The best camouflage suit is the one that is created contextually with the scenario
After having discussed the ideal color for night camouflage (read Invisibility: the best night stealth color), let’s continue to explore the idea of “invisibility” in relation to:
- The visual appearance of colors (in a daylight context)
- An open scenario (with trees, grass, sand, buildings, water, etc.)
Where and when there is enough light to allow the eye to more accurately perceive the chromatic differences, the best choice (if possible) is to gather ideas for the “palette” we will use to compose our suit curing the environment’s characteristics:
- In relation to the season
- In relation to the most common reflection types
- In relation to its compositive elements
How to create the mimetic suite: what to focus on
The basic concepts
Here are some interesting starting ideas on which to dwell:
- Study the environment – If possible, the ideal thing is to study the environment in which we want to move before having to actually go there
- Low saturation colors – In 90% of the cases, we should work on low-saturated base colors; normally, in nature, what is too saturated / brilliant / reflective refers to interesting or dangerous things (living beings, technical materials, lens, etc.)
- Persistent hues – We have to study the more persistent hues in the areas where we will move; if we have the occasion, we should perform our search in the same hours when we will move and with the climatic conditions that we will probably find
- Chromatic proximity – In general it should be avoided to choose pairings of bright colors, misplaced contrasts and / or unnatural combinations in the scenario context (eg. 2 colors that are present but in no case one near the other)
- Take photos and videos – To find the right colors we should take various shots of the environment; if then we are good with computer graphics software, applying a gaussian blur effect (eg. with Photoshop), the selection will become easier
- 2-3 colors are enough – The highest level of invisibility is generally given blending the 2-3 dominant colors (in terms of percentage) of the scenario in which we will move
- Amount and position of colors – The size of the stains should always reflect the landscape proportions; in addition to this the vertical spatial displacement ot the hues should be at least vaguely respected
A few color combinations samples
Beyond the conceptual assessments and the finishes, here are some indicative examples of environments types and the relative corresponding colors:
- Sea zones, blue-gray
- Lake zones, blue-green
- Urban areas, gray-beige (not too bright)
- Forests, brown-green
- Arid zones, yellow-beige (or orange-beige)
- Snowy zones, white-gray (maybe some hints of brown)
- Rocky zones, gray-beige (or some gray-brown)
A note by Master Kongling – These are only samples and given the 2-3 shades needed, it is not difficult to create an effective camouflage.
How to creare the perfect mimetic suite
A camouflage suit does not forcibly have to be a military uniform
Let’s start understanding that the type of assembly depends strictly on what we have to do and the context:
- Wearing a classical blotchy military camouflage can offer the best result in terms of invisibility but if compared to more “civilized” designs, it would be very difficult to justify our presence if we get discovered
- A mimetic suite can also be made with normal neutral clothes (if we do not plan, for example, to crawl on the ground, it must not be forcibly made with special fabrics or extremely resistant materials, read also 5 ground crawling exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up)
- A partial (but totally beyond suspicion) mimetic suite can also be made by a printed T-Shirt that (with the right colors) depicts a texture, a photo, a logo and / or written words (there are different levels of effective invisibility and they all depend on the context)
- The level of camouflage is always and only a matter of rational choices (it is clear that if we sacrifice part of our blending with the scenario to look like normal civilians, we will be more easily identifiable)
A note by Master Kongling – This to say that the principles of deception that we connect to the camouflage do not end in the mere fact of not being seen. True invisibility means to become a natural or even only an acceptable part of the scenario (read Be invisible in the crowd: preparation and clothing). It is necessary to always have an open mind and to plan beyond the common ways of acting (read The use of unorthodox methods).
How to assembly the mimetic suite
The steps to create a classical mimetic uniform
- Let’s study the environment (as we said taking shots, choosing colors, making assessments, etc.)
- Let’s take clothes in keeping with the environment (preferably convertibles)
- Let’s buy and mix the appropriate waterproof colors for clothes (checking the quality and the compatibility with the fabrics we have chosen)
- Let’s draw on paper or computer a preview of the shapes of the areas that we are going to draw and fill (to have a general indication)
- Let’s find an area to work and let’s recover some gloves, various rags or small sponges
- Let’s wear the gloves and with the rags let’s create spots more or less nuanced with the chosen colors (it is better to start tracing the perimeters and then fill them)
- We have to paint before the light colors and only after those dark
If we want to create a civilian mimetic suite
- We can follow the same steps but adding texts, drawings, photos (etc.) instead of the classic spots
- This can be done on all those kinds of wearings that, normally, could contain figures or texts
- Let’s try to be creative in solving problems (for example, a sweatshirt with a hood, or the gloves, or a scarf, etc. can expand our coverage) but we have always to calibrate the eventual advantages with our credibility
If we want to create convertibles dresses
- Let’s make sure to use tissues rather thick so that they can flip and convert, in case of necessity, in regular clothes
- We have to color the inside and leave intact the outer (let’s test the transparency effect, it is not always possible)
- It is also possible to sew one garment inside the other but this inevitably thickens it (in this case too, it is necessary to make the necessary assessments)
More about this later.
The finishes (for full invisibility only)
To conclude it is possible to evaluate the possibility to:
- Attach small parts of the environement to our suite (leaves, twigs, blades of grass, ecc.)
- Color and / or cover our uncovered skin, our hairs, our eyes and the objects that we need to transport (backpacks, etc.)
A few conclusive tips and notes:
- Our ability to confuse (or better, blend) our figure with the environment around is in proportional to our preparation; like every skill, practice and experimentation are the foundation to be effective
- To test the quality of our mimetic capabilities we should make some practical Ninjutsu simulations (along with our training partners, read 5 effective ways to find a training partner); for example, the classical assault and defense of a building (with 2 groups and inverting then the roles)
- The perfect camouflage is not only related to the simple chromatic aspect but also in the ways (and times) with which we move (read Be invisible in the crowd: eyes and attitudes)
In the next article of this series, we will deepen the aspects related to camouflage.
- How to simulate realistic self-defense scenarios – The right complement to make our skills more practical
- Stealth walking: an introductory exercise – How to prepare our body for invisibility while moving
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- What colors will you choose?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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