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Help with my Son's unusual M35

Article about: Thanks everyone so much for the input on the helmet. I must admit that it was quite thrilling removing the shiny black paint revealing the M35 that lurked underneath. Next time I hope I don'

  1. #1

    Default Help with my Son's unusual M35

    Hi, need a little help with this helmet. First off, this is my 14 yo son’s helmet. He has been collecting ww2 for about 3 years now. We spend most weekends together at flea markets, pawn shops, gun shows, antique stores and the such looking for a little memorabilia treasure. He doesn’t have a big collection but it is fairly nice for only 3 years and a very limited amount of money. He works cutting grass and doing some custodial work at the local Fire Academy and we split the cost of most things he buys. We came upon this helmet last weekend at a gun show. Not much of a story from the man we bought it from, just that he had got it and a couple of other helmets out of a barn. He was asking 150 but we got him down to 125. My son and I are very casual collectors but we knew it was a M35 helmet. It was coated with shiny black Krylon and had surgical tape swas on each side. The inside was fairly rusted and had a plastic hardhat type liner. My son and I agreed that we wouldn’t be doing any further damage to the helmet if we stripped the Kyrlon and painted it an original color just to hang with his Kar 98 and his pennant. We started stripping it down with some 4.0 steel wool and lacquer thinner. After a couple hours and some elbow grease we were quite surprised as to what we found.
    This is what we think the helmet is….though we’re just grasping at straws here…It’s an M35 ET66 single decal helmet with depot/field repaint and trench swas painted on each side. Please give me your thoughts…my boy is very excited and anxious to find out if we are close to being right or not. THANKS
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    well to me it seems that the white swastikas were painted recently. white paint tend to turn brown over time, and these are white as paper.

    the wehrmacht decal on the side is in poor shape but its definately original. its hard to tell but it seems like it was painted over very thinly. this helmet has a lot of character. its a shame the original liner is gone : (

  4. #3

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    Hey, thanks for your quick response. Yes, the white paint is white...but it was quite dark before the steel wool and lacquer went over it a couple of times, plus it was buried under all the shiny black paint. Should have took pics as I was cleaning it. Feel awful for having destroyed some of it's authenticity but 4 coats of Krylon wasn't helping it much either...LOL

  5. #4

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    glad to help : )
    dont take my word for it entirely though, there are a lot of people on here who are much more knowledgable on this subject than i am, so expect to hear more.

    and welcome to the forum by the way : )

  6. #5

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    if it were me,,,i would remove those white swastikas

  7. #6

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    Quote by militarymania View Post
    if it were me,,,i would remove those white swastikas
    So would I.

    Not much of a decal there, but at least it's real!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    lovely honest m35 .it appears to me as per post war the decal was rubbed out or scratched off ,but they didnt completely erase it,which is good.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    In my opinion, you shouldn't be too eager to remove the swasticas. The bottom leg of the one to the left of the decal looks to me to have been applied when the liner rivet was still in place, making it quite possible that the painted insignia were wartime applied. The volksturm and sometimes foreign volunteers often hand painted crude insignia on the sides of their helmets. I have a really neat no decal M42 with red swasticas crudely hand painted on the sides just under the vents that I picked up at a small militaris show abouy 20 years ago for peanuts off of a table that have alot of daggers and bayonets, but no other helmets, and in my opinion it is a "one looker". You said that before you tried to restore the piece the painted insignia were more faded. My advice, for what it is worth, it that it is much better not to try to "freshen up" a piece, and if you hadn't cleaned this piece it may have been easier to determine whether the insignia were period. From what you said, I suspect that the swasticas were indeed war time applied, and if I owned the piece, I would leave it as is. Jim G.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    very nice one look original to me and also the swass i have a helmet painted swastika s on it original and was used te make fun of collaborators
    how ever these swastika s look original to me to

  11. #10

    Default Re: Help with my Son's unusual M35

    I guess that I didn't read your original post all the way through and I don't have any problem with removal of obviously post war applied paint and the biker's liner to get to the original paint. Some of the members of this forum are extremely good at this and the results are often wonderful. One of the members recently posted before and after pics of a great KM helmet that had been painted blue. The restoration was extremely well done. It must have been a thrill for you and you son to expose the decal and the other insignia, which I still believe are probably pre-1945 applied, even more so because it seems that they were covered by the post war paint that you stripped. I still caution against efforts to "clean" a piece, because the age patina is a very good indication of originality, but your efforts on this piece seem to have restored the piece to its past life as a WWII helmet, and again, if it were on my shelf, I would leave it as is now. Cheers, Jim G.

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