I have now invented a new category of restored helmets I am naming "Tribute Restorations". What this is means is that I have decided to restore these original helmet shells based on their rear lot numbers as set out my Brian Ice's lot data book indicating which branch of Wehrmacht service they originally left the factory as. In this particular case this is an M40 Quist size 66 shell with rear lot number of S3440 which was originally issued as a Waffen SS single decal. This is exactly the same way the helmet looked during the war and was a restored as a "tribute" to the helmet itself if that makes any sense. SS original shells are very hard to find with only about 1/100 being traced back to them in Brian Ice's factory adata book.
Here is a beautiful example of a mid-war everyday man's fighting helmet in a highly sought after M40 Q66. This particular shell type is most popular among collectors and especially re-enactors because it fits most men's heads of today and the Quist factory is known for producing the heaviest/thickest gauge of steel which was appreciated by Wehrmacht soldiers in the field.
The inside paint is smooth enamel with a textured outside finish in textbook German flat feld grau (field gray). The SS decal is white metallic and is also textbook Quist style unique to that factory whereby the bottom edge of the runes run slightly below the break point in the outside black shield lines. All other SS decals have the runes positioned a little bit higher up in the shield. I also used one of my in house techniques to give the decal a nice tea toned muted appearance as is seen with most Quist SS decals I have either seen or handled.
During the pressing of this original shell somehow the quality of the steel or intensity of the heat caused some striations in the metal both inside and outside yield a sort of "stretched orange peel effect". I have taken some close ups of this but to be crystal clear this is not rust or rust pitting but are original slight deformations in the surface during the pressing of the original rounded steel flange. It looks pretty neat up close though and gives the helmet an almost sinister appearance.
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GERMAN HELMET FACTORY PRODUCTION CODES
(Every original German helmet produced from 1935 to 45 had two factory stampings punched into the side and rear or both in the rear. The alpha numeric number refers to the factory location and the inside metric circumference in centimeters. The rear lot number refers to the production run and was used as a quality control measure. The font styles used at each factory were slightly different but highly consistent throughout the war and so fakes or reproductions will either not have these numbers at all or they will use the wrong font style or letter spacing and so are easily identified as post war made.)
(FS or EF)-Emaillierwerke AG, Fulda, Germany
(ET or ckl)-Eisenhuttenwerke, Thale, Germany
(Q)-Quist, Esslingen, Germany
(NS)-Vereinigte Deutsche Nikelwerke, Schwerte, Germany
(SE or hkp)-Sachsische Emaillier u. Stanzwerke, Lauter, Germany