Tactical Tailor

SSD Exclusive – OCP Side-by-Side Photos – Scorpion W2 & MultiCam

SSD obtained these photos of Scorpion W2 and MultiCam fabric after the US Army released photos of the new new Army Combat Uniform in Operational Camouflage Pattern. Considering both are called Operational Camouflage Pattern by the US Army we thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of how similar the patterns are. Can you guess which is which in this photo?

W2 vs MC

In the photo above you see the Crye Precision MultiCam pattern atop the Army’s Scorpion W2 created about four years ago.

W2 vs MC 2

This photo depicts MultiCam to the left and the lighter Scorpion W2 to the right.

Yes, the colors look different in each photo but that is due completely to lighting. While there are differences, I’d say that they are close enough. For government work, that is.

100 Responses to “SSD Exclusive – OCP Side-by-Side Photos – Scorpion W2 & MultiCam”

  1. Alex says:

    The difference is that MC has the vertical elements, whereas OCP does not.

  2. Mick says:

    Biggest thing I see is the MC looks “busier”, with more splotches and elements in, say, a square foot than on Scorpion.

    “close enough for gov’t work”, indeed. Especially when you slap some molle webbing on it, you’ll never notice your MC assault pack is not a perfect scorpion match.

    • straps says:

      …hopefully they don’t try to resurrect that bogus Wally World looking OCP print webbing…

    • Strike-Hold says:

      That jives with my own “in the flesh” observations of it. Also, the Scorpion W2-OCP appears to have slightly larger pattern elements, fewer of the fade-out boundary layers between the colors, and no “branches” elements either.

      • Lcon says:

        Kind reminds me of EDRL vs M81 they basically blew EDRL up and M81 was born and tweeked the color

      • SSD says:

        I’m glad we finally got some photos. Feel free to share with your readers and include your observations.

  3. straps says:

    The dead spots where W2 is basically monochromatic are going to be HUGE. I’m glad that we’re done with UCP but man, there’s gonna be some funky looking uniforms out there, especially if that same joker who had the “moose antler and playboy bunny” BDUs back in the 90s is still around when OCP hits MCSS.

    • SSD says:

      I noticed that in MSG Owens’ photos. There are some big brown dead spaces in this pattern.

      • Steve says:

        I wonder if the Army took out some elements to make a bit more of a “macro pattern”. If your camo is a uniformly distributed mix of small camo elements it blends into a single color at a medium distance, or even sooner like UCP does. If there is a bigger pattern layed over the whole sheet of camo creating lighter and darker or greener and browner areas then your body outline will still be broken up at a larger distance.

        • JBAR says:

          I think Multicam’s patterns are too small & blend in too fast also. Hopefully this will decrease outlines better. The Scorpion sample looks to have a too defined straight brown fade though.

        • Steven S says:

          Yes, smaller elements are going to blob up faster than a pattern with bigger elements, however the difference in performance is not too much as long the pattern is designed well.

          UCP, blobs up into one color at such short distance not because of the size of the pattern elements, but rather more due to the colors used. Btw, CADPAT TW has a neat way to form a 2nd scale macro pattern. There is a section within CADPAT TW that has a more tightly packed area of light elements than the rest of the pattern, this creates a horizontal light band when those light elements merge in at a distance.

          The macro in a pattern should focus on disrupting the human symmetry axis, this is the brain’s most important way to recognize objects. The whole breaking the body’s outline is slightly different subject and is less important in terms of recognition than the symmetry axis.

  4. WagenCAV says:

    I know that scorpion ocp won’t be avaable until next May, but is there any chance that we’ll be permitted to wear our original ocp’s before then?

    • straps says:

      If the stars–and the commanders–align.

      When OEF kicked off there were commanders who had their formations in 3CDC for no reason other than to look “ready to launch.”

    • Dan says:

      Not with those zippered pockets.

  5. WagenCAV says:

    Got some extras from supply right before I left theatre… Got three fresh sets of mc fracu’s that I’d like to use

  6. WagenCAV says:

    Gotta love the waste that is the ADO process…three fucking weeks before rotating back, fresh acus, new set of pt jacket and pants, lots of socks and t shirts…can’t begin to wrap my head around how much tax-payer money is thrown away daily

  7. Oneironaut says:

    Glad to finally see them side-by-side. Good stuff.

    • Steven S says:

      Yep, I think most of us are glad to see it as well.

      Btw, I liked what you did with the patent images of Scorpion and Multicam.

  8. GS says:

    Scorpion W2 looks almost like MC before they added branch patterns to it. Anybody know when that change happened?

    • WagenCAV says:

      It does appear exactly as multicam would look if the printer mill simply left out the top layer with the vertices in it. If that’s the case, then printing ample amounts of fabric shouldn’t be too difficult, since the whole enterprise has been supported by industry for years. No retooling necessary. Just hit the stop button before the final layer is added.

    • Explosive Hazard says:

      That change happened when Crye Precision modified Scorpion to create MultiCam sometime around 2006 IIRC. Scorpion was changed to scorpion W2 around 2009 IIRC. Not only are the vertical elements missing in Scorpion, but it appears the W2 pattern was increased in size a little, maybe 15-20% in comparison to MC. I’m wondering if the size increase helps the pattern perform better in NIR.

      I recall Guy Cramer posting some info about the Army testing Scorpion with MC PPE and it performed nearly identical to MC with MC gear (no surprises there) so this is overall a good move by the Army.

  9. DSM says:

    Wow, you can actually see matching “splotches” in both. In the center of both samples, the multicam has one that’s light green and the W2 is dark green. The brown splotch next to it is the same too. I’m sure there’s more in there but I saw that one almost right away.

  10. GS says:

    At what point does it become a copyright infringement?

  11. Stefan S. says:

    Stop speculating on copyright infringement this and that. You don’t have a dog in the fight. The jackasses finally decided to outfit our Army the way the should have done 10 years ago.

    • SSD says:

      Agreed completely. I haven’t heard of Crye Precision, or the Us Government for that matter going after the other party for patent infringement. It seems to be an age of detente. Let it lie and be happy that the US Army is transitioning to a much more effective camouflage pattern.

      It’s great to see Soldiers look like Soldiers again.

      • mike says:

        I think Crye will come out ahead on this regardless as there will be more commercial MC printed and worn side-by-side with Scorpion W2. Current manufacturers retain the usefulness of their stock, the Army isn’t locked into a terrible pattern that people only print because they have to, and the civilian market will continue to drive demand. Winning.

        • Explosive Hazard says:

          Exactly this. While Crye Precision wont get the lump sum from a buyout of MC they will still make money hand over fist. And they have also been vindicated in a way in regards to the 2004 camo trials. That can’t be that mad, frustrated I’m sure but probably not sue ready mad.

    • Hardchawger says:

      So true. I do believe the Army leadership engaged some legal eagles before embarking on their decision.

    • Steven S says:

      It’s patent infringement not copyright infringement…

  12. Rjf98 says:

    What say stop speculating about copyright infringement? Yes, the army is finally outfitting the army the right way, so what? I’m far from an expert on these matters, but if an American company designed this pattern then the Army needs to pay for it. If the army nominally changed multi am so they wouldn’t have to pay, then I hope Caleb takes them to the cleaners. That lawsuit has nothing to do with “outfitting the army” and everything to do with sleazy business practices. I will readily admit Crye did pretty well under the old contract, but you still can’t go around stealing someone’s work.

    • Snake says:

      The Army paid for Scorpion already and they’ve owned the rights/licenses to it ever since way back when, when Crye first developed it for them. Crye then tweaked it to Multicam so they could profit from it commercially. The Army, by choosing Scorpion, gets Multicam without having to pay for “Multicam TM,” and Crye really has nothing to say about it at the end of the day since the Army already owns Scorpion. Sure, you could say Caleb got back doored over the whole thing, or you could say the Army acted in a evil genius fashion, genius being the key word. The Army got what it wanted without any sort of copyright infringement. Crye just lost out on getting more money for doing the same job twice.

      • SSD says:

        I’m curious, how did you come by all of this information and what makes you so sure of it?

        • Oneironaut says:

          From a correction letter dated 30 March 2004 on the Scorpion patent (USD487848):
          After claim, insert the following:
          –Statement as to rights to inventions made under federally sponsored research and development.
          The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DAAD16-01-C-0061 awarded by the US Army Robert Morris Acquisition Natick Contracting Division of the United States Department of Defense.–

          • SSD says:

            The problem with this is that if it is what the Army is hanging their hats on, they haven’t lived up to both ends of the argument. Sure, it says they can require Crye to license the technology, but it also says “right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms…” Free isn’t exactly reasonable terms, and the nature of what are reasonable terms can quite easily be determined. The US Government has paid a licensing fee to Crye Precision for years and years (and continues to). That is what the US Government has established as reasonable.

            Having said that, as far as I know, Crye Precision has not filed suit with the Army regarding its use of Scorpion.

        • Snake says:

          This is the impression and understanding I’ve got after reading over w year’s worth of coverage on the subject here at SSD, albeit summarized/ paraphrased/truncated. Is this clashing with your notes somehow?

  13. Rogue Element says:

    In terms of possible copyright infringement, the best solution would be for the Army to exclusively retain the OCP/SC2 pattern and allow Crye Precision’s MultiCam to dominate the commercial market (ala MARPAT and “Digital Woodland/Desert). US Army has an exclusive pattern, and Caleb Crye & Co. laugh all the way to the bank. BAM, everyone is happy!

    • SSD says:

      I think that is what is going to happen. That way, the ownership dispute never hits a courtroom. I don’t think the Army has a very strong case of ownership.

  14. Bussaca says:

    Ok, so…, If i accidently grab my old OCP pants and wear my New OCP W-2 Blouse… will my MSG notice… Thats the importaint question…

    • SSD says:

      He will notice, and he’ll probably ask you why you are trying to wear a blouse when you’re in the Army.

      • Hardchawger says:

        lol. Yes, the nomenclature shows it as COAT on the ACU and the pants TROUSERS. But that is the same battle I got into with some Zoomies who call their barracks dormitories haha.

        • bulldog76 says:

          anyone willing to help me get a petition started to get the coats change to the designation of Tunic

        • SSD says:

          In the Air Force they are dormitories. But a coat is a coat and blouse is something ladies and Marines wear.

  15. cy says:

    Did anyone notice that the light brown is on only one side of the scorpion W2 pattern? That will make for some unbalanced effects in some uniforms.

  16. alex says:

    Crye is in trouble. They tried to extort a $400MM license fee from the military and lost the big bet. The military has the upper hand in any potential patent issue and they know it due to prior art since Multicam came later based on Scorpion W2.

    Crye was also pretty stupid trying to “brand” the camo pattern where the end user really doesn’t care if the fabric says “Multicam” on it.

    I’m glad the military dumped Multicam in favor of Scorpion.

    • SSD says:

      Where did you get that number? Every time I see an amount it gets higher and higher.

      • Riceball says:

        Additionally, if you’ve read SSD’s article on that the number (whatever it was) was only Crye’s first round offer, the Army never bothered making a counter offer so it’s not like Crye was trying to exhort anybody. If you ask me, it seemed like the Army just went though the motions of trying to buy out Multicam from Crye without putting any real effort into it, they simply asked for a price, got one, said it was too much and called it a day. If the Army was really serious about trying to buy out Multicam then they would have came up with a counter offer for Crye. I

    • Mike in Fort Worth says:

      First, I thought Crye’s offer to sell MC was $25 million which was a pretty reasonable price considering he would no longer own the rights to a very profitable item.

      Second, how is it “extortion?” The Army asked Crye for a buyout price and they responded with a number. The Army turned it down. Extortion usually requires that someone has leverage over another. Clearly that wasn’t the case here.

      I imagine Crye is going to continue to make money, with or without the Army’s business.

  17. Mohican says:

    And the only reason for not adopting Multicam is money? After spending so much in the ACU I don’t think money is a good reason for not adopting Multicam.

    • SSD says:

      They can say what they want now, but the Army was ready to adopt MultiCam over a year ago. In the end it came down to money. Someone(s) in the military didn’t want to pay Caleb Crye for MultiCam.

  18. Random Brit says:

    Could the W2 vs MC issue also be an identity thing? With UK and AUS having their own personalised MC variants maybe the US wanted their own signature blend of same-same-but-different-NATO-flage?

  19. Dev says:

    Now that the dust has settled, would SSD perhaps be putting up an editorial of what SSD personally thinks? A summary article, maybe even in a “winners” and “losers” format?

    I’m sure that there will be implications felt industrial wide, military wide (what would the Air Force do next perhaps?) and not just by the common soldier after all the delays and dramas that had happened up until now.

    • SSD says:

      I could write a book about this debacle.

      • AbnMedOps says:

        Don’t write the final chapter of that book yet. With institutional drama this rich, it ain’t over till it’s over. Don’t believe any of this until the main body of Biggest Army is actually wearing this stuff, in garrison and the theater de jour, out in FY – whenever.

      • FormerDirtDart says:

        Unfortunately, writing the chapter “Why UCP Was Selected” will merely be a picture of somebody shrugging.

        • Riceball says:

          LOL. Too true. I get the feeling that we’ll never know the reason why UCP was selected and those few who do know will probably end up taking that secret with them to their graves.

      • majrod says:

        SSD- I hope you do.

        I also hope you don’t limit it to UCP. The debacle started much earlier and had implications on ALL servicemembers/branches not just the Army, That’s not excusing the Army gets and stays in the spotlight for well deserved and not so deserved reasons. I just hope the W H O L E story is told.

        It’s much harder to throw stones from the glass house.

  20. bmac says:

    Any chance of a vehicle paint scheme based off of OCP, or are we stuck using desert tan on all vehicles even in garrison? Some vehicles still sport the woodland paint scheme, but I think it would be interesting to see one based off of OCP.

  21. Hardchawger says:

    SSD, with your riches, when you are going to change the abomination of this forum/comments section?

    • SSD says:

      Riches? Not. My money gets spent on travel.

      What would you like to see changed?

      • Hardchawger says:

        The ability to create a profile and a more robust forum that allows editing of posts and to be able to message another member. Have you considered changing it?

        • Hardchawger says:

          I forgot to add because if I want to see a reply to a certain thread, I will have to search through the whole page; especially if comments exceed over 100 posts.

      • majrod says:

        consider livefyre, disqus, intensedebate?

        The former and latter allow for editing. They also save poster comments in a separate database and allow for bios and grading of commenters.

  22. Franzen says:

    Still don’t have an answer to my basic question. Are the four OCP/Multicam uniforms I wore last year in Afghanistan going to be allowed or are they going to go to waste?

    Yes, as an officer I’m going to piss and moan if I have otherwise functional uniforms that most people can’t tell apart and I’m going to have to pay out of pocket to replace because of minor differences in coloration and pattern.

    Yes, I am a cheap ass, especially when I’m being punished for the stupid decisions of our leaders.

    • SSD says:

      Considering the sleeve pockets will be different, I’d say they won’t be wearable in garrison. In the out years I suspect that old OCP FR ACUs will be worn by Afghanistan Vets as a status symbol. At least in the field.

      • Franzen says:

        Yeah, but even then my current ACUs are so old (but servicable) that they still have “hook and loop fastener” everywhere, not buttons. These “incremental” upgrades they’ve made have always been grandfathered.

        It would be a gross waste of materials to prohibit the wear of uniforms issued just last year because of a pocket design change. No one’s stopping me from wearing my current uniforms just because I don’t have buttons on certain pockets.

      • Chris says:

        but do you think that they might let the soliders who already have it go ahead that way at least everyone looks somewhat uniformed? I would suspect since about half of the army already has it that the leaders might be okay with that,

        • Franzen says:

          It would be the right moral, ethical, financial decision to make. Those uniforms are already sunk costs to the Army, why just throw away that money and then force officers in my position to go out and purchase new uniforms all while cutting CPTs/MAJs from the force for “budgetary reasons”.

          Insult, meet injury, meet Army ethics.

          • Hardchawger says:

            Frazen, I would think so because in my unit and in other formations that I have seen, you still have Soldiers who wear the Aviation ACUs that have zippers on it. Many like it for the material and look. If that is acceptable at various commands having that mix, I would predict the same for OCP would be a non-issue.

            Perhaps, if the pockets can be separately bought, you can go to alterations and swap the pockets out, still achieving overall savings than buying new uniforms; especially without the need to buy trousers. haha.

  23. Steven S says:

    Why is everyone bringing up the patent infringement discussion? Both parties seem to be fine with whats been going on, since neither has stated that they are suing.

    If you want to bring up and discuss issues, lets talk about the whole debacle.

    -The USMC’s excessive provide that prevented the Army from using a great pattern for it’s time.

    -The Army’s decision to not follow it’s Universal Camouflage Trials.

    -The people involve in the creation and implementation of UCP. (The only person I can find responsible so far is the one who approved it)

    -By 2010, all armed services had their own separate camouflage pattern/variants.

    -Congress passes a poorly made law that maintains the status quo.

    -The Army ignores its Camouflage Improvement Effort primarily due to inaction.

    -The Army adopts a pattern that they essentially had for many years.

    -End result:
    -almost every service still has their own camouflage pattern/variant
    -billions of dollars have been wasted in the totality of everything, and will continue in the foresee able future.
    -OCP/Sw2 is essentially a pattern with almost nonexistent macro and texture. The only thing it has going for it, is the colors. UCP has set the bar so low that this even this is considered acceptable in today’s standards.

    • Chris says:

      I think the army shoudl have just paid the 27 million for MC and just bit the bullet for the time and money spent. I forsee this being the uniform for many years to come! Its a great pattern either way and we actually blend in with more than the parking lot.

    • majrod says:

      Great subjects Steve.

      Many are complicated and politically charged.

      It’s much easier and fun for many to dog pile on the Army.

  24. Eric says:

    All I see is the possibility of ending up with a poorly matched pouch set displaying only one or two colors since many of the “empty” areas are big enough to accomodate an entire Mike 4 pouch.

    • NORBIS says:

      Yeah; or an all brown name tape on a large green section of the uniform will look weird too….

  25. RJ says:

    So, what’s next with camoflauge? SSD, how long do you see this being viable before NATICK or someone else comes along and tries to do something different? I’m just trying to figure out how long I can be reasonably comfortable looking at my clothes and not feeling overwhelming rage.

    • SSD says:

      This is it for the foreseeable future.

    • Woody says:

      Thermoptic camouflage is next.

      • Bussaca says:

        Some one say Guy Cramers name…..?.. no, ok… Still hasen’t released anything yet… I’ll sit down.. don’t want the emperor to notice he dosen’t have any cloths on….

        let me play my harp….

  26. NORBIS says:

    When laying flat side-by-side with the Scorpion OCP looks like it will go well with the Multicam OCP, on the pic of the MSG wearing it on a uniform it looked like it was blown up or something. Is this just my eyes not seeing the smaller elements of the pattern and interpreting it that way or is the uniform he is wearing actually a different “scale” of OCP or something? It just looks different… there also seemed to be less of the fading effect.

    I am curiuos to see two Soldiers side by side, one wearing MC OCP and one wearing Scorpoin V2 OCP.

  27. joe says:

    I also noticed apparent scaling.

    So, new OCP used the same color palette, but:

    -slightly enlarged pattern

    -no vertical elements

    -harder borders rather than textured fade

    I’m actually surprised they didn’t modify the colorway to include Foliage Green to make solid color accessories compatible with the new pattern.

  28. Eddie says:

    Am I the only one that has seen this picture off the US Army Flickr photostream of a soldier whose helmet cover looks suspiciously like Scorpion W2 as opposed to Multicam? Coincidence? I think yes.


  29. SGT D says:

    Does anyone know what company is going to make these… So I can invest in it…?