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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
German "camo" helmets are now big bucks. Once forums get hijacked by fake peddlers, it's over. German memorabilia fakery has been going on since before the war ended. Who was one of the first fakers of German relics? None other than Walt Disney, who was reproducing German "camo helmets" before WW1 ended. Funny stuff. There are alot of guys out there doing a "Walt Disney" on German WW2 "camo helmets" and they are selling them for thousands, not ten bucks a pop ;) :

"After watching Disney paint a camouflage scheme on a footlocker, a fellow nicknamed “the Georgian Cracker” put Disney’s creative talents to use and together, the two young men combined their respective talents to earn some extra money.

During time of war, servicemen have always sought out mementos and souvenirs to bring home and World War One was no different - one of the most highly prized trophies was a German sniper’s helmet. Disney and the “Cracker” often went on treasure hunts, scouring the surrounding countryside in search of discarded weapons and helmets, which the pair then sold to soldiers passing through on the troop trains.

Disney said, “We used to drive up…through ammunition dumps…[the Cracker] would go pick-up as many helmets as [he] could pick-up. The helmets were the thing. The Cracker knew very troop train coming…he’d go…with a whole armful of helmets…he had a sniper’s helmet…they all fought over this sniper’s helmet.”

The Cracker convinced Disney to reproduce the sniper camouflage design on discarded helmets the two had collected. “I copied the sniper’s helmet,” Disney recalled. After finishing the paint job, complete with a “quick drier” that made the paint crackle, the Cracker “went out …and banged it in the dirt. Then one day…he was shooting holes in them. He’d only have one…for every troop train. These troop trains would come through…and [the soldiers] would be around for an hour…he got the schedule…he’d go…with a whole armful of helmets…he’d only have one [sniper’s helmet] for every troop train. He never had more than one hanging on his arm.” For his role in the charade the Cracker paid Disney “5 francs or 10 francs."


http://vintagedisneymemorabilia.blogspot.com/2008/10/walt-disney-and-teh-red-cross-part-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I collect Jap. too on and off. I was into those flags. I learned alot after my first purchase. Most are jacked up creations. Many of them were painted up in occupied Japan for the GIs to send home as "war trophies". It's funny, but when some are translated they have anti-GI obscenities and insults and such.
 

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I'd bet Disney collectors would pay more for one of Walt's creations than an Imperial collector would pay for a genuine camo helmet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...then they would have to worry about fakes of fakes.....then again, on some German helmet forums they're already doing that now ;)
 

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...then they would have to worry about fakes of fakes.....then again, on some German helmet forums they're already doing that now ;)
Come by my table at the upcoming NGD (w/SOS) in February of '09 and I'll sell you my genuine Walt Disney helmet. It's got his name in it. Mine is particularly rare since its an Austrian-Sniper-Walt Disney Autographed & Buggered Camo helmet shell.

I'll set it aside just for you. :D

All kidding aside, I'm tempted to bring one of my ugly/non-descript/plain-Jane Imperial German helmets to my table just so I can swear that there is at least one non-boinked German helmet at the show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Funny but true. If you go to one of those sites and start mentioning paint testing (it costs about $500) to date the paint, you'll get a reaction like throwing water on a bunch of chickens. Such paint dating can easily identify chemicals and agents in paint that did not exist in 1945 or even 1960. It can also date the paint. Museums, art collectors, Dept. of Justice, etc., have been doing this for over 20 years. Of course, those helmet forums have self annointed "advanced collectors" who bless camo helmets based upon their "expertise" acquired by being on internet forums for the last 5 years.

In any event, if this is ever done, the tent will be blown off that freak show and alot of artificial reputations ruined, people exposed as crooks, and art collections devalued. At this point, all the folks involved are too tainted from peddling this garbage to one another, and too many dealers are making alot of money, to want the truth to be shown. It's a real cess pool and an example of what forum censorship and abuses can do to a hobby. So, while JStein's comment is funny, it's also true. When the tent lid blows off the helmet freak show, the "rare" helmets will be those originals that the hucksters haven't painted up, ala Disney ;)
 

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During my visits at IWA, something like the Shot Show in the USA but held in Germany each year, there is always a company from India, who manufacture and sells copies of WW1 and WW2 German helmets including decals, liners and so on. From a distance you would not see the difference. I will have to look in my paperwork to find the company, they were offering swords, bayonets and such as well.
Nothing for the serious collector but perhaps for the re-enactment market.

A genuine WW2 German helmet complete in good condition are going for 500-1000 Euro's around here and the FJ helmet in the same condition even more.

Such high prices attracts fakers.

Prices for original WW2 US, British and Canadian helmets are also quitte stiff, but not as the WW2 German stuff is at the moment.

Best regards from The Netherlands,
Burts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The problem is that the German helmet forums are infiltrated by those painting and selling painted $300 helmets for $2500+. Anyone who goes against the tide of the bobblehead stampede to get fleeced gets hectored, hooted at, censored and banned. It's frankly surreal. The upside is that one that knows what original camos look like can sometimes sneak up on them and buy them for good prices as most forum "advanced collectors" don't really know what real ones look like. They're too busy comparing fakes to fakes ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Today there are certain "gurus" and "advanced collectors" funding their hobbies by painting them as well. Unlike K98k collecting, there is really no place on the internet to go to get an assuredly straight answer. Way too much behind the scenes chicanery and agendas and fake painters and peddlers in the mix. Sprinkle in some lemmings that haven't a clue, but have high post counts, more money to spend on fakes than sense, and believe they are now "advanced collectors" because they've been on an internet forum for several years, or are a moderator, and you have a freak show. Once someone shells out $3000 for a fantasy fake, they are then married to that fake and the dealer that sold it to them. Thus the disease spreads and the knowledge base destroyed. Very sad. We don't have that problem, thankfully.
 

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The problem is that the German helmet forums are infiltrated by those painting and selling painted $300 helmets for $2500+. Anyone who goes against the tide of the bobblehead stampede to get fleeced gets hectored, hooted at, censored and banned. It's frankly surreal. The upside is that one that knows what original camos look like can sometimes sneak up on them and buy them for good prices as most forum "advanced collectors" don't really know what real ones look like. They're too busy comparing fakes to fakes ;)

Hambone you are absolutly right!

This forum contains a wealth in knowledge second to none, but the downside is that the information we, the sincere collectors, share between each other, is used by fakers.

Before the internet, information was found in books, perhaps some magazines, through collectors shops and among collector themselves.
I have collected in this way for years, and I still do.

Even in Holland, The Netherlands, a 2 hour drive to Germany, being close to the country of origine of WW2 stuff, and occupied by the German forces for 5 years, being US, British, Canadian, German and so on, it is very hard to find something original, being it a helmet, ammopouch, bayonet, rifle from that period, for a reasonable price!

After WW2, occupied countries like Germany and Austria, were given permission to install their own police force and border control force.
From the start it was made sure that the newly installed German police and border control could not use weapons and equipment used by the Germans in WW2.
So they were equipped with M1 carbines, FN 1910 pistols, Lee Enfield rifles, and so on. A quartermasters nightmare, a complete round-up of what was in the arsenal of the occupying forces.

But later on they used German WW2 helmets, the BGS, Bundes Grenz Schutz, German Border Control, used German WW2 FJ helmets, all kind of German WW2 equipment, that was inpounded by the occupying forces, was released to the newly made post-war German forces.

This equipment is, allthough re-issued after WW2, is just because it was issued again, and kept in working order, our biggest source at the moment
of WW2 German made equipment, available for the collector these days.

The German forces on the wrong side of the border, Russia occupied, were equipped with allmost only WW2 German equipment including, MP38, MP40,MG34,MG42 and so on, even their uniforms, boots, etc.
And that equipment was maintaned and kept in working order as well!
So after 1989, when both Germanies united, a huge quantity of those
weapons and equipment, even if it was kept on reserve, must survive
somehow! But where?

OK, I know, I need long sentences to tell a short story, ( my son tells me, and he shoots very well with surplus rifles ).

Let's keep the collector market clean from fakers and repro companies.

Best regards from The Netherlands.
Burts.
 

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helmet

there is a guy that sell's alot of ww2 german stuff at the gunshows i go to .he thinks he knows alot about german items . he offered me $20 for a ss belt buckle that i had ,said it was a fake because it did not have any maker marks in it .i did not sell .when i looked at some of his stuff he has buckles that were fake you could tell by the way they were made and some of them had fake number stamps in them that most books will show to be fake.i have a spanish helmet that i use sometimes in reenacting .i welded up all the extra holes and put in a correct liner in it and adees the aged decals on it than repainted it and aged it some by letting it set in the weather for a few months .i took it to another show and showed it to him . he wanted to buy it but he was not sure why the rim was not flared out like all the other m42 helmets .i kept it but never did tell him what it was ,he wanted $250-$300 for his but only offered me $75 for mine.i bet if i had sold to him it would have been sold as some kink of very late war helmet
 
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