Jump to content
Enfield1940

Colour of 1955 HSAT Airborne Helmet

Recommended Posts

Would I be right in thinking that the original factory paint colour of a 1955 dated HSAT helmet would have been Deep Bronze Green?

I ask as I’ve just bought an empty shell I’m intending to restore. I don’t have it in hand yet, but going by the pictures I’ve seen it seems to acquired various layers of paint at different times. E.g the interior is black.

Thanks,

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some pictures:

1232373687_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(2).JPG.e41b2decfa44905ee2c248218b8503ba.JPG2132367202_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(1).JPG.5fe7132af39068b32179e4d4a410678a.JPG828295433_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(9).JPG.b55b665ed2adcd00f9f229e46c1d1dc5.JPG153853707_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(8).thumb.JPG.d3d3fa0b0cb7f604d71893ed73e1153d.JPG1726769963_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(7).JPG.a5d5018125692028f426cd72ad8d8ee4.JPG533268898_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(6).JPG.66ed3946287910b8ef6bcb4a365dbb8e.JPG1605612724_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(5).JPG.5f8c89eefd6effb09d360d0833b71018.JPG337254718_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(4).JPG.3d0db1b85dff4e86b196a89e640cba79.JPG1153232705_1955ROCHSAThelmetshell(3).JPG.c017a6a94829bfb8796c6d69e08d6003.JPG

A more complete example of a ROC 1955 made helmet:

http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/helmets/post-war-parachutists-helmet-126625/

Is it Deep Bronze Green over red oxide primer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't lay my hands on the appropriate Equipment Regulations 1955, but the definitive painting requirements for 1962 are in EMER WORKSHOPS N 251.

Steel helmets:.

Paint, priming, red oxide/iron/zinc chrome brushing.

Paint, finishing, textured matt, olive drab

Note textured matt, not just matt as in general stores & war equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that. Interesting stuff. The paint on the helmet above looks too green to me to be Olive Drab, but I need to see it in the flesh + it looks like there's several layers of paint.

I also own an example of the postwar HSRAC helmet, which is painted in Service Brown and doesn't have any sign of previous paint jobs. The exterior is textured and the interior is smooth. Unfortunately it's undated.

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by Enfield1940

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just found my copy of Equipment Regulations 1959 Pamphlet No.9

Steel helmets:

"Paint, finishing, textured, matt, brushing, olive drab. One coat will suffice if the existing paint is in fairly good condition, but if the metal is visible a priming coat of H1/8010-99-910-6646 should be applied first."

To me that suggests the previous paint would have been similar but if it was DBG (which would mean high gloss) then a primer would have been required for good adhesion.

Of course the OD would be not everyone else's OD but British OD as defined in BSC 381C No.298 introduced in 1949

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. Two votes for Olive Drab then. The paint above doesn't look high gloss, so that may rule out DBG.

I don't suppose there's any mention of how the texturing was achieved? The texturing medium in the paint on the exterior of my service brown HSRAC helmet looks slightly too fine to be sand. Possibly Aluminium Oxide powder?

Thanks,

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark unfortunately, H1/8010-99-910-6646 has been obsolete for a while. What we need is a Vocabulary of Army Ordnance Stores Section H 1 (a) Paints, dopes & varnishes from the late '50s. I know there was one in 1957, but I only have later incarnations that do not list it.

If a VAOS was found, it very likely would indicate the standard to which it was formulated, this would pre-date DefStans so would most likely be a CS (Chemical Specification) laid down by the Director of Chemical Inspection (CI). This was a branch of the War Office Inspection Organization under the control of the Assistant Master-General of the Ordnance (Inspection) (AMGO (I)).

I have catalogues of Government publications from 1894-1984, although if I eventually found it, there would be little detail other than the title. The chance of unearthing the right CS is remote, not helped by the added confusion that CS Specifications were also issued by the Air Ministry that first appeared in 1936 and relate to Civil Specifications.

I used to use 50 micron aluminium oxide for micro-sandblasting. So that was pretty fine & probably as small a particle as you could easily get. I suppose you could mix some of that in & if it wasn’t giving a noticeable texturing, move onto larger particles.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that. Interesting stuff. Hopefully a copy of the VAOS is waiting somewhere to be digitised.

I've also spent some time bashing Google for pictures of postwar painted HSAT, HSRAC and HSDR helmets (yes, I probably need to get out more...) and get the impression that 'textured olive drab, matt' is a general guideline. The texturing seems to vary greatly in terms of density and the size of the texturing medium. 

Perhaps the missing VAOS would say something along the lines of 'XYZ types of powder can be used to add texture' and it doesn't specify how much to use?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there isn't a specific amount of texturing then I'd advice to look at examples and use that as a guide.

Very fine sand should do the trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad's airborne helmet at about 1953-55 was certainly not gloss DBG!  Olive drab matt it may well have been and the texturing looked as if sand (and not too fine) had been used.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: I’ve nearly finished restoring it and it has been painted as to spec in textured olive drab paint over red oxide primer.

An outstanding item is the rubber pad inside the crown which I need to recreate. I was wondering if anyone could fill me in on it’s dimensions including thickness, whether it is round or oval and ideally what type of rubber it is made of? (Sorbothane?)

Thanks in advance for any help.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some progress pics. I stripped it back to bare metal, gave it an undercoat of red oxide primer and then a top coat of textured olive drab.

I have an original liner and chinstrap to fit and the brass bolts and chinstrap loops are repros that I have chemically blackened. Just need so sort out a replacement crown pad and it’s done.

2BF828AC-ACB7-4E90-8C0D-61F64FAE8902.jpeg

BA17A42F-799E-4049-A42A-4EABD414F7B7.jpeg

537AD2C8-F209-4F67-873B-F4B9D83890DF.jpeg

33ACE0D9-35B4-42F4-9394-1E2E9150C7EA.jpeg

9A4A91B1-6C6F-431C-8D9C-973E3D2A5A15.jpeg

89148971-AF50-4BD3-84BB-6DABC4EAC5C1.jpeg

9B25B960-D896-46E2-B4F2-54E762F97248.jpeg

FA8431A5-3573-43FC-854F-877563517CA6.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the textured paint looks pretty good and compares quite well with this 50's repaint of a wartime shell.

p1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a hobby helmet restorer myself I must admit you're donig a good job there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments. I am quite pleased with how it’s turned out.

It so happens I have just sourced some original chinstrap attachment loops which will be an improvement on the slightly crude repros I was previously going to use. Hopefully I’ll eventually  bump into some original bolts to go with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Test assembly. The only things that aren’t original are the paint and the bolts.

I think I am going to have to improvise a lookalike crown pad out of a suitable black foam rubber.

9B49E5C5-3614-408A-90D3-EB500BAF6E82.jpeg

23EC7190-5F7C-4455-9599-CFE383EF65B0.jpeg

EAD46CC8-63B0-4173-99A3-0E362D3D295B.jpeg

97026417-E29C-4694-8470-7CF320CA1C6D.jpeg

67804419-6B4E-4DD0-9B05-60F1AD4911FA.jpeg

E204A1AD-8C18-4BBB-8829-98E8CAD66984.jpeg

Edited by Enfield1940

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...