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Artificial Aging of steel helmets

Article about: So, I didn't find any other appropriate place to post this. I basically want to know how to artificially age helmets without any expensive chemicals or such. I have two Finnish M/55 steel he

  1. #1

    Default Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    So, I didn't find any other appropriate place to post this. I basically want to know how to artificially age helmets without any expensive chemicals or such. I have two Finnish M/55 steel helmets that resemble the german stahlhelm very much, just little differences. The helmet I want to age has brown leather, like most stahlhelms. I do not plan to sell it to anyone as a real german helmet or anything, just for my own amusement, and get it to fit my collection, as it looks just like new, while the other M/55 is a little bit rusted and bumped. I actually thought of burying it into the forest behind my house for a month or two for a start. Any tips?

    EDIT: And before anyone asks, no, these things are really cheap, you can get one of these for 30€ at the Finnish Defence Forces official surplus shops located all around Finland, I buy most of my FDF stuff from Oulu's SA-Kauppa

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    I guess you could stain the leather and scratch up the shell a bit. maybe put some aged decals. Just as long as it stays with you and you arnt selling it as real as you stated. IMO

  4. #3

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    Im not really interested in selling any of my collected items, as I already mentioned, so you dont have to worry. Im kind of looking for a really old look on this one, like stuff you find hidden under floors and stuff.

    EDIT: I made a test scratch on the side of the helmet, and I think I uncovered a green camo paint under the SA dark greenish/gray, and underneath the green, black. Does anyone know if these helmets had any camouflage on them?
    Last edited by Poromies; 06-14-2011 at 09:20 AM.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    I see, I have done something similar with an m42 shell I got. I got a used liner, use rivets and used chinstraps. I also bought aged decals as I said. you can texture the paint also with sand.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    Gave the helmet a little spin at the forest rubbing it on the ground and trees, which gave it some really nice little paint chippings, and then soaked the shell in water to attempt to rust it and the liner i dried out a little bit.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    here's a quick method to age a helmet

    hit it with a tree branch or something similiar like a bamboo pot scrubber to make small nicks, scratches, etc, rub the brim in the dirt to wear off some paint around the edge, or use a little extra fine steel wool

    put the helmet on the dirt and sit on it just like a soldier would have done, also lay it on the dirt upside down and rub it into the dirt to create wear on top of the shell from constant field use

    after putting some wear & tear on it, you can fill a spray bottle with ocean / salt water and spray the helmet and wrap it up in a plastic bag for a few days and keep checking on it until you get the desired amount of rust

    then use some fresh soapy water and rinse it off to neutralize the sea water rust and leave it out doors for a while to complete the process and let it get a aged look, a few dried bird droppings and spider webs will make it look even more authentic, like it was found in a barn in Normandy LOL!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    A mixture of ammonium chloride and distilled water applied to bare metal will get the rust going in less than 24 hours. Aim for a 10% mixture of crystals to water. Give the outside a good soak and then place the helmet in a plastic bag in a warm enviroment. This will make the helmet 'sweat' and form rust much quicker. You could also blister the paint with a blowtorch and then rub off the blisters with wire wool before applying the mixture.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Artificial Aging of steel helmets

    Firstly i will describe what i do, but this is for bare helmets only, rust will not form on paint, only exposed metal, yours has paint and possibly two or three layers, i remove the liners, getting the leather soaking wet will only shrink the leather when it dries out, i replace the pins and washers if there are any and throw it in a container of water,the dirtier and smelly the better, leave it in there for two /three days, take it out ,leave in the open air for another few days, doesnt matter what kind of weather, i then bury the helmet in a large dug hole that has sand and grit, stones at the bottom, completely cover with earth, sand, pebbles etc, leave it for a week or two, remove and wipe off the excess dirt with a cloth, paint accordingly to a prefered condition and use a cloth to scrub the wet paint into the metal, dry and paint again, take some oo guage wire wool and remove paint in some areas but not completely ie only the very first layer, by now the rust should have formed to a fine gritty surface and will show through in places and also helps to texture the paint, i then spray the whole helmet in a product called plasticote flat, before its fully dry i take a sponge and texture the paint, leave it to dry fully outside, then age the helmet with branches, drop it on the dirt and stones until im satisfied with the result, the liner can be aged in various ways, but the end result will depend on the condition of the liner before aging, some are easier than others and dont require as much work, aging is relatively easy on helmets but it may take a few attempts before you find a way that suits you

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