Making a Russian fur hat , the Ushanka. [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

View Full Version : Making a Russian fur hat , the Ushanka.

Tony Barton
06-11-2010, 02:16
I have just been asked to post this here ... I had to check back through some years of posts , and I couldn't find it , so I hope I'm not duplicating myself.
I originally wrote this for OSS in the UK. It's few years old now, but the basics still apply.

This is really a very simple thing to do if you can use a needle and thread : and if you can't , get someone to show you , it really is very simple . This is a hand-sewing job .

The Russian fleece cap , the Ushanka , was the incredibly characteristic winter wear of the Red Army soldier from 1942 to the present : so far the only ones offered in 1/6 , by DML , are much too big , because they have been lined and made of the wrong quality fabric , really don't look very convincing at all .

What I'm trying to do here is show a simple way to make an " other ranks " version that looks convincing : all it really entails is sewing a cylinder of grey fleece , of a single thickness .

First find a suitably piece of grey fleece : this one was made from a scrap from a fleece jacket bought in a local charity shop : 3 , which is enough for about 50 hats ! Pale grey is best , but mid-grey and browny-greys will also do.

Cut out a rectangle that is going to be wide enough to go round your figure's head , and long enough to go down and up , if you follow me : I've used the old Kodak 35mm canister as a guide :

You can see the card template marked with the circumference of the dolly's head , with an allowance either end for the seam : the edge in between is shaped into four equal sized , right-angled flaps : these are going to be sewn together to form the top .

Wrap that around the canister and catch it together with the thread :
Then start sewing the four flaps together : remember the fleece is on the outside at this stage :
When the " cross " is finished it will look like this :
And you can sew the back seam down for about 12mm at the same time : all these seams are going to end up on the INSIDE of the cap .

Turn the cap inside out , with the seams you've done now inside , and replace on the canister : the remaining open seam is now turned outwards and sewn up : this is going to be hidden inside the fleecy turnup :

This cap is only of a single thickness : we are faking the fact that the originals had a fabric outer and a fleece lining . To give better illusion , I paint the outside a darker grey , using acrylics laid on fairly thick :

When it's dry it will look like this : I've trimmed back that outside seam to the absolute minimum :

Now to the fun bit : cutting it to shape : apply to the head of the victim :

And then cut two vertical slits as shown : these are going to make the face opening and the flap over the forehead , which on this one is 25mm wide:

Trim this flap to size and shape , and the side flaps to their curve :

Add the ties from suitable ribbon : some had a button and a loop :

And you can turn up the flaps , or leave them down as you prefer. The finished cap may need a little adjustment , and I can't guarantee absolute success on your first try , but I think they look a damn sight better than the commercial ones .

Word of advice : don't fit them too tight to start with : once they are sewn up they have a mysterious habit of coming out smaller

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06-11-2010, 06:31
Nice work, you make it look easy :) Thanks for sharing!!


06-11-2010, 08:56
Great tut!

Thanks for sharing!

06-11-2010, 09:04
Thanks for the great tut. Flipping awesome!!

Park 17-1
06-11-2010, 09:14
awesome work. really GREAT!!

06-11-2010, 11:28
Thanks so much tony! MY figure will totally look awesome, one question, where do you get those tiny russian stars?

Double Dare
06-11-2010, 11:45
Tony, that's brilliant! Thanks for demistifying the process for those of us who have thus far shied away from a needle and thread.

Tony Barton
06-11-2010, 14:12
Please try this : it really isn't that hard , once you get over the terror of the needle and thread.
The tiny Red stars are custom made , filed from a little brass turned disc. Then the centre is routed, to form a well for the red enamel , for which I use red ink. Once dry it's sort of transparent , like the original enamel.

06-12-2010, 11:19
This defines the term "beautiful in it's simplicity", your sharing it is much appreciated. Definitely superior to the large Ushankas the commercial figures come with. This looks to be adaptable to the various types worn by the Finns, and even the Mongol-type headgear.

08-02-2010, 13:34
Thanks for the sharing sir, tried making it although I exceeded in cutting some parts. Hope to see more bashes from you.

08-02-2010, 14:06
Awesome work Tony!

08-02-2010, 14:59
wow that's so cool! thanks for the tutorial.

08-02-2010, 15:54
Thanks for another awesome tutorial!

08-02-2010, 16:37
Its the small things such as this tut that are genious!! Thanks Im gonna try making my own. Thanks for sharing!!

08-25-2013, 21:54
Long overdue for archiving, now done.