A wide variety of camouflage patterns, tones, and colours have been issued throughout the years to various armies, with a wide variety of intent. Some are intended to hide the shape and silhouette of the wearers, other intended to make them stand out for various purposes, and still more are simply practical to maintain and wear. Armoured vehicles are also commonly painted in colours similar to or evoking infantry uniforms.
Philosophies in CamouflageEdit
As of 1969, there are two widely accepted philosophies used for military colouration. The first is concealing colouration, which are various methods of reducing the visibility of men or machines through use of dull colours, disruptive patterns, or technological methods of mimicry or illusion. This is highly useful for concealing one's location or force composition to the enemy. The second is high-visibility or "dazzle" patterns, which are intended to present the presence of the soldier or war machine in an obvious fashion. This is used as a form of psychological warfare or to make the presence of the soldier obvious to civilians during occupation duties.
Because of the increasing effectiveness of detection systems, it is generally considered very difficult to effectively use passive concealing colouration, so many armies around the world instead compromise by using mild dazzle patterns, and widely issuing camo netting, disruptive field generators, or holographic technology instead.
Colour schemes are an interesting science in the Allied Nations. For various reasons, it is an issue of extreme political debate, because it is generally thought that letting any one nation dictate what camouflage Peacekeepers are wearing are pushing their imagery onto the force as a whole. As a result, it is extremely difficult to get a new camouflage pattern added to the library of options without it originating from within the Peacekeepers themselves.
Though originally proponents of concealing colouration, the invention of the GAP generator stalled the development of camouflage signifigantly, especially given the interwar peacekeeping missions where high visibility was an asset. As a result, the Allies have been short on concealing patterns until very recently, as operations in Vietnam and the Middle East have once again made it a priority.
The first colour used from the formation of the Allied Forces in 1950, Horizon Blue was used as a unifying colour for uniforms. Though this muted, grey-blue tone was derived from the uniforms of French soldiers from the First World War, it was picked for its political neutrality as it was not currently in service with any nation. This flat tone served as a base for other patterns and continues to see service to this day.
Though at the time Horizon Blue was considered a concealment option, it is today considered a dazzle pattern and primarily used by garrison troops and military police. It is considered in the west to be the quintessential military colour; even toy soldiers usually come in Horizon Blue.
Due to the use of cheap dye, the original run of Horizon Blue uniforms had an issue with fading to a neutral gray colour after just a few years, especially under the sun.
A German camouflage pattern in use from the 1930s adapted to Horizon Blue patterns, this pattern was used by scout forces as a means of breaking up the silhouette. It was effective in all seasons and weather, and by the end of the war was in use by most frontline soldiers and vehicles. Consisting of a light base tone with angular darker pieces, enhanced by small, needle-like strikes placed randomly, this pattern was ultimately of limited effectiveness and was in the process of being replaced by more effective patterns towards the end of the war.
Splatter Pattern BlueEdit
Developed for use in heavily forested regions, this pattern turned out to be much more effective within dense terrain, though it was considered worse for urban operations. As the war left the more developed areas of Germany into rural areas of Poland, it began to gain widespread use among Allied personal, and was commonly wrapped over helmets or printed on cloaks or blankets. A lighter version was introduced in the last days of the war for urban use.
Horizon Blue #2Edit
An improvement on Horizon Blue, Horizon Blue #2 uses a metallic additive which adds a very slight disruptive edge to the tone and reduces shadow contrast. Though a dazzle pattern up close, at a distance it makes it very difficult to make out the shapes of vehicles or men using the pattern.
This pattern is painted onto the armour of Peacekeepers and their vehicles, though most national reserves continue to use the original Horizon Blue.
This tone is used as the default for kwolek, as well as for the standard Allied Field Uniform. Though it appears to be a matte black, holding it up to light will show it is actually a very dark navy blue, which enhances its concealing properties at night. In Peacekeeper slang, to be dressed in "Battle Blues" actually means to wear these garments.
A high-disruption pattern in classic blue, this interwar pattern was trialed with Peacekeepers and tank crews, but was supplanted by purpose-made colour concealment patterns. It was, however, adapted as a dazzle pattern by some units, and became the standard for officer day uniforms.
Two Tone Tiger StripeEdit
Invented for Allied advisors to South Vietnam and adapted to the expedition force there, Tiger Stripe was designed to be both a dazzle and concealing pattern; up close, the high-saturation green catches the eye, but in dense jungle the black stripes reduce the overall tone of the uniform and break up the outline. It is applied both horizontally and vertically on different parts of the uniform, armour, or vehicle.
The Soviet Union were late to the camouflage game, as Stalin was a noted detractor of the idea and was adamant that the Red Army would win on strength, not trickery. Since his death, this policy has lessened, but camouflage was still a politically sensitive matter under Cherdenko; proposing a camouflage pattern might be considered to be questioning the abilities of the Red Army. It is only very recently that camouflage has been issued in the Soviet Union.
The transition of the Red Army to the dark and intimidating Combat Gray is widely considered to have come at the time when Stalin decided on invading Europe. This pattern was just dark enough to blend the wearer into the background without being so dark as to make them stand out, and was paired with a dark red trim or identification strip; Soviet command and control was extremely hierarchical, which made friendly fire incidents a problem during manoeuvres.
In 1952, an order was given to begin disrupting the flat Combat Gray pattern with darker and lighter paints intended to create a smokey appearance, which would cause the outline of the vehicle to fade with distance, and to lighten areas of shadow. This pattern helped to reduce the harsh outline the dark patterns were causing.
The Black Guard were issued uniforms which, appropriately enough, were as dark as Soviet science could make them, treated with materials intended to eliminate any hint of light or reflection. As Black Guard units wore no identification or rank, this made for an extremely intimidating appearance, as well as eliminating any highlights or shadows, but the flat tone actually made units wearing it stand out considerably more than expected.
Black Guard Weave PatternEdit
Weave pattern was introduced in 1954 to help hide Black Guard personnel and their equipment. This blotchy pattern was the only camouflage issued to Soviet troops during the war; Stalin expressely forbid his troops wearing concealing patterns as a matter of pride, though it is speculated this also helped to discourage deserters. It was considered mildly effective at best outside of urban environments.
Red Army GreenEdit
Red Army Green was issued in 1957, completely replacing black as the colour of choice for the Red Army. This simple tone was subdued and good in most any terrain, making it an instant favourite, and was painted universally onto tanks, ships, and aircraft. It remains the primary colour of the Red Army and Navy.
Red Army BrownEdit
An alternate and less-popular base tone, Red Army Brown was adapted by mountain troops and their helicopters. The reputation it gained there made brown the colour of choice for helicopter gunships.
Camouflage Pattern AEdit
Developed and deployed midway through WW3, Camouflage Pattern A is used by special forces and snipers, as well as printed onto camo netting and cloaks. This four-tone pattern is widely considered the most effective camouflage pattern in the world, its distribution limited due to a relatively expensive production process.
Empire of the Rising SunEdit
The Empire had no concept of camouflage prior to the Second World War thanks to its isolation, retaining its khaki colours merely due to it being all the rage when Japanese forces westernized in at the turn of the century. Instead, they use optical trickery to hide armies and mimicry with nanomachines to disguise their force composition; it is generally considered a better defence to be moving faster than the eye can follow instead of standing still and trying to hide.
This simple brown weave is used on all cloth elements of a uniform. The Empire produces it in several different tones for different purposes; Imperial Warriors, for example, wear a jacket that is of a lighter tone than the heavier wear trousers. It has remained unchanged for more than fifty years.
This bright colour is a glossy, plastic paint that goes over just about everything the Japanese use in combat. Thanks to the properties in the paint, it seems to shift to different colours under different lighting, ranging from yellow to purple tints. The appearance created by this paint sparked off rumours that Japanese machines were actually made of plastic, which persist to this day despite considerable evidence against it.
Inspirational slogans, images, and poetry are commonly painted straight over the white as a way of boosting morale and reminding soldiers of their divine duty.
Gray was the chosen colour of the revolution for the very simple reason that it was an extremely easy colour to aquire. Many veteran soldiers already had gray uniforms, from their old WW2 Horizon Blue uniforms having faded to gray. In addition, mechanics and tank factories often issued gray jumpsuits, because in the wartime economy gray dye was the cheapest available. Because the colour is so common, it is very easy to pass off a Confederate "uniform" as pretty much anything else.
The Yellow Checkerboard pattern is a common symbol of the Confederate Revolutionaries, inspired by the yellow-and-black pattern on the snake from the Gadsen flag. It is woven, knitted, or assembled as a mosaic pattern.
Fibre Optic camouflage is one of the best tools in the Confederate arsenal, effectively making the wearer invisible. It is most commonly used in nets and cloaks, but some enterprising soldiers have made uniforms of the stuff, which is widely considered to be both very clever and extremely odd to look at.
Atomic Kingdom of ChinaEdit
The Atomic Kingdom of China has little interest in camouflage. Firstly, it would be nearly impossible to hide their vehicles and technology, as the considerable heat, light and radiation emmiting from them would be nearly impossible to mask. Secondly, they have a certain psychological opposition to hiding from their foes; they are a force for revenge, so they consider it important to let their enemies know who they are. They instead rely on their energy shields and defense networks.
The standard colour scheme of the Atomic Kingdom, most military uniforms and armoured vehicles are made in this tone, often enhanced with details in green and yellow. This colour is not painted or dyed into the materials used; rather, the duplicators are adjusted to produce them in these colours.
Because Starfleet Marines are tasked with clandestine operations and much more fluid missions than most, they are also issued a uniform with an effective concealing pattern. Marine uniforms are duplicated a neutral grey tone, and then is camouflage pattern is applied using an elaborate ink press. Each pattern is unique, created on the press by specially trained clones to help cut down on repeating patterns.
Though Legion Security usually operates in chromed armour and black bodygloves, for high visibility in security duties and for public relations, operations requiring a defter hand usually also see the employment of digital camo patterns. These are also used in the suits of Legion Security executives, or in projected from the holoemmiters in Legion vehicles and armour for obscuring the view of enemies. These pixalated patterns can be quickly generated by computers and painted on with relative ease using automated airbrushes. A variety of patterns exist for various theaters.
A mix of several tones of grey, this dark pattern is the one used in most situations and is a common site in Sprawls for special forces teams, Legion suits, and fashion.
A temperate pattern, used primarily by operators in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
This pattern is used in various arid terrain, especially in the Middle East. It has also been used by Legion units in the American Southwest.
A winter pattern, this is the only pattern yet to be tested by Legion Security in the field.