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Patch question?

Do you collect patches or challenge coins, bought an interesting t-shirt from a base, some rare airshow programmes or even parts from military aircraft? This is the forum section for you!
Tronk 11
Posts: 733
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Patch question?

Post by Tronk 11 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:37 pm

Hi folks,
I've just been thinking about the patch situation over the past few months and wondered what others thought about this. I've collected for about 30 years and have a bit of experience doing it, but even this question makes me uncomfortable.

Are units making patches just to make a HUGE amount of money, and do they actually wear the patches they make, or is it just for the collectors?

Up until a few years ago I'd say no, but now I'm not so sure? It also spawns copiers who cash in on fakes making it harder (slightly) to spot the real ones.

Some units are great and I would never have an issue, but some I'd start to question, and if they are selling the patches are they wearing them. I know a few years ago they could only wear approved patches for the unit and have an approved one for Friday night's in the squadron bar.

Please keep it clean and decent, no biting allowed, I was just wanting to know what others thought about the hobby.

Regards,
Tony

fillett101
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by fillett101 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:36 am

No doubt at all it has turned into a cash raising exercise.

Belgian F-16 Display Team for example - years ago had one patch per year for the display - seven this year? Six or seven last year?

Greek AF A-7 Retirement - 13+ different designs - one unique patch for each pilot perhaps? All sold at £10.00+ each and collectors all go mad buying one of each and then pay £40-50.00 for the "missing" one on E-Bay. I don't believe a single one was made for any reason other than to raise money.

Same story every time the F-4's come across to RIAT. Mad rush of "new" designs and a huge queue at the stall trying to buy one of each. There must be 10 different patches for the RF-4E retirement.

When 92 Sqn RAF retired the F-4 in 1992 they did one patch. (Which coincidently is now being copied by the RAF 'patch faker' Waynk*r on E-bay!).

Some units have had pretty much the same design of 2 or 3 patches for the last 30 years, with the odd Red Flag or similar design thrown in every couple of years. Others, such as the USAF at Lakenheath manage to generate 20 or 30 new patches every year (all for £10.00 each) and more than happy to take collectors money for them. I doubt half the designs ever make it onto an genuine aircrew flight suit - they would have to change patches twice a week!

I will get my coat .......

rafpatchman
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 8:55 am

Re: Patch question?

Post by rafpatchman » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:59 am

A very interesting question... As a collector of RAF patches for over 40 years, I've also noticed the increase in repro's/copies or fakes (whatever anyone wants to call them!) which are often aimed at the unsuspecting collectors who are keen to find these old designs. Unfortunately, this will backfire for future collectors when no one will know the genuine item from the copies, and people may end up paying silly money for one of the copies! There are also many designs appearing which are 'eye-candy' for patch collectors but never worn by any military aircrew or groundcrew. I believe this has been happening for a very long time and is unlikely to change with the huge demand for patches. We collectors are the problem, as we want more and pay more for our hobby, so those who wish to take advantage of the situation can do so to make a quick buck. Luckily, there are also some 100% genuine patch suppliers as well, so you pay your money and take your chance!

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Gary
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Location: South Lincolnshire

Re: Patch question?

Post by Gary » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:04 am

It's just turned into a big money making exercise for the like of the American's etc, no way patches should cost £15-25. People are paying it so the crews will continue

Belgian's have 4 different design patches this year, just they now do cloth and PVC versions so in reality it's 8 patches

Always suspicious of the squadrons when they bring such a big selection like the Greeks / Ukrainians this year etc. So I only tend to only buy the ones I see the crews wearing, which is becoming difficult as the Greeks all seemed to be wearing different ones :lol:

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TankBuster
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Location: Colchester

Re: Patch question?

Post by TankBuster » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:09 am

There is currently a huge amount of re-producing/copying going on and ebay is proving to be the perfect selling ground for these dodgy patches. Most seasoned collectors can spot the bogie patches, but unfortunately some buyers fall victim and are getting ripped off big time!

For example, the 81st TFW related patches from the former RAF Woodbridge / Bentwaters bases have always been popular with collectors and can attract a lot of interest and command high prices on ebay... However, a dodgy seller has cottoned onto this and is now offering fake/repro patches for sale. Beware!.. https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/abqmetal/m.h ... 7675.l2562

The genuine patches are out there, and they can be easily identified if you know what to look out for, but sadly it seems that patch production is now becoming a money making exercise :(.

TankBuster
And there's plenty more where that came from!

Herkdriver
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Herkdriver » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:42 pm

I have to agree with all of the posts above. This "hobby" that I have been in for over 25 years is getting out of hand. Ebay and Facebook groups have been a double edged sword. On one hand its allowed more patches to be available and more collectors to get in contact. But it has also artificially driven up the values of said patches. The Lakenheath genre of patches is a perfect case in point. There is no reason for their patches to go crazy on ebay where someone bids well over 50£ for a patch. And yes some squadrons are raking in the money like the 96th BS at RIAT this weekend. 25£ for a PVC patch and 20£ for a cloth patch! I didn't buy any and most real collectors didn't either because we know they can be bought on the patch makers website for less. But joe public don't know that and by Saturday most of the PVC patches were sold out. I'm all for supporting the squadrons and having been on 4 squadrons myself I do know what it goes towards but that is just plain greed there. Now ACC does allow more latitude when it comes to wearing non standard patches than say AMC but even in ACC most squadrons are cracking down and most of these patches you see now at the shows are TDY, Red Flag, deployment etc patches that are only worn for a limited period or in some cases not at all. And yes 8 patches for the Belgians is excessive but again they see it as a expanding market for funds for their squadron funds and Chris is right the collectors and joe public will buy them. The same goes with the Greek F4s as well. And the really sad thing is this: first it's very hard for new collectors to get into this hobby and very expensive, second the amount of money people are spending is driving some collectors to quit, and lastly I'm afraid it will only get worse. I know of at least three collectors who have quit in the last year and sold off their collections. However I'm not ready yet but as many of you have said and I must agree it may be time to scale back a bit.

Todd

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Thunder
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Re: Patch question?

Post by Thunder » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:25 pm

fillett101 wrote:
Greek AF A-7 Retirement - 13+ different designs - one unique patch for each pilot perhaps? All sold at £10.00+ each and collectors all go mad buying one of each and then pay £40-50.00 for the "missing" one on E-Bay. I don't believe a single one was made for any reason other than to raise money

....
Was there really 13, I can remember only seeing two which were in essence the same design just a different shape.

Tronk 11
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Tronk 11 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:53 pm

Thanks for your views guys.

I didn't know how people may take the question I asked. One thing I love about this part of the aviation is the passion it can bring out, plus you can own a bit of the squadron history/heritage too. Patches for me should have a story behind them, not the reason to make cash.

I didn't know the Belgium and other crews had so many variations at fairford. In one view its a shame and another nice to see, but im not seeing a balance. At the patch meet at mildenhall earlier this year some squadrons turned up with their wears. Less than six months later they have an entire new colle tion to buy? Like some vuys have commented it makes things unaffordable so good honest vuys are giving up as it costs too much. Might it kill the hobby the horric prices?
Some patches on eBay do come from some lovely guys who sell great stuff, but it can look as if a few rotten apples spoil the box.

As for the cotton and PVC ones. I like the PVC ones as they are difficult to copy and expensive to produce so may keep the fakes down. However the cloth patch does age better as an old 1960s one smells of history if it's been used by the crews.

PLEASE keep up the amazing comments, it's great to hear your varied individual views.

Regards,
Tony

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TankBuster
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Location: Colchester

Re: Patch question?

Post by TankBuster » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:21 pm

The 56th Rescue Squadron at Lakenheath have fired out a few nice patches over the years, and they have certainly caught the eye of the collectors! When some of their rarer patches appear on ebay they can go for stupid money, but as far as I can see the 56th RQS patches have not yet been reproduced/faked by anyone yet... At least the buyers are getting the real deal even though it is costing them a fortune :unsure: .

TankBuster
And there's plenty more where that came from!

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roughcutter
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Re: Patch question?

Post by roughcutter » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:14 pm

No body has mentioned the NTM's yet. The last Tiger Meet I attended was in 2015 at Konya where even the ground crew's had their own assortment of patches on sale :whistle:
A woman phoned the BBC to say a hurricane is on the way. Well if you're listening, it isn't

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TankBuster
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Location: Colchester

Re: Patch question?

Post by TankBuster » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:50 pm

As for fake patches, have a look at this mess!

I've seen some poor fakes, but this one is ridiculous!... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USAF-67th-Spe ... SwjR5ZbsPW

TankBuster
And there's plenty more where that came from!

Tronk 11
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Tronk 11 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:00 am

This is an insult not only to collectors but to the brave crews of the unit. It just makes me mad and sad that they make this sort of rubbish and try to pass it off as used by the crews. :grr:
Please I urge you to buy from the unit every time as the 67th SOS have some great patches and only make a limited amounts.

Herkdriver
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Herkdriver » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:11 am

That's ABQmetal for you. A known company that has thousands of reproduction/fake patches on eBay. Most collectors know this and steer clear.

fillett101
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by fillett101 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:23 am

Abqmetal - well known purveyor of junk.
Wayviation / 2535Wayne - fakes of "real" RAF patches and some 'made up' patches that are copies of old stickers, or just made up.

there are also a couple of sellers in the Netherlands who produce copies of everything, a certain Spanish gent and many others. Any report of fakes to E-Bay is, of course, ignored as their % is far more important than turning off the major distribution channel for the fakers.

As for the question regards how may Greek A-7 patches were made for the retirement, just type in to Google and search, there were even more designs than I thought, including fake copies of them!

Tronk 11
Posts: 733
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Tronk 11 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:01 am

I think fillet 101's comments go back to one of my first comments and maybe one the squadrons may need to take heed of.

Make loads of patches and they may kill your income as people copy them. Just a couple of designs may have been less lucrative to the units today, but preserved their custom for tomorrow.

The fakes dilute the originals and make it harder to spot the originals. Who in 10, 20, 30 years time is going to remember a copy from a good fake? Some are easy to spot like that rubbish 67th SOS one from abqmetal but some arent.

I'd rather have a modest collection of originals than a mass amount of originals with junk mixed in.

Are the units as guilty as the collectors who buy them, or is it that the way it is? I hope not.

Regards,
Tony

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adimale1981
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:59 am

Re: Patch question?

Post by adimale1981 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:43 pm

I have these collected from a b52 pilot, any ideas on how much they would sell for? I am collecting for my son but not sure they are appropriate!

[img]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201707 ... f4c515.jpg[/img]

Thanks.

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Thunder
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:24 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Thunder » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:53 pm

fillett101 wrote:Abqmetal -
As for the question regards how may Greek A-7 patches were made for the retirement, just type in to Google and search, there were even more designs than I thought, including fake copies of them!
As far as I was aware these were the only official patches made for the retirement

http://www.airforce.gr/images/blog/NEWS ... anner5.jpg

rolypoly33
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by rolypoly33 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi all I have been collecting patches since the late 70s,it all seemed to change in the 90s squadrons made patches more available,my attitude to collecting now is if you like it and It didn't cost a fortune enjoy them, don't get down hearted squadrons source patches from numerous suppliers regulations on them are quite strict
Any comments very welcome
Richard

Tronk 11
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:37 pm

Re: Patch question?

Post by Tronk 11 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:31 pm

I had to do a double take today on eBay today as three or four 494th patches sold for £160-£175 :grr:

Wow, it's a hobby for the rich!

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TankBuster
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Location: Colchester

Re: Patch question?

Post by TankBuster » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:09 am

I also noticed those 494th patches go on ebay :O. Its that sort of thing that takes the edge off of patch collecting. Yes, its nice to see some patches fetching good prices, but when prices get that silly it takes the patches out of reach of most collectors who couldn't ever justify paying such amounts.
Also, it can nudge the fakers into action as you could easily get a run of 50 fakes/copies of those patches manufactured for that price, so for the fakers there is a market and a profit there to take advantage of :grr: .

TankBuster
And there's plenty more where that came from!

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