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  #1  
Old 19-05-08, 08:07 AM
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Default Staybrite Badge Definition

Hi Guys,

As part of my investigation into the classification of British Army Staybrite cap badges I am attempting to define what a British Army staybrite cap badge actually is.

So far I have come up with this definition.

A metallic item of dress designed for use in the head gear of various organisational units of the British Army composed of electroplated aluminium.

Note that this definition is incomplete as it does not contain:

a) any date entity as to when the badges were used
b) the manufacturing process used to create the badges
c) what the purpose of the badge in the head dress was actually for

This hopefully will be added later when I have discovered the manufacturing time line and investigated the manufacturing process of this genre of badges etc.

Would members of the forum post comment as required.

Note that before we can identify a fake item we need to be able to define what an authentic example of a staybrite badge actually is.

Regards

Chris
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  #2  
Old 19-05-08, 11:51 AM
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Chris, this is a description of the construction I was given a while back:

Aluminium badges are cast in a mould and then anodised by an electro-plating process. Two-colour badges are first fully-plated in one of the colours by attaching an electrode and dipping them into a liquid solution for that colour (e.g. gold colour). The badges are then removed from the solution and the parts of the badge that are to stay that (gold) colour are painted (masked) with matt black paint. The badge is then electroplated with the second colour e.g. silver. The second (silver) colour sticks to and permanently covers the first (gold) electro-plate, but the second colour does not attach to the black paint. The black paint is then removed, allowing the original (gold) colour the show through.

I suspect 'staybrite' is a commercial name, AA being the actual process.
There are apparently a couple of articles in The British Button magazine / journal from the 1950s which gives technical details. I've been looking for them for a while, if anyone does find this mag / articles, I'd be grateful for a copy
Julian
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  #3  
Old 19-05-08, 12:13 PM
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Chaps,

Very interesting. Do you think this explains the presence of the Yorkshire Volunteer gold rose and black painted badge? Its existance is non-sensical unless it is a part finished badge.

The rose should be silver - possibly the factory plated them, painted them for the next process without realising that they should have been silvered first. Once they noticed that the colours had been reversed, they then discarded them with the paint in place as it was easier to start again than to remove the paint, silver them, paint them again and add the gold?

A dealer buys the reject stock and voila - a very rare Yorks bde variation commanding a huge price.

Alan

Last edited by Alan O; 19-05-08 at 12:21 PM.
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  #4  
Old 19-05-08, 03:16 PM
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Definately ! I once saw an all gold King's AA and was told it was a bandsmens badge !!
Yes, certainly it was a reject !!! Lord knows what other myths have arisen.

(Regarding above, I don't know if it is gold or silver painted first, that was an example regarding the King's)
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  #5  
Old 19-05-08, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR View Post

There are apparently a couple of articles in The British Button magazine / journal from the 1950s which gives technical details. I've been looking for them for a while, if anyone does find this mag / articles, I'd be grateful for a copy
Julian
Hi Julian,

I'd be pretty keen to get my hands on this too.

I have written to Firmin with a list of questions and the manufacturing process was one of them. Hopefully they will join the party and get back to me.

While most seem to have been manufactured via an die cast process I'm thinking that some may have been die forged too.

The large Scottish badges were probably die struck as these do follow the 'hollowback' style found in early German combat badges. However, the female die used (if they were made that way) does not seem to have much detail.

My silver Welsh Guards badge appears to have been die forged with shear marks on the edges where the cut of the die was made. Again, this is common on die forged German combat badges made from zink.

Thanks for the help here !!!

Regards

Chris
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  #6  
Old 19-05-08, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Owen View Post
Chaps,

Very interesting. Do you think this explains the presence of the Yorkshire Volunteer gold rose and black painted badge? Its existance is non-sensical unless it is a part finished badge.

The rose should be silver - possibly the factory plated them, painted them for the next process without realising that they should have been silvered first. Once they noticed that the colours had been reversed, they then discarded them with the paint in place as it was easier to start again than to remove the paint, silver them, paint them again and add the gold?

A dealer buys the reject stock and voila - a very rare Yorks bde variation commanding a huge price.

Alan
Thanks Alan,

I was talking a few years ago with a Captain ex. Yorkshire Volunteers and he never mentioned a black marked badge for this unit.

I'm including it as it was made and is staybrite and at this stage of things I am still in the 'data capture' mode and if its made of 'staybrite' I want to know about it.

The next stage of evaluating the badges will be followed by classification to sub groups such:

Commissioned and Issued
Commissioned and not issued
Commemerative Pieces
Mistakes

etc.

All this for the months ahead.

I suppose a good test for the black marked Yorkshire Vols. badge would be to put some acetone via a 'Q-Tip' on it and see if the colour comes off - any takers?

This is a test I did on a 'mint' Imperial German wound badge to discover I had bought a 25 pound fake...

Regards

Chris
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  #7  
Old 19-05-08, 07:58 PM
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Hi Julian,

Regarding your note on the name 'Staybrite' and 'Anodised Aluminium'.

The former seems to be commercial as you suggest. As such, is the later a generic name and should I be using it for my project?

Regards

Chris
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  #8  
Old 20-05-08, 05:42 AM
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Hi Guys,

Following Julians post #2 I have amended the definition to be:

A metallic item of dress designed for use in the head gear of various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium.


This may help cover the material/manufacturing process to an extent but we still need a time line of manufacture and the generic purpose of a cap badge. i.e when were staybrites made, are they still being made and what are cap badges for?

If we can answer these questions we will be on our way to completing a definition.

I will now take one step back and ask if these items should be known as 'Staybrite' badges or 'Anodised Aluminium' badges.

See thread here:

http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/for...ead.php?t=2033

Regards

Chris
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  #9  
Old 20-05-08, 07:50 PM
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Hi Guys,

End time line added:

A metallic item of dress designed for use in the head gear of various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium last manufactured approx. 2003.

Does anyone have an accurate start time line as to when these badges were manufactured?

Any dated documents to back up the date would be of interest too.

Regards

Chris
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  #10  
Old 20-05-08, 07:53 PM
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Chris,

Trying to date this will be impossible without access to the MOD order books. While some regts began to changeover circa 2003 from a/a to silvered metal, some did not and there is no firm evidence that contracts were not still running to supply badges beyond that.

For NSN see this badge:http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/WOW-LOOK-RAF-R...ayphotohosting
This maker does not specify anything other than BadgeHatRAF.

The last LI badges from Firmin were in a different packaging (sealed plastic bag) and did state 'finish:silvered' while their a/a Argylles were labelled 'finish:anodised'. I found a stock of these in a shop in Somerset recently both dated 2003.

Alan
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  #11  
Old 20-05-08, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Owen View Post
Chris,

Trying to date this will be impossible without access to the MOD order books. While some regts began to changeover circa 2003 from a/a to silvered metal, some did not and there is no firm evidence that contracts were not still running to supply badges beyond that.

Alan
Darn.

OK lets go back to:

A metallic item of dress designed for use in the head gear of various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium.

Hopefully Firmin will come up with some results to the letter I sent them.

Regards

Chris
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  #12  
Old 20-05-08, 08:15 PM
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Chris,

Would "Head Dress" be a better British term to 'head gear'? Or maybe "uniform" as there are aa collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons. How many British Army units are composed of anodised aluminium?
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  #13  
Old 20-05-08, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54Bty View Post
Chris,

Would "Head Dress" be a better British term to 'head gear'? Or maybe "uniform" as there are aa collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons. How many British Army units are composed of anodised aluminium?
Sounds good to me - definition updated:

A metallic item of head dress used by various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium.

This helps shorten the definition too which is a bonus.

I don't know how many units were issued these badges but hope to find out when the data collection phase is completed - if it ever can be completed that is.

This is the reason I have used the word 'various' in the definition and not 'all' or a specific list (which would be far too long) of units.

Regards

Chris
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  #14  
Old 20-05-08, 08:36 PM
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Going one step further...

If we can find out the manufacturing timeline we can probably complete the definition:

A metallic item of head dress used by various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium manufactured between <start date> and <end date>.

Regards

Chris
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  #15  
Old 04-07-08, 09:58 PM
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Hi Guys,

Following investigation into anodising of aluminium items I have amended the defininition to be:

An item of head dress used by various organisational units of the British Army composed of anodised aluminium, colour dyed by electroplating and manufactured between <start date> and <end date>.

Tentative timeline range is August 1950 when I have been informed one of the Birmingham University badges was 'sealed' and approx. 2005 when the changeover to new form badges was well under way.

The lack of manufacturing dates is leaving a big hole in my research so any information would be appreciated.

Regards

Chris
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