Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Custom-made M-1 Helmets

Following the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, here's something a bit off the beaten path for this vintage blog.  You can now get custom-created M-1 helmets refurbished to WW2 standards at the Houndstooth Kid Haberdashery.  These are perfect for reenactors or if you are just looking for an attractive display piece.

click images to enlarge

What does this mean exactly?   I can recreate either WW2 U.S. infantry or airborne helmet shells. These postwar shells are refurbished to plain-jane, standard as-issued helmets and you can add on any markings, camo, etc. that you wish.  Airborne markings? MP markings? Medic markings? Camo? 'Follow me' bars? No problem.  These are individually hand-crafted to your specifications.

I take a postwar shell, strip off the awful silica texture and apple green paint, paint it with correct extra-flat OD paint and texture it with cork, and then bar tack the repro chinstraps onto the shell.  I then hand paint any markings and/or camo you want.

A before and after shot of an M1C helmet for a fellow reenactor.

The liner is a decent repro made of shiny plastic, so I also paint the outside of the liner with flat OD paint to make it look more correct.  I can provide either infantry or airborne liners.  These liners have OD7 webbing and are green inside, so not the most accurate, however most non-reenacting folks don't know the difference and most likely won't even see the inside of the liner. These fit both WW2 and postwar shells but fit a tad tight. Overall, I'm happy with them seeing how expensive USGI liners are becoming these days.  I don't yet have liners up for sale on the Etsy site but should soon.

These helmets are strictly for reenacting and/or display purposes. If you're a WW2 reenactor or just want a nice display piece, these are for you.  They look great as the photos below can attest to.

The M1C from the comparison photo above.

An infantry helmet I created for my 41st Armored Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division impression.  The 2nd Armored emblem was hand painted and the entire helmet lightly aged to give it that combat-used look.

Photos of the above helmet in use, along with another one of my infantry helmets being worn by a fellow reenactor at an airsoft game.

Here's an M1C airborne helmet I created for myself out of a rusted late-WW2 shell.  Detail shots are included, as well as shots of the airborne liner.

Showing the airborne chinstraps.

Detail shot of the corking and the chinstrap bar tack.

The repro airborne liner.  The scuffs are from being in the shell.

Interior shot.  The exterior was also shiny plastic until painted.

How I intend to use it: with a piece of camo parachute material, as was occasionally done by paratroopers and infantrymen alike.

Some comparison shots of my M1C (left) and an early-war infantry M-1 (right).  Note that the paint color of original shells often differed depending upon manufacturer and the period of the war they were made, just like original webgear and uniforms throughout the war.  There was no perfect standard.  While different, both the reproduction and original helmets shown in the photos below are accurate for the Second World War.

Detail of the corking.

Liners.  Repro on the left, original on the right.

So, if you're interested either go to the Houndstooth Haberdashery and check out your options and pricing or contact me at houndstoothkid@hotmail.com.  I look forward to being able to recreate a piece of history for you to wear and display.

1 comment:

Robert said...
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