Manu Della Valle

Italian Front LW M35 DD "Zimmerit" Helmet

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Manu Della Valle

A "camo" M35 from my collection.This one has been found several years ago in Northern Italy followed by a few other helmets carrying nearly an identical finish,which thing would lead to suppose that it was done at unit level.It's a DD M35 that has been repainted and later coated with a mix of paint and sawdust/dirt.The eagle has been carefully masked around its contour while the other decal is still under the paint and the camo coating.
Personally I would call this a "low viz" helmet,since dirt and sawdust have been eithe mixed with bue paint or with blue distemper and glue.It may have been coated with mud as well but not in this case!
Italian collectors call this kind of coating "Zimmerit"!
Hope you enjoy
Manu

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Manu Della Valle

Glad you like it Rocky!
Cheers
Manu

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PaulR

I've always wanted a zimmerit helmet. This one is a beauty! 

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Manu Della Valle

Thanks Paul!

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Davejb
Moderator

I understand why people call these textured helmets "Zimmerit" but in actual fact zimmerit was only applied to Armoured vehicles, but there is some evidence that a thinned down version of the paste was used to coat some helmets, but this was done mainly by the individual soldier and still resulted in a relatively thick covering. The true Zimmerit was produced by Chemische Werke Zimmer AG, and was a thick paste consisting of 40% Barium Sulphate,25% Polyvinyl Acetate, 15% pigment(ochre), 10% Zinc Sulphide,10% sawdust, the whole process of applying the paste took days and was dried using blow torches, which hampered the production of turning out the armoured vehicles, If the true paste was applied to a helmet it would increase its weight significantly and be very thick, but it was,nt readily available other than in the factories, but some vehicles might have been done in the field whilst in field depot,s while under repair. The idea was to minimise the chances of having magnetic explosives attached to the hulls of vehicles. Your M35 is a classic sawdust paint and dirt camo and a very nice one . I have a soft spot for textured helmets, and I would love to have this one on my shelf

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Manu Della Valle

Yes Dave,
thank you very much for pointing that out!I think that we all know what Zimmerit is....I said that Italian Collectors refer to this kind of camo as "Zimmerit" because "Elmetto ricoperto di una strana pasta composta da un miscuglio di segatura e/o terra e vernice o colla in modo da renderlo rugoso e non così atto a riflettere la luce" would be too long!
I've been into AFVs for decades as well and I think that I know very well what Zimmerit is,in fat I had a few sections off a Pz IV with original camo which I sold for crazy money to a German collector!That said, if you're ever in Saumur,France,take a good look at some of their vehicles coated  with ORIGINAL Zimmerit ( the guys who restored tanks like the KT applied "home.made" Zimmerit)...you'll discover interesting things like fingerprints,initials of names and even the texture of the workers' clothing!
Just in case you'd be interested to add that to your very interesting lecture it's worth noting that it was hardened by torches,that it took 200kg of the stuff to coat a Tiger I and that there were at least 11 different patterns,and that doesn't include the field-made ones or those rare cases in which stick or even fingers had been used to add a pattern to hard-to-reach areas!
For the records,the "Polyvinyl acetate" is but our "Elmer's or "Carpenter's glue"!:D:D

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Davejb
Moderator

Sorry if I was preaching to the converted, but there are still newer members who might not fully know what Zimmerit is or its contents or how it was used,, also terminology can be confusing from one country to another and yes we call it PVA glue here:)

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Mark K

Manny a straight up nice field worn M-35 that would look really good sitting on my shelf ...:x

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Manu Della Valle

Thank you for appreciating that,Mark!

Edited by Manu Della Valle

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Afrikakorpsrat64

Love it @Manu Della Valle! I had an SD M42 Heer like that and the decal was covered, sadly the liner was shot. 

On 3/9/2016 at 16:25, Davejb said:

Sorry if I was preaching to the converted, but there are still newer members who might not fully know what Zimmerit is or its contents or how it was used,, also terminology can be confusing from one country to another and yes we call it PVA glue here:)

We are always learning in this hobby! :)

 

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Manu Della Valle
3 hours ago, DAK D said:

Hi @Manu Della Valle,

Wow that's a really stunning camo LW M35 :x

D

And the "nine fingers" are original!xD

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DAK D
Just now, Manu Della Valle said:

And the "nine fingers" are original!xD

I know mate it's a large size:D

D

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Bil4338
Staff

As we say around here....that's a wee belter!:P

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Manu Della Valle

Thank you so much for appreciatng this lid so much guys...I may not have many but all of them come from out of the woodwork!
Cheers
Manu

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Desert Rat

Sorry,

I missed this a long time ago, but a superb helmet, great find and well done in finding it!

 

Best to you...Desert Rat

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Desert Rat

Thanks to you All,

 for explaining this type of helmet,

Manu & Dave are the Masterminds on many items.

Thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge with us on MCN....where would we find this information...only on MCN...!.

Best to you Both

Desert Rat

Edited by Desert Rat
correction to text

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