Headwind HL Block M422a Pics & review

Discussion in 'Repros' started by Brettafett, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
    Hello all,
    Recently took possession of this HL Block M422a, made by Mr Steve Sellers (Headwind Mfg). Steve has done a fabulous job cloning this contract, its a ridiculously good jacket.
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 7.jpg
    The quality it as good as it gets, materials and components are the best they can be, the attention to detail, the stitching, the stencilling, the way the whole thing has been put together, is simply... 'top tier'...
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 6.jpg
    It was an absolute treat to have Steve work on this jacket.
    He owns wearable originals of all 5 WW2 manufacturers, and has had a number of others to study and work with, so I recon you can safely say he knows his stuff. Steve does everything himself and sent me updates with pics, all throughout the process. It was really cool to be able to follow the progress of this jacket... to actually see 'my' jacket taking shape.
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 4.jpg
    When I had a query or was vacillating about some detail, he was always there to advise or 'learn' me something.
    There were choices to be made along the way and he patiently guided me through the options... Ultimately veered on the side of 'as authentic as possible'...
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 1.jpg
    GOATSKIN - Steve has sourced a very rich goatskin with fantastic character and full of grain... Its an amazing brown colour, with slight variations in hue and tone, which seems to change depending on the light. Amazing.
    He was right when he told me its a very close match to originals (when new) in grain, weight and colour (I have owned an original M422a).
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 5.jpg
    MOUTON - Vintage mouton, darker and lighter opts available... I went for the lighter.
    The mouton Steve uses is genuine period vintage mouton... very soft and luxurious... The pics don't quite do it justice, the colour also changes slightly depending on the light and how the hair is laying. The darker mouton has more of a lighter brown tint that shows in the light vs the more reddy brown tones of the lighter mouton.
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 3.jpg
    STENCILLING on the collar was also 'aged' a bit for an extra touch of class.
    LINING - three authentic options - Ultimately went for the darker wine red (pics show it lighter and brighter than it is).
    KNIT (various colour options, authentic single or more robust double weave) - Went for Seal knit in authentic single weave.
    The knits come from Larry at flightjacket knits & are really good quality. I've used these before, replacing knits on another jacket.
    ZIPPER - Regarding the spacing between the leather when the NOS Talon zipper is zipped up (Some originals had very little spacing, others a bit more... I opted for a bit of a gap, mainly for practicality and ease of zipping).
    Headwind HLBlock M422a 2.jpg
    And now for the 'rub'...
    Measurements and fit preferences were carefully discussed with Steve, but unfortunately the jacket turned out a bit too long for me.
    I ultimately gave Steve the measurements I wanted based on the fit of my other jackets, and he followed these to a 'T'.
    The issue as it turns out, is that its a quirk of many of these M422a patterns... low front, high back.
    My ELC had a back of 26.75" (felt a touch on the long side, but ok) and my original M422a was 27" and the fit perfectly. This jacket has a back of 26".... Go figure.

    I am very disappointed, only in that I can't hang on to this fantastic jacket. Someone else is going to benefit from my loss ;(
    Will place in the Classifieds and see what happens.
    This would ideally suit someone in the 6 ft to 6'2 ft range, would be my guess.

    Its obvious that a lot of heart, soul and knowledge went into building this jacket and that is really appreciated. Thank you Steve! You are an artist!
    Worth every penny and highly recommended.
     
    Tommy, Skip, falcon_ib and 10 others like this.
  2. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
    Some pics from Steve as the jacket took shape.
    Headwind HLBlock M422a build 1.jpg Headwind HLBlock M422a build 2.jpg
    This is labelled a size 40 (could fit a 41 - 42 chest). Its trim-ish, but I could wear a light sweater under if I wanted. There is room in the lower torso.
    Jacket zipped, laid flat, un-stretched, measures approximately...
    Pit to pit front - 21.5"
    Pit to pit back - 22"
    Shoulder to shoulder - 18.25"
    Sleeve length incl knit - 26.5"
    Back length incl knit - 26"
    Zipper - 24"
    (I am approx 5'10, 72kgs, trim, athletic)...
    Headwind HLBlock M422a build 3.jpg Headwind HLBlock M422a build 4.jpg Headwind HLBlock M422a build 5.jpg Headwind HLBlock M422a build 6.jpg
     
    Tommy, Kennyz, nkang and 1 other person like this.
  3. Cocker

    Cocker Active Member

    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Belgium
    The jacket is gorgeous! It's one of the most beautiful goatskin I've ever seen! A damn shame it doesn't fit...
     
  4. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
    Yeah, wish I could grow 2 inches...
     
  5. Lorenzol

    Lorenzol Active Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Geneva, Switzerland
    What a heartbreak, Brett. Particularly after going through all the process of having the jacket made to your specs.
    It is a stunning jacket and the character of the leather is better than anything I have seen in any repro goat leather jacket. So beautifully made and such attention to detail.
    Are you planning on getting a similar one (with the right measurements, that is), if you manage to sell this one?
    I can picture a very happy customer if you find somebody for whom the jacket is a good fit!
    Better luck next time.
     
    Tommy likes this.
  6. stanier

    stanier Active Member

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    That jacket is stunning. The HL Block is the contract to have I think and I really like the reddy hues in the leather and the slight sheen it has. And I’m not normally a fan of goat.

    However, my worry with M-422’ (A or not) is the reputation for being a longer fit. I’d order a size 40 but I wouldn’t want it round my knees! Funny, in vintage pics they never seem like that. What should the proportions be?
     
    Tommy likes this.
  7. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
  8. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,547
    Ohhh man!!
    Killer jacket!!
    My condolences Bretta.
    Consider sending Jay a jacket that fits you way you like them to fit and let him use that for measurements on your next purchase.
    Might work out a little better.
    Good luck with your sale
     
  9. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
    Actually, all the pics I have of them, they are slightly 'oversized'...
    AVG pilot.jpg AVG3.jpg AVG4.jpg c72593f66496437088bd52b5aaaac657.jpg ff37316aebd37dbd43b08fe7cf2063be.jpg IMG_7522.jpg rossi1.jpg Tex Hill 1.jpg Tex Hill 2.jpg
     
    Kennyz likes this.
  10. stanier

    stanier Active Member

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Crikey, you’re right Brettafett! Do you know what the dimensions on a 38 would have been? I’d certainly need something significantly trimmer and shorter than those pics.

    Btw, have you got a pic of your trying the jacket?
     
  11. stanier

    stanier Active Member

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Btw, Brettafett, can you not send this beauty back for at least a replacement?
     
  12. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Location:
    LONDON
    I have not had time to take a fit pic... not sure I want too :confused: I can only imagine the comments.
    But I will endeavour to do so.
    Steve would have the basic measurements, I didn't even consider to ask, I basically just gave him the measurements I thought would be perfect and he said, yeah, thats a 40...
     
  13. stanier

    stanier Active Member

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I really feel for you and understand the disappointment but a quiet chat with Steve to give him an opportunity to help with a solution feels a fair start. It feels like you have a 40 and maybe should have a 38. You won’t get your customs money back, but your letting that go anyway.

    Just a thought and don’t want to interfere but giving him a chance to show his customer service feels reasonable?
     
  14. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Sorry about this Brett! I have not had a chance to talk to Steve yet as I have just found out about this a bit ago. I will let him know about this thread so he can answer any questions.

    I do have the numbers for the original size 40.
    H.L. Block - Size 40
    Chest - 20.5"
    Shoulders - 17.5"
    Arms - 25"
    Length - 25"

    Regards,
    Jay
     
    Dr H, stanier and nkang like this.
  15. nkang

    nkang Active Member

    Messages:
    153
    I remember how long Brett has waited for it and it really is a pity that despite all the efforts put in on both sides, the jacket doesn't fit.

    Anyways, just want to compliment Steve's craftsmanship! That is such a beautiful jacket and I certainly hope it will find a good home soon!
     
  16. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,974
    Location:
    Norway
    Sorry to hear it didn't work out fit-wise Brett.

    It's a stunning looking jacket and a first class repro but fit is first and foremost, if it doesn't fit right there's no point in hanging onto it.
     
    stanier likes this.
  17. stanier

    stanier Active Member

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Those measurements on the face of it feel much more reasonable and like I’d expect a 40 to be proportioned.

    Seems like somehow along the way Brett has ended up with the long, slightly broad shouldered version. Is this why it doesn’t seem to have a size tag?

    I don’t mean to sound like some wise old sage but I think for most folk go with the standard chest size and unless you’re really, really, really and very sure with absolute clarity from both customer and maker on outcome and consequences, then stay away from bespoke measurements either accidentally (as appears in this case) or purposely. I did it once purposely with bespoke measurements believing I was getting something special, but ended up with a right Frankenstein.

    It must be so distressing to pay your money, wait for weeks with excited happy hope and expectations, track the parcels progress, go to the depot and pay the customs, excitedly open the box then end up unhappy in about 5 minutes. From the suppliers point of view, you make the jacket you believe the customer wants from your new meticulously researched and crafted range with exquisite detail options, then take pics and email them at each stage and put in every effort to make a killer jacket for that perfect review and it bewilderingly goes astray.

    The jacket looks so well made and Brett clearly knows the vision in his head of what he wants.

    I think this is for Brett, Steve and Jay to resolve on PM and let’s ultimately, and soon, have a review of a standard size and cut.
     
  18. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,807
    The jacket looks great. Really on of the most impressive repros I have seen in a while. Too bad about the sizing. This is always the challenge with custom work.

    any chance of a fit pic?
     
  19. Kennyz

    Kennyz Active Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    USA
    Very impressive!

    Ken
     
  20. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This jacket was made to custom measurements and was not intended to match the original size 40 I posted previously. There was questions about the standard size 40 in the original WWII jacket so I posted it.

    Brett Steve & me have been in contact since early this morning.

    Size tag is probably missing because of a supply issue. I will check with him and find out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018

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