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    M16 Camo


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    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. 








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    Your usual wonderful work!

    You might want to check out the US 'Great War Association' and contact some of the Central Powers units with samples of this sort of thing.  Our sprinbg event is fast approaching and some of these dudes clearly have more money than is good for them!  And in US dollars too!  http://www.greatwarassociation.com/CentralPowers.html


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    Thanks for that Peter, Have had a quick look (seems like I've seen some of the pictures before) and will have another wander around and maybe give them a nudge

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    Chris - a layer of black bitumen paint applied to stick to the chrome underneath.

    The black bitumen came right off with paint remover, thinners and acid burnt fingers and wrists. No matter if you wear gloves the fingers split whilst rubbing and splashes always get over the wrists. Takes a while to start burning until there's the jumping about stage ripping the gloves off and running hands under the tap.

    Then the chrome took mechanical sanding - a drill with attachments to get through the chrome to the nickel layer. Done carefully so as to not wear into the helmet metal itself. Sanded smooth by hand then primed and paint. 

    Really nice helmet that still has the rolling mill stamp so well worth the effort to keep it alive. But a lot of work I must admit.

    The chroming was probably done in the 70s as it was done on nickel and pretty thick. As it's quite difficult to paint chrome someone had, some years later, applied the bitumen a sponge liner, some string for a chin strap and some hand drawn card SS runes on each side - probably to attend some fancy dress party. Remember these things were pretty cheap in the 70s. I will even admit to having an SS dagger that I found in a market for sale that I then welded to the sissy bar of my bike!!!!!!!! :o 

    Edited by Spasm
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    Nice job!

    Next time you want to remove chrome, there's a better way than the abrasive method. I've used this method more than once.

    Muriatic acid, the same stuff that is dumped into pools and used to clean concrete, removes chrome fast and much easier than any other process. A gallon of the stuff is inexpensive....about the cost of two or three beers depending on brand, and where you buy your beer. If you do use muriatic acid, do it outside, wear old clothes, rubber gloves if you have them, eye protection, and do not breath the greenish yellow fumes. Afterwards wash whatever you strip the chrome from, well with a garden hose, and neutralize with good old baking soda. Wash your hands and any exposed skin also.

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    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.



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