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Water bottle from IMA
Special Artist


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: UK
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I was looking at the 1871 pattern water bottle, bag and pouches, belt et al from IMA; they look very nice and have good reviews, and I see that someone in the UK is selling them on ebay - can anyone vouch for them? Are they the proper job, or are they a poor second to another maker? Would they pass muster with the Diehards? They all look good, but the photos are small, and without handling them, I have no way of telling the quality.
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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My opinion is that they're definitely usable for reenacting but wouldn't be mistaken for the "real thing" on close inspection. The main issue with IMA's offering is that the leather used, although accurate enough in detail, isn't what one would call "buff" whitened with pipe clay but instead is rather stiff and shiny to the point of being described as "patent leather" (at least described as such over here in The States). It just doesn't have the rough texture and dull finish of the original, although I've heard that taking sandpaper to it and then applying "Sneaker White" is an improvement. I can't say I've ever done so, but it sounds feasible. Still, the price from IMA is short and any member of an audience who could and would criticize the minor inaccuracies would be a rare bird indeed!
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Re: Water bottle from IMA
Kiwi Sapper


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Location: Middle Earth & Home of Narnia; (Auckland, New Zealand)
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Special Artist wrote:
I was looking at the 1871 pattern water bottle, bag and pouches, belt et al from IMA;..............or are they a poor second to another maker?.......


I have both and as has already been said, for re-enacting,(they are fine. As for the "Die Hards" email them and ask. Oh, and a poor second? to whom..........I have never seen any water bottles apart from the IMA issue available.

_________________
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
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Special Artist


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: UK
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Many thanks for the opinions. You're right Kiwi, I haven't seen any others; I have occasionally seen second hand ones on the internet, which are presumably used IMA examples, or makers no longer in production. Thanks for the advice Sawubona, I'm sure I could live with a non buff sling. The belt and pouches set do appear to be a good buff, which is the most important bit - I have a non IMA set already, but that is shiny white, and although I am very fond of it, and in other respects it is very good, I have always aimed to replace it with a buff set. I'm not a reenactor, I just like collecting the bits, but if I do ever do join a group (and I'm sure that day is creeping closer), it would be good to have the right equipment. Out of interest, in order to use the water bottle, am I right in thinking that you would need to treat the inside with something to seal it? What would that be? Many thanks for your help.
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Kiwi Sapper


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Location: Middle Earth & Home of Narnia; (Auckland, New Zealand)
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Special Artist wrote:
.................Out of interest, in order to use the water bottle, am I right in thinking that you would need to treat the inside with something to seal it?.......


Like you, I was curious as to the possibility of actually carrying water in my "mock" Oliver.
So, I gave it a good series of rinsing to remove all the flakes of wood and crud and had a sip.........Hmmmmmmmmm I then decided that the amount of water it would hold and the possibility of tainting by the wood or glue was not worth it. But Hey, if I was keen and really wanted to carry that small amount of water in it, well it seems to be reasonably sealed but it would be serious rinsing with soap and oil removing rinses, , a few days in the hot water cupboard to remove all moisture, then pour in some non toxic sealant, (MOST IMPORTANT to select non toxic) swishing it around and pour out with another couple of days in the hot water cupboard and probably two more repeats to completely seal the inner. Don't forget to paint the stopper the same amount of times as well and ensure that a build up of sealant does not make the stopper too large for the opening.

And finally, when in use, always empty after the day and leave open until dry.

_________________
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
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Special Artist


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: UK
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A ha, thanks for that, Kiwi. I had visions of slinging one over my shoulder for our walking holidays in the Alps, filling it full of delicious mountain spring water....perhaps not after all. But schnapps, now there's an idea; it couldn't taste any worse, but then again it might dissolve the sealant...
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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I gotta admire the two of you! You reenactors must be a tough lot with cast iron digestive systems. Wasn't the "Italian pattern" waterbottle (I recall that "Oliver" is not entirely correct, but acceptable) among the primary reasons that dysentery and cholera were as much a part of campaigning during the Victorian period as Martinis and white foreign service helmets? I have recently heard that one can buy and carry water in presumably sterile plastic bottles! Perhaps you might explore that option as well --keeping the wooden one empty and in plain view for effect while surreptitiously hydrating out of the plastic one hidden in your valise or in one of the ammo pouches?
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Kiwi Sapper


Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 125
Location: Middle Earth & Home of Narnia; (Auckland, New Zealand)
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Sawubona wrote:
I gotta admire the two of you! You reenactors must be a tough lot with cast iron digestive systems......................


No risk.............No fun Laughing

Besides, where I live, I am not on town supply water. I collect it from the roof, along with contributions from birds, possums, and any passing low flying discharging air liner........So perhaps my survival is testament to having developed a higher than normal resistance to water bourne death.

Oh, and of course we "reenactors" always try to achieve realism so hence no plastic water bottles, digital wrist watches, McDonalds, etc. Then of course a man down screaming in agony with the rest of the squad backing away in horror of infection always adds that little final touch of "realism" we strain for.

BUT, if you want to be over the top safe, I'll just have straight rum in it and that should kill any botulism........but it may slow my acting down a tad.

i.e.. Arrow STAGE INSTRUCTIONS>Enter field of conflict, stage right wobbling and after audible voluble mutterings subsides beside a grassy mound and declines further participation"

_________________
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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Captain Morgan can be a ferocious adversary Wink and has been known to put many a vigorous man hors de combat with seeming ease.
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IMA Waterbottles
timothylrose


Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Bognor Regis, West Sussex
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There is an easy way to reline the waterbottles by melting beeswax, dropping it into the bottle then a quick swirl round to coat the inside and drain what's left - works for all wooden waterbottles and gives them a degree of lining to hold water in them. ( I relined all my originals with ease)

We don't tend to use IMA's 1871 stuff ourselves - mainly because of the type of leather used and also the expense pouch and gussets were poor quality and needed reworking - some of their belt buckles are poorly cast as well - so it's easier to source our own from within the group. Haven't seen any of their water bottles close up - I still use originals out on the field and the copies the chaps carry are solid wood ones sourced UK side.

That said we do use their 1888 sets because they are cheap - we bought them trade at 45 a set a few years back now - but they did need sanding down and staining before they were workable - but good for that price.

Atb - Tim
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Special Artist


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: UK
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Many thanks for that, Tim. The beeswax method has a comforting simplicity, and is presumably the original method too. I think my kit is an old IMA set, exactly as you describe, although the new sets are apparently buff, though the buckle looks the same. What I am particularly envious of are the helmets you fellows have! I remember an old thread saying that the company only do bulk orders. Why oh why can't the cheap (Vietnam?) producers flood the market with a decent shaped helmet, rather than the flared type every militaria shop in the country supplies????
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oldcontemtible


Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 46
Location: Fortress Antwerp, Belgium
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I have a waterbottle and craddle from the Thin Red line company, bought many years. 1 of my sons is putting together his impression of a 24th infantry man and decided to buy one from IMA.
Well there is a huge difference between. for 1 the price, but also leather used and the fabrication of the bottle itself.
You might also try :
http://www.militaryhistoryworkshop.co.uk/shop/index.php

Guy
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Special Artist


Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: UK
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Nice link, Old C., thankyou. I do now have the IMA waterbottle et al. I think the bottle is great - not having had one before and wanting one for so long, it couldn't really fail to please at the price. The cradle and sling are shiny, but they'll do. It doesn't come with a wooden stopper, so I've whittled one, and it doesn't look half bad - and I'm assuming half the bottles on active service would have had self-whittled replacements. The waist belt, pouches etc are very nice, a really good buff, and strong, and no longer the shiny white they used to do. The belt buckle is rough and under sized, but I have a good replica to replace it with. The leather on the expense pouch is smooth rather than buff, but has been coloured so that it's barely noticeable. The frog is good, but needs a good stretch before I'd risk my scabbard in it. The real let down of the set is that one shoulder strap is lovely buff like the rest, and the other is smooth but coloured to match. Not noticeable from a distance, but up close it shows, and it is a shame that having done the rest so well, the set is let down by what I assume is corner cutting in the workshop, getting a couple of extra straps out of the sheet by doing it that way. I'm sure I can roughen the strap, but I'm not sure the colour will match then, as I didn't want to whiten them. But all in all it is a good set. The haversack seems overpriced to me, and also seems to be based on an 1880s pattern, as far as I can see from Pierre Turner, and the buttons are awful and need replacing, so expensive at the price.
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Water bottle from IMA
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