Great posting showing the fun side of the hobby.
I don't know about that Owen, is it fun dealing with all the fake Tigerstripe?
Anyhow, some time back, one of the authorities in TR helmet collecting(Doug B.) posted this on another forum, I think he pretty much nailed it:
...they scanned and authenticated 5 decals that were incorrectly branded as real that we're not. 2 tricolors, 1 party decal, 1 runic SS decal, and 1 Heer that while not fake was guaranteed to be a KM, which it clearly was not. These are simple facts and cannot be disputed. The SS example I use was given an XRF Certification number and guaranteed to be authentic by the standards set for XRF and the unique "code" all German helmet decals have...maui's words not mine. This means XRF cannot be trusted to be the fast food point and click magic authentication tool it was touted as being.
I wrote extensively on the subject on GHW and to a lesser extent here as what I tried to be as an impartial observer who held hope for promise of this technology and sat in on 2 detailed demonstrations over several days. It was quite fascinating, however the technology was rushed to market when it should have remained a research tool.
While other forums and some members here berated the technology (now rightfully so) I was willing to give it a chance, much to chagrin of forum, PM and email attacks to me by those vehemently opposed to the technology. But I'm not too proud to say they were right. But I disagree with their methods of discussion and debate, but that's another story.
The challenges were and remain; (and not limited to)
1. No independent corroboration of the validity of the use of the technology.
2. No independent corroboration of the testing results.
3. Data had a wide margin for interpretive results.
4. Database errors.
5. Privately held database with zero transparency making up the baseline.
6. No scientific background or discipline.
7. A rush to market commercializing the technology for profit.
8. A serious conflict of interest resulting from number 7.
9. Dealers using the technology for authentication, resulting in even more of number8.
10. Claims that were never publicly translated or shared, resulting in a 100% trust factor. See number 9.
11. The total reliance upon point and click vs real world experience. This means when you read the other 10 problems you better trust the person pointing and clicking 110% as he is the one giving you the results.
12. No recourse if they are wrong.
13. Finally fake decals visible to the naked eye being authenticated. For this technology to really truly work, not one fake can "slip through".
...I was personally attacked and called out as jealous of XRF's "success", called a simpleton, and mocked for the use of a microscope amid false claims I said I "invented" and taking credit for its use....
The problem is, I can prove my statements above and XRF cannot.
The technology has been proven to NOT WORK RELIABLY to accurately authenticate paint and decals 100% of the time. Period. I give full credit for the study of it and hard work that went into it. Some good came out of it. But it failed the test of time I was willing to give it, and in it's rush to market something unproven it failed miserably.
Note, I witnessed the scanning of over 60 SS helmets. Real Unapplied loose decals. Fake decals. All you can think of. You guys can talk about how this or that should be done. I've seen it work and I've seen it fail.
XRF had a chance but is dead and should be gone. In my humble opinion.