.
<img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y109/Paddy_Middleton/Crushers2.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">

Bob, a quick note penned from my cell in the local institution (yes, I got caught wearing my crusher once too many!:) ).

The only place I would wear something like a crusher/or garrison hat would be at an appropriate airshow as it enters into the flavour of things on the day, draws people to you and gives and opportunity to make folk more aware (than maybe they were) of the role of the USAAF (or whoever you might be honouring) during the war.
Because it's surprising Bob (as you've voiced in other threads) how unaware people actually are of their own recent history and the sacrifices made by previous generations. If by wearing a crusher/uniform, you can help inform and enlighten folk in an interesting way, without lecturing them, I feel it's got to be of some benefit all round.

But that would be the only place I'd sport a military crusher. I wouldn't be seen doing that outside of those public places. It's not like a Fedora or your eight piece cap, that you can getaway in public wearing.

So in answer to your queston on VALUE, well the value is more intrinsic than financial. The value (to me anyway) is the history of the item, what it represents and how it can act as a key to unlocking people's minds to that proud history. Financially it's worth only about £100 (UK), but intrinsically it's priceless.

Coming full circle on the DISPLAY issue of the thread. It's mostly displayed at home on a glass head Bob (see pic above), on occasion I pop it on my nut to massage my ego, but rarely would it be displayed in public on my noggin.
 

Captain Krunch

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Virginia/WDC
Paddy, your first picture above exactly illustrates the three things that I would like to achieve by displaying my crushers on a mannequin head. First, obviously, is getting the darn things out in the open so I can visually enjoy them alongside my other stuff. Second is getting some original headsets to display along with the crushers. And third, using the headsets to crush the caps into the type of crushers I want them to be (Because my two crushers are repros [What Price Glory & Garcia Aviation], so they don't have the proper crush yet).

So because of that, I'm rethinking Old Fogey's suggestion, as I don't that would look as well with headphones. Oh well, guess back to square one.

Krunch
 

Old Fogey UK

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Captain Krunch said:
Paddy, your first picture above exactly illustrates the three things that I would like to achieve by displaying my crushers on a mannequin head. First, obviously, is getting the darn things out in the open so I can visually enjoy them alongside my other stuff. Second is getting some original headsets to display along with the crushers. And third, using the headsets to crush the caps into the type of crushers I want them to be (Because my two crushers are repros [What Price Glory & Garcia Aviation], so they don't have the proper crush yet).

So because of that, I'm rethinking Old Fogey's suggestion, as I don't that would look as well with headphones. Oh well, guess back to square one.

Krunch

My US crush caps are originals and a bit fragile, so I don't put headphones on them. I just pack them inside with tissue paper and slot them onto the cardboard tubes. I think they look quite good like that.
If anyone has a size 71/4 olive drab cap cover for sale, please let me know.
I have a couple of spare backstraps for sale/trade.
 

scottyrocks

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If you really want to get personal, have a helper, and can sit still for a few hours, have that person make a paper mache cast of your head. When it's dry, they can cut it CAREFULLY with a scissors. I'd go side to side. Remove it from the front and back of your head, paper mache it back together, let it dry, and fill it with plaster of paris, let that dry, and then cut the paper mache off of that.

Touch up with some fine sandpaper, prime and paint, if you wish, and you're ready to go.

If you want to reuse the mold and not sit through that more than once, put a rubber or nylon cap or 'doo-rag' over your hair, and lightly coat it and your face with something like Vaseline petroleum jelly so the mold slide off. Then, before pouring the p-of-p into it, coat the inside with more Vaseline.

Also, put pieces of drinking straw up your nose and one in your mouth. This will facilitate drinking and breathing.

This is similar to how latex appliances are made in the motion picture industry.
 

TPD166

One Too Many
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Lone Star State
Since this thread is being revived, I will share a hat storage tip I stole from another Lounger (but I don't recall who it was to credit them properly). I am not currently using it for display purposes, but for daily storage (but plan to use it for displaying at some point). Take a wooden hat stretcher/hat jack (as sold at Harbor Freight, most western shops, etc.) and screw 3 or 4 solid or spring type door stops into the bottom side as "legs." Snug up the hat on the tapered stretcher and the door stop legs will lift it about 2-2.5" up off the surface it sits on.

http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Stretcher-Maintainer-Heavy-Duty/dp/B001XOL3OO
http://www.amazon.com/Designers-Imp...ffice-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1450103431&sr=1-19

I also use the plastic hat stands also sold in most western stores, but I am not sure they would lift a crusher high enough to keep the visor from touching the shelf.

http://www.horsetown.com/Plastic-Western-Hat-Stand.html
 

rogerstg

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That was me TPD, but I got it from somewhere that I can't remember. I found that 4 legs (door stops) works better than three. Three tumbled whenever the hat was removed.
 

TPD166

One Too Many
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Lone Star State
The four legs do work MUCH better - I just bought the wrong number of door stops and a couple ended up with only three legs. I usually pick up the hat to loosen the stretcher so that hasn't been a huge issue for me.

That was me TPD, but I got it from somewhere that I can't remember. I found that 4 legs (door stops) works better than three. Three tumbled whenever the hat was removed.
 

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