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A fool and his money... fake USMC helmet covers


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#1 GI 44

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:23 PM

It never ceases to amaze me how some people are so willing to part with a a few hundred of their hard earned and yet not spend $30/$40 on good reference material. Or even talk to other collectors to gain invaluable knowledge at very little cost!

I guess USMC is becoming the new "Gucci" of the US collecting world. I didn't think that Flags of our Fathers was going to have the same affect on USMC collecting as Saving Private Ryan did for Army ETO. Given that there aren't as many "way cool battle scenes!".

But my case in point:
USMC fake cover 1
USMC fake cover 2

Both nice original M1s, but both fraudulent modern copies of USMC 1st pattern covers. Like I said, "A fool and his money..." http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/ermm.gif

Rant over. ;)

Chris

#2 Brig

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 07:49 PM

I don't think Flags of Our Fathers had anything to do with it. USMC has always been pretty popular

#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 09:00 PM

To help other members avoid foolish spendingm, can you provide some details on how to tell these are fake and how to tell the good from the bad.

thanks...

#4 Greg Robinson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 02:26 AM

I think a major "red flag" re fake covers should be the fact that nowadays covers are commonly available for sale. I clearly recall ten years ago when I was big in helmet collecting and just starting to collect USMC it me a while to find some of those covers. They were already expensive and fakes made out of shelter halfs and 1953 dated covers with markings subjected to ink dissolver were already a problem. Now just look on ebay and dealer's websites and there's always a few for sale....but are they legit? I think many, maybe most, are NOT.

Today, high grade reproductions are all over the place and so are outright fakes. It's definitely a situations where "buyer beware" should be rule #1. Personally, I would totally shun mint examples of the cover without foliage slits since such a cover would have the highest risk of being bogus.

#5 rayg

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 06:29 AM

I wouldn't be too sure the # 1 cover is fake. The photos are not that clear but it looks like it may have the correct "chain" stitching on the tan side which all originals have. Better photos would help. What indications do you notice that makes you think it's fake just for our knowledge/information? Ray

#6 General Apathy

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:57 AM

Regarding these covers as to being fake or not, my thoughts #1 is that the quality of the photographs are not really clear enough to get a good look at the cover, #2 I think he has made a bad choice by showing the tan side of the cover, I think the green side of the cover is what most people want to see.

If they are real I don't feel that the seller has made a good effort at displaying them, and I don't feel comfortable with trying to pass an opinion on what I have seen of them so far.

Cheers ( Lewis )

#7 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 09:18 AM

Does anyone have clear photos of real and fake they can post here? Also any details on the afore mentioned "chain stitching." What is that?

#8 Greg Robinson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 09:34 AM

Regarding these covers as to being fake or not, my thoughts #1 is that the quality of the photographs are not really clear enough to get a good look at the cover, #2 I think he has made a bad choice by showing the tan side of the cover, I think the green side of the cover is what most people want to see.

If they are real I don't feel that the seller has made a good effort at displaying them, and I don't feel comfortable with trying to pass an opinion on what I have seen of them so far.

Cheers ( Lewis )


Ken is absolutely correct. The pics are so poor and show so very little of the helmet that there is no way to evaluate the helmet. The cynic in me suggests that this was what the seller had in mind when he posted them. To become an informed buyer a bidder really doesn't need multiple views of the brownside of the camo cover.....and what about the M1 shell and liner itself? It's barely shown.

This being said, I have some issues with the item but based on those pics and the seller's description I can't make an informed appraisal.

#9 Letson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 09:41 AM

Ah, did seller #1 make a bad choice by not showing the green side- or did he only show it once, in profile, because there IS a "red-flag" on the green side of the cover which would give his piece away? I agree, most would love to see the green side of the cover; it's generally the best way to check the piece's originality. The seller knows what he has, and I believe he would have shown more pictures of the green side (like the six he showed of the tan side) if he didn't have anything to hide.

Just my two cents: I can't comment on the originality, but I can say I wouldn't buy it based on these pictures alone.

Ryan

Edited by Letson, 20 February 2007 - 09:43 AM.


#10 rayg

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:01 AM

Basically it's the brown side that can tell a lot more as it shows the correct type of stitching on the center stitch, (chain stitch) and the edge stitching.

Go here for a great discussion on the correct stitching. Pg #2 has a great close up shot of the chain stitching and saves me the trouble of taking photos of mine, Ray

http://www.wehrmacht...ad.php?t=196296

#11 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:17 AM

Basically it's the brown side that can tell a lot more as it shows the correct type of stitching on the center stitch, (chain stitch) and the edge stitching.

Go here for a great discussion on the correct stitching. Pg #2 has a great close up shot of the chain stitching and saves me the trouble of taking photos of mine, Ray

http://www.wehrmacht...ad.php?t=196296



For some silly reason, WAF does not allow non-members to see the photos on posts.

#12 rayg

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

Sorry, I forgot about that. I tried to copy the photo to post it here but it won't let me do that either, Ray

#13 doyler

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 07:56 PM

I know the fake covers are getting better and better.I know on the front seam the two rows of stitching should be perfectly in line with each other.The machines that stitched these covers had dual needles and the two rows stitching were done at the same time.Many of the fakes have stiching that doesnt match.When looking at the stitch pattern one row is higher than the other.They sew the seam stitches one row at a time hence the off set and stitches do not align.I believe one of the more well known companies who produce WW2 repro camo may now have one of the original machines to produce this pattern of stitch.Also keep in mind that with the recent movies dealing with the Marines(Wind Talkers,Flags of Our Fathers) we are bound to see a lot more camo covers surface.

Edited by doyler, 20 February 2007 - 08:01 PM.


#14 BIGJOE

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:23 AM

FAKE.jpg
ok guys..real or repro..i have got my hands on as many known fakes as i could get just so as not to get my pants pulled down on buying one as the real deal...i will post pics for you all asap so you all can see the faults that i have found..just for starters let me know what you think on this one..on e-bay as the real deal..you tell me from a picture..bigjoe

#15 GI 44

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:50 AM

Cover #1:
The wear and tear and dirt look very "applied". As soon as i saw, that raised alarm bells. Then as soon as he included a green side photo, that confirmed it. The colours are way off. Yes, I agree you get variation from manufacturing and then different environments will affect them differently, but those colours match one of the most well known repros. The "Windtalkers" one I think it's called. The nail in the coffin was, again, the applied grime. The flaps of the cover spend 99% of thier time between the pot and liner and therefore are not sujected to the same conditions as the rest of the cover. You will often see the inner flaps on used original covers retian a lot more of their original colour and are not faded out like the rest.

Cover# 2:
The minty is always one of the first bells to go off, but by no means does it right a cover off. The beach side is again the sellers side of choice. Again it was the green side that put me off and raised questions. I asked this seller for more photos of the stiching on the beach side seam and the edge. I'll post the pics when I get my internet buck up at home. But they confirmed my initial suspicions. The beach side didn't have chain stiching and the two rows are not equdisdent from each other the length of the seam. Also the thread had the shine of modern thread, not the flat look 40's thread had/has.

There are a few things that can help to pic the fakes from originals. Of all the well knowwn, most common repros I've seen, you can tell after an in hand inspection that they are fakes. It can be colours, fabric weave, stiching or the camo pattern itself. Because the colours on the repros always match up to originals better on beach than on green, the green side usually gives the best clues. Despite all the makers calims, I've yet to see a repro that the green side really does come close to that of an unissued original. ATF are the closest, but their is an error in the camo pattern that with out a doubt makes it easy to spot when you know where to look.

When I get my internet back at home I shall post pics to better illustrate my points, much easier than describing. Above all famililurisng yourself with the traits of the repros out there as well as the originals. A friend and big USMC collector made a point of picking up known fakes and repros for that purpose.

Regards

Chris

#16 craig_pickrall

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 04:46 AM

http://www.usmilitar...p?showtopic=969

The ones shown at the link are real and cover most patterns.

#17 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:00 AM

ok guys..real or repro..i have got my hands on as many known fakes as i could get just so as not to get my pants pulled down on buying one as the real deal...i will post pics for you all asap so you all can see the faults that i have found..just for starters let me know what you think on this one..on e-bay as the real deal..you tell me from a picture..bigjoe


Joe

It's either an original or a high grade reproduction just based on that pic

Greg

#18 BIGJOE

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 10:51 AM

hi greg.. its a repro from at the front..easy one to spot from the beach side cammo..follow the seam all the way up to the top of the cover in the pic..over to the right thereis a part of the pattern that looks like a pear ( fruit )/ rain-drop..now go above it and there is an extra spot pattern ..not on the real thing..

#19 BIGJOE

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 10:56 AM

FAKE.jpg
now this is not on any of my real nones but seems to pop up on all of the at the front cammo gear i have looked at..lloyd has a army cammo set and this also has the extra brown spot ..ww11 impressions cover does not have this nor does the so called wind talkers cover ..will post pics of all three hookey ones i have..joe

#20 Greg Robinson

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:39 AM

FAKE.jpg
now this is not on any of my real nones but seems to pop up on all of the at the front cammo gear i have looked at..lloyd has a army cammo set and this also has the extra brown spot ..ww11 impressions cover does not have this nor does the so called wind talkers cover ..will post pics of all three hookey ones i have..joe


HEY JOE

Is the repro helmet cover from At the Front made out of their "windtalker" fabric? If so it's got some incorrect colors in the brown side camo pattern. I bought a set of P42 cammies from ATF with the old fabric they used to have and I see NOTHING wrong with the camo pattern.
Greg

#21 GI 44

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:57 AM

All original 1st pattern covers ranging from mint to "salty".

Cover 1
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_01.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_beach.jpg

Cover 2
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_02.jpg

Cover 3
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_03.jpg

Cover 4
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_04.jpg

Cover 5
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_05.jpg

Overall notice how the green has a more mint green look to it. Even on cover #4 where use and the environment have taken their toll on the colours and camo, the flaps still retain most original colour due to my afore mentioned point about them being protected between the pot and liner.

Stitching:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_gn_stitch.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_bh_stitch.jpg

Green side stitching is two parallel rows of single thread. Beach side is the same but with chain stitch thread. Some of the better repros, even though the colour is usually off on the green side, still have chain stitching on the beach side, but they usually don't stay parallel and often go right to the edge of the seam. See the following pic I received from the seller of one of the ebay fakes.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/stitchtop.jpg

The best repros out there are At The Fronts. But as Joe has pointed out he discovered an error in their camo on the beach side of all there HBT camo. Notice to the right of the "pear drop" their is just base colour in the pic below. ATF's have an extra spot of camo colour there.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a289/tk1138/Militaria/1st_pt_beach_camo.jpg

Of course this is probably going to be corrected and make our lives that much harder. ;)

I'd say 60% to 70% of stated original covers on ebay are fakes/repros. There are still some legit ones out there. Most of mine have come from ebay.

Regards

Chris

#22 cbuehler

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:12 PM

I can see nothing wrong with "fake cover 1". I certainly have doubts about the story to with it however!

CB

#23 BIGJOE

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:40 PM

not sure greg .picked this one up from a local meet for a few $$..seller did get it from A.T.F .must be the new fabric..will post as many pics of all the covers ..do you have any fake/repro covers bud..?..would like to see as many as possable..but still cant beat having it infront of you.. i think they did use two types of fabric...joe

Edited by BIGJOE, 21 February 2007 - 12:40 PM.


#24 Greg Robinson

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:31 AM

not sure greg .picked this one up from a local meet for a few $$..seller did get it from A.T.F .must be the new fabric..will post as many pics of all the covers ..do you have any fake/repro covers bud..?..would like to see as many as possable..but still cant beat having it infront of you.. i think they did use two types of fabric...joe


Joe

The only repro helmet cover I own is made from a WW2 camo shelter half so the color and pattern are correct. It's so sloppily made I can't help but think it wasn't intended to be sold as original. But once mounted on a helmet it looks right on until you notice it's not herringbone twill.

Re the ATF covers, the "old" fabric was much closer to original than the pattern they call "windtalkers". There's a guy on your UK reenactors web site who showed me his "windtalkers" P42 cammies and his are much "greener" than mine. And the owner of ATF admits they have a color flaw on the brown side which is why he's selling them for less money than the "old" fabric which is no longer available. I wish I'd bought a helmet cover when I got my repro P42's to see how close to original it was.

Greg


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