Tracking the fakes #5

Oh never a dull moment when you collect militaria. Plenty of rubbish to go through each time one searches ‘German helmet’ on Google.

This time I got inspired to do another episode of tracking the fakes when someone mentioned Spree Militaria to me. It’s a site I remembered but not frequent. Now I know why.

Sometimes helmets are so ridicously bad that I am amazed someone takes the trouble to photograph them.

Spree Militaria

Here we go a camouflaged Quist DD Kriegsmarine helmet , this would be a top shelf item in anyone’s collection… If it was authentic… which this one is not.

Because Quist did not produce Kriegsmarine M35’s , because the decals are fake and because the paintjob is so badly done. Still Spree dares to ask 1995 euros for it.

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The Luftwaffe helmets on his site are of similar quality bearing the ‘easy fake’ Luftwaffe decal. Mein gott , it is terrible. I would not buy a button from that website.

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LION GATE arms and armour

Definitely not a website specialised in selling German helmets but how hard can it be to have one German helmet checked out ?

This Red cross is a total fantasy piece with fantasy decals. It’s a black Feuerschutz helmet that has been upgraded to something more special in order to ask more $$$. They ask 1065 USD !

Ebay and other online Auctions

I always advise new or inexperienced collectors to avoid auction sites as it can end in disaster easily. Auction houses like to present everything with big words , posh representations and you really feel that what you are bidding for will be exactly as they describe. Unfortunately a lot of items are misrepresented or completely fake. Of course there are good helmets there but you need to be able to filter them out. Bad purchases are often not refunded!

One helmet to be extremely wary about is the cloth / canvas / wire camo. These helmets are typical collector traps. Sure German soldiers are observed wearing these type of camo’s but the truth of the matter is extremely few have survived the war and they are easy to fake.

The helmet below recently was on auction and sold for over 4000 euros. The helmet was reviewed one the Wehrmacht awards forum and quite quickly (and justly) dismissed as a fake.

M42 helmet models (especially those with no decals) are a prime target for fakers so when coming across camo’s , red cross painted helmets , wire camo or any other M42 with something that seems rare and unique be very careful.

This helmet on ebay is a good example of a fake camo M42. The supposed Luftwaffe factory color that we see on the inside is clearly not the correct color. The extensive orange oxidation is also a give away as is the reproduction liner. On the exterior again the orange oxidation is an issue.

Weitze

Weitze , as usual mixes good with ridiculously bad.

Watch out for this Dutch Luftwaffe flakhelfer , it’s the “easy fake” Luftwaffe eagle combo with a fake Hitlerjugend diamond. A combination which is pure fantasy.

Also watch out for Heer helmets being advertised as Kriegsmarine. This is clearly a half toned Heer decal (looks like and Ed Strache decal). So this one is a completely authentic helmet , just not a Kriegsmarine.

Here another one , clearly not Kriegsmarine and there are many more.

Stahlhelme der Kriegsmarine sind nur sehr selten zu finden quoting Weitze 🙂

The transitional Polizei with fake decals I presented in an earlier episode of detecting the fakes is still in his inventory.

OAKLEAF MILITARIA

Arguably one of the dealers I found the most absurd fake helmets over the past 15 years , myself and many other members posted many topics on this dealer throughout the years. You can read one here (remember to register) : here

The helmet below is for sale today on his website for over 4K USD. It seems the canvas wire crew has been hard at work but still a totally unconvincing helmet.

JC MILITARIA

The final bad boy to add to this blog. First of all this dealer his photos are the worst I have seen which makes it even for me tricky to detect the fakes.

Take a look at this M42 NS Kriegsmarine helmet (NS did not produce Kriegsmarine helmets).

Fake Bigfoot decal and post war paintjob.

This horrible fake red cross helmet is marked as sold (poor buyer) also comes with a fake Bigfoot decal and a fake tricolor. Alarm bells should ring when you come across a Heer or Luftwaffe DD M40.

Fantasy ! (fake adler and also a combination of paint color and eagle to the front that is not commonly observed)

That’s all for now folks. Appreciate your comments and have a great sunday.

Regards,

Frank

Tracking the fakes #4

Helmet upgrading

It’s a practice that we can trace back to the earliest collectors. Helmets were made to fit certain examples missing on the shelf. Often camouflage paint and wire were added. M42 no decal helmets were subjected to become SS helmets or camo helmets.

With helmet prices going up over the decades upgrading became even more interesting and lately with interests in wire camo’s and medic helmets peeking we see a great increase in examples available for purchase. This is the market following the money which is unusual because only woodwork finds add to the known pool of helmets and even 10 years ago a medic helmet or a wire camo helmet were considered rare. A Normandy or 2 color camo helmet with wire was considered ultra rare.

Check out this wire helmet for sale on ebay , period or upgrade ?

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It’s not !

Below the same helmet made more interesting for collectors with adding wire camouflage. The price has tripled…

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It also happens with other kinds of helmet attachments. The helmet below has a strap but switched from the lower helmet to the upper helmet and of course no mention of it being swapped on the dealer site.

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Now let’s see what other bad stuff has turned up online lately.

IMCS militaria sells a hard to upgrade fake

Luftwaffe M42 SD Helmet
Fantastic Luftwaffe M42 SD helmet in near mint condition. Maker marking is hard to see but it must be “CKL” which is “Eisenhuttenwerke Thale” in steelpot size “66” The steelpot has 99% of its original Luftwaffe camo paint and a 100% Luftwaffe decal.
The helmet is complete with its original liner (never being removed) and its original leather combat helmet strap. Overal a fantastic Luftwaffe helmet. Hard to upgrade!!!

Too bad to see this nice no decal CKL with this ‘easy fake’ Luftwaffe adler.

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Militaria relics , quote themselves as the reliable Militaria site

Unfortunately this NS SS helmet is bogus as NS did not produce SS helmets.

2350 euros , I think not.

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EPIC artefacts

This is a no brainer , a good firefighter helmet with sticker like fakes.  Come on guys , really ?

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REICH RELICS

A name that sounds like it must have some decent inventory , the opposite is true. The owner would not recognize a German helmet even if he was somehow catapulted back to Nazi Germany. That’s how utterly terrible his inventory is.

Product Description , I added comments between brackets !

Very nice Kriegsmarine model 42 single decal helmet. Nice gold tone eagle decal (FAKE STICKER) for Kriegsmarine. Helmet retains most all of it’s finish. (POST WAR PAINT)  Decal is about 90% intact. Liner (FAKE) is nice and bit brittle. (FAKE) Chin strap is marked. Helmet shell is marked CKL64 and 4730. (NO DECAL HELMET) I can’t make out the liner size stamp, but approx. size 58. Overall a fine helmet in very fine++ condition. (FOR A RE-ENACTOR).

1000 USD  (150 USD)

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Some more duds on this website.

FAKERELICS

SPANDAU MILITARIA

I found this website by accident while searching for TENO helmet examples. (while writing this and looking at their inventory I realised that these guys featured in one of my previous articles of Tracking the fakes).

Their “about us” make it seems as if they know what they are doing but looking at their helmet inventory they are clearly clueless.

About Us

The concept is simple. All of the items offered here are from private Collections and are owned by Collectors. We sell them on behalf of the Collector thereby maximising the Collectors return on investment, rather than the Collector attempting to sell the item to a Dealer at a generally lower price. As well as making our living in this business we are avid collectors with over 100 years of collecting experience between us covering all areas including Antique and Deactivated Weapons, Napoleonic, Victorian, WW1 and WW2 Militaria including 3rd Reich Items.

Let’s start easy with a Luftschutz beaded shell that got upgrade with a fake Luftwaffe adler. It only costs 200 GBP.

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The next one is… well it must be some sort of joke. This feuerschutz helmet received two nasty looking fake decals and costs 1500 GBP !

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They also sold this other upgraded feuerschutz helmet with a fake TENO decal.

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WEBSITES FOR MILITARIA TOURISTS

There is so much Low quality replica Third Reich stuff for sale it is a crime. Websites like Reich relics and Spandau are made in a way that as a total newbie you are drawn in by their self proclaimed expertise.

When browsing their websites it’s like you have found the holy grail when in fact they are showing a fata morgana. Nothing is what it seems in these shops and you will be lucky to walk out with something that will be worth something a month later.

We really need to spread the word about these shops. Every new collector that spends his money there is a collector lost when he realises he bought junk.

It’s the same like those antique shops in Bulgaria that are filled with poor swastika engraved cigarette cases , flasks and watches. You walk in and you think wow I’m lucky I’m first in this shop. Your heart beats faster and you cash out and once home you review your treasures , do some research and discover it is all junk.

QUALITY OF OFFERINGS IS INCREASING

To end on a good note , I do see some online dealers that appear to have cleared out the fakes from their inventory. When I started to buy helmets online myself back in 2004 it was generally accepted that dealers had mixed inventories (good and bad mixed up).

The popularity of online forums however brought this practice much more into the limelight and dealers not paying attention to what they were selling (let’s be gentle) basically got repeated bad feedback.

Once you have the “crook label” it is hard to shake it off again.

I’m sure it has made an impact on some to rethink their business model. (or to at least keep the helmet inventory clean because the helmet collector community has a big online presence).

Persistence pays off and so does sticking together as a community. If you haven’t joined yet I can recommend signing up at one of the forums here.

Have a great sunday.

Frank

1940 Dated Double decal Luftwaffe helmets

It must seem like a strange subject title. Usually we do not associate the term “Double decal” with 1940 unless we are talking about Polizei or SS helmets.

For collectors (myself included ) 1940 is the year that double decalled Wehrmacht helmets died.

But I bought last sunday on a fair in Holland a nice double decal Luftwaffe helmet… with a 1940 dated liner band and 40 dated rivets. A fellow collector shared the print out of my lot number list. I knew that this particular number was in there. Number 4780. Maker code Q 66.

I just wanted to see if the steel liner was recorded on other examples for this lot number but also on lot numbers surrounding this one.  … It was… and also on Double decal Luftwaffe helmets.

I will first show the helmet and continue below.

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What I usually do when I add a new helmet to my collection is look for helmets with a similar lot number or with lot numbers close by.

The best source for finding helmets corresponding to numbers in my Lot numbers list is the German Helmet Walhalla forum. Just put the lot number in the search box.

It gave me this nice camouflage helmet to compare with. Same 4780 number, steel liner band.

Photos courtesy of Anders L

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The other one I found came as a little bit of a surprise because it’s one I used to own but had forgotten about ! Lot number 4768 is another 1940 dated DD Luftwaffe.

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If you look at Quist lot numbers from low to high , you expect the logic to be low = early , high is late. But if you look at the Quist M35 lot numbers the liner band dates jump around and it is hard to see a logic in them.

Here’s just a small sample that shows how chaotic Quist is.

M35 2922 Q 66 DD Polizei alu liner
M35 3053 Q 62 DD Heer alu liner
M35 3058 Q 64 DD Heer alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 3061 Q 62 SD Heer – reissue alu reinforced liner
M35 3168 Q 64 DD SS alu reinforced liner
M35 3168 Q 64 DD LW alu liner 1937
M35 3173 Q 64 DD Heer alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 3173 Q 64 DD SS alu reinforced liner
M35 3175 Q 62 DD LW alu reinforced liner
M35 3200 Q 64 DD LW alu liner 1937
M35 3212 Q 64 SD Heer alu liner
M35 3226 Q 64 DD LW alu reinforced liner
M35 3233 Q 64 DD Heer alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 3233 Q 64 SD SS alu reinforced liner
M35 3233 Q 64 DD SS alu reinforced liner
M35 3301 Q 66 SD Heer alu liner 1937
M35 3478 Q 62 DD Polizei – reissue alu reinforced liner
M35 3478 Q 62 DD Polizei – reissue alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 3478 Q 62 DD Polizei – reissue steel liner 1940

When we look further down we come across an interesting batch of lot numbers , number 21441. The first one is also in my collection and it has the same brand of 1940 dated rivets. Yes it is a factory single decal reissue but look at the others , they are DD’s.

M35 21441 Q 68 SD LW – reissue alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 21441 Q 68 DD LW alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 21441 Q 68 DD LW alu reinforced liner 1939
M35 21441 Q 68 DD LW alu reinforced liner
M35 21441 Q 68 DD LW alu reinforced liner
M35 21441 Q 68 DD LW steel liner 1940
M35 21446 Q 68 DD LW steel liner 1940

Here’s my SD reissue example :

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And here another helmet of lot 21441 as a DD Luftwaffe.  Note the round cornered D rings which indicates a 1940 dated liner band.

Photos courtesy of C. Roelens.

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You can find more detailed photos of this helmet on the German Helmet Walhalla forum if you click here.

It’s clear from the examples provided (and there are many more) that Quist in 1940 was still assembling Double decal Luftwaffe helmets. So far I have not observed a similar practice with the other factories.

It will I hope make us look with a more open mind when we come across a 1940 steel (or aluminium) liner band in an M35 DD Luftwaffe by Quist.

Have a great sunday , your comments are appreciated.

Happy hunting,

Frank

Show me the decal !

Those that know me from the forums know that I all too often complain about the lack of decal photos when people post their camo helmets for review.

Camo helmets always have a wow factor when they are being posted , even bad ones. That means that some post war painted schemes are so good that we need to look better at the things we are familiar with.

  • Base paint , can be viewed best inside of the helmet.
  • Decal , often hidden but indications of it being there should be visible upon close inspection. Here the USB microscope can be of great help.

M35 Reissue helmets with overpainted decals are very good study objects if you want to see how paint and decals react to each other.

Here are some examples (You can see more of these helmets on the reissued Heer helmets page)

A fully overpainted DD Heer.

A single decal ex DD Heer

RonR’s EF SD Heer, paint is nicely cracked over the decal.

Reissued helmets tell us that in most cases even if completely overpainted we can see the decals ergo the same holds true for helmets painted with camouflage colors.

HOWEVER It does not automatically mean that all helmets that do not show any decals are fake. A helmet should still be judged by its own merrit but the presence of decals  helps in fascilitating the authentication process.

THE NECESSITY TO LOOK HARDER

A couple of months ago a proud collector showed his new Luftwaffe camo helmet on the warrelics forum. Decal partially hidden under the paint.

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Upon closer inspection I called it as a fake decal. If you read my previous article on the quality of Luftwaffe fake decals you know that they are very flawed and here the tiny bit that we see reveals a fake decal.

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Example of a similar fake eagle.

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This example illustrates better than words why we need to take decals into account when looking at camo helmets. It’s not just the look, the paint , the wear. If the decal is fake the paint and the wear no longer comes into play.

For those interested in reading the entire discussion you can find it HERE.

Before we move to the next chapter , here’s another example that made it to a dealer website 5 years ago.

3 things to take away from this example.

  1. Fake camo build on an Original shell (remember this is already 5 years ago)
  2. They did a convincing job on the camo
  3. The decal is the very well known ‘easy fake’.

M1942-Luftwaffe-German-Helmet-2636-leftM1942-Luftwaffe-German-Helmet-2636-decalM1942-Luftwaffe-German-Helmet-2636-liner

AUTHENTIC EXAMPLES : DEEP DIVE WITH THE USB MICROSCOPE

What can this tool do for us collectors when looking at overpainted decals ? Simple.  If enough of the decal is left it can tell us if the decal under the paint is real. It requires scanning the decal area meticulously but what is also very important one needs to know what to look at.

A tan DAK painted / Mediterranean DD Luftwaffe helmet with overpainted decals. Scanning the decal area reveals enough of the Luftwaffe eagle to make a positive determination. The creamy white is typical for Luftwaffe decals and black print lines are also visible. Typical age cracks are showing nicely. The tricolor turns up something interesting as it appears to have been covered with paint before the camo was applied.

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Here’s an Authentic M40 NS Heer tricolor camo. Damaged decal , the outline of the decal is visible even where completely overpainted. Only 200 zoom photos tell the story. The pulver , the print line that is visible and how the decal is damaged adds all up.

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If you like to see one more example please check out the photos I added to the Tools for modern collectors page.

AVOID BEING TAKING OFF GUARD

So the glitter and glamour aside you have to realise that the only thing that can help us is by adding things up and to include the decal into the equation if at all possible.

If traces of the decal are visible do not discard it and have a better look.

Have a nice sunday evening and thank you for your continued support of GHV. Feel free to leave a comment.

Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking the fakes #3

My little birds pointed me again towards many websites with fake helmets. Usually these helmets are posted for review on the forums I visit. Sometimes I blunder into them while browsing websites.

The fakes presented below are not earth shatteringly dangerous. A one on one comparison with the decal galleries on GHV can easily help to detect them as fakes.

Nonetheless , they are being sold as authentic WW2 decalled helmets.

SPANDAU MILITARIA

They take the top spot as they obviously have no clue how real authentic WW2 helmets should look like nor do they seem to care. This is one of the most atrocious websites I have come across in a long while. And they justly receive the golden turd award.

Golden-Turd-Award (1)

While they are pricing their ‘fakes’ below market price they seem to have a problem with saying that a helmet has been messed with. The biggest indicator is in fact their price.

Ever heard of authentic helmets being on 40% sale ? With the following flavor text :

GOOD CONDITION SINGLE DECAL M42 ARMY HELMET. PAINT HAS DARKENED WITH AGE. SOME HANDLING WEAR. GOOD LINER WITH CHIN STRAP. THE CHIN STRAP HAS BROKEN AND HAS BEEN GLUED BACK TOGETHER. ET.66 SHELL

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They have more such examples in their inventory.

This M42 ‘supposed SS’. Yes it is only 850 GBP but no mention of it being a blatant fake. It is not even worth the discounted price of 510 GBP.

GOOD CONDITION UNTOUCHED HELMET. THE DECAL A LITTLE FADED BUT BASICALLY COMPLETE. MOST OF ITS PAINT FINISH REMAINING WITH LIGHT RUST STAINING OVERALL. SIZE 66 SHELL. MID-WAR PIG SKIN LINING

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Now you know that they have an allergy to say the word reproduction or fake you can rest assured that the entire inventory is make believe.

Here’s a SE/hkp M40 SS camo FULLY NAMED and researched for just 2000 GBP , No ! Now discounted to 1200 ! Finding a name in the Kriegsgraber database does not mean this helmet belonged to that person. There is more to research than just looking up a name and saying “that is him”.

HISTORIC WAFFEN-SS UNTERSCHARFUHRER’S STEEL HELMET. A SINGLE DECAL M.40 HELMET, FIELD GREEN INSIDE. THE OUTSIDE WITH A CIRCA 1944 NORMANDY CAMPAIGN THREE COLOUR CAMO FINISH GOING OVER THE SS DECAL. OWNERS INITIALS “HK” PAINTED TO THE INSIDE. HIS NAME, “H.KERL SS” WRITTEN TO THE LINER. RESEARCH SHOWS THIS TO BE HEINZ KERL WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN NORTHERN FRANCE AND BURIED AT THE GERMAN MILITARY CEMETERY IN LA CAMBE.  LINER A LITTLE DRY BUT COMPLETE. OUTSIDE SHOWS THE USUAL FIELD WEAR INCLUDING A BALD PATCH TO THE TOP. NO PITTING. THE MAKER / SIZE MARK OBSCURED BY THE “HK” INITIALS AT THE BACK.

Spandau has many similar items and they are just hoping to saddle one poor bugger up with an expensive piece of post war created crap.

Weitze

Be aware of the fake Austrian Polizei helmet. You can clearly see it is a raster printed digital fake.

He also has an NS M42 single decal Police (without close-up) you need to watch out for.

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ISMILITARIA / Strachan militaria

Strachan Militaria specialises in original militaria from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Italy, Russia, France and Spain from the major conflicts of the 20th century.

Here is their top fake. Priced at 4550 GBP.

  • Fake shell
  • Fake decal
  • Fake liner

Continuing our journey

Smack down ! Fake wire camo for 3500 $ at Militariacollectibles.

It is not a hard one, starting with the fake Luftwaffe eagle and the extensive wire/shell contact damage. Could not grab a close-up of the decal but trust me. You can zoom in on their website. It’s the well known ‘easy fake’ adler I covered in my previous blog article.

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ANOTHER FAKE POLICE TRANSITIONAL

Regimentals UK also gets a spot in this newsletter of fakes with very easy to spot fake decals which tried to copy Austrian style Police decals.

Horrible but yours for 950 GBP.

PHIL MILLER COLLECTION OF “RESTORED” HELMETS

After this collector passed away a few years ago (I cannot recollect the exact year) his collection was rapidly sold off. The collection was made up of mostly transitional style helmets (M16, M18 and Austrian style) that were professionally repainted and redecalled. Most of the helmets received SS decals paired with the party shield. Needless to say some of the helmets were sold or at least were tried to be passed off as authentic pieces.

A lot of collectors including myself saved the website photos in order to keep an eye out should these helmets come up for sale again.

A couple of days ago someone spotted a helmet for sale from this collection. The SS decal is a typical ‘crushed glass’ Pocher fake.

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Here is another example. Repainted , fake decals but good shell , liner and strap.

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That’s all for now.

Thanks for your continued support for my website !

Frank

 

 

 

 

 

14 years of Fake decals – Luftwaffe

Dear readers,

I have seen all kinds of fakes pass by online and on local fairs , I’m pretty methodical when it comes to dealing with all kinds of data. Be it lot numbers or remembering decals , helmet paints etc…

The purpose of this article is simply to show from my viewpoint how dangerous or well made fake decals are and if there have been improvements over the years since I started studying decals.

I. THE LUFTWAFFE ADLER

While it is impossible to say exactly when this first example was designed it surely dates back to the early eighties. Just do a side by side comparison with an Original decal and encircle the differences. Some are very obvious. Take a particular look at the head area and lower claw.

Funny thing is that it still confuses dealers and newer collectors even today. I started calling it “The easy fake” many years ago. Once you have identified the many mistakes I’m sure you will agree.

fakelw3

Conclusion : NOT DANGEROUS , EASY TO RECOGNIZE , STILL OFTEN SEEN ON DEALER SITES.

The next reproduction decal is superior to the “Easy one” but still flawed and easy to recognize as it has an extra line across the claw that should not be there.

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So at first sight the second one is the more dangerous one but what has been the impact of this “better” decal on the hobby in the last couple of years ?

The answer is practically no impact. I saw this decal turn up only on a couple of helmets of which several were Fallschirmjäger helmets and I have not seen it for at least a couple of years. We can assume therefore that this decal had a very low production run and is probably no longer in production.

Conclusion : NOT DANGEROUS , EASY TO RECOGNIZE , SMALL CHANCE YOU WILL ENCOUNTER IT

The next decal is a reproduction Straightleg decal. These have been around for as long as I can remember and they probably turned up around the same time as the “Easy fake”. So around the early eighties would be my guess.

There are many graphical mistakes in this one so comparing it with an original is key to learning how to easily spot it. The first thing you can check is the iris in the eye which is bigger than that of an original. But many other lines are incorrect as well.

fakestraightleg1kopie

A snakeleg version of this reproduction decal exists as well and is equally flawed. Furthermore throughout the years there have appeared different copies of this copy.

While these types of fakes are less common I see people having more difficulty with them. I remember a topic from 2005 where a camo helmet with this type of fake decal was sold between dealers.

Still as reproductions go again this is a poor attempt.

Conclusion : PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION , EASY TO RECOGNIZE , STILL POPS UP OCCASIONALLY

II. END CONCLUSION

So these are the best of the best reproduction Luftwaffe decals I have come across in the last 14 years. While the German helmet collecting community got a whole lot smarter in these years no better Luftwaffe reproduction decals have turned up.

I often read that the fakes kill the hobby but these decals can’t even be called fakes. They are so far from the original designs that they can hardly be used to swindle someone.

Remember that helmets with fake decals usually often have other aspects that are incorrect. Newly painted , man made wear , replaced or fake liner , fake chinstraps.

For further reading and to see more examples of reproductions check these 2 links :

  1. Gallery of fakes
  2. Comparison between real and fake Luftwaffe decals

Let’s close with a combination that never existed. A Luftwaffe decal with a Hitlerjugend diamond.

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Next time I will take a look at a decal from a different branch of the Wehrmacht and we will see if they are more worrisome.

Enjoy your sunday.

Frank

Wire camo’s : Very wishful thinking

I touched upon wire camo collecting last year but it seems a lot of people are still on the hunt and a lot of dealers are still offering pieces. Supply and demand.

My previous article on the wire camo’s can be found here :

https://germanhelmetvault.com/2017/11/26/wire-camo-helmets-looking-for-a-unicorn/

THE HYPE

There is a mindset in the militaria world that says if an item is uber expensive it must be real. We have seen this trend come and go with SS helmets and camo helmets. These helmets were hyped up a couple of years ago and price increases of 30% or more were not uncommon. Not suprisingly a lot of collectors were hurt by such hypes , they either overpaid a lot or they got a fake helmet. 2 – 3 years later the overinflated prices dropped back to a normal level.

I see wire camo helmets being hyped since a year as well. Recently 2 dealers started advertising such helmets at prices over 10K.

Here such an example currently on Lux militaria. if you check my previous wire camo blog (link at the top). This very helmet is featured there , sold on an auction for 4.6K. Now you can buy it at three times the price.

TRUE VALUE

Supply and demand will set the price , 10 years ago a wire helmet was a rare beast. If you saw one it would be a factory decalled helmet with wire. A tricolor camo with wire was infinitely rarer. Exotic even.

Looking at the market today there is a wire camo for every budget. To me that tells me there is something seriously wrong. If you actually also look at the helmets being sold it is crystal clear that something is wrong.

People jumping into collecting will not see this trend but collectors with 20+ collecting years under their belt will.

AND NOW FOR THE WISHFUL THINKING PART

Collectors are on the hunt all the time , looking for variations and good deals. Or paying a little more for that gem you have been after for years. There is little to no danger if you know your decals , helmet paints , liners.

For some reason however basic things like that often get thrown overboard when we look at camo helmets. Suddenly the decal needing to be there is no longer a key point.

How many factory helmets have you seen where the decal was taken off in comparison to decalled helmets ? It will be a very very small percentage.

So for me a decal is key on a camo helmet that should have decal , the decal should be hiding under the paint , in cracks or damage.

With wire camo’s we need to scrutinize even further , lower grade helmets with partial decals fit the need to be post war upgraded with wire.

So if we bring the decal to the table when we inspect wire camo’s , how do we explain its absence ? It’s scratched off , sure and now with wire it costs 3 times more…

Below examples without a decal currenly sold or for sale on dealer websites.

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None of the above helmets give me a good feeling. The interiors are 100% Original , the shells all good but none of the wires seem really connected the helmets. All three are without decals (or barely) so the exterior is of low grade and less interesting to collectors. For someone looking to make a quick buck such lower grade helmets are like gold.

Compare the helmets posted above to the one look helmets below. Two helmets acquired from the families of US veterans.

Photos courtesy of RonR

Day and night is the difference between these 2 helmets from Ron’s collection and 95% of the wire helmets I have seen posted on forums.

Good wire helmets exist.

Mediocre , good and very good fakes exist as well.

Hunt carefully,

Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking the fakes #2

There is no excuse for selling fakes

I often hear collectors defend dealers , it is an honest mistake , it’s a good guy , you can’t know everything , he refunded me so I am happy.

What I’m concerned selling fakes is no way to treat customers and people should be less understanding when it happens. Be glad you get your money back but don’t say your happy of the service ! Even if the dealer was clueless about it , fuck it he is responsible. He’s the one that calls his website : Jimmy’s Authentic WW2 memorabilia – 100% Original stuff. It’s on him !

We as customers have the power in our wallets. Tougher customers will make it tougher for the frauds , tougher for the clueless dealers.

Take a look at this video at 9:09 , Antiques dealer Wittman passes a table FULL of fake SS helmets. What’s his excuse ? It’s his job for Christ sakes.

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This helmet was reviewed by their expert and given the thumbs up. After I complained the listing was cancelled. Fake decal of course , painted name is also added later. Also the lot number is a good indicator that the helmet should not have a decal.

Auctions websites can yield very nice items but only for those with an expert eye and a great deal of experience. If you have to buy from them based on their experience you are in for disappointment.

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History hunter

This was up for auction as an authentic M42 SS helmet and people were bidding on it. After it was brought up on the German Helmet Walhalla forum the auction was cancelled.

Bad liner , bad decal.

Hermann Historica

Another example of an upgraded authentic helmet with the Signal magazine logo.  It’s without a doubt post war added to increase the helmet value. Some poor soul will pay 1600 euros for a 250 euro helmet.

Galerie d´Histoire

A H

Historical Antiques, Orders and Medals

I kid you not , initials AH.

A fake FJ helmet for 5250 euros 

Fake DRK decals

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Wittman Antique Militaria

As I wrote in previous blog post , helmets with factory logo’s are rare and authentic firefighter helmets with no or damaged decals can be upgraded easily for maximum profit. Wittman has several civic helmets where the factory logo or stencils have been post war added. Priced at times 5 the real value without the logo.

 

Remember , fake helmets means more stuff in their inventory is fake so make sure to get more opinions on items you are interested in.

 

Happy hunting!

Frank

 

 

 

Forum or Facebook ?

Hello everyone ,

When I was having fun reviewing Peter Nash’s book I was confronted with the fact that a lot of it played out on Facebook. I am not on Facebook. But many members of the German helmet collector community are and so the word got out there anyway.

I have always felt that a collector must not stand alone , in fact he needs to find the best and biggest bunch of German helmet collectors on the net and join them. While communicating with each other privately and in small groups via Facebook is enjoyable.  I find forums and in particular one forum to be the best online venue for anyone interested in German helmets.

That forum is German Helmet Walhalla.

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What can you expect from this forum :

  • You become part of the largest international community of German helmet collectors.
  • Anonymity , you can check in under a nickname. A true participating collector will soon be known by all members. No neighbours or relatives or work colleagues have eyes on what you are doing.
  • A forum has structure and that structure works like chapters of a book. It makes German Helmet Walhalla a fantastic resource with years and years of data. Many times have I browsed and looked at topics posted 10 years or more ago. It is but one reason why a forum like GHW should be supported.
  • GHW has 5 subsections for German helmets and a host of others for members also interested in other military items.
  • Dedicated moderators and admins really add something , they help shape it and steer discussions in the right direction.
  • The power of the community brought together by GHW triggered interesting projects such as the lot number list , the study of liners , leather markings and dome stamps even some members published books on German helmets. Furthermore the Champagne rune fraud was revealed by admin Doug B and XRF facts x-ray business model was outed as a travesty when it was first deployed to the public.

One other big important case to make for GHW is that it is online for 12 years without dealer sponsorship. This for the sole reason that there can never be a conflict of interest. It speaks volumes for admins past and present that they persevere in their dedication and also to its members that have always kindly provided donations to keep the forum “in the air”.

One of the younger members on GHW wrote a fine post on the forum about the downside of Facebook. Here’s what he wrote.

It’s very simple to start a Facebook group.  Much easier than starting a forum.  Anyone can make one, and start inviting everyone they know.   There are some MAJOR shortfalls to the groups:

1. The topics fall down the page quickly.  They are hard to archive, hard to find, and very easily edited and or deleted by the users.

2. You cannot easily view topics by members.  Here on GHW2 and WAF most of us judge who’s who by the other topics they post, for example if I post an M43 cap and someone comments on my thread saying it’s good or bad, I will often go look at that persons other posts to see if they own any or if they’re knowledgable on the subject.   I think it’s something we all do.  On Facebook anyone can comment, and often people who know NOTHING about militaria will comment out of boredom or maybe they are just a *** disturber and there’s no way to really see the quality of their other comments or what they have posted.  The search function is very basic.  The typical quality of replies is very low.

3. People can remove their posts or comments whenever they want.  If someone posts photos of a fake or is selling a fake, it can be easily removed later.

I’ve been watching a lot of Facebook groups and to be honest it seems like we’re taking a step back as collectors.  What is most upsetting is seeing a lot of items for sale on there that would never pass muster on here or even WAF from people who know better.   Often these people have appointed themselves as “Moderators” and “Admin”.   Some groups truly feel like a dumping ground of fakes.  Some groups are okay, and some are really awful, most have at least a few con artists.

In some groups only “admin” are allowed to sell items, and only “admin” are allowed to comment if items for sale are real or fake.  You can immediately see the issue there.

Regards,

-Steve Turner

Collectors need to stick together for the simple reason of safe guarding our knowledge on German helmets (which is also the purpose of this website).

A splintered community is a weak one. So if you want to spend your time efficiently and not on several different mediums there is just one spot. See you there !

Frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Nash’s book deconstructed in 1 2 3

10 Days ago the most insulting and useless publication ever made was released. Peter Nash’s German combat helmets. The book was universally rejected on all collector communities where dedicated helmet collectors roam.

It’s not difficult to understand why the book was dismissed , apart from the many high amount of fake helmets (paint , decals and horrible liners) the author also attacks many well established facts about German WW2 helmets in order to support his collection of fakes.

I will explain here what any collector that wants to get into German helmet collecting can take as fact.

THE DECAL VS SHELL CORRELATION

What is it ? To put it short. We found out which decal types were applied to which helmet makers. Hold on while it may look simple it really isn’t. Some companies used FACT.jpgseveral decals , some just on M35’s etc… All decals have been mapped now and it helped collectors worldwide a great deal.

 

Anyone who has not read the books released in the last 15 years about German helmets has missed a great deal. On top of that a lot of that knowledge comes from collectors that interacted via forums.  People like Nash tend to be dismissive about what they call internet collectors. You can be conservative and anti internet but that doesn’t mean the world stops turning. There are just as many generations of collectors interacting via the internet than there are off line collectors. It’s not just the new kids on the block. Online you can find Ron R’s fabulous collection of over a 1000 helmets. That one collection in itself blows all false intent of Nash’s book right out of the water. Pick up 5 , 10 or 20 ET/ckl factory ET helmets from Ron and they will all have the what we call ET-style decal. Ron’s collection all by itself makes the decal vs shell correlation fact. But we didn’t stop there. People that have a passion for research know that before theories become fact that they have to be tested repeatedly and helmet after helmet it all fell into place. This has never been a one man’s project but a group effort by passionate collectors. 

Jan Meland is a very well known Norwegian collector who build his collection almost purely by sourcing helmets via ads out of the Norwegian woodwork. His book German combat helmets a Norwegian collection showcases his finds with super high definition photos. Just scroll through that book and look at the factory helmets. You will see time and time again the decals we mapped out on the shells they should be on.

Already in 2003 Tom Kibler mentioned the relation between decals and helmet makers in his book German combat helmets of the Third Reich – a study in photographs.

Kelly Hicks’s SS steel did the same in 2005 but specifically on SS decals.

In 2006 collectors of the German Helmet Walhalla forum started reference sections where decals posted on the forum were grouped by decal style for making the mapping easy and accurate.

In 2009 Ken Niewiarowicz’s study Germany’s combat helmets appeared with again confirming the finds within the community. This book was followed up in 2016 with a study purely on decals. The helmet decals of the Third Reich. (made with help from Anders Lehrman).

And in 2015 another great work from a passionate collector was released , Frederik Suppo’s Le casque Allemand. tome 1.

That’s 15 years of knowledge right there which covers data from many thousands of helmets , probably far over 5000 helmets (not 300 as Peter Nash falsely claims in his book). Helmets found today in veteran’s footlockers , attics or basements all fall into the same patterns.

Below M35 helmet was recently found in an attic in Holland , the ET style decal while a most common decal is not even featured in Peter Nash’s decals gallery. Photos courtesy of https://www.ww2-militaria.nl/

CKL is ET and HKP is SE

For some strange reason Peter Nash does not believe the ET factory changed over to CKL/ckl mid war and he does not believe SE became HKP/hkp.

FACTSo did the Thale plant stop producing mid war ? Of course not ! It changed to CKL/ckl.

There are so many indicators that confirm the change over : CKL/ckl continues to have Thale dome stamps , they still used the same decals already mapped out which are the ET style Heer decal , the unbordered Polizei eagle (unique to that factory I might add) , the very well known ET style SS decal , the same Luftwaffe adler and so on.

ET is also the only company that made Fallschirmjäger helmets which also changed to the CKL stamp mid war.

On top of that the font of the stamps is identical. Recently even a QVL helmet was discovered with a crystal clear Thale dome stamp.

For SE we can make the exact same case ,  SE started later with the M42 so they started marking their M40’s mid war with HKP/hkp.

Also SE did not stop making helmets mid war. They continued as HKP/hkp.

Same decals , same font used in their markings and same typical bulgy vents are found SE and HKP/hkp shells.

It does not take a rocket scientist to add this all up. 

HELMET LOT NUMBERS

If your read Peter Nash’s ramblings about lot numbers you would think it’s some kind of Voodoo pseudo science. The problem is that he doesn’t understand what it is about. Like with everything he is afraid of what people in the enlightened 21st century have learned.

Simply put a lot number database is a list of helmets.

Data we collect in such a database is :

  • Lot number
  • Maker
  • Size
  • Helmet model
  • Branch/decal type
  • Liner type
  • Liner date

When enough data is gathered one can derive conclusions from it. The list does not authenticate other helmets with similar lot numbers as that would be silly , it exists to get a bigger view on decal applications , how long liners were used , basically to see patterns emerging from it (or not). And we do see patterns. tools-cross-settings-symbol-for-interface_318-48264kopie

Certain decals correspond to certain makers , you see also the lot number list seals the discussion on that matter.

We can see decal drops in the database (late 1943) corresponding to lot numbers

We can even see which makers produced KM helmets and which did not. Which produced SS helmets and which did not.

It’s a fantastic tool that has helped further the hobby in conjunction with many other projects started by passionate collectors. Like there are collectors that have taken it upon themselves to study liners and liner stampings , dome stamps and using the USB microscope to get 200x zoom signature close-ups.

THE HELMETS IN PETER NASH’S BOOK

The book is a gallery of Big foot fakes. A decal that’s known to have been reproduced since the eighties in various forms. While Peter Nash himself talks about variations he shows in fact the same fake decal over and over again.

Nowhere does the book have any connections with reality , it is completely disconnected from all previous book releases which have great support from the collecting community.

An original Big foot decal is only found on Quist shells.

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Original Big foot decal on a Q M35

This one is from the book page 166 , on an ET shell.

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Fake Big foot adler on an ET shell

We know thanks to the lot numbers list that tricolors were not added by the factories on M40’s anymore. Only a handful of M40 helmets with tricolors are known to exist. The idea being that these must have been added for reasons unknown after the helmet left the factory.

In Peter’s book are 3 ET M40 DD Kriegsmarine helmets again all with a Big foot fake decal and fake tricolors.

ET only used the ET style Kriegsmarine decal and on M40’s never with a tricolor.

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Again a fake big foot on an ET , I added the 5 euro fake example for effect

For comparison a real ET Kriegsmarine decal with ridge as universally accepted by collectors worldwide.

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Original ET style KM decal

Some USB close-ups. All authentic decals have the same look under high magnification. Polizei eagles , Heer , SS , etc…

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Original Big foot chest at 200x

FAKES under high magnification. Flat , lacking depth and the metallic content looks like cheap plastic which they often are.

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Fake Big foot chest at 200x

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Another fake Big foot chest at 200x

If you think filling a book with a sub standard fake Heer eagle is a feat than the low quality fake Luftwaffe decals in the book will blow you away.

I actually got HQ photos of a helmet that’s been used in the book because it was already discussed in a topic on German Helmet Walhalla in 2017. Click here for the topic.

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Fake DD LW helmet with some cheap fake decals added for effect.

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The fake from the book

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An original example of the Drooptail/straightleg eagle

The second type eagles fakes on the helmets in the book are even more disturbing.

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Coined Easy fake by collectors because it is so graphically incorrect

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Original eagle for comparison

CONCLUSION : FAKE NEWS

While I could further break down the SS decals and the reproduction liners , I have I think with this article covered the many aspects of what is wrong with Peter Nash’s book.  Why this book was released with its many errors and attacks on known facts we might never know but I am sure time will tell.

In any case it put our noses on the fact that anyone these days can write a book , the days are long gone when the collector only had a book to guide him and was at the mercy of information he did not have control of. Today the German helmet collector is probably the best informed collector of Third Reich militaria. Forums have inspired collectors to study for themselves and share knowledge and information. Now we can say without a doubt , writer your book is full of mistakes.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Frank