G-1 Patching help

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Greg Gale, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Greg Gale

    Greg Gale Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    I have a plan. I'd really like to buy an AVI G-1, and patch it. I think G-1-s look especially good patched. I wouldn't go the Top gun way, but I'd like to turn it into a fictional G-1 of Cmdr. Richard Owens - CAG from "Final Countdown". So I researched countless pictures of patched G-1s, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what the rule was - if there was any, what patch went where. So I made 3 versions in photoshop. Which one would be more accurate/realistic?

    1) The "Burbaker" way, that is, only 4 patches, not too cluttered, I quite like it:

    1.jpg

    2) The "MIG Killer" - loosely based on ELC's Mig Killer jacket as far as the number and position of patches go:

    2.jpg

    3) The Movie version - this is how Owen's flight suit was patched (it sort of contradicts patterns seen on original jackets, the Tomcat patch is on the opposite shoulder...)

    3.jpg

    Or 4), something I haven't thought of, maybe suggestions of different patches?

    This is an original that inspired me:
    [​IMG]

    And perhaps, I could have a jacket art painted on the back based on this, but this wasn't as common as paintings on A-2s, was it? Perhaps it would be too much.

    [​IMG]

    Question two: Are there any patch placement rules? Like distance from zipper/ shoulder seam, anything I could go by?

    Many thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

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    1,167
    The nice thing about the original is purely that but the 'fear' in patching a repro G1 to me is exactly what you touch on - they look like the numerous 'Top Gun' jackets you can find on EBay! Given that Top Gun 2 is due I'd personally be a little mindful of any patching then maybe give the jacket a good beating and try for some used patches maybe or certainly age any patches you do go for. Out of curiosity why an AVI G1? Don't know what the cost is but there's numerous originals to be had at fair prices, certainly 70's G1's!
     
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  3. Greg Gale

    Greg Gale Active Member

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    159
    Because I get it new, and I have the chance to try several sizes and choose what fits me. An original is always risky, the knits and fur might need replacing, etc...I'd also be afraid to wear it, and I would definitely not patch it either. So I'll go for an AVI :)
     
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  4. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    1,520
    The first question is do you want to replicate a Mall Jacket or fanciful movie prop or something that is close to what was actually worn. The second question is what time period. There are differences in what went on jackets in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's....and where.

    I agree with johnwayne, that getting an original jacket from the 1960's or 1970's makes the most sense...unless you need a size that is out of the normal original size range...meaning if you are too fat or too tall.

    The patches you pick matter too. The ones in your example look cheap and fake. Some original patches can get expensive, but there are really nice copies that are very hard to tell from an original that are not. The squadrons and units you pick matter too. There is room for some artistic license, but the combination should have some basis in reality otherwise the end product starts to look...in a word...ridiculous.

    With a little patience and research, you could do a very convincing Navy jacket...one I think many would be hard pressed to tell from an original. A bit depends on your budget, but solid original jackets from the 1960's or 1970's are often less expensive than even the cheaper copies...but are tougher, better made, and look better.
     
  5. Greg Gale

    Greg Gale Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    I’m going for a 1980-85 look. Where can I find original vf-84 patches and 80s nametags? These patches aren’t so bad, it just looks weird in photoshop. Then again, I’d be afraid to patch an original.
     
  6. MikeyB-17

    MikeyB-17 Well-Known Member

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    1,911
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK
    There is that-I wouldn’t stick patches on an original jacket. It’s true that nice originals can still be found (they’re getting pricier though), but sticking patches on one that never had any kind of falsifies history IMHO. If it wasn’t patched in the 60’s or 70’s I don’t think it should have them now, as the patches are unlikely to have anything to do with wherever it had been. Whereas a repro-go nuts-but do a decent job to it.
     
  7. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Late 1960's to early 1980's G-1's are cheap and plentiful. Depending on the size, if in the 38 to 44 range, are $75 to $200, with most in the $100 to $150 range...talking for really nice clean sound jackets.

    So what is your size...or what you think it might be?

    I am probably one of the toughest critics on this forum when it comes to preserving history, but we are not talking about destroying something, and there are plenty of jackets from this time period...many with really no history associated with them...a good many near new.

    The original jacket you pictured would be easy to duplicate. Do you have more pictures of it you can post? If we saw the label we could zero in on the date of that jacket, but it is likely a mid 1970's issue. The patches are that or a bit later, hovering right about 1980...I don't know exactly when that Tomcat patch version actually came out, but I would say late 1970's. The flag patch is a style the Navy wore, which is bigger than what the Army used on BDUs, but those are $5 to $10. The VF 84 looks like a 70's era one, but that is a squadron that was around a long time and there are a number of versions/variations of that patch. Better pictures and some research could nail that down. I looked on eBay, and what I saw was modern ones. Original pilot name tags are maybe $10, but you could also have one made too.

    Anyway, if you have decided on the squadron, you could do some internet searching to see if you can find some period photos of what pilots were actually wearing. It is going to be close to the original jacket you have pictured, but there could be some variation based on the pilot and where the unit was.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  8. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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  9. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Just me Greg but if you're going to patch a jacket, less is more, at least in my opinion. The more patches you stick on a jacket the less subtle it becomes and the more noticeable, and the closer you get to "Maverick" territory especially with a G-1 ;) Nothing scientific though just my personal opinion.
     
  10. Greg Gale

    Greg Gale Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    Exactly. I want a patched jacket, and that's not going to happen with an original.

    Size 40, but I'm quite tall too - 184 cm. As I said above though, I'd be afraid to patch an original. I couldn't find such jackets on ebay either, maybe I'm using the wrong keywords.

    Brilliant! There are pictures confirming both my No.1 and No.3 version. OK, these are flight suits, but still, a good start.

    Exactly my thoughts. I'll go for a more subtle option, definitely not No.2.
     
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  11. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    1,520
    Cooper made Long sized G-1's...below is a 40R, but the label and jacket is the same for a 40L. These were the same as issue jackets, and at one point were sold in the Navy clothing sales store on base. That way you could buy one if you were not issued one. I noticed a lot of over priced jackets in bigger sizes on eBay...they are not that hard to find.

    This one is from 2001, but I had a one which was dated at least ten years before that.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-1-Cooper...500400?hash=item440f5c8f70:g:VbcAAOSwB4BZ-zRC

    [​IMG]
     
  12. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    1,520
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  13. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

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    3,757
    the older I get, the more I think no patches is best. if you were not a pilot in the Navy or corresponding crew member, I would pass.
     
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  14. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

    Messages:
    118
    the older I get, the more I think patching is best - personalize my "own" jackets; although I am not a pilot.:)
    I don't even care if it is an original or retro, because it is a jacket - look good on me is THE most important factor.
    Having said that, one still need to patch it in a proper way
     
  15. Thomas Koehle

    Thomas Koehle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Mexico Aguascalientes
    I‘d go with version „1“

    Don‘t overdo it otherwise it looks like one of those AVIREX things ...
     
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  16. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

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    118
    foster1.jpg I am not an expert in patching but you need a lot of research in patching making sure the patches' era match with the jacket; esp with multiple patches you are inclined to at the moment.
    I have not dick deep but I doubt if 84 aircraft and tomcat aircraft belong to the same era, also check the 8th air wing & what sort of planes were engaged at what time & in what mission -- again just shouting without any backing.
    Of course, a more safe bet would be a leather name tag + a SQ patch for Vietnam war for G1 jkt - then the Q will narrow down to the pattern & color of the patch you like.
    A ship/ fleet patch is quite popular as the patch on the right chest as I found in some G1 specimens.
    Enclosed is the arrangement of patches in an earlier G1
    Left chest = name tag
    Right chest= ship/ fleet patch
    Left arm = air wing patch
    Right arm = squadron patch
    Maybe U can replace either arm with an airplane patch it is upto U.
    One reminder - as an USN jacket - pls make sure all patches are USN patches -no UASF patches as I was laughed by a patch seller that I have nailed a mix of USN patches wth some USAF patches for a G1 jkt.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  17. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

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    118
    Also, try to align/ pick the patches of the same height - more than 4" [ hard to find], Large, aligned patched G1 [for multiple patches] makes a better visual impact, IMO.
    Ensure / Fix the time of your G1 1st, 60's, 70's 80's
    Then create a scenario of a specific military operation/ task, I mean search for a real military ops of that time - that will create a frame of your set of patches to be used.
    Then search for the approx., time-right patches
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  18. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

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    1,520
    There is method to the placement of patches, but it becomes complicated when you start of factor in the time period and several other variables. One issue with the mid 1970's to the Gulf War time period, is the G-1 was out of favor...not by pilots but the Navy, so most pilots wore patched nylon/nomex jackets.

    Generally speaking, in this time period, the unit you are currently in is worn on the chest opposite the name tag. #1 & #4 are the most typical. #2 is incorrect, because they would not wear the two upper patches towards the shoulders, but subtract those two patches off and it would be okay. #3 is incorrect in that the patch related to the weapons system or aircraft...in this case the Tomcat is on the wrong sleeve. I don't know the date they started to wear the US flag, but it replaced the Air Group, Wing, Naval Air Station or other patch that would typically could go there. Depending on who was wearing the jacket matters, and ship, cruise or novelty based patches can be there too.

    The issue Gale will have is the need for the long sleeves. That limits the jacket choices. As far as patches, this is a popular and harder to find squadron...not to find cheap looking fakes, but something that looks right. What tends to be easier, is to be a little less focused on one particular unit, but be open to other units that might have equally nice designs...but you happen into a set of original patches for.

    I'd be looking a set of original patches that were all owned by one pilot...not that hard to find...until I saw something I liked. Then put those on a jacket that I know fits.

    People will endlessly debate about patches or no patches. I am for the most part in the no patch camp, but don't see a problem with this. You will get a better feeling of what you like after you wear something, and this is reasonable place to start. I do disagree with the notion that you should start with a cheap looking fake jacket. Originals from this era are inexpensive and not hard to find, and well made. You could pretty easily duplicate a $300 to $400 jacket for maybe $150 to $200...and it would be very hard to tell you did. Lastly, you will never regret sticking close to an original...
     
  19. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    1,672
    Location:
    Norway
    I'm with Thomas, if you're going to do it, go for something like number 1.
     
  20. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

    Messages:
    118
    #18
    Apart from price, used old jackets have the very desirable DRAPE and patina that new jackets will never have. that drape is one of the KEY element in good looking [of course apart from body figure, clothing-wise only] in these military jacket, IMO.
     
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