Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ghillie suit building and Mods.

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ghillie suit building and Mods.

    The thread is going to be wall to wall Ghillie suit info!
    I'm in the process of modifying two G-suits (One for winter/fall and one summer/spring suit.
    Here's what you will find here once I'm done:

    1) Materials testing (jute/burlap, adhesives, netting, dyes, etc)
    2) Fastening methods (for both jute and natural vegetation)
    3) Photos of many if not all steps involved in the modifications I'm doing.
    4) Break in procedures
    5) Some commentary on what has and has not worked good for blending in to the various AO's I've dealt with.

    What you won't find here:
    1) Blue Ghillie suit building info (It's only available to fellow Order of the Secret Squirrel Mall Ninjas... secret hand shake required)
    2) How to be totally invisible in all AO's (I can't help you hide from your Ex. sorry...)
    3) Me claiming to know "how the Marines and Army snipers build their suits" (I'm not LE/Mil... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night... )

    This week I'm dying all the jute and other fibers I'll need for my modification project.
    I've acquired three different types of ghillie fibers all of which came from Tactical Concealment Tactical Concealment Mfg. Co.
    I neither work for T.C. or am paid by them in anyway. I use them because they have everything I need and have items I can't find anywhere else. They have thus far treated me fairly and have been great on service.

    I started this project, in part, to test some newer garnishes. I've been looking for a "weed like" fiber that would stand up better than traditional jute/burlap. A fiber that stands up a will break up your silhouette better and with less mass than a fiber that "drapes." I've also been looking for something that would simulate the larger diameter grasses and weeds that I see in almost all the AO's I've visited. I think I've found some great new products in Bristle Weed and Stalk Grass.

    Dying Garnish
    I used T.C. dye - #1 GREEN to be exact. The vials are really small but a 1/3 of a vial was more than enough to do approx 2 gals of water.
    [attachment=10362:IMG_0953.jpg][attachment=10363:IMG_0959.jpg][attachment=10364:IMG_0960.jpg]
    You can see above the dyes and a shot of the natural colors of each fiber I was dying. The MOSS hair works really good in it's natural color.
    Next I bundled a good sized clump of each fiber and zip-tied each bundle so that the fibers would be easy to separate after dying.
    To use this type of dye you need to use HOT water!!! to get the best results ***Warning... HOT water is just that... hot... do this at your own risk***

    1) Heat water (About 2 gallons less water means your dye will be more concentrated)
    2) Pour dye and water into 5 gal bucket and add in jute/burlap/etc
    3) Try to make sure as much of the garnish is covered by water as possible.
    4) At this point you can do a couple things... leave it overnight or take it out when it reaches the shade you want.
    5) Once dyed remove from water and hang it somewhere to dry (If you separate the fibers a bit it will dry faster) *Also watch what you hang it on as drips will stain whatever it's over!!

    You're done! Now you can compare to your usual area of operation and determine if it's a good match or not. I ALWAYS error on the side of lighter rather than darker. Light is a tricky thing and can make certain shades change color dramatically when in low light... (That's where I got my Nickname)
    Here's some shots of my finished product... while it doesn't match the lawn I put it on it should blend very nicely with wild grasses which are usually lighter.
    [attachment=10366:IMG_0973.jpg][attachment=10365:IMG_0968.jpg]
    **Next issue will be attaching garnish and vegetation ties to the suits**



    Attached Files
    "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

  • #2
    $this->unconvert_size(14, Adding Netting and Jute to Your Ghillie Suit). . . . . . and twelve ways to cook squirrel.
    Today we're going to add netting to a BDU to make our base ghillie suit. After the netting is fixed we'll go over at least one way of adding jute.

    Netting:
    Netting is the best way (IMHO) to give versatility to your ghillie suit by allowing you to both add vegetation as well as remove it. It comes in all shapes and colors: 3/4",1", 3", etc. For this ghillie I'm using 1" square netting. The best colors are light tans to medium browns. Black and white netting, while readily available, requires too much processing to dull them down to usable camouflage. Using nylon netting will give you both strength and rot-resistance.

    1) Spread the netting out over the BDUs and cut to size. If you plan to crawl in the suit leave the front bare and cut the netting that covers the arms above the elbow. This way it won't get caught in vegetation as you move. Make sure the netting won't come in contact with the ground once you've fastened it down. I've found that straight pins can help hold the netting in place so you can cut the netting to size (Watch yourself... they are sharp).
    2) Once you have the netting cut to cover the BDU it's time to fasten it down. At this point there's two options. Use nylon thread / green dental floss or glue the netting directly to the BDUs using E6000 or ShoeGoo. I would recommend sewing it down but if you're in a hurry E6000 will hold up fairly well. In the long run it may require more maintenance since it's not as solid. If you sew it down, use a dab of E6000 on top of the treads to protect them and once dry hit each dab with a flat spray paint to kill the gloss from the glue. You should fasten down the netting around the edges every 3-5". (See 2nd photo bellow to see how it should look once you've done and have hit it up with the spray paint)

    [attachment=10472:IMG_1061.jpg][attachment=10478:IMG_1075.jpg]

    Adding garnish to the suit (Jute or Burlap)
    Now we're ready to start covering the netting with Jute or burlap (For this method you'll need to shred the burlap into individual strands)
    Take 4-5 strands of jute 8 - 12" inches in length (shorter will make it stand up more) fold the jute back on itself so that the ends are NOT even. You should now have a loop at one end. Push the loop under netting and back out (See first picture bellow). Now pull the uneven ends through the loop to finish the knot. It's that simple.
    [attachment=10474:Knot_1.jpg][attachment=10475:Knot_2.jpg][attachment=10477:IMG_1062.jpg]
    With this knot your jute will stay put but also be removable without much fuss. Using this method will allow you to tailor your suit to your specific location and if you decide you've made it too dark (which I'll warn you about....) you can pull out all the dark jute and replace it with lighter garnish.
    The jute should be put on every other row and you should alternate colors so that you don't end up with lines or other patterns. Around the shoulders you may need to add jute on every row to insure full coverage. The idea is to keep it thin and avoid the dreaded (and ultimately useless) "Giant Wookie" look. You will add natural vegetation from your AO anyway so making the suit too dense will only end up making it hot and hard to move in.

    Now as promised I'll warn you about making your ghillie suit too dark... What ever you do, don't make your suit too dark, error on the side of too light!
    You can and should always add natural vegetation from your AO and if you start with a darker ghillie suit you'll end up looking like a big shadow or dark spot.
    Building a ghillie suit this way takes time but it's well worth it.
    **Next time: Custom fit and Ghillie Accessories (No, not small dogs in sweaters named Tinkerbell...)**
    Attached Files
    "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

    Comment


    • #3
      After a long long absence... apologies... I'm back

      $this->unconvert_size(18, Tweaking the suit!)
      Anyone can buy a pre-made suit... and honestly many of them are very well made but what makes the suit is the custom work only you can do.
      Until you put it on and try crawling you won't know what needs tweaking. So go crawl in it... a lot of times this is where many notice that while it fit just right standing around when you get down and actually crawl in it it's too short in the sleeves (one reason I recommend starting one size larger than the BDU size you normally wear). I like to add thumb loops to my suits because even with a size larger BDU's you find that the sleeves ride up when in a low crawl. For this I use 1" wide elastic webbing or 3/4" climbing webbing. Put the suit on and get into a low crawl position then take not of approximately are your thumbs end up. Then just straight pin your loops in place (with the sharp end OUTSIDE the sleeve ) so you can try them out before you fix them in place.

      Next up, time to put your skid-plates on (AKA reinforcing for the high wear areas). I like to use 1000D Cordura and the color isn't especially important... just don't use black (see my above note on black... haha). Just like with the thumb loops you'll need too get in your suit and into a low crawl position. Note were the contact areas are and add about 3-4" around those areas to insure none of the edges of your skid-plates will catch on the ground. Once you've cut your Cordura to size you can use one of two methods to secure it.
      1) Sew it down along all the edges then use ShoeGoo / E6000 to cover all edges and seams
      or
      2) Using ShooGoo / E6000 glue down the Cordura then once it's dry coat all the edges and slick them flat.
      I've used both methods and both work. It's debatable whether the extra time needed to sew down the edges is worth the added strength or not.
      What is important is that you cover those edges with E6000 or shoegoo! Anything that can catch while crawling WILL catch while crawling. If you haven't picked up some E6000 yet check out most hardware stores such as Ace Hardware or Michaels Crafts any decent craft store or hardware will have it.
      The best way to slick down the E6000 after applying it to the edges is to use a wet finger (either water or spit... yeah I said spit). Now I know some of y'all will be tempted to give some a wet willy at this point but resist the urge ok. Once the E6000 has dried completely (usually over night) you should shoot a bit of flat spray paint onto the glue to kill the shine. Below you'll see a picture of what it should look like when you're done. The solid OD green is the 1000D Cordura and the camo is the BDU's. I've also attached a photo of what my boonie looks like once completed. The newer types of jute and stalk grass really do break up what was once a wookie suit.
      [attachment=11476:IMG_1077.jpg][attachment=11477:IMG_1086.jpg]

      Ghillie suits to Civilians, such as myself, are like art... they're always a work in progress. The best thing you can do to help your suit blend in is take it out into the field and test it. So get out there and lets see those salad suits in YOUR AO! Post some pictures in the Fieldcraft section, get advice, ask questions. If you don't find an answer here on SP chances are it's either a stupid question (despite popular opinion they do exist) or it's already been answered (best to use the search function before posting a new question). If there's anything I can help with feel free to PM me. While work keeps me pretty busy I'm always glad to help.

      Stay low and stay hidden my friends,

      -Blue
      Attached Files
      "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Where ya been, Wes?
        www.precision-applications.com

        It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

        Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

        "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Shep,
          He was here the whole time. You just didn't see him, because he was ghillied up
          Respectfully,
          Harry
          PS
          Wes,
          Where's the part on wearing white socks with your ghillie ?
          "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
          "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
          "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

          Comment


          • #6
            He was here the whole time. You just didn't see him, because he was ghillied up[/b]
            www.precision-applications.com

            It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

            Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

            "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

            Comment


            • #7
              In the old days we turned our BDU's inside out. So the pockets were on the inside. I don't see folks doing that anymore. It was so you could carry maps and small items without loosing them. We used to cut a 12" x 12" square in the back of the BDU blouse and sew screen material there so it wouldn't get so hot. Because of the triple canopy jungle I don't think I ever used it but maybe three times.

              Some guy at Camp Eagle picked mine up by mistake and four days later returned it. He was 6' 3" it just was going to work. I like hoods instead of boonies. IMHO
              "with the patience of an oyster....I watch and wait"

              Training the US, one shooter at a time.






              http://www.centralvirginiatactical.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Shep, I've been all over but mostly here in Cali working. Nah Harry, my ghillie wouldn't blend in very well with the background here on the site.
                Flea - I've been meaning to cut in a mess back to my suits for sometime but just haven't had the chance. At least out my way, the suit is almost unusable in the summer... it may not be anywhere near as humid as in the jungle but it hits 105F here quite a bit. What do you like better about the hood? I'm always curious because I tried it for awhile decided it was too dang hot and didn't give me any kind of peripheral vision. I also like being able to have two levels of concealment with the boonie. I usually leave the back jute/burlap 16-18" long so I can turn the hat around and use the extra material to lay over the back of the scope. Then the front I leave shorter so there's less in the way of my vision while moving/crawling. Being a civi I guess I end up putting comfort above concealment... maybe I'll add a battery powered heater for the winter...?

                P.S. How the hell does a 6'3" guy fit in your suit Sir?! haha
                P.S.S. Harry, what white socks? I use strictly Pretty-in-pink Multi-Cam now. I heard it came highly recommended from you.
                "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  [quote]
                  P.S.S. Harry, what white socks? I use strictly Pretty-in-pink Multi-Cam now. I heard it came highly recommended from you. [/b]
                  Hey Wes,
                  Wasn't there some advice about urinating on your suit ...or getting a buddy to do it ...or something ...
                  Respectfully,
                  Harry
                  PS
                  Great call on the Multicam socks
                  "It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a sheep", Old Roman Proverb.
                  "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know", Author Unknown.
                  "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!", Shakespeare, Julius Ceaser, Act III, Scene I.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [quote]
                    Hey Wes,
                    Wasn't there some advice about urinating on your suit ...or getting a buddy to do it ...or something ...[/b]
                    Sure, but it's much easier and less embarrassing to use doberman pincher urine. How you go about getting that urine is entirely up to you.
                    I also like to attach natural items like 2 liter Coke bottles and maybe even a pack of cigs to break up my outline and fool observers.

                    Humbly the civi from the land of fruits, nuts, and NO FREAK'n ammo!...

                    -Blue
                    P.S. I hear tell that if you soak your suit in... ...you will be damn near invisible to northerners...
                    "I work with the customers so the engineers don't have to... I HAVE PEOPLE SKILLS PEOPLE!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know about ON a suit, but I've urinated in a g-suit. At the time, up until it froze, it was by far the warmest part of me.

                      Ahhhh.......Norway in the winter..............

                      (We need a new smilie, with a little guy freezin' his ass off)
                      www.precision-applications.com

                      It's knowing that when I get up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, the Devil says, "Shit! He's awake!"

                      Shortly before World War I, the German Kaiser was the guest of the Swiss government to observe military maneuvers. The Kaiser asked a Swiss militiaman: "You are 500,000 and you shoot well, but if we attack with 1,000,000 men what will you do?" The soldier replied: "We will shoot twice and go home."

                      "There are so many Russians, and our country so small, where will we find room to bury them all?" - anonymous Finnish soldier

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great post! Lots of good info. The mesh back is almost mandatory here in the south. Another good option is a pocket to hold a camel-bak bladder. I found some synthetic jute that works pretty well at www.ghilliesuits.com/syntheticghilliethread.aspx. Fire resistant is a big plus.The only useable colors (for me) are the light olive and green. When vegged up it works really well. I nearly lost my boonie at Ft. Benning, and it was in arm's reach. Another thing you can do when you get bored is to take the pockets from the top and sew them on the upper arms, with the button portion sticking out from under the netting for access. Pockets on the lower leg are handy for things like small pruning shears for that pesky weed or branch that ruins a perfect position.
                        War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.- John Stewart Mill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What made you decided to go with a two piece over a one piece? Would Nomex be best incase the burlap started on fire? I have seen two piece nomex ACU's and they are EXTREMLY comfortable. Still debating if I want an old one piece or a two piece new comfortable ACU set up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [quote]
                            What made you decided to go with a two piece over a one piece? Would Nomex be best incase the burlap started on fire? I have seen two piece nomex ACU's and they are EXTREMLY comfortable. Still debating if I want an old one piece or a two piece new comfortable ACU set up.[/b]
                            I like the two piece because I'm 6'3". Any one piece suit I can find to fit me lengthwise can usually fit another person inside it with me. I take the BDU's and put (sew) suspenders on them. Suspenders are a must with a two piece suit. Also a two piece suit is more breathable. Our summers down here are miserable when you are wrapped in burlap. Every little bit of ventilation helps. I even cut the top out of my boonie and put mesh there. Back to the two vs. one piece, I've tried a one piece suit and it just seemed to bind in all the wrong places and drag loosely in others, but that is just my opinion. If you can borrow one to try (or two) you can get a good idea of what you like and what you would change. Even after you make your first one you will notice things to do differently on the other one you will immediately start building as an improved model. They are a constant evolution, changing to fit your wants or needs. I highly recommend the flame retardant synthetic ghillie material. If you can get the FRACU's they would probably work, but I don't think they would stand up to the wear and tear.
                            War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.- John Stewart Mill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm glad this came up again I have been working on a suit for the last little while. Trial and error mostly tho.
                              " If you want peace,prepair for war "- Imi Lichtenfeld
                              '' I don't like to fight, I like to win!" -Me

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X