New Brushstroke Pants

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    ARsmith1984
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    New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:26 pm

    I picked these up a few weeks ago. The price was amazing and they were just about brand new. Army issue and dated 1954. I may have to pick up a few more pairs before they're gone.



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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:47 pm

    ARsmith1984 wrote:I picked these up a few weeks ago. The price was amazing and they were just about brand new. Army issue and dated 1954. I may have to pick up a few more pairs before they're gone.

    Heh... this is what I said 10 years ago when I kept buying them despite having all I needed and a lot more. And they STILL keep popping up. But you are correct that at some point they will cease being available. Plus, many of them are in very beat condition so minty ones like yours are always safe bets to grab. If you know of more I definitely encourage you to pick up a few more.

    As someone with an ungodly amount of Belgian items, I have some advice. There are minor and major differences between the 1952-1955 type and the 1956 type. First, there is Moon & Balls vs. Brushstroke. The two were made in parallel starting in 1954 IIRC. After 1956 very few were made, so if you find any with later dates you might want to pick those up. Also look for anything that has markings other than ABL (Army). The Navy had stuff made for them (I forget the acronym). Shops offer great opportunities for cherry picking, so you should take advantage of it Smile

    BTW, the reason for all of these uniforms is that the Belgians at one point had 300,000 personnel in their military. This was when they were trying to regain/hold their pre WW2 colonies. If even 1/2 were sent abroad each year that's about 300,000 to 450,000 uniforms for only one year. The Belgians appear to have put all of them in warehouses, even the ones that should have been destroyed due to poor condition.

    When you think about that you can understand why these things flooded the markets starting in the early 2000s when Belgium finally decided to dump their warehouses onto the market.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:27 pm

    I think the only ones ive had a hard time finding are the jigsaw ones and the smocks

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:03 pm

    The Jigsaw trousers were available in large numbers and cheap for a few years. But yeah, they dried up relatively quickly. Those were supposedly originally made for airborne forces and therefore not made in the same large numbers as the Brush/M&B. They aren't that difficult to find and I regularly wind up with extras.

    The Jigsaw jackets, unfortunately, are harder to find in good condition. The M&B/Brush jackets are easier to find and not all that expensive. The Denison style M&B/Brush smocks, on the other hand, are definitely more difficult to lay hands on and they tend to be in mediocre condition.

    Quick list off the top of my head:

    M&B Smocks/Trousers -> 1952-1955
    Brush Smocks/Trousers -> 1954-1955
    M&B/Brush Jackets (Snaps)/Trousers -> 1956
    M&B/Brush Jackets (Buttons)/Trousers -> 1956
    Brush Smock -> 1975 (not sure if there are other years)
    Brush 8 pocket poplin trousers -> don't know date, but probably 1970s

    There might be some rare exceptions to the above (I recall having 1957 Brush trousers), but that covers the bulk of items officially produced.

    Note that each year of 1950s Smock production had slight feature differences from the others. I don't remember if this was manufacturer specific or more generalized.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:16 pm

    I seem to find the pants, but they are huge most of the time and the jigsaw jackets are always in poor condition. They also made a OD green pair of pants that had the same features as the brush stroke and jigsaw pants. From a design stand point, they are very odd with only three pockets. But, I have seen them with four and six pockets too, but I'm not sure that those are are issue or privately modified. I also see bush hats and bucket hats too. Those along with the early jigsaw are out of my price range as toddlers are expensive.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:22 pm

    Steve, if you ever want to shed a pair of each pattern, I'll give em a loving home Wink Also, have you seen any of the combat shirts? Someone told me they also made a two pocket brush stroke shirt as well, but I've never seen one.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:29 am

    Only issue I have with these trs seeing as they are readily available and dirt cheap is that if anybody wanted to wear them for reenactment,work etc they all seem to be MASSIVE!!!

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:28 am

    you mean the cut? I do notice them being easier for y'all to find in the UK, a little less so in the US. At least they don't come dirt cheap.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:59 am

    The cut and the general waist size,know they are meant to be overtrousers but were there no skinny guys in the Belgian Armed Forces?

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:03 pm

    Some quick thoughts...

    The three pocket design is something that the British put forward with their kit from WW2. I also don't understand the thinking, but it is what it is Wink

    There are basically only two styles of M&B/Brush trousers. The only one you are likely to see is the 3 pocket type, either in heavy cotton (1952-1955) or canvas (1956-1957). There is an 8 pocket poplin type that is very, very rare. Limited production and not very survivable in the field.

    For Jigsaw it is vastly more complicated. That's because Jigsaw is *still* in production as a pattern. But to over simplify things, there are basically 5 types:

    1. 3 pocket canvas (1958 and a few in the early 1960s)
    2. 8 pocket in either poplin or lightweight cotton (1970s)
    3. 6 pocket poplin (late 1970s through 1980s)
    4. 5 pocket cotton (limited early 1990s issue)
    5. 6 pocket in two different types of ripstop and one type of heavy cotton (1997-2012?)

    The Jigsaw pattern has changed to have no white in it any more, but the cut of the uniform hasn't been altered as far as I know.

    This is off the top of my head and could have some gaps. The 1980s-1990s had a number of small runs of slightly different items so I might have overlooked something. But all of the above mentioned items are in my hands and so those, for sure, exist.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:12 pm

    Gulf91 wrote:The cut and the general waist size,know they are meant to be overtrousers but were there no skinny guys in the Belgian Armed Forces?

    I was lucky to find them in my waist size, But I do admit they are cut very baggy for my taste. The jigsaw patterns I have had a hard time finding in less then a 40" waist though.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:13 pm

    CollectinSteve wrote:Some quick thoughts...

    The three pocket design is something that the British put forward with their kit from WW2.  I also don't understand the thinking, but it is what it is Wink

    There are basically only two styles of M&B/Brush trousers.  The only one you are likely to see is the 3 pocket type, either in heavy cotton (1952-1955) or canvas (1956-1957).  There is an 8 pocket poplin type that is very, very rare.  Limited production and not very survivable in the field.

    For Jigsaw it is vastly more complicated.  That's because Jigsaw is *still* in production as a pattern.  But to over simplify things, there are basically 5 types:

    1.  3 pocket canvas (1958 and a few in the early 1960s)
    2.  8 pocket in either poplin or lightweight cotton (1970s)
    3.  6 pocket poplin (late 1970s through 1980s)
    4.  5 pocket cotton (limited early 1990s issue)
    5.  6 pocket in two different types of ripstop and one type of heavy cotton (1997-2012?)

    The Jigsaw pattern has changed to have no white in it any more, but the cut of the uniform hasn't been altered as far as I know.

    This is off the top of my head and could have some gaps.  The 1980s-1990s had a number of small runs of slightly different items so I might have overlooked something.  But all of the above mentioned items are in my hands and so those, for sure, exist.

    Steve
    I also think there are some made for African countries that are a little different cut too.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:15 pm

    The uniforms made in the 1950s were all designed to be worn over wool uniforms. It also surprises me how many super huge ones exist as the Belgians were small people back then. I have one set of M&B that is something like 64" waist. Biggest item I've ever come upon ever.

    I am skeptical that there is a two pocket shirt in Brush. I've certainly never seen one and I've seen a lot of oddball stuff Very Happy

    The Brush pattern was abandoned after the massive 1950s runs except for a very limited run of smocks in the 1970s. The 1950s uniforms were all designed to be worn over the standard wool and (I'm guessing) cotton uniforms. Therefore, a 2 pocket shirt had no place during that timeframe. The 1970s exception was intended only for Para/Commandos as they were the only ones authorized to wear camouflage. Plus, they were in the para cut only. The smock was worn over a standard OD shirt and either OD trousers or the rare 8 pocket Brush trousers were worn. Again, no need for a 2 pocket Brush shirt. If one exists it is probably in poplin, made in the 1970s, and as rare as the trousers.

    I have extras that I can short through. I know I have a spare jacket in so-so condition. It has the beaver tail and epaulettes, which are often missing.

    Note that the 1950s stuff was worn by Para/Commandos until the late 1990s. They wore it in part for tradition but also because they didn't have a lot of other camo stuff to wear. Sometime in the very late 1990s or early 2000s they were expressly forbidden to wear anything other than current kit. No surprise that's the same timeframe when the market was first hit with massive amounts of these old timers.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:18 pm

    ARsmith1984 wrote:I also think there are some made for African countries that are a little different cut too.

    This is debated and, unfortunately, there are no hard answers. From what I've seen there's evidence that commercial producers used surplus cloth, or their own production, for cheaply made items for either commercial or export use. Though you hear rumors they were used by Algerians and Iraqis. But I've not seen that confirmed by anybody.

    Apparently some of these bits wound up being used by a Spanish police unit, but there's not much direct evidence that any of the rest of it was used in quantity by any other nation. I've got a bunch of the jackets but none of the trousers. They are old, they have no labels, they are mediocre quality, and they aren't all exactly the same. The most common type appears to be one with a hood and a zippered front.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:33 pm

    I know the Iraqis used a brushstroke, but it was more like the British Denison pattern then Belgian. I've heard Libya used em too, but that seems more probable as all sorts of stuff ended up in Libya. But, I have a pair of Jigsaw pants on the way, Just need the Brushstroke and Jigsaw Smocks and maybe the bush hats and I'm set.


    Last edited by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:32 pm

    The Iraqi stuff was made in Germany and perhaps other places. Although the pattern is certainly inspired from Belgian Brush, it has no direct relationship to Belgian Brush items as far as I know.

    Ironically tonight I came upon one of the cheaply made Brush jackets I was talking about. See it here:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNKNOWN-MILITARIA-ARMY-CAMO-FIELD-SHIRT-HOOD-Very-Good-/310718243396?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4858402244

    Belgians made no headgear in camouflage until the 1980s. No boonies, no caps, and I'm pretty sure the helmet covers before then were made from 1950s hoods. Meaning, you won't find any legitimate Brush headgear because Brush was out of service before then.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:41 pm

    That was my thought too. The hats don't exactly seem kosher to me. I'm thinking probably modern put togethers from hoods or shelter halves like you said. That's a nice jacket, but the seller has a reputation. I have my eye on one, but don't know if I'll get the bid. Its a but more then I have to spend right now.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:59 pm

    That guy has a lot of really super rare, genuine stuff. It's pretty easy to spot the stuff to stay away from. Especially short brimmed boonies.

    That jacket is similar to others I have. For sure it is quite old and it is colored similar to a German made Iraqi contract piece (but the cloth isn't the same by the looks of it). Unfortunately the lower pockets have been removed.

    I've got a few of these and have seen a few others. The colors vary widely from dark greens to almost yellow. This one is blueish.

    Hood, internal waterproofing for the shoulders, zippers, button adjustments on sleeves, etc. are all common features, but the tailoring and cloth aren't all that similar from piece to piece.

    My assumption is that these items are commercial in nature. If they were used by any nation then it was likely small opportunity purchase and nothing more than that.

    Steve

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by ARsmith1984 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:10 am

    Right, plus the shipping from Thailand is a bit steep. There's a place in Finland that has them and the moon and balls pants for about the same price in basically NOS condition. So, maybe when I get some extra dough, I'll get em from them. Also, is it me or were the pants less issued then the jackets or the smocks? It seems easy to get mint pants, but the smocks and jackets seem beat to hell and back.

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    Re: New Brushstroke Pants

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:14 am

    Yeah, shipping out of many countries has killed off my interest. Australia, UK, and Hungary are about as bad as it gets.

    That Finnish seller must have bought quite a lot of them because they've been selling them for years now. I didn't see that they were selling the hooded/zippered jackets. That'd be the first one I've heard of that didn't just have one-offs.

    Yes, the jackets seem to have been worn out a lot more than the trousers. Which makes sense because a soldier would wear the jacket without the trousers more likely than the other way around.

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