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DETAILS OF INTERPRETATION & RE-ENACTMENT

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World War II Interpretation & Re-enactment


Historical Reenactment (or re-enactment) is an educational or entertainment activity in which mainly amateur hobbyists and history enthusiasts dress in historic uniforms and follow a plan to recreate aspects of a historical event or period.

 

Historical Interpretation is the description, analysis, and explanation of past events using original items clothing/uniforms and various media, including actors playing a part in museums or heritage sites.

Living History is an activity that incorporates historical tools, activities and dress into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time. Although it does not necessarily seek to reenact a specific event in history, living history is similar to, and sometimes incorporates, historical reenactment.

As you can see Re-enactment is a particular way of recreating, educating and sharing history, and there are a number of different titles of the type and people that teach history.

By teaching history in a way that seems realistic can be a more memorable way of learning, and those watching are able to picture scenarios that demonstrate moments in time, especially if those teaching are using and showing original items from the period.

However wearing or using original items to demonstrate a time from history can be difficult or impractical, therefore reproduction items clothing or uniforms are the only real answer. Although reproduction clothing and items can sometimes be deemed unrealistic, too clean and may not fit properly. This can make or break an accurate enactment.

Personally.

Each re-enactor, living historian and interpreter will have their own limits on realism and start from the basic look with reproduction uniforms and equipment to those that use and wear as much original equipment and clothing as possible. These hardcore teachers of history are few and far between. As one of those hardcore members it is important to use original items and when there is no other option but to use reproduction uniforms, those uniforms must look as realistic as possible.

 

Realism.

Reproduction equipment and uniforms can be made to look dated, real and worn. It happens everyday on TV & Film. Spending time on a brand new uniform to make it look dirty or worn can be a daunting task but don't allow that to stop you as the pay off is magnificent.

When buying a new uniform to be worn as battle damaged or worn can be an easy process but if you are concerned, then why not buy a used uniform?

In order to perform the changes needed to make my own uniforms look realistic, begins with checking the stitching and placing of pockets, size and fit.

As is often the case, pockets and zips etc need to re-fitted. They may be too high, too low or just do not look as good as it should, and not being afraid of unstitching pockets and seams and anything that needs tailoring, unpick and re-stitch everything according to original patterns or images of real uniforms.

Once that is done and happily tailored, a light wash and hang out to dry. Depending on the level of wear needed, depends on the level of work needed. For example, to create an extremely battle worn combat uniform takes extreme measures, using acrylic spray paint, wire brushes and make-up.

Start lightly, as you can always add more, but you cannot remove or undo.

The process does not stop there. Boots, shoes, leather and everything that can be seen needs its own treatment and process. Leather should have dubbing applied before or after any process.

How far you need or want to go is entirely your decision.

 

Dirty, torn and treated uniform.
ORIGINAL UNIFORM
M.E.N. Newspaper
Reproduction, dirtied & torn uniform.
M.E.N News cutting.
Original uniform

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