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How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

Article about: Hello guys. I have a German Stahlhelm, which I'd like to paint to some camouflage theme (dont worry, it's postwar M55 Finnish model). Can you direct me to some good site which has good instr

  1. #1

    Default How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Hello guys. I have a German Stahlhelm, which I'd like to paint to some camouflage theme (dont worry, it's postwar M55 Finnish model).
    Can you direct me to some good site which has good instructions on how to do it? I've read about sawdust and such applied under the paint and such.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Hi Finnlander! The camo schemes used by the german army during WW2 vary massively with 100's if not 1000's of improvised techniques used by troops on an individual level as well as unit/division wide so there is a lot of choice when it comes to restoring/painting a german helmet. I have found the best way is to study originals and use them as reference for my own restorations. In relation to what you say about sawdust, I have seen more than a few original helmets, Mostly normandy camo helmets which usually consist of.. brown, Tan & green colours applied by hand with brush & sawdust/woodchips mixed in & used to texture the finish. Also a lot of normandy camo lids are sprayed with no added texture & I have even seen some camo helmets with dirt used as texture! As said the variety is huge! Hope this helps. Cheers! Sean.

  4. #3

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Thanks Sean for the answer !
    Im looking for some a bit darker theme of Ostfront, because im gonna be using it for some airsoft games, and I happen to live in Finland, which is in the boreal area so the camouflage green must consist of some quite dark shades. Do you know if SS Nord or any Wehrmacht units (200 000 in total), which fought in Finland's Lapland, had their own camo helmet paintings there? If some German soldiers had the correct camo helmets for me, then the Germans of Lapland.
    Can you point me some website or give any advice on the ''preparing works'', like removing the old paint (Finnish army brush applied thick layer of paint) and how to paint with brush or spray, what brush paints to use, how many layers of paint, between which layers sawdust/dirt should be dropped into and if there is need for any ''base paint'' (the first paint layer, which allows the actual paint to get a good grip) and one final question: Did Germans have any techniques to make the surface less shiny, matt?

    And yeah remember the maybe most important question: Was there any Ostfront camos with dark shades to suit Northernmost landscapes of Russlandfeldzug?

    I included few pics of the helmet im working on.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture How to paint Stahlhelm camo?   How to paint Stahlhelm camo?  

  5. #4

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    I suggest you paint it as the soldiers would've done so during the war. I doubt they went to the lengths of preparing with base coats, removing paint etc. I guess they went to the nearest workshop or engineering area and got their lids sprayed in the paint shop or used whatever they could find at the front.
    The sawdust and dirt would be mixed in with the paint, not applied between layers.
    Think about it logically, if you were a frontline soldier who wanted to cammo his helmet, how would you do it? Just grab some paint of the appropriate colour, a paint brush, some sawdust and then get painting. You don't need a clinical work of art, rough and ready is often the best way. Get out in the woods and use it for airsoft and by the time you've banged your head on a few branches, bashed it in the dirt a few times it will look fine.
    Look at some original (or fake as they are quite good) cammo lids and see which look the best.

  6. #5

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    As Adrian says, the more rough and ready the better imo. Here's a couple of pic's showing the methods used and the results. Modern day paint that is made to the correct RAL colour types used by the Germans during WW2 is readily available on the net at around 15 Euro's for a tin large enough to cover a helmet easily, as are decals.

    feldgrau RAL 6006 paint for german helmet

    How to paint Stahlhelm camo?How to paint Stahlhelm camo?How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #6

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Thank you for the answers. I appreciate them. As you can see from the pictures, there is some spots where bare metal is seen, so those spots would really need base paint, if I want it to stick to it right? I gathered some sawdust and mixed it with fine sand I found from my yard. Im gonna use those to make the rough surface.
    Do you know if Germans painted them with zimmerit anti-magnetic paint? Zimmerit seems to have a nice rough, uneven matt surface, which seems perfect for camouflage. What about hammertone paint? I dont even know when hammertone was invented, so please enlighten me Was it used during the war? If it was, was it used to camouflage? I doubt it, but what can you lose by asking

  8. #7

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Don't be too concerned with creating something worthy of an art gallery, I wouldn't worry about the bare metal, just paint over it. Maybe a light sanding to give the new paint something to key in to would be good but think about how they would do it in the field.

    I have no idea if zimmerit was used, possibly if it was to hand but unless you're worried about getting an anti tank mine stuck to your head during airsoft, just keep it as simple as you can.

    Matt paint in an appropriate colour and sawdust/dirt mixed in will give you a good effect.

  9. #8

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    I am always amused by German reenactors who paint camo schemes on their helmets and then age them. A camo helmet would have looked freshly painted until it gathered wear naturally. Keep that in mind.

  10. #9

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    Hi Finnlander.

    I am an ex soldier of the British Army, as are quite a few other members, and I am sure that we will all tell you the same when it comes to camouflage.
    The idea and principles behind camouflage is to break up the regularity, shape, colour and shine given by an item of equipment.
    As an example, at the start of WWII, the helmets of a lot of the wars combattants were actually painted/finished in a satin/semi-matt finish which, when wet, through eg rain, actually becomes gloss-like and shines like a beacon. The classic examples are the early British, German and US M1 helmets, all looked glossy when wet and a lot of this was down to the original finish.
    Soldiers soon learn things that will potentially save their lives, or make it easier, which is why you soon see helmets with makeshift covers, from sandbags etc, covered in mud or with bands from tyre inner tubes for the attachment of local area foliage fitted.

    The bottom line is, whatever cover was appropriate for the area was, and is, used.

    Regards etc
    Ian D

    AKA: Jimpy

  11. #10

    Default Re: How to paint Stahlhelm camo?

    It has always been a matter of conjecture regarding zimmeret camos , most zimmeret finishes were applied at factory level to armoured vehicles , it seems it was'nt readily available in the field for use by the ordinary soldier bearing in mind that to add a covering that would literally turn into a concrete , the weight of any such helmet would be an issue therefore it is doubtful that zimmeret was used to any extent if any , as said the idea of camo is to blend in with the type of environment that your going to be fighting in therefore take into account the area and foilage your air soft has ,this should be your starting point , bear in mind that camo was a personal addition by the soldier some were slap dash others were done quite carefully , almost artistically with paint carefully blending in to each other

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