Collecting and re-enacting are hobbies which require high-quality and reliable sources of material. If there is not a militaria show popping up near you, how are you supposed to discover what is available? In the MHM Collectors’ Special, we steer you towards the best websites with the widest range of militaria and ephemera available on the net. From watches worn by Luftwaffe pilots to uniforms, medals, and inert hand-grenades, the following experts have it all.

Epic Militaria

Here at Epic Militaria we have grown quickly from our humble one-man-band beginnings when Julian took over the company in 2006, to now employing 10 dedicated full and part-time staff. We have an ever-expanding and diversifying product range (currently standing at over 2500 individual product lines). These include many select modern military surplus items, although our roots are firmly based with WWII items.

We originally specialised in American and German militaria, but have quickly expanded into British items and are always looking for that extra special something to offer our customers. Indeed a quick browse through our website – where you can also sign up to our free monthly newsletter to keep up to date for our latest products – is sure to provide objects of real interest to everyone. As every re-enactor and collector is aware, quality and cost are vital to everything, which is why we work closely with our global network of suppliers to provide the best quality items at some of the most competitive prices on the market. We have many products faithfully reproduced from our own original items which we have collected over the years. This focus on quality reproductions, combined with our strong and dedicated customer focus are the main reasons our customers tell us they re-visit us time after time.

We currently stock over 1000 individual insignia items and have used some of these to produce a unique range of WWII inspired cuff links that we offer exclusively to our customers. Other recent acquisitions include many original WWII items, such as K98 pouches and US entrenching tools. This allows us to offer every re-enactor the opportunity to own authentic period pieces that will not break the bank.

As any MHM subscriber will know, developing a true understanding of any historical period can be a demanding task. We hope that our dedication to the provision of authentic items from this dramatic period can help keep the Second World War, and the sacrifices made during it, alive for future generations.

We are happy to help with any enquiries you have just give us a call, drop us an e-mail through our website, or why not join our very active, helpful and knowledgeable Facebook group where you are free to ask any question of the group at large.

0845 094 8646
www.epicmilitaria.com


  Warstuff

These days most serious militaria sellers have their own websites and use online marketplaces to find buyers for their collector pieces. As a new generation of collectors are on the collecting scene expecting the convenience of the internet and social media to support their hobby, and older collectors have mastered the internet as a tool for research and buying, this is really no surprise.

Naturally eBay features prominently as the largest and most well-known marketplace; often it is the first place people go when looking for militaria online. But what many collectors do not realise is that eBay has some restrictive policies on the sale of militaria that can mean a collector may not always be able to indulge in their specific collecting passion. The sale of antique weapons, WWII German items, collectable blades, and inert ordnance are all restricted. Couple this with what some feel are high charges, and eBay has left some militaria dealers and collectors feeling a little left out.

Step forward, Warstuff.com. Launched in 2010, the product of disgruntled eBay militaria sellers, Warstuff aims to provide an alternative to eBay for collectors and dealers to buy and sell all types of militaria and war memorabilia online. It offers a great line up of features for buyers and sellers alike, and some unique features including an online militaria valuations service.

We at the Military History Monthly office decided we would give Warstuff a go. Signing up was quick and easy, and with a large selection of militaria categories, a quick browse on the militaria for sale showed there was a good selection of interesting items on offer. Sellers can list militaria by auction or as ‘buy it now’, with a step by step process making listing an item very straight forward. Warstuff does not charge a Final Value Fee like eBay; instead there is a low monthly subscription fee for sellers. For buyers, they have kept the site completely free.

If you are looking for an online venue for buying and selling militaria, we recommend you take a good look at Warstuff. With growing exposure to militaria collectors and memberships rising daily, it is a great place to find that hard-to-find item, or if you need to reduce your collection, a place where you can make a sale. Well worth adding to your favourites.

www.warstuff.com


 ARL Collectables

‘Collectables are the relics that bring military history alive and enable us see and handle valued items from the past. These can be in the form of badges and uniforms that remind us of regiments long disbanded, medals named to men whose service records can be searched, and photographs that show us exactly “how it was”.’

So says Andrew Litherland, who established ARL Collectables in 2007 to act as an independent dealer and consultant. He saw this as a natural progression in his numismatic career, having spent over 30 years as a dealer and auctioneer in coins, medals, and collectables.

During this time he successfully ran the medal department at Spink and was Head of Coins and Medals at Glendining’s – the numismatic division of Phillips Auctioneers.

Whilst at Glendining’s, Andrew was responsible for holding many ‘Scripophily’ sales which included a good selection of British and world bonds and share certificates.

Setting up a collectors department for Bloomsbury Book Auctions in 2004 extended Andrew’s knowledge in handling books, manuscripts, documents, and general paper ephemera.

Today, Andrew specialises in military and commemorative medals, militaria, general ephemera, and bonds and share certificates. He regularly attends fairs and sells through his website.

Andrew has also edited the 6th edition of British Battles and Medals – the medal collector’s bible – and helped compile The Standard Catalogue of Orders, Decorations, and Medals with Valuations in 1990.

When setting up ARL Collectables, Andrew had to consider what it was that made a collector want to collect, and what sort of items they were interested in collecting. When MHM asked him about this, he replied:

‘They choose to collect due to their desire to possess historic and often scarce mementos that will be treasured  and saved for future generations. And as a bonus, a good sound financial investment!’

Visit the website for more information on what sort of things you can find at ARL Collectables. If you are interested in buying or selling medals or other items, you can contact Andrew directly on the number below.

01737 242975
www.litherlandcollectables.com


 Centurion Toy Soldiers

Centurion Toy Soldiers is a shop based in Chester, dedicated to selling historically accurate miniature figures and models covering many battles throughout the course of history.

Most people who collect our soldiers are military history enthusiasts. Some create a battle scene from a particular battle, war, or campaign they are particularly interested in (or, perhaps that a family member was involved in), and others like to collect the figures just to place them in a cabinet, on the mantelpiece, or somewhere in their home. For example a veteran of D-Day or a WWII enthusiast may choose to have a Sherman Tank or a Cromwell Tank in their collection.

We carry an impressive range of figures from First Legion, Thomas Gunn, and William Britain for many significant periods in military history. So whether you have an interest in the Romans, the Crusades, the Samurai, the Renaissance, American Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War, or the two World Wars, we have something to offer. The price range varies, starting at around £25 and in some cases reaching up to several hundred.

We think it is a good thing for military enthusiasts to collect these figures and build up small scenes or dioramas, mainly because of the fun involved in acquiring them and watching your collection grow. Whether it is a specific regiment such as an assembled scene of French Cuirassiers attacking the British infantry squares at Waterloo, or the British infantry going over the top on the first day of the Somme offensive, nearly anything is possible to re-create with our manufacturers covering most conflicts in history.

We advise collectors to base their creations on existing pictures of specific battles, and then manipulate the figures according to their whim, creating their own battlefield in miniature. Ideally, you would want to add a couple of figures to your collection each month and slowly build them up.

01244 637 098
www.centuriontoysoldiers.co.uk


 Click here to view the guide as it appeared in issue 24 of Military History Monthly

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