Desert Rats

Reference information and uniform and kit Q&A
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Rooster
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Desert Rats

Postby Rooster » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:18 pm

Hi, myself and a friend are planning on doing a desert rats loadout each
what should we get we cant find a kit list anywhere, what do we need?
i was thinking of doing in on the cheap,
basicly tan shirt, shorts (not orginal)
58 pattern webbing with belt suspeneders and ammo pouches only sprayed tan
with a helemet
would this look like the desert rats?
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby No1_sonuk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:37 pm

Why not get unblancoed 37 webbing?
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Joker » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:51 pm

+1 on the '37 webbing - it's cheaper than '58 now !
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Rooster » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:11 pm

Joker wrote:+1 on the '37 webbing - it's cheaper than '58 now !

Really? ive seen full sets of 58 for 25 quid
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Joker » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:14 pm

See the kit lists, and various 'starting out' type posts - a useable set of '37 patt (belt, shoulder straps and ammo pouches) can easily cost less than £25.

As is always advised, if you've already got old webbing to use, fell free, join in and build up as you go along, but if you're buying in, just buy the 'correct' thing straight off - it really does save money in the long run :good:
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Terms & Conditions of Sales :
Payment by Paypal only > Cleared funds must be available when deal is agreed - no e-Cheques.
Possible Swaps/Parts-Exs (with regular forum members only) -
* British BD Trousers & Blouse, to fit 48"-50" chest, 40"+ waist, tall fitting/long leg
* British Gaiters/Anklets, not blanco'd, largest size available
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Steiner » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Joker wrote:just buy the 'correct' thing straight off - it really does save money in the long run :good:


Absolutely. Otherwise, you'll end up with an impression that doesn't really look that good, and you won't be able to sell it on.
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Rooster » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:02 pm

Ok so would a desert rats set of webbing contain more than just the belt shoulder staps and ammo pouches?
and what else other than what i posted would give me the basic impression?
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Joker » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:27 pm

There's a lot of info on the forum but it can be scattered about -

[SEARCH] yields this thread - viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9728&hilit=desert


On the webbing you could have a water bottle and carrier, but it depends, as always, on how 'authentic' you want to go / can afford to go ..................

This hobby / sport / money-eating monster can escalate as quickly as you let it, sometimes quicker :shock:

You could have a side / forage cap instead of a helmet, chukka boots / 'desert wellies' instead of boots, a thin wooly jumper, a duffel coat etc etc etc but keep it to the basics, at least to start - sometimes 'less is more', is cheaper and it can be better to not have an item, rather than the 'wrong' one.

Plastic Tommy Helmet
'As worn as possible' shirt and shorts
Long socks
Scuffed-up boots

37 Belt, Pouches and Shoulder Straps (+Canteen and Carrier if cheap enough)

And a Lee Enfield Rifle (or good look-a-like) or Thompson SMG


NB : I'm sure that Yith will correct the above as necessary :wink:
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Terms & Conditions of Sales :
Payment by Paypal only > Cleared funds must be available when deal is agreed - no e-Cheques.
Possible Swaps/Parts-Exs (with regular forum members only) -
* British BD Trousers & Blouse, to fit 48"-50" chest, 40"+ waist, tall fitting/long leg
* British Gaiters/Anklets, not blanco'd, largest size available
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby MartinR » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:16 am

The other thing is the the 8th Army didn't always operate in shorts and shirts, it was pretty chilly and wet during Operation Crusader and in Tunisia, in which case normal BD and even greatcoats were worn.

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Re: Desert Rats

Postby stof » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:00 pm

The "Khaki Drill and Jungle Green " book by Brayley and Ingram, is a pretty comprehensive guide to what as worn in the Western Desert.

A MkII helmet
Airtex shirt - which is also pretty acceptable for late war commando and Mediterranean theatre
KD (khaki drill) shorts or trousers
Long khaki socks or hose
Anklets (unblancoed) or puttees
Ammo boots (dms are a cheap alternative) chukka or desert boots were unofficial and usually only worn by officers
Unblancoed standard 37 pattern webbing - as basic or complete order as you like
SMLE or Thompson are the most common weapons
And any combination of battledress with above as it was cold at night.

If you get the right kit from the start it also gives you a pretty good base for other Brit loadouts in the future.The webbing is all the same and apart from the shorts you have a pretty good loadout for a lot of scenarios ,and with the helmet ,just paint it to suit the game.
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Ramsay00105 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:34 am

Moved here as is about Brit Kit loadouts
15 Plt. C Coy 2 Batt. S STAFFORDS 1st Airlanding Brigade 1st Airborne Division
The Hallamshire Battalion Y&L Regiment 146 Infantry Brigade 49 Inf Division


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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Yith » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:10 am

Some good advice there... Sabre Sales will sort you out with a basic set of unblancoed webbing very inexpensively... The problem item is the entrenching tool cover and that's not essential. Sabre should also have some hose tops for you.

For the uniform items, originals are out there and are generally inexpensive, though you'll have to search the militaria fairs, antique shops and 40s events to find them... failing that WPG and SoF sell some great repros... or you could try replicaters if you're on a budget... they're not 100% reliable, but tend to be cheap and his KD stuff isn't bad... (though may need a wash to fade it)

Tommy helmets are very common and often a shell can be picked up cheaply. It may need a repaint, but SoF can supply a new liner and chinstrap...

Another item needed to really get the desert rat look is a gas mask bag... £20 for a MkVII is reasonable and there are loads of original ones out there if you hunt around.

No1 rule with all this is don't rely on a single source to have everything and get down to a militaria fair if you can... Stoneleigh is on at the end of next month... I know I'll certainly be there!
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Hurrah » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:50 pm

Rooster wrote:Ok so would a desert rats set of webbing contain more than just the belt shoulder staps and ammo pouches?
and what else other than what i posted would give me the basic impression?


While there is no need to get the whole set, I'd venture you need belt, cross straps, ammo pouches, water bottle and cradle, small pack or a respirator bag.

If you are charging about, add a water bottle and cradle. Having water on you is great for those between bout rests (dehydration is a cowsan, so take a glug then weather you need it or not)

I'd also suggest a small pack or a look-a-like as you can hide all sorts of stuff in it. Same goes with the respirator bag, hence one or the other. If you have a game that requires a packed lunch? It goes in the bag. Need sweets/cereal bars etc for elevenses? it goes in the bag, first aid kit*? in the bag.

*it's usually wise to pack one, mine is just plasters, wipes, Imodium, eye drops for my contact lenses (disposable pipette type), though it is my eye drops that get replaced most frequently as anyone can get something in their eye!

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Re: Desert Rats

Postby No1_sonuk » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:29 am

I use a MkVII resi bag as a mag dump bag on open days.
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Re: Desert Rats

Postby Special Department. » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:32 am

Comrades,
Only Officers did the Desert Boots thing really, the O/R wore Ammo Boots, Battle Dress was issued in the Winter Campaigns ( Operation Crusader 1941) so that can guide you as to Uniform, A BD jacket with KD looks rather good and Great Coats were usually about, the " Blue" gets very cold at night.

Part of the gag is you can with research ( look at period Historical Images) find a whole bunch of good looks and orders of dress. as for Equipment use unblancoed 37 pattern webbing as per normal British Fighting Order layout which you Wash/scrub and allow to sun bleach.... its a good look.

I have an Italiano Royal Army 17th "Pavia", a 7th Bersaglieri and 16th "Pistoia" Inf Divi look for that Theatre, it is fun crafting the look from the evidence.

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