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 Post subject: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:12 pm 
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This piece we have seen before, as it belongs to Al aka Czech Legion, he has posted photos previously. I received this when I met both he and his wife at the SOS. These are the usual "before pictures". There are two problems.....the rear of the shell has sunken in and is very dry and hard, second as can be seen the sweat band has pulled off the shell and needs to be restitched. The reshaping of the shell must come first and as we speak it is being rehydrated to get some flexibility back into that part of the shell. The photos:

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The mortar board top on this is actually lacquered covered cardboard for lightness. Obviously, it has curved down over time.

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This type of shrinkage, is typical of officer tschapkas in my experience. For whatever reason, the sides collapse in at the back of the shell. The OR's version, not so much, because the leather is thicker. Solving this is going to be the most challenging part of the job although, the stitching is going to be very "fine".

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:03 pm 
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Brian do you have a trick to straighten the mortarboard?
Bruno


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:31 pm 
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No Bruno, unfortunately, I do not. I can not think of anything that would not compromise it and make things worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:03 pm 
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This is going to be a great project !!


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Ok, the helmet was hydrated for 3 days using a method previously described. This shell was very dry and caved in, there was no way of trying to block it back into shape without hydration. This is what it looks like right now. It is on a plastic covered (plastic bag) head form, back into correct shape and drying. I am going to leave this on the head form for a week just to make certain that the piece holds it's correct shape. The next step will be to restitch the sweatband.

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Things look pretty good now but there is no guarantee that the shell will hold this shape. We are talking 100 yrs to shrink and then 3 days to hydrate. The helmet may have to be placed on a head form permanently. A plastic grocery bag is placed over the styrofoam head form in order to prevent the sweatband from sticking to the head. This is a lesson learned through experience, never let the styrofoam and leather touch. The purpose of the multiple elastics is obvious.

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The fittings had to be taken off before hydration.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Great job-again !
Thank you for sharing.
Francis


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:59 am 
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Looking forward to seeing how the hardware pretties up! :thumb up:


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:35 am 
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for going the extra mile on this helmet in re-shaping it, I appreciate it! It's looking a whole lot better already! =D> :bravo:

Quote:
By member glenn66:
Looking forward to seeing how the hardware pretties up! :thumb up:


Not sure that I want the metal fittings shined up on the tschapka. I had mentioned to Brian at the SOS about simply leaving the metal fittings as they are.

The eagle seems to have a lot of mercury fire gilt left on it, and it would probably clean up simply with some warm soapy water.

Best Regards,

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Garde Ulan Officer Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:22 pm 
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Yes Al, I did not intend cleaning any fittings as you had not requested that in our conversation at the SOS. So no metal cleaning. :)

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