Helmet restoration question
I have been tasked with restoring a M42 helmet. The helmet was is rough shape with some really bright green paint on the shell. The liner is dated 1939 and is in OK shape. This helmet was obviously put together by someone quite awhile ago. The lid had two brass pins and one steel pin that is rusted. I was asked to make this helmet suitable for reenactment use and I figured I can give it a shot. My question is about the paint. Should I mix an example myself or purchase paint from a dealer? This helmet is not meant to be sold as original, I could never do a good enough job of that, so I have some give and take as to how it turns out. This seems like it will be a fun project and any suggestions are welcome.
12-11-2008 04:27 AM
Re: Helmet restoration question
If its for re-enactment, what theatre of battles, normandy,ardennes,italy,or general european, what does the owner want done with it. I regulary do some repro helmets for a friend and myself for our display and pleasure only,but your doing a genuine m42 . I normally mix a few paints myself until i reach the right colour that i want ,then i age the helmet and decals ,if required,once that is done i overspray the entire helmet inside and out with a thing called plasticote, matt flat i think it no/ 549, then dab with a dry cotton cloth before it drys, this leaves a nice aged surface with a slight dirty and stipled finish, do the decals as well once there fully dried onto the helmet, but be careful ,some decals ,especially the cheap plastic type ,although look good ,dont take to the plasticote and start to bubble, its all a matter of trial and error until you get the desired effect,personally id leave decals off the m42 .If youve got an original liner just clean it with a good lanoline based leather cleaner,also the chin strap,if there repros rough them up a bit especially the chin strap. I wind the strap around in my hand until it becomes dull and pliable,the natural oils in your hands do a pretty good job of dulling it down and ageing it idont know if you can get Humbrol paints out there but i understand some of the railway model paints come pretty close to original colours and i believe there sold in the states, good luck.