I'm sorry too
I've been hedging my bets and keeping an eye open for one of these sets for my own collection "just in case". Well, up until today. Now I have no interest in it unless things change dramatically from what this thread has discussed.
I agree with you that this is probably the worst case of "fake" I've seen in a very long time. Either the prime contractor for a legitimate Norwegian order used left over stock of parts, including labels, or the sub contractor that made the labels cranked out a bunch for someone.
Unfortunately, China is capable of making items that can fool even the most aware and observant collector. It's just that normally there's a tip off. In this case I see two tip offs:
1. There is no evidence the Norwegians ever used this uniform. Not in pics from the field, not from official Norwegian military information, not from Norwegian service personnel, etc. The uniforms in question were produced 8 years ago. Even if only special forces wore them we should know about it. Especially since special forces are disproportionally photographed in Afghanistan.
2. This uniform doesn't make sense. It makes sense to have a lighter weight "hot weather" uniform in place of the woodland type (that's pretty common), but why have an alternate for the desert uniform? By definition the desert is a hot weather environment, so having two totally different cuts for the same purpose makes no sense. One in heavier cloth and one in lighter weight cloth, but otherwise the same design, makes sense (Hungarians, Bulgarians, Slovenes, etc. do this). But not two designs concurrently.
The uniform lineage is what first raised my suspicions. But it was the totality of the doubts that really got me thinking these uniforms are fakes.
Can anybody point me to pictures of the Gen 3 jungle uniform? I tried to find some and failed.
With this information in mind, here is my revised list of uniforms:M02 Desert:
1st Model = 1st pattern camo, smooth cloth, no arm pockets, use of buttons for various things. 2003 only date seen.
2nd Model (early) = 1st pattern camo, smooth cotton, two arm pockets, heavy use of velcro. 2004 only date seen.
2nd Model (late) = identical to above, but 2nd pattern camo and different cloth. 2006 earliest, 2008 latest seen.
3rd Model (Ripstop) = identical (or pretty close to it!) to above, but ripstop cloth. 2006 earliest, 2012 latest seen.M98 Temperate:
Only Model? = smooth cloth, epaulets for rank, no arm pockets, use of buttons for various things. 2000 and 2001 dates seen.M04 Temperate:
1st Model = same as M98 except single chest epaulet for rank, no shoulder epaulets, and velcro on arms.
2nd Model (Ripstop) = seems identical to 1st Model except in Ripstop.
3rd Model = same as Early except Canadian buttons and small covered buttons on shoulders for brassards. 2007 date seen.
I have 5.5 out of 8. I'm missing M04 2nd and 3rd Models and the trousers for M02 1st Model. I am now motivated to change things to be 8 out of 8