Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Before and after pictures of restoration projects

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b.loree
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Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:47 pm

I had about 2 weeks of down time this past month where the officer tschapka was done and sent back, I was still working on a refinish job on a Garde M15 but I had some time to actually work on a couple of my helmets. This is a Garde Arty officer helmet which has needed the rear visor restitched for about 12 years. The helmet is a special one to me because it came out of the small Ontario town where my parents lived for 30+ years. I never in my wildest dreams, ever thought that I would buy a Garde officer helmet from this town on Lake Huron. I got an email from the seller asking if I would be interested, pictures followed during the same week and I packed the wife and kids in the car on Saturday and hit the road for the 3hr drive to buy the helmet. As we all know, you strike when something rare is offered, you do not screw around. 8-) . Finally we arrived....wife fed up, kids fed up from being tied into car seats for 3 hrs! I leave them in the car, knock on the door of this townhouse and enter a world of snotty nose crying kids, toys scattered everywhere, half eaten breakfast on the table and a sink filled with dirty dishes. The seller, whose great uncle a CN officer from WW1 brought the helmet back, had no real clue as to what he had. I must admit, I was tempted to take advantage but I looked around at his "living conditions" :o and I could not do it, I paid market value. This is a mid war produced helmet. So here are some initial pictures:
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I have never seen this before....M15 officer kokarden with cardboard backing for the usual chin scale bosses. Both kokarden had this feature.

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Both visors on this helmet are vulcan fibre while the shell is leather. As usual, all old thread is cleaned out and the visor pinned into place being careful that all holes are lined up. This turned into an easy stitch :) .

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The liner on this piece is excellent and I do not believe the helmet was actually worn much if at all.

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The front of the shell has a beautiful Garde Ghost Shadow on it. To be continued...
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Jaap Verduijn
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restpration

Post by Jaap Verduijn » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:20 pm

Looking forward to the continuation!
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restpration

Post by aicusv » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:19 pm

Truly looking forward to seeing this helmet back together. Your work has been an inspiration and given me the courage to try putting some of my pieces back together.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restpration

Post by b.loree » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:44 am

Thank you. You learn this stuff by doing it but initially you do not "learn" by working on other people's hats, fix your own first. Restoration is a problem solving exercise...the subject has problems...you figure out a way of correcting those without wrecking the helmet. The Dragoner 16 haube has some real unique problems which are going to require different solutions. This Garde helme as I began this thread...is special because it came from a place where my parents had lived for many years. What adds to the speciality, is the money used to pay for this helmet came from the small inheritance which I received after my father's death. My mother had died in their house in this town 10 years prior so... a special helmet to me.
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by Sandmann » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:23 am

I also looking forward to see the restauration.
Concerning the stiching, will it be done by hand or with an old machine? Sorry for the question but the stiches looks so fine and I don‘t know if I could do it... :)
Best wishes, Sandy

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by USMC-EOD » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:17 am

Oh boy; this is going to be good :bravo: . I think I have the twin brother to your helmet, but in worse condition.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:32 am

Thanks to all, I should have had this done years ago as it was a very basic repair that was finished in about 2 hrs. Sandy, all stitching must be done by hand as the machine would crack the old shellac finish. Years ago I tried to get a local shoe repair guy to do a visor.....it broke the needle on his machine and left a line of missing finish along the stitch line. He did not have the correct style of machine which was used originally on these helmets. If you pull up the liner on an OR helmet you can sometimes see a row of marks pressed into the shell caused by the "foot" of the machine. Probably the same kind of machine is used to stitch modern caps.
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by aicusv » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:25 pm

Many years ago I asked a cobbler (who was also a collector) about restitching visors. He explained that unless you have the same type of machine that was original used it would more than likely result in damaging the helmet. If the timing on the needle was different it wouldn't aline with the old holes.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:32 pm

That explains a great deal. Thanks
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:47 pm

I reassembled this haube yesterday so here are the "finished" pictures:
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I mentioned that this was a mid war production helmet and the most glaring evidence of this are the zinc pot metal scales that it came with. Fortunately, the wappen is pre war quality, as is the kugel. A mixture of brass and zinc parts is a characteristic of this type of helmet production. On this piece I believe the rear spine and visor trim are zinc but have retained their gold wash. Here are some other characteristics that this helmet has which I feel represent mid war manufacture.....zinc square nuts, split brad officer stars, with washers but no support disc. The wappen here has screw posts but other wartime wappen will have soldered brads on the reverse side. We have also seen here the unusual use of officer M91 kokarden.

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The chin scale bosses are brass.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by kaiser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:01 pm

Thats a helmet that pokes you in the eye just by looking to it :o
Thats a very shiney plate that is sitting on it
A cleaning makes a lot diffrence on a helmet that old

Jonas

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:09 pm

The wappen was cleaned once with a soft tooth brush water and Hagerty Silver Foam. One coat of black shoe polish was applied to the shell and the rear visor was restitched. The helmet is in excellent condition but I may replace those chin scales.
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kaiser
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by kaiser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:17 pm

Its a mid war helmet so i wouldend bother that mutch for replacing the chinscales
This was not uncommon on those helmets
It kinda has something a officer with a mixture of diffrent parts

Jonas

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by aicusv » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:13 pm

I agree with kaiser, the scales are part of the history of this helmet. The piece looks great the way it is.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by USMC-EOD » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:35 pm

That looks fantastic, Brian.

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by pickelhauben » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:04 pm

Nice Make-over .

I have a Wartime Pioneer officer that had faded zinc chinscales along with the rest of the hardware .

I went through the effort stripped them down an took the scales to be gilted ( gold electroplated )and silvered the other parts.

That lasted about 5 years .

Now about 20 years later they look just like they did when I got the helmet with no gilting and silver plating.at all .


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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by KAGGR#1 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:03 pm

Brian ;
That officers Garde eagle has been on there forever .
It really good .
Great helmet

Steve

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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:16 pm

Thanks Steve, much appreciated! You have some Garde beauties yourself in that fantastic collection of yours :)
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Re: Garde Arty Officer Restoration

Post by edwin » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:20 am

Nice job, congrats!

Regards,

Edwin

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