Category Archives: Camouflage

Early Pattern Auscam Shirt

A few years ago the blog covered an Auscam shirt here. Recently I have been kindly given another Auscam shirt by a good friend of mine and I recently compared the two shirts side by side and it was clear that the two shirts were of slightly different patterns. The previous shirt was dated 1994, this example is 1990 dated:imageHaving spoken with various Australian collectors, it seems the patterns changed over around 1990 to 1991 and it was a gradual roll out of the new pattern, with the old design slowly being phased out as shirts became too tatty for service. This earlier pattern shirt was issued to the Australian Army from about 1988 for just a few years and this example has an embroidered badge sewn on the sleeve:imageIt is interesting to place the earlier pattern shirt alongside the later variation to compare the two patterns. On the left is the later pattern, on the right the earlier pattern. The most obvious difference is in the breast pockets, the earlier pattern has far more square pockets, the later pattern has them attached on a slant:imageThe sleeves are also different, the earlier pattern has a reinforcement panel along the forearm, which was deleted on the later pattern. The shape of the cuff securing tab also changed. The earlier design is pointed, the later pattern is cut square on the end:imageThe final difference between the two patterns is that the later pattern has added a pen pocket to the upper left hand sleeve:imageThis early pattern shirt is dated 1990 and the label inside indicates that it was made in Victoria and has an NSN printed on as well as a sizes, 100L:imageWilliam Dytes recalls:

I was in the cadets for a while, we didn’t like the old flat pocket uniforms as they got damaged a lot easier and looked out of place when everyone else had slanted pockets.

Todd Fitzgerald remembers the introduction of the new uniform:

This is the original pattern issued to Land Army circa 1988. First units issued were 1 Bde  (mechanised) in particular the Tattoo Regiment which was drawn from the 1st Brigade, were part of the issue as they toured on the Bicentennial Military Tattoo from Aug – Dec 1988

DPM Three Colour Camouflage Set

We have covered a number of camouflage creams on the blog over the years, most recently a three colour set for the Australian army. Tonight we are looking at a similar three colour set, but for the British Army. The cream is housed in the typical plastic case:imageInside are three colours, green, brown and black; these matching the DPM camouflage used until recent years. A small mirror is fitted under the lid to help the soldier apply his camo:imageThe top of the lid shows that these were manufactured by Camtech:imageCamtech produce a wide range of camouflage for both the British Army and other militaries, their website explains:

Camtech Camo Cream from Caplock is in service with Armed Forces throughout the World

A non-irritant camo cream developed to meet the demands for the modern soldier for a cam-cream that is not messy or greasy and does not cause skin problems.

Camtech camo cream is non-irritant to the skin and contains only 100% active natural products which cannot cause spots or pimples. It is pigment dense and extremely opaque, so a little goes a long way and also contains a natural sunscreen SPF15+ for protection against sun and muzzle flash. Camtech camouflage cream has been proven to be the very best value camo face paint available in the world today – it is fully NATO coded and approved by numerous armed forces throughout the world.

Camtech Camo Cream from Caplock is in service with Armed Forces throughout the World

A non-irritant camo cream developed to meet the demands for the modern soldier for a cam-cream that is not messy or greasy and does not cause skin problems.

Camtech camo cream is non-irritant to the skin and contains only 100% active natural products which cannot cause spots or pimples. It is pigment dense and extremely opaque, so a little goes a long way and also contains a natural sunscreen SPF15+ for protection against sun and muzzle flash. Camtech camouflage cream has been proven to be the very best value camo face paint available in the world today – it is fully NATO coded and approved by numerous armed forces throughout the world.

Camtech camo cream is temperature stable from sub-zero to tropical conditions. Three camo colors are supplied in each lightweight and robust compact which has an integral unbreakable styrene mirror and can be easily carried in a soldier’s uniform pocket.

Most camo creams on the market today are eighty percent Vaseline. They’re messy, greasy concoctions that melt as soon as the sun rises and soldier hate using them!

Developed by a leading Dermatologist, Camtech Camouflage Cream contains no mineral oils, volatiles, emulsifiers or other skin irritants and Camtech has become the soldiers choice Worldwide as it cannot cause spots or pimples. 

Camtech camo cream is not a cosmetic – it is a dedicated military camo face paint (designated by NATO as PAINT, FACE, CAMOUFLAGE) with a natural sunscreen that is temperature stable from subzero to tropical conditions. Furthermore, Camtech camo cream contains no mineral oils, volatiles, emulsifiers or other skin irritants and cannot cause spots or pimples. 

Most importantly, Camtech camouflage cream is 100% active and does contain a natural SPF15+ sunscreen incorporating a balanced ultraviolet (UV) agent to provide protection against sun and muzzle flash and it will not melt in the desert heat, or wash off whilst fording a stream. 

No drying time is required with Camtech Camouflage Cream, the finish is super flat and aroma free. The Camtech camo cream product is pigment dense, so that a little application goes a long way and is extremely opaque. Despite being waterproof, the base formula collapses on contact with soap or detergent, so it is easily removed and does not stain uniforms. Camtech paint face camouflage has also been thoroughly tested and proven under combat conditions by numerous armed forces throughout the World to be non-irritant, “skin safe” and does not craze visors or perish elasticated uniform fastenings.

Camtech Paint, Face, Camouflage is contained in an impact resistant polypropylene compact with a hinged lid incorporating a lightweight mirror of metalized styrene and three camouflage cream colors. The matt dark green compact is devoid of sharp edges, has a simple clip that can be operated with one hand and lends itself to alternate uses when empty.

Customers can choose from our standard Camtech Military cam cream range of Tropical, Center Europe, Snowand Desert camouflage creams, or make any selection of three color paint face camouflage combinations to meet their own specific requirements.

Mk 7 Helmet Cover

We looked at the Mk7 helmet a few weeks ago. Like all other recent British helmets, this design was intended to be used with a camouflaged cloth cover. Although the cover issued for the Mk6 helmet could be used, a specialist cover was developed that better fitted the shape of the Mk7:imageThis was delivered from the factory in a sealed plastic bag:imageA stores label is stuck to the outside of the bag, indicating that like so much modern British military equipment this cover was manufactured in China by the Cooneen Defence Ltd company:imageInside the packet is the MTP cover, laid out the revised shape is visible, designed to fit over the more PASGAT shape of the Mk7. The elastic straps for the scrim are also revised, just having two rings of elastic:imageA tab with a press stud is attached to the rear to help secure helmet mounted equipment such as goggles:imageLike all the other helmet covers issued over the years, this one is adjusted and secured by a drawstring:imageThe inside of the cover has a standard label:imageUnlike other helmet covers, this one includes a small bag of MTP scrim:imageThese are wedge shaped pieces of fabric about eighteen inches long that can be threaded through the elastic straps to break up the outline of the helmet:imageAlthough I have used these strips as they came, looking at service issued examples it seems as though it was common to cut the strips of MTP scrim lengthways to make them narrower and give the soldier more of them to thread through the helmet cover, providing a more scrimmed effect:image

Auscam Trousers

The latest piece of clothing to help with my Auscam obsession is a pair of trousers in the distinctive camouflage pattern. In my experience it is nearly always easier to find jackets than trousers. Army surplus trousers are regularly worn in civilian life in a way jackets are not and trousers are far more susceptible to ripping or wearing through the fabric than jackets. This adds up to a situation where it can be hard to find more unusual trousers for a collection. It was therefore very pleasing to pick this pair up, even if they are a little more worn than I would have liked to match my jacket:imageThe trousers are made of poly-cotton, with the distinctive DPCU pattern printed on it, a little faded but still clear and serviceable. The trousers sport a large pocket on each thigh, secured with concealed buttons:imageA third pocket is sewn over the right buttock:imageNote also the belt loops, each of which fastens with a button on the bottom of the loop. Waist adjustment is by a pair of buttoning tabs on each hip:imageThe flies are secured with a zip and a button tab:imageThe bottom of each trouser leg is elasticated, drawing the leg in tight around the ankle where the trousers meet the wearer’s boots:imageThe Australian Army’s dress regulations indicate that the trousers are to be worn bloused over the boots:imageSadly the interior label is badly degraded from repeated washing so it is not possible to exactly date these trousers, but I suspect they date to the early 1990s. With the matching jacket and the 88 pattern webbing in my collection I have almost completed a full, if basic, set of Australian combat uniform and equipment from the end of the twentieth century, boots and hat are the last two major components now…

MTP Ammunition Bag

The Desert camouflage version of the grab bag was a popular piece of ancillary load bearing equipment and we looked at an example here. As with many items of equipment, when the new MTP camouflage was introduced an updated version of the grab bag was issued in the new pattern:imageThis bag is identical to the DDPM version and features the same external pouches. We have one large single pouch for a smoke grenade:imageTwo smaller pouches for fragmentation grenades:imageAnd three pouches across the front for rifle magazines:imageEach of these opens up to allow access to the interior, a piece of elastic helps hold the magazines in place until ready to be withdrawn:imageThe lid of the pouch features a velcroed easy access flap, the opening being surrounded by elastic to ensure it is easy to access the contents of the bag but there is no danger of anything falling out:imageThis particular bag has been issued and the original owner has written his name and number on the underside of this elastic portion:imageThe shoulder strap has a seperate MTP slider on it:imageThis has a rough fabric finish on the inside to prevent the bag from slipping as easily from the wearer’s shoulder:imageA standard label is sewn into the inside, with a different NSN number compared to the DPM version:imageOne user of the grab bag says:

I think the idea behind it being a grab bag is that you grab it an scarper.
It hold 9 mags which with the 6 or so you carry on your osprey, that’s your OP ammo sorted. Not many people wear vests over Osprey, just a few pouches for bullets on the front. A daysack with the grab bag under the lid = pouches to keep the ammo in one place. If you’re down 6/7 mags, you’re in the poopoo anyway. And maps, water, GPS, Leatherman NVG can all be stashed in there no dramas.

Scrimmed Mk II Helmet

We have looked at the Mk II helmet on the blog before, here. Tonight we are looking at another example, specifically one with period scrim and camouflage on it:imageThis helmet was given to me by the grandson of its original owner and has been stored in an attic for many decades, as such I am confident that the cover applied to it is genuine and wartime rather than a later re-enactor’s addition. The helmet is covered firstly in a layer of painted hessian sandbag material and then a finely woven net, with pieces of cord zig-zagged through to attach extra cover to:image-7.jpegThe two layers are more apparent on the underside of the helmet where the net’s drawstring has been pulled tight and the hessian backing can be seen at its perimeter:imageThe method of camouflaging the helmet exactly complies with the army pamphlet on field craft which advised troops:

Put a hessian cover on your helmet to dull the shine, a net on top of that to hold scrim etc. and garnishing in the net to disguise the helmet’s distinctive shape, particularly the shadow under the brim.

The helmet is a shiny metal object with lines unlike anything in nature, it therefore stands out against a natural background. The layers of camouflage applied here serve different purposes. The hessian removes any potential shine from the helmet by covering the metal in its entirety. The net then breaks up the outline and allows further pieces of burlap or natural vegetation to be threaded through to reduce its ‘helmet’ like appearance and better blend into the background. This could be highly effective, but troops were warned not to take it too far as a moving bush was not realistic either!

Here troops form the Royal Scots Fusiliers clear a village during Operation Epsom in June 1944, each wearing the Mk II helmet, appropriately camouflaged and scrimmed:default

CS95 Trousers

There are still many items of very common militaria that have not been covered on this blog yet and every so often I take a look and realise I haven’t yet covered something that should be very basic. The CS95 pattern of DPM trousers is one such item and looking back I was surprised to find I hadn’t written a post about this yet. Therefore tonight we are going to take a detailed look at this particular item of uniform:imageThe CS95 uniform was trialled between 1992 and 1995 and came into service in 1995. Whilst the shirts were a major departure from what had gone before, the trousers were less distinctive, the buttons being held on by tape being the most obvious feature. These buttons are used to secure the large patch pocket on the left leg:imageAnd the smaller rear patch pocket over the right buttock:imageThe fly fastenings for the CS95 trousers consist of a zip:imageAlong with a drawstring and button:imageAs well as the drawstring, a pair of buttoned tabs allow the waist size to be adjusted:imageDraw strings are fitted to the cuff of each trouser leg:imageCS95 trousers have two labels inside, the standard sizing and stores label:imageAnd a second DCTA (Defence Clothing and Textile Agency) label:imageThe design of CS95 trousers seems to have been a popular one, especially after the generally poor reputation of the 1985 pattern combat trousers and those made from ripstop fabrics:

Standard CS95 trousers are a better bit of kit. Comfy, easy to iron, smarter looking, and most importantly very fast drying in the field

The CS95 Trousers were produced in both temperate DPM, like this pair, and in Desert DPM for use in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Initial runs of the new MTP uniform used this pattern as well, but this was rapidly replaced with a new design and the older CS95 MTP uniform has become particularly hard to find and sought after by troops and collectors.