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RGHQ-51 Home Page In-Base Kit & Service Dress Uniform (SDU) Essential Safety Kit MultiCam® Camouflage Pattern
Military Ref. Page Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) MultiCam® Boots Combat Equipment

MultiCam® Camouflage

Magnum Sidewinder Boot MultiCam Hangtag and Label

Above left: The superb Sidewinder boot by Magnum in MultiCam®
Above right: MultiCam® "hangtag" and label.


Following the adoption in 2008 of the MultiCam® camouflage pattern by the players themselves at that year's conference, for use in CONTACT for their Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU), webbing and other equipment, I have put together a series of guides for buying suitable kit, starting with this page which is an introduction to the pattern itself, complete with illustrations which you can click to enlarge.

However to start with I would just like to reasure both current and past players that it is NOT a requirement to replace all your old kit with MultiCam®, as a condition of play. The objective is to ideally convert to either proper MultiCam® or the authorised substitutes, as and when your old kit has died. Likewise if you are an absolutely new player, just use the kit you've got, and only consider the whole MultiCam® thing once you've decided that you're hooked on the game.

Authorised Patterns

There are several similar patterns, only two of which are authorised for use alongside MultiCam®, because (a) they are sufficiently close to MultiCam®, and, (b) they are NOT in official British military service and, (c) they provide an inexpensive solution to being appropriately equipped. The authorised patterns are:

1. MultiCam®, that is the camouflage developed and marketed by Crye Precision Industries (USA). Any product purporting to be MultiCam® will carry the tag and/or label as shown above.

2. Camogrom®, as made by Helikon Tex of Poland.

3. V-CAM® as marketed by Viper Tactical.

Unauthorised Patterns

Anything that is not listed above, including: MTP (Multi-Terrain Pattern) the British armed forces reworking of MultiCam®, and the extremely similar MP® pattern made by Pollish company Helikon, should NOT be used for major items of kit, such as uniforms, webbing or rucksacks. The only exception for the use of these and any other unauthorised similar patterns, being for very small or unique items of kit unavailable in the authorised patterns.




So having said all that, what of the pattern itself....

About The Pattern

MultiCam® BDU Jacket by TRU-SPEC
Camouflage clothing does NOT make you invisible on the battlefield. It only reduces your chances of being seen, and really truly works when you are still. It is possible for it to aid you while you move stealthily, but only in a limited number of situations. Standing on a hill top being skylined will normally get you seen, especially in dark camouflage patterns. Running, walking, waving your arms etc. is going to get you spotted regardless. So the armed forces of the world have since World War I been on a constant search for what they hoped would be the perfect camouflage. Unfortunately there are two problems:
  • Firstly, before the development of MultiCam® all patterns were only truly effective in one environment. Outside of the specified terrain it provided no advantage over a plain colour. Which is why some armies, like those of Isreal still only issue Olive Drab (green) uniforms to its regular forces.

  • Secondly, troops have an unfortunate habit of moving from one type of terrain to another during the same mission, and cloaking technology is still on the drawing board!

So the US Army decided that a camouflage that was a jack of all trades, and master of none would be, for most situations, the best solution.

Initially developed and produced in 2002 by Crye Precision Industries USA in partnership with the US Army, MultiCam® was the first and the best of the so-called transitional camouflage patterns. It is designed to work in a wide variety of environments, so that troops could "transition" from one to another without needing to carry alternative kit. Having been extensively field tested for many years in the wars both in Iraq and especially Afghanistan it has proven to be an outstanding piece of kit. It has of course proven very effective in our own "operations" wherein players have to operate in several different environments, including dense and open woodland, grassland, sandy trenches and urban settings.

So, why is it such an asset? Camouflage uniforms serve two purposes:
  • Firstly, at a time when military camouflage patterns never had more than four colours, being designed to operate in one specific environment well, MultiCam® was unique in having seven: cream, brown, dark brown, tan, olive, dark green and pale green. This enables the pattern to perform well in a multitude of different terrains by fooling the human eye in to seeing it as either more brownish or greenish depending upon the background colours. Also because by comparison it is not an overly dark pattern like US M81 Woodland pattern or the British DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) pattern. It does not stand out quite as bad at night or when you are in open country, or turn black when wet. This is not to say that MultiCam® is the perfect camouflage pattern for every environment, it isn't, but unlike most others which are designed to function well in just one, this one works adequately well in all the terrain types you will encounter in CONTACT. And unless you are prepared to buy everyone an entire set of specialist alternative kit for each of the terrains we fight in, then this is the very best option, not perfect, but good enough.
MultiCam Trousers by TRU-SPEC
MultiCam® Trousers by TRU-SPEC

  • The second function of a distinctive uniform is to distinguish friend from foe, which the use of MultiCam® by the Marines should in theory achieve. But as we still run a mixed range of patterns, we still get our full share of so-called friendly fire or blue on blue incedents. But over time this hopefully should change. This should be helped by the fact that the Non-Player Characters (NPCs) who play the bad guys represent for the most part personnel who went off-world in the pre-MultiCam® era, and thus are mostly stuck with ye olde less effective single-terrain patterns. It is not uncommon to encounter enemy troops wearing desert pattern camouflage in woodland, or a mix of MultiCam® and a multitude of other patterns such as German Flectarn. Of course sometimes you will meet enemies wearing the right pattern for the terrain, but hey you can't win them all.

The obsolete camouflage patterns: left to right: Four colour US Woodland, four colour British DPM and two colour British Desert DPM, as used by our Non-Player Characters (NPC).

MultiCam® has one other advantage over ortherdox military patterns that only really applies to civilian users, namely that it comes in a wider range of sizes. Some items are available from XS (Extra Small) through to 5XL (Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra Large), which means everyone is caitered for. This happy state of affairs occured because initially the US Army rejected the pattern as too expensive for general issue, so Crye decided to release it on to the civilian market, which meant that it had to be made in sizes not normally found in military service. For most purely military patterns it is almost imposible to find the larger sizes. Indeed until the last few years even the smaller sizes were a problem, as women were stupidly kept out of the front line.

So here is the irony, in 2004 the US Army instead selected the dredful Universal Camouflage Pattern which turned out to be an almost complete failiure, requiring in 2010 the rapid official adoption of MultiCam® for exclusive use in Afghanistan. In 2014 it was decided to ditch UCP altogether, and most folks thought that MultiCam® was going to take over entirely, but no., but more of that later

Since its introduction in 2002 numerous copies of MultiCam® have made their appearance on the open market, none of which are in any way as effective or made to the same quality. However as already mentioned two of these "copies" are authorised for use by CONTACT operatives. The first which is made by the Polish manufacturer Helikon Tex, and called CamoGrom®, which tends to be paler in colour due to the use of two pale greens in place of the darker ones of MultiCam®. The other is V-CAM® which has a less 'dense' pattern.

Of the many, many other copies on the market, of these so-called MultiSham patterns, the majority are actually produced in the far east, often with other quality control issues as well, but then again they're cheap.

A substantial number of armed forces have purchased MultiCam®, often for special units, while others have had Crye produce variants for their own use, including the British and the Austrailians who have adopted special versions for their entire armed forces.

New MultiCam® Patterns By Crye Precision

Crye, the makers of MultiCam® have as of 2014 also now introduce a series of specialist patterns as well. This is so troops who plan to operate for an extended period in one environment can change their basic clothing, and have it match to a degree with items of kit in the original transitional pattern. Of these new patterns, the only one possibly worth considering for use in CONTACT is the Alpine version for use in snow, the others being too specialised. However just for your interest here is the full range. NB: only the first pattern (original pattern) is linked to a larger image:

MultiCam® - the original

The authorised UNSGC pattern

A seven color pattern containing Cream, Olive, Pale Green, Dark Green, Brown, Dark Brown and Tan, with a balance between the greens and the browns. The true multi environment or transitional pattern.
Click the image to see a large picture of this camouflage pattern as a textile.

Cream 542 Dark Brown 530 Tan 525 Brown 529 Dark Green 528 Olive 527 Pale Green 526

MultiCam Arid

Unauthorised for UNSGC wear.

A five colour pattern containing Olive, Highland, Light Tan, Urban Tan and Light Coyote. Designed with a bias towards the browns for use in long expeditions in true desert terrain, which makes it far too pale for use in CONTACT.
Sorry, but I do not have a larger image than this one.
Olive 172 Highland 174 Light Tan 170 Urban Tan 171 Light Coyote 173

MultiCam Tropic

Unauthorised for UNSGC wear.

A five color pattern containing Olive, Bright Green, Green, Dark Green and Dark Brown. Designed for long expeditions in true jungle terrain, with a bias towards green. The pattern is also too dark for use in CONTACT being far more like US M81 Woodland pattern camouflage.
Sorry, but I do not have a larger image than this one.
Olive 251 Bright Green 252 Green 253 Dark Brown 255 Dark Green 254

MultiCam Alpine

Authorised for UNSGC service.

A three color pattern containing White, Light Grey and Medium Grey. Normally just intended for long expeditions in snow country, however on those rare occasions that we get the white stuff, this may be useful for outer wear in all our potential combat zones.
Sorry, but I do not have a larger image than this one.
White 124 Light Gray 125 Medium Gray 126

MultiCam Black

Unauthorised for UNSGC wear.

A three color pattern containing Olive, Grey and Black. Designed for Police and SWAT team use to produce a distinctive look. Black is of absolutely no use in CONTACT as it is a colour that stands out in any natural environment. Avoid having ANY kit in black even at night. Shadows are in fact a shade of blue, and as green is close to blue, green is a far better camouflage at night.
Sorry, but I do not have a larger image than this one.
Olive 205 Gray 206 Black 207

If you are interested you can read more about the new specialist versions of MultiCam® by visiting the Crye Precision website.

Scorpion & MTP Camouflages

(Sorry, no larger image)


The US Army in 2014 controversially adopted the Scorpion pattern, which is the camouflage created by them in collaboration with Crye Precision, the makers of MultiCam®, back in 2002. It is almost identical, being an earlier version for which the Army own the copyright. Thus they almost get the pattern they desire without having to pay royalties to Crye Precision. The production version differs from MultiCam® in having a less sophisticated pattern, and uses different shades of two of the colours. MultiCam® uses Cream 542 and Tan 525, whereas Scorpion uses Cream 524 and Tan 535. I am not impressed. If the US Army decide to release the pattern for commercial sale, I for one will not be buying it, and I would urge all who read this to support Crye Precision by buying their product instead. Fortunately many other armed forces and units around the world, including within the US have elected just to pay the royalties, use MultiCam® as it comes, or have the company manufacture a special version of their pattern just for them. Which brings us to the British Army's MTP camouflage...

MTP or Multi-Terrain-Pattern was adopted by the British armed forces in 2010, being a modified version of MultiCam®. It was created by Crye Precision using the same colours in the same proportions, making it pretty similar, however its not exactly the same. The actual pattern has been redesigned to resemble the legacy British DPM pattern, so it looks distinctively British. Early versions used larger patches of colour, whereas more recent examples are smaller, more like MultiCam®.

MTP was designed to replace the standard DPM equipment and uniforms, but the Desert DPM is planned to be retained. BTW the MoD (Ministry of Defence) has sub-contracted the manufacture of MTP uniforms and kit to China, with all the attendant quality control issues.

As to its use in CONTACT, I feel that because the UK armed forces went to such an effort to ensure that they did not end up looking like Americans, paintballers or airsofters, the least we can do is support them in that desire, by avoiding its use for major items such as uniforms, webbing and rucksacks. Only using a limited number of minor items of kit, for example the excellent current issue MTP respirator case that easily takes full face masks, always a problem item to stow away, and for which there is no MultiCam® equivalent. A couple of people have already bought full sets of MTP kit as it is cheaper than MultiCam®, they of course can continue to use it until it wears out, after which it should be replaced with MultiCam®, Camogrom® or V-CAM®.

The other similar pattern known as MP® which is a near copy of MTP produced by the Pollish company Helikon Tex, and intended to take a slice of the UK military market; likewise must NOT be used. If cost is an issue buy Camogrom® or V-CAM®.

RGHQ-51 Home Page In-Base Kit & Service Dress Uniform (SDU) Essential Safety Kit MultiCam® Camouflage Pattern
Military Ref. Page Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) MultiCam® Boots Combat Equipment

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