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Old 12-31-2015, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

2015 has been a super bumper year for collecting awards focused upon by this forum. With prices absolutely collapsing and the markets being flooded it has been very difficult for me to not buy up large numbers of them. With research cheaper than ever before it is also now more affordable to find the stories behind the awards. It was a rather strange reversal of events of previous years where I would be ecstatic with a researched award entering the collection once every few weeks or months to one every one-two weeks to, with the combined dropping prices and ease of access to research, up to 20 researched awards entering the collection in a single day. This has caused a good backlog of researched awards/groups that it may take some time to clear.

New 2015 researched awards/groups include;
Kornienko, Vladimir Fedorovich, Guards Sergeant, Mortar Artillerist/Musician
Zhuravlev, Valentin Ivanovich, Lieutenant, Platoon Commander, 250th Mortar Regiment
Popov, Ivan Pavlovich, Senior Sergeant, Gun Ranger, 857th Artillery Budapest Regiment
Sokolov, Aleksej Dmitrievich, Junior Sergeant, Tailor, Southern Group Of Forces
Kamenev, Ivan Jakovlevich, Sergeant, Submachine-Gunner, War Against Japan
Red Star,1587366,Pilot,3rd Sanitary Squadron,97th Separate Aviation Regiment
Red Star,1613053,Senior Telephonist,39th Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade
Red Star,1691532,Aircraft Mechanic,45th Aviation Squadron,Red Banner Baltic Fleet
Red Star,3701609,50th Anniversary Of The October Revolution
Glory III,485070,Lead Scout,487th Separate Scout Company,218th Rifle Division
For Bravery,2085359,Auto-Welder/Motorist,419th Auto Company,Königsberg
For Bravery,2231883,Senior Telephonist,47th Heavy Mortar Brigade
For Bravery,2399308,Gun Ranger,76th Separate Guards Destroyer Anti-Tank Section
For Bravery,2977387,Rifleman,297th Rifle Division,Smolensk Behind Enemy Lines
For Bravery,3143715,Pilot,3rd Squadron,457th Near-Range Bombardment Aviation Regiment
For Bravery,3202914,Rifleman,304th Rifle Regiment,2nd Shock Army
For Bravery,3534952,Private,172nd Guards Rifle Regiment,Catch-Up 1954
For Bravery,3548899,Anti-Tank Rifleman,646th Rifle Regiment,Catch-Up 1954
For Combat Merits,0057220,Head Of Surgical Department,Evacuation Hospital 2747
For Combat Merits,0120158,Aviation Mechanic,800th Storm Aviation Regiment,"Mars"
For Combat Merits,0183587,Deputy Head,Account Staff,958th Rifle Regiment,Stalingrad
For Combat Merits,0298926,Welder,50th Guards Separate Motor-Rifle Scout Company
For Combat Merits,1723411,Tailor,1345th Rifle Regiment,399th Rifle Division
For Combat Merits,2478268,Section Commander,91st Separate Auto-Transport Battalion
For Combat Merits,3159520,Chairman Of The Village Soviet,Wounds 1946
For Combat Merits,U/N 1948,Squad Commander,336th Rifle Regiment,Wounds
For Combat Merits,U/N 1991,Head Of Radio Station,334th Border Regiment NKVD,Catch-Up
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Earlier obtained awards that have been researched in 2015 include;
Red Star,0915858,Chief Of Central Warehouse #2100,Department Of Specialist Devices
Red Star,0965158,76mm Gun Battery Commander,258th Rifle Regiment,140th Rifle Division
Red Star,0974293,Technician,Serpuhov Aviation-Technical School,Long Service 1944
Red Star,1100126,Deputy Head Of Staff Of Operational Units,608th Rifle Regiment
Red Star,1333035,Pontooneer,90th Separate Pontoon-Bridging Battalion,East Prussia
Red Star,1783576,Technician Of Combustible-Lubrication Material,298th Rifle Division
Red Star,2005503,Chief Party Organiser,Naval Section,Vitebsk Oblast Party Committee
Red Star,2070540,Head Of Mobile Aircraft Repair Workshop 1 #54,1st Air Army
Red Star,3625285,Gun Ranger,409th Artillery Regiment,Wounds 1966
Glory III,792213,Gun Ranger,190th Artillery Regiment,Wounds 1979
For Bravery,0721116,120mm Mortar Battery Adjuster,956th Rifle Regiment,Har'kov
For Bravery,0788717,Driver,993rd Zenit Artillery Regiment,River Dnepr
For Bravery,1732022,Communications Squad Commander,1367th Rifle Regiment,Crimea
For Combat Merits,0365745,Head Of Auto-Repair Workshop,1028th Artillery Regiment
For Combat Merits,0375861,Welder,Technical Provisions Company,244th Tank Regiment
For Combat Merits,1497308,Rifleman,20th Guards Rifle Regiment,Hungary

Although this doesn't include 48 researched awards I've obtained and don't have access to, nor the 17 awards I've obtained and research is pending, nor 18 awards I obtained before 2015 where research is pending. As I said, a real backlog.

Of course there have been new arrivals from all areas of the forum, from the Imperial period to 2015 and reaching all over the globe, especially to the more obscure parts.
This includes some less frequently seen Armenian Medals;
"Russian Navy 300 Years" Jubilee Medal.
"Garegin Nzhdeh" Medal.
"Admiral Isakov" Medal.
"Vazgen Sargasian" Medal.
Even less frequently seen NKR items;
"Maternal Gratitude To Artsah's Courageous Sons" Commemorative Medal.
"Combat Service" Medal.
Deputy Of The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Badge.
On the subject of Deputies there was also;
Deputy Of The Republic Of Moldova.
Going back to the MSSR there's also;
Laureate Of The State Prize Of The Moldavian SSR
Then there's the PMR;
Order "Defender Of The Homeland".
Staying obscure, there have been some great researched Albanian groups including;
A group to a cadet whose brother was a Martyr.
The Martyred brother's pair
The most "internationalist" group to date.

Also I've presented a couple of slightly "off topic" pieces with some great research that I just can't overlook as part of a review of 2015;
A Fully Researched Award For Heroic Combat In North Korea.
Helyett Simonsen's Hjemmet's Spirit Medal.

I've also been trying to present awards from areas of the Soviet Union and Former Soviet Union that have not been touched upon at all yet.
This is just a taste of what's to come - Honorary Title "Meritorious Agricultural Worker Of The Karakalpak ASSR".
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #13
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Although this year has been extremely busy for me (not helped by the market being so appealing for collectors and research) I have been trying to throw out as much as I can for everyone to enjoy or simply use as reference. Just under 500 posts this year, so rather quiet for me. Don't worry I'll keep throwing the posts out there as I can.

Posting new information/pieces is not the only time consuming part of the forum. This year has seen a change of ownership and a promotion. This has caused more consumption of time with a reshuffle of the forum, whilst at the same time 50+ new sections (They're out there if you look through the forums). The forum is looking better and is easier to search and access the information you need than ever before. There is still quite a lot of "archiving" to do of older posts but they get chipped away at from time to time.

2015 was a great year for the forum and 2016 is poised to be even better. Cheaper prices and easier research is a very positive thing for us collectors.

Speaking of cheaper prices, I forgot to mention one of the best Forum Marketplace purchases I have ever made - An unfortunately unresearchable Order Of Lenin.

Just a couple of days ago I found a list of the items in the collection from a few months before I joined the forum. Over 1000 awards, it seemed a lot at the time but it was just genesis. It certainly help me be retrospective. Not even all of those have been posted yet, talk about backlog!

All I can say for 2016 is brace yourself for more previously unseen items (I just made a purchase that is almost unbelievable in content), more tales of research than ever before (I personally have researched groups for combat in each of the battles of Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad to post) and more than likely even more Forum sections (It seems difficult to believe there are sections missing but it's true).

"Ring out the old ring in the new!"
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:16 AM   #14
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

A blessed and prosperous 2016 to all! Thanks for checking in and subscribing!
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:07 AM   #15
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

I thought 2015 would be a year that would take some beating but 2016 has blown it completely out of the water.

I thought the 45 researched awards I posted in 2015 would be the high water mark but 2016 has seen 135 Researched Soviet Medals and 30 Researched Soviet Orders - That's getting close to one every other day. A trend I don't see slowing in 2017 as prices continue to fall.

There are so many researched awards that I won't even try to post links to them all but they can be see in these two sections;

Researched Medals
Researched Orders

Every major battle seems to be covered and almost every conceivable role - Balloonist, Folk Singer, T-34 Driver, Pilot, Cook, Machinegunner, Desk Jockey, ICBM Tester, etc....

As seems to be the yearly echo - there is a backlog (and it's bigger than ever). 2017 will continue to showcase the exploits of participants in the Great Patriotic War but will also probably also uncover the labour exploits of those who served the state during the Cold War. I don't want to speak too soon but there might just be a group to a worker on the Vostok-1 programme coming out of the woodwork soon.

My favourite researched award of 2016 is the one that inspired me to destroy the myth of the "All-Woman" Regiment.

As I also enjoy spreading my interests, I've also been working on post-Soviet awards. The Russian Federation has had a new wave of ministerial awards and I challenged myself to complete the Ministry Of Defence Medals set. I didn't get them all but I don't think falling only 7 short of the complete set is too big of a failure considering how many fakes are out there. There's always 2017 to complete the task.

At least 35 Russian Federation Ministry Of Defence Medals added in 2016.
Over 3/4 of the RF MOD Badges posted were added in 2016 too.

My favourite of them all has to be Demining Palmyra as I have not seen another real example for sale although I have seen hundreds of fake ones sell - often for silly money.

Russian Federation awards may be the most discussed and reported of all the post-Soviet awards but I do like the more obscure ones.

2016 has seen a bumper harvest of Armenian awards and also all but one of the awards of the Republic Of Karakalpakstan - which wasn't even on the map before.

(There's even been three KKASSR Titles posted as well as 22 UzSSR Titles)

I like to get even more obscure though, going where no-one has been before or even completely missing from the map (like Karakalpakstan) and 2016 has been the very best year for the awards of "Unrecognised States".

Nagorno-Karabakh - Now with research!
South Ossetia - and not just KGB.
Lots of awards from the Donetsk People's Republic.
Lugansk People's Republic is a bit trickier to collect.
Although my favourite of the year is this Abkhaz Order Of Leon #12 (More from Abkhazia in 2017).

There have, of course, been additions almost completely over the board. New or at least newly obtained or posted items that have often never been seen anywhere online before. This feat will be repeated in 2017.

Since my greatest achievements of have been completely off topic I'll leave them where they belong - elsewhere. I can say however that what is posted here is only the very tip of the iceberg. "The stories I could tell".

I know 2016 has been a rather double edged sword for many enthusiasts too. Research is now very accessible with more resources than ever and the continuing fall in prices makes collecting more appealing. However, those who "invested" during the booms times have found the reality of the market a very difficult pill to swallow. It has been nice to see not only more people get into Soviet awards but plenty returning after a long absence.

Mentioning people getting into and returning - the forum has seen new highs in the amount of users using it, hits, new items being posted and there have been even more sections created (around 50 in 2016 alone - if they don't strike you at once, good, they're supposed to blend in).

The research service I've been offering has been taking some serious interest - over 500 requests to date. Considerably more hits than misses too. This service will be expanding later in 2017. There are a few pieces outstanding and some people I need to get back to and I'll be on to that very soon. Mainly good news.

When it comes to the forum, research and collecting - a very good year indeed. Let us all continue to build on that in 2017.

It's a positive distraction from more negative things at least.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:44 PM   #16
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

2017 has been the most busy year so far for me, it's been difficult to keep up with everything and almost impossible to catch up on some ongoing projects. I certainly intend to get some major projects finished in 2018 or at very least give it an ambitious try.

As I predicted, prices are still falling (though research is up slightly) and it is still a great time to be a collector. In fact a few days ago I bought an Order Of The Red Star (900k serial range) for a price that I don't think has happened in a generation - $8. I don't think that $8 will become a usual price for them but at the same time, prices will edge ever closer to that.

I set myself a target at the start of the year to post at least one Researched Medal per week, I fortunately managed that - in Medals "For Bravery" alone. There have been 32 Military Groups posted that with the addition of additional researched solo pieces accumulates to 26 Researched Orders and 93 Researched Medals. Not quite the heights of 2016 but I have been changing focus slightly (when I've not been too busy too focus!)

In that pile of researched awards/groups a few jump out at me
Stalingrad Tractor Factory!
NKGB Partisan Organiser
Cold War Exercises Red Star
A Researched Medal "For Courage During A Fire".
(And yes I know I need to finish posting the group to the chap who helped put Gagarin in space)

Away from Soviet items, I've posted a fairly random array of awards, documents and groups from areas covered here. 9 documented Vietnamese Orders pretty much summed up my short lived focus on Vietnamese awards - although I have a backlog of hundreds of Vietnamese items to post. When there's time!
Finding a Documented Lao Order to a foreigner wasn't an easy task - Freedom Order
I think my focus may have been mainly towards awards from Armenia and the Artsakh Republic, there are now over 150 items from those nations in the collection. Last week I picked up an exceptional 14 award (yet incomplete - for now) group to an Armenian "Suicide Squad" volunteer. I got the group directly from the family and the group may grow as they continue to go through his things, although the missing Document and Medal may be long lost. This group also busts an old myth about NKR war combatants - I'll save that for another day.
This years highlight out of all the Armenian/NKR bits I've picked up and posted is an easy choice for me. Type 1 Variation 1 Gratitude Medal. That award was at the very, very top of my wants list. I suppose I'll try and research it in 2018 too.

I also find this pair - Colonel Dimit'r Nikolov Mosinov, Liberator/Hero Of The War Against Serbia - pretty exceptional. I've had interest from museums about displaying them. Maybe later - I have plenty of other items on display in museums currently and I need to consolidate.

The forum continues to expand. There have been at least 25 new forum sections created in 2017, with the latest created just yesterday. "Always Ascending".

The forum software is still awaiting its long overdue update, although that is something out of my control. That may bring back some of the options that were lost in 2015, after a cyber attack, I don't know.

My research services have been very heavily used this year, with more than 1,500 researches being performed to date, with less than a dozen "not found" results. At least three "top end" dealers use my services, so I'm quite happy that they continue to be repeat customers. Some other researchers even use me to research for them, my contact has found the "unfindable". I also sometimes spend a whole day searching on "the site" to make sure the correct citation goes with the correct award (trying to undo administrative mistakes isn't always a quick fix!). It's due to being bombarded by so many requests that I've not been able to finish researching my own backlog - 41 awards still on that pile, with a considerably higher number of citations I'll have to obtain away from "the site".

What will 2018 bring? Pretty much the same as 2017, prices falling a bit more, more research and more goodies posted on the forum for all to enjoy. Not forgetting to mention - more fakes on the market! I know I have some interesting groups and a few pieces of gold to post in 2018. The best things will probably be a surprise to me - maybe some strange and completely unexpected research.

I really need to start making a good headway into the backlog of things to post on the forum I've got. Thousands and thousands of scans and that's without touching on the 980 Bulgarian groups I still need to post.
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