It is not uncommon to see
original decals that are chipping off in fragments or have cracks
where the decal is slowly lifting from the surface of the helmet.
This kind of deterioration can sometimes be seen on helmets because
the celluloid material used in the manufacture of original decals
degrades over time, and also because the lacquer finish applied to
many helmet decals cracks with age. The problem goes back to when the
decal was originally placed on the helmet more than 50 years ago. In
most cases, air bubbles under the celluloid material were not properly
evacuated. Over time, the heat and wear from direct sunlight or poor
storage accelerates the aging of the decal. Many decals exhibit
spider-web like cracks from very hard and dry lacquer that was
properly applied at the time of manufacture. To prevent further
cracking a very thin layer of furniture spray wax (as noted earlier)
can assist the decal in maintaining its condition. Once again only a
thin amount is applied to a soft rag and hand dabbed onto the decal.
No rubbing or abrasion should occur during the application as this
will certainly damage the decal. Remember! If in doubt about this
treatment, simply leave the decal as found and apply nothing!
Rules for decal
Never apply an abrasive chemical formula
or cleaning agent to a helmet's decal.
Never attempt to "touch-up" an aged
decal with paint. Simply leave the decal as it was found.
Never attempt to reapply a coat of
lacquer or varnish over a decal to protect it.
If in doubt about what to do about an
aged and cracking decal, simply leave the decal as it was found.