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1940 MkII Helmet - Khaki Green No.3 Paint?


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Hi,

 

I'm considering restoring this 1940 dated MkII helmet that has been attacked with silver paint. I've photographed what appears to be the original paint in the interior, which is a yellowish/greenish brown colour.

attachment.php?attachmentid=125240&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=125241&stc=1

Could anyone confirm or deny my hypothesis that this is faded Khaki Green No.3 paint? I've read elsewhere that this is the sort of colour it goes when the green pigment fades.

 

Thanks,

Mark

MkII Helmet interior (1).jpg

MkII Helmet interior (2).JPG

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Hi,

 

I'm considering restoring this 1940 dated MkII helmet that has been attacked with silver paint. I've photographed what appears to be the original paint in the interior, which is a yellowish/greenish brown colour.

attachment.php?attachmentid=125240&stc=1attachment.php?attachmentid=125241&stc=1

Could anyone confirm or deny my hypothesis that this is faded Khaki Green No.3 paint? I've read elsewhere that this is the sort of colour it goes when the green pigment fades.

 

Thanks,

Mark

 

It's definitely brown, most early ones I've come across are brown and later on painted green, the green doesn't fade to that colour

Hope this helps

Colin

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I'm not so sure there was ever an official paint colour with the nomenclature of KG3, there was a KG3 Blanco but not a paint colour of that name. At the outbreak of WWII most equipment was painted in one of the standards of Bronze Green (yes there was more than one variant of Bronze Green). However, with the onset of U Boat activity there was soe difficulty in obtaining certain pigmets for making paint and fro about 1940 onwards everything is standardised in SCC2 Brown, ALL new equipment manufactured after Dunkirk is painted SCC 2 Brown. 

This continued until early 1944 when "ACI 533. Camouflage. - War Equipment, etc. - Change in Basic Colour" stipulated:

"I. Olive drab will be adopted as the basic camouflage colour for all army equipment, in lieu of Standard Camouflage Colour No. 2 (brown), and certain new equipments painted Olive Drab will shortly be received by units

2. An exception will be ade in the case of bridging equipments of British manufacture caontaining the word "Bailey" which will continue to be painted in Standard Camouflage Colour No. 2 to distinguish them from American made Bailey Bridges

3. This change will not authorize units,whose equipments, vehicles. etc. are alaready apinted Standard Camouflage Colour No. 2 (as the basic colour) to draw supplies of Olive Drab for re-painting until re-painting is due and necessary, and all stocks of Standard Camouflage Colour No.2, in unit or R.A.O.C. charge have been exhausted.

4. An A.C.I. detailing the catalogue and specification references for paint in Olive Drab will be issued in due course. "

I believe this last referenced ACI was in fact 1100/44, although I don't have a copy of it to hand right now!

It is also my understanding that priot to Dunkirk most, if not all, BEF helmets were painted Apple Green, which again is not anything near the colour of KG3 Blanco!

Below is a rare, wartime colour photo of the Bailey Bridge across the River PO in Italy. You will see from this photo (and if like me you need visual assistance follow the link to the IWM website and use the tools there to zoom in on the pic) that the Bailey Bridge is indeed painted SCC 2 (brown). Compare this to the paint colouring of the helmet above! As for Oxidizing paint turning brown colour....well I leave that to your own sense of what's probable and what is not!


mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=photographs BRITISH EIGHTH ARMY TROOPS CROSSING THE RIVER PO, BEYOND FERRARA, ITALY, 28 APRIL 1945. © IWM (TR 2852) IWM Non Commercial License 

Edited by Old Git
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  • 2 weeks later...

A long overdue update...

My final judgement was that the helmet had originally been painted in smooth Khaki Green No.3 - partly inspired by the following 1939 and 1940 dated examples by the same maker:

https://hatchfive.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/mkii-steel-helmet/

http://www.warstuff.com/Original-WWII-1940-FL-Mk2-BRITISH-Combat-Helmet-i927.htm

Mike Starmer has published a relatively simple homebrew recipe for KG3 = five parts Humbrol 155 Olive Drab Matt to one part Humbrol 10 Service Brown Gloss. I made some up and here is the end result.

It's an interesting colour - subtlely different to ordinary olive green. It can look quite brown in low light levels. The tendency for original KG3 to fade towards more of a brown colour has been discussed on here before:

Cheers,

Mark

MkII helmet 1940 - finished 1.JPG

MkII helmet 1940 - finished 2.JPG

MkII helmet 1940 - finished 3.JPG

MkII helmet 1940 - finished 4.JPG

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i now mix my own paints to make various shade of green as i have struggled to find exact matches to the vehicles original paint. mustard yellow and a reddish brown will give you a good place to start.

don't put black in to darken it, just add more brown. you will be surprised how easy it is to get the exact shade you want

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