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""iPad, Comrade?"" Topic

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591 hits since 9 Jan 2013
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Parzival09 Jan 2013 5:05 p.m. PST

I finally tracked down and bought one of these to be my iPad carrying bag (and game rulebook bag, too): link

Genuine Soviet design, post-Soviet era issue (stamped 1992). Made with true-Communist bloc quality!

Okay, joke, it's quite decent, if a bit old. Leather and plastic innards are a tad stiff, and there's some minor corrosion on a few of the metal bits, as well as some sort of residue around the metal parts. I gather this thing was stored in a big old military warehouse before it got sold out to army surplus types (bought mine from one in New Jersey).

It is real leather, which is nice. The strap is in great shape— still nicely supple. It also has lots of pen holders and nifty clear acrylic pockets for maps, etc.

It does not look like a purse, which I appreciate.

Anybody know enough about leather to suggest good cleaning techniques, or how I can loosen up the stiff bits?

I'm eager to use this thing now, only I've got nowhere to go!

Rassilon Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 7:10 p.m. PST

Cool Beans!

Jakse375 Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 7:51 p.m. PST

Check out you local shoe store for leather softener. they can point you in the right direction.

Martin Rapier10 Jan 2013 4:56 a.m. PST

Nice map case.

I have a lot of dodgy leather webbing and equipment for re-enactment purposes.

For general cleaning, then saddle soap, although I prefer my stuff to look used and dirty:)

Beeswax dubbin (or any old dubbin really) works well if you can work it in both to soften and preserve, especially on the untreated sides of straps etc.

To soften rock hard leather, I have had a lot of success with Neatsfoot oil. Although every cobbler for miles claims to have never heard of it, you can order it from Amazon. It may require multiple applications.

Some people swear by Coachaline (or Ko-Cho-Line) leather treatment, which includes some oil in it as well as working as a cleaning product.


Personally I just use oil and dubbin.

Jovian1 Inactive Member10 Jan 2013 7:55 a.m. PST

Cool idea, I think out west where I live, I'd still get grief about it being some "European leather men's shoulder bag" and they would call it a purse.

Parzival10 Jan 2013 1:32 p.m. PST

Well, it is European. Sort of. grin Technically, it's a Soviet Officer's Map Case. Just tell 'em you took it off a dead Commie who made fun of the USA.

To everyone— thanks for the leather tips. I'll look into that stuff.

Follow-up question— anybody know if there's anything I can do to smooth out the clear plastic map cover part? I'm not certain what the plastic is; it seems fairly durable, it's moderately stiff, and has a faint "frosted" quality. It's also mildly yellowed and has some dimpling, probably from having been stored closed and with some weight on it, so that the inside leather pencil-holder loops pressed their shape into the plastic. That might not be correctable, but I would like to clean it. I expect water's okay if I'm careful about the leather. Perhaps rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)? Any reason to avoid an ammonia-based cleaner?

Rassilon Inactive Member10 Jan 2013 8:41 p.m. PST

Hey, can you do me a favor and share a picture of how you use – place/carry your iPad in it? :D


Parzival11 Jan 2013 3:46 p.m. PST

Don't have a picture yet, but the case has two pouches, one a double-width "map pouch" with a clear plastic cover that unfolds out to the side, and the other a pouch the width of the case itself. It's just behind the "map pouch." Its dimensions are a perfect fit for the iPad (actually, it has more depth so more could go in, like paper or a thin book).
Neither pouch is padded (if that's a concern) and you do have to remove the iPad to use it.

Rassilon Inactive Member11 Jan 2013 9:06 p.m. PST

Thanks Parz!

Last Hussar12 Jan 2013 12:47 p.m. PST

Just tell 'em you took it off a dead Commie who made fun of the USA.

Nah, tell them that you are making maps of the US. In your best Russian accent, of course.

AndrewGPaul Inactive Member31 Jan 2013 7:07 a.m. PST

It does not look like a purse, which I appreciate.

If it's got an iPad in it, you'll look like a hipster no matter what. The fact that it's Cold War army surplus just adds to the air of hipsterism. grin

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