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Opinions on Painted Rank


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I originally wasn't planning on posting this one but I wanted to get a second opinion on the paint. I got a new loupe today and was testing it out and noticed a fair bit of what looks like bubbling in the paint which gave me pause. I figured it wouldn't hurt to get a second set of eyes on this, any thoughts?

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last pics.

 

Hopefully should give an overall idea of what the paint looks like. Overall I think I like what I see but again it never hurts to get a second opinion.

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Unfortunately the presence of lead does not guarantee a time period as you can still buy linseed oil based lead white (as well as yellow) paint from high end art supply stores. I have a tube myself I used to restore a couple pots in my collection to painted insignia types I could never possibly afford and are so often faked I could never pull the trigger even if I did have thousands of bucks burning a hole in my pocket. And before anybody gets their pitchforks out the lids were in bad enough shape to justify a restoration and were matched with equally FUBAR liners, one even being a pot Josh Murray restored for me years before.

I'm not 100% certain on forum rules regarding outside links so PM if you'd like to know where I got (and one can still easily get) lead white paint and pigments for mixing your own.

Lead was and is merely a pigment, the binder (I believe that's the correct term, but I'm open to correction) is technically the base, and the overwhelming majority of paint from that era was linseed oil based.

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit”

-Henry Brooks Adams

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Regarding the look of your insignia, it gives me pause, personally. I haven't had the privilege of handling many confirmed originals in hand, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Based on your pictures it looks like somebody coated it with a rusty overcoat as the edges of it still appear to be bright white. Also the lack of micro-cracking sticks out to me.

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit”

-Henry Brooks Adams

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I really didnt want to sell it but I picked up this grouping and needed the money:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/336388-wwii-fighter-pilot-grouping-lt-william-cecil-usaaf-p-47-pilot-405th-fg-511-fs/

 

Also did anyone think that maybe it was touched up later by the Colonel - meaning post war but during his service.

If it is positive for lead than maybe it was touched up by the Colonel PRIOR to 1978.

That could explain lack of microcracking.

Just a thought.

 

Also I have seen instances where two different types of paint are combined and have a chemical reaction causing bubbling and discoloration:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/322508-45th-chaplain-helmet-thoughts-update/page-3

(one of my helmets)

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I left a reply to your PM but I'll post here for openness:

 

think there is a bit of confusion. The card is just to validate that the test was done correctly. The little dots on the card contain a small amount of lead and should always turn red/pink if the test was done correctly.

The swab itself is what shows the result of the test.

There's a little bit of pink on the edge of the swab which would indicate lead but I believe that's from the swab touching the OD.

I had tested another one of my helmets the other day and a significant portion of the swab was red/pink in that case.

Here's the swab from the other day, it's dried out a bit since it's been a few days since I did it so the colors aren't as bright but this is a positive result.

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I could be wrong, and for your sake I really hope I am, but I've been burned in the past on painted helmets so I didn't want to chance it after seeing the bubbles in the paint and the led test

 

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I am honestly not worried about it.

I have been collecting for a long time and I really like the helmet.

I struggled with the decision to sell it.

I sold it to you because I thought I was giving it a good home.

At this point send it back and you can have your money as long as your testing didnt damage it.

I agreed to the return immediately upon your request.

It just burns me that I had to pay ebay fees and shipping and go through this hassle.

I really hate selling on ebay.

But ce la vie.

 

Are you sure you did the test correctly?

You said you only gently rubbed the surface of the paint with the test.

 

Maybe Ill lead test it when I get it back just for posterity ; )

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I am honestly not worried about it.

I have been collecting for a long time and I really like the helmet.

I struggled with the decision to sell it.

I sold it to you because I thought I was giving it a good home.

At this point send it back and you can have your money as long as your testing didnt damage it.

I agreed to the return immediately upon your request.

It just burns me that I had to pay ebay fees and shipping and go through this hassle.

I really hate selling on ebay.

But ce la vie.

 

Are you sure you did the test correctly?

You said you only gently rubbed the surface of the paint with the test.

 

Maybe Ill lead test it when I get it back just for posterity ; )

 

I believe the test was done correctly, I did the same process on the other helmet that returned a positive result.

 

I'm really sorry that this is a hassle. I really hate to put you in this situation but I hope you understand my perspective.

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After lead test.

Not a good idea to do a lead test on white insignia.

Seems to me it contains lead.

Its a shame it was messed with.

Luckily it is hard to see unless you use a magnifying glass.

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I have had many helmets pass through my hands over the years as well as most of you, I see stenciled and hand painted insignia and ID information on helmets all the time. One thing I have noticed is the better the insignia looks it is most likely has been added at a later date. I had a swivel loop front seam that had a LT. bar barely visible in black paint and it was clearly an original insignia and made sense due to being a field helmet. Keep in mind that most officers that served in infantry units did not want to advertise for being a candidate for an enemy snipers notch on his stock. Many insignia's where actually removed or covered until peace time then most likely added. Its kinda funny how skeptical we are on the outer insignia on helmets but when it comes to writing inside we rarely question its authenticity..My Sunday morning sermon is now over!

 

R. Delaney

 

Semper Fidelis-

I Collect USMC WWII uniforms, gear, patches, insignia. medals and ribbons. I also sell and trade Militaria of primarily the U.S. Military.

 

R.Delaney

 

Semper Fidelis-

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