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Paint Colour of Para Versuchshelm

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    Paint Colour of Para Versuchshelm

    Hi,

    I’ve just snagged one of those slightly mysterious postwar German para helmets. It’s the same as the one shown here:

    http://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/...helm-west.html

    The seller said they’d acquired it from a friend in the early 1990s who before then had used it for re-enactment. Unfortunately said friend overpainted it it tan colour paint. (Although they left the liner bolts the original colour) My Plan A is to try and remove the tan paint off of the grey/blue paint beneath. However, I’m not very optimistic that will work, so Plan B is to repaint it the original colour.

    I think the original paint colour is RAL 7031 Blaugrau. Could anyone confirm this is the case? I believe some other West German helmets were painted in this colour.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    #2
    Update:

    The good news is that Nitromors paint stripper removed the tan paint whilst having almost no effect on the blue/grey paint underneath.

    The bad news is that I have discovered that the reenactor saw fit to give the exterior and the skirt of the interior a quick scrub with sandpaper before repainting it. Other than inside the crown, the original paint is badly scratched.😩

    As there’s not much to lose, I shall try some T-Cut to see how much I can remove the scratches. However, I’m fairly certain I am going to have to repaint it. 😒

    Comment


      #3
      Congratulations on landing one of these hard to find helmets. Good news on having recovered most of the original paint. Shame that doesn't seem to be all you needed.

      Someone here probably knows the RAL code for the original paint. With some luck you can match it exactly.

      Steve

      Comment


        #4
        peregrinvs,

        These helmets were also issued, or repainted by the BW, in a brown colour. I've posted pictures on this forum in the past where both colours were visible and worn by soldiers on parade. I have these helmets in both colours.

        Regards,

        Gordon

        Comment


          #5
          I also have an over-painted helmet. Mine is a dark green, presumably for some Polizei SEK unit.

          Steve

          Comment


            #6
            there have been several discussions with many photos posted of them in distant past. Here are a few, that maybe help:

            http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...t=Versuchshelm

            A couple photos of overpainted example:
            http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...t=Versuchshelm

            I think also a little discussion about them in the thread "West German helmets".

            Klaus

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for all the input. I found the reference to RAL 7031 on the Warrelics.eu forum:

              http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/bundes...bgs-121910-24/

              I have since repainted it in new RAL 7031, although it is noticeably lighter than the original colour on the liner bolts. I'm not sure if this is because it's a different colour or because they are from different paint batches made decades apart. (Or maybe the paint on the shell came from a different batch when it was assembled?)

              After much staring at pictures of other examples of the alleged Versuchshelm, blue/grey painted BGS helmets and other things painted in RAL 7031, I still think it's the best match, but it would be nice to officially confirm it.

              Thanks,
              Mark

              Comment


                #8
                i would be very cautious with infos in that warrelics thread, many wrong/confused infos about BGS there and confusion of Landespolizei items with BGS, etc. so not sure for this RAL code without a source provided.

                Blue-grey RAL code mentioned is not for BGS (who never wore blue helmets), but West Berlin. Not think this is quite same as the Bundeswehr blue-grey, which is probably a reason for the colour difference you noted. But the exact shades of each RAL number have also changed slightly over time.

                Klaus

                Comment


                  #9
                  This helmet gets ever more confusing...

                  As mentioned, the original paint inside the crown is in very good condition. It so happens I have some RAL 7016 Anthrazitgrau paint and when I compare them it seems to be a fairly close match - certainly more so than the RAL 7031.

                  Were postwar German helmets ever painted in 7016? There’s a Versuchshelm here that looks like it might be, but you can’t trust colours on computer screens, etc.

                  http://www.nyc-techwriters.com/milit...n_helmets3.htm

                  Or another possibility is that the reenactor had previously painted it in 7016? However, as mentioned paint stripper has almost no effect on it suggesting it isn’t an amateur paint job. Underneath the original (?) paint is a layer of pale greenish-grey, although I’d assumed that was primer.

                  Cheers,
                  Mark

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just had a thought... The colour of the chinstrap leather in the second link I posted seems to be almost the same as the colour of the shell - as does the paint on my helmet. In contrast, the colour of the chinstrap in the first link I posted looks significantly darker in some of the pictures compared to the shell.

                    So idle theorising... maybe for reasons unknown some were painted in blaugrau and some were painted in anthrazitgrau? Of course this assumes the chinstrap leather colour is the same, but that’s the impression I get.

                    Regards,
                    Mark

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Postscript...

                      After my ramblings below I conducted some experiments with photographing the helmet under different light conditions and decided that the helmets on the web were probably all the same colour. (It can look like a dark blue in lower light levels)

                      So as there seems to be no hard evidence that they were factory painted in anything other than grey/blue, I’ve finished it off in RAL 7031 and reassembled it. (I am 90% confident that is the correct colour)

                      Looks pretty good, though I say so myself. 🙂 if better information comes to light in the future, I can always repaint it.

                      Cheers,
                      Mark

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Well I thought I’d mostly put this one to bed, but today I acquired another example of this helmet at a militaria fair. Unfortunately a reenactor had previously swapped out the liner and chinstrap for repro M38 ones, but it was very reasonably priced.

                        But the interesting thing is that it has the same grey/blue colour paint with pale green-ish primer underneath. It seems rather unlikely that two different helmets would be repainted identically by two different reenactors, so I think that is the original paint colour after all and RAL 7031 Graublau is wrong.

                        I’ve compared it to RAL 7016 Anthrazitgrau and it seems to be a very similar colour, but slightly lighter. A look at a RAL colour chart suggests RAL 7015 Schiefergrau (slate grey) could be a match.

                        Does anyone know if RAL 7015 was a paint colour used by the Bundeswehr, etc?

                        Thanks,
                        Mark

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well I've finally worked out how to add pictures, so lets bring this thread back to life. Firstly some pictures of the trashed original dark grey/blue paint underneath the tan paint the previous owner had added:





                          (The pale grey paint is some primer I added on before repainting to help fill in the scratches)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            After repainting it in RAL 7031 Blaugrau:





                            Comment


                              #15
                              Then comes along the second helmet and my theory that the dark grey/blue paint was also added by the reenactor seems to be blown out of the water.





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