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M42 style helmet identification help.

Article about: Hi. I am glad that I found this website. I had been searching the internet for information concerning German army helmets from the 1940's. I have what I think is a German helmet from WW2. In

  1. #1
    steppano
    ?

    Default M42 style helmet identification help.

    Hi.
    I am glad that I found this website. I had been searching the internet for information concerning German army helmets from the 1940's. I have what I think is a German helmet from WW2. In the mid 1970's I was in my Grandpa's garage and saw an army helmet and asked him if I could have it and he gave it to me. He said that a buddy of his had brought it home from the war and and given it to him.
    So anyway the thing is still around in my basement. One thing that I did when I got the helmet was to paint it black. I didn't know any better at the time I was a kid. Whatever amount of paint that was original is now covered by a bad paint job. The helmet and liner and hardware is really good shape.
    From what I can find on the internet it is a M42 variety with the unrolled edges and the stamped holes. The leather headliner and chin strap are in decent shape. The chin strap only has ten holes it it compared to some that have 13?
    Due to the paint I can't see the manufacturers marking. I did a small bit of light sanding at the rear skirt and came up with a production number of either 518 or 519. I have been thinking of stripping all the paint off the outside of the helmet and some of the inside using paint stripper. This will of course take it down to bare metal but if I don't do it I will never know what I have. Plus since I painted it as a kid it's not original anyway. Most of the interior of the helmet is original paint and I would leave that as is.
    On the inside left rear are some markings on the inside of the liner if you pull it out some. They are RDF or RBF, there is a 61 and what looks to be a 150 mark. On the outside of the rim that is attached to the liner it says either 1077 or 4077. This is on the left side right about where your ear would be. I am scared to take the liner out of the shell to see because I don't want to damage the attaching gear.
    Any help that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I am not a collector and all I know is what I have found on the internet thus far. Thank you.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    You could try Acetone or any other paint stripper, The helmet is most defiantly a M42

  4. #3
    steppano
    ?

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    I have decided to just remove all of the paint on the upper side of the helmet where I had painted it as a kid. For some odd reason I painted it white too, or I guess it could be primer of some type. The production number is a bit worn on the last digits. What I thought was a 518 may actually be 5187 with the 7 being partially worn off.

    I have taken off some paint from the top of the shell by tapping softly so as to leave no marks and peeling it off as it bubbles up.

    Just above the production number is a marking (or at least it looks like it) of something like 1BX. Has anyone ever noticed a mark above the production number on any M42 helmets. I don't know, perhaps I am seeing things but it looks like a mark and I took a couple of pics.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    I think you may have used far too much of the acetone as it looks like you've taken off the original paint aswell Its a shame to be honest.

    Thanks

    Danny

  6. #5
    steppano
    ?

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    Yeah I agree. With two coats of paint over it I didn't think that I could save the original paint. It's definitely going to be a repainted helmet except under the liner and headband, it's original there and would be to hard to paint anyway because I am not taking the liner out.

    It is a shame, I can still see it in my Grandpa's garage. What I thought looked dingy as a kid would have looked awesome and original now.

  7. #6

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    Sanding is a bad way to remove top coats of paint , as you are going
    to ultimately sand into the original paint as well. Using your 'tapping'
    method will also remove any original paint along with the new !

    Straight 'Acetone' would have been the way to go, because it would
    have removed only the newer coats, and left the original paint
    mostly unharmed, if done lightly enough.


    I would not repaint it .....
    Regards,


    Steve.

  8. #7
    ?

    Default Re: M42 style helmet identification help.

    Its a great shame that you didnt ask here before attempting to strip the paint, never sand a helmet or any other original equipment, but we all learn by our mistakes, before stripping anymore use the acetone method on the internal areas and guage how much you need to wipe away then once your satisfied that there is original paint remaining, turn to the outside and remove the bottom amount the remains, just go easy and dont be aggressive, small areas at a time. The biggest problem is that you have removed a great deal of value from an original lid so a softly softly approach is now needed, good luck with it

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