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German M35 Restoration Project

Article about: by Nigel Lesgate A '' project it seems. All of these lids will hit the marketplace eventually as original because there is no way to indeligibly etch them as repro and whateve

  1. #11


    Databank shows a D288....a Heer reissue with reinforced band. Tri color painted over've got some options as to how to go. It could stand nicely as a feldgrau double decal though....finding decals not so easy if you're going for original. Ballpark decals at $250, or so, then a liner and strap maybe $300. You'll want a properly dated, reinforced liner and a proper strap.

    PS.....the amounts I quoted for decals and liner/chinstrap don't appear to show up....?

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  3. #12


    Hej "Kaiser".

    Interesting you have been in Russia Anyway, if you want to do a lid for your own satisfaction i would consider applying original decals (some might disagree) They are not that expensive. If you need help finding a dealer i can do that Get some good enamel for the lid too. I would restore it to whatever condition i can find on the data base, but that's just me. The history of the helmet is destroyed anyway except from the steel itself.

    Cheers! (Der er flere Danskere her p forum)

  4. #13


    Please post the finished helmet looks like a good project in the works. timothy

  5. #14


    Quote by Danishkaiser View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I bought this German M35 (NS64) helmet not that long ago here in Denmark, and I was hoping to restore it to the way it was originally. This is the first German helmet that I have ever owned, so therefore I am somewhat uncertain of all the details (f.ex. the paintjob). However I have been following some of the threads that have been posted earlier on WRF about helmet restoration and in particular the M35 - so I have a slight idea of what it should end up looking

    I'm presuming that it was used either by the Civil Defence (Civilforsvaret) or the Police, because whoever inherited it removed all the existing paint and decals whereafter they painted it black and inserted a new liner (with pins that are way too small). However I know for a fact that these two branches mainly used the Danish M23 or the M23/41 - but who knows for a fact? I know that the emergency services/firefighers (FALCK) sometimes still use old German helmets that have been repainted white.

    Here are some photos of the helmet I took today.

    Attachment 659825Attachment 659826Attachment 659827Attachment 659828Attachment 659829Attachment 659834

    No visible rust, so I guess I'm pretty lucky

    From what I understand M35's were painted an 'Apple Green' which often is referred to as RAL 6006 (however I have also read that the colour would vary from helmet to helmet due to the difference in factories producing them and the batches). Was it a matt or a glossy paintjob? Also, when did they add texture to them - in 1940? Any help is appreciated, because then I can start ordering the necessary items

    - Daniel
    Hi Daniel,

    Nice to see your helmet coming along. I have a helmet that was in similar condition, post war repainted black for Czech fire/police use. Some of the paint used on these helmets has proved to be of very high quality and difficult to remove. You could have the helmet bead blasted or try using paint stripper perhaps to finish. Tomorrow evening in daylight I'll take a picture of two of my restored helmets that show the paint I used. I have an M35 in RAL 6003 Apple Green (Apfel Grn), finished in double decal Heer. I also have an M40 (the Czech lid) finished in textured RAL 6006 in post directive Heer single decal. I got my paints from a French site that make very nice synthetic enamels like the originals which I applied via airbrush. The finished helmets have been lightly aged which has deepened the color a little which is perfectly natural. I'll picture the apple green tin lid in the photo to help. I highly recommended these guys and it's not a problem importing tins of paint as opposed to spray cans. Until tomorrow check out the site. BTW, RAL 6006 is good for a reissue M35 helmet. Normally applied over the apple green. For an early war M35 use RAL 6003.

    paint feldgrau olive drab ral6006 ral 6006 camo normandy luft grey blue -


  6. #15


    Hej Lars, sure that sounds great. The more help I can get the better How much do the decals cost approximately?
    I'd like to restore the helmet back to its original factory setting, which is most likely what it looked like during the invasion of Denmark - April 9th, 1940 (the question is how quickly did German soldiers update their gear according to orders received from Berlin)

    Will do, Timothy. I shall post every bit of detail about the slow process of restoring the helmet

    Ian, I would very much like to see those helmets you mentioned - I'm very curious
    As for the paintjob, I follow what you're saying and last night I dug very deep in the 'archives' and found out the exact paint specifications for the various model helmets and the date those orders were sent out. They are as follows:

    1) June 1935 smooth "Light Field Grey" (or "Apple Green") RAL 7009 and double decals introduced for Heer helmets.

    2) 27th January 1940 - OKH ordered helmets be painted in a smooth, matt, slate grey, still double decal. This order applied both to factory production, and was also intended to be applied to existing Apple Green helmets, which were to be repainted slate grey. It is unlikely that many helmets were factory produced (or field repainted) in slate grey, since just 7 or 8 weeks later a new order was sent concerning helmet paintjobs.

    3) 21st March 1940 - Helmets were to be painted in textured "Dark Field Grey" RAL 6006 with a single decal. Existing helmets were to be repainted to this same colour and single decal configuration (although I have been told that many weren't). The texture used was Aluminium Oxide.

    4) 28th August 1943 - Heer decal removed - henceforth all helmets were textured and painted RAL 6006, without any decals.

    Paint shades:

    Since there wasn't the same technology back then, as there is now, to ensure one batch of paint was identical to the last, shades/tones varied massively between factories and even between batches from the same factory. You can see this well on many early "Apple Green"/RAL 7009 M35 helmets - the 3x liner retaining rivets were made at a different factory to the one the helmet shell was made at - they arrived at the helmet factory already painted in RAL 7009, so should have been the exact same colour as the shell they were added to, but quite often they were a very different shade.

    Colour/decals by model:

    M35 helmet
    1) Initially double decal, smooth RAL 7009 "Apple Green"/"Light Field Grey".
    2) From 27/Jan/1940 should have been double decal, smooth slate grey, but probably rare.
    3) From 21/Mar/1940 should have been repainted with textured RAL 6006 "Dark Field Grey" with single decal.
    4) From 28/Aug/1943 Heer decal removed.

    M40 and M42 Helmets
    1) Initially textured RAL 6006 "Dark Field Grey" with single decal.
    2) From 28/Aug/1943 Heer decal removed.

    This is my understanding of it, summed up - however I stand to be corrected

    Some more photographs from yesterday and today:

    The helmet received its first layer of primer on the interior and exterior yesterday.

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    Then once it had dried overnight I sanded the exterior with super fine sandpaper, since I felt there were small inconsistencies. Afterwards I lightly applied a second layer of primer to the exterior only.

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    Now the helmet will be put on the shelf until the 'goodies' arrive (paint, liner, rivets and so forth).
    - Daniel

  7. #16


    On second thought, I think you're right about the early M35's being in RAL 6003. I'm slightly confused now (getting late over here in Denmark).

  8. #17


    Every shell maker (5) had there own shades...there was no (1) generic paint for all, and, over a certain time span, these changed too. If you're aiming for an approximate, satisfactory result no biggee-- choose a shade and go for it. Otherwise look and see how NS painted theirs...generally a darker shade of feldgrau. So far, you're helmet's shaping up nicely!

  9. #18


    Hi Daniel,

    As promised a few pics of my restored helmets. Personally I'm a fan of not adding primer and using the rifle browning treatment but for preservation I have primered several helmets myself. The M35 with gas mask is finished in the aged smooth apple green with raw wet paint pictured. The M40 is in the RAL 6006 from the same supplier that I have none left of wet to show you with a light texture added. Hope this helps. Both helmets are Quist so have been finished with the "big foot" decal from once again same supplier....their decals are superb. Recommend buying their paint and decals.

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  10. #19


    I have to say i'm not a fan of the idea of sourcing original decals for a repro helmet, seems like sacrilege to me. As the whole project is a refurb why not use good repro decals? You'll save a ton of money and the helmet won't be anyless 'genuine'. Save the original decals for display on their own.

  11. #20


    A '' project it seems. All of these lids will hit the marketplace eventually as original because there is no way to indeligibly etch them as repro and whatever can be done-- can be undone.

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