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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I got this neglected helmet from a show last weekend. I paid very little for it after some talking. My intention was to restore it for display, but Im having second thoughts. I already have a relic type one that is a little better with visible heer decal. Should I just keep it as is and just get a repro helmet for display?
 

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I like it- personally i'd keep it as is. I dont really consider that "relic" condition. when i think of relic condition i think of something thats been in the ground for 60 years and is rusted through
 

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Werewolf,

I'm not criticising your photography, but I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at - silver paint over rust? - original paint over bare metal? - or something else entirely? Neither of the 2 shells I stripped to repaint looked "bright" like this; more like a darker gray anodized metal. I agree with Bigdibbs that this isn't in relic condition; but I think that's what makes it a candidate for restoration. But there's a problem - the inner paint looks pretty good! I'm not in favor of destroying a good original finish on the inside. If it IS silver paint on the outside I'd definitely try to find some way to remove it, hopefully without destroying any original paint. But if there's really NOT much if any original paint, I'd say go for it - on the outside at least; you KNOW how it looks now isn't how it looked in its days of service!

Another possibility comes to mind, too. If you're really unsure how to proceed, but don't like the way it looks now for display, an answer might be to get a repro helmet cover for it! I got one made from original zeltbann material to put on the first helmet I restored. I'd made mistakes with it and like the way the cover looks anyway. The "splinter" pattern zelt is appropriate for army helmets, but if you want SS camo a repro made with repro fabric's the way to go; original helmet covers run into the thousands, especially SS ones!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
James, I thought the light blue paint was a Navy thing, but I know nothing about these and just started to collect them. I bought it wanting to refinish it so I had a good looking one for cheap, but dont really have the heart to mess it up as it is origional. And the paint does look like silver in the pictures, should have taken the pictures against a better backdrop.;)
 

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If the paint is not original and you decide to try and remove it, I have had luck removing unwanted paint using GOJO hand cleaner. In my case I have removed the top layer of black paint that was over an 1970's refrigerator avocado green, that in turn was sprayed over a silver that I think is over the original color. The Black and Avocado came off pretty easy the silver is a different story. I have also found that the hand cleaner has left most of the rust that has gone the dark brown shade that most people like in the areas that lost paint long, long ago. I think that when I finally get the last of the silver I am going to try and paint just the shinny areas try to age it to match the original paint and then leave the aged rust. And If the job looks like crap I’m going to fill the dent and repaint it. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
 

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I agree with James.
I'd leave it as it is and put a cloth cover on it. At least till you can find out more about the finish.
BRGDS, A
 

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I agree with James.
I'd leave it as it is and put a cloth cover on it. At least till you can find out more about the finish.
BRGDS, A
In case you're not sure what that might look like, this is where my first M42 "lives", along with the Dienstglas and Marschkompass of the NCO. Supposedly these covers ( in the army, not the SS ) were more likely to found on officers' NCO's and machine gunner's helmets. This is the "splinter" pattern common in the army I was describing; apparantly it's made from an actual zeltbann.
 

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