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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. #1

    Default German M35 Restoration Project

    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.

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    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

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  3. #2


    To me the helmet looks as though it may be of post-war manufacture. The third picture down appears to show a ripple in the skirt of the helmet. This could just be down to the glossy paint and reflections. But all (or many) of the post-war helmets I have seen had this ripple in the metal. As far as I recall, the air vent in the M35 helmet was a separate part. On this helmet it looks as though it is stamped in. So maybe not even an M35. Or maybe I need my eyes testing.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  4. #3


    It is a model 35 German helmet clearly marked NS 64.
    The liner and split pins are incorrect for the helmet.. I believe there is a person on ebay occasionally that sells period shades of WW II helmet paint. It would be worth while for a reenactors helmet.

  5. #4


    WW2 M-35 by NS as Steve says probably one of the Czech Fire Dept ones you could repaint it proper color and replace liner and chinstrap just depended how far you wanted to go as suggested earlier for display or reenactment I don't see anything wrong with that it would not be a helmet collectors would put much value on. But original at best. timothy

  6. #5


    Here is another photo, just to clear up any confusion about the air vents

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    Today I will be carefully removing the paint to see if there is anything hidden underneath, however I doubt there is. I Will update with photos later. However I would like to know whether the paint I need for the helmet should be matt or just regular gloss 'Apple Green'?

  7. #6


    As I thought maybe the case... I need my eyes testing!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  8. #7


    Sorry for the delay in updating the post. It took a little longer than expected and I also had some personal matters to attend to.

    Here are some photos of the helmet with the post-war liner and black paintjob removed. I used acetone to get the paint off which takes a little longer than one might expect, due to the fact that it turns into a paste on the cloth/rag and forces you to constantly use a new area on the cloth to remove the rest from the helmet (ended up going through two different pieces of cloth, both sides). I will try to remove the remaining paint with super fine sandpaper, places where the acetone cannot remove it. As you can see there is no original paint, nor decals left on the helmet (not even ghosts are visible) just as I suspected. They really did a 'good job' de-nazifieing these helmets after the war.

    I still need some advice as to what paintjob I should apply, for a slight pre-war look that this helmet might have had when it left the factory (1935-1939). Any help is appreciated

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  9. #8


    First i will say welcome to the forum to a fellow Dane I'm Danish but live in Russia now

    The helmet could also be from the Fire Brigade (Brandvęsnet) They also used these with or without the leather flap on the neck skirt. Any stamps visible now?

    It's easy to find both Feldgrau and Feldgrau Dunkel. I did a restoration project last year. I used fine sand for structure. You can also used fine saw dust. Remember to use a good primer (grunder) first. Good luck

    Vh, Lars

  10. #9


    NS are nice shells. You'll have to decide what kind of NS it's going to be. Check its lot number and then see, in the GHW databank, if there are any like it. Maybe that will help you decide. NS' shade of feldgrau was a tad darker than other makers and their insignia differs too. Also the right liner....plenty of things to decide. Have fun!

  11. #10


    Hej Lars, great to know I'm not the only Dane around here
    What a small world it is indeed, it's not that long ago I returned home to Denmark after having been stationed in Russia (a long story cut short). I spoke with my father about it, who was a young boy during the '50s and he confirms that German helmets were used by the Fire Brigade/Firefighters after the war, while the Civil Defence and Police continued to use the Danish M/23 for a brief period. Will be giving the helmet the first layer of primer today (hopefully). As for the stamps I will attach some photos, hopefully they are clear enough now that I it another round with super fine sanding paper

    GHW databank - had to do a quick google search to find it and WOW. I will definitely be spending the next couple of hours going through everything posted there. Didn't even know it existed. At the moment however, I can't access the "Original Decals, Chinstraps and Lotnumber database" thread.

    Decisions... decisions... that's the problem - there are so many different ways to do this and I can't decide

    Thank you both, Lars and Nigel for the heads-up

    - Daniel

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