Jump to content


Photo

Catching The Fakes Guide - Insignias And Patina


  • Please log in to reply
58 replies to this topic

#26 Teamski

Teamski
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,043
  • 14,143 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Delaware

Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:33 AM

Thanks Bugme! It's this critical information that makes this board priceless!

-Ski

#27 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:19 PM

Next, you'll see an area around a stainless steel rim. The cork and the paint are new on this reproduction. I decided to try aging the cork and the area at the rim. I guess I was seeing how far you could go in a deception if you wanted to cover every angle. To me, this procedure is so good, it even shocked me as to what I ended up with. :o

The before and after pictures:

Attached Images

  • 29th_ID_helmet_008.jpg
  • Helmet_Test_Project_005.jpg

Edited by Bugme, 26 May 2009 - 04:42 PM.


#28 doyler

doyler
  • Members
    • Member ID: 342
  • 33,779 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Under The Bridge

Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:02 AM

Scott and Blake.

Really good info.Thanks for all the effort and photos.I believe this thread to be a great tool to all collectors.The thread shows just what can be done to age an item and hopefully this can be a guge to help someone from buying a questionable item in the future.

RD

#29 just-a-good-ole-boy

just-a-good-ole-boy
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,533
  • 1,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Deep South

Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

Very well done and extremely useful information here! It is scary to see these before and after pictures, but keep them coming!

#30 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:06 AM

I think that this is needed and long overdue. Where this information came from and what we're trying to do here is somewhat hindered, because to truly tell everyone how this aging can be spotted would also cause us to reveal how it was done. A virtual "Catch-22". So, we will give you as much help as we can without sacrificing the integrity of what we're trying to accomplish here.

I will say, that there is a wide gulf between the words "Reproduction" and "Fake or Forgery". Blake and some of the other helmet collectors here would have to speak for themselves but, I'm seeing reproductions... that I know are reproductions and they are easy to spot, as a reproduction, with a few good books and basic education. However, It's the fakes(forgeries) that really have me concerned. They are getting better and better. As the price and value of these M-1 helmets and even the M1917 helmets continue to rise, I'm afraid we are going to see more of the true "deceptions" appearing on the market.

Caveat Emptor!

Edited by Bugme, 28 May 2009 - 08:18 AM.


#31 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:27 AM

Yep, agree with that 100percent mate, it's alot of these upper end forgeries that are getting very very good and scarily subtle. And not many people are doing it very convincingly (at the moment), so as long as we get the info out, here's hoping it will stay that way.
It's kind of like a mechanic i suppose. If you know how an engine works, you can work out how to fix one. If you know the way the fakers work, and how their fresh work looks, hopefully, it'll be easier to spot them :) Will post an update on mine in a couple of days, some great info Bugme, nice!

#32 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:53 AM

Here's some more combo shots for comparison. I picked a very similar patina for this comparison, just to demonstrate how subtle the differences can get. At a glance, they look very very similar. Insignia aside, one could almost be mistaken for thinking that they are both genuine articles, but remember, only the one on the right is 60+years old. The left example is freshly painted, and up until a fortnight ago, was in perfect condition. Let's take a look at some more detections

Patina2.jpg
Patina3.jpg

When repainters paint helmets, they tend to lay alot of paint on, which ends up getting gummed up on the inner edge of the rim. We can also see where the rim paint, although unevenly removed, like an original, has been rubbed down in the process, and created a kind of dull, 'smeared' effect. Remember helmets were corked ALL OVER. The amount of cork on the rim, should match that of the actual shell. One thing they cannot also do, is age underneath the rim surface, convincingly anyway.

Patina4.jpg

With the power of weather and 60+years however, mother nature can. Note the thinning of the gap, as the finish has worn, and the fact that the rust and erosion is free to spread underneath the rim. Uneven flaking removal of rim paint, cork matching the shell, yep, she's a winner.

Patina5.jpg

#33 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:00 AM

But don't just check the outside, flip it over and check the inside aswell. Here we can see the dead giveaway in the 2nd picture, of the spray on patina, versus the original even darkness below

Patina8.jpg
Patina7.jpg

Again, more scratches on the rim paint, and the dull effect, void of any cork. Also what appears as a small section of 'unaged' shell, looking very new.
Patina11.jpg

Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:29 AM.


#34 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:05 AM

Versus the even-ness and matching cork wear, to an absolute T, of the original.

Patina12.jpg

Another side by side comparison, original underneath. Such similar finishes, with such a subtle difference in patina, hard to believe 60 years exists between them. Again, another reason and example to get a returnable period, for examining. Or good clear quality close up photos, of areas like the above picture, for examining. You can clearly see how similar their rim paint finishes look here, identical even, but as shown above, once you get in close, the pictures and helmet doesn't lie .......... like the seller may

Patina13.jpg

Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:07 AM.


#35 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:14 AM

Again, on the underside of the genuine article, nicely unevenly flaked rim paint, no scratches or rub marks whatsoever

Patina17.jpg

Another piece of the puzzle that never lies are chinstraps. Seeing as we're more talking about the effects of artificial aging here, these will be skimmed over. But by all means, study them, and learn them. What may appear as quite similar and original looking chinstraps, may have a world of differences between an original pair. Stitching and the weave of the material especially.
Patina9.jpg
Patina10.jpg

Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:32 AM.


#36 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:17 AM

Bail side included, don't overlook the fine details!
Patina18.jpg

Another shell comparison, and if you have a fine eye, you may notice something on the repainted 2nd photo that has me VERY VERY spooked.

Patina6.jpg
Patina14.jpg

#37 Blake_E

Blake_E
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,398
  • 1,898 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:24 AM

See it yet? How about now?
Yep you guessed it, a net shadow. No photoshop, straight off the camera. This shell hasn't had a net on it for over 6 months, and my previous photos clearly show none of this at all. It has not had a net on it since, either. People seem to swear black and blue that only an original can have this effect on the shell, as it takes 'years upon years' for a net to soil a mark in like that. Nope, only a week, and no net either. Has even me spooked, beware guys, it definately ISNT a foolproof way of determining authenticity
Patina15.jpg
Patina16.jpg

Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:33 AM.


#38 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:46 AM

OK, I'm finished with this one so, here's the final installment of this particular helmet.

To give this helmet some authority, I dug through my sons military junk box and found a 1st Lt. bar with a broken clutch back and a Majors oak leaf with a broken pin back. So, I had to decide: some authority or more authority. I decided upon "some authority" and went with the 1st. Lt. bar.

First, I need to point out how a lot of these bars were attached during the war. Some were attached by drilling a hole and affixing a screw back insignia to it with either the thumb screw nut or to actually weld the insignia on from the backside using the screw back post as back fill to hold the insignia in place. This of course required a drill press and a welder. These are rather hard items to find in the field unless your an engineer who would have access to these items or you were near an engineer unit and could convince them to do it for you. This was probably done more willingly by the engineer as the rank of the requester went up. ;)

Another way to attach required some skill in soldering. This was done with a oxy/acetylene torch and solder. This process usually burned the paint off an area around the insignia of about two inches. So, the paint had to be touched up or just left to rust. Again, this did require items not often found in the field.

The way most often used was adhesives, usually a horse hide glue, which after it dries, is very durable. This is the way I went on this helmet by using adhesive. Fakers will very often attach these insignia with modern adhesives such as: "JB Weld" or some other two part adhesive. They will then age around the insignia to hide the new adhesive. So, how do we discern if the adhesive is old or new? Answer: A pin. A small pin can be used to lightly scrape along the adhesive edge of the insignia. If it powders easily, it's an old adhesive, if it does not it could be a more recent addition using modern adhesives. A magnifying glass again will need to be employed to see the adhesive more closely.

Also, I was able to take an otherwise shiny 1st. Lt. bar and give it a very aged looking green patina look... in just 12 hours! :o The process can not be revealed here but, I will tell you that if you wet the area and then smell it and you pick up an acid odor, it may very likely be fake. Below are some before and after shots of the insignia area.

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_020.jpg

Edited by Bugme, 11 June 2009 - 06:46 AM.


#39 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:50 AM

OK, here's the before shot of the helmet donated to this project by craig_pickrall.

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_001.jpg


#40 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:51 AM

Before shot: Front

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_002.jpg


#41 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:51 AM

Before Shot: Left

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_003.jpg


#42 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:53 AM

After shot as a faker would show it on eBay: Front and Right

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_015.jpg


#43 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:54 AM

After shot: Front and left.

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_016.jpg


#44 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:55 AM

After shot: Left

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_023.jpg

Edited by Bugme, 11 June 2009 - 06:56 AM.


#45 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:56 AM

After shot: Right

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_2_019.jpg


#46 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:06 AM

One last note: This helmet was faked so that I could show you how helmet forgery's are done. I used techniques that forgers use. My total working time investment in this helmet was less than three hours... and I'm an amateur! I think you'd all agree that had I used an original WWII front seamed fixed loop helmet, it would have been very easy to pull down over $1000.00 with this helmet as a forgery. Instead we used a rear seam, swivel loop, post war repainted helmet as our test project.

Thanks Craig for your valuable help. This helmet is now done and is on it's way back home to you.


#47 just-a-good-ole-boy

just-a-good-ole-boy
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,533
  • 1,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Deep South

Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:38 AM

Well Scott...... I think I am going to rethink my hobby a bit. This is great info, and it is past due for this info to come to light. Blake, you have done a great job as well. Just knowing the limited amount of time that you have involved in these lids makes me wonder what one would look like if you spent a week or two on. It is truly a shame that our hobby has turned to this. Nevertheless, I very much apreciate your time to help educate not only new collectors but seasoned ones as well. :thumbsup:

#48 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:09 AM

Well Scott...... I think I am going to rethink my hobby a bit. This is great info, and it is past due for this info to come to light. Blake, you have done a great job as well. Just knowing the limited amount of time that you have involved in these lids makes me wonder what one would look like if you spent a week or two on. It is truly a shame that our hobby has turned to this. Nevertheless, I very much apreciate your time to help educate not only new collectors but seasoned ones as well. :thumbsup:

Steve, it has caused me to rethink my hobby also! Truth be told, when the helmet is in hand, you can pick out the inconsistencies. However, when buying on an Internet site, you don't have that luxury. As a result, I am now asking for a money back inspection period on all my Internet purchases. I'd rather let a real one slip through my hands than to get stuck with an expensive fake.

As for time involved. My 3 hours of time was when I was physically working on the helmet. But, there is over 3 weeks of enhanced aging done on this too. So, even though my hands on time was small, the waiting time for the processes to work is much longer. Thankfully, most forgers are not that patient and will go with easier to spot techniques. However, it's the patient ones I'm worried about :pinch:

Edited by Bugme, 11 June 2009 - 08:19 AM.


#49 doyler

doyler
  • Members
    • Member ID: 342
  • 33,779 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Under The Bridge

Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:42 AM

Well done Scott and Blake.Thanks for all of your efforts.Very informative.

RD

#50 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:24 AM

This is the next fake project. This helmet was a really poorly done reproduction of an MP helmet of the 29th ID, thus, it was an ideal candidate for acid testing. Now, I realize the many people here on the forum think that acid is used extensively by forgers. However my results found that the M-1 is very durable and resistant to acids. I will admit to using a lot of different acids on this helmet BUT, I did not use Sulfuric Acid. Frankly that stuff is just too nasty to keep around my house and if the forger is using this type of acid... he's an idiot.

What I did find was that acids work slower for reproducing rust(patina) than the natural methods I used on other projects. So, for the forger, acid is not an option if your trying to move fast. Surprised? So was I. :think: Anyhow, I also found that acid's turn stainless steel rims... yellow. The pictures of this below will give a look of rust on the rim but, it really is a very easy to discern yellow and a dead give-away of a helmet that has been tampered with. First picture: The helmet that way that I got it a few weeks ago. :yucky:

Attached Images

  • Helmet_Test_Project_007.jpg



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users