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Restoring a tatty APH5A, what can I do?

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I recently bought an APH5A helmet with dual Ramshorn visor which had seen better days. I'd like to tidy it up a bit, but first need to figure out what parts it should have fitted so I can start the search.


It's a white helmet but where it's flaked of it is gold underneath. The visor cover is white plastic and hasn't been painted, and has a 21st TFTS sticker on the top. There is a label on the back of the helmet which has the following on it, with the size and date in faded ink:




CSC NO. 20

DATE: 25 NOV 1969



There are two holes on the ears with cupped screws on the outside and squared spacer nuts, which do not fit through the holes. Looking at the inside of the ears it appears that there are filled holes which look like the patterns I've seen for leather snap tabs. There are 3 holes on the back at the bottom edge, one offset in the middle which I guess is for the wiring for the earcups, and the others to either side which I assume is for a nape strap.


The inside of the ears have webbing, with a white plastic disc on the outside and a screw though the centre of the webbing into a metal flat disc nut to retain it. One side is missing the webbing cord, the other has a broken cord.


Inside both sides above the earcup webbing the are tiny printed stamps with the word ANGEL. Not sure if this has any relevance to its active history, or had been added more recently.


The styrene liners are loose and when removed it looks like they're probably replacements although still very old, there is no glue damage on the outside faces but the inside of the helmet looks to have at least 3 different glue applications and has a little thin strip of the original styrene in what looks to be the first glue layer. The most recent glue is soft, but the original glue layer is brown and rock hard.


I guess my first questions are where this helmet would have been used, and why does it have webbing in the ears? All the photos I've seen of APH helmets look to have the earcups mounted onto the helmet with just a screw, and not with a 4 armed webbing strap.


Also would this originally have had leather mask snaps, or do the filled resin hole patterns suggest a later bayonet fitting? I haven't found any photos of the stud/screw mounting of any of the various fittings so have nothing to compare to. If it would originally have had a mask I'd like to add one.


Any help will be greatly appreciated.




DanPosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image


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Guess I should have done research before my first impulse buy. It wasn't till this week that I thought I'd look at what I can do to get it back to its original look till that I noticed all the filled holes. I might still try to tidy it up a bit, any idea what earcups and chin strap it would have had fitted? Are the screws that look to be for a chin strap the right ones? Would it maybe have had leather mask tabs originally that were removed and had the holes filled before it was repainted?


If the unit sticker doesn't go with it I'll take it off, it came with it on but it's not lined up very well and isn't completely flat so it wouldn't bother me if it wasn't there. I was hoping to get my first jet fighter helmet on my shelf but looks like the auction title was misleading. Next time I'll spend some time doing some checking and not get carried away.




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Decided I'm going to strip the white paint of as it's flaking badly anyway, and the gold underneath looks to be in better condition. The 6 filled in holes were clearly open when it was gold as the gold paint isn't over the filler, and would have been filled before the white paint was added. The white paint isn't under the rubber edge strip, so it wasn't stripped down fully before painting white. The visor cover is white though, so I'll have to either paint that a reasonably close gold match, or go with a fresh white topcoat on the shell.


I'm tempted to either go with APH5 leather tabs for mask, or maybe look for a cheap pair of old Sierra or Gentex bayonet receivers. I've got a 1950s RAF MS22001 (A-13A) mask that has a pair of snaps on the left side and a clip on the right, so if I go with leather tabs I might try to get a hook for the right side so I can use this mask as a shoe-in. Otherwise I might try to get some bayonets and a US style MS22001 harness to fit.


I know this is going to end up as a bit of an APH5 style frankenstein helmet, but given how little there is to it right now I'd prefer to have it looking ok to sit on my shelf rather than end up in a box somewhere.


Any ideas on what the snap sizes are on the old APH5 tabs? Or am I looking for something else to fit my RAF mask? Alternatively where to find cheapish bayonets and receivers, being in the UK shipping from the sites I've found so far is pretty hefty.




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