Catching The Fakes Guide - Insignias And Patina
Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:33 AM
Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:19 PM
The before and after pictures:
Edited by Bugme, 26 May 2009 - 04:42 PM.
Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:02 AM
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.
Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:29 PM
Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:06 AM
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.
Edited by Bugme, 28 May 2009 - 08:18 AM.
Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:27 AM
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!
Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:53 AM
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.
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.
Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:00 AM
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.
Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:29 AM.
Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:05 AM
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
Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:07 AM.
Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:14 AM
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.
Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:32 AM.
Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:17 AM
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.
Posted 29 May 2009 - 09:24 AM
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
Edited by Blake_E, 29 May 2009 - 09:33 AM.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:46 AM
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! 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.
Edited by Bugme, 11 June 2009 - 06:46 AM.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:50 AM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:53 AM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:55 AM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:06 AM
Thanks Craig for your valuable help. This helmet is now done and is on it's way back home to you.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:38 AM
Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:09 AM
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.
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:
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.
Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:42 AM
Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:24 AM
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:
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