Its done! Yes Christmas week television was so bad that I decided to knuckle down and work on this helmet project. Once I'd managed to procure a suitable helmet shell - thanks to Vaughan for the fibreglass FJ helmet repro. Once its flared rim removed with the Dremel then I had the perfect shape for the GP helmet, it just needed a little cosmetic surgery to make it look right. As the 'C' Type leather helmet I'd found was too small to fit me, I had to take it apart up the rear seam and use some of the damaged top part to create a fillet at the back so this would then fit me and at least be halfway useable. Then it was just a case of assembling all the elements; the leather helmet, the airborne helmet liner and outer shell followed by a bit of wear and tear for effect. Here's the finished article which we'll be able to use on display for this year's coming events. Cheers! Matt
Thanks are due to: Vaughan Tolley for supplying me with a decent basis for the shell, Luc Nijsten for photos of his original helmet, Frank Brown for photos of his original helmet and Geoff Pringle from Oldnautibits for sourcing and supplying the 'C' type, mask and earphones.
Polite note: I've based this helmet on the familiar images found in the Jean Bouchery DDay books. The helmet is for display purposes only and I'm very well aware (after extensive but obviously limited research) that other patterns of helmets were used by the Glider Pilot Regiment and also that, sometimes, helmets were not worn at all. I'm also aware that the mask is a post war example as the price of wartime pattern masks was prohibitive. The 'C' type helmet used in this project was damaged before I took a scalpel to it. The leather crown pad inside the helmet is stamped M WD 43; This a made up stamp (the 'M' stands for Matt) I've done this purely for personal identification purposes and for effect as I believe the helmet would've been stamped with an Air Ministry crown and serial number but my access to, or manufacture of, such a stamp was not possible.