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 Post subject: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Yet another officer tschapka sent for a bit of TLC. This one to a reservist, is in better condition finish wise compared to the other. Problems: There are 2 dented areas where the finish has come off the shell.There is a small chunk missing behind the wappen and one indentation around the right chin scale. These areas have to be wet and the dents pushed out and new finish applied. There are no guarantees with 100 year old leather, you wet the spot, push out the dent and let it dry. Hopefully, the piece hardens without the dent. The tschapka has a beautiful paper thin wappen with soldered prongs. The reverse wappen pic shows that it was already slightly repaired during the manufacturing process, the stamping is so thin you could cut it with ordinary scissors. The cross on the orb has broken off as a result and there are cloth uberzug marks in the shell finish. It would be very easy to imagine that cross getting caught in the uberzug and being pulled off when it was removed. The piece also has a white metal hook for the cords while all other fittings are brass. The liner is excellent but stained from use, a really excellent piece! I consider myself very lucky to be able to handle and examine these rare pieces. Some pics:
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[Image

[/Image

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[Image

You can see 2 solder repairs on the sceptre and small eagle, the patina on all solder matches.

Image
This will be the first time the owner has seen what lays behind the wappen, one small finish chip. These helmets are stitched up the front and you can see the indentation of that stitch line. As mentioned previously, on the inside the stitch line is covered with a paper thin piece of glued leather to hide the stitches.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:11 am 
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VERY nice helmet, even with the damage (another on my to-get list). I'd imagine that the owners of these liked them thin and light weight because they'd stick to the ol' noggin better when riding. After all, it is a 'cap' meant to be distinctive, rather than protective. :)

:D Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:28 am 
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I'd be happy with this one as it is now! :thumb up:

Indeed, it must be an honor to handle these fine pieces !

Keep up the good work !

Francis


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:36 am 
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Brian, according to what sits on my shelves, Offizier Tschapkas with gold fittings had Fangschnurr hooks made of white metal. This one should be no exception.
Bruno


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Good to know some of the real specific characteristics Bruno. Thanks. I only have one Prusssian OR' beater with brass fittings that I bought off Manions close to 20 years ago. Consequently, I had no real awareness of the officer tschapka characteristics. I have learned a lot from these 2 pieces. The UR 14 officer shows no evidence of any hook ever having been there. It has the feldzeichen slot and rabatte holes though. One last construction item of interest on this helmet (at least to me) is that the hook fasteners (probably prongs) are on the outside of the top on the underside. They are covered with a small thin piece of black leather which is glued on. If you have time Bruno perhaps you could check your others and confirm that this again was the way the hook is fastened to the top.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Here is a GUR2 officer Tschapka, Brian. The hook for the Fangschnurr is made of white metal (which may have been in fact originally painted black). Note also the "football" construction. The upper rim of the Rabatte is actually in gold colour as it should be, but severely darkened on this example.
And yes, you are correct regarding the attachment of the hook, covered with a piece of black material (here on a saxon Tschapka).

Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:24 am 
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Brian, you can look at the details of some of my Tschapkas here :
https://picasaweb.google.com/pickelmax/ ... directlink

I totaly agree with the purpose of Bruno.

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http://ulanen-tschapka.monsite-orange.fr/


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:51 am 
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b.loree wrote:
One last construction item of interest on this helmet (at least to me) is that the hook fasteners (probably prongs) are on the outside of the top on the underside. They are covered with a small thin piece of black leather which is glued on.


I have an officer Tschapka which had lost its caplines hook. The round base stayed attached, though. It was held in place with a very thin
threaded post secured via a small nut--covered on the underside of the mortarboard with a small leather patch as you described.

I fabricated a replacement hook assembly; the hardest part was rounding up a tool for cutting the threads of the tiny post.


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Thanks Max.....an excellent collection and lots of information there from your fotos! Ron, I wish I had your metal fabrication skills, I paid a local jeweler to make a brass hook for my Prussian OR beater. It still is not back on because there was missing finish as well. The first coat of fill in finish on this piece has been sanded and a second layer applied. I will post some fotos. We just keep building up finish layer by layer until the area is filled in. This is what takes time and patience.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:22 pm 
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If that could help you :

Image
DSC_0964-001 par maxdelescalette1, sur Flickr
Image
DSC_0961-001 par maxdelescalette1, sur Flickr
Image
DSC_0960-001 par maxdelescalette1, sur Flickr
Image
DSC_0958-001 par maxdelescalette1, sur Flickr
Image
DSC_0957-001 par maxdelescalette1, sur Flickr

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Headgears of the prussian Uhlans 1856-1918
http://ulanen-tschapka.monsite-orange.fr/


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:28 pm 
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Thank you for those excellent fotos Max, as usual, we see many different styles of hooks here.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:31 am 
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b.loree wrote:
we see many different styles of hooks here.


Yes with or without grease! :lol:

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Headgears of the prussian Uhlans 1856-1918
http://ulanen-tschapka.monsite-orange.fr/


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 6:38 pm 
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These fotos may seem a bit mundane, but part of the process is that you have to sand the area being filled before each coat so that the new layer adheres to the last. In this case, I had to be careful in my sanding as I do not want to disturb the undamaged areas of lacquer. The brown powder is of course lacquer powder. This is left in place as shown and then melted back into the finish with a cotton ball dipped in lacquer thinner. No one told me this little trick, I came up with it on my own....why waste the powder, why not blend it into the finish? So this is the next step after these fotos....then a new layer is applied. I would use the same method if refinishing an entire helmet...ALWAYS use the powder!

Image

Image

This use of the powder, is a key to achieving a perfect/near perfect finish in the end. I also clean my brush in a container of lacquer solvent at the end of each application and keep it. I just dip the brush in, get it cleaned and then seal it back up. Why???......because it provides me with a very liquid finish that I can use in the very last application. So another secret revealed.....however, there lots more.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:15 am 
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Invaluable advice. Heartfelt thanks for sharing your secrets, my friend. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 8:03 am 
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Very, very interesting, thanx to share it with us!
Nice job Brian!

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http://ulanen-tschapka.monsite-orange.fr/


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 7:43 pm 
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Some additional up date fotos. These show what things look like after a new application of lacquer. So to review, we saw the sanding, the brown powder. Subsequent to that, the powder was melted into the finish using thinner, next a new finish layer was applied. This is what you are seeing below, and the exact same process is underway with the UR13 tschapka.

Image
There was a small chip missing as seen in the first fotos and that is being filled in. You can also see a crack along the stitch line extending upward to the mortar board column. The wappen has never been off for 100 years, now is the time to stabilize things for the next 100+. Even a light application of finish will help and it is hidden behind the wappen.

Image
Right side
Image
Left side
The finish is applied thickest in the area to be filled, then feathered out on to the surrounding areas to reduce sanding and impact on those areas not being filled in. There has to be a seamless flow from the new to the old. One additional secret...I always do any refinish work "outside" under natural light. Sanding, melting powder and filling in is always done in natural light, you can not see properly otherwise. Natural light gives you the shadows that reveal high or low spots. You can turn the piece in the light and see what needs to be done. This is where the "ART" comes into this business. All artist studios have large windows to admit the light or they go outside. There is nothing like natural light!

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 10:23 pm 
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My first Tschapka ever was a UR14 officer's. Untouched. I sold it because there was a 1-square cm wide loss in the shellac at the basis of the mortarboard. I regret that I let it go because I never found another nice one (now at the top of my wish list). A pity I did not know you at that time, Brian!


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:33 pm 
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What are the pros and cons of lacquer thinner vs. denatured alcohol for the cotton ball work?

Also, what are your thoughts on using an airbrush for layering the black shellac?
My guess is that the cleanup of the airbrush between coats might be more trouble than it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:17 pm 
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I have never used the alcohol, nor an air brush so have no opinion to offer.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:30 pm 
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I haven't tried lacquer thinner with shellac, but am guessing that it evaporates pretty fast compared to the alcohol.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:30 am 
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Nothing mundane about those shots Brian, in fact (apart from the final result shots) these are the images I find most interesting. :thumb up:


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:50 pm 
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Good to hear glenn! I have been very lucky to have gotten into restoration years ago partly due to the fact that I am a half Scot (save $) and that turning back the ravages of time on pieces of History is very satisfying. Running a forum, at least in my mind, requires new posts to stimulate interest so the new restoration projects helps as well. I really appreciate collectors trusting me with working on their treasures and allowing me to share the process with our forum members.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:01 pm 
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Sometimes an officer Tschapka without a caplines hook appears. Was there a regulation change associated with that?


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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:22 pm 
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Not that I know of, but again I am no expert on these lancer helmets. My first idea, would be that the cap line hook had been lost and that there should be one on every tschapka. Perhaps Max or Bruno can make a comment.

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 Post subject: Re: Prussian Reserve Officer Tschapka Restoration
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:52 pm 
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b.loree wrote:
Not that I know of, but again I am no expert on these lancer helmets. My first idea, would be that the cap line hook had been lost and that there should be one on every tschapka. Perhaps Max or Bruno can make a comment.


I have seen photos of an officer helmet that appeared to have been made without one....no hole, etc.


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