While having a ghillie crafting session this afternoon, a question popped up from one of the team about how I apply Haloscreen mesh to my kit. It’s dead easy, but worth a quick blog about as a guide.
So, Haloscreen. The ultimate negative space 3D material. I really can’t recommend it enough, it’s light years ahead of leaves and leaf suits and all other old generations of camouflage. I’ve already covered that in a previous blog though (link here).
There are a lot of nice pictures online of the stuff on people’s suits which is great, but harder to find is the information on how to put it on, so that gives me another reason to cover it. It comes in several forms;
This is probably the most common, it’s the Haloscreen starter pack which you can get easily enough from Skirmshop.uk, or whatever your local Skirmshop is. Link to buy here. You get big square sheets of the magic stuff.
Additionally, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now get a pack of it laser cut into shapes from SCG in Poland (link to buy here);
Now, if you follow my YouTube channel you’ll know I’ve done a couple of live shows with Le Covert Sartorialist himself which are crammed full of good information. I’ve been fortunate through Skirmshop and Le Covert Sartorialist to have been sent several packs of different materials out for me to play with, so thank you guys. This means I’ve got a big box of various bits of it, both Haloscreen and the pro stuff, and in big squares as well as some laser cut modules. The laser cut modules are very quick and easy to use and provide a great shape once attached.
However, I’ve still got sheets and sheets of the uncut stuff. What I decided was that the sizing was about right of the laser pieces (elements that are too big or too small are less effective and there’s no guides on how big to cut your pieces out) so I’m going to use that as a very rough template, and to avoid wasting any of the Haloscreen. It’s roughly 9″x4″ or 22cmx10cm. But we don’t need to be too precise…
I cut a piece of the sheet to be around double the length of one laser piece, and then as long as the sheet was. To get the jagged edges, first place the scissors into position and bunch the Haloscreen up. Cutting across folds gives you a slightly jagged edge, but I wanted to enhance that. What I do is move the scissors in a semicircle cut. You can see above that there’s no wastage here either from little bits snipped out or any cutting of individual shapes.
This gives me a better jagged edge. I think the only problem with the laser cut stuff is that it’s all very uniform when mass produced, and I’m more a fan of being able to adjust and control size and shape if I need to. However, bear in mind that Haloscreen isn’t limited to just the airsoft market, it’s used by special forces and others who might need to be able to camo up very quickly (I’m happy spending a leisurely few days, but I have that luxury). For that end of the market the pre-cut pieces are useful.
Anyway back to my kitchen floor. The long strips are then cut in half using the same cutting technique and boom! I’ve got loads of pieces cut ready to apply. Attaching them is easy – you will need a few hundred brown micro zip ties, and an awl (depending on where you like shopping I’ve seen some places refer to these as “ghillie needles”. But it’s just a plain old awl. A needle with a wooden handle…). Pinch the fabric and push the awl through to make a hole just big enough for your zip ties – obviously whatever you’re using is going to end up with a lot of small holes in it but don’t worry, it’ll still function. Unless it’s a waterproof, in which case it won’t. Being a sniper is about modifying kit your needs, so don’t be scared to do it. That’s what we buy it for.
Notice in the laser cut piece, pictured again, there are holes pre cut to thread your zip tie through. Because Haloscreen is just mesh, you can thread zip ties through it without. The gaps between where it goes through the mesh will determine how big the finished “bundle” looks.
And that’s it really. Therre are people who layer two different colours of Haloscreen together to create new colours, but that affects the way the light works through the mesh and I don’t need to use twice as much to cover the same area, because I have lots more projects to work on.
Just a quick photo of my arm to finish up. You want 3D to be doing this – see where the straight edge of the sleeve is? That’s your outline. The 3D elements further down are breaking that line up. This is why you don’t want it flat like a leaf suit., despite all the extra material, it isn’t doing anything with outlines. To achieve this, you need enough 3D every 8cm or so that it will always disrupt an outline. And another note – test the colours outside first to see which ones work in your environment. I’ve already done that so I can craft indoors with the right colours.