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German M40 ET66 Restoration

Article about: Hey All! Well here is the start of my latest restoration project. It is a German M40 ET66 lot no. 209. I intend to restore it as a single decal SS helmet with slate grey paint and textured f

  1. #11
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    Thanks Dean! This lid was also sitting around for ages before I started on it. I do enjoy doing it but sometimes it can seem like a chore lol. Not to mention, It is by no means cheap either. I do indeed fit them nice and tight just like factory produced ones, Again can be tricky but after years & years of restoring lids like this I have got a tried & tested method. Well... Not long after my last post yesterday disaster struck with this restoration and struck bad! As I was applying the decal with varnish as I always do, The pot of varnish spilled onto the helmet. After what I would call just a wee rageful fit of anger lol. I decided well, I am not doing this over again so go for broke! So I grabbed a brush and spread out the varnish all over the helmet. Before I went to bed I thought, This just might work. The varnish was settling in leaving no brush marks etc. Anyway so just woke up and varnish is dry but despite being matt coat it has dried with a notable shine. I figure this really is not up to my standards and I won't be happy with but I will still get it put together today and post pics. I will let you all decide whether to keep it or not. Because as said, After the money I have already spent on this, I just couldn't justify spending anymore. I could have got a salty original for near the same price. Cheers, Sean.

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  3. #12

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    Oh bugger, hope it works out bud.

  4. #13
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    I hope so to pal. The varnish on the inside is drying out now, I guess it will take most of the day at least. A real shame because it actually looks really good just that it has a shine to it now that I think when its done it will just bug the hell out of me. There was no way I could remove the varnish from the paint finish once it had spilled. I was absolutely gutted to say the least! I am keeping my fingers crossed that when I get it assembled later I will Take a step back and think... Actually that looks okay lol. Because the texture looks good and the decal is settling down now as well, I have a real nice dome stamp application inside. It literally will be just the finish of the varnish that takes away from it. At least there is no brush strokes visible I suppose. Cheers, Sean.

  5. #14

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    I suppose you could age it? roll it around in some mud/soil etc wet so it dries dull, and give it that battlefield look.

  6. #15
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    Right Gents, This job is officially on hold. The varnish has dried and putting it bluntly the helmet looks like an absolute dogs dinner! Now what to do!... I am thinking sell it on to someone else as a restoration project were I will take quite a loss or strip it again and have one more crack which is going to cost another estimated 40-50. But without doing the texture which I know is incorrect for M40's but to simplify & cheapen the process somewhat and then stick a planetree camo cover on it anyway? Alternatively I am thinking of advertising to trade the shell for a M42 shell which is already stripped. Hmm!

  7. #16
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    Update.. I have decided I am giving this lid another go. It has cost me 90 to reorder paints & parts. So it bloody well turn out half decent! I am selling my marines kevlar to fund it although that said I have just been looking for a reason to sell it as I need space in the house lol. The shell is too good to just sell on IMO. I have ordered new parts, Paint and a high quality reproduction SS Planetree helmet cover type 1. So this time I will do the helmet without texture to minimize risk of stuff going wrong etc which I know is technically incorrect but then it will be covered when it is finished anyway. I do believe although very rarely encountered.. M40's were seen that were not textured but it's sort of pointless stating that. I just like to try and justify to myself not being 100% authentic lol. Also I have got the correct field grey paint this time around as even though I was happy with the darker field grey finish on the shell I don't believe it was correct for an ET lid which all seem to have a lighter field grey finish. So pics will be uploaded tomorrow of me starting from scratch again stripping etc. Woopy do! (sarcasm) and then parts should be with me Tuesday so will post from then as well. I have the correct ET dome stamp for M40 and a G Schiele Loburg 1940 chinstrap as even though there was no direct match between ET M40's and chinstrap manufacturers I have seen more original ET M40's with Loburg straps then others so will finish with that. So hopefully on the whole it will look authentic or as much as it can for a restoration. Cheers, Sean.

  8. #17

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    Howdy Sean, I am enjoying your posts as per usual.

    I can't help but feel your pain, however I'll go out on a limb and ask (since you wrote that you spilt the varnish "over", rather than "into" the helmet) whether it would be possible to 'simply' sand down the exterior of the helmet and re-apply paint/texture, if none of the leather has been damaged?

    - Daniel

  9. #18
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    Quote by Danishkaiser View Post
    Howdy Sean, I am enjoying your posts as per usual.

    I can't help but feel your pain, however I'll go out on a limb and ask (since you wrote that you spilt the varnish "over", rather than "into" the helmet) whether it would be possible to 'simply' sand down the exterior of the helmet and re-apply paint/texture, if none of the leather has been damaged?

    - Daniel
    Thanks Dan bud! A very good point about the exterior but in my initial panic after spilling the varnish and then deciding to brush the varnish all over I temporarily abandoned any logical thinking lol and varnished the bugger inside & out to match. Luckily I hadn't fitted the liner etc. I have got it all stripped down once more. Although havnt got round to uploading pics today. See.. I have been restoring German lids for years and always struggled doing textured finishes and so usually dont bother as its not worth the hassle but once in a while I like to give it another go and even though thats not what went wrong here I think it's risky to try again anyway given that this restoration has already gone wrong once. Like for a quick example if anything goes wrong on a lid with smooth texture. Its easy, Quick sand down repray and again your good to go but were as with a textured lid.. Lets say the decal misapplys. You can't just wipe it of or sand it down without re doing essentially the whole lot to match. The annoying thing is as well I can texture US M1 lids with cork all day long but the Germans with the much finer & more fiddly aluminium oxide is a real hard job. I figure one day I will get a proper spray gun to do it but ill see if that day arrives lol. I have a nagging feeling that this planetree cover.. I wont like when it arrives and if that is the case I will maybe reluctantly give the texture one more shot but I figure either way when its done and together hopefully by end of day tomorrow it should still look great regardless of the texture finish. Cheers, Sean.

  10. #19
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    The helmet looks great, do you use any primer prior to painting?

  11. #20
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    Fantastic job Sean, apologies for replying so late after the project was completed, but just wanted to congratulate you on your efforts and sharing your tips and techniques

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