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Blake_E

Catching The Fakes Guide - Insignias And Patina

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Thanks Bugme! It's this critical information that makes this board priceless!

 

-Ski


In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired

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Next, you'll see an area around a stainless steel rim. The cork and the paint are new on this reproduction. I decided to try aging the cork and the area at the rim. I guess I was seeing how far you could go in a deception if you wanted to cover every angle. To me, this procedure is so good, it even shocked me as to what I ended up with. :o

 

The before and after pictures:

29th_ID_helmet_008.jpg

Helmet_Test_Project_005.jpg


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

 

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.

 

RD


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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I think that this is needed and long overdue. Where this information came from and what we're trying to do here is somewhat hindered, because to truly tell everyone how this aging can be spotted would also cause us to reveal how it was done. A virtual "Catch-22". So, we will give you as much help as we can without sacrificing the integrity of what we're trying to accomplish here.

 

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.

 

Caveat Emptor!


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Yep, agree with that 100percent mate, it's alot of these upper end forgeries that are getting very very good and scarily subtle. And not many people are doing it very convincingly (at the moment), so as long as we get the info out, here's hoping it will stay that way.

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!


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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Here's some more combo shots for comparison. I picked a very similar patina for this comparison, just to demonstrate how subtle the differences can get. At a glance, they look very very similar. Insignia aside, one could almost be mistaken for thinking that they are both genuine articles, but remember, only the one on the right is 60+years old. The left example is freshly painted, and up until a fortnight ago, was in perfect condition. Let's take a look at some more detections

 

post-3398-1243615160.jpg

post-3398-1243615173.jpg

 

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.

 

post-3398-1243615184.jpg

 

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.

 

post-3398-1243615193.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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But don't just check the outside, flip it over and check the inside aswell. Here we can see the dead giveaway in the 2nd picture, of the spray on patina, versus the original even darkness below

 

post-3398-1243616177.jpg

post-3398-1243616091.jpg

 

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.

post-3398-1243616195.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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Versus the even-ness and matching cork wear, to an absolute T, of the original.

 

post-3398-1243616539.jpg

 

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

 

post-3398-1243616548.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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Again, on the underside of the genuine article, nicely unevenly flaked rim paint, no scratches or rub marks whatsoever

 

post-3398-1243617031.jpg

 

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.

post-3398-1243617052.jpg

post-3398-1243617062.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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Bail side included, don't overlook the fine details!

post-3398-1243617318.jpg

 

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.

 

post-3398-1243617352.jpg

post-3398-1243617344.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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See it yet? How about now?

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

post-3398-1243617511.jpg

post-3398-1243617517.jpg


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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OK, I'm finished with this one so, here's the final installment of this particular helmet.

 

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! :o 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.

Helmet_Test_Project_2_020.jpg


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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OK, here's the before shot of the helmet donated to this project by craig_pickrall.

Helmet_Test_Project_2_001.jpg


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

Helmet_Test_Project_2_002.jpg


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

Helmet_Test_Project_2_003.jpg


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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After shot as a faker would show it on eBay: Front and Right

Helmet_Test_Project_2_015.jpg


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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After shot: Front and left.

Helmet_Test_Project_2_016.jpg


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

Helmet_Test_Project_2_023.jpg


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

Helmet_Test_Project_2_019.jpg


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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One last note: This helmet was faked so that I could show you how helmet forgery's are done. I used techniques that forgers use. My total working time investment in this helmet was less than three hours... and I'm an amateur! I think you'd all agree that had I used an original WWII front seamed fixed loop helmet, it would have been very easy to pull down over $1000.00 with this helmet as a forgery. Instead we used a rear seam, swivel loop, post war repainted helmet as our test project.

 

Thanks Craig for your valuable help. This helmet is now done and is on it's way back home to you.


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


Visit my website http://www.m1helmetdepot.com/ for Nice M-1 helmets and parts

 

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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:

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.

 

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:


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Well done Scott and Blake.Thanks for all of your efforts.Very informative.

 

RD


In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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This is the next fake project. This helmet was a really poorly done reproduction of an MP helmet of the 29th ID, thus, it was an ideal candidate for acid testing. Now, I realize the many people here on the forum think that acid is used extensively by forgers. However my results found that the M-1 is very durable and resistant to acids. I will admit to using a lot of different acids on this helmet BUT, I did not use Sulfuric Acid. Frankly that stuff is just too nasty to keep around my house and if the forger is using this type of acid... he's an idiot.

 

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:

Helmet_Test_Project_007.jpg


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