Friday, February 3, 2012

Review: Patches, Patches, Patches

Patches, Patches? we don't need no stinking patches! or so you might recall if you're as fond of misquoting movies as I am. That said, there's a lot to be said for patches. Growing up in Houston, I was the luckiest 4yo around when all my clothes had Apollo, Gemini, Mercury and Space Shuttle patches sewn to them. A long hiatus came till I was involved in Warhammer 40,000 and other Sci-Fi and acquired a few to put down the spine of my great-coat. Getting into the Stargate LRP, and other military based roleplay, I had opportunity to start collecting some more, and recalled my great love of them. Here's a sample of those I've collected recently. First up, the Patch Set #1 from Action Figure Therapy. I can't begin to say how funny these guys are. They're majestic, man! I've posted previously about wearing these on my CSI Folder and MEOP pouch

Next up are this set from the hard-bodied climbers and trackers of Triple Aught Design I've done a little climbing and trail blazing, and really appreciate their ethos. They also have an awesome sense of style. The big Praetorian shield with its climbing axe and gladius was a must-have, and as a big Conan-fanboy I needed the "A symbol. Perhaps on a shield.Two snakes, coming together.Facing each other..." patch. Figured it would well suit Stargate as well. I have a big affinity for our canine friends, especially the tenacious coyote, so paw prints and Dog&X-bones glowing rubber Ranger Eyes were also needful. The Spartan molon labe, "come, take them" crest is both fannish and inspirational. The plain disk is just the 6.5cm AFT patch backing, for scale.

Next up are a couple of Stargate SGC patches which are another fannish addition, and make the costuming for the Lasertag LRP that I do that little bit more authentic feeling. As I've seen these, at conventions and at comic and merchandise stores, I've snapped them up, so now I have a garrison and subdued version to hump around in the bush with. Interestingly, the "bright" version is backed with an iron-on plastic backing (which I will be fixing to more hook-and-loop hooks shortly) so I can chop-and-change to suit the costuming needs.

I needed some proper military issue type badges for my outfit, and after some shopping around, I found that the folks over at US Patriot Tactical had a great system for putting together what you need. Nametapes, rank and service branch, skill tabs and a lot of units as well. I wrote the character I run with in Stargate LRP up as a MSG, formerly of the 10th Mountain. I'm also bucking for a promotion, in-game ... I lived in Denver as a very small boy, have family and friends there now (completely independently, it's just nice up there) but was also home to Camp Hale a training center for the 10th in WW2. .
 Between my climbing, and living in Denver and Clagary, Canada after evacuation from the Persian Gulf in 1991, I have an affinity with that kind of thing. Anyways. US Patriot Tactical were a good source for the patches I needed, although they keep their stocks to current-cam standards, and I'm running US Woodland in-keeping with the Stargate show.  I also picked up some corresponding subdued-met rank pips, to go the whole hog. With the way shipping to Australia goes, it's always better for me to buy a whole bunch of things, especially of they are little, or shipping costs out-strip the cost of the items.
That's what you get living on a large, isolated and tectonically and biologically stable landmass.

The last items I'll cover here today are the nametapes I have, which are in my Stargate LRP character's name, rather than mine (although I do have my father's Viet-Nam era BDU blouse with -his- name and unit patches on it). Nametapes are awesome, and for anyone who tends to go backpacking, hiking or travel with packs on planes, I heartily recommend getting some made up and putting on your gear for easy ID in lines, piles and at the luggage carrousel.

It would be totally remiss of me to leave out my beloved Zombie Hunter patch from MilSpecMonkey. Tactical Baby and I wear this on her baby-carrier but it has had pride of place on my CSI folder, and on my arm at costume events like the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle  I love The Monkey's work, and look to add a few more to my collection, shipping being the biggest hurdle, so I have to wait till there are a -bunch- of things I want to get, and include some patches along with it.

Patches are great. Identification, unity and morale can all be boosted with a well placed and recognized symbol. Not to mention a great way to patch the holes on the knees of Tactical Baby's pants when she starts running about ....

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