Thanks for the additional pictures and information.
I seem to remember this one from somewhere, or it looks familiar at any rate.
I have always wondered if the factory exterior paint was as bad as the interior paint, and if so, if the helmet had received a re-paint at a depot before issue. I have seen a dark green reissue color on other helmets as well.
I don't think anyone would question the originality of the actual helmet Brian, just exactly when the inscriptions were done. Certainly evocative and interesting but I for one would be forever wondering.
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
I think it is obvious the inscriptions were done post war as per the May 9, 1945 date, but maybe the issue is whether the helmet is a genuine soldier art helmet or some fabrication to turn a buck. I have seen fabrications, and to me they were obviously fabrications. But I don't get the same vibe with this helmet.
I have seen S.A. helmets that looked like the soldier himself did them (generally poor penmanship), and others that looked like they were professionally done for the soldier.
I wouldn't rank this as a soldier art helmet myself. Looks freshened up to pretend it's one.
I know of a full camo-ed M42 Q in a dealer collection in Belgium. Hope to see it next week again.
In fact, that camo M42 Q that you speak of raises red flags for me already. It seems that very few M42 Q's were even issued wartime, and those very late war at that. I've seen factory green-gray, slate-gray, and even a ND Luft blue-gray example, but never a Q M42 camo.
It's just that I tend to view camos as being generally done by seasoned troops with some time on their hands. In late 44-45, most seasoned German troops that hadn't already been captured or killed already had their equipment I would think, with new issue of late war helmets largely going to the masses of inexperienced manpower being pressed into service to stem the invasion of Germany.
viz: Green recruits, rehabilitated jail/camp inmates, expendable factory workers, foreign workers, the young/old, Hitler Youth, elderly SA men, WWI vets, members of various paramilitary/civic organizations, etc..