Copying Haloscreen

A few days ago I had a message on an article by someone called Haloscreen is not what it seems, which is a very unusual name in any language but obviously not their real name (when posting up they did actually leave all their email and PC details on the reply but I’ll not cap and crap here). The comment read;

“did they do some manufacturing technique for haloscreen? because it looks like a really common material which I actually have on hand. The light effect is also present.

Ahhh, beautiful question. I’m pleased they posed it. Because it’s becoming a very common topic on a lot of forums – absolutely everyone wants to copy the work of Le Covert Sartorialist and make their own Haloscreen 3D camouflage elements. We’ve seen a lot of people and businesses try to jump on the bandwagon too and actually buy the fabric in, cut it up, package it and sell it, with varying degrees of success. Novritsch bought cheap tulle fabric and tried that, but it’s honestly the most awful stuff I’ve ever seen – the fabric is too weak and tears in a breeze, and it lets so much light in you can barely see that it’s there. I remember Kicking Mustang, who was sent Haloscreen on release but didn’t like it and dismissed it because it didn’t look like anything in particular and didn’t understand it, although he conceded the colours were very good (it’s on one of his Friday night lives around 2018 if it’s still archived anywhere) but has since release AGM which Ghillie One tells me is actually a pretty close, but slightly different fabric, because there’s a market for ghillie materials. To be fair they’ve done a decent copy compared to a lot of the others. But beyond the sellers, there are now loads of individuals too busy shopping trying to find any similar mesh material on Aliexpress. Facebook groups are full of people who are desperate to find an alternative to buying it direct.

The truth is, it is indeed a readily available fabric. You could go and buy some straight from the factory. Hell, you could even bag it up and sell it on Etsy if you wanted to. But you need to test hundreds of rolls of the stuff to get the correct colouration, and that’s not factoring in the time cost.

Theyma’s packs in Jan 2019 which have become the blueprint for all other camouflage makers’ “crafting packs”, now familiar to us all

For me though, Haloscreen isn’t just about the mesh fabric stuff. Haloscreen is a whole different methodology to what came before. It took one guy, who served for years as Mechanised Recon and used his knowledge and experience to create something nobody had thought of before. He spent years with his idea, testing thousands of fabrics and colours until he found the right one. I know this guy and I know how much effort he puts into testing – he had the genius to see something the rest of us didn’t. As Dom Hyde of Pencott said to me once, “Le covert gets camouflage. I mean really gets it”.

The idea of using cottons to mimic dead leaves was dismissed among us airsofters once upon a time. It’s too heavy, they would say. It gets wet, and we want lightweight and waterproof, ignoring the fact that the environment darkens when wet anyway – and now every camo maker is selling coloured cottons in their packs too. The idea of using zip ties to attach modules where Kicking Mustang was leading the Chinese leaf development using copious amounts of Shoe Goo. Being able to change and adapt the modules with the seasons. Actually looking at micro and macro patterns and understanding that disruption and breakup were more important than being able to mimic nature using plastic plants. It was a revolution by a guy who understands the very science of camouflage.

And he shared his knowledge for free. Making videos to explain how and why, and how to use it on our own kit. It was an absolute revolution.

I mean, at the very least you could at least give the guy what he’s earned. I see crap online now about how quite a few of the companies are saying that they’re releasing these new materials after a lot of testing, both of which are blatant lies because the testing was done by Le Covert Sartorialist and they’re just jumping on his work and trying to pass it off as their own.

It’s a sad state of affairs that these companies who portray themselves as camouflage experts are incapable of actually developing something new and instead are just copying others. We’ve seen it recently too with the ExFog goggles that have been copied by Novritsch who has released a much more cheaply manufactured version, to the obvious irritation of the innovators who developed it, and it’s no surprise that it breaks when shot (not an ideal trait for airsoft). Speaking to ExFog, they first filed for a patent in 2016 for their design, and then in late 2022 we saw a Novritsch copy hit the market. I know Novritsch as a company has the people and the tools to develop their own ideas, and it’d be much better to see something new and original rather than just another copy of, say, tigerstripe camo or something else that’s already been done.

I guess a lot of that comes down to us as players to keep funding the guys who can to keep us moving forward, rather than the guys who can’t which will limit future development. Our hobby is all about the kit and we need to make sure we’re pushing that development to continue seeing the improvements we need.

To come back to copying Haloscreen, you’d probably waste a lot more money trying to find the right one than just buying the original. And the real stuff comes in a much wider range of the right colours, instead of cheap-looking tans and chocolate browns. If you’re ordering from Wish, be aware that simply “green” isn’t going work purely because it’s green – there are cold greens and warm greens which is why Haloscreen comes in the colours it does and not simply light green/dark green/bright green or whatever the factory rolls out as default. Quality beats quantity when it comes to the serious airsoft sniper or camo user.

Copying stuff always seems to cause some bother, like that whole leaf suit fiasco after Sochi Sniper started releasing his own Russian leaf suits, and it’s probably not something we’ll see an end to any time soon unfortunately.

Innovate, don’t imitate.

(Oh, and does it come with any manufacturing technique? Well, the Haloscreen Pro does but that’s on a whole different level. I might dig some out and cover that in a future article.)

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