This review is a basic guide on how to spot replica helmets
How do you know if your helmets paint is original?
first clue is the smell test don't be afraid to get up close and smell the helmet obvious signs of artificially ageing is chemical smells or a strong smell of paint sometimes you might not be able to smell the paint always try this at room temperature.
Next clue to you having a repaint is if your helmet is perfect on the outside but heavily rusty on the inside the wear should be the same on the inside as well as the outside this is another obvious point that it is a fake repaint.
The reproducer also trys and atificially wear the helmet to give it the battle scarred look to spot this look for patterns like constant scratching with the same tool the reproducer will use the same technique so compare with the sellers other helmets and see if there are similarities. The usual tools they use for ageing is sand paper so look for scratching to the paint they also use wire wool to wear of the paint on the rim of the helmet and they also whip the top of the helmets with chains ropes to take off paint and make it look like it has been through a war. Also they burn the helmets paint leaving it looking old but this bubbles the paint and can be seen this can be found on originals but with repros also the bubbled paint will be able to sctratch of and it will be more exaggerated.
camo paint is the hardest to decide wether its original or not it is very hard as they vary because it was the soldier who decided how he wanted his helmet to look the most common and easiest to fake is the snow camo helmet and is very hard to tell if it is original or not basically the white should not be bright white it would have discolored with age making it look more cream/yellow in colour also look for wear on the rim and crown and smell the paint to see if it smells.
all camo's are different and should not be all the same but they should have a "dead look" to them this means that it looks dull, fake look bright in colour and freshly painted.
another is a little scratch test if it has been painten recently with a finger it should scratch off with ease, on originals paint will not scratch of only exeptions with relic helmets.
you can see original camos with all sorts on them ranging from concrete to wood chip mixed with paint even sand so not every camo is the same.
also fakers like to paint names on the rim of the helmets or even paint names or towns on the outside of the helmet to make it look like a captured vet bring back.
the painted names are usually painted with white and the white should be discolored and not bright it should look off in colour if it isn't you will have a fake.
How can i tell if the wear is original?
The fakers also like to do rust spots to give it that real aged look to it, with fake reproduced rust usually sits on the top of the paint like a coating and looks like red in colour this with a hand is easily wiped off why? because they buried the helmet underground for about 2 to 3 months dig it back up and it gathers a little rust coating but the rust hasn't had the time to bond with the helmet and stick to the helmet because it hasn't had time. were as real wear has had over 60 years to bond to the helmet and the rust that bleeds through the helmet will usually come from underneath the paint and will not be bright red in colour but it will be brown in colour. On originals the main wear patterns on nearly every german helmet is on the top crown of the helmet and the rim of the helmet.
Note though if the helmet is a relic or if it has been left in damp or a shed it can start to re-rust over showing red rust this happens because the helmet either hasnt been treated or it has been exposed to damp
Fake liners and chin straps
There is one main thing to do smell the liner if it smells of fresh leather or chemicals you definitely have a repro liner, originals always have that old smell to it.
also burning is another way to brown and age the liners so if it smells burnt you probably have a fake.
another one it boot polish this darkens the liner making it look old so just give it a good smell.
Liner bands should always be maker marked and all should be dated and all should have the size, there are different types of liner bands steel aluminum and reinforced aluminum liner band, another point never take your liner out to check the maker mark chances are you will not get it back in again and this seriously devalues your helmet.!
fake chinstraps also has the new leather smell to it and nearly all fake chinstraps are marked Larsen and dated 1938 so watch out as the seller will add these to bump the value of the helmet right up because chinstraps alone are worth £100+
if you want to take a chance make sure the seller gives a money back guarantee on the item also don't be afraid to ask around get other peoples opinions before buying join a forum dicussion board were theres lots of other experienced collectors and dealers to answer your question remember its your money your parting with,
if you have no experience do alot of reasearch before buying because the fakes are getting better and easier to fake handle as many originals as you can before you buy don't jump in feet first buy the cheapest and work your way up.
Also please let me know if you have any militaria to sell as i am always looking for new items to add to my collection firstname.lastname@example.org