THE HELMET THREAD

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    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:20 pm

    Never seen one of these before,thought at first it was a 6A with visor attachments.













    GregPickersgill
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    NP EOD HELMET

    Post by GregPickersgill on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:50 am

    Gulf91 wrote:Never seen one of these before,thought at first it was a 6A with visor attachments.

    Any possibility you can post a picture of it without the cover? (If not, can you say whether the rim contour is the same as a Mk6/6a (with no 'step' at the side). What does it weigh? Does it have an applied rim rather than the usual moulded-on rim of the Mk6 and 6A?

    Its fairly obviously a National Plastics/Courtaulds product - which does the label actually give?

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:01 am

    Without removing the visor mounts,which I don't want to do,will try to peel back as much of the cover as I can and take some pics.

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:58 pm

    a small update to the hemet display

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Thu May 07, 2015 1:49 pm

    Very very happy,missing its chinstrap which is a shame but still happy!!














    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 10, 2015 9:46 am

    I have no interest at all in anything before WW2 and know very little about WW1 stuff but saw this on a cheap Buy It Now and snapped it up as a friend thought that being white painted it was probably a 1920s Irish made Vickers helmet.

    While waiting for it to arrive I did what little research I could on the Vickers helmets and now it has arrived was a bit gutted to find it wasnt a Vickers helmet but more chuffed to find,again after doing some research that it turns out to be an ET66 stamped WW1 German M16 Helmet with its original liner and rivets(missing its chinstrap) that has at some stage been painted white and a hand painted Nation Colours Shield applied. Searched high and low and cannot ID the shield or white paint so anybody please got any ideas on it?

    All the seller could tell me regarding its history is that it had been hanging up in his Dads garage for at least the past 45 years.


    Many Thanks.














    GregPickersgill
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by GregPickersgill on Thu May 14, 2015 6:34 pm

    That Thetford Mk6 is a wonderful thing. I have never seen that version before and it is a genuine delight to know it even exists. You are very fortunate to have got hands-on with that! Does it really have a front rivet or is that just a trick of the light? I need to know!

    As regards your white M18, I do know a fair amount about flags and off the top of my head nothing fitted that black/green/red tricolour either as a vertical or horizontal. I double-checked with some books and websites and still nothing, either extant or historical (since 1916 anyway). Of course that doesn't mean I haven't missed something.

    The only hint I can give is that Bulgaria used a black/green/red insignia of similar pattern, and there's the small (tiny) possibility that it is Bulgar civil defence (white is occasionally used for CD helmets throughout Europe) where the white has been substituted for black, for obvious reasons. But that's an unsubstantiated conclusion, really. The best webpage on Bulgar helmets - http://helmet.0catch.com/ - is no help in this instance.

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Fri May 15, 2015 3:01 am

    i would agree greg ,the tricolour looks bulgarian ,here is my vickers to show what the differances are between

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Fri May 15, 2015 3:14 am

    GregPickersgill wrote:That Thetford Mk6 is a wonderful thing. I have never seen that version before and it is a genuine delight to know it even exists. You are very fortunate to have got hands-on with that! Does it really have a front rivet or is that just a trick of the light? I need to know!

    As regards your white M18, I do know a fair amount about flags and off the top of my head nothing fitted that black/green/red tricolour either as a vertical or horizontal. I double-checked with some books and websites and still nothing, either extant or historical (since 1916 anyway). Of course that doesn't mean I haven't missed something.

    The only hint I can give is that Bulgaria used a black/green/red insignia of similar pattern, and there's the small (tiny) possibility that it is Bulgar civil defence (white is occasionally used for CD helmets throughout Europe) where the white has been substituted for black, for obvious reasons. But that's an unsubstantiated conclusion, really. The best webpage on Bulgar helmets - http://helmet.0catch.com/ - is no help in this instance.

    Thanks Greg. yes,there is a front rivet but they arent the same as the later rubber prong type thing so not as distinctive and harder to spot.

    GregPickersgill
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by GregPickersgill on Fri May 15, 2015 8:11 am

    Gulf91 wrote: Thanks Greg. yes,there is a front rivet but they arent the same as the later rubber prong type thing so not as distinctive and harder to spot.

    So it is a rivet. That's amazing. I have never encountered a front liner fixing on any Mk6 I have seen so far. I would guess this is only on the Thetford-made examples. Looking closely at your pictures the two rear fixings seem to the the more expected rubber 'mushroom' object with the spares name of 'Rivet Mk 6' (unsurprisingly). Which is very difficult to get hold of unless you Know A Man who happens to be in QM.

    Can you tell, by look or feel, whether that front rivet is metal or rubber? This is actually a quite important point and I really would like to know. Also, the two structures that look like solid bars running from front to back at the sides of the interior - are they actually solid, part of the shell moulding, or what?

    Did you think that anyone would find your helmet this interesting?!?!?

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Fri May 15, 2015 4:47 pm

    Thought there would be more interest to be honest Greg given its rarity

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 4:52 am

    i thought that about my fedayeen helmet gulf but nobody batted an eyelid ,such is life

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 5:02 am

    thunderchild wrote:i thought that about my fedayeen helmet gulf but nobody batted an eyelid ,such is life

    It is indeed.

    As the madness that is the addiction of collecting militaria started about 30 years ago with a Bundy Sidehat and a Belgian M1 with a Mitchell cover on it sold as a 100% genuine Vietnam Helmet(oooh how little I knew back then) I concentrated for many years only on helmets and headgear(then the bug took hold and started collecting EVERYTHING military related),Helmets I would say are still close to my heart when it comes to collecting and while I am seriously trying to downsize the helmet side of things and try to refrain from buying more,sometimes you just HAVE to,heeeehh.

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 5:08 am

    thunderchild wrote:i thought that about my fedayeen helmet gulf but nobody batted an eyelid ,such is life

    Forgot to add that I would love one of those but a bit out of my price range unfortunately.

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 5:41 am

    those mitchell belgian m1's a still doing the rounds today ,a shame for any newbie collector ,i could never afford a fed helmet either but through the joys of trading found an item well worth a straight swap, there is a reproduction fed helmet out there to if somebody just wanted an example for the shelf , can i ask why your mk6 is so rare ,it has wet gregs appetite so it must be good ,thanks

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 6:18 am

    If you look at it compared to an issue/std Mk6 you will see slight differences in the inside-the main difference was with the chinstrap which unflrtunately is missing from mine. Its a trials/prototype model,cannot find much if any info on it but some say they were trialled in very small numbers during the Falklands campaign in 1982(never seen any pics) and another guy has commented that he was issued one during troop trials in 1981-reason he remembered is that the trials chinstrap had a nasty plastic chincup which he remembered hating!!!

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 11:08 am

    thanks for the extra info gulf regarding the mk6 ,you mentioning the chin cup got my running to my war room ,these trials models must all be in north wales Very Happy i notice mine has 600 penned both sides can i ask what number is on yours mate and do you have any thoughts to why there ? thanks james

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 11:21 am

    Bloody hell,another,My God Shocked Shocked Shocked .


    No idea regarding the numbers I'm afraid. Any chance please of some detailed pics of the chinstrap? Doubt I would ever find a replacement so thought I might try and make one.


    Hope no more of these pop up from everywhere(before I got mine was only aware of 1 other)

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 11:49 am

    to be honest ive had mine years and never really paid much attention to it untill today ,glad i asked now ,i did wonder why mine only had a two point chinstrap ,the strap is huge in length and a real pain to know what to do with the excess when on display ,i just tuck it into the shell ,as for the frontal rivit its sticks out as much as the rear two and seems to be made of an opaque plastic ,this would be one of the easiest helmets to strip down as the tapered rivits can be pushed back through the shell with ease

    GregPickersgill
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by GregPickersgill on Sun May 17, 2015 12:53 pm

    Wow, incredible. TWO OF THEM! This is genuinely exciting. For me anyway. James, are you 100percent certain that yours never had a third element to the chinstrap - no fixing point or bolt or anything at the rear? If not, can you post a pic of its rear end? You know I'll be lifting all these for CompoSite, don't you!?!?! (Actually, looking four or five times at it, that chinstrap looks very like the Para Lightweight - any chance of a detailed picture of it?)

    As regards this business of trials helmets - there is very little available info as Richard already said, and I do wonder whether that will improve at all if Cotton's book actually appears (I hope I'll live long enough...). All that I know is that several versions of what finally became the production Mk6 were trialled, some of them distinctly different from the final product, from all acounts. I have seen only one picture though, which from memory does show a Mk6-ish object with a single two-piece chinstrap. (Annoyingly I can't find the bookmark for the appropriate web-forum I found it on right now - I'll post it later).

    Were these Thetford products short runs that were part of that trial? I don't know. Another Mk6 collector (Richard Aixill) has said about the trial helmets -

    "These helmets were very similar to the final MK VI - having only minor design differences. Ballistic nylon composite helmets were undergoing user trials at this time and they were evident during the major BAOR exercise - Lionheart 84 - by elements of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards .... The MK VI design having been accepted for service, issue commenced with a pre-production run of 6,000 (this included issue to elements of 5 Airborne Brigade). This was then followed by the wider general issue, most likely commencing in mid to late 1985. I myself was issued my first MK VI in March 1986 whilst on attachment in Northern Ireland (issue to troops stationed in the province began sometime immediately prior)."

    My feeling is that there was some distributed manufacture of the 6 - by companies such as NEI and Triton-Oliver, and possibly Thetford (who were already doing the Para Lightweight, remember) - and then concentrated with NP Aerospace from about 1986. But still that tells us not much about the trials helmets. A whole field of collecting here, really. This stuff is going to be pretty hard to find.

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 1:11 pm

    I wonder home many more will come out of the woodwork???

    Its a shame mine is missing its chinstrap and James's is missing the elastic side head supports.

    The numbers marker penned inside mine are 956 and there is a name NASH written in pen on one of the elastic side straps.

    Gulf91
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by Gulf91 on Sun May 17, 2015 1:37 pm

    Just dug this out from an October 1971 dated copy of Soldier Magazine(the official British Army Magazine)




    GregPickersgill
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by GregPickersgill on Sun May 17, 2015 2:44 pm

    Now that's a fascinating pic from the issue of 'Soldier' - never seen anything like that before. It has the genetic material of the Para Lightweight in it though, that's for certain.

    Right then - I found the page that showed the trials Mk6 as used in the Falklands - go to

    http://militariamalvinas.forumcommunity.net/?t=55103480

    Also, from my notes, Canadian collector Roger Lucy has said - "According to a timeline on the development of the Mk.6 that I have buried away somewhere, Britain began the search for a new combat helmet in August 1968. The initial requirement was for a common design suited for infantry, paratroopers and AFV crew. By May 1971, it was realized that this was unfeasible and a separate requirement for a new infantry helmet was issued. Six different prototypes were then tested between 1975 and 1978 and contracts for the first 1500 helmets for troop trials were issued in 1979. In November 1982 the Mk.6 was accepted for production, subject to adoption of a three point chin-strap. Pilot production began in 1982 and first issue (to the 5th Airborne Brigade) was in late 1984. The regular army and the Territorials were completely re-equipped by 1990."

    Which certainly reinforces what Richard Aixill said, quoted in my previous message.

    It has also been said, with some authority that "the PM6 or Pilot Model Mk6 was the original troop trial version of the MK6 helmet. There were 1500 made and each one is individually numbered. There were 300 of them fitted with IS visors ... ...during 1978 limited trials were made of PM 6 including visor attachment for Internal Security use. Larger trials were planned in 1979 and quantities fixed at 1500 of which 300 were to have IS visors. Contracts were placed during the same year and major trials were undertaken during July 1981. In November 1982, the PM 6 was accepted subject to the modification of the chin strap to a three point pattern and the helmet designated GS Mk.6. Contracts for pilot production of the GS Mk6 were placed during 1983 with six manufacturers each to supply 1000 helmets. Monitored issue of the GS Mk6 was undertaken by 5th Airborne Brigade during Exercise 'Lionheart'. contracts for the IS visors and kit were placed during January 1985."

    So, all this stuff is mutually reinforcing. The only thing I am not 100percent convinced of so far is that these Thetford helmets are in fact the PM6 referred to. But then again, they do look like it don't they.

    (I really must get to grips with this image hosting system this forum uses - so far whenever I have tried it everything just sorta vanished. And I think I'm a reasonably competent web-user. Perhaps not so certain.)

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 3:01 pm

    hi greg and gulf ,bear with us a moment and ill get back to you ,but greg quickly to add i use a photo host photobucket ,then click on the uploaded photo copy and paste the url into the thread you want to post to and just to make sure your happy preview it first


    Last edited by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

    thunderchild
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    Re: THE HELMET THREAD

    Post by thunderchild on Sun May 17, 2015 3:33 pm

    i took the plunge and stripped down the mk6 ,easier than i imagined as the rivits are not tapered ,i realise mine does have the side webbing ,it had just pulled forward so ive put back into place while the padding was out ,greg i can confirm there is no rear fixing and the chinstrap is roughly 1m long ,thank you rich and greg for what has turned out to be an interesting day for mk6 helmet research  ,greg please feel free to pull any pictures for composite,thanks james

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