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 Post subject: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Praporshik
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Location: NY
It has really bothered me seeing guys using face protection that throws off the look of the impression.
I understand some of you guys are particularly concerned with damage to your teeth and maybe the rest of your face.
I don't really share that fear, and I have caught BBs in my mouth and my face
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I still won't promote the use of face masks/guards :roll:
However, sometimes you are required to wear one, like for CQB fields. Or a handful of stupid outdoor fields.

I can not force any of you to not wear face protection :roll: and at the CQB fields I have to wear it myself, so, we need one that will look less out of place and serve it's function, not just paying lip-service to the field requirements.

I was inspired by RedBull's use of a sniper veil shemagh type thing. I realized, Russians have such cheesecloth-like material available as well!
The кзс-1, that disposable 2-piece over-suit with the 'sun bunny' camo pattern. It is in fact used as material for covers. I've seen a morpeh officer with his planchet/officer-bag/map-case covered in this. Helmet covers were made from this. I'm pretty sure wraps for guns were as well. It is readily available at many sources, and can even be gotten second hand on R-A for really cheap. I think I got my top for like $10. I used some of the fabric to make a wrap for my PSOP, and still had almost the entire top left over to use for other projects. Besides this project, I still intend to make a helmet cover for my steel pots ( 6ш60/68). Which will be super simple since I can use detach the hood and create a fold for a draw string, and I'll be done! For the next East Wind that I attend, I'd like to make a cover for the back-pack radio. I was told that the section following us at night was able to keep track of us because of how much my radio was glistening from the moonlight! :spaz: That needs to get rectified!

The кзс-1 fabric fulfills the requirement of looking less out of place with out Russian and even Soviet kits. The other requirement, which is more important to those who voluntarily wear these masks/face guards is that it actually serve as protection to your face. In addition to being able to stop BBs it has to be non-obstructive, so you can still aim your weapon and wear your head gear (kepi and radio headset) and so that it doesn't fog up your goggles. For this purpose I found that Tactical Gear (TMC) aka Iron Face Carbon Steel "Striker" Metal Mesh Lower Half Mask. Available from Evike currently for less than I paid for mine, only $9.60!
The color you get is really irrelevant to this project. But I do think it is important that you do not get the one with the double straps. I got the single strap system, and it isn't that stable, but the extra set of straps looks like it will make taking it on and off in the field more complicated. Plus the other things you'd be wearing like your kepi and goggles, its already a lot of bands/straps on your head.
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The advantages of working with this mesh versus polyurethane (ski/cold mask) and plastic masks is that this breathes easily. It doesn't redirect your moist air up into your goggles to cause fogging. Also, it is much easier to sew the fabric to it. You don't have to force the needle, and you can flex it into a more-or-less flat position instead of having to deal with a U-shaped thing you have to work with.

I find these types of face guards reminiscent more of dog muzzles. "Muzzles" is the term I will use to refer to this from now on. The idea is for these muzzles to not look like muzzles. We don't want to have this look like it was just reskinned. Because it still looks weird to go into combat with a muzzle on :roll:
So what we do is, we make it look like just a regular piece of readily available breathable cloth that has been re-purposed by a soldier as a camo face wrap. Kind of like a bandanna/kasinka has been used (but more breathable and camo!).

Of my fabric, I took about 12 foot. Try to keep it neat, because this fabric can unravel. I undid it at the seams. From the back up to the arm pit of the top. I cut along a straight horizontal set of the fabric grids to avoid ruining anything unnecessarily, to prvent any extra fraying/unraveling. The pattern can be seen from both sides of the fabric, but it would be better to have the higher contrast (proper outer side) be the side that is facing away from your face when you attach it to the muzzle.

Unfold the muzzle so it has less of a U-shape and more flat. Center the muzzle laterally. Longitudinally, you want it towards the top, but not completely at the edge. You want to have a little bit of the fabric to fold over the top of the muzzle. This provides a bit of cushioning to your face, and also will create a more natural folding of the bandanna look. Also sewed the edges of the fabric around the straps, since a bandanna ties around the head, not just hangs off the face like some harem belly dancer face veil. Also, just tack on the part of the muzzle and fabric correspond to the bottom corner of the muzzle. You don't want your veil flopping around and being blown upward to get in your eyes or revel the actual muzzle. In my situation, 12 foot was a bit much, technically. You don't want your 'bandanna' hanging too low and snagging on stuff. Like the stock of your gun when you shoulder it to aim. So what I did with the extra length of fabric, is that I folded it upwards to the tip of the muzzle, and then I sewed the layered fabric up. What this does is actually give you some bit of soft protection from projectiles to your neck area.

The final product from the inside
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From the outside
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How it looks when worn
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The 'sun bunny' patterns on the кзс-1 suits vary. Some are more brown, some are more yellow, and some are more gray. And the base green also varies in shades. There is no wrong version. The variations are acceptable because they are normal. Personally I would have preferred them to be more yellow or more gray to enhance the contrast and look closer to the клмк versions, because that is what I think I will wear it with most often.

My purpose is to wear this if attending CQB events. When attending CQB events, I'd like us to do it in our клмк suits. Because it is easy to come in from the city in our civies and just put on the over-suit at the field. And there isn't really a need for kepi indoors, so we can just go hoods-on, or even in berets. And the rest of you can please wear this when you insist on face protection at outdoor events.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:59 am 
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Ryadovoi
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Cool idea! I got the very same mask. Where did you get the right cloth?
I got material similar to kosynka, only greener, yet not olive green.
I'll see how it works.


Last edited by Scar on Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:02 am 
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Ryadovoi
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off topic, are your goggles shattered in the center or did you add a ventilation hole?

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:03 am 
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Praporshik
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Location: NY
There is no hole in the goggles. Optical illusion, I guess.
I got the KZS-1 fabric from a guy on R-A. KZS-1 is readily available on ebay, on R-A, and I think every Soviet surplus seller from Ukraine.

I still have leftover fabric. And I'm considering getting even more fabric. Should be able to get like a complete KZS-1 suite for like $40 shipped. I highly recommend getting a complete suit, so you can make a helmet cover, and other stuff, and a barrel shroud. If you really do not want to buy your own, I'll probably have some left over to share.

I advise against the kosinka/bandanna because it does not breath as well as the KZS-1 fabric. It's great because the mask is porous, and so is the fabric, so your breath/moisture can travel straight out, not get redirected up into your goggles. That is an important factor.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:50 am 
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DOSAAF
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The RR North West folks like wearing their balaclavas over 'em. Maintains that FSB Thug look without the "wearing a mesh mask like a goober" look.

Fenrir ruined so many EW-IV photos.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:24 am 
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They set many bad examples.
Looking like a 'thug' is nothing to be proud of.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:11 pm 
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DOSAAF
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Well the goal isn't to look like a thug. The goal is to maintain anonymity or OPSEC on operations. It just so happens that western minds associate wearing a "ski mask" with being a burglar, bandit, or thug, lol.

Point is, it hides the mesh while helping you look milsim.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Prizivnik
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After seeing these masks in person I was impressed, without having some KZS material to work with I got creative. Walmart had some mesh cloth in different colors, I chose the green . After trying painting a pattern on it ,I tried some bleach. Bleach on green = yellow. I'll clean up the frays later.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Praporshik
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Not exactly "sun bunnies" pattern, but great attempt.
The "sun bunnies" look more sharp on the edges, some might even call it "digital."
But a first attempt on replicating it, great! For those "collectors" out there who think it's a tragedy to cut up any piece of kit, even something as widespread as the KZS-1, this is great alternative.

"Bunnies" is not a reference to the rabbit ear like part of the pattern. Those are actually referred by some people as "kisses." For those not 'in-the-know' the term "sun bunnies" is a literal translation of the Russian term for light reflections. Those reflections of light off of say glass or metal item and cast onto the ground, for example. Before people played with lasers to make their cats pounce on things that aren't really there, it used to be done with a watch or whatever small item with lots of luster. It also refers to light breaking through the canopy of the tree foliage. So the term for all those "digital" characters on the "step/stepped" or "Birch" and "Laser" camo patterns found on KLMK, KLM, KZS-2, 80s Border Guard uniforms are "Sun Bunnies."

The fabric used in my mask and Skar's mask was from the same top. So they are not the best version. They vary in coloration due to how they were stored and original dyes used. What I had to work with doesn't seem to contrast as much as I'd like. In direct like, the patterns are more apparent, but if you look online, you will find better examples. I'm going to use the hood from this KZS-1 to make a helmet cover. Just wish there was more contrast to the pattern on the background. When it's only a 2-tone camo pattern, higher contrast is better. While we were in the Scranton Lace Factory, Skar said that I disappeared, except for the glint off of my goggles and my mask.It would have been better if my background/base green was darker... I've gone off rambling...sorry...

Glad we were able to inspire you to McGyver up something.

EDIT:
Had a look back at your photos.
Your top looked secure well.
But your bottom, I didn't notice if it was attached to anything.
The reason you want it attached to at least the bottom of your mask, is to control the up-flip.
You don't want your mask flapping about uncontrollably. Especially if you dive or move your rifle about and flip the bottom of your fabric up, covering up your eyes, and/or snagging on stuff.
Having the corresponding part of the fabric tacked on to the bottom/chin part of the mesh-mask.
That fixes about half of the fabric in place from moving. From snagging. Or from just exposing the face mesh.

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 Post subject: Re: Russian looking face guard
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 11:09 pm 
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Prizivnik
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I sewed all the way around the mask .A friend does custom airbrushing and said he can do the proper pattern.So off the Walmart for me.

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