Now, here's an interesting thing. This is actually my 'Favourite Composite of 2014' but was endlessly delayed in the post (six days in a Malmo sorting office, three in Coventry...!!!) and even though I bought it well before Christmas it just arrived on the 14th January. Better late than never, always look on the bright side, at least it didn't sink in the North Sea. Etc.
Anyway, as implied, I got it from a man in Sweden, and it is a very unusual object. Yes, it is white. Yes, it has a black rubber (or soft plastic) rim applied. Yes, it otherwise looks like a British National Plastics Mark 6! That's the exciting part.
The shell is absolutely a Mk6, no question. All the fixtures and fittings are those of a standard Mk6, absolutely.
But it is white. And this is not obviously an amateur/end-user applied coat of white either. It is crisp and even and I am sure it is a spray-painted factory application. The paint coating is high quality; I wanted to know for certain whether it was a white paint-coat or whether (perhaps even more amazingly) it had been moulded from white material, and it was quite difficult scraping off a little section to investigate. You can see the typical Mk6 green under the white in one of the detail photos.
And it has an add-on rim. Never seen this before on any version of the Mk6. One might wonder why it is black on an otherwise white helmet, but then of course one wonders why it is there at all.
And it is *heavy*! Really heavy. Its a medium size (as shown on both the label and the liner insert), and compared to a medium Mk6 it *is* the same size, and yet it weighs a substantial 1786g. That's a massive increase over a standard late production medium Mk6 which is 1392, and a more or less 200g more than a medium Mk6A which is 1592. That's a lot, and while the edge-strip which is not present on either the 6 or 6A must add some weight it can't possibly explain nearly 200 grammes increase.
The label is interesting too; as you can see the manufacturer is shown as COURTAULDS AEROSPACE, not the most common 6 or 6A maker National Plastics. This is interesting in the context of Sweden (where it came from, remember) because the Swedish Hjalm 90 was originally produced by Courtaulds. There has to be a link here, but I have no idea what it is. Whatever it may be it seems unlikely that it was a competitor to the Hjalm 90, as this label is dated 1995, which I believe is well after the initial production and issue of the Hjalm 90.
The model number given on the label is NP6, which we can assume is a National Plastics designation, but otherwise I can find no information. It also has a NATO stock number which seems to read 13387-017 and shows up as a sort of push-button assembly, so obviously some mistake. I did try 13367-017 but no result at all there. There's also a serial number for this particular helmet, which is 8. Now that could mean nothing at all, but I do wonder whether there was a very short production run.
Anyway, a very unuusal thing, and I would very much like to hear some more information on it. I asked the seller about it and of course he knew nothing, but did volunteer that he believed it had been used in Somalia. Well, not impossible, but when, by whom, and what for. The world may never know.