Basis of impression
A cheap way to build a basic Soviet infantry impression is to use post war items appropriate for the ww2 period. Many ww2 items remained almost unchanged postwar and continued to be used throughout the cold war period. This means much of it can still be found relatively cheaply and is still perfectly acceptable for an accurate Soviet impression.
• Pilotka with star badge. (RusMilitary – £8)
• Helmet, pictured is a Czech M52/53*. (Beltring War and Peace Show – £5 or from many places on Ebay)
• Repro M43 Gymnastiorka tunic** (Ebay – about £25)
• Postwar M69 breeches. (Ebay – £10-15)
• British DMS Boots***. (Sabre Sales – £16)
• Puttees. (Russian Arsenal- £15)
• Pictured is a plain leather belt with single pronged buckle. (Leather belt shop – £10)
• Repro leather belt. (Trident Military – £16)
• PPSH41 Drum Magazine Pouch. (Russian Arsenal – £15)
• Captured AGM MP40 – £130
All prices are approximate. Also try Militaria Fairs – they can contain some real bargains.
* Note – Helmet is post war and the leather liner is wrong. There are various eastern European post war helmets around on ebay and some are closer matches than others, thus it may be pot luck ordering from ebay. This Czech one is apparently about the closest match.
Click the link below for a pictorial summary on helmets (very informative). viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5330
** Note – Tunic pictured is reproduction and does not have the flared sides of the originals. Pocketless versions were apparently more widespread. It should also have field shoulderboards with raspberry piping, and a white removable collar would be worn underneath to keep the tunic collar clean. Click the link below for more information on the gymnastiorka. viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5272
*** Note – British boots are obviously not correct but are used on a looks-alike basis.
Key to retailers
Sabre Sales – www.sabresales.co.uk
RusMilitary (UK Based!) – www.rusmilitary.com
Trident Military – www.tridentmilitary.com
Russian Arsenal – www.russianarsenal.com
Trapper Industries (also UK Based!) – www.trapperindustries.com
Schuster – www.schuster.ru/en/
Shop Bulgaria – www.shopbulgaria.com
The Ebay store that is most useful is All Sorts Militaria & Collectables – recommended for the politka, greatcoat, swiss belt, M69 breeches and gas mask bag. – http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk
VladimirBestStore is also good for getting greatcoats, politkas, M69 breeches and canteens – http://stores.shop.ebay.com
Soviet storeman has M43 breeches in small sizes. Also has other equipment but is overpriced and not always accurate. – http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk
Epic Militaria – www.epicmilitaria.com
Militaria Net – www.militaria-net.co.uk
Important note on sizing
When buying Russian clothing be aware of their sizing conventions. For example a Russian size 48-50 does not mean 48-50 inch chest, it’s much smaller. Click the link below for a handy table.
Photography by Chomley-Warner