A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

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woodlander
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A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby woodlander » Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:55 pm

Probably boring but hopefully useful...... a mini-guide to converting 49 pattern BD trousers to their WW2 equivalent.

Firstly, a thank you to McVickers for pointing me towards Springfields who had my size in stock.

For 'in field' use, I prefer the original 49 pattern material because it actually does the job it was intended for... IMO (though each to their own of course) repro material isn't as robust...so I'm using these forty-niners for airsoft and my repros for re-enactment.

For those who are so inclined, cleaning is dead easy... leave to dry, rub muddy surfaces together until dry earth powders away, hose down with COLD water, leave to dry..... job done.

Beware of sizing. Mine were a 'military' size 16 which provided:

Height: 6'1" to 6'2"
Waist: 34" to 35"
Seat: 40" to 41"
Leg: 34 1/2"

I'm 6' so they were a little bit long, waist was spot on but the big problem for me was in the backside - I had to use the offcuts from shortening the legs to make a panel which was inserted into the seat. I stress, the waist was fine, I just couldn't get the trousers over my backside (TBH though, I often have this problem with the fit of modern trousers, probably a consequence of having hefted a few tree trunks).

Anyways, images of the trousers follow. Modifications to achieve a fit aside, the measures to achieve more of a WW2 look included relocation of the map pocket, the addition of a dressing pocket, removal of the belt loops, and the pressing out of the pleats ('pegs') to the front. Much of the work was done with a sewing machine: it could have been hand-stitched but'd probably be less robust and less aesthetically pleasing (should that bother you).

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Please ignore the braces pictured - I use them because I have them and they're robust. Unfortunately, WW2 issued braces weren't elasticated and so the modern repros can have a tendency to slip off when loose or snap when tight.

Like I said, probably boring but hopefully useful. :wink:

Steve
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Ramsay00105 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:38 pm

Hi

Useful guide thanks.
The braces reminded me where I have seen you before - Axemen!!! :rofl:
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: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby taffpara » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:36 am

Post war grey Brit braces are excellent as theyre elasticated and theyre cheap :good:
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby cdfw » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Having always bought 49 pattern trousers in the past and had them converted at a local tailor, I never quite appreciated when people on this forum commented on the quality of the fabric of repro battledress... I have just bought a second hand pair of 37 pattern Spearhead repro para battledress trousers, unused as new, however you can see day light through the fabric.. They fit well but I will save them for a hot summers day because I know they will wear through very quickly.. I know as airsofters we are not spending weeks in the field, but I really can see what many of the older forum members of this forum have said about false economy.. I spend £35 to have 49 pattern converted and depending on what I paid for them (£20-£30) in my eyes it makes far better sense than buying repro of this quality...
I cannot comment on other repro items from other retailers..
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Yith » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:51 pm

Other repros would be better... well... apart from replicaters..
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Poacher » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:43 am

Yith is right, not all repros are created equal.
Most Chinese made BD is seriously inferior to other repro. Even the much maligned SoF and WPG BD is way better than the inaccurate Chinese product sold by say Epic. Once you start looking at Pegasus, Panther and Dicke Knight you are in a different league.
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Splitter31 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:20 pm

Hi, Is there a guide for converting the P49 tunic to P37?
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby McVickers » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:47 pm

Splitter31 wrote:Hi, Is there a guide for converting the P49 tunic to P37?


There could be, but to get it right is an epic amount of work. Also, you will need at least one more '49patt blouse to butcher for fabric. My 'best' BD blouse for reenactment is actually a '49patt that I heavily modified to be like '37patt blouse. For someone who has done quite a bit of uniform creation/modification with a semi-industrial sewing machine they've been using for years, it was still quite a ball-ache and took me half-a-month's worth of evenings to do (that isn't a figure of speech, it really took that long for me to do).

Getting '49patt blouses isn't the problem, as last Stoneliegh there was a fresh newly-opened bale of them for £3 each, I have a small stash of unissued '49patt blouses from such cheap bales-worth appearing, but I'm reluctant to convert any more due to the fuss (and dislike of butchering original militaria - even if they are extremely cheap and some-what plentiful in my size (13!) still).
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Splitter31 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:34 pm

Really that much? That's the second time now I've had to pay more than necessary -.- Mine cost me £50 at stonleigh.

In any case. Really that much? I thought it was only a matter of sewing a piece of cloth over the Pocket buttons?
The again... Never is that easy -.-
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby McVickers » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:35 am

Splitter31 wrote:Really that much? That's the second time now I've had to pay more than necessary -.- Mine cost me £50 at stonleigh.


A '49patt for £50?! Taffpara on this forum has been trying to shift a '49patt blouse with loads of Royal Sigs' insignia for £25 and there's still been no takers...

For ~£50 you could have bought a 'cheaper end' repro '37patt blouse!

Splitter31 wrote:In any case. Really that much? I thought it was only a matter of sewing a piece of cloth over the Pocket buttons?
The again... Never is that easy -.-


If you're just going to use this for airsofting where 100% accuracy isn't on everyones agenda then recovering the pocket flaps and adding some hook-and-eye closures on the lower collar would be fine.
But for someone in to British militaria to walkover to you and go "oh, that's a '37patt blouse" rather than "oh, that's a '49patt with some bits changed" you have to alter the following, while ensuring the alterations look original:

Remove old collar, make a whole new collar in the right profile and attach it.
Alter lower collar to provide eye-and-hook closures.
Reline whole inner collar.
Reline lapels, including going right down the inside behind the buttons and button holes.
Remove cuffs, make new cuffs with covered buttonholes and attach them.
Reline inside of new cuffs.
Remove pocket flaps, make new pocket flaps with covered buttonholes and attach them.
Unstitch buckle retaining loop, remove old buckle and replace with war-time pattern buckle and restitch retaining loop.
(Also, you might want to unstich the waistband and remove some of the extra pleats, if it looks to ballooning).
A Proud Member Of 'Team Spleen!' who play mainly at Gunman Airsoft, Tuddenham, Suffolk.
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Allenby » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:05 am

Agree with Poacher and Yith. Most repro battle dress is perfectly adequate for what we're using it for.


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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Russe11 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:20 pm

For Braces, I use these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D ... UTF8&psc=1
They're cheap, look about right and are elasticated :)
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby McVickers » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:51 am

Russe11 wrote:For Braces, I use these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00D ... UTF8&psc=1
They're cheap, look about right and are elasticated :)


Nice find, they're at a great price and'd look just fine on the battlefield!
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby Splitter31 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:43 pm

Got dang it -.- Grrrrr this uniform hasn't been kind to my wallet XD

Good grief...... A lot of work indeed.... Dare I ask where I can buy these 'cheap' end Pat 37 tunic blouses?

Might be a long time before I cop out for one now.... lee Enfield and Kar98 are trying to enter my inventory at the minute.
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Re: A Guide to Converting 1949 BD Trousers

Postby TheChef » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:39 pm

I've just procured a pair of pattern 49 battle dress trousers, size 11, i.e. waist 33-34ins, I'm normally a 32-34" waist but these are a good 2-3 inches too small around the waist, are these sizings normally this far out?
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