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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


Old Contemptible
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Everything posted by Spasm

  1. Having a chat with Tony earlier today reminded me that I've got to get on with some constructive things. So, as I've got a couple of these to clean up, I made a start. This one, I've always known to have a crack in it. Covered in rock hard mud, a thick layer of chalk and rust - it came from near the Lochnagar Crater, or rather the Glory Hole, as the area is being cleared for visitors (along with a newly discovered tunnel that I had a look down last month). I've always assumed that it had been hit by a plough, or some farming machine, and that I'd have to clean and then weld up to keep it in one piece. After a few hours of cleaning and getting the 'gate/hatch' to operate, here is how it looks: The crack is fairly obvious running from the top middle down to the 'stop' bolt for the hatch. However, it may not have been some heavy farming machinery that caused this thick steel plate to crack after all: Now, I'm no ballistic expert. But would you say that this is a bullet strike while this plate was in place? I can't ever remember seeing a bullet hit on a quarter inch steel plate (I've seen larger rounds on tank armour in the Tank Museum and they sort of make a gouge or a hole rather than just a dent.) So, I'm figuring that if this is likely to be a bullet hit from Tommy chancing his arm then I should leave the crack alone and not weld it up as it's part of it's story. Or am I making something up here? Any steel plate hitting experience out there?
  2. Spasm


    Gone from M40 to M16s. This one sent home as a souvenir. You can just make out the red Censor's stamp on the parcel label. Although a stamped relic ET66, it's been brought back from the brink to look pretty good on the shelf. Just waiting for the liner and chin strap.
  3. Spasm


    An original Quist M40 brought back to life. Had holes drilled for an applied badge and a 'orrible grey and red enamel paint job. Lots of elbow grease but worth it I think with the 1940 dated bread bag strap.
  4. Spasm


    None of it is original, all copies and fakes. A bloody good artist though I hear. Cheers my man.
  5. Spasm


    Thanks Tony How about this one then? Weighs in at 7lbs! Blimey, they must've had big necks.... The inscription under the rim reads: Ers.Batl.Res.J.R.Nr.11 1.K.Nr.1201.Nester
  6. Spasm

    Applying Lessons From History

    My Uncle Alf certainly learned a lesson at Dunkirk. This was the Uncle who used to tell me, as a child, that his dented lighter had saved his life.....with all my other Uncles, including my Dad confirming that it was true......of course it wasn't. Just Cockneys pulling their kid's legs. Some years later, however, I found that he was indeed at Dunkirk fighting and wounded as part of the rearguard. Spending some time recuperating at home he received a letter from the War Department. It was a bill for 6 pounds and 6 shillings for his rifle that he had left behind in France. Good grief..... Another great blog post Brian, please keep them coming, all are a joy.
  7. Spasm


    Yep, a Lebel grease tin. Grease one side and boot polish the other I think. Was also used to hold matches and the like when empty. Given to me by a good guy who gets me relics on his regular visits to Flanders. It'll be given back to him, now it's painted, at the next militaria show I see him. Only right as he's a jolly good chap.
  8. Spasm


    I try to keep them unobstrusive so as to not deter from the object I've painted. Larger would be easier and seeing as you've only just noticed it on yours then larger they will be. Thanks Tony.
  9. Spasm


    Same as that Jock, I would doubt anything that isn't just plain grey. There wasn't that much chicken wire or camouflage paint around in those days. I would put money on nearly every fancy helmet being a hobby craft one. Hardly ever did a Troopie slop paint around on his helmet and gear, it was already miles too heavy in it's original state. I've even seen textured and camouflage painted gas mask tins for sale, good grief, and at a very heavy price too. I don't doubt that some of it is the real McCoy but would I pay those sort of prices, not a hope. Stick with the skips and the known copies, it all looks pretty good in the war room/shed/cupboard/shelf/drawer/shoe box. And just how many people have actually wanted to have a look at your stuff and known anything about any of it?
  10. Spasm


    Another abused Quist M40 brought back to life. I had another bread bag strap hanging around so did it as a Lufty to match. Notice the brighter shade to the helmet and decal under the strap.
  11. You remember that trunk full of SS Officer's rings that have never been found, or that Werewolf unit who hid a trunk full of gold, or those looted pieces of Polish relics, or bits of the Amber room from St Petersburg............or yes, maybe a Luger.
  12. Cedar trunks in the attic that should never be opened.........blimey, I wonder what they could be hiding?
  13. Spasm


    I would say the Inspector's mark.
  14. Spasm

    Somme 100 years ago

    Just got back from the National Commemorative Event to mark the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. A very moving return to the battlefield in a spirit of reconciliation and respect. Their sacrifice and suffering will never be forgotten. - words from Prince Charles.
  15. Spasm

    9 Regiment Army Air Corps

    Thanks Peter and yes, just about 3 weeks, the real work starts now.... Rogi, no idea where they are going but if you fancy one you can have one for the price of a new Aston Martin. A choice of three - go for the green one (you'll need an engine though but they do deliver) http://www.mod-sales.com/direct/vehicle/,95,/77744/Sea_King.htm
  16. Spasm

    9 Regiment Army Air Corps

    Thanks Rogi, I hope it reminds him of his work with the Junglies (as the Sea Kings been retired too now) for a while to come.
  17. Spasm

    9 Regiment Army Air Corps

    Another leaving do da for a Retiree from 848 Squadron Commando Helicopter Force over the weekend. An ex Para Major was heard to say that he may give up drink the next morning. A Sea King heli tail rotor tip painted for him to keep forever. I can imagine him in years to come with his packet of Werther's Originals and Grandchild on his knee who asks what this is replies "Well, there I was surrounded...."
  18. Spasm

    9 Regiment Army Air Corps

    Thanks Frank
  19. Spasm

    Battle of Jutland

    100 years ago Leading Stoker J.G. Langford served aboard HMS Superb during WW1 Here's his awards along with my painting of the 18,600 ton Bellerophon Class Dreadnought HMS Superb during the Battle of Jutland. http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/jutland-100/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwhN-6BRCJsePgxru9iIwBEiQAI8rq82naHczlxOAFfa2SjzZb7QLePd2WcV0g5SNaMv8L9QMaAtmY8P8HAQ
  20. Spasm

    What's The Use?

    What's the use? I had this self same discussion with the Admin Staff only the other weekend. As you are probably aware, or not, I've started to attend a few militaria shows to try to sell some of my artwork on relics, bits and bobs and paintings. I've been really pleased with the comments and discussions from both interested members of the public and also stallholders at the shows. One thing has struck me though, I put a fair bit of research into each item that I paint - making sure the correct helmet/item reflects the artwork upon it and that each badge, design etc painted relates, in some way, to the rest of the item. I try to ensure that each piece has it's own little bit of history with a story behind it. But that has never been the subject of the discussions when an item is selected off of the table by someone. It is probably due to it being artwork, one either likes something or does not, as simple as that. However, I asked the Admin Staff why should I bother doing all the research and additional artwork on something when no one really seems interested in the details. "Ah," she says "but would you be as happy with it if you hadn't put in that extra effort?" Quite right - that's the use.
  21. Spasm

    Help please

    Peter is quite right. This is a copy of the original postcard design by Bruce Bairnsfather (an Officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regt.). The publisher Bystander produced sets of postcards called "Fragments from France" that were Bairnsfather's illustrations of Old Bill's 'adventures' in the trenches - sometimes based on Bairnsfather's actual experiences. Each set contained 6 postcards, there were 9 sets in total. This one, called AD Nineteen Fifty was included in set 4. A pretty good copy but you can see some changes from the original. Just as a note - Gouache is a type of paint, similar to watercolour but very opaque (the colour you mix is the colour you get on the paper).
  22. I'm pretty sure that both of these daggers are made from parts. The second one without scabbard definitely. Although I'm sure they are precious to you as belonging to your father, as collector's pieces they are erm, sorry...pretty bad. Most of these daggers were manufactured before the war when mass production was in it's infancy, daggers like these were expensive and made by hand. Each dagger was fitted together very carefully and individually, there were no gaps or errors, each handle was finished to perfection. An original untouched SA or SS dagger is really quite a beautiful thing to hold. The blade RZM markings were a sort of quality check on later manufactured daggers - probably being used from about 1934 onwards. The 807/36 marked blade is the SS contract number followed by the year of manufacture i.e. 1936 while the M7/36 marked blade is the manufacturer's code made by E&F Horster of Solingen. Have a look here on the description of SS daggers https://www.lakesidetrader.com/Education/Meine-Ehre-heisst-Treue/
  23. Welcome to GMIC. Any chance you can take a few close up photos so the makers marks can be seen clearly. Ta.
  24. Spasm

    M16 Camo

    Les, thanks for that. I did try acid (I think it was brick cleaner from a builder's merchants) a long time ago trying to get chrome off of bike bits and pieces without success. In fact, I was left with a bucket full of some pretty nasty gloop (caused some doubts on how to dispose of) and some badly pitted bike bits (I think the acid ate the steel quicker than it ate the chrome). I also tried the electro method with a battery charger on some other stuff (after being advised to go that way) - another failure and another large bucket of gloop and chrome still in place. I found the best method was to go talk to a chrome plating firm with the few bits and bobs I had left. I'm glad it works for you but I don't think I'll be getting many more chrome helmets and the bikes I have left will be stripped down and sold off as bits (no one seems to have any money for whole second hand chops and street fighters any more). As it was a helmet I went for the elbow grease method as it was free, I wouldn't cause an erm... episode with the Admin Staff over using anything in the least harmful (the instructions on the paint stripper was read to me more than once) and I could sort it there and then - well over a few hours. I would be interested in seeing your chrome removal process though as you never know what might come up in the future. Steve
  25. Spasm

    M16 Camo

    An original German M16 helmet maker stamped TJ66 - made by C.Thiel & Sohne of Lubeck and size 66. In the crown is the stamped steel rolling mill number R1426 - Stahlwerk Rochling of Volkingen. When I obtained this helmet it was covered in a horrible bituminous paint with cardboard SS runes glued to each side, underneath I found that it had been chrome plated, probably in the 60s or 70s by some bad boy biker. I've removed the bituminous paint, chrome plating and then painted as an aged camouflaged machine gunner's helmet and added a replacement liner and chinstrap aged to match. Turned out quite nice I think.