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Using Magnification To Aid In Helmet Authentication


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Do you have a link to where these are sold..,great looking tool!

You can find these on eBay, just do a search for: magnifiers.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Got the exact same one and it's excellent , great pick up

"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

 

Always looking for ww2 USMC items, helmets and any camo'd items

 

 

"thinking outside of the box"

 

New website

 

https://combatusedmilitaria.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

Rick, I just picked up the exact same magnifier from Amazon and it's awesome! You can see micro cracking as clear as day. Only tricky part is taking a photo through that loupe.

 

Here is an example of my original MP helmet magnified as a model for what to look for

 

Pat

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Hello

 

Very interesting thread...

 

I agree with the high % of age cracking when paint is vintage

 

I have noticed that is more present and noticeable in white paints. Others does not crack so evident

 

Here you have the visible age cracking in the white paint but not so noticeable in the red paint on this medical helmet where cracking seems to be caused by the white pain coat t under the red one

 

Have also a 90th Div with similar evidences.

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I believe that's because vintage white paint contains lead carbonate which, over time, produces those distinct geometric cracking patterns. When exposed to the elements, lead carbonate oxidizes over time and forms that yellow color you see on old white paint.

 

Other factors to take into consideration for cracking is that some paints just don't adhere to each other and crack/flake easily afterwards.

 

Here's a pretty cool WWII pic of a US medic white cracking paint on his helmet, it was already a problem back in those days

 

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  • 5 months later...

Not just helmets..magnified lighted loupes are useful for ALL sorts of things..a solid and wise thing to have in my humble opinion..

 

 

 

*SEMPER FORTIS*

USN '92-'96 USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CVN-73

HONOR*COURAGE*COMMITMENT

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  • 1 year later...

I wanted to throw out another recommendation for anyone looking for something to view the paint on their helmets. I just picked up a handheld USB microscope called the Carson zPix 300 and so far it has really met my needs. It's a bit on the higher powered side (I think the minimum magnification is based on your monitor size) and won't replace lower magnification tools, but if you want an easy way to get a reasonable closeups of the paint I've found that this does the trick. The camera quality is not bad for the price (about $50 at the time of writing this) but it's really easy to set up and use and it has zoom, focus, and a button for snapping pictures. I've tried using one of the cheaper options (amazon's recommended one) for a USB microscope and it did not work nearly as well. I wouldn't expect to get professional quality pictures out of it, but it makes it really easy to see details in the paint on your monitor.

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  • 8 months later...
On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2015 at 5:54 PM, Bugme said:

While carrying a jewelers loupe with you is going to save you a ton of money when purchasing, for a little extra comfort you can check it out with an electronic magnifier when you get home with 500X magnification which couples with your computer! These guys go for less than $50.

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JUST ORDERED ONE (500X) OFF EBAY.

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Great post..But just throwing this out...Would the paints used today age the same way. In other words would a helmet painted today show the same type aging etc?

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On 7/16/2020 at 4:05 AM, rayg said:

Great post..But just throwing this out...Would the paints used today age the same way. In other words would a helmet painted today show the same type aging etc?

Paints in the 60's till today are acrylics or the more modern urethanes. Lacquers and enamels, which were all that was available in WWI, WWII & KW, are much more prone to shrinkage, cracking and crazing. So, to answer your question: No.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/16/2020 at 5:01 PM, Bugme said:

Paints in the 60's till today are acrylics or the more modern urethanes. Lacquers and enamels which were all that was available in WWI, WWII & KW are much more prone to shrinkage, cracking and crazing. So, to answer your question: No.


spot on Scott 

 

great thread 

"Rise and rise again until lambs become lions."

 

Always looking for ww2 USMC items, helmets and any camo'd items

 

 

"thinking outside of the box"

 

New website

 

https://combatusedmilitaria.com

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Be careful not to overly simplify this. Alkyd enamel paints are still readily available. Oil- based vs water-based test would be only a very basic, front-end, checkoff for me. And I can't imagine anyone who would mix up urethane to do pin striping or any other small job like helmet insignias unless out of pure necessity - hardly the mentality needed to pass muster IMO.

It's similar to those patch guys who ask, "Does it glow?" when non-glowing thread is, in my experience, just as common as glowing thread - even in the average modern fabric store. The obvious glowing monofilament on post-war merrowed-edge patches is easy to see with the naked eye but that is a different topic.

Unless someone is silly enough to fake helmet insignia with latex paint or catalyzed paint that would take decades to attempt to weather and age, I'm thinking the "modern" paints aren't really a threat.

I'm getting one of these microscope thingies!

 

Dave

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7 hours ago, dmar836 said:

Be careful not to overly simplify this. Alkyd enamel paints are still readily available. Oil- based vs water-based test would be only a very basic, front-end, checkoff for me. And I can't imagine anyone who would mix up urethane to do pin striping or any other small job like helmet insignias unless out of pure necessity - hardly the mentality needed to pass muster IMO.

It's similar to those patch guys who ask, "Does it glow?" when non-glowing thread is, in my experience, just as common as glowing thread - even in the average modern fabric store. The obvious glowing monofilament on post-war merrowed-edge patches is easy to see with the naked eye but that is a different topic.

Unless someone is silly enough to fake helmet insignia with latex paint or catalyzed paint that would take decades to attempt to weather and age, I'm thinking the "modern" paints aren't really a threat.

I'm getting one of these microscope thingies!

 

Dave

Be careful not to speak too soon. While these paints are available, how do you age them to micro-crack them? Heat? Nope that is easily discerned. Chemicals? Nope, that one is easy to pick up too. Then you have to find a way to get a natural patina under your crazed paint, do you know how to do this? Me neither.  Natural aging? Sure, but a faker would have wait 50 years to see this happen and that is hardly a great business model. The point here is that while magnification is not the 100% answer, coupling it with all the other inspection techniques and simple experience can give a collector much more confidence. 

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Agreed but there are chemicals for aging and cracking paint. Certainly not the realm of those who would use the modern paints that would "resist" this.

Dave

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44 minutes ago, dmar836 said:

Agreed but there are chemicals for aging and cracking paint. Certainly not the realm of those who would use the modern paints that would "resist" this.

Dave

I addressed the chemicals in my first response. Chemicals are easily spotted by most collectors.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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