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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:09 am 
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Real Name: Nicholas Matthews
Hi Guys

I want to put together a 13e DBLE impression, North Africa 1942, I already have Battledress, KDs, field gear.

Does anyone know where I can obtain a Kepi, kepi cover and Insignia especially collar tabs?

Are post-war Foreign Legion kepis fine like this one, I noticed it is wool and does not have the modern shiny bill:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/111194065857?ss ... _63wt_1399

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 21:30 pm 
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Hi,

shame that you had no reply, I guess you missed the auction...
Post-war kepis are ok as long as the visor is not too shiny - post-war visors are made from vinyl, wartime ones are made from leather. Real wartime Legion kepis will probably be expensive though, and hard to find, especially in a specific size.

This one looks good to me:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FRANCE-French-Foreign-Legion-Kepi-Hat-1950th-era-wars-in-Indo-China-Algeria/190950178058?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D18240%26meid%3D2471407050866530857%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D8344%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D111202956749%26
You can use this one for an "homme de troupe" impression (soldat - caporal).

As for the kepi cover, I guess some may come out on eBay. Or maybe you could make a repro, shouldn't be too hard to do with white / off-white cotton material. Here is a modern one, probably too modern-looking for WW2:
http://www.compagnie-des-uniformes.com/fr/uniforme-tenue-armee/f1-84-composants-coiffes-broderie/f2-87-couvre-kepis/id-27087-couvre-kepi-blanc

Same for collar tabs... Original insignia will be rare and expensive, maybe you could make a repro? Looks like this:
Image
Image
Green grenade (woolen cloth or felt) sewn on khaki cloth backing. Seen here on a Légionnaire at Bir-Hakeim.
Quite like this, but without the number and chevrons, and shaped for a British BD blouse collar:
Image

Hope this helps,

Pierre

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:16 am 
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Original pre-1940 kepi and cover - 600 euros... :shock:
http://www.royal-dragons.fr/fiche-vente-antiquite-militaire-kepi-troupe-mdle-35-legion-etrangere-1935-40-951.html

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 20:01 pm 
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If you're looking for insignia I would recommend Nice Collection in France, they have a good reputation and should be able to accommodate you.

http://nicecollection.fr/


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:08 am 
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Real Name: Nicholas Matthews
Thanks for that guys, that is a big help. The original kepi is stunning. From what I notice in some photos and this original they seem softer not as stiff as the post war ones, maybe they were worn much more...
I will get a post-war kepi without the grenade and put my own made grenade. The insignia I might make myself out of original wool I have at home.

On a side question, I noticed a few photos of the Legionaires having Enfield 303 rifles also in Nth Africa, would some of these have been in use at Bir Hakeim?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 19:23 pm 
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Regarding the SMLEs, I think the Légionnaires received them after Bir Hakeim, as they were removed from the frontline to be equipped with new stuff (Thompsons, SMLEs...). They would have used MAS 36 rifles in Bir Hakeim. I haven't found any clear mention of which weapons they had then though, so maybe somebody else could be more positive?

As for the kepis being softer, you are totally right. They were lined with hessian held between the outer woolen cloth and the inside silk lining. Today they are stiffened with a kind of plastic sheet. I personnally prefer the look of these older, softer kepis... Plus they were a bit lower in shape.
You are right too when you say they were worn more than today. They were the ordinary headgear when in barracks, some wore them on the frontline too. Today they are used for parade, everyday headgear being the beret.

As I work in a military museum, I managed to see some damaged kepis (mothes, age, schrapnels...) revealing their hessian lining. That includes a Free French Sous-Lieutenant kepi made by Lillywhites, which is made like that too. I can post a pic if you wish.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:30 am 
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for the kepi I wet to this web site, really helpful guy and quick delivery too.
http://www.buyffl.com/18.shtml

the 1946 dated ones are proberly as close as you will get.

from what I have researched a lot of their insignia, I the beginning, was handmade.

hope that helps

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:30 am 
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for the kepi I wet to this web site, really helpful guy and quick delivery too.
http://www.buyffl.com/18.shtml

the 1946 dated ones are proberly as close as you will get.

from what I have researched a lot of their insignia, I the beginning, was handmade.

hope that helps

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:35 am 
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Post war kepis are too tall for Other Ranks (kepi de troupe) for the wartime period.
The pre-war model is only 90cm tall, with a 12mm red band around the crown.
The post war kepis are based on the "Career NCOs" kepi that was issued from around the mid '30s, that was 10cm high, with a much more stiffened body,and a much narrower red band around the crown.
You can use post war kepis as long as you stick to Sergent or above, but you will have to change the embroidered red or green grenade for a gold (or silver, if portraying 1 REC) embroidered one and add the appropriately coloured metal lace false chinstrap. In which case you don't need a white kepi cover unless on a formal parade.
A real pre war kepi de troupe is going to be really hard to find, enormously expensive, and probably outstandingly tatty as they were mass-produced very cheaply. They have a distinctly home-made look about them.
I'm currently working on a reasonable facsimile of one. When I get to a working prototype I'll post a picture.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 22:58 pm 
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Prototype No.4.
Looking much more like the original this time. Still some tweaking necessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:52 am 
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Superb effort!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:01 am 
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Congrats, looks really great!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:28 am 
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Thanks, guys.
There's a lot of hand sewing in them, but one has to suffer for one's art, eh?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:27 am 
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Sewing the peak must actually be a pain...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:02 am 
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Not as much as it hurt making this lot!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 14:30 pm 
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Wow, I can believe you... I made a pair of medieval shoes a few years ago but these were made of supple leather. The one you used here must be much stiffer.

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