Well, it’s a bit early for discussing winter but the seasons are changing and having taken time off during the summer for holidays and family time (taking them camping in the wild, obviously), I’ve been having a think ahead to the onset of autumn and changes to my camouflage.
Summer in the UK is brief, which isn’t always a bad thing because wearing camouflage in the hot weather is an unpleasant experience, unless you like saunas. All the extra greenery, although giving cover and reason to stuff plastic ferns and ivy into the suit, limits vision and reduces the advantage of the rifle’s range. Once the greenery dies off, the balance tips back into the snipers favour. Sightlines open up, giving better views of targets and offering little obstacle to the shot, and we can be more aware of movements around us. We can take advantage of being able to lie prone, still, without having to pop up to see ahead. Wet ground softens our movements. Skirmish players are reluctant to move into denser parts of the site and have no cover to creep up on us unnoticed. On the camouflage front, we have less to worry about when trying to match shades of green or having the wrong plant in the wrong place. Winter is glorious and should be embraced.
(On the subject of green vs brown, I’ll link a video later in this article which is a must watch for anyone with an interest in camouflage.)
In previous years I’ve switched between leaf suits, adding bits of garnish and switching to my grassy green viper style hood for summer, often running it with just bdu’s and using the higher vegetation to cover my body; usually there’s just my head, shoulders and rifle to worry about. Sure, leaf suit builds are simple enough but don’t always suit the environment I’m in and I want to add a traditional sniper cloak to my setup to help disguise the human form (remember leaf suits are a jacket and pants…), and provide a robust mount for vegetation, which I get with my viper hood although coverage is limited to head and shoulders.
After shifting some excess webbing to free up space and funds, I settled on the Viper Concealment Vest from http://www.skirmshop.co.uk, after chatting to Dan the Sniper Mechanic about his.
Against my UK Sniper Systems MOSS suit, which is a viper style hood, this cloak gives much more coverage and hangs a little looser. The material is thinner and feels cheaper, and though you’d expect it from a product half the price, I don’t feel it’ll be an issue for airsoft use. The biggest advantage is that instead of being a flat colour, it comes in Multicam. Yes, Multicam is easily recognised by most players’ eyes, but it’ll be getting a coat of Krylon spray first. I know Dan has darkened his to a muddy colour but I want to keep my base a bit lighter for this year; too often my MFH leaf suit cuts a dark outline on the field and that limits where I can position myself. It needs to be less new in appearance and I will dirty it, and hopefully some of the pattern will still show through so it isn’t too flat. Either way, a good base to build on.
I follow a lot of snipers on instagram and Facebook and I really like a lot of the Italian players who have to operate in predominantly lighter, dusty areas with lots of dead grass. That’s definitely very similar to sites and environments in the north of England, where we don’t have much use for leaf suits.
Yes, it’s almost Multicam terrain…
The biggest challenge with this build is making some suitable trousers to match, and will likely be looking for some desert camo to keep with the overall theme. If anyone has any links or suggestions, please drop them in the comments.
Oh yeah, that video. Thanks for reading. I’ll be covering the new suit in a later blog once it’s done.