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An Incomplete Visual Guide to Norwegian Lion Decals and Discussing Possible Fakes

Article about: Hello everyone! Today, I would like to start a thread that I believe has not been brought up before. I will be showing you the 3 different variations of the Lion Crest Norwegian Decal. I hav

  1. #1

    Default An Incomplete Visual Guide to Norwegian Lion Decals and Discussing Possible Fakes

    Hello everyone! Today, I would like to start a thread that I believe has not been brought up before. I will be showing you the 3 different variations of the Lion Crest Norwegian Decal. I have seen a few places state that there are actually 4 variations, but I have not been able to determine if that is correct as I really have only found 3 types. Remember, this is an incomplete guide, so some of the things I mention may not be 100% accurate and I may be missing a few things. However, I believe this is not the case. So let's begin!

    Here they are:
    IMG_20200124_124037194.jpg
    Decal Thick White.jpg
    Nor2_2.jpg

    The first thing to look for is the thickness of the blade on the axe. The top two decals have a taller blade than the third one. The third decal's blade seems to be shaped more like a wedge.

    Secondly, look at the tip tail pluff. Each decal has three "fur branches" on their tail tip (I don't know what to call them exactly, so for now, they'll be called fur branches). The first and last decal both have generally longer outer fur branches. However, the second decal's outer fur branches are much shorter in length.

    Thirdly, look at the differences in their tongues. The first decal's tongue points straight up. The second decal's tongue points to the left but is relatively straight with a slight curve. The third decal's tongue points to the left but is very curly.

    Fourthly, look at the fur branches at the middle of the tail. The first and last decal's fur branches are touching and seem to be connected. However, the second decal's fur branches a very clearly separated from each other. Another thing to note here is that the first and second decals' middle fur branch has a slight curve up while the bottom one has a slight curve down.

    Fifthly, take notice of the top hand holding the axe and look for the thumbs. The first and last decals have either no thumb (last) or a very small amount of the knuckle (first). But the second decal clearly shows a thumb on the right side of the axe.

    And lastly, look at the feet on the decals. The top two decals have clearly visible toes on the feet. But the last decal's foot is more of a clover shape and lacks clear definition of toes.

    As for differences overall, the decals with the thick axes tend to have thinner arms/legs, but these are hard to tell apart without having them next to each other.

    One thing I would like to mention is the color of the decals. The majority of the decals I have seen have been either yellowish or an off white, but I do not know if the colors are part of the variations or whether they just become yellow overtime due to UV damage. I have collected a decent amount of pictures showing each of the different types of decals and the colors that seem to be associated with them. They tend to go like this:
    Top decal: more yellow in color
    Second decal: usually found in an off white color
    Last decal: can be either yellow or off white
    But the decals do not always match this color test. I have seen a few pictures of the second decal but in a very yellow state. This is why I believe the yellowness of the decals is something that just naturally happens and would not help determine the variations, but I may be wrong.

    This concludes the decal variations. In the next post, I will discuss some fakes and whether they are currently a true threat. Thanks for reading and share your opinions!

  2. #2

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    Now let's talk about repro decals, and yes, people are faking these decals and trying to pass them off as original. But remember, I am a learner as well. If anyone has any info to disprove this post, please share!!

    Both of the decals can be found on ebay. IMA also sells the top one.
    fake decal.jpg
    fake decal 2.jpg

    The top decal:
    IMA claims that the top decal has been copied 100% exactly from a Norwegian helmet, however, I have never seen a Norwegian decal that looks like this. So either it is incredibly rare (unlikely) or they just kind of winged it without noticing the details.
    Firstly, there are only four clover shaped items on the top of the decal. Compare this to the original that has 5.
    Secondly, there is no line separating the handle of the axe from the blade. They are designed as if they were one piece.
    Thirdly, the lion's crown has an odd shape with four raised points.
    Lastly, the tip the tail curves in sharply before transforming into the tail pluff. The original has a more smooth transition.
    There are also other subtle differences, but these ones are the most noticeable.

    Bottom decal:
    Literally everything is off about it. The eyes are huge. The top hand has no fingers and looks as if it was amputated. He seems to be trying to grab the axe with his foot on the left while the foot on the right looks like someone dropped a bowling ball on it. And the tail pluff is a globby mess. Again, maybe this is based off of something. But as to what, I don't know.

    And now to show that people are trying to pass these off. Here is a helmet from eBay that is claimed to be a very rare Norwegian 35M helmet. This set off a lot of alarms in my head.
    fake decal 3.jpg
    fake decal 4.jpg
    The first thing I thought is why would there be a Norwegian Decal on a Hungarian helmet. Yes, Norway did take alot of helmets from all around so it could be likely. But I just find it a little suspicious.
    Secondly, the helmet looks like it is missing it's liner band. Why is the liner just set in there and not part of a liner band? Did someone remove the liner band, take off the leather, replace the liner pins, and then set the leather back into the helmet while throwing out the band? Again, not impossible but a little suspicious.
    And finally, look at the decal. It is identical to the repro decal being sold by IMA that is claimed to be copied exactly from an original decal. What are the chances that the most "rarest" (I say rarest as I have never seen one and I believe they do not exist) Norwegian decal happens to be on a suspicious Hungarian Helmet? See how I have a hard time believing this? That's why I am 100% sure that this helmet is a mock-up and not original at all. I could be wrong, but I just don't see how this helmet makes sense. And also, this helmet is not one of the Finnish issued helmets as it has MAVAG and the Hungarian crest stamped into it.

    So yes, people are trying to pass these on. But so far, the repro decals are not up to par with the originals. Again, maybe these decals are accurate representations of known decals. And if so, let me know! But I do not believe this is the case. Hopefully this helps and thanks for reading!

  3. #3

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    Good work and very interesting, Have always seen Norwegian repurposed M35's etc rebadged up as TR but never seen fake Norwegian badged up helmets …… until now! caveat emptor .Regards, Paul

  4. #4

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    I know! I couldn't believe it at first. And seeing as how there isn't too much coverage, I figured I should help educate some people before fake Norwegian Helmets takeoff.

  5. #5

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    Not my area of interest BUT a well presented analysis of your work so far, clearly described in layman’s terms.

    Thank you

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