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Old 12-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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Looking Back and Looking Forward

So guys, as we draw nearer to the end of another year, it's time for a little self indulgence!

What have you done this year in collecting that you're proud of? Finally bought and researched that Nevsky that you've been after for so long?

Have you learned anything new? Never buy awards whilst operating heavy machinery it may result in loss of limbs

Any plans on how to make next year a good one for your collection? Remembering to avoid wearing your awards in the bath again. However much you wish you were, you're not a Submariner!

For me, I only started collecting in April 2012 and it's been a helluva ride.

The thing i'm most proud of is a hard one for me, as this year as every new award has been a new experience. But i'd say i'm proudest of my Red Banner of Labour collection. Now only missing Screwbacks and an Type 3 with the mint mark at the top! The screwbacks may have to wait a while!

The most important thing i've learnt this year is " You can never read enough" I havent read as fast as have this year since Harry Potter came out and also "Clear, High resolution photos of the front and back of the piece! Suspension is not needed!"

And what does next year hold? By this time next year, i hope to have a Red Banner and a Order for Service to the Motherland 3rd class. Not the highest of hopes ever, but i like to set realistic dreams so i can't be dissapointed!

Forgive the self indulgence!

What are your guys thoughts?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking back over 2012 it has been a busy year (aren't all modern industrialised, mass communication, informative years?).
The year began with the new leader in the DPRK and with the "changing of the guard" came a great fluctuation in the supplies of DPRK items. I took advantage of the wave of items hitting the market and bought up items by the bucket. So much so in fact, that storing them has become a concern. This took up quite a good bit of my attention as a buyer for the first part of the year. Many of the items acquired during this period can be found in the DPRK area Democratic People's Republic Of Korea - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.
Half way through the year my purchases were more focused towards Bulgaria, with the main focus on documented Badges. These items are common on the market, cheap and generally overlooked so I managed to harvest a great deal of them. Many of them can now be found here: Bulgarian Badges - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.
In the latter part of this year I have focused more towards the PMR, some of which have been posted in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum section.
Throughout the year I have also been very lucky in being able to acquire hundreds of items on the forum marketplace, most of which are yet to be presented to the forum but will be in due course (as will everything else not already presented).
There has also been the usual array of Russian Federation commemoratives (Ministerial and Organisational) that I have been snapping up as I've found them - Ministerial Awards - The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum.

For me the favourite item that has entered the collection in 2012 is Title Of Distinction "Honoured Worker Of Rail Transport".. Which was gifted to me for helping someone out of a very tight situation.
I can't complain about rising prices as not only have many prices levelled out but there are lots of bargains out there for those willing to look. Many of the items I have purchased this year have been so cheap as not to be believed so I won't bother going into details on prices of particular items. You can still get a lot of items for under $5 and as Tommy proves, you can start collecting even "this late in the game" and get a fine (almost "instant") collection.

2012 has seen a truly vast number of posts and many previously uncovered awards are now covered in great detail. It really has been a bumper year for the forum, even though it is still under "refurbishment". I have had dozens of complimentary messages about the new "Sleeker", "Tidy", "More Descriptive" subforums and threads. Work is far from over due to the fact that there are just so many posts, all user generated, to sort through. Threads should now look more "focused" and be easier to find and understand.
2012 saw the "Soviet Bloc" subforum really burst into life and the number of "hits" has soared even though the renovation is not yet complete.
The "Medals" and "Orders" sections have been arranged so now each award has only a single thread pertaining to it and not a sea of strangely titled threads that are confusing to navigate.
The "Researchers' Corner" has not only gained the heavily used "Researched Groups" section but the Researched Orders, Medals and Titles sections have all had their threads named uniformly as to ease navigation. The number of researched awards presented in 2012 is truly amazing. This is in no small part due to the gigantic efforts at Общедоступный электронный банк документов 'Подвиг народа' (Podvig Naroda). The Russian state site which is also far from complete in its own task. If you need help using the site - How to use
As well as Military awards being researchable new avenues were opened on the research of Labour awards in 2012.

That's just a few "bits" of 2012.

As for 2013, As a collector I hope to continue hoarding items and presenting them to the forum. I have absolutely no idea what items or deals will present themselves to me but it is going to be fun finding out. I know that I will be posting a great number of previously unseen items, researched awards and groups, lots of takes on items already seen and many other things - maybe some more "how to" guides.
The forum will continue to be renovated (and hopefully come to completion) in 2013. Resulting in easier access for all and hopefully focussed discussion of all the items and topics presented. The renovations take a considerable amount of man hours and are often done in fragments so continue to hold steady as work is ongoing. The results will be worth the transition.
2013 is also looking like the greatest year for research ever!

There will be new members, there will be old members, we will all be travelling in the same direction, forward.
"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Well my Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and anyone else out there,
Firstly I wish you all God Jul (or the Merriest Yuletide in English)

2013 certainly has been fruitful! It really was the greatest year for research. More research has been presented on the forum in the last year than in all ten preceding it. Soviet wartime and 1985 military awards due to the glorious Russian Federation's state website "Podvig Naroda". Soviet Labour awards due to the digitalisation of decree information. Although it is still very much in its infancy has really started to open up research possibilities.
Incredibly 2013 also opened up research into Bulgarian awards, both Military and Labour. So far this has only been seen in the posting of the research on the "star item" of 2012 but this is just the beginning.

The forum has been expanded as predicted. New sub-sections and thousands of posts. September 2013 was the busiest month in forum history. More people were enjoying more information than ever before. A very encouraging feat indeed. The active participants of the forum can be very proud of themselves.

Renovations continue to be ongoing. Most of which are to ease navigation. The Badges section went through a full renovation which is about 95% complete. The Uniforms/Insignia section has new sub-sections into which threads are slowly flowing. The Researchers' Corner has experienced not only a tidying but the addition of every single original citation possible, which is approximately 80% complete. Some extraordinary stories have been found or updated and added to. One of my personal favourite tales was one of a Hydrographer in the Baltic Fleet.

2013 has also seen the deaths of forum participants which is always a sad event but there have also been far more positive departures, which certainly hasn't discouraged new users joining and contributing in a positive fashion.

As a collector, in 2013 I have not been slowing down in the hoarding, with over 1000 more awards entering the collection. One of the greatest groups being presented here - Dvali, Vikentij Nikolaevich, Guards Senior Sergeant, Combat Sanitary Instructor.
I have been continuing to focus very heavily on Bulgarian awards but awards from almost everywhere have been trickling in. Many have been posted, many have yet to be posted and some are outside the sphere of this forum (A reunion of awards to a Medal Of Honor recipient for example).
A large portion of the year has been used to archive and catalogue the collection to make future reference easier. A physical task I do not see being completed until at least 2015 (even if there are no new arrivals). When that task is completed I will report the story of the "journey".

2013's not over yet so I don't know how final I can be, I'm always prepared for a surprise!

So what about 2014? I see 2014 in just a positive light as I saw 2013. There will be ever more research, new items, new forum subsections are to be added and I believe there will be a change to the opening of new forum memberships that should make joining easier and quicker than ever before. The renovations to the forum should hopefully complete and give way to expansions in many sections.
I also see lots of information and assistance for those seeking it.

Personally, I hope to present a mind-boggling amount of researched Bulgarian awards and award groups as well as various awards from areas covered here. I do have a bit of a secret project I'm working on very quietly that I hope to unleash onto the forum in 2014. Time will tell. Unfortunately there are so many things that are ongoing and to present that I doubt I will be able to get round to posting any uniforms or field gear until 2015 at the very earliest (If I'm still alive that is!).

Once again I would like to thank and offer encouragement to all positively participating forum members. The items, information and community you present here is thoroughly enjoyed by so many today and tomorrow that it makes it all so important.

For any "quiet" or "new" members or those reading this that have not yet become a member I say there is no wrong time to join the discussion and presentation of information here. Members who have been here for a decade or a day welcome new items and information from contributors old and new.

I wish for everyone a fruitful 2014.
"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

I got a number of nice campaign medals: Polar defence T2, Leningrad T1 with polished sky and short horizon, Vienna voenkomat, and other
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Originally Posted by CtahhR View Post

As a collector, in 2013 I have not been slowing down in the hoarding, with over 1000 more awards entering the collection.
2013's not over yet so I don't know how final I can be, I'm always prepared for a surprise!
CtahhR, but you have the bank account in Fort Knox?

I, in 2013, I took some RS and OPW2, three ORB, and a great Nevsky.
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Old 12-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Contrary to some beliefs, due to my self-sacrificing nature and dedication to progression, around half of the items in the collection have been gifted to me.
My personal monetary spend on awards is extremely limited. People who know me in the "real" world certainly know this to be true.

I often volunteer myself to very serious and threatening situations that others can't cope in. That certainly reaps rewards. The stories I can never tell and those no-one would ever wish to hear.

Money is a tool. Other tools can do the job just as well, sometimes better.

Communication is always key - the more positive, the more positive the outcome. This is showing to be ever more true here on the forum.

Back to retrospective, I hope everyone had a very fruitful year - if not in physical things in information. I wish everyone success and hopefully they can share their tales of successes or at least attempts here.
"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:59 AM   #7
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Re: 2012 Looking Back and Looking Forward

Well, I gave Al-Muell partial credit and proofread Ralph's, as well as at least one other forum member's article, but did they ever get published?

The only personal benefit I receive from attracting members (or their dues) is personal satisfaction - thanks to everyone who "put their money where their mouth is" by becoming a paid subscriber. Now the next step is sharing your knowledge or even collection with a broader audience.

As mentioned above, I've proofread a few articles and will continue to do so as time permits, but let's create a new generation or wider pool of knowledgeable collectors.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:44 PM   #8
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Desantnik - Thanks for your post and happy new year. The article is still in the pipeline and I hope it will be published soon. :-)
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

As a small update;

All available citations for all the awards in the researched Titles, Orders and Medals have been added. Citations for award groups and those researchable through previously posted award cards (even if there is no image of the actual award) will be added "soon". This will hopefully share reasons for awarding to a greater depth to the community. Some very interesting stories out there.

I may be jumping the gun a bit but I may have already obtained the "best" item of 2014 already. I'll reveal it in due time.

It is also nice to see new members jump into action. Anyone offering information or assistance is always more than welcome.

"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Re: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Well it's that time again, annual retrospective.

Another extremely busy and fruitful year......

With some personal highlights being;

The 2013 late entry "Best Bits".
A real museum piece - completely overlooked.
A fine group to a "SWAT" Policeman.
A bar to be proud of.
A 47 year late catch up, 46 years too late.
A 42 year late catch up.
A pile of goodies to a national treasure.
A truly tragic story.
There's only one first.
A group to a Machinegunner adding to his account on the last day of the war.

Then there are the items that have been "knocking about" for a while but have only just been reunited with research;

A fantastic group to a death defying partisan turned state security commissar.

Red Banner,311222,Secretary Of The Party Commissary,4th Zenit-Searchlight Division
Patriotic War II,0448406,Scout,215th Rifle Regiment,179th Rifle Division,Wounds 1945
Red Star,0255836,Chef,727th Rifle Regiment,219th Rifle Division,Battle Of Kursk
Red Star,0489140,Sapper,30th Separate Storm Engineer-Sapper Battalion,27th Army
Red Star,0565783,Senior Driver,29th Separate Guards Tank Breakthrough Regiment
Red Star,0743576,Adjutant,2nd Aviation Squadron,132nd Bomber Aviation Regiment
Red Star,0915858,Head Of Central Warehouse #2100,Department Of Specialist Devices
Glory III,324530,Company Starshina,137th Separate Work Battalion,19th Army

The forum has continued to be a large fountain of knowledge and factual information as well as ever expanding - over 60 new sections in 2014 alone!

Looking forward to 2015 there is still a vast amount of work to be done and an ever flowing stream of research to present. There will probably also be quite a few new sections added to the forum to accept these new posts.

My focus has changed slightly and the posts of 2015 will slowly reflect that slight change. Hopefully there will be a considerable amount of fresh posts in 2015 - that being said I still haven't finished posting the Lobzhanidze or Cukiernik groups.

Lots of goodies out there for everyone.... still lots of opportunities for all to obtain and present items and information.

I can also end this as I did a year ago by saying that I may have already picked up one of the highlights of 2015.
"Signed with his own rubber stamp"
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