Hunting ww2 ww1 relics with your metaldetector (metaldetecting)

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I get this question a lot about searching for relics from ww2.

What machine do you use, and can you recommend a program for my machine?

I am going to be fairly rude and not all of you will share my oppinion.

But the machine is not the biggest issue you will stumble across! Ofcourse there are machines made for relic hunting and can go somewhat deeper as another. The main issue will probably be your mindset if you have never really hunted war relics and have stuck to searching for coins etc.


For those big dumpholes and items that are burries deep you will have a good chance with a deepscanner or OGF machine. Your “plain” detector will miss out on a lot of those.

But if you do decide to head out using the good old sweeper, be sure you are set for maximum depth. My sensitivity is always at full blast! That equals more depth.

My settings are the most simple settings ever, and any machine can do this. No expert level Deus or ctx3030 needed.

Better yet, leave those at home for this job!

What you really want is scanning on all metal. Why? Because a lot of cool relics are made out of iron and not out of more precious metals like aluminum of copper. Discriminating will make you miss out on a lot and will make you lose depth!

So do you need an expert machine for this? Not so much actually. I am a big fan of using a simple and cheaper machine for this type of relic hunting. For the simple reason that you will spend a lot of time in forrest areas that are full of trees and plants and branches everywhere. Wich you will hit at some point! And i really do not want to mess up my way expensive machine by hitting a rock i did not see. Especially when the cheaper machine does the trick just as well.

I am not trying to discourage users of expensive machines or tell anyone that theire machines are rubbish. Just that this is a different game then doing farm fields to find coins.

People who know me and have searched with me can very much say that i found the same or more then they did with a more expensive or advanced machine. Does that mean i am better? Probably not, it just shows that risking your top dollar machine is not worth it.

So do i just randomly dig everything?

I do dig a lot! But still not everything. This also means i have definatly missed some cool relics. I dig when i feel like it could be worth digging. But… when the area is new to me, i dig, dig, dig. Just to see if there is any war relics around. So a simple iron bulletcasing is a good hint that i am going in the right direction.

Dont expect to be finding medals and helmets by the bunch every time. Being a war relic hunter is hard work! Physically and mentally! Not only do you need to walk on rounds that are not flat and straight, you need to be determined and not easily dissapointed if you do not find something great within a couple of minutes. And do some research on areas. And be prepared to dig deep! This is nothing like digging small objects on 30cm maximum.

Furthermore, be prepared to encounter items you do not really want to find!  Battlefields contain ammo. And not all of that has been fired and is potentially dangerous. The same goes for your local farm fields ofcourse, it can be everywhere!  And in case of encountering a m.i.a. (missing in action) make sure you do the right thing! Every man, woman or child has the right to a proper funeral,  no matter what side they fought for. Is there a big chance of encountering one? NO. But there are still lots of m.i.a. out there.

Live ammo should not be messed with and disposed of by the proper authorities. 

And if you do not know what the item you discovered is, then do not mess with it. Not all explosives look like a missile or bullet.

Be safe out there and do not diliberatly go looking for trouble.

More on war digging in my next blog.
Untill then…. have fun!

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Grading toys. AFA, UKG, IS THIS WORTH MY MONEY?

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So, grading your precious toys….

Worth the money? Or absolute waste of it?

Most likely a matter of oppinions.  But like everything else, this has pro’s and con’s.

To many collectors it just looks cool, displays great and keeps the toy clean and protected. There is a uv protective case available as well.

That is about the only positive review i can give on grading toys.

But grading is mainly to get an expert to look at your toy, authenticate it and its accesories if they have any. Afterwards the expert will give it a grade (for instance 85%) and case the item.

What does this expert do with my toy?

A question asked a lot in the collector world.

But long story short, he looks at the figure how its casted (with or without flaws) if it is original and period correct, if the paintwork is in good conditiin or not (playwear, factory flaws etc.) and if the accesoiries such as blasters and capes are original and in what shape they are.

So, basically they do what a die hard collector also does? 

Well, yes! But to be honest i think a true and experienced collector has a way better view on this!

Just to have an example, how many star wars toy toni’s have been graded in the past? (Toy toni are original figures, original cards and bubbles but assembled later by a scamming prick who bought old leftover factory stock cards and bubbles and added some minty figures wich he bought online himself). Did the graders notice this? NO! Collectors discovered the scam by wrong bubbles on the cards they never came out on. Graders just graded these fakes. Because thats what they are. Fakes!

And then the cases where a repro weapon has been graded as original…..

Yes, its human work. Humans make mistakes… NO, NO, NO!!

If you provide a service like this, you should have a insanely low error margin. Wich is not the case! Far from it.

There is even talk of graders replacing the toy weapons with good looking reproductions, wich can obviously never be put through any tests because they are cased up! But this is a not confirmed rumour.

Anyway, lets look at some more facts….

What is the price for grading a toy like lets say a vintage star wars figure.

Startingprice is around €15 for the basics.

So how long does a grader have to grade a figure? Probably not that long. Because take in mind, this is a company with overhead (building to rent, cases to have produced, insurance, staff to pay etc etc). Do the math what those 15 euro’s will be after expense and taxes etc. Not much!

So the grader can never take half an hour to process this toy for grading. Otherwise it will cost money! And they are busy, like actually really busy! And its not vollunteer work, thats for sure!

Just read into forums, or catch up on facebook groups like echo base or the imperial commissary, just to see how long it takes sometime to authenticate a lightsaber for a luke farmboy.

A simple float or drop test does not suffice anymore. Thats is a basic way of telling if its worth further investigation or not. If a bespin blaster sinks and does not surface anymore its a definite repro. But a floater is not by definition original!

But they are telling me, a grading company can authenticate your items within minutes, still have time to closely examine the figure and paint, place a label in the case with all info about the figure type, case it up and archive it for only 15 euro after all expense mentioned before? Are you shitting me!?!?!

If you want to know how authentic your toy is, find experts! Real experts! 

And just buy a couple of those cases to put your figures in. Because any experienced collector can see how good a figure really is. Its not that a grading company has the time to have 3 people look at a toy and get to a unanimous aggreement what grade it is.

Therefore you are left to the personal oppinion of the person handling your toy! What he or she thinks is an 85 another can see it as an 80. How fair is that?

Then how come graded toys go for twice or more then a loose minty looking figure?

Because people got scared of repro and have put their faith in a higher power such as graders.

If you just like the casings and what casings do. I would say go buy a bunch of them and place your toys in there to display.

All the rest to me is a big case of deep fried air, with no extra value or meaning to it.

Furthermore, you are boss of your collection. You should find a figure that looks good to you, not to someone sticking it in a case with a label.

I have seen 85% grades with a big smudge on the crispy white cape. To me that is a definite no go! And far from what a collector should desire. 85 is about the main thing collectors are after (90 grades are better ofcourse but are mostly insanely priced. And still theres 90 grades not looking a tad better then the same figure in 85)

And my personal experience with graders….

Some years back i bought a graded sealed box darth vaders star destroyer. Very cool! Looked amazing and i needed to have it.

When i found out the cases items waa not my thing, i sold it locally to a collector. There was one major issue, the collector did not want the graded item case on it. Just the item.

He did not trust this cases up thing at all (grading was not a well known thing where i live back then) and he collected sealed box items to open them, believe it or not. He had a tick with being the first person to hold it after all those years being new in the box.

So, he put his money on the table to buy it. And wanted the case removed and the box opened. Saccriligeon to me but hey, its your cash and item now…

And since it was graded i had a lot of confidence it was a brand new item in that box.
Yeah…. guess again. It was a graded block of wood! Wood!

And ofcourse i ended up with just a nice empty box, not getting payed and firewood.

And ofcourse the graders did not want to hear this story and did not want to communicate about it.

Since then, grading? Never mind. I know tons of people who can authenticate things a lot better and actually take time to look at items.
So to conclude my story…

Great idea, but no thank you!

Help! I need to choose a detector… Basic guide for beginners.

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I want to start with this hobby and i need to choose a detector. Help!?

That is something i do hear frequently.

Is there any real answer to what you should or should not do? In my oppinion, not really. But i will try to take you along as best as i can on this rollercoaster ride of choices there are.

A specialised dealer will always be able to provide you with the proper information about whay suits you best. (BlaBlaBla)

Ofcourse they can. But it is buisiness for them, providing the best possible dinner on their table. There are exceptions in any trade who will be honest. But most will always try to get you to the max of your budget. This is just how it works in any buisiness.

Dont worry, i will not try to push my brand, they are still not paying me for that.

Where to begin in this minefield of brands, functions and models?

In my view one should always begin to take a good look into this (or any) hobby before spending a handsome pouch of dinero on attributes to practice the hobby.

Is this actually something you would like to do? Or is this something you think you would like to do?

Compare it with buying a new car. Would you randomly buy a car without a testdrive? Probably not.

Try to see if any of your friends or family are practicing the hobby. Ask if you can tag along and give it a go. Or rent one for a small price. It is an actual fact that a lot of people are really eager to start and are really passionate about doing so.

The downside to this fact is that a great amount of these enthousiasts stop the hobby after a few tries. Most of the reasons are, the machine is too complicated, i have no time for this hobby, i did not find gold, and believe it or not, the machine does not work properly. (Ofcourse it does)

If you have the illusion that a metaldetector is a gold magnet, it might be best to see if there is another hobby for you. Finding gold is not going to happen instantly, it might even not happen at all! Some people spend 10 years on this hobby without finding any gold.

With that said, do some research about metaldetecting, and give it a try before you go out and spend your hard earned cash.

I really think this is my kind of hobby!

If you are convinced being a detectorist is your thing, and you have looked into the basic laws in your country about metaldetecting, you are set to go out on your first hunt! The one for your first detector!

A couple of handy questions to ask yourself would be:

  • What kinds of items would i like to find? (Coins, jewelry, militaria, etc.)
  • On what kind of grounds will i be detecting most of my time? (Forrests, farmfields, the beach etc.)
  • What is my budget?
  • Wich kind of functions do i really need?
  • Is it important for me to just turn my machine on and go, or is it ok for me to spend some time looking for the best settings possible before i start my walk?
  • Do i have a buddy who will be tagging along very frequently?
  • A pinpointer, do i need one? Is the one that is on the detector i have in mind not just doing the same thing as a separate handheld pinpointer?

In my oppinion any detector should have a very good recovery speed. If there are two different items or metal types very close to eachother a detector with a very low recovery will either not pick one of the two items up, or get very jumpy in the signal (sound, meter reading, or number if you choose a digital display detector)

The items you are after have some effect on the detector you are going to want to have. There are a lot of detectorists who only search for militaria or only hit the farmfields in search of coins and small objects.

For militaria you will need depth.and for coins and smaller objects sensitivity will be important.

The type of soil where you will spend most of your time is of high importance. For instance salty beach ground will be troublesome for a lot of detectors. This will make some detectors very jumpy (almost like they have a malfunction). The same goes for highly mineralised soil and even landfills.

Budget is ofcourse very important in choosing your detector. As i already stated, a shop will mostly be looking to empty your budget. But is this actually a necesity? If you ask me, NO.

Functions, settings, pinpointing function, bells and whistles. The more you spend, the more functions and settings you will get. Is this advisable for a beginner? No, definatly not! To be completely honest with you, my detector of choice has 2 functions. Discrimination (being able to block the detector from picking up certain types of metal) and sensitivity (equals depth). Nothing else. As an advanced detectorist i have bought and worked with a couple of the top notch detectors with every possible setting available. To me this is just not worth €1000/1200 extra. I did not find more or better objects at all! They were a little more accurate, but that is about it.

With that said, you can make out that i ofcourse prefer turn on and go.i do not want to spend half an hour fiddling with my machine to scan groundbalance, or find a program that goes well with the type of soil, and pressing all kinds of buttons. Does this give you some advantage if you do this? Yes, it will but it is still the detectorist doing most of the detecting, not the machine. I have had days where i was walking a field with 2 friends who both had a top of the line detector, and i brought my basic model. Still, i was the only one finding multiple silvers and fine jewelry.

A  buddy who wants to come along with you? Great! Make sure you do not have detectors who are on the same frequency. Mostly if you have 2 different detectors it will be fine, some can even change frequency. If your detectors are on the same signal, you will get disturbances when you are walking to close to eachother.

And finally, a pinpointer. Why even buy one? Isnt there one on my machine if i hold down a button? Yes, on some machines, even the cheaper ones there can be a pinpoint function. Is this something that is a good option to have? Not to me, the object is under your disc! Dig there and you will find it. Your detector will not be accurate to the millimeter where an object is located either way. If it is very small a handheld pinpointer will definatly be a great thing to have. That will save you a lot of time and possibly frustration. Trust me on that.

Choices in pinpointers are also huge! I would recommend one that is waterproof and one that does not have a probeshaft that is a lot thinner as the grip. A waterproof one is most likely cast out of one piece and will be very sturdy. These tend to last a lot longer and are definatly worth the 40 some euro more!

Now i found a machine that suits me best…..

Take some time to get to know your machine! This is not the most fun thing to do, but it will save you time in the long run!

Try to bury various objects on various depths and see how your machine will react to these. Try some foil, various coins, small.and larger pieces of gold and silver if you have any, (if you have a weddingring you want to try out just tie a small string to it and let that stick out of the ground so you will not lose it). A coin laying flat is also most likely to sound different as a coin laying on the side. Depth will change the signal, and the sort of material you use will give you a certain sound/signal.

After that just try to have some fun! Get to know your machine, this will take time, no matter what machine you will buy.

So dont forget, this is a hobby! It should be fun. Every find is great! Even if it is a piece of scrap. By taking it you do mother nature and the land owner a pleasure.

I have no clue where to start my queste….

A big part of the life of a detectorist is doing research, but this might be a story for another time.

Any actual rules in metaldetecting?

That will also depend on your Country or state. Be sure to check the local laws on or against metaldetecting.

Always clean up your mess! Do not leave your holes open. It looks terrible to for instance a landowner (you might want to return there), or even animals can trip in them and break something.

Help nature and take anything you dig up. Just throw it in a trashbin somewhere.

Always ask permission from a landowner, dont trespass.

If something looks like it can go boom, it most likely can go boom! Dont endanger yourself and others by taking live ammo!

And the most important rule is to have fun doing this!

So, if you do want to know what i use and why, you can read it here. If not, this was all for now. 

My machines of choice are.

The Teknetics T2 

The Teknetics Eurotek

And the Fisher TW-6 deepscanner
99 out of 100 times i use the Teknetics Eurotek. Its Lightweight, has a fast recovery and almost no extra functions. So this is turn on and go!

Do i descriminate any types of metal? NO. if the sound is not right i just leave the object where it is. But hey, if you are digging militaria, a lot of that stuff is iron. Something you would probably discriminate if you are looking for coins and jewelry.

My pinpointer is the Nokta RS, waterproof, sturdy and has a good light on it so i cam see where i am pointing it in a deeper hole.

That is it for now, i hope this was usefull in finding out if you want to be a detectorist.

Untill a next one!

Metaldetecting

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So, MetalDetecting…. Being a Detectorist….

That takes me way back to my childhood when i had the ambition to become an archaeologist. Childhood dreams huh….

 

I have “started” metaldetecting when i was about 8 years old. The first metaldetector i got as a christmas present was a simple model, but it did wat it had to do after a whole bunch of figuring out how that thing worked.

Found my first coin in our own backyard.

But the hobby picked up when i reached the age of 15. And lasted for a year or 6.

After that other things in your life take over most of your time.  Still managed to do some very good finds. Unfortunatly i have not got any pictures anymore so i will not spend to much time on this subject.

MetalDetecting present time.

I have picked up the hobby about 2 years ago.

Detector of choice Teknetics T2. But soon switched to the Teknetics Eurotek. For the simple reasons that it is lighter, just as accurate and just as fast in recovery, and it is actually turn on and go. Spending too much time on all kinds of settings is not a bad thing. It just takes away a lot of the fun for me.  But that is ofcourse up to the user to see what he or she would prefer.

You must find all kinds of valuables and jewelry!

Did you find any gold yet?

Recognise that?

Probably two of the most common things i hear all the time. For some reason people tend to think a metal detector is a gold magnet or something…. if only so….

To me metaldetecting is 90% fun and 10% finds. Ofcourse finding something great gives a huge rush. But if you would find things by the bunch, i think you would loose interest very soon. Unless it is of high value maybe.

So, what is it that i am looking to find?

What i am looking to find, is actually anything that lays under my disc. Simple as that. I mostly do some research before heading out to an area, but even on an old roman battlefield you will most likely find some modern coins. 

The area where i live has a rich history from roman, to merovingian, to the 80 year lasting war, to ww1 and ww2 and medieval. So plenty of findings to be done.

Mostly it all depends on my mood to wich area i go. That is the advantage of having a choice, but then again….. a roman coin can also be found on grounds were no roman activity took place. That all depends on people moving soil from one city to another, or if you are walking on an old landfill.

Treasures are everywhere!

Still the best treasurable thing is having a good time! Being outside, enjoying the weather or nature, having a ball with friends, or clear your mind by being alone. Whatever works best for you!

I do a bit of both, depending on my mood. As part of a group (team) of friends who go detecting together, we visit lots of locations in several country’s. All in the hope to find some great pieces of history! We mainly visit WW2 locations together to try to recover pieces of a darker past of history. 70 years after the war there is still a lot to be discovered and a lot to be learned.

I still have tons of stories about great finds and great locations to tell, so be sure to keep an eye out for the next part of my story about this great hobby!

Feel free to comment, share and follow.

Vintage Star Wars Toys

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So, what is all the fuss about vintage Star Wars toys?

Vintage Star Wars,

Toys were released in the late 1970’s when the first, or actually fourth movie hit the big screen. A new hope was there!

Little could people know that the whole Star Wars franchise would still be alive and kicking 40 years later! Toys and merchandise became highly collectible, the original trilogy has been widely expanded and none other then Disney is captaining the Star Wars fleet.
For those who are lucky enough to have played with the Star Wars toys ‘back in the day’, the feeling of holding a Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker toy in your hand is mostly an instant reminder of their childhood.

My own childhood was also highly influenced by Star Wars toys. I started collecting them in the Late 80’s and early 90’s. Way before the craze started. I started collecting mostly out of boredom, visiting tons of flea markets, swap meets and yard sales with my parrents who were in the antiques trade. I always got some spending money on these markets to keep me busy (and probably to get into the trade). I spent almost every cent i got on Star Wars toys. From loose actiom figures to sealed in the box playsets. All of this was still for grabs back then at bargain prices. How would you feel if you would visit a store today and found a carded yak face figure in a sales bin for €0.40 / £0.35 / $0.50 ? Well there were at least 25 of these available in every toy store or warehouse with a toy department. Nobody wanted yakface or Amanaman. So i bought mine back in the day for 1 Dutch gulden. And i still have the carded figure today.

Now a days Star Wars toys are highly sought after and still provide lots of pleasure to 70’s and 80’s kids and even a new generation of collectors. It always makes me feel good to see a young person collecting the toys we used to play with.

Why did our childhood toys become so valuable!?

A question, asked a lot! But are they realy worth that much?

Ofcourse there will be exceptions, but the majority of the figures and playsets have been used and abused for years and years, througout a whole generation and beyond.

So the chance of finding figures in near mint condition decreased with every year. And to me that is where the real value is. Ofcourse there are carded figures and sealed in box vehicles and playsets with much more value, and finding those is much and much harder. To me its about childhood memories and being able to hold these in my hand without a plastic bubble or cardboard box being in between. Ofcourse to each its own. I still collected the carded figures and boxed sets, but my loose run always made me most happy!

The marketvalue has increased with lightspeed.Some say this is because of the release of the newer movies, and some believe a lot of “collectors” are stockpiling Star Wars toys for the value they hold. Is there a definitive answer? Probably not.

As always this starts with losing the tiny blasters and lightsabers, chewing on those lightsaber tips and breaking or painting vibro axes. There are more accesoiries then figures, so a complete figure with little to no play and paintwear is always a great find! 

Throughout the years many have tried to fill this gap by producing reproduction accesoiries for our beloved childhood toys. This has had a great deal of impact on the collectors market and the value of the toys in question. Now a days it has almost become a sport to find a stormtrooper with a non repro blaster. The value of original toys took a giant leap and scammers are always on the prowl trying to sell these fakes to the collectors.

I believe Supply and Demand is the main answer to the question.

Repro….. 

Repro is bad mmmmkay…..

Other then that, why would you have repro in your collection? To have spotwarmers untill you find an original? Just because the originals are too darn expensive? Because you do not consider yourself a purist collector and just want to have a displaypiece?

Anyway, its all in the eye of the beholder i guess. To me the modern reproductions are a waste of time and money. I would rather save up for a year to buy something near mint and original then buying a repro instantly. The same goes for beater figures. Its a less expensive way to start a collection, but in the long run it is cheaper to buy a nice example straight away then upgrading your beater figure ten times. Collecting should never be a race or pissing contest! Period.

Collecting should be fun and exiting. The chase is better then the catch.

A fairly new battle against reproductions is the grading of figures and other toys.

Grading toys. AFA? UKG? Why to do this or why not to do this?

Again something that is in the eye of the beholder.

A graded figure in a nice acrylic case van be cool to display. Protection from dust and sunlight damage. Tons of pro’s, but are there cons?

How trustworthy are these graders? Can they tell repro from original? Do they actually have the time to examine items properly?

Topic for a new blog? Most likely!

Back to Star Wars…..

With all the negativity about insane prices and reproduction fakes would you still want to collect Star Wars toys?

Why not? If this makes you happy you definatly should!

Together with other collectors you are keeping this new hope alive!

And what is more exiting to a fan then finding out what is still to come…

Looking for rare variations of toys, finding a holy grail item on a yard sale, discussing the stuff you love with fellow collectors. Just make the best out of this whole deal for yourself.

Collector? Passionate about Star Wars? Want to share your knowledge or show your collection among others?

For those who have access to facebook my reccomendations would be;

Vintage toy addicts BE/NL

https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagetoyaddicts/

Echo Base Benelux vintage Trading

https://www.facebook.com/groups/echobasebenelux/
Echo Base UK vintage Trading

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/679883255411947/
Echo Base USA vintage Trading

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EchoBaseWorldwideVintageStarWars/

The Imperial Commissary

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheImperialCommissary/
And for our internet users

 www.imperialgunnery.com

Ofcourse there are a lot more websites and forums. These are a few of the trustworthy groups and forums i would reccomend.
Feel free to comment, follow and share!
May the force be with you.