WL Gore & Assoc

A Look at Operational Camouflage Pattern (Scorpion W2 Variant)

Yesterday, SSD received several yards of the Scorpion W2 variant of the US Army’s recently adopted Operational Camouflage Pattern in 500D Cordura. As you can see, from these photos, it is similar to the commercial MultiCam pattern developed by Crye Precision and used by the US Army as OCP in Operation Enduring Freedom as well as various other DoD elements over the years. But, it isn’t an exact match. There are numerous differences in the patterns.

IMG_7084.JPG

The May 2014 marginal marking is the date that the pattern was registered.

Scorpion W2 Pattern

Two striking elements are the rather wide brown and green-based bands that run across the pattern. Additionally, you will note that Scorpion W2 is less dense than MultiCam and lacks vertical elements present in MultiCam.

Colors

Here you can see the eight colors in the pattern’s palette. The pattern is 60″ wide and repeats every 25″ vertically, which is the close to the same as MultiCam.
Pattern Repeat

Click here and then right click on image to see the full res version.

Below, you can see the MultiCam pattern. The pattern is about 60″ wide with a 26″ vertical repeat. The pattern is much more dense and would seem busy when compared to Scorpion W2. However, we do have almost 10 years of effective operational use of the pattern which was used as a baseline pattern in the unfinished Phase IV of the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort.

MultiCam Pattern Sample

Please Note, major coloration differences are due to photos taken in different lighting.

What do you think?

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76 Responses to “A Look at Operational Camouflage Pattern (Scorpion W2 Variant)”

  1. GW says:

    I think that I am ready to start making gear in this pattern. our Raw good partners are moving, just not fast enough. SSD do you see the Army controlling this fabric like AOR1-2 or Marpat?

    • SSD says:

      Yes, I do. That “US Government Use Only” marking is pretty telling.

      • GW says:

        What is the plan for commercial products? Multicam?

      • DSM says:

        Maybe, but it might also be a pre-production sample that’s not ready for prime time release.

      • AbnMedOps says:

        What would be the US Government’s legal basis to enforce any “restriction” on use? I’m not an intellectual property attorney, but: 1. It is not classified information; 2. If it was developed by the US Government, it is therefore public property, subject to public disclosure (FOIA), or whatever; 3. Yes, the US Gov’t is legally able to be assigned a patent or a copyright, but “We The People” are the owners of the patent or copyright…It is herefore in the public domain.

        I see nothing about this pattern that makes it any more restricted than a US Department of Agriculture pamphlet on crop rotation, or The Congressional Record. Or any of the current or obsolete Army Field Manuals which quick-buck publishers freely (and legally) reprint, with their own copyright slapped on, and sell at gunshows.

        BTW, I’ve always held this same view since the USMC did their silly little stunt of “copyrighting” their digital pattern. I do not believe any attempt at “restricting” use of these patterns would hold up in court. Can any lawyers out there tell me what I’m missing?

        • Chris says:

          I presume the Army can always cite National Security and the fear of Scorpion W2 uniforms ending up with adversaries or terrorists. To be honest, I’ve always been surprised how easily one could go to a surplus store and get a full ACU/UCP uniform and go online and buy all the proper emblems, etc. Some European nations make it illegal to sell their military uniforms while in service (which is why you saw all that Swiss Alpenflage dumped on the surplus market when it was replaced). I know the UK tried to ban the sale of MTP but it’s seeped out onto Ebay.co.uk and the like. I realize there are plenty of Asian copies of any pattern and dedicated adversaries will find a way but we shouldn’t make it any easier for them.

          • Canadian says:

            It is the same here in Canada. Only authorized resellers of CADPAT material can make anything with it- and you need a licence. The actual pattern of the uniforms is protected, and cannot be produced or sold unless by government contract. There is CADPAT out there, but most of it would not pass the actual standard for production (IR resistance etc).

            The result? You can buy a uniform style copy in CADPAT, which would be close enough to an actual uniform as to cause confusion in a terrorist situation- but due to licencing, we cannot purchase actual uniforms for wear and are only issued with three (when they run out at clothing stores, we just sew them up, we often look poor).

            Also, gear is no longer repaired or sold as surplus, CADPAT is shredded. A huge waste. There are also very few aftermarket CADPAT items that are not a novelty. No rucksacks or decent equipment, mostly niche items that are generally only worn by posers.

            Hopefully for you, it won’t be the same lockdown on production. Or else you will be crippled by CSMs who care only about parade ground looking equipment- whether or
            not it’s actually effective.

        • JG says:

          I’d have to disagree. There are lots of goverment purchased items that are not for resale or use by non goverment agencies. Look at MREs for example. You can’t legally buy or sell a case of MREs, even though you can buy the same product from the same manufacturer that produces them for the goverment. The packaging is a bit different on the commercial version. You see the same thing on optics from companies like EOTech. Certain models are stamped “GOVT/LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY”.

          • AbnMedOps says:

            Yes, but the case of MRE’s are an actual physical item, which was produced and sold to the Gov’t, and the gov’t will dispose of it only per gov’t rules (ie: eat it, or destroy on expiration date).

            There is nothing (except perhaps relevant Food and Drug Administration regulations) preventing that manufacturer from using the “intellectual property” of the published MRE specifications to manufacture and sell MRE’s.

            As for the optics, I also doubt that the “GOVT/LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY” stamp amounts to a plate of beans. POSSIBLY some government-spec models do not comply with some other standard which by regulatory authority or lawyer/liability considerations the “civilian” versions do, like child-proof paint or something. Or conversely, maybe the “Gov’t” stamped ones come from a contractually specified production run, for example, every 100th unit produced must be scientifically tested by running over with an MRAP. Just for example..

        • SSD says:

          I do not believe that the US Government has the ownership of this pattern that they are leading people to believe.

          • JBAR says:

            That is a large statement. Any amplification?

            • AbnMedOps says:

              I’ll sit in the backrow of the courtroom grinning and munching peanuts if this thing ever goes to trial. As a concerned citizen, I’d love to see Natick get b-slapped for their years of absconding with the ideas manufacturers and inventors who were too small to fight back.

            • SSD says:

              Go read the patent. The US Government has never challenged its validity, only placed a statement a year after it was granted that they have a right to use the patent by directing Crye to license it to others for a reasonable fee. So far, the US Government has yet to live up to the wording it amended the patent with.

  2. Will says:

    This whole debacle truly made my head hurt. On what backwards planet did any of this make sense? The Army spent billions of dollars to research various patterns, and then chooses one they’ve had since before they even introduced UCP?

    All the while the Marine Corps has been sitting back watching and laughing because they developed and deployed two new uniforms, boots, and 782 gear, that were all an improvement over BDU’s, and for about 1/20th the cost of what the Army wasted.

    • Kris says:

      well the marines just used a rejected Canadian colorway not like they did too much besides take reject camo from our neighbors to the north….

      • Strike-Hold says:

        True for MARPAT Desert, but not MARPAT Woodland. MARPAT TW uses the CADPAT (geometry) but the colors were taken from a revised Rhodesian brush-stroke pattern IIRC.

      • majrod says:

        Kris – maybe but I don’t think it’s productive in taking away from what was an eventually successful initiative.

        No doubt the Canadians (who borrowed many concepts from US Army research) deserve more credit for the development of MARPAT. It just becomes a circular firing squad. Let Marines who want to take all credit for developing MARPAT do that. Just like they should take all credit for the subsequent decision and cost for not sharing it especially in light of borrowing Army patterns for over half a century.

        • Ex Coelis says:

          Majrod – not quite right; check Hyperstealth dot com for further background on the CADPAT versus MARPAT ‘creation story’. And no Kris, the Marines used their own colour inputs and preferences – not Canada’s ‘rejects’. As for our Canadian digital camouflage being ‘proprietary’, although it was done with the foremost consideration of ‘security’, as you’ll read, it’s done wonders for some egos but in general, done our Troops a greater disservice. Don’t even get me started with our tenant Command now wanting to change branch of service and rank insignia… Like United States of America and it’s pursuit of a superior camouflage uniform for it’s troops – even more wasted dollars down the drain.

          • Canadian says:

            Check hyperstealth again, it states that the Marpat desert version were the rejected Canadian colours.

            There is also no change to “branch of service” insignia. There is a change to the Army ranks, which I agree is a tremendous waste of money. The other change to which I think you are referring is the addition of division patches on our dress uniforms.

    • majrod says:

      If any Marines are laughing it’s because no one is asking them about the unprecedented USMC decision to bogart a camo pattern after over half a century of sharing Army patterns and what that decision cost (to include the price in blood). Go ahead and ask the question and the chuckling ends quickly as the excuses fly.

      No doubt the Army screwed the pooch but just as bad is the decision to copyright a camo pattern and repeatedly denying the most effective tool of war to other Americans and driving the services to field a total of eight different patterns.

      What’s mind bending is how the Marines have escaped responsibility for initiating the camo wars. Imagine if the Army had done this with the M1 Garand, M14, M1 Helmet, multiple versions of the Kevlar/MICH or any of the patterns it has developed since 1940.

      Let’s move on already and if folks don’t, just bring up the above issue and you’ll see the interest in holding people responsible wane which is fascinating in a negative way. Don’t get me wrong. I’m, all for holding people responsible for very bad decisions or at a minimum exploring why those poor decisions happened so we don’t repeat them. My problem is I apply it to everyone and detest hypocrisy.

      • ReverendSpecialK says:

        But that forced the Army to develop UCP? The Navy managed to get NWU which has been proven to be more effective than Marpat in certain instances. Don’t try to shift the blame. And it was my impression that UCP was chosen so they wouldn’t need two uniforms?

  3. Ray says:

    I’m ready to start wearing this. I stayed in my BDU’s as long as possible before we switched over to UCP. Now I will be purchasing these to get in them as soon as possible. I am sure that Clothing Sales will be sold out for a while in May.

  4. JY says:

    I STRONGLY suggest SSD remove the hi res image.
    Because it is an excellent reference for china copycat makers.

    • J.H.S says:

      The Chinese probably had samples sent to them also… And the market will most likely be flooded with Chinese Cordura before the genuine stuff is even released!

    • JG says:

      While they might be able to reproduce the pattern, getting the proper inks with NIR colors should seperate the knock offs from the genuine materials. I’ve looked at knockoff UCP and multicam under IR light and NVGs, and the fake stuff practically glows white. Same for the cheap buckles and other plastics.

      • Canadian says:

        Some of the knockoffs do, others actually work well. NIR isn’t magic anymore.

        Even if they take the picture down, so what? It will take a week for somebody that bought a shirt a clothing sales to sell it, then the whole thing is done anyway.

  5. LTC Y says:

    Any word if the Army will end up letting us use our already issued Multicam uniforms until the “new” UCP is fully fielded for purchase and issue?

    • Derek says:

      On military.com’s gear up page, they had a story concerning this idea being considered my big Army.

      • LTC Y says:

        I think that if would be best for the tax payers and soldiers alike if they authorize the temporary use of the already issued Multicam until the “new” OCP is fielded. We, as tax payers, have paid so much for the Multicam. At least let us wear it out while the new stuff gets fielded.

      • SSD says:

        The SMA has stated that it is being looked at. this was several weeks ago.

  6. WagenCAV says:

    Will the transition from mc to scw2 for ta-50 also take place in may?

    Also, what about the flc? It was never made in mc, so is it being phased out with UCP or will we see it in scorpion?

    • WagenCAV says:

      I assume, since your sample is cordura that the ta50 question is going to be answered in the affirmative. But I still wonder about the tier 3 and 4 stuff such as flc, sleep system, poncho, etc

      • Doc_robalt says:

        The FLC was replaced by the clip on chest rig right around the time of the IOTV version 2 time frame. Even in Korea they were starting to phase out the FLC with the new one.

        • WagenCAV says:

          Roger that. I’ve used the tap in both mc and UCP. And while it’s a decent mag holder for quick detach use with armor, it’s a poor substitute for te flc, since it doesn’t have as much real estate on it. You have to put all your stuff on the front.

          • Doc_robalt says:

            Were as I do agree the FLC had more real estate realistically why do you need a non body armor compliant chest rig. You really can’t do anything without having body armor on nowadays. Honestly I used to get my ass chewed as PSG in Korea because I didn’t allow my guys to use their FLC because it wasn’t IOTV compatible. I’m a train how your gonna fight kinda guy.

            • WagenCAV says:

              Me too. We’re national guard and we still use our FLCs. A lot. More than with body armor, which mostly gets use on firing ranges and not much else. IOTVs/SPCSs are great for certain situations, but not all. We do a lot of recon type missions in places like Camp Blanding and Eglin AFB, where snoopin and poopin in the woods wearing more than an FLC would make for a bad time. Oh well, we’ll adapt with the TAP I guess.

  7. Bob says:

    SSD, can you post this pattern side by side with multicam?

    I can’t really tell the difference.

    • Bob says:

      And by side by side, I mean in the same photograph

    • Explosive Hazard says:

      Look for the vertical elements. The difference is quite clear over large samples of pattern. Over small samples not nearly as clear. Which I’m assuming is why the Army is OK with using existing MC gear with Scorpion until all our gear is made and issued in scorpion. Which will probably take about 10 years.

      SSD posted an article a few weeks ago with the patterns side by side. In the top bar click on categories and then click on CAMO. You will see the article I am talking about.

      What would be cool is if SSD could lay down the large sample of scorpion with a smaller sample of MultiCam in the center just so we can see how the two look laid one on top of the other. But only because it would be amusing.

    • tictac says:

      There are areas where the “slugs” of dark brown and light tan are removed, along with some color changes. The color difference won’t show properly until they are placed side by side in the same lighting. NIR comparison remains to be seen.

  8. Chris says:

    I find it interesting while many swear by Multicam, three major militaries have now deviated from it: the British with MTP, the Australians with their AMP, and now the US Army. Of course the former two seem to have been motivated by retaining the properties of the patterns that the new ones replaced.

    • SSD says:

      AMP and MTP were created by Crye and as you point out retain national pattern elements.

      As it is Scorpion W2 and MultiCam both spring from the original Scorpion developed by Crye.

  9. EM says:

    Are the colors the same or is there a noticeable difference? Did you get a chance to compare them under night vision goggles?

  10. Sal Palma says:

    Given what camouflage is meant to do. I honestly don’t see a gain in any of this. It is has anyone, I say again ANYONE, run the numbers of this? Crazy!

  11. Sal Palma says:

    Corrected:

    Given what camouflage is meant to do, I honestly don’t see a gain in any of this. It is Crazy! Has anyone, I say again ANYONE, run the numbers on this?

    • Explosive Hazard says:

      The gain in this is getting the fuck out of UCP! I was disappointed after the initial announcement but now I’m coming around and starting to see and understand why the Army went this route. Yes, I would rather have the winner or the runner up from the Phase IV camo trials but that just isn’t going to happen. We have to move on and be happy that we are getting an effective pattern again.

      Now for bookends I hope the Army does the right thing and goes with AOR 1 and 2 or the MARPAT variants. But realistically the bookends won’t matter or be relevant for 90% of the Army anyway.

    • WagenCAV says:

      I think this is a better solution over continuing with UCP, given that UCP doesn’t do what camouflage is meant to do. Folks have been picking away on this forum for years, debating the cost (financial, personal (as in cost to Joe and also in loss of personnel), and political – cuz let’s face it, the Army is very embarrassed by all this and it’s led them to keep tight lipped about it nearly every step of the way – thusly making the rest of us try to guess as to what Big Green’s decision making processing might be leading us to).

      The gain will be that Soldiers will look Soldierly again and will have an ensemble that will allow them to more effectively use the terrain to conceal themselves.

      No one is saying that this is the camo to end all camos, or that we will win every confrontation simply because we have cool new clothes. It’s simply the closing of an embarrassing chapter in the history of the US Army. And closing that chapter, IMHO, is well worth the cost.

  12. Ex Coelis says:

    My personal bottom line – although digital camouflages work and work well, I think OCP(MultiCam) and Scorpion W2 will work equally well and in some instances, a bit better than their digital cousins. As for the Aussies, Brit’s and Kiwi’s using their own ‘licensed’ variation of Crye’s MultiCam, think these uniform choices have been very well thought out and implemented throughout their respective supply chains, equally well. One thing’s for sure; these are definitely halcyon days for fans of camouflage, civilian or military – analog or digital!! Keep up the great work, SSD. Enjoying everything you’ve published on this topic, to date!!! Cheers and thank you

    • Riceball says:

      FYI, Mulitcam (and presumably Scorpion) are also digital patterns even though they aren’t pixelated. A digital pattern doesn’t have to be pixelated, that’s just a conscious choice that has to do with the way the pattern works when pixelated, digital pattern just means that it was developed on or with the use of a computer as opposed to someone just playing with swatches of colored fabric or paints.

  13. cy says:

    I can’t believe they didnt pay Cyre for multicam. Instead lets retool the whole supply chain delaying the transition and put venders under unnecessary strain and financial burden.

  14. Lcon says:

    SSD
    I Think I am starting to move on your wavelength here,,
    There seems to have been more going on in the Crye/Army debacle.
    The Army is stated as wanting to “Buy” The rights to Multicam. It seems more like they wanted total control of the pattern like Our Friends across the Pond enjoy with MPT or the Marines with MARPAT.
    That is total control of the pattern. Now Crye has licensed Multicam widely I mean all you need is a credit card and in a few minutes you can have a full Multicam uniform set on it’s way to your PO box.
    Basicly Crye can’t give the army total control with out shooting it’s self in the financial foot. As it would be fored to buy back and cancel all the contracts it has to everyone making Multicam gear from the cheapest bandana to the most highest end gear.
    Imagine if Google had to withdraw Android form the market because the Army wanted the rights. it would sent the company into insolvency.
    So instead Crye or the Army moved to Scorpion W2 which never hit the commercial market. Crye could sell or grant total rights to that without impacting it’s bottom line at all, the Army could get total control on it’s terms.

    • Beas says:

      Only took 10 years to get to what we should have had.
      But, once the quartz quarry war happens…Ocp will have its place.

  15. Snake says:

    Six colors not eight. The fades don’t count. Sand, Earth Brown, Yellow-Green, Leaf Green, Dark Brown, Cream

      • Snake says:

        7 and 8 are the same color :p

        • z0phi3l says:

          You need glasses then, my glasses are dirty and I can see a difference between 7 and 8

          • Snake says:

            I was messing around there. Still, if you were gonna do this with spray paint you’d use six colors and blending/fading skill to pull it off. I can understand if an extra color or two were used in the print to achieve the color fade transitions but there are six main colors at work here.

        • SSD says:

          You failed the color vision test didn’t you?

          • Snake says:

            No not at all. But in the context I’m talking there are six primary colors at work in the pattern. Your eye won’t/can’t see the colors used to pull off the fade effect at the micro level when viewing it normally.

  16. jjj0309 says:

    Multicam 2: Electric Boogaloo

  17. Rob says:

    Guessing level 7 won’t be recolored for a long time. Any thoughts SSD? (maybe FREE will become standard)

    • SSD says:

      A lot of stuff won’t be repurchased for a long time, hence the dying everything UCP, coyote brown,

  18. Greg says:

    One thing the Army fails to remember, is the price of producing something that comes with more than 3 or 4 shades. OCP has what? 6 or 7? Why not enlarge W2 more so that it becomes more cheaper to produce in other variants? This was one of the reasons i believe they went from DBDU to DCU. Less colors, less money to spend on printing. Something tells me this will become a ”slow to notice” isssue down the road.

    • SSD says:

      They switched from 6-color to 3-color desert because it was a more effective pattern. 6-color desert camouflage was designed for the American Southwest.

  19. Hardchawger says:

    SSD,

    I was re-reading this old comment thread and the comment board was closed before your post before it being mentioned about UCP OCIE being dyed coyote brown. Matter of fact, we had an exchange on that and you told me that I should of went to the Marines lol and looked what happened.

    http://soldiersystems.net/2014/05/28/u-s-army-camouflage-bookend-tests/

    With the dyed OCIE, it should be able to match all those camos but if AOR type 1 and 2 is selected, then that probably will be a no-go since we will look too similar to the Corps.

    • Greg says:

      Similarity dosn’t matter. Fact is AORs 1-2 out did MARPAT and Crye in terms of the regions they were tested in few years back.

  20. Roach says:

    To me the “large bands” suggest both a macro and micro element, which is a good thing and assists camo at longer range. I always thought the modest macro element in the MARPAT made it less effective than, say, Hyperstealth’s US4CES camo.

  21. SSD says:

    Ultimately, there are thousands of shades in this pattern as well as MultiCam due to the way it is printed unlike the pixelated patterns where the color block is either there or it isn’t.