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M42 Reissue questions

Article about: I just received this helmet from a internet auction site and have a few questions. The liner looks original to me since it is crumbly and has a definite old smell to it. Is there any way to

  1. #1
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    Default M42 Reissue questions

    I just received this helmet from a internet auction site and have a few questions. The liner looks original to me since it is crumbly and has a definite old smell to it. Is there any way to prevent leather crumblyness? Can one tell if the string is original?

    Someone has written "740" on the liner. The name written on the skirt is "Sentkowski 740". The outside of the helmet looks repainted and the definite brush strokes are visible. It also looks like a heer decal underneath. I assume this to be a reissue M42?

    What was bothering me is that the name seemed to be painted over some of the faded/worn paint. What do you think? As also, responses from this forum is always appreciated!
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    Hi Pablo can you post some pics of the helmet in it's entirety please? Then we get a good overall view rather than just closeups. It initially appears that you have a reissue as That overpaint is commonly done to them and the name is simply overpainted on top of the former owners name, something nice to see on a reissue I think. As for the leather liner it has dry rot, once that process of dry rot begins it's almost a lost cause. Handling the helmet without touching the liner would be recommended. The liner string looks original.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    Thanks DougB for your quick assessment! As requested, the whole helmet. Notice the drip of paint next to the rivet. Is that normal?
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    As Doug said once the dry rot creeps in its very difficult to preserve the leather, there are two methods which might help depending on the full extent of the rot but both will detract from the originality of the helmet in some way, one is to use a petroleum jelly and very carefully coat the entire liner with a very thin layer, but it will change the colour and possibly pieces will fall away by doing so, or use a clear sealer that forms a hard surface, this will basically set the liner in situ and become very stiff, once that is done any rough handling will cause it to crack and fall off, trying to rehydrate rotting leather is an almost impossible task, but if you have an area that has a reasonable humidity and not to dry it may help

  6. #5
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    That looks like a reasonable reissue shell, the paint drip i would say is part of the helmets character. Having looked again at the liner, it appears that the inner ring has become detached from the outer ring, can you confirm that the inner ring has all of its metal springs in place, if they are then perhaps at a later stage you could consider replacing the leather with a worn period one

  7. #6
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    Quote by davejb View Post
    As Doug said once the dry rot creeps in its very difficult to preserve the leather, there are two methods which might help depending on the full extent of the rot but both will detract from the originality of the helmet in some way, one is to use a petroleum jelly and very carefully coat the entire liner with a very thin layer, but it will change the colour and possibly pieces will fall away by doing so, or use a clear sealer that forms a hard surface, this will basically set the liner in situ and become very stiff, once that is done any rough handling will cause it to crack and fall off, trying to rehydrate rotting leather is an almost impossible task, but if you have an area that has a reasonable humidity and not to dry it may help
    Many thanks Davejb! I believe a treated liner is ultimately better than a leather liner that will eventually crumble away. What about lanolin?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    As i said its a risk, you either win or lose with this one and i wouldnt like to bet on the outcome, if your in the mind to try and do something then i suppose lanolin is as good as the next thing, but personally i would see what state the inner ring is in and consider replacing the leather at a later stage, with this type of rot you cant place it on a stand or head nor can you really let the liner just hang there, it will deterioate , crumble and eventually fall away, one saving grace is the original liner string doesnt look too bad and i would think is redeemable with a bit of tlc, either way the liner ring isnt attached properly and if you tried to reattach it with the rotting liner the way it is will probably end in disaster, the other thing to consider is the initial cost that you paid, would any repair or replacement outweigh its true value, also to treat the liner you will need to treat the reverse as well, that means remove the string, open up the leather and then another problem presents itself, the leather will be too fragile and more likely fall apart in your hands, do you want to take that risk

  9. #8

    Default Re: M42 Reissue questions

    I would keep the helmet as is , I believe in a stable environment like your collection room the dry rot will slow down a lot. Once the liner has been treated the helmet will loose its untouched value. By the looks of it I believe it can survive for quite a long time like this.
    The paint drip is common as helmets were reissued quickly without caring of how it looks.

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