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Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

Article about: Hi, As a novice helmet collector I hope you don't mind me asking a stupid/off-base question: How to tell the difference between legit reissued helmets during the war and those that have been

  1. #1

    Default Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Hi,

    As a novice helmet collector I hope you don't mind me asking a stupid/off-base question: How to tell the difference between legit reissued helmets during the war and those that have been tempered with by collectors and dealers? By "ressiued helmets" here, I am NOT talking about those reissued helmets that were repainted and had new decals applied, I am only referring to those helmets that have had the liner replaced/changed out, by either the soldiers, field depots or the factories.

    When I see rivets having a different color/feel from the rest of the helmet in terms of color/paint scheme/surface texture etc., am I safe to assume that the liner might have been replaced at one point? And if this assumption is correct (for the most part), how can you tell that the liner was replaced by someone during the war or it was "tempered with" by dealers and collectors post-war?

    I am asking this question partly because I learned that many folks in the German helmet collecting community seem to shun those helmets with a replaced liner. If certain criteria/rule of thumb can be established regarding legit reissued helmets with replaced liner, I don't see why people should shun them.

    Sorry for my babbling, I look forward to learning from all of you.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Collectors don't necessarily shun liner replacements as this was done as you've stated fairly frequently in regards to reissued helmets and also for replacement of worn out parts. What is frowned upon is post war dicked with helmets and liners, that seem to be done merely to increase value for resale. There are many opinions about restoring helmet liners to helmets that have suffered some form of liner loss. There is also the disclosure requirement if a helmet has been "restored", which is mandatory in the helmet collector world. Pins can be of different paint shades as compared to helmet paint, as they were often painted separately during factory production. Analysis of pins has more to do with installation bends, washers, placement, materials/construction/patina, and tightness. As far as a rule of thumb, I would say it is more of a learned art or science than a rule. When in doubt, seek knowledgeable opinions from trusted collectors. I guess that is why most of us haunt forums such as this one, to share and learn.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Good question. It really comes down to each individual lid, but there are a few things to look out for. The legs of the liner pins are very difficult to tamper with, without leaving marks. The edges of the pins will have the oxide layer scratched off from scraping on the liner band. Also the legs will be obviously rebent if they have been removed. If the liner was removed in the field and had the original pins reinstalled, there would be a patina present which would hopefully tell us this. If the lid has a period repaint, is there any of that paint on the liner band? Check between the liner band and the shell for build up of crap and patina, and also around the liner pin heads on the outside. It takes a while but you will feel that it looks right when you know what to look for. If you have loose pins that can be a bad sign, but not always. Liner pins can be slightly different colours in a factory spec helmet, but field repaints or camos should match up. But as I said, take each lid individually, and look at the whole picture to figure out what is going on.

  5. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Its as Kradspam says, but also a great deal relies on experience in handling original helmets of all kinds, and that comes with research and learning

  6. #5

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Not much more to add. If I think of something later I will add it here. As Andy said, it really comes down to each individual helmet. Parts of helmets could be swapped out just as parts of the same type and model of firearm could be swapped out. A lot depends on the collectors comfort zone with a particular helmet. If they look at it an examine the helmet and it either feels right, or it doesn't. There can always be doubt, what varies is the amount of doubt.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Thanks guys, I definitely see the intricacies and that there can be no one-size-fits-all answer to the question.

    Out of curiosity, in what scenarios would the liners be deliberately replaced/changed out by collectors and dealters etc. to increase the value of the helmet? An old and worn out liner being replaced by a brand new one when the shell is in relatively new/minty condition?

  8. #7

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    A sell in mint condition may have a liner in not so mint condition usually due to how it was stored since re war. I have one helmet that I placed a restored liner into because there was no liner at all. The bands were present and I was able to install the line without messif with the split pins. It's a post war Norway used liner stripped of the red dye, which will not increase the value, I just did it because it didnt involve messing with the split pins and it can be easily removed. I did this a little over a year ago. I have stopped doing it. I am stickig with buying complete helmets or not adding to a helmet that is missing parts. I'm not aware of any reputable dealers that add parts to helmets, and probably very few collectors alter their helmets, with the exception of adding chin straps which can be removed without causing permanent damage or alteration.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Thanks helmetone. Speaking of the mismatch of shell vs. liner conditions, being a visor cap guy I can tell you that in the world of visor caps a pretty drastic mismatch of exterior/interior conditions is usually a warning sign that the cap has been temepered with. Does the same rule apply on helmets? I mean, should one be concerned that the shell is minty while the liner is well-used, worn out and vice versa?

  10. #9

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Yes that is always a reason for concern, just as it is with caps. You have to look at helmets in several ways. The first is overall. What I mean by that is, does it all match up. Does the liner look like it belongs in that helmet. Is the shell in a condition that matches the liner leather. And then breaking down the helmet by each part. Does the chin strap match the condition of the overall helmet. Keeping in mind that the strap could have been replaced during the war because straps are the weakest parts to the helmet and would break under constant use and field wear. I would imagine the way we helmet collectors examine helmets before purchase is similar to how you all examine visors. You have to apply the DIMS test. Does It Make Sense. Knowing what we know about the manufacturing of helmets, their use, condition and provenance, does the helmet all make sense. You are probably not goi to find an LBA marked brown chin strap on a 1944 dated M42 Heer helmet. If you do, it's probably been added. That's the best way I can think to explain it. Hope it helped!

  11. #10

    Default Re: Legit reissued helmets with replaced liner vs. helmets that have been tempered with

    Thank you helmetone again, yes that was very helpful!

    I was just thinking, perhaps it is OK for pre-war "parade helmets" (for example those M35s that retain the original smooth and glossy apple green finish) to have a minty shell with a well-worn liner, after all the shell did not see any action whatsoever and only experienced the day-to-day casual use; but combat helmets should display a consistent condition between the shell and the liner, unless of course the liner was replaced at one point. Does this thought of mine make any sense?

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