WW2 game organisers are welcome to adopt the original CiA ‘looks-like’ Allied uniform list as a basis for their own approved uniform list. Although Comrades in Arms no longer use the system at their events (having moved to a rather tighter per-game regime) we recognise its place in encouraging new players at games organised by others.
The following is not exhaustive but a guide to what is and is not suitable for events. All period gear is obviously acceptable and to be encouraged. We have found that airsofters being airsofters they generally want to get it ‘right’. However, first time players and those with a minimum budget are more than welcome to put together a ‘looks-like’ uniform. Different forces should be distinguishable from a distance by colour and outline – we do not use coloured armbands as might be used at regular skirmishes to identify sides!
We have a policy of not ‘stitch-counting’ and aim to be an inclusive organisation not exclusive. Some players strive for perfection, some go for a specific period of the war, some a more generic look and others go for a basic looks-like kit. No one is judged or ridiculed or looked down on for not being ‘perfect’ – what we do ask for is players to make the effort, to be enthusiastic for the period and join in.
Uniform & webbing
Forces will be designated by colour:
Plain Tan/Green/Olive – US
Plain Brown – Brit
Second to colour for recognition has to be outline and most distinctive is headwear. Jeep caps, fatigue caps for US, berets and wool hats for Brits. Cheap plastic Tommy helmets churned out for the last footy world cup would work.
M1 helmet – Post-war helmets are available at many militaria fairs for as little a £5. Expect to pay more for 40’s dated example.
Jacket – M41 jacket or similar tan/OG waist-length jacket is perfectly acceptable. Try surplus stores for cheap equivalents.
Trousers – Any brown wool or heavy cotton trousers are fine. This can be complimented with the iconic canvas gaiters to finish the look.
Boots – Any hard wearing boots are fine, although brown would be preferable.
Webbing – Post-war sets can be picked up for a few pounds. As a minimum we would recommend a pistol belt and suspenders with a water bottle and pouch for hydration. A cheap alternative to lots of pieces of webbing would be a canvas shoulder satchel, or musette bag, where you could stow all your kit for the day.
M1 helmet – (See above)
Jacket & Trousers – M42/M43 jumps suits are great. Alternatively any tan/OG set would suffice but try not to mix colours. Try some post-war Dutch or Italian jackets with any old pair of OG combat trousers and you’ll look the part.
Boots – Ideally some sort of high-leg boots with your trousers tucked in. Preferably brown. Again, Dutch post-war examples are cheap and relatively easy to find.
Webbing – (See above)
Battledress of any era, WWII, repro, Greek etc is great.
Brown overalls with British webbing
Headgear – helmet (Mk1, 2, 3 or 4), largish beret, side or peaked cap.
Please avoid peaked caps as they are reserved for organisers/designated officers
US and German WWII helmets are permissible but must be totally covered with Hessian and scrim camouflage and show none of their orginal shape.
Boots with canvas gaiters (of any nationality) are good
Post war woolly pulley and or brown wool or cotton shirts with breast patch pockets.
Plain green or brown trousers, modern cotton lightweights are fine.
You may use 37, 44, 58 US WWII or US Vietnam or any similar webbing.
The minimum requirement for playing British airborne is as follows:
Large maroon beret. Tip – try and buy this in a larger size than normal, 40s berets were very big and shapeless. Make sure you buy a maroon or cherry red beret and not a bright red one!
A Denison style smock either repro Denison (war pattern or 59 pattern is acceptable) 1950s Belgian Denison or Rhodesian/Portuguese pattern jackets are also acceptable.
No DPM smocks, not even a DPM ‘para smock’ please
British officer and NCO insignia will be supplied by organisers as required.
What is not suitable
Modern Kit – Modern Webbing, assault vests, DPM or other modern camo patterns.
Plastic – where possible all items of kit should be made from canvas, wool, cotton, wood, leather or metal. Apart from Bakelite there was very little plastic in the 1940’s and therefore we ask that this is followed. A plastic water bottle hidden in a canvas pouch would be OK, but things that are obviously anachronistic such as a large plastic box would not.
Fabrics – again, whilst we would not stop a player for wearing some modern fabrics, nylons, gortex, cordura and the like were not widely present in WWII, so we ask that people look to use wool or cotton clothing.
Radios – the use of PMRs is allowed only on an event-by-event basis. The game’s rules will state who can use radios, normally their use is restricted.
Sources for repro and ‘looks-like’ kit can be found on the Comrades in Arms forum or elsewhere.