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Old 04-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #31
adlerfan53
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Some snakes will copy anything. Just cruising this area for a change and the first thing I come across is Fakes. Unfreakin believable. Every area of this hobby be it German, Russina, American etc. is copied or faked. Keeps us on our toes.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:42 PM   #32
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Here's a genuine, red Marx and Lenin University badge from my collection. It's screw-back with hot enamel, as usual. As you can see, it's much different from the badge/pin shown earlier. I doubt the badge shown in an earlier post was intended as a "fake". My take on it is that the other badge was for sale to visitors- a memento, so to speak, and I believe the mark on the back might be the price of the pin, a common feature for the light weight souvenir pins sold generally by street vendors from the 70's.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:34 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Collins View Post
Here's a genuine, red Marx and Lenin University badge from my collection. It's screw-back with hot enamel, as usual. As you can see, it's much different from the badge/pin shown earlier. I doubt the badge shown in an earlier post was intended as a "fake". My take on it is that the other badge was for sale to visitors- a memento, so to speak, and I believe the mark on the back might be the price of the pin, a common feature for the light weight souvenir pins sold generally by street vendors from the 70's.
These badges exist in blue and red. Anybody knows the difference?
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:47 AM   #34
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From what I can gather, red indicates a higher level of study/achievement. Now, to further confuse the issue, if you look at the first close-up photo I posted in "Mongolian ODM's" in this section, you'll see four Marx and Lenin University badges; the one above and three in blue- two of which have the book at the badges bottom in red and the last has the book in white. It would seem that means something as well, but I'll be damned if I know what it is.

Last edited by Greg Collins; 08-16-2008 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:03 PM   #35
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Here's my submission to this thread; a fake Partisan medal.
Thankfully no major cash was involved with this purchase. In fact, at less than ten bucks I felt no reason to even take it back as it's a decent copy and fits a hole that I'll never be able to afford to fill with the real thing.

I hope the image comes out well here. I may have to rephotograph.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:44 PM   #36
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That's a very nice fake, Eric. Yes, the definition is lacking and yes, the mounting ring is wrong, but at least it seems as if no one has gone in and added those crappy lines to Stalin's hair (I see that alot in fakes of this medal). And yes, I know exactly what you mean by the price of these things nowadays. I have a very "ify" Odessa medal... all the detail where you want it and the ring looks pretty good but I'm just not sure about it. One thing I am sure about is that I just can't afford to buy it outright from a trusted source, so , hey, I'll live with it as a damn good representation of the award the MAY be genuine.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:17 PM   #37
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Gosh, I wish I had something to share here. Wait - perhaps I guess I am glad that I don't.

As a WWII Soviet reenactor, just about all I collect in this area is Soviet gear. However, in the careful balance between preservation of original antiquities and living history reenactments (which I view as pure "theatre," requiring all the necessary trappings, including set design, props and costumes), I straddle the fence in regards to what should or should not be taken into the field.

Consequently, I am almost always quite confident in whether I am purchasing original WWI items or virtually identical post-war (but completely theatrically acceptable) items.

Sure, I have later discovered that some items were not as "original" as I had first thought, but I have not lost any great deal of money over any of them. But don't hold me to that statement -- I will look back through my collection to see if I have actually been an idiot at some point. Yes - I have won several items on eBay after drinking way too much alcohol with literally seconds to go before the auction ended ("Don't drink and surf!") but nothing tragic comes to mind. One advantage is that I am super-cheap, and it takes a great deal of convincing for me to part with my money; my "big ticket" items are all very well dated.

I am additionally fortunate that my son is enthusiastically interested in the WWII reenacting hobby (he prefers it to our forays into American Civil War and Golden Age of Piracy), so anything I get that is too small for me, or gets replaced with a "better" item, automatically gets moved into his pile of Soviet gear.

But, in the spirit of this thread, I will mention just a couple of items...

When just starting in this area of collecting, I enthusiastically purchased several "Gvardia" badges (the post-war ones with the fringed flags) before understanding what I was supposed to look for. I felt like a fool, but they only cost me around $3 each. And they turned out to be useful for photographs with new members who had not yet picked up their own badges, and one member retooled the modern backing to replace his original backing which he had lost in the field.

And I picked up an "early-war" leather sling for my Mosin-Nagant rifle, only to find out that the leather/web ones were more appropriate for our group's impression. But it is still an excellent sling, just waiting for the proper opportunity.

I guess I have been pretty lucky.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:02 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russky Spy View Post
As a WWII Soviet reenactor, just about all I collect in this area is Soviet gear....
Spy, I'd like to see/read more about Soviet reenacting. If you've got some good pictures &/or stories would you consider starting a new thread here? Perhaps some other might like to see, or possibly contibute.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:21 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Gaumann View Post
Spy, I'd like to see/read more about Soviet reenacting. If you've got some good pictures &/or stories would you consider starting a new thread here? Perhaps some other might like to see, or possibly contibute.
It would be my pleasure. I have already posted a few photos in a few appropriate threads, but I have lots more. There will be a huge reenactment the weekend of 26-28 September, and I expect to have even more photos after then.

I presume the moderator will not object to a "Soviet Reenacting" thread in this area, as opposed to the Community Forum area ... but if I am wrong, I am sure it will get moved. Actually, "Communist Bloc Militaria" seems quite appropriate for such a thread -- give me some time to collect my thoughts and photos...
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:30 AM   #40
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Oh - wait... you ARE the moderator! Well, then I guess it was an even BETTER idea!
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:41 PM   #41
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I thought of one! But I am willing to bet this is unlike any of your stories...

For my Soviet impression, I need a wristwatch; but, of course, it must be original or look very much like the watches made before or during WWII. With diligence, this is not hard to find. The first one I purchased was a little small (possibly a woman's watch), but served my need.

In my search for a replacement, I purchased one for a really reasonable price on eBay. It took quite a while to arrive, but one day I got my international package with my new watch. I showed it to a coworker, who asked me "Why are the numerals raised? Do they have something on them?" I replied that it was probably luminescent paint, but predicted that after all these years, the chemical structure had likely broken down and it no longer worked. I cupped my hand over the watch, held it to my eye and -- as predicted -- no glow.

But then I calculated the chemistry in my head. I recalled that most glowing-dial watches (at least until the 50s) had a radioactive element in the paint -- the electrons emitted during the radioactive decay activated the chemiluminescent function of the paint, causing it to glow (the radioactive decay provided the energy - no need for recharging in sunlight). If it had been radioactive, there should still be some residual radioactivity, as these elements can take centuries to totally die down. But, really, what were the odds that this was radioactive paint?

I ran to grab two Geiger counters (we have them in the office) and brought them back out to the desk. My plan was to put one counter's sensor up to the watch, and turn them both on simultaneously. The second counter would give me the background radiation reading, and the subtle difference between the two would demonstrate any residual radioactivitiy in the watch. Adding the numbers numbers from a few consecutive tests, switching the two counters, should provide a small number proving radioactivity, if at all. I turned them both on.

There was no need for the "control" counter.


The counter on the watch raced at an unbelievable rate. This thing was HOT. I had a new watch, but there was no way in hell I was going to strap this anywhere on my body.

Later, I ran another reading, after removing the watch crystal. It turned out that the crystal was absorbing almost half of the radiation, and the counter reset (passed the meter maximum of 1000 counts) about 18 times in 60 seconds. Unbelievable.

And this thing had been sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

Ripped off? No. Technically, I got more than what I paid for -- I purchased a watch, and received a radioactive watch. Can't wear it. It's still in the lead-walled box in the office.

And that's my Communist Militaria Hall of Shame entry, submitted for your approval.
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:56 PM   #42
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Great story and a good cautionary tale.

Cheers, Ade.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:16 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russky Spy View Post

The counter on the watch raced at an unbelievable rate. This thing was HOT. I had a new watch, but there was no way in hell I was going to strap this anywhere on my body.

[/I]
Very interesting!

I have a watch with a radium painted dial but from what it sounds like, since I understand radium is only an alpha particle emitter (which theoretically can be stopped by a sheet of paper or the layer of dead skin on a human body), your's was painted with something other than radium?! Granted I have never tested my watch in question with a Geiger counter with a thin enough tube wall to pick up alpha particles, so I don't know really know what kind of reading I would get.

Sorry to take an interest in something relatively unrelated to the thread but could I ask what the specifications were of the counter you used? Could I also ask who manufactured the watch?

This resident is going do some research on luminescent elements.


EDIT: After some research I discovered that most luminescent wrist watches were painted with Radium 226 an alpha emitter (accompanied by some gamma emission) with a half life of about 1600 years. The fact that Comrade Spy's watch has stopped glowing and the radiation was described to be able to pass through the metallic watch case whilst retaining considerable potency would lead me to guess that either the phosphorus element combined with the radium has lost it's potency and the counter was somehow picking up gamma or radiation from some of the decayed products of the radium, or his watch was perhaps painted, at least in part, with radium 228, a beta emitter with a half life of over 5 or so years if I remember correctly.

Now, according to the Health Physics Society, a radium 226 dial watch with a Geiger counter reading in excess of 650,000 counts per minute is supposedly harmless to it's user. Weather or not you want to believe that is up to you. If said watch does in fact contain radium 228 I would imagine there would be more cause for concern as beta particles require a sheet of lead to be stopped. I however have found no documented instances of a watch being painted with radium 228 nor am I sure that it even has the same luminescent properties as 226. Also with a half life of only 5 years, the 228 isotope might have lost most of it's potency after 50 + years. Comparing the results between an alpha sensitive counter and a beta sensitive counter might be able to discern which isotope of radium it actually is but I don't really know.

In either case I think I am going to test my russian watch as soon as I finish building my alpha sensitive Geiger counter.

Sorry again to stray so far off topic but I just had to look more into this and I wanted to share my findings with someone.. The moderator can feel free to delete my post if it is deemed too distracting.

Last edited by KevinH; 10-13-2008 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Found more information
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:14 PM   #44
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The crystal of the watch only partially stopped the radiation -- therefore, it cannot all be alpha particles. It is possible that decay (daughter) elements are emitting beta particles, but the whole experiment was enough for me to keep it stored in a box.

The watch is a black-faced "Pobeda", with additional writing (to the left of the numeral 6) that starts with a vertical line (resembling Cyrillic "palochka," does not appear to be an actual letter) "Em-Che-Ze"... unless it's M43... followed by an extraordinarily small "I-Em" (like nanometer, with a backward N). The word to the right of the 6 is "Kirova."

And, hey, thanks a lot for making me hold this thing extremely close to my face.

The meter is a "Digital Geiger Counter" from "The Science Source" (P.O. Box 727, Waldboro, ME 04572), with a selector allowing for a 7.5 or 60 second read rate.

Hope that helps.

- - - - - - - -

Plugging "Em-Che-Ze" into Google says that it is an acronym for: "Муфта чугунная защитная," which translates as a "Coupling cast iron shield". I don't think that helps much.
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #45
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No problem Kevin, I found it interesting

Cheers, Ade.
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