Obviously the difference between a WWII Airsofter and a Modern Airsofter is the uniform and kit you wear. Getting your impression all together can be fun, frustrating, interesting, and expensive. The good news is that you do not have to do it all at once to participate in the OAWWIIR events. You can choose to start slow and put your impression together over time or go nuts and get everything all at once. If you decide to take the latter route be forwarned, once you start, it will become addictive and the better your impression starts to look the more likely you will want to complete it.
Generally, the US impression will be less expensive than the German impression. You can expect to pay approx. twice as much for the German impression then you would for the US impression. While there are a number of very good vendors, there is no one stop shop for EVERYTHING that you need. You may find the uniform and web gear at one place, but no boots or helmet(yes you'll nned to wear a helmet). That's where this site comes in. We have done our best to do the legwork for you and to point you to the vendors we've used and like. We will continue to update the vendorís list. E-bay is also a very good source for obtaining your uniform and kit. Be patient and you will find some great deals to keep the cost of your impression down.
How to Get Started
Your first step to putting your WWII impression together is to choose a Nationality. You can choose any of the Allied or Axis units that catch your fancy. Please keep in mind that we have chosen to represent troops that served in the European Theater in the late part of the war, so a Japanese impression would not be a good choice. The common choices are American, German, British and Canadian.
Once you have chosen a nationality then itís time to pick a unit. You can choose to join an existing unit or if one that you are interested in does not exist then you can decide to start one. Itís even alright if you choose to just pick a nationality with no specific unit, for example you choose to put together a Canadian impression with no markings. Thatís fine. The good thing about WWII Impressions is that all the details are very well documented. If you decide on 101st ABN in Normandy, you can be pretty sure that by following several web resources, your impression will fit in fine with any 101st unit around. But the safest way is to approach a unit in this organization and ask to become a member. They will give you the uniform and kit requirements, as well as assigning you a rank and position inside that unit. They'll also guide you on what and where you should get all your kit. Again, this organization is just getting started, so you do not need to buy everything all at once. There will be guys out there with everything down to the right kind of can opener in their pocket, but you don't need to be that prepared to play.
Obviously, the two most popular impressions are US and German, though you can pick whatever interests you the most. This is a personal choice. Keep in mind that US and German uniforms and equipment are the most easily found, followed by British. Not all the nationalities are listed below and/or contain information. If someone desires to contribute their knowledge for a particular nationality please feel free to do so. If you have a burning desire to portray a nationality not listed (i.e. the Italians), you are more then welcome to do so. Once you have sufficient information to contribute, that nationality will be added/updated to this website.
Select the nationality to find out more information.
Without a doubt, the easiest, and cheapest way to get into WWII Airsofting is by choosing a US Impression. Just about any equipment, uniform, or weapon is available in either original or replica. Up to and including D-Day, the US utilized several specialized uniforms across its ground force (just before Market Garden the Army began standardizing across the theater). The most distinct difference was between the airborne and traditional ground troops. Variations within airborne divisions and infantry specializations were also present, but are less distinct and boil down to particular pieces of gear or uniform construction. Therefore we will show you examples of Airborne and Legs (regular ground troops)
The following section will cover the German Uniforms that are listed in the Unit section. Unlike the US uniforms there are too many German uniforms to mention on this website.
17 Luftwaffe Field Division
The most obvious difference between Heer and Luftwaffe troops is the colour of the uniform. Rather than the armyís field grey, the airforce uniform is dark blue. Of course, this stands out rather well on the battlefield, so many soldiers wore their camouflaged Zeltbahn tent-halves as ponchos and wore camouflaged helmet covers. More fortunate units were issued with long camouflage jackets.
Deutsches Afrikakorps Uniform
1. tropical tunic (4-pocket, button-up jacket) or tropical shirt (2-pocket, tuck-in shirt)
2. trousers (pants) or shorts
3. field cap, side cap, steel helmet or pith helmet
4. brown ankle-length or knee-length boots, black leather "jackboots" for some officers
5. rank/unit insignia, awards/medals
6. belt, y-strap
7. pistol holster, magazine/ammunition pouches, canteen, map case, bayonet frog (all optional items)
Many of the above items can be found in tan/khaki or olive drab green. Both colors are acceptable and can even be worn at the same time (i.e. an OD tunic jacket with tan trousers). The following webpage provides several color illustrations of DAK uniforms. These pictures provide an excellent reference point for putting together a DAK impression.