Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Before and after pictures of restoration projects

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aicusv
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Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:18 pm

A little time back I mentioned on another thread about the remains of a helmet that I acquired when I purchased another collector's extra parts box. This helmet is a large size and actually fits me, so I decided that I would try putting it back together. The thought was to use this piece in the public presentations I give on WWI. This would give my audience the opportunity to see and handle an original helmet, without putting any of my collection pieces at risk.
Someone had attempted to put a new liner in the helmet and had removed the visors. It took me about 6 months to restitch the visors. Once I had the visors reattached I started digging through my parts to see what I had to complete the helmet. I had everything needed, except the one item I didn't think would be an issue, the Wappen. This helmet should have just a plane line eagle, which matches the "ghost" on the front of the helmet. After trying several grey metal eagle I discovered that none of mine fit. The construction of the helmet is a fiber bowl with leather visors, but the Wappen holes are just too close together. They measure a max. 77mm spread (widest to widest point), while the loops on all my Wappen measure 80mm (widest to widest). I now have to find a Wappen. Cockades are repainted and the chin strap is made of original hardware with new leather.

Here are some photos; a before and a couple of almost completed.
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b.loree
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by b.loree » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:37 pm

Excellent work, could we see a picture of your liner? :thumb up:
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:32 pm

b.loree wrote:Excellent work, could we see a picture of your liner? :thumb up:
Thank you. As I said earlier I received this with the liner in it and it was not my intention to restore this piece. If I had realy given it some thought I may well have put an original liner in it. I have one, but it is from s smaller helmet. The material of this liner is wrong, but has the piece will be handled by the public it will do.

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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by b.loree » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:04 pm

Thank you for the picture. Yes incorrect leather but still not a bad job. A suggestion if you want.....the loops in the repro leather chin strap where the M91 fittings are can be removed by wetting the entire strap and then stretching and pinning it tight over over a styrofoam head form covered in a plastic grocery bag. If you do this, the strap will look more natural to the helmet and those gaps/loops will be gone. This is what happened to chin straps originally, they were pulled tight under the chin and then wet with sweat and skin oil. The original leather, fits tight to the shell and the end fittings. Just a suggestion :) .
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by USMC-EOD » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:56 am

Since the bowl is fibre, could it be from a late private purchase enlisted helmet?

Perhaps for use with a private purchase vulcanfibre enlisted wappen with screw posts on the rear rather than loops? Maybe that's why none of your wappen fit.

Not sure if the private purchase "thing" for the enlisted helmets extended into the 1915 gray finished parts or not; I've never seen one. Officer's shell?

My vulcanfibre issued enlisted ersatz has rivets holding the front and rear visors on, but it was made by the same company that made officer vulcanfibre helmets under an obvious contract.

Kind of cool and curious at the same time. And a neat way to do the living history gig for school kids. Pretty awesome, actually.

S/F

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coert65
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by coert65 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:19 am

Goodmorning,

I might be able to help you, I've got a linienadler here, M15 grey, which is lying around in my collection.
It is original, but missing its loops. So maybe it can be of use to your helmet?
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Solder some loops on it, so it will fit your helmet, was my thoughts about it.

Let me know if you're interested in it.
Have a nice weekend, Coert :)

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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by b.loree » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:25 pm

Hi Bry....This helmet can not be private purchase with those great TB unit markings. It has to be government issue, :)
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:10 pm

B.Loree - thank you for the tip, I'll will be on a form tonight.
USMC - I mentioned in another post of having two helmets marked to this same unit. The other helmet is also fiber bowl with leather visors, but the Wappen holes on the other are a little farther apart. Rear visor is made of the worse piece of leather I've ever seen on a helmet, really thin.
Coert - I'll PM you, as this maybe a away to go. I keep wondering why the depots put new holes in the helmets rather than moving loops?
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by USMC-EOD » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:46 am

Hey Brian/Aicusv,

Sorry about that. I was under the impression from the posts that the shell and the visors came into AICUSV's possession already separated and were potentially from two completely different helmets. Perhaps a private purchase vulcanfibre officer or private purchase enlisted shell with visors from an M1915. I guess I mis-read.

I've never seen an issued vulcanfibre ersatz enlisted helmet other than the type that uses rivets to hold vulcanfibre visors to the shell. I've seen stitching for the visors on the lacquer covered felt variations. This sounds pretty cool to me and it makes for another variation on the ersatz helmets to keep on the lookout for.

If any other members have one of these I would love to see it for the reference catalog. Heck, I would love to see a ersatz helmets have their own category; "Ersatz helms-all types".

Of course, there is a world full of stuff I've never seen out there, and that is what makes this site so awesome.

I think that is highly cool and I want to see if I can find one!

And Aicusv-I think you are doing the future of this hobby a good turn by getting out there and inspiring young, future pickelhaube collectors "in the making" by doing the living history gig with this helmet. I know I would have been fascinated by your equipment when I was a kid. Any chance you can post pics of what your final set-up would look like? Good on ya!

S/F

Bryan.

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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:12 pm

USMC - Thanks, I joy doing it. I'll have to get some photos - I just checked and I don't have any that actually show the German part of the display. What I usually put out is a mannequin of a German infantryman of the late war period (talks focus of the US involvement), rifles, edge weapons, shoulder straps, belt buckles, as well as helmets and caps.Presentations are given to anyone who will listen, besides school groups, we have presented to local historical societies, and library groups. Looks like I will have to take photos next time I give a talk.
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by USMC-EOD » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:10 am

That would be really neat to see. I know Gus from this site does a lot of similar displays for the public. Some of his pictures from these events are really great.

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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:44 pm

Quick up date, Good news, I've acquired a Wappen, bad news, it maybe too nice to use. I'll post a photo shortly.
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:09 pm

As I posted before I acquired a Wappen for this helmet so here is a photo of the now completed piece.
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Here is a shot of this helmet's sister, it is also stamped Tr8 and is fiber body with leather visors. As you see this one is "under construction".
Image

As both helmets are the same construction, both marked to the same unit, I'm assuming that they were part of a lot set to this unit.
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by aicusv » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:44 pm

USMC-EOD wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:46 am
Hey Brian/Aicusv,

Sorry about that. I was under the impression from the posts that the shell and the visors came into AICUSV's possession already separated and were potentially from two completely different helmets. Perhaps a private purchase vulcanfibre officer or private purchase enlisted shell with visors from an M1915. I guess I mis-read.



S/F

Bryan.
I did receive the helmet with the visors removed, but they are clearly the visors that came on this helmet, as the holes and other marks line up on the bowl.

b.l. As you can see I took your advice on the chin strap leather, looks a whole lot better.

The finished piece really turned out well and looks like what a pickelhaub should, so I believe it will serve well with my talks.
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Re: Train Battalion 8, resurrection

Post by b.loree » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:21 pm

Yes those repro chin straps always look so much better when wetted and stretched. Well done 👍
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