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Thread: British WW2 Mk 2 Helmet - Restore or leave as is?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Charlie303's Avatar
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    British WW2 Mk 2 Helmet - Restore or leave as is?

    This is a Helmet I've had since I was young... and not very well cared for .

    It's got very tatty green paint, the liners shot and I can't see who the maker is. So this morning I decided to strip it. But, I thought I'd see if there were any old markings on it first.

    Gentle rubbing with wet & dry revealed sand coloured paint and then dark brown/khaki colour, probably the first coat.​



    But what to do next? There's a bit of history here. It was probably used in North Africa, hence the yellow sand colour, then repainted green (Normandy?).

    Do I leave it as it is?

    Rub it down some more and see what else is there - then leave it?



    Rub it down, photographing each stage, and repaint it. Probably sand colour?

    What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Charlie
    Last edited by Charlie303; 10-27-2015 at 11:09 AM. Reason: added pic

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Hate to ruin the romance Charlie, but I doubt that one saw service. It's just too good of shape. The parts were probably pilfered for another and that one may have been destined for scrap. The color, well who knows? There's not one dent or nick in it...how could it have done any time? Regardless, you've started now so you're committed. Might as well restore it to as new.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Try polishing with wax furniture polish.

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    Really Senior Member Paul S.'s Avatar
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    The advice of the village idiot (that would be me) is to do what it is you want since it is yours and you paid for it.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    The advice about using Wax Furniture Polish to clean the surface was given to me years ago by a dealer in vintage tin plate toys and the impression that I got at the time is that this was a common practice in the trade. Using this polish wont damage any remaining surface finish and will also clean and seal the surface. I have found using this method works well and avoids damage.

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    Senior Member Charlie303's Avatar
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    Having started, I decided to carry on removing the paint.



    Initially I was disappointed. There were no manufacturer's marks or date, as is usual with Britishicon Mk 2 helmets, just three holes stamped in the brim, which I assumed was a bit of modification. However a search took me to this very useful site;

    Mk.II - South Africa - The Brodie Helmet and its derivatives

    Inside the wrecked liner is stamped 'Jager Rand 1943', which I'd been confused by as (i) it was hard to read and (ii) didn't fit in with my list of known British Mk 2 helmet manufacturers. Hardly surprising really.

    I'm going to try to repair the liner and I'll repaint the helmet in Desert paint.

    Thanks everybody for the advice so far. I'll post some pics when its finished.

    Charlie
    Last edited by Charlie303; 11-01-2015 at 09:39 AM.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    The holes in the brim of the Brodie helmet often indicate that the helmet was used by the Auxiliary/National Fire service (A.F.S./N.F.S.). This is because the helmet which was used for fire fighting purposes had a kind of heat shield/skirt on the rear to give the wearers neck some protection from the heat of the fire and, perhaps, also some impact protection. I'm not sure of what material this shield was made of only that it was flexible but it could have been leather or a material containing asbestos? If you look at photos of Britishicon fire fighters in WW2 wearing the Brodie style helmet you can often see this heat/impact protection skirt attached to the rear of the helmet. I don't know if the helmet worn by service fire fighters also had this skirt or if it was just civilian fire fighters.

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    Senior Member Charlie303's Avatar
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    Restored South African helmet

    Finally finished restoring the South African MkII 'Brodie' helmet. I used powdered cork in a hand painted base coat, then 2 sprayed coats of SoF desert/sand paint. The cork is quite rough in places, but these SA helmets supposedly had quite a rough finish, possibly sand in the paint. Looks a bit clean though. The liner repaired quite well.

    Last edited by Charlie303; 11-16-2015 at 01:24 PM.

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    Harlan (Deceased)'s Avatar
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    Normally I'd say not to restore, but in this case I think you did a great job!

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