better camo on the web

7 08 2010

My ICUS colleague Jon has launched a website for his new business  ‘Better Camo’ whose stated aim is to

“achieve superior concealment through the use of large, environmental texture and color based, digitally designed camouflage patterns”

With two  or three different textures on display, and having observed and absorbed the lessons learned by trailblazing companies like Hyde Definition, Better Camo looks set to add its distinctive look to the digital camouflage revolution.

"Better Camo gtx large swatch demo"

You can check out the patterns yourself, and follow Jon’s blog or his twitter posts  here: http://www.bettercamo.com/

We will be following their progress with interest and wish them every success for the future!





camo comparison two

6 08 2010

ITS Tactical, who did a terrific job photographing several different camouflage patterns in Oklahoma last year, have hit gold again with a repeat of the test, this time in Texas, and featuring a few more camouflage patterns (and a few less duds).

With half an eye on the current conflict in Afghanistan the team at ITS chose a mixture of terrain that included sand and rocks and some scrubby growth. Although the landscape favoured desert and semi-arid camo patterns, four woodland/temperate designs were featured in the tests too – MARPAT Woodland, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Digital, Jieitai (Japanese flecktarn) and PenCott. Judge for yourself, but of the four,  I know which one I’d choose to wear in that sort of environment, if arid camo was not available ;-) Well, you would  expect me to say that, wouldn’t you?

"ITS Camo Comparison 2"

The test is very comprehensive, with consistent photos of all the camouflage patterns mounted on a dummy at set ranges in four different locales. You get a chance to pick up to four best performing patterns in each photo set. A tip regarding voting though – to be sure you are voting for the patterns you think are best, familiarise yourself with the designs – and the order they appear in – with one of the close range photo sets, because at long range it gets pretty hard to tell some of them apart, and the picture captions don’t give anything away!

Anyhow, you can check it all out on ITS Tactical’s blog





new multi-terrain camouflage patterns

7 06 2010

Hyde Definition announces new PenCott multi-terrain camouflage patterns and revised licensing rates

New patterns have been specifically optimised for arid and semi-arid terrain – the most common and most likely operational environments for military assistance and special operations forces.

Newly revised licensing rates have been developed which make it even simpler and easier for companies to produce their own clothing and equipment designs in the PenCott camouflage pattern.

7 June 2010 – Hyde Definition Ltd. announces the release of two new multi-terrain camouflage colourways based on the proven PenCott multi-environment camouflage pattern.  The new semi-arid environment “PenCott-Badlands” and arid environment “PenCott-Sandstorm” patterns have been specifically created to provide superior camouflage, and thus a tactical edge, for personnel operating in these environments.

"sandstorm_uae"

Simulation of PenCott "Sandstorm" pattern

Arid and semi-arid regions cover more than a third of the earth’s land mass and pose a distinct set of challenges to military forces – and especially camouflage designers. These regions are also the locations of the majority of armed conflicts that account for 1,000 deaths per year or more. These types of terrain therefore represent a very real operational requirement for uniforms and equipment optimised for use in these challenging environments.

The PenCott Multi-Environment Camouflage pattern uses a unique, digitally-enhanced mixture of blending and disrupting techniques, and has been specifically designed to:

  • conceal more effectively at all typical engagement distances
  • conceal more effectively at much closer distances than other patterns
  • conceal more effectively in multiple environments and terrains
  • dramatic improvement in concealment over previous generation patterns

Effective camouflage defeats the ability of the observer to detect or recognise the wearer as something of interest. But typical disruptive pattern camouflage can sometimes weaken the effect by introducing colours or shapes that look alien to a particular environment.

"PenCott Badlands Afghanistan simulation"

Simulation of PenCott "Badlands" pattern

PenCott’s unique digital fractal design dithers four terrain-optimised contrasting colours – creating a combination of soft, blended and hard edges for a more natural-looking texture, and the illusion of a wider spectrum of colour tones.

The complex PenCott pattern is harder for the human eye to process, and recognisable shapes such as limbs and head-gear – or the lines of pocket edges – become more difficult to detect and recognise. PenCott disguises the wearer so effectively that he or she appears to literally melt in to the terrain.

The original PenCott-GreenZone pattern rapidly established a reputation of being “probably the best temperate/tropical terrain camouflage pattern in the world” (to paraphrase the famous beer adverts). Now the release of the “Badlands” and “Sandstorm” colourways means that special operations forces can enhance their tactical edge in those regions where they’re most likely to be deployed.

The new simpler, easier, revised scale of licensing fees makes it even easier for companies to produce their own clothing and equipment designs in the PenCott camouflage pattern. For further information, contact: dom@hydedefinition.com

About Hyde Definition
Headquartered in East Anglia in the UK, Hyde Definition has a young, loyal and dedicated team who strive to deliver cutting edge concealment solutions for personnel, materiel, vehicles and buildings.

Founded in 2007, the company undertakes camouflage design commissions and licensing agreements worldwide.

Visit the website www.hydedefinition.com





new camo for luxembourg?

2 05 2010

A reader from the International Camouflage Uniform Society took this picture of a smock, made in the UK by a small but well known Lancaster military clothing manufacturer, in a camouflage pattern apparently intended for Luxembourg’s armed forces.

"Luxembourg camo smock"

pic courtesy of Mr M. Jaab, ICUS

Interestingly, this pattern is a variation of Finland’s recently introduced M/05 digital camouflage design, which has been seen in summer, winter and snow colour schemes, but not previously in this particular colourway. Edit: I now believe that this is the ‘winter’ pattern, and that flash photography has lightened the colours. See this image for comparison.

Luxembourg’s army is tiny, at less than 1000 members, and so has never before had it’s own camouflage pattern, being clothed instead in surplus US Army woodland camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU) or Belgian desert ‘jigsaw’ pattern attire.  This may herald a change in the everyday dress of the Luxembourg soldier, or it may only be part of a trial to find a new camouflage – as I learn more, you can be sure you will read it here!





image of the day

23 04 2010
"1 Mercians patrol in Helmand in their new MTP uniforms. Note PECOC 'Hybrid DPM' Osprey armour cover."

1 Mercians patrol in Helmand in their new MTP uniforms. Note PECOC 'Hybrid DPM' Osprey armour cover.

Here’s a close up of that armour carrier, clearly showing the Hybrid DPM in bottle green, caramel and earth brown over tan:

"Hybrid DPM Osprey"





brit mtp deployed to helmand

21 04 2010

The first pictures that I’m aware of of the British armed forces wearing their new camouflage design – the Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) – in Afghanistan.

Below is Lt Col Paul James, Commanding Officer of 40 Commando  Royal Marines taking over the  Sangin area of operations in Helmand province, from Lt Col Nick Kitson, CO, 3 Rifles.

"MTP at FOB Jackson, Afghanistan"

MTP at FOB Jackson, Afghanistan

In the photo below, we can see that although helmet covers in the new pattern have already been issued, load-bearing vests, webbing and gloves have not. The figure in desert DPMs, helping to load the Chinook HC2 does not appear to be a member of the  Royal Marines.

RM Commandos in MTP camo load a transport helicopter in Afghanistan

RM Commandos in new MTP uniforms load a transport helicopter at Camp Bastion, Helmand, Afghanistan.

Read the story behind the pictures on the excellent Helmand Blog.





optifade optimised?

17 03 2010

Okay, I guess I have to apologise for not having many photos from this year’s IWA. What can I say? When I wasn’t walking from one appointment to another, I was waiting to see people, and when I was free to take photos… well let’s just say I need some practice with my new phone to get half way decent pictures from it!

One thing I tried to get a record of was some of the new ‘forest’ coloured Optifade deer-hunting camo from Sitka. This is the first time I’d seen it in the flesh, and one or two hunting sports retailers had it on their stands.  You can judge for yourself in this photo, but to my mind the balance of that colour palette just looks wrong for sitting in a tree-stand.

"Optifade_IWA2010"





multi-tarn?

2 03 2010

It appears that German military clothing and equipment manufacturers Tacgear have a new flecktarn colourway up their sleeve. The company made a splash a couple of years ago with their snow camouflage, based on the the drawings or printing screens used for the Danish army 3 colour woodland camouflage (‘M84′).  Now they have quietly announced

a new “flecktarn” camouflage pattern which was developed for the today’s mission scenarios of the armed forces

"alphacam"

Only one picture on their site, and that’s a small one, but it looks like they’ve used a Multicam-like palette (a colour scheme that’s bound to increase in popularity now that both the US and British armies have adopted it for their Afghan adventures). Maybe there will be more evidence at this year’s IWA and outdoor classics show in 2 weeks time.





acu is great

22 02 2010

I couldn’t let this amusing picture from a few years back pass without comment. So, for those who didn’t already see it on Soldier Systems:

"acuisgreat"





multicam makes the cut in the dirtbox

22 02 2010

Following a pre-emptive announcement on Soldier Systems on Feb 17th, the US Army confirmed that it will be fielding Crye’s Multicam pattern in Afghanistan, replacing the maligned Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) and effectively ending trials of a recoloured derivative, UCP-D, that attempted to resolve some of the concealment issues around UCP by adding a fourth, earth (‘Coyote’) brown colour.

The Army Times has this:

By Matthew Cox – Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Feb 21, 2010 9:07:31 EST

The Army will begin fielding MultiCam, a more effective camouflage pattern for Afghanistan, in August. Soldiers deploying in late summer will be the first to receive the new versions of the Army Combat Uniform; soldiers already in theater will begin getting them in the fall.

MultiCam, made by Crye Precision LLC, bested the existing digital pattern and others in multiple Army tests.

MultiCam was “21 percent less detectable than UCP,” the pattern used in ACUs, said Col. Bill Cole, project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment.

“MultiCam was the clear winner,” he said.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey was convinced of MultiCam’s effectiveness based on that statistic, Cole said.

“He’s an infantryman … when he saw that, he said, ‘You mean I can get this much closer to the enemy before I’m seen?’” Cole said. “That’s what he wanted.”

Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved Casey’s recommendation Feb. 19.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, at Fort Polk, La., and the Iowa National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, will be the first to receive MultiCam. The new uniforms will also feature other improvements slated to be incorporated in all future ACUs over time, including an improved collar and buttons to replace some Velcro.

Soldiers will receive four sets of MultiCam uniforms, four combat shirts and matching combat gear, Cole said.

“Anything they would wear on a dismounted combat patrol will be in MultiCam,” Cole said.

The Feb. 19 announcement came after a multiphase effort that culminated with soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Drum, N.Y., evaluating hundreds of calibrated photos of the Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern and five alternative patterns taken in different settings in Afghanistan.

"021710at_multicam_2_800"

Soldiers wearing Multicam

So is MultiCam a step backward, returning camo design  to old-skool analogue patterns with swirly woodland shapes? Not at all! While it is not a pixellated pattern like UCP, the Marine’s MarPat, or Canada’s CadPat, it is still a digital designed pattern, and is far more advanced than any camo fielded in the 1980s and ’90s. Its design takes advantage of improvements in computer software that were unimaginable in the days of the Cold-war, allowing a complex pattern to be assembled from many different overlapping images, with colours tweaked to match environmental samples at the touch of a button. Before it was even printed, the concept was validated using sophisticated simulations of the pattern in different environments.








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