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Restoring Brodie helmet


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#101 GRANVILLE

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:29 PM

Top job Sean - well done.

Dave Upton

#102 munster

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:40 PM

Nice one Sean you made the right choice leaving the finish as is in my oppinion.john :thumbsup:

#103 paddy60th

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:03 PM

Doubt these photos do it justice, but finally its done! Thanks for all your advice and comments, on to the next project, regards Sean

Really looks good Sean - Very well done.

Regards, Roger

#104 REME245

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:28 AM

I ended up having to take the rubber inserts out of the edge of the liner in order to get my MHW liner to fit into my helmet. I can't tell from the photograghs if you have had to do the same here.

I assumed it was because the shells come indifferent sizes and mine was to small?

#105 GRANVILLE

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:07 AM

I ended up having to take the rubber inserts out of the edge of the liner in order to get my MHW liner to fit into my helmet. I can't tell from the photograghs if you have had to do the same here.

I assumed it was because the shells come indifferent sizes and mine was to small?


This ia an interesting question and one I'd like better answered.

When we had a Brodie discussion some time back, quite a few measurements were supplied from around 20 or so original Brodies and these figures showed that there were subtle differences, but not pronounced and that a Brodie shell seemed to fall withing certain perimeters of width, front to back and height. I was always under the impression that it was the liner that varied in size, into the shell.

I too have had a liner from MHW, which surprised me at the way it seemed to be a fairly tight fit considering its size was a fairly normal 7 1/4. This got me thinking about just how much smaller many of the recruits were during the war (for various reasons), and also why so many period photos seem to show a recruit in a huge helmet. I don't think it was the helmet that was so much bigger, but the wearer that was so much slighter than we might expect. It would however be very interesting if Joe Sweeney or some other expert on such matters could indicate if there is any evidence of Brodies being produced in 'Large, Medium or Small' size's?
Dave Upton

#106 munster

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:52 AM

This ia an interesting question and one I'd like better answered.

When we had a Brodie discussion some time back, quite a few measurements were supplied from around 20 or so original Brodies and these figures showed that there were subtle differences, but not pronounced and that a Brodie shell seemed to fall withing certain perimeters of width, front to back and height. I was always under the impression that it was the liner that varied in size, into the shell.

I too have had a liner from MHW, which surprised me at the way it seemed to be a fairly tight fit considering its size was a fairly normal 7 1/4. This got me thinking about just how much smaller many of the recruits were during the war (for various reasons), and also why so many period photos seem to show a recruit in a huge helmet. I don't think it was the helmet that was so much bigger, but the wearer that was so much slighter than we might expect. It would however be very interesting if Joe Sweeney or some other expert on such matters could indicate if there is any evidence of Brodies being produced in 'Large, Medium or Small' size's?
Dave Upton

I think in general people were a lot slimmer less well nourished and probably much more accustomed to a more phsycal form of labour than now.I recently dug out some school photos from the 60's for a cousin and the one thing we both commentedon was how skinny every body was.In my case that has changed for the worse.john

#107 REME245

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:17 PM

I have a size 60cm head what ever that is in Imperial.

#108 THE SHINY SEVENTH

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:36 PM

Thanks to you all for your kind comments. REME254, no I did not have to remove the inserts and it fits perfectly on my rather modest 58cm head :) regards Sean

#109 Andrew Upton

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:28 PM

When we had a Brodie discussion some time back, quite a few measurements were supplied from around 20 or so original Brodies and these figures showed that there were subtle differences, but not pronounced and that a Brodie shell seemed to fall withing certain perimeters of width, front to back and height. I was always under the impression that it was the liner that varied in size, into the shell.


Indeed - my original late-war example has a very clear size stamped into the leather liner retaining strap close to the top rivet. 7 1/4 if I recall correctly, and still has plenty of room around the edge (ie it's not a tight fit in what is a standard sized shell). I am personally of the opinion that hat sizing has changed somewhat over the years. For example, if you see how pre-/early-war OR's typically wear caps with a noticable gap between the base of the cap and the top of the ears, but post-war they are worn "larger" and come quite close to the top of the ear. Some modern makers of WW1 kit use the modern sizing (unsuprisingly), but this does lead to things appearing slightly wrong for the period.

#110 humber1

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

This is my helmet with a Military History Workshop Liner.

As you can see I had to remove the rubber bumpers round the edge to make it fit.

It also sems to sit a little high in the shell.

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#111 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 06:14 PM

Photos of 2 WW1 Brodies from my Collection, showing the placement of the impressed helmet size marking referred to in Andrew Upton's post.
LF

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#112 GRANVILLE

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

This is my helmet with a Military History Workshop Liner.

As you can see I had to remove the rubber bumpers round the edge to make it fit.

It also sems to sit a little high in the shell.


Hi, have you got the chin strap correctly threaded through the bale loop on the far side of the picture? I'll also wage its a size 71/4 or thereabouts? LF's fits nicely at 63/4 but my once was a 71/4 and was a fairly snug fit although I did not have to remove the rubber buffers. What diameter rubber tubing as been used in the repro?

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#113 humber1

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:07 AM

My head size is 59-60cm - not sure what this equates to in Imperial measurement.

I can't remember what size the rubber tubing/buffers was now.

It just doesent seem to even sit far enough down into the shell but this could be due to head size.

I thought I had fitted the strap in the only way possible but I will compare with my original.

#114 GRANVILLE

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:52 PM

My head size is 59-60cm - not sure what this equates to in Imperial measurement.

I can't remember what size the rubber tubing/buffers was now.

It just doesent seem to even sit far enough down into the shell but this could be due to head size.

I thought I had fitted the strap in the only way possible but I will compare with my original.


Looking at these new pictures the chin strap is fine.

Dave

Sorry, just noticed these are posted by LF - nice.

#115 33rd div mgc

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:16 PM

My head size is 59-60cm - not sure what this equates to in Imperial measurement.

I can't remember what size the rubber tubing/buffers was now.

It just doesent seem to even sit far enough down into the shell but this could be due to head size.

I thought I had fitted the strap in the only way possible but I will compare with my original.




Here are the sizes I work to when making all my hats, it took the details out of a WW1 Military clothing manual.

I wanted to know how the imperial sizing worked, so being the engineer that I am, I divided the metric measurement by Pye ( 3.142), this gave me the size in an imperial decimal size, I then converted that into the nearest fraction.

55cm = 6 7/8th
56cm = 7
57cm = 7 1/8th
58cm = 7 1/4
59cm = 7 3/8th
60cm = 7 1/2
61cm = 7 5/8th
62cm = 7 3/4

#116 ED863

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

Hi guys just had a look at my two late war brodies.
For info my Liners and shells are:

Liner 6 7/8 (55cm) Shell is HS 130
Liner 7 (56cm) Shell is FS 95

Fantastic thread keep it going.

#117 33rd div mgc

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:08 AM

I ended up having to take the rubber inserts out of the edge of the liner in order to get my MHW liner to fit into my helmet. I can't tell from the photograghs if you have had to do the same here.

I assumed it was because the shells come indifferent sizes and mine was to small?



That's a shame about having to remove the rubber tubing,
The helmet liners I make will fit all helmets, and you don't have to remove the tubes. I've an example of a repro liner on my web site.

I ask for their head size and make a liner to suit, they sometimes send me their helmet shells where I attach the liner to them to make sure they are the right fit.
I've even had liners from other manufactures sent to me for modification to make them fit

Dickie

#118 pithelmet

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 04:16 AM

Hi all

To start, this is my first post on this forum, though I have been registered for some time. I have just spent a good few hours reading through this thread and a few others relating to Brodies. I must say that this thread in particular has really tweaked my interest!!

As a rule I specialise in Imperial German militaria, pickelhaubes, stahlhelms, etc etc. I have an interest in the great war that goes back nearly 30 years and spend as much time as I can "over there"

Amongst my collection, I have a `top half` dummy of both a British and American (Doughboy) with all the equipment etc.
You can all see where this is going I suspect? :glare:

I have been scouring the web for information about restoration parts for helmets for both these dummys, and I find this wonderful thread.

Currently I have a british version..HS 23, which I understand from this forum is likely to be an early (ish) shell. It has a complete liner and strap (sliding buckle with rubber ring, red stamp etc) It also has the applied steel ring. I paid £5 for it from a car boot sale over 10 yrs ago. The liner has been removed from the helmet completely and the shell has been blasted clean (not by me its as I bought it).and sprayed with grey under coat :/ Both bales are present, but the bifurcated rivots have been removed. I would love to restore the helmet to a state where I can display it with my dummy.

The second helmet is a doughboy type. It came with a batch of ebay stuff some years ago. It has no liner, no bales (rusted away leaving only the round rivots) It was sprayed a lovely gold colour, but some time ago I started to clean it with stripper and I estimate a good 80 to 90% of the finish exists beneath the gold. The steel rim has rotted away and gone. Despite all this, I feel there is enough of the helmet left to justify restoring it.

After reading this thread, I now know I can remake the bales etc. I have a good few years experience behind me, fabricating etc. My biggest issue is the steel ring on the doughboy. Im fairly handy at fabrication, but I dont have access to the type of tooling needed to fabricate anything like this. I can weld the finished article, but I cant make it. Is there a company that makes this part?

Also I see Granville (Dave) seems to have the secret of a close paint match for my British example. Can I probe a bit further for info on this? What colours exactly are you mixing? what sand was used by the British? Was it Ally oxide like the Germans or would kiln dried be more acceptable.

I intend to tackle the British helmet first, as it has a complete liner and after this wonderful thread I already have paid for the bifurcated land rover rivots!! I still need the copper rivot for the helmet liner. I was hoping someone could suggest a supplier of a good repo american liner, who may be happy to throw in an extra copper rivot with the liner.

Any info will be greatly appreciated Im quite looking forward to restoring a couple of helmets that dont involve hours of stitching and boot polish.

Sorry to ressurect such an old thread for my first post, but I really need the help to make a decent job of restoring these helmets. As I said, I collect Imperial German militaria, my knowledge of other aspects of Great war equipment is shaky to say the least.

Now Ive finally plucked up the courage to dip my toes into a new forum, I hope I can add as much as I take away. I will try to get some pics up when I work out how and that little grey man on the left needs some colour and some info adding I guess.

Andy

#119 THE SHINY SEVENTH

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:28 AM

Hi Andy and welcome to the forum. You have 2 options on the replacement liner. Prairie flower leather co. or my preference, Military history workshop. Both companies have had good reviews for their products quality, as you will have read earlier in the thread. Personally, I would not be too bothered about the missing rim on your doughboy, its 100 years old, im only 48 and Ive got bits falling off already!! No doubt Dave will be along to advise on paint, but be mindful that the finish you are looking for was an amalgamation of sand and crushed cork, and probably anything else that came to hand, so it would not of been too uniform a layer. Look forward to the pictures, good luck, Sean

#120 GRANVILLE

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:02 PM

Hi Andy.
As Sean has already suggested, I too would be inclined to pass on the protective rim unless you have a later helmet to act as donor although this might throw up another problem as it might not be long enough. I've never actually measured the circumference of an early Brodie v a later WW2 pattern, but because the brim was distinctly wider on the WW1 pattern, I suspect its rim protector will be slightly longer than the later versions? The other thing to watch for is that the later WW2 version has a machine folded aluminium rim whereas the very early type were steel which is why they rusted and were 'lost' along away way. My early Brodie has the steel type with a chunk of it missing through corrosion. I'm not aware of anyone remaking them.

The paint I have used is nothing special, quite the contrary, its wood shade paint! I'd been attending to some fence panels one day when it struck me how the Old English Green I was using, would look good if it had a bit of the Oak Brown that I also had added to it . I did a bit of a tester and was so impressed I used it on my other restored Brodie and the results speak for themselves. What I would point out is the paint I prefer is from the Wilkinson's Wood Shade range. This is much cheaper and a thicker consistency that the likes of Cupriniol. I have not applied sand to mine, but if I were to do so I would track down some ordinary builders sand and experiment. You can see very broad brush strokes on some early Brodies and I'm convinced they were hand painted with broad brushes.

#121 pithelmet

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:30 AM

Hi Sean and Dave and thanks for the rapid responses.
As far as the rim goes, you really confirmed what I already knew. I had pondered on a donor helmet, but it goes against the grain for me to wreck one item to save another. I am wondering if I can have one made up by a sheet metal company, there are a couple of them local to me. Ideally I would like to put something there, as I understand that all doughboys had one and I want it to display correctly on the dummy.
As for the paint, I will try and source some this week. I have also seen brush marks on early Brodies, but does any body know at what point this stopped? I would have thought that for mass production they must have been sprayed or dipped? Do we even know if this is the case?
Following the logic in other threads about batch / heat numbers, would HS 23 be past the paint brush stage? I have access to spraying equipment, which is why I ask.
At some point in the past, the HS 23 has been blast cleaned, or at least dipped in paint stripper. There is not a jot of the finish remaining. It has been given a coat of grey primer, which I intend removing before I re finish it, but inside is just bare rusty metal. I have removed some of the primer just incase some paint was below it, but its just bare metal.
Under the rim however, there is still some paint visible. It seems to me that there is certainly sand in there.
At what point did they start using sand as a dulling agent? The dummy reflects a British infantry man of mid to late 1916 (of course!) In `world war 1 infantry in colour photographs` by Laurent Mirouze, the brodie worn at this time seems to be heavily sanded.
So..should I go for a heavy sanded sprayed finish or a hand brushed smooth finish?
What do you recommend?
Andy

#122 GRANVILLE

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:11 AM

Hi pithelmet.
I can't give you a definitive date when sand was being mixed with the paint, but I'm sure someone else will be able to. Likewise, when they were spray painted rather than brush. Mass production techniques as we would recognize them today did not really exist in 1914 which is why equipment was in the main made by hand by numerous workers in workshops. There isn't much about, but you can see some period film clips and photos of lines of women at factory benches assembling and packing the helmets and this was going on in factories all over the country, so from their point of view, lines of women (an no doubt some men) armed with large paint brushes was indeed 'mass production'. I think this also accounts for why you sometimes find early Brodies (I have one) which have no trace of paint on the inside and yet they still retain a period helmet liner suggesting they have not bee refurbished along the way. I suspect this will be because of the speed at which they were produced and the pressure on the makers to get them out to the front lines asap - where was the need to paint the interiors? I further suspect painting the entire shell will have only come about once they were hanging up the shells and presumably spray painting them en-mass. NB: all the about is speculation.

Dave

#123 pithelmet

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:20 PM

Hi Dave
Ive been looking through the wilkinson site for the wood shades you recommend.
Can you confirm that I have the correct paints? The ones I am looking at are water based, does this make a diff. to the survivability of the finished job.
Here are links to the ones I have come up with.

The Old english green
http://www.wilkinson...Oc w4t9gBa9qg==

The dark brown (woodland oak)
http://www.wilkinson...Oc w4t9gBa9qg==

Can you confirm that these are the shades you used. Looking at the helmet you painted, you managed to get a shockingly close match and I would like to get the same or similar.

Im hoping to get some pics up fairly soon, before and after etc
For the HS 23 I am going to spray and sprinkle to get the the dusted effect and then heavy brush to create some brush lines. I have nothing to lose, being a bare shell, if it all goes wrong I clean it back and start again.


Andy

#124 GRANVILLE

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 07:49 PM

Andy,

Yes, those are the 'paints' I refer to and used on my own helmet. I can't give you certified ratio of one to the other as I just poured some of the green into a bowl and added the brown until it looked suitable. They are indeed water based which makes cleaning up the brush after use a doddle. Most folk I've spoken to associate these products with wood only, but they will readily cover degreased metal and once dry (which on a nice day takes next to no time) they are just about bomb proof. I would advise you slap it on liberally and give it a good 2/3 coats, not because it won't cover easily - it will, but the added coats help with the thickness of paint effect you usually see on period paint jobs. Assuming the shell has rusted in its life, then if you were to leave it out of doors for a week or so in the wet, eventually you will get some pitting trying to break out, but in my opinion this only adds to the look.

I've written on this in the past, but if you get really bored one day, take some of the green paint and water it down so it becomes very runny. Get yourself some old webbing suitable to practice on and paint it. In my opinion it gives you one of the most convincing and easy to apply green Blanco effects I've ever seen - and it won't wash off when wet.

Dave

#125 pithelmet

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:15 PM

Dave

Thats brilliant..I will order some up right away. Im hoping to make a start this weekend, so first job is to remove all the grey undercoat. I will take some pics of before and after.
I can see from the sample colour on the old english, that it looks like a good match for the green blanco. Im lucky enough to have found some original however, so my 08 pattern looks wonderful :w00t:
I do also have a slightly more ropey set that I will try the old english on.
As for the helmet, If I can get a match even half as good as the one you managed I will be more than happy.
Now I need to sort the liner for the doughboy.

Andy