Don't bother him Samir - I'm not trying to be difficult ( and it's quarter to midnight in Australia and I'm half asleep ) but I'm on a steep learning curve with this one & trying to soak up as much info as I can......
It's not a round bottom decal at all ( the Q of Samir's example ) its a combination of wear, application and photo angle giving it that appearance. The decal on your HD example is a well known and widely reproduced decal originating roughly in the early 90s if I'm not mistaken. The decal is seen weekly on forums. I have so many photos of examples of it in my fake database I long ago stopped recording them and I've examined them in hand at great detail.
Speak of the devil, here's one of the round bottom fake little bastards just posted yesterday on GHW...
Last edited by DougB; 04-29-2012 at 05:39 PM.
Hi fellow collectors, me again on this HD ( SS? ) helmet.
So today at work in our test lab we ran a USB microscope camera over it and here are some images.
The magnification was about 100X ( the best we could get ) and the photo is an assemblage of those images and where they were taken from. I can see rust craters in and throughout the decal - the peaks are not exposed, the craters are. If a decal was applied OVER a rusted surface and then sanded it would be the high spots that would be exposed, not the low ….. IMHO
Now while we were farting about doing this, our testing officer suggested an ex-colleague who now works for the NDT ( non-destructive-testing ) section of the CSIRO here in Australia ( Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation ) who might be able to do some further analysis for me ( us ). A phonecall and some friendly banter later and yes, he could help. The cost? – nothing if I wasn’t in a hurry and didn’t want an official report – he would enjoy the challenge & could squeeze it in. ( research and soil study must get pretty boring! )
After an explanation of the concerns given, this is the process he suggested be undertaken.
1) Take a sample of existing paint from the helmet ( just a flake ) and transect this sample to determine stratification of the paint. Paint ages in layers subject to UV / oxygen / pigmentation shift and surface impurity attack ( alkaline or acid soil contact ). Changes in the layering can be compared against known data on the aging effects of solvent based enamel paints. If needed he said he could also do spectrum analysis on its lead content to determine age.
2) Once the age of the paint is determined and a control piece is established, then a further section underneath the applied decal would be extracted – transverse examination of this will show both the age of the underlying paint as well as the decal inks. The paint should exhibit different aging from the exposed control sample and the decal should show surface layer deterioration similar to the exposed paint sample from test 1.
This exercise is in NO WAY intended to undermine the empirical knowledge of our resident experts but it is a scientific examination of the issue at hand. I certainly recognise and appreciate Doug’s expertise in this area ( who can argue with years of experience and a wall o’ helmets ) and he commands great respect from other helmet collectors, so much so that if Doug decides against the validity of a piece it can be the proverbial “kiss of death”. However Doug, I understand you are pragmatic enough to consider further evidence – and this is all I am attempting to do.
It may take some time – so, watch this space!
We NEVER stop learning…
I am very interested in the outcome of this study, Dan! Thanks for going trough all this trouble.
I see you went through a lot of work & I am impressed I might say, but the evidence you have brought forward only confirms my original findings that it is in fact a reproduction.
Dan, I have examined several samples of this decal using 20 to 400x magnification and compared it to many examples of the ET decal it attempts to replicate. What your doing is paint testing and making assumptions based upon wear of the decal to prove something is real that is not. And you have no control samples of the decal unapplied nor applied to compare the decal against and only assumptions can therefore be drawn based on guesswork and lean an outcome to a conclusion. Science alone is not a tool to be used in determining a valid piece of militaria. A digital microscope is merely a tool. In the hands of inexperience any fake decal aged will look real because you have no idea what your looking at.
When I'm not on an iPad I will post the magnified pics of the Round Bottom Fake, many pics of the fake decal, which is a graphic match to yours and the comparables to an ET decal.
If you would like an unapplied round bottom fake please call GMAX Reproductions. They can get you an unapplied one to study.
PS your USB pics prove the case as well this is a fake. No cellulose base, no oxidization to the metallic pulver. The construction however perfectly matches the round bottom fake. And then there is the simple matter of the graphics which are a perfect match to the round bottom fake. These facts cannot be ignored.
For some light reading on the matter of USB magnification please check these threads out;
While there please read the two articles pinned on the fake CA Pocher decal.
Anyway off to sleep for me as well.
Ouch ……. it looks like I am being put firmly in my place with this one – dare I say my "cellulose has been pulverised”.
I guess any further investigation would be only academic as the judgement has been well and truly reinforced and there is no recourse. Humbly, science retreats to a corner to lick its wounds.
I think I’ll stick to less emotive subject matter from now on ……