Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Before and after pictures of restoration projects

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b.loree
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Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:40 pm

I am reposting the before pictures of this helmet as we are nearing completion:
I have been working on this helmet for a few weeks now, condition has improved quite a lot. Here are the usual "before" pictures. The obvious problem are major finish issues.....probably 90% of the shellac finish is gone or flaking off. My apologies for not having pics of the piece with all fittings in place. I will add pics of the uncleaned fittings in the near future. Naturally, I am concentrating on the refinish first. My thanks to all members who have commented on how much they enjoy these" restoration process" posts.
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This is the worst case of finish loss that I have ever faced, very odd that the visor is almost perfect. Both visors need a restitch. The spike neck and base are pot metal, the spike top itself is pre war quality neusilber. This tells us that this is a mid war helmet where it is very common to find a mixture of zinc and pre war parts. I would point out as well, that the Germans adopted the "pot metal" option once again in WW2. My customer is searching the collector world for an original replacement as we speak. A break in the rear visor indicates cardboard construction.

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Beautiful pre war quality silver Garde reservist wappen! Note the contrasting brass cross and the absence of the usual motto across the eagle chest. The motto is on the cross so the on the regulation reservist wappen the eagle chest is blank.

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This is the wappen today, after cleaning......Excellent!!
Two pictures of the shell today, It still is not perfect but much better than originally. You can see how shiny new shellac looks and it should give you an idea of how the finish looked when our helmets were first made. It is no wonder that the uberzug was developed.
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More shellac and sanding is still needed.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by festwagner » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:11 pm

The plate is very nice, I understand why so many attempts to restore this helmet !

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by kaiser » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:33 am

Looks like a major improvement than the first foto you shown us
Seems that bits and pieces just come off by looking at it :(

Your halfway the proces you cant stop now [-X


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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:01 pm

Yes Jonas, when I got it just handling it made the finish flake off. This is a process which takes time, you can not rush it.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by KAGGR#1 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:33 pm

Brian ;
I know that you will do great work as always .
It made me remember back to the days in 1970
when I started to collect .
My mentor was a gentleman in Memphis, Tenn.
named Robert M. Ledbetter . He was a man of many talents .
He could do a re -finish job on a helmet like you do .
Ledbetter was friends with Cliff Foster who was in the Army
stationed in Germany . If some of you remember the early Col. Rankin
book on helmets , some of the helmets and steins that were in the photos
in the book belonged to Cliff Foster . Cliff would buy helmets & steins in Germany
and send back over to Ledbetter to sell in Memphis .
I bought my first helmet from them , a Prussian officer for $50.00
nothing wrong with it . That was the prices in those early days .
Good memories
Steve McFarland

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:23 pm

Finished restitching visors today....4hrs each. I am also still adding finish to the shell to fill in missing shellac.:

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The crease in the rear visor, can not be fixed as both visors are fibre/cardboard. Wetting this to reshape it, would damage the red cloth on the underside and possible destroy the fibre visor. The shiny areas seen in the photos are areas which are still being filled in with new shellac.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Scout2017 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:18 am

Great job Brian! It's been a long road on restoring this pickelhaube from the work on the road, to finding original replacement parts to take the place of this that had deteriorated beyond use. I can't wait to see the completed project.

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by JzPf » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:36 pm

Brian,

Absolutely beautiful work! What did you use on the plate, it looks like new.
Looking forward to seeing the completed piece.

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:26 pm

Thank you JzP: I use an ultra sonic cleaner like jewellers use and then hit the piece with a soft toothbrush, water and Hagerty Silver Foam. For other fittings, like spikes I use jeweller's rouge and a grinder equipped with a cloth buffing wheel. I must give credit to a French collector who put me on to the Sonic Cleaner, it really loosens 100 years of grime and then the Hagerty brings up the glory of these fantastic officer wappen!
Yes Scout, this has been a long and interesting journey for the both of us. I believe you sent this to me in April and to be honest, I had never seen such a sad state of "finish" on an officer's helmet. However, it is coming back, the refinish is taking the most time. As you know, I am a compulsive perfectionist regarding these things and I have to get it as close to perfect as I can. :)
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by USMC-EOD » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:04 am

That Wappen looks amazing. An ultra sonic cleaner will be on my Christmas list for my wife.

What is the mixture of black coloring to shellac (%) that you use? The brands you find work best? Are you hand scuffing with 0000 steel wool between applications or use another method?

This is fascinating. Sweat equity into a project helmet like this would make it a really special piece in my collection.

Awesome work, Brian.

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Sandmann » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:04 am

Nice work, nice Helmet and all the best for further restauration :bravo:
May I ask how do you put the Shellac onto the Helmet? With a Brush, spraying or a Sponge? Please apologize my newbi question but I have no Idea how to use Shellac and it would be interesting for me to know. Maybe I also find a damaged Helmet someday :wink:
Thx and,
Best wishes, Sandy

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:26 pm

Right now Sandy, I am using a brush. However, my next move will be to buy a compressor and airbrush so that I can spray the finish on. Thanks for the compliment Ryan.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:36 pm

At last....here are the completed photos which show the helmet in it's present condition after approx 5 months of work. Basically 90% of the helmet was refinished, both visors restitched, both chin scales rebuilt, all fittings cleaned, new card board backing for the kokarden and a new original liner. Replacement parts came from another donor helmet which Scout17 sourced in Europe.

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Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Sandmann » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:55 pm

Awesome work Brian, the Helmet looks great :bravo:
It was so interesting to follow your Restauration-Posts and to see how it works, I learned so much about the basics of a Pickelhaube :)
Many thanks for sharing your knowing and that we could participate this restauration =D>
Best wishes, Sandy

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:11 pm

Thank you Sandy. I am glad that you and many other members appreciate these restoration posts. I enjoy helping these old beauties get back to almost new condition. They really are works of art and deserve the effort it takes to restore them. :) My customers also deserve credit in the fact that they value them also and are willing to pay me for my skills. Scout 17 who owns this helmet literally did a world search for the parts that were needed to complete this piece of History.
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by USMC-EOD » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:08 am

Brian, I do not beleive that this site would be nearly as good without your restoration section. A lot of good information that "answers the mail" comes out in your threads.

The best thing about your threads is that i can use them to convince "Mama-san" into allowing me to buy helmets cheaper than normal that need a little "help". Your before and after pics assist in that endeavor...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Jaap Verduijn » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:33 am

Me bloody oath! Now THAT'S what I call a perfect restoration! I'm oozing admiration from all pores and orifices!
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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by pickelhauben » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:02 pm

The finished helmet looks wonderful !!!!

You know you could try the fiberglass tape on that rear visor crease .

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by aicusv » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:17 pm

Beautiful work.
fezzes frigidus es

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Neil Young » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:17 pm

:thumb up: :bravo:
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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Scout2017 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:31 pm

Thanks Brian for another outstanding job. It's been a long journey, but you were able to return what was nearly a basket case to its original glory. It was challanging at times time searching for original parts, but were lucky enough to finds the few missing pieces.

Thank you and this is a real testament to your skill and expertise!

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by J.LeBrasseur » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:57 pm

Fine work Brian!

James
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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Khukri » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 am

Wow!!! My 2.Garde Dragoner Offz would need a nice make over!!!
Thank you for sharing! Gooooooood job!!

Francis

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by Pontiac9999 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:31 pm

Excellent work Brian!

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:23 pm

My thanks to all for their comments. :)
Remember, Pillage first THEN Burn ...

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by JzPf » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:13 pm

Brian,

Absolutely stunning !

Beautiful work.

Dennis

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by 911car » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:46 pm

Congratulations Brian. Beautiful. One of your best salvages so far!

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by KAGGR#1 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:38 pm

Brian ;
Another great job !
What more can I say .
Thanks for the photos

I have done no photos since
the Photobucket dust up

Steve McFarland

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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by b.loree » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks Steve. The photo process is even simpler with SmugMug and costs $4.99 per month. I hope you can master picture posting again as I am sure you have more straps to show us.
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Re: Garde Eisenbahn Officer Restoration

Post by edwin » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:18 am

Nice job, congrats!

Regards,

Edwin

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