Its a funny thing you know, we are horrified if someone attemts to restore a piece of clothing, hat, helmet, equipment etc... but in other areas of military collecting, restoration is completely acceptable.
Aircraft are reskinned, repainted and old and new repro pieces mixed without concern. likewise with soft and hard skinned vehicles, motorcycles get new tyres, guns are reblued, field pieces repaired etc... all are restored lovingly with nary a wimper as to someone having ruined them - but heavens protect from vitriolic blasts the poor soul who tampers with a salty piece of kit!!!!!
Maybe it is the fact that these things can still be found in reasonable condition?
Will there be a time when a restored piece becomes accepted? ...... maybe when the collections are full andd the memories of what it WAS like have faded?
Love to hear your thoughts .....