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HYPOTHETICAL RANKS

Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Dealing primarily with contemporary and historical Earth nations. (Science-fiction oriented rank systems, such as Star Trek, Starship Troopers, etc.), should be placed in FICTIVE Rank Insignia.

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Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:32 am

You did it!! Exactly what I had in mind. Simple, distinctive, easily recognizable, unique, and well executed! Why didn't the British think of this themselves so long ago? Well, we did !!! Good luck and I, for one, look forward to working with you again!
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Unread postby melonhead82 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:56 pm

Well don't you think it would be much simpler, instead of having her majerst's coats of arms, to use the old Field Marshal Insignia but just add a pip on in between the crown and the wreath because I always thought that would be better.
Plus, I would just like to point out that the Royal Navy rank insignia is a bit wrong.
Admiral has 4 pips so then 3, then 2 then commodore 1, then go on to the anchors. This is only because we don't have commodore 2nd class, and admiral is always 4 pips.
And, the British Army doesn't use the rank of Brigadier General, its just Brigadier: 3 pips and a crown, just thought i'd mention it.

Why don't you do a set of these ranks for the RAF, they would be very good too. What programme did you use to make these ranks?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:26 pm

Hi Melonhead,

The flag officers' shoulder insignia are correct for the time under discussion, which was WWI, 1914-18. The same is true for the rank of Brigadier-General (note the insignia is different to the current rank of Brigadier).

I agree that the simple expedient of placing a star between the wreath and the crown for both the Field Marshal and the Admiral of the Fleet insignia would work but this was mentioned in about the third post in this thread by Marc Paquin (back in February of last year) and I gave my comments on that at the time - see the fourth post!

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reply to Medic_in_Uniform

Unread postby melonhead82 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:03 pm

Oh I see, and yes brigadier general was removed after ww1. But maybe it would work. anyway, what programme do you use to draw these, and how did you get the images on because i've been trying to but it won't let me.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:47 pm

Hi again - yes, the insignia you describe would work as one possible option, it's just not what I chose to go with, for the reasons outlined above - see post No. 4 for my explanation.

At the time, I used Corel DRAW! to create all the drawings I've posted on the forum but I've subsequently gone all Mac so I'm trying to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator instead (fortunately, it will open all my old Corel files so I don't have to re-draw everything from scratch!).

Cheers!

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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:04 pm

Sorry, forgot to say: you'll need tocreate an account and upload your pictures to an image hosting site like Photobucket in order to post them in here.

There's a button marked <Img> in the row of buttons below the text editing box in the <reply> page. Essentially, you place "img" and "/img" tags (in square brackets) either side of the hosting site's URL for your required picture.

If you use Photobucket, it gives you the option of doing a cut and paste of the URL from each picture, with the tags already in place - you just click the button to cut when you're in Photobucket and then paste in the link (with tags) when you're editing your post on the forum.

Hope that helps.
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Unread postby melonhead82 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:10 pm

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Here are just some of my designs of the imperial uniforms. smilies-01
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:32 pm

While I remember, I made some minor tweaks to the final designs:

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Unread postby melonhead82 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:52 pm

They look quite good, would you be able to do a set of shoulder raking for the RAF as well?
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:48 am

I've been working on developing and improving the details on the hypothetical insignia for the Marshal of the Empire and Grand Admiral of the Empire. The supposition is still that of an alternative histor, (I guess around 1910-1920, possibly post WW1), in which the British expanded their military somewhat and instigated a slightly different command structure. I've also expanded the underlying alternate history a little too...! smilies-01

Here's some background explanation:

Originally, I couldn't decide whether or not to use the later "Brigadier" rank with insignia of <crown over three stars> or to stick with the earlier "Brigadier-General" with insignia of <crossed sword and baton> on its own. In the end I decided, under the heading of hypothetical ranks (!), to use both but with some changes, acording to the following logic:

The new command structure was born of a full review of all the armed services and incorporated (in this alternative history) the foundation of the RAF. Much to the displeasure of the General Staff, the Naval ranks were left relatively unchanged and the Army's general officer ranks and insignia were adapted, along with those of the newly established RAF, to establish some degree of consistent appearance between the different the services. It was decided that variations on the <Crown + crossed sword and baton> insignia should become the basic feature of all General/Flag Officer rank markings. Seniority of rank would be indicated by additional stars, therefore approximating the already established Royal Navy pattern.

This represented a departure from the Army's existing insignia but these had not been in use as long as the Naval insignia. The Army, for purposes of recognition, introduced a much more prominent <sword and baton> component than had previously been used.

The ranks were established as "Brigader-General" and "Brigade Colonel" and were held as being equivalent to the Royal Navy ranks of Commodore (First Class) and Commodore (Second Class), respectively. The full substantive ranks were to be Captain and Rear Admiral (RN) or Colonel and Major-General (Army) and the substantive promotion path could move directly from one to the next without necesarily including a period of time in the Commodore/Brigadier grades - this is especially true of the support arms not directly involved in combat operations, such as medics, engineers, etc.

The Commodore and Brigadier ranks were intended to be appointments for operational purposes, with Commodore 1st Class, as previously established, commanding a detached fleet or flotilla but with a Captain to command his flagship, whereas a Commodore 2nd Class would command his own ship directly and would probably lead only a smaller flotilla. The same basic principle would apply in th Army with a Brigade Colonel commading, say, a small detached brigade unit of a couple of battalions, perhaps retaining direct command of his own battalion, whereas a Brigadier-General would have a full battalion HQ staff and separate commanders of each attached battalion.

Under the new structure, the senior of each pair of ranks would be accorded General/Flag Officer status, whereas the junior grades would be regarded as senior staff officers. Brigadier-General insignia was established as the new generic general officer emblem of <Crown + crossed sword and baton>. Brigade Colonel insignia was established as a Crown over three Stars, in a one-over-two triangular formation. The newly-merged Royal Marines (from RM Light Infantry and RM Artillery) opted to use the single grade of "Brigadier" with the Crown and three Stars insignia and the RAF established the single grade of "Air Commodore" - more of the RM and RAF below...!

In time, both the Royal Navy and the Army ranks would later be reduced to just "Brigadier" and "Commodore" -- both services using the insignia of the junior grade and establishing the ranks as the most senior non-General/Flag Officer grades and as substanative ranks. The grades of Commodore, First Class and Brigadier-General were not wholly disestablished but rather were placed into abeyance with the option to reactivate them to meet operational needs in time of conflict.

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The Royal Navy defiantly defended their existing scheme and continued to use a single epaulette pattern for both grades of Commodore, those of the First Class continuing to wear Flag Officer accoutrements and the same sleeve lace as a substantive Rear Admiral while those of the Second Class continued to wear standard officer uniforms with a single broad ring of cuff lace.

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The Royal Air Force went through a multitude of revised plans for its officer corps before finally settling on a rank scheme that involved a mixture of Army- and Navy-pattern insignia and titles. Shoulder insignia broadly followed army pattern up to the field-grade ranks and then something akin to Naval pattern for the senior staff officers and Air Officers. Sleeve lace was black with sky-blue central bands on both home and overseas service uniforms and RN-pattern gold lace on full dress and mess dress uniforms. The RAF was granted a new form of "star" insignia for use on service uniforms but used gold versions of the Navy-type embroidered stars on dress uniforms. Like the Royal Navy, the use of epaulette insignia would later eventually become restricted to just ceremonial dress uniforms.

Interestingly, the rank of Air Commodore was intended by the RAF hierarchy to be a substantive grade form the outset. Initially it was a non-Flag Officer equivalent rank and was equated to Commodore, Second Class and Brigade Colonel, with insigna an accoutrements to reflect this. In later years, just as the Army and Navy were to move Commodore and Brigadier away from general/flag officer status, the Air Commodores were upgraded to full Air Officer status.

Officer Rank Markings (Full Dress)
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Officer Rank Markings (Service Dress)
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Proposed Full Dress
(based on the old RFC flying tunic; an alternative, more detailed version has the additional feature of slash cuffs over the rank lace, with lace edging and/or embroidered decoration similar to the RN Full Dress of the period)
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Home Service Dress
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Overseas Service Dress
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby sketor7558 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:10 am

Perfect! Outstanding job! smilies-33
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:32 am

I really love your work sir!
Last edited by MikeBeehan on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:32 am

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:I've been working on developing and improving the details on the hypothetical insignia for the Marshal of the Empire and Grand Admiral of the Empire. The supposition is still that of an alternative histor, (I guess around 1910-1920, possibly post WW1), in which the British expanded their military somewhat and instigated a slightly different command structure. I've also expanded the underlying alternate history a little too...! smilies-01




I really love your work sir!
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:25 am

Aw, shucks... smilies-08

Thank you! smilies-01

I guess I just enjoy the creative aspects of both imagining the background and drawing the images. It does, however, take up wasaaaay too much time that I don't have...!
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Aw, shucks... smilies-08

Thank you! smilies-01

I guess I just enjoy the creative aspects of both imagining the background and drawing the images. It does, however, take up wasaaaay too much time that I don't have...!


I'd so pay for your work sir.

I rather Enjoy it, and would Love to use it for a Gaming Community/Clan or even a Micro-nation!
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:28 pm

Sure, use them for gaming or micro nations if you like. smilies-01
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:27 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Sure, use them for gaming or micro nations if you like. smilies-01


Thank you sir! :) Do you have anymore in your collection?

I'd love to see just a thread with all your Ranks and thing's

Like Medic's Ranks Showcase :D
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby ChrisWI » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:05 pm

Excellent job! Your work is AMAZING smilies-33
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:13 pm

Hi guys!

Stop it, you'll make me blush...!! smilies-08

I could list everything I've posted but the simplest thing would be for you to click on my name below the post heading and then use the option to search for all my previous posts. (Although not ALL of them have artwork included!)

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:09 pm

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Hi guys!

Stop it, you'll make me blush...!! smilies-08

I could list everything I've posted but the simplest thing would be for you to click on my name below the post heading and then use the option to search for all my previous posts. (Although not ALL of them have artwork included!)

smilies-23



Well Include them then ;) smilies-33
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby melonhead82 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Outstanding as always. These are simply magnificent smilies-01
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:43 am

Small update:

It occurred to me that it was not necessary to directly follow the "real world" Brigadier insignia of <crown over three stars (one-over-two formation)> and that, in fact, for standardisation between the services a different pattern might be better for this hypothetical rank scheme.

The navy and the air force have a pattern of their service's emblem (the anchor or the eagle) with a crown above and either one or two stars between. The army doesn't have a specific unifying symbol as each regiment uses their own badges and symbols and general staff officers use the royal crest. I have therefore simply used a normal full-size star in the lower position. (I did try using the crowned lion part of the Royal Crest but I just couldn't get it to look balanced).

The smaller stars are used by convention to simplify placement on epaulettes and shoulder-straps but the system is such that it is still only the number of stars that is significant, not their size or colour (different Army regiments and corps may still opt to use their traditional brass, bronze or black insignia on service uniforms. Similarly, embroidered bullion versions may be worn on dress shoulder-cords, with silver being most commonly used on gold or gold/colour cords.

The other advantage of using this configuration is that this two-over-one "inverted" triangle configuration of stars is now clearly different to the one-over-two pattern of stars used as part of the insignia for general and admiral, etc.

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby MikeBeehan » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:22 am

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Small update:

It occurred to me that it was not necessary to directly follow the "real world" Brigadier insignia of <crown over three stars (one-over-two formation)> and that, in fact, for standardisation between the services a different pattern might be better for this hypothetical rank scheme.

The navy and the air force have a pattern of their service's emblem (the anchor or the eagle) with a crown above and either one or two stars between. The army doesn't have a specific unifying symbol as each regiment uses their own badges and symbols and general staff officers use the royal crest. I have therefore simply used a normal full-size star in the lower position. (I did try using the crowned lion part of the Royal Crest but I just couldn't get it to look balanced).

The smaller stars are used by convention to simplify placement on epaulettes and shoulder-straps but the system is such that it is still only the number of stars that is significant, not their size or colour (different Army regiments and corps may still opt to use their traditional brass, bronze or black insignia on service uniforms. Similarly, embroidered bullion versions may be worn on dress shoulder-cords, with silver being most commonly used on gold or gold/colour cords.

The other advantage of using this configuration is that this two-over-one "inverted" triangle configuration of stars is now clearly different to the one-over-two pattern of stars used as part of the insignia for general and admiral, etc.

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Love them :D
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Big Update: the rest of the RN ranks and uniforms...

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:05 pm

OK, seeing as I did all the RAF stuff in the previous post, I figured I should do the rank and rate markings for the rest of the RN and a range of uniforms to go with them. The background "history" is that the existing structures were all updated in accordance with the hypothetical changes I outlined above. Those would have happened around 1920, after the end of the Great War. What I'm presenting here is the "alternative history" outcome of that hypothetical review for the Royal Navy...

At this time, the Navy fought hard to retain its independence from the Army and the newly-emerging RAF. They retained their existing "officer"-status Warrant Officers as a distinct group, separate from (and senior to!) the Warrant Officers of the Army and RAF, who were effectively very senior NCOs.

The RN enlisted Rates were ammended and re-aligned against Army ranks. The rate of Petty Officer, Second Class was re-introduced using its old insignia and aligned with an Army Sergeant, therefore placing Petty Officer, First Class alongside a Staff Sergeant or Colour Sergeant in the Army. Chief Petty Officer was therefore aligned with the Army's Warrant Officer, Class Three (WO III), with the Army still retained after the review but only in the Line Infantry Regiments. CPO was not, however, granted "warrant" status as this was felt to be incompatible with the more senior RN Warrant Officers; CPO therefore remained a Senior NCO rate, senior to Staff Sergeant in the Army and Flight Sergeant in the RAF but junior to all Army and RAF Warrant Officers. The rate of Leading Seaman remained directly equivalent to that of Corporal in either the Army or the RAF. Able and Ordinary Rate had no distinctive substantive marking.

Some politicians advocated changing the RN rate insignia to bring them broadly in line with those of the Army, now that these were also echoed by the very similar Other Ranks insignia for enlisted airmen in the RAF. The Admiralty refused to do this but reluctantly agreed to discontine using sleeve chevrons as distinctive "long-service and good conduct" for enlisted rates as the Army and RAF complained that they looked too much like the rank chevrons for sergeant, corporal and lance-corporal. The introduction of alternatives took some time to agree but, in the end, the Navy opted for the simple expedient of ust using smaller versions of the old LSGC chevrons and now placing them on the lower sleeve, above the cuff.

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With financial austerity after the end of the war, the Navy was persuaded to rationalise its range of required uniforms for officers and ratings. The frock coat in both dress and undress format was consigned to history. The officers' Full Dress was simplified: fringed bullion epaulettes and cocked hats were viewed as anachronistic (at least by some...) and went the same way as the frock coats. The double-breasted formal day-coat was retained but would be worn with gold-faced shoulder boards and peaked cap instead. Comissioned Officers wore eight rows of buttons and Warrant Officers six rows. Collars were white with gold lace edging that varied by rank. Flag Officers retained their collar oak-leaves but these were of a simplified design that reflected the pattern of embroidery on the peaks of their caps and no longer extended all the way around the collar. The detailed slash cuffs were removed for all ranks. Midshipmen and Naval Cadets recieved new, simplified dress jackets. The CPO rate was granted a single-breasted version of the WO frock coat that had a collar in navy blue with white braid edging (rather than white with gold), to be worn with a plain black leather cutlass belt.

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Petty Officers of substantive grade were authorised a new dress coat with six gilt buttons to match the CPOs' new tailcoat. Collars were in lighter blue to match the traditional seaman's collar. Sailors of the seaman branch (including those appointed PO Second Class but not confirmed) continued to wear their traditional sailor suits; those not routinely dressed as seamen were authorised a simplified version of the POs' new coat but with black buttons and a lower collar that had three white edging stipes, the same as the seaman's collar. A new solid brass cap badge was introduced for all junior rates not wearing the traditional sailors' cap.

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The officers' "monkey jacket" became accepted day-to-day formal wear for all non-ceremonial occaisions in the absence of the frock coat. Similar uniforms were confirmed for senior ratings. Junior ratings of the seaman branch continued to wear traditional sailor suits and a simplified, single-breasted version of the PO jacket was confirmed for non-seaman branches.

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Simplified versions of the ratings uniforms, including a more practical blue shirt, were authorised for general working duties.

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Over a decade later, these were supplemented (but never officially replaced) by working uniforms based on new field uniforms developed for the Army and the RAF. Their versions came as two types: a "field" version that buttoned all the wat to the top and had bigger chest pockets and a "staff" version that included a tailored collar and lapels and smaller tailored breast pockets like Army service dress. The Admiralty, however, adopted only the "field" version as they belived this uniform should only be worn as working dress -- the one concession was that Officers and Senior Ratings were granted approval to wear rank-appropriate gilt buttons in place of the plain black buttons used by Junior Ratings. Ankle gaiters (when worn) and webbing belts were issued in Admiraly Grey (commonly called "battleship" grey) rather than the Army's drab green khaki.
(The RAF also chose to adopt this grey colour as it better matched their grey-blue uniforms.)

Initially, officers and senior ratings were expected to wear white shirts but with new hostilities looming this was later ammended to accept the blue working shirt for all ranks (which in reality was simply ackowledging what had happened unofficially from very early on).

With the outbreak of war once again, a final variant was developed for raiding parties and landing parties which incorporated dark grey shirts and rank/rate markings in Admiralty grey rather than the usual red or gold. With the adoption of the beret as accepted uniform headwear (especially for specialist units) the Admiralty authorised navy blue berets with reduced size cap badges for all ranks; for the specialist landing and raiding parties, all cap badges were issued grey silk embroidery, rather than the usual bullion.

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Finally, here are a few random collections of the various uniforms, grouped for individual officer or sailor; they are:
a Vice-Admiral, a Surgeon-Commander (RN Medical Officer), a Chief Petty Officer and a Leading Seaman.

(Note that the CPO images show a double-breasted variant of the full dress coat which is essentially the same as the design for Warrant Officers but with the navy blue collar and a black belt. I had originally intended for this to be the CPO version but that it would only be worn by certain senior appointments, such as Master-at-Arms, and would only be authorised when under arms and wearing a cutlass for State ceremonial events or when escorting the White Ensign. In the end, I changed this for the single-breasted version seen above and then went on to develop the new jacktets for POs, etc. - although I guess this double-breasted version could still be retained for the original purpose!)

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The forum setup won't display the whole images and doesn't seem to shrink them to thumbnails any more so if you want to see all of each image, you'll need to right-click on it and then click on "View image"

I have slightly updated versions of all the RAF stuff, which I'll try to post soon. I also have a lot of Army and Royal Marines things to go with this hypothetical "alternative" history too - but some of those are still a work-in-progress so they may take a little longer!

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:06 pm

Ooops - nearly missed a couple:

These are Bridge/Deck Coats for cold weather. The design is similar to the formal Greatcoat but shorter, making it them much more practical. In addition, they have large front hip bellows pockets and vertical slash "hand-warmer" pockets on the front of the chest.

Officers have their usual roped-edge gilt buttons and, like the greacoat, rank is worn as softer versions of the hard shoulder-boards, which are stitched in place.

Ratings all wear plain black buttons, except for CPOs who may wear the ratings' version of the gilt buttons (i.e. without the decorative roped rim). Rate markings (red working-dress versions) are worn on the sleeves in the usual manner. CPOs wear no marking or, optionally, may wear their gold sleeve rate marking.

Worn with sea boots and the issue, thick wool, fisherman's-style sweater and boot-socks, these are a a necessity for working in the bitter cold of winter on the Atlantic or the North Sea...!

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby ChrisWI » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:42 pm

AWESOMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE JOB Medic!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:29 pm

Some very good stuff there. I'm having one of those serendipidous moments, I've got my own ideas about alternative versions of naval uniform and you made some very similar decisions (for example changing the elaborate fringed epaulettes for the shoulder boards on the Full dress. Some other things i didn't go the same way with but hey, variety is the spice of life.

I've got some sketches for a Royal Marine Full Dress idea that i had. I could message you them as a start point or other ideas if you wanted.

ps loved the Battledress, it's similar to what Roger Moore wears as Bond in for your eyes only isnt it? but what have you got against the cuff slashes on the Full dress?
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:53 pm

Hi guys! smilies-23

Thanks for the comments - I had fun drawing those and, as you might imagine, they went through several development stages before I reached the finished versions...!

I thought long and hard about the cuff slashes and the way their lacing and decoration might follow the collar decoration but in the end I removed them because, as much as I like them, they just didn't quite look right on the slightly more streamlined "look" with the peaked cap and shoulder boards rather than the older version with bicorn hat and full fringed epaulettes.

In truth, it may just be that I'm just too familiar with the appearance of the current flag officers' ceremonial day coat -- and therefore all I've really done is just turned these dress coats into something that looks like a version of that uniform that could have been rolled out to all ranks. What I forgot to say in my blurb above was that although the regulations exist to cover the illustrated range of dress/parade uniforms for all ranks and rates, in truth I'd expect their use to be limited to flag officers and other senior officers, except for certain formal State occasions and some junior ranks / senior rate in specific appointments such as staff appointments, naval equerries, flag lieutenants, naval attaches, CPOs at the Royal Naval College and major shore bases. I doubt the junior rates' versions would be common sights at all...!

The battledress variants were intended to be based on the Army and RAF ones that I have been working on and the alternate history would be that the RN adopted one pattern of those for use as Navy working dress at the same time as they were introduced in the other services (early '30's in my timeline), rather than being a "late adopter" which is what actually happened in WW2...! But, yes, you're right - come to think of it, they do have a look of the uniform work by Moore as Bond (The Spy Who Loved Me...?).

I do have a whole set of RM and Army uniforms, along the same lines as the RN and RAF stuff above but none of them are 100% finished yet - and eve the RAF stuff I have tinkered with a bit in the last few months.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:56 am

I do like these you've done
Are you taking the line, as with these days, that you are making the uniforms cheaper? Am I right in saying officers pay for their own uniforms? Or at least in those days

In my set I included the tall black gaiters, that went out in the past few years. I like them, think they look smart. I also included black field boots as they look similar

Look forward to your next lot
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:07 pm

The tall black leather gaiters were, if I remember correctly, worn as a form of parade dress, weren't they...? They were worn with the reefer jacket and the overall effect, from a distance at least, was almost as if the officers were wearing sea boots on parade!

I hadn't thought about it but, yes, I don't see why that couldn't continue to be the case with No.1 reefer jackets for junior officers, warrant officers and CPOs when on parade under arms (sword / cutlass).

As to the other stuff, I must get around to posting all the updated RAF drawings, including other ranks and "battledress"-type working dress to go with both the grey-blue "home" service dress and the khaki "overseas" service dress that I posted above.

Heck, I might even try to do it now...! smilies-15

As to making the uniforms "cheaper" I guess that might be a reflection of current thinking but it was also in the context of making the uniforms less costly in the context of post-war austerity but also making them appear somewhat less ostentatious too (and maybe a bit more "modern" -- at least as that might have been perceived at the time!).
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RAF stuff...

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:09 pm

Some subtle updates to the officer rank insignia and dress uniforms:

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Full dress for officers is in RAF gre-blue, with gold ranking and embellishments. The jacket pattern is a double-breasted "cavalry" style, with hidden buttons and based on the style of the WW1 RFC uniform coats. Full dress caps have sky blue piping for junior officers and sky blue also becomes the hat band colour for senior staff officers and Air Officers (in the same way that the Army use scarlet). Air Officers wear gold and sky-blue sashes with full dress.

Warrant Officers of both classes wear full officer-pattern uniforms with slightly less decoration and a simpler version of the sword belt. Full dress for other airmen is a singled breasted tunic with five buttons (the last one being plain and hidden by the belt).

Flight Sergeant and Sergeant wear blue sashes with formal parade dress in place of the Army's red sashes.

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Warrant Officers have a separate status between senior NCOs and comissioned officers - but they remain, technically, the most senior NCO grades, directly equivalent to Army warrant officers.

Other airmen are ranked as Flight Sergeant, Sergeant, Leading Aircraftman (equivalent to the Navy's Leading Seaman and the Army's Corporal - and titled "Corporal" in certain trades such as RAF Police and Regiment, which is also founded at this time), Aircraftman (First Class) and Aircraftan (Basic). Enlisted grades with technical qualifications gain additional "propeller" insignia above their chevrons (except Flight Sergeants, who wear the same insignia in all trades). The grades are: F/Sgt (Tech), Tech Sgt, Leading Tech, Aircraftman Technician and Apprentice Technician (at the grade of Aircraftman (Basic)).

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Aircrew are denoted by enlisted versions of the officer brevet "wings" insignia, also worn on the left breast. Pilots wear "full" (double) wings and all other trades and specialties wear "half" (single) wings, with letters denoting the area of work: N for navigator, O for observer, E for air engineer, G for gunner, etc.

Service Dress is less tailored for other ranks and lacks the front hip bellows pockets; all ranks may wear the side cap if not on parade.

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Working Dress comes in two forms:
1. a "field" pattern with a jacket that buttons to the top and has a fold-over collar (but may be worn open with a shirt and tie) and also has larger chest pockets
2. a "staff" pattern with a formal tailored collar that is only worn over a collar and tie and also has smaller breast pockets like the service dress.

Unlike the Army and the Royal Navy, all RAF working dress jackets have the buttons covered by a front fly placket - this was originally intended to be for aircrew to prevent the buttons snagging on things like seat and parachute straps as well as other edges in the confined spaces of aircraft. Once the designs were developed and sample garments produced, the Air Staff Uniform Board preferred this sleeker and more "modern" look (befitting the new, highly technical Service) and it became the only authorised version of RAF working dress, for both staff and field patterns.

The formal service dress cap may be worn or the side cap - local orders will stipulate which is to be worn for informal parades.
Other ranks working-dress shirts are of a slightly heavier fabric and a slightly darker colour. Officers and WO wear the collar of the field pattern jacket open. Flight Sergeant and Sergeant, may also wear their jacket collars open, if wearing a collar and tie.

Staff pattern jackets are worn by senior and Air officers and certain junior officers/WO in authorised HQ staff (non-operational) postings. Also worn by some base and squadron COs (unofficially!) in place of service dress for day-to-day wear.

Webbing belts and ankle gaiters issued with the working dress were originally in Admiralty grey, the same as the Royal Navy versions, as this was felt a better match for the RAF blue-grey uniforms.

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Overseas (khaki) working dress comes in the same two patterns and is usually subject to the same basic rules as above (variations for hot weather conditons). Officially, it is to be worn with service caps or side caps in the same shade of khaki and stone-coloured shirts (again, slightly darker for NCOs) but unofficially, aircrew (enlisted following the examples of their officers) began to wear the blue shirts and caps from the "home" service dress with their khaki "overseas" service dress - and this then spilled over into working dress. Allegedly it actually began with some *Air Officers* and senior staff officers choosing to wear their blue service dress caps with the oak-leaf embellished peaks rather than the khaki caps with the plain peaks for formal functions when posted to foreign stations - and the shirts were chosen to match). This was never officially authorised but rapidly became accepted practice in many overseas postings.

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:51 am

Can you do modified versions of the RN officer cap badge to denote different things? I envisioned a crossed sword and baton, or two batons, on top of the centre of the wreath. I thought that maybe a red version for trainee officers, in a similar way that the artificer's cap badge was to the PO cap badge.

I just thought that its a bit samey for the RN having the same cap badge all the way up the line and wondered how it would look.

good work on the raf uniforms by the way
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:34 pm

Yes, I could do the modified RN cap badges if you wish. It wouldn't be what I would use for this particular set of designs but if you want to see them I'll happily draw them for you.

Bear with me and I'll get around to it when I can!
smilies-23
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Hypothetical RAF Medical Officer variants

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:06 am

In this particular alternative history, the RAF Uniform Board elected to use some slightly different insignia to denote their medical officers:

For full dress, they opted to use coloured distinction cloth between the gold cuff rank lace (or below for single stripes) in a similar manner to that used by the Royal Navy. The RAF, however, opted to use a deep crimson red rather than the scarlet used by naval medical officers (bringing it closer to the "dull cherry" dark red used by the Royal Army Medical Corps). All other aspects of the full dress would be the same as for other officers, except that all ranks would wear small Medical Branch collar insignia in sterling silver on a crimson backing; these would be work at the front of each side of the collar, centred ovder the first pairs of embroidered gold oak leaves. The insignia would be paired so that the serpent on each of the "Staff of Asclepius" symbols faced forwards.

For service dress and working dress, this was deemed impractical (the interposed distinction cloth was trialled but found to create just TOO many stripes for rank to be readily identifiable). The RAF Uniform Board got around this by ordering that medical officer rank lace for these uniforms would, uniquely, be different to the standard officer lace: the centre part of the black lace would be crimson, rather than sky blue.

Medical Officers below the rank of Group Captain would wear small brass Medical Branch collar insignia on service dress jackets and also on working dress when not deployed on operations, when they should be removed. Group Captains and above would continue to wear the gorget patches appropriate to their rank but with crimson centre-cords for Gp.Capt. / Air Cdre. and crimson oak leaves, outlined in gold for Air Officers. For working dress, this was simplified to red centre-cords for all ranks but with Air Officers having an additional narrow central line in gold thread.

Duty Medical Officers and those on deployment would wear the standard Geneva red cross armbands indicating their roles.

Similar distinction cloth for full dress and specific black rank lace with branch colour was also authorised for Dental Officers; this was termed "old bronze" and broadly paralleled the orange distinction cloth worn by RN dental officers but, again, was a somewhat darker shade


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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Clive19 wrote:Can you do modified versions of the RN officer cap badge to denote different things? I envisioned a crossed sword and baton, or two batons, on top of the centre of the wreath. I thought that maybe a red version for trainee officers, in a similar way that the artificer's cap badge was to the PO cap badge.

I just thought that its a bit samey for the RN having the same cap badge all the way up the line and wondered how it would look.



OK Clive - this isn't what I would have chosen to use for my hypothetical rank structure (above) but I agree it's definitely another valid alternative option! Here are the pictues...!
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The standard comissioned officer badge remains unchanged. For flag officers,the anchor is gold instead of silver and has the sword-and-baton emblem superimposed in silver; for Admirals of the Fleet this is the crossed-batons emblem and is larger.

For cadets/officers in training, the badge has a stamped brass anchor and crown (with red velvet backing) and the wreath is navy blue with gold outlining. (Yes, it looks rather like the current chaplains' cap badge - but then if you went with this option, you'd just have to develop a different badge for the chaplains...)

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As an additional there could also be a number of options for cap badges for specialist branch officers:

1. NO CHANGE - all officers wear the standard officer cap badge.

2. The same bullion embroidered crown and silver anchors as all other officers but the wreaths are in branch colours (to match the distinction cloth between their gold lace rank stripes) and then outlined with bullion. This is probably the most strikingly different option.

3. The wreath remains as standard in gold but below the crown is an ellipse of branch-coloured velvet with a bullion edge; the silver anchor would need to be slightly smaller to fit.

4. Similar to (3) but there is no ellipse; the anchor is of standard size and all of the background area inside the wreath and below the crown is of branch colour.

I've shown all three variants for a senior medical officer and a junior engineering officer so you can compare.

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As ever, <left click> on the image then <View Image> to see the whole picture...!
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:25 am

I was thinking that the centre of the flag officer device would be under the anchor on the point where the wreath comes from. and maybe a bit smaller?

The one you put down as the trainee officer badge, i mis-read first and thought it was a chaplain. I reckon it looks good as the chaplain badge.

For the branch colours, i'm not sure it looks right.

Your RAF medical officer is great.
Looking forward to your other services as well
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:57 am

To be honest, I'm not that keen on any of the variations for the branches -- but as I had been playing with them, I thought I'd throw them in for you to see!

I think I see what you mean about the flag officer badges, although if they were going to go to the bother of including the extra insignia, I would have thought they would put it centrally on the badge. I can try it though and I have a couple of other ideas that might work too. Looking at the above images, it occurred to me that I should probably bring the gold anchor back to the front for the flag officers and superimpose it over the top of the silver insignia rather than hiding it at the back.

As for the cadet badge, I know it ended up looking like what we know to be the chaplains' badge but the idea was to try to ignore that and put together a stripped down version which still retained the basic features of the officer badge, rather than developing a totally different design.

When you referred to the inference between the ERA cap badge and the PO badge, I take it what you actually meant was essentially the Officer-pattern badge but embroidered entirely in red silk (crown, anchor and wreath) on a black background -- no bullion or other colours at all?

If I get time, I'll have a go and post the updated versions.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:59 am

OK, try these... smilies-15

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The far right cap on the middle row is back to black leaves and is as per the current-style chaplains' cap badge (bar the Tudor crown, obviously). The bottom right cap has the all-red silk embroidered version of the officer cap badge, as discussed above.

The bottom left has the same badge but as a one-piece stamped brass version, with a cut-out and a red velvet insert for the cap within the crown; this is not unlike the later WW2 "economy" officer cap badges but for an earlier era this version that look like the full bullion officer badge, but clearly isn't, would be another alternative for issue to cadets and trainees.

The flag officer cap badges now look a little more balanced; the rank-specific insignia are in silver and the anchor is a brighter gold to match the rest of the bullion and is moved to the front again (it's slightly smaller than the silver version from the standard badge). Both components now also have subtle outlning in black or dark navy blue thread.

It wouldn't be what I would choose but it does kinda work. smilies-01
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:35 pm

They are brilliant. It wasn't a massive change but it looks a lot better. (the flag officer ones). The brass one looks like it could go on a khaki cap. And the red one, good one. I thought that trainee officers needed more recognition, as if they aren't entitled to a salute, and the cap badge represents the commission (supposedly), then it should be different.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:05 pm

OK, here are the fully-worked full dress uniforms for the Marshal of the Empire, the Grand Admiral of the Empire and the Marshal of the Empire (RAF).

This is also a sneak peak at the work-in-progress for the Army full dress uniform. smilies-15

The individual pics are big images but I figured you might like to be able to see a little more of the details on these rather highly embellished uniforms. The sash is the ribbon of the Order of the Bath and the breast star is that for a Knight Grand Cross of the Military Division of that order - which would be entirely appropriate for such high-ranking individuals. In truth, at the time we are discussing ennoblement to a peerage would be pretty likely too.

About the uniforms:
In the aftermath of WW1, the full dress home-service helmet for the Army was felt to look just too much like the German pikelhaube (especially the infantry version with the top spike!) so a conscious decision was made to move over to dress versions of the peaked forage caps for all ranks and all regiments and corps; the base colour would be dark blue but hat band and/or piping and the crown and/or crown piping would be adapted to incorporate traditional colours of Corps and Regiments. For General Officers and officers of the General Staff, the established colours of dark blue with scarlet band and welt was retained. Like generals, the Field Marshals wear this version with two rows of embroidered bullion oak leaves on a black patent leather peak and their specific cap badge.

At the same time, the peaked cap became the standard formal headwear for both the Royal Navy and the RAF, except for sailors dressed as seamen who continue to wear the traditional sailors hat. The traditional officers' cocked hat was no longer to used for general formal wear but they were to be retained for officers appointed to the General Staff (substantive Colonels) and above, in their old configurations; these would be worn with full dress in place of the peaked cap only on high state occaisions such as Coronations, State Funerals and so on. The only other exception would be those officers of the Household Division directly involved in the annual Sovereign's Birthday Parade ("Trooping the Colour"). [As an aside, all the traditional full dress head wear and uniforms of all the regiments of the Household Division would be retained for ceremonial duties.]

The Royal Navy likewise elected to follow this approach and retained their existing cocked hats for officers of the rank of substantive Captain and above. The RAF originally did not want to follow this lead but later decided to retain the option of wearing cocked hats for their senior officers as and when the need arose. They determined that the hats would be of Army pattern but with appropriate RAF buttons/insignia and, where worn, scarlet plumes would be replaced with sky blue.

Overall, this move to formal peaked caps for all ranks of all three sevices was felt to "modernise" the look of the armed services, moving them into the twentieth century and away from the older look of the nineteenth century.

Wth regard to other accoutrements, gold state aguillettes would also be worn by all officers of this rank. The Navy had determined that fringed bullion epaulettes would be discontinued and the Army similarly determined that full-dress gold shoulder-cords would be discontinued in favour of embellished versions of the standard shoulder strap epaulettes. The original intention was that the Navy's bullion epaulettes and the Army's gold cords would be retained for use on State occasions alongside the cocked hats. The epaulettes for General Officers and the General Staff were therefore made as detachable shoulder-boards rather than being stitched into the tunics to facilitate changing over as required. The same also applied to the tradiational long, dark blue frock coats worn by some army officers. More on all of this when I finally finish the drawings for Army uniforms and get around to posting them! The RAF, as a new service had no previous traditional accoutrements to worry about and therefore elected to stay with just one form of full dress shoulder-boards for all officers for all occasions.

The scarlet FME full dress tunic is the same as for all general officers/field marshals and is the standard pattern for line regiments and general staff with dark blue cuffs and collar, fully embroidered with oak leaf pattern in gold bullion. The cuff flaps are scarlet with the bullion embroidery extending onto them from the cuffs. General officer or FM buttons are worn as appropriate.

First, all three together:
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The Grand Admiral of the Empire:
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The Marshal of the Empire:
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The Marshal of the Empire (RAF):
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:40 pm

Army uniforms:


Home Service Dress

Replaces Full Dress for all but the Household Division, who retain traditional Bearskins (Footguards) and plumed helmets with cuirasses (Household Cavalry) for ceremonial dress. See above for discussion of the decision to abandon the Home Service Helmets in the aftermath of WW1. Essentially these are updated versions of the pre-WW1 Regimental / Corps Full Dress but with Dress versions of peaked service dress caps, usually with dark blue as the base colour and variations on scarlet and/or Regiment/Corps colours for the hat band, piping and crown piping. Some Corps and Regiments have very specific traditional coulours. General Officers and General Staff Officers have gold and crimson waist sashes in place of the usual crimson for all other officers and additional details at collar and cuffs.

Below General Offcers and General Staff Officers, traditional Regiment or Corps colours are often used as facings on collars, cuffs, trouser stripes and hadbands.

Full bullion shoulder cords, with bullion embroidered rank-markings may be required for full ceremonial dress but for the most part epaulettes (or equivalent shoulder boards) with gold lace edging are worn, also with bullion rank marks.

Regiments and Corps with traditional colours that are not the scarlet tunics of the line infantry regiments have variations that are most often dark blue with speific facing colours.

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Home Service Undress

Specifically for General Officers and General Staff Officers, usually worn when all other officers and other ranks are wearing "blue patrol" dress on parade (equivalent to current contemporary British Army No1 Dress). Frock coats may be worn under certain circumstances by eligible individuals.

This version is almost identical to the scarlet Home Service Dress but the tunic is all dark blue with all decoration of the same pattern but in black, usually black silk embroidery or black mohair lace in place of bullion embroidery. It is worn witb a standard crimson officers' sash and the overalls (trousers) have plain red stripes instead of the gold lace stripes of general officers in full dress. Ribbons rather than medals are worn but the star and neck badge of one Order may be worn (but broad ribands are not worn).

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Service Dress

Traditional khaki service dress; the other ranks version is derived from the WW1 uniform and a slightly more tailored version for formal and (non-ceremonial) parade wear.

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Field Dress / Battledress

Note that there are two distinct versions: "Staff Pattern" for senior officers with tailored collar and lapels, intended to be worn with a shirt and tie, which has smaller, tailored breast pockets like the Service Dress and "Field Pattern" which is intended to be worn with the collar buttoned but may be worn open over a shirt and tie by Officers and Warrant Officers. Battalion and Company COs and Adjutants (unofficially) adopt Staff Pattern with Regimental accouremetnts from Service Dress.

Side cap is the standard day-to-day headwear for all other ranks below WO. Officers and Warrant Officers may wear side caps in traditional Regimental / Corps colours when worn as barracks dress (extended to all ranks in some Regiments / Corps).

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:56 pm

Those are stunning. I quite like the black uniform with the black cuff decorations.

I was looking at the navy full dress again. and there is a single breasted and a double breasted version of the CPOs uniform. Is that on purpose?

lastly when i look at the pictures, the words are a bit fuzzy, and when i zoom in its obviously worse. i save it as a jpeg, is there a better format?
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Logan616 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:32 am

Fantastic work! I particularly like the new army uniforms; are you going to do any Royal Marine uniforms?
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:17 pm

Hi guys!

@ Logan: Yes, absolutely! The RM uniforms were one of the first things I started after the Royal Navy but they've somehow been sidelined along the way. In fact, they're mostly finished but need some sorting out of the final detailing. I expect the finished list will look like this:

1. Full Dress. Much the same as the Army's line infantry Home Service Dress, shown in the post above, but in navy blue with red collar and gold or yellow detailing, depending on rank. It will be similar to the current RM Band ceremonial uniform. For full ceremonial dress, I guess head-wear would likely be the Wolseley pattern white helmet, although formal peaked forage caps would be the alternative, matching the equivlent RN, Army and RAF regulations in this hypothetical creation.

2. Service Dress. This period pre-dates the introduction of green berets and Lovat suits so Service Dress would be in navy blue; open lapel collar worn with white shirt and black tie for officer and WO1, high closed collar for all other ranks. Formal forage caps would be navy blue with red hatbands for all ranks, worn with white cap covers in certain circumstances, and bullion peak decoration for field officers and above. Wolseley helmets may also be worn if used as parade dress.

3a. Working dress. I have navy blue versions of the Army-pattern battledress, worn with cloth shoulder titles and either the peaked forage cap (usually without white cap cover) or a navy blue version of the Army/RAF pattern "fore-and-aft" field service cap, depending on the circumstances. Staff pattern for senior officers, Field pattern for junior officers with open collar; all officers and WO1 would wear with white shirt and black tie, closed collar for all other ranks. This would be the usual wear when embarked aboard HM ships or as barracks dress on land bases.
3b. Alongside this would be the standard Army-pattern in khaki for operational combat dress. This includes khaki versions of the peaked forage caps and the field service caps for all ranks. Worn with RM badges / buttons, as appropriate.

Other stuff such as tropical wear I haven't really covered in depth for any of the services. I'm hoping to complete this over the next few weeks — but no guarantees...!

I was particularly pleased with the way the "Home Service Undress" turned out; it's just that bit more dressy than the No1 Blue "Patrols" (which have high closed collars but retain the chest and hip flapped pockets of the Service Dress jackets). As with most British Army formal uniforms of this colour, it's actually very dark navy blue — but appears almost black. It seemed eminently suited as an alternative formal dress for senior officers. In some ways it's probably a little redundant as the double-breasted Army frock coat would be likely alternative to Blue Patrols for General Officers (with the single-breasted but highly decorative frock coat being equivalent for the Household Division) but I like it anyway so I thought I'd include it...!


@ Clive: Thanks - and well spotted regarding the two versions of he CPO full dress tail coats!

I think I mentioned this in the posts but it would have been easy to miss: the double-breasted version was the original design and the concept was intended as a specific ceremonial uniform for CPOs in specific roles such as, say, a Master-at-Arms when under arms (i.e. carrying a cutlass) at State Ceremonial parades, at the Lord High Admiral's Divisions at the Royal Naval College or when leading a White Ensign escort party.

In the end, however, I sort of "down-graded" the design to the single-breasted tail coat to bring it more in line with the uniforms of all Other Rates when I subsequently developed the new navy blue full dress jackets specificlly for the other Petty Officer ranks. This way, *all* CPOs and POs get their own versions of a ceremonial uniform, rather than having them simply wear a "best" ceremonial version the usual double-breasted monkey jacket, with collar and tie.

In truth, the pic of all the CPO uniform variants that includes the double-breasted tailcoat was exported before I made the general change to single breasted, but I kept it anyway and speculated that this could still exist as a special ceremonial version for specific senior CPOs in certain roles (much as per my original intention).

Finally, sorry about the fuzzy text...! The images are exported from the original vector drawings and ultimately saved as .jpg for uploading to Photobucket. The original files are actually fairly high-resolution (and therefore have pretty clear text) but this seems to get degraded in the process of uploading and hosting. It also causes loss of some of the finer details in the drawings themselves.

If you're really interested, PM me with an email address and I'll happily send you some of the bigger hi-res files.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Clive19 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:35 pm

thanks for the clarification.
looking forward to the up coming RM uniforms.

quite a while ago, i saw an army landing craft, crewed by royal engineers i believe. the soldiers were wearing RN No4s (working dress blue shirt and trousers) but with the army badges worn in an army way e.g. sergeant stripes on the arms. just thought i'd mention it, something that could be worn by RM on ships perhaps.
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:56 pm

Royal Marines:

In this period the Royal Marines were merged into a single Corps from the previous Royal Marine Light Infantry and Royal Marine Artillery. The Corps retained a unique navy blue coloured Service Dress, albeit of similar design to the Army's khaki Service Dress. Officers wore open-collared jackets with lapels over a white shirt and black tie; other ranks have four-pocket tunics with closed collars. All ranks wear trousers with red side stripes, with those worn by officers being broader than Other Ranks. On parade, Field Officers and above wear close-fitting "overalls" with Wellington Boots or George Boots in place of the trousers and shoes/boots generally worn with Service Dress.

Officer Ranks: note the single "Brigadier" rank (substantive) rather than the Army's ranks of "Brigade Colonel" and "Brigadier-General." The rank of "Captain-General" uses Army Field Marshal insignia is usually held by the reigning Monarch (or is an honourary appointment made by the Monarch).

All ranks up to General Officers wear standard RM Corps buttons; Generals wear Army-pattern general officer buttons. All ranks up to and including Field Officers wear "RM" epaulette titles on service dress. On Blue Working Dress, all ranks up to and including General Staff Officers wear "Royal Marines" embroidered cloth titles.

Warrant Officers Class 1 wear officer-pattern service dress and blue working dress with officers' divided cap badge and silvered Globe on cap and collar badges. Officers black leather chin strap is worn on service and working peaked forage caps. Sam Browne belt is worn on parade.

Warrant Officers Class 2 and Class 3 wear Other Ranks uniforms with certain changes, the most noticeable is the new entitlement to wear offcer-pattern cap and collar badges with silvered Globe and separate crown/lion. On parade they wear leather sword belts with scarlet sashes worn over the right shoulder. WO3 are only appointed in infantry companies, other specialist trades appoint direct from Colour Sergeant to WO2.

Colour Sergeants and Sergeants wear scarlet sashes over the right shoulder on parade. All Other Ranks from C/Sgt and below wear white webbing belts on parade. Colour Sergeants wear Army-pattern crowns above their three chevrons on working dress and khaki battledress; on RM blue Service Dress they have wear a unique embroidered badge above their chevrons and a larger version of this badge is worn on Full Dress.

Full Dress and formal parade Service Dress are worn with white-topped forage caps or white Wolsey-pattern helmets; Officer helmets and General Officer parade helmets have different gilt badges ("helmet stars") to other ranks.

For general wear, blue Service Dress may be worn with a plain cloth belt in place of the officers' Sam Browne or the Other Ranks' white webbing belt. Caps have blue tops and plain blue cloth peaks for all officers from WO1 to Field Officers. Senior Staff Officers and General officers' SD caps have oak-leaf embellished peaks and their usual Army-pattern rank-specific cap badges.

Field Service Caps ("Side Caps") in navy blue are alternative headwear for all ranks when in blue service dress or working dress and may be prescribed for informal parades. Reduced size versions of rank-appropriate cap-badges are worn. Other ranks side caps, inc. WO2 and WO3, are all-navy blue with scarlet piping (WOs wear divided badges with silvered Globe). Officers from WO1 up wear side caps with scarlet crowns; senior Staff Officers and General Officers have gold-cord piping.

Blue Working Dress is essentially Army-pattern battledress in navy blue with appropriate RM markings. Field Officers and above may wear the more tailored "Staff Pattern" whereas junior officers and WO1 wear the "Field Pattern" with the collar open, over a white shirt and tie. Blue service dress forage caps may be required in place of side caps (and are often preferred by senior officers).

Duty Officers and NCOs will always wear peaked forage caps in place of side caps, e.g. the senior NCO on duty as Orderly Sergeant will wear blue forage cap and scarlet sergeants' sash with blue service dress.

For operational duties away from HM Ships and Naval Bases, all ranks wear Army-pattern khaki battledress with appropriate RM badges and other insignia (not shown as it will look just the same as the Army versions in the post above!).


Ranks

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Parade Blue

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Service Blue

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Working Blue

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Finally, the re-instituted full dress of the amalgamated Corps of Royal Marines, shown here with white-topped caps but also worn with white Wolseley-pattern helmets for formal ceremonial parades. The uniforms retain the navy blue tunics and red collars of the RMA but officers (and WO / Snr NCO) mess dress jackets were in the traditional scarlet of the RMLI. General Officers and senior staff officers also wear variants on the Corps-pattern Full Dress, with Army-pattern gold and crimson sashes.

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Logan616 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:03 pm

Brilliant work! The Royal Marine uniforms look fantastic. I do, however, have a few points to raise, if I may:

1. Shouldn't Colonels and Brigadiers wear buttons that match their cap badges (just like Colonels and Brigade Colonels in the Army)?

2. Why do Lieutenant-Colonels wear the same gold oak leaves of their peaked caps as Colonels and Brigadiers? Shouldn't Lieutenant-Colonels and Majors wear a gold band instead (like their Army and RAF equivalents)? Or are Lieutenant-Colonels in the Marines now considered senior officers (like Commanders in the Royal Navy)?

3. In the Marine other ranks insignia pictures, I cannot see the insignia for Warrant Officer Class III.

4. Somewhat related to Note 3, does the rank of Warrant Officer Class III exist in the RAF, as it isn't mentioned on the RAF other ranks insignia picture. Or is there no equivalent to Warrant Officer Class III / Chief Petty Officer in the RAF?

5. Could a Marine officer ever hold the rank of marshal of the Empire?
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:23 pm

Lots of questions...! smilies-15


OK, to address WO3 first:

it's not there in the RM ranks because I forgot to add it to the drawing (oops) but it would simply be the Crown worn on the lower sleeve where WO2 wears the Crown+Wreath, as per the Army insignia. Bullion for Full Dress, Brass for Service Dress and embroidered on red backing for Blue Working Dress (on khaki backing for khaki battledress).

The Army only retain WO3 as a specific role in Line Infantry Regiments, where greater manpower was required and nwely re-structured Platoons were larger, justifying the role of a Platn Sgt-Maj as 2iC. In the supporting Corps (such as RE, RMP, RAMC, etc.) the rank is not used. The RA also do not use WO3.

The RAF saw no need for WO3 and also accord a very specific senior status to their WOs, most of whom are experienced techincal and aviation specialists (full Officer-pattern uniforms). They did consider introducing the rank specifically for the infantry role in the newly-formed RAF Corps but ultimately opted not to do so as the structure of the front-line infantry Flights in the RAF Air Defence Regiments was not directly parallel to the Platoons in the Army's Infantry Regiments.

There are no equivalent ranks to the RM/Army/RAF WOs in the RN. Naval Warrant Officers have an entirely different status and role as specalists in specific fields like Gunnery, as evidenced by the Officer-pattern uniforms and insignia. In the re-structuring of the Other Rates, the seniority of the Chief Petty Officer was acknowledged by according them rank equivalence (but not Warrant status) with the Army's WO3, thus a CPO is senior to other NCOs but technically junior to anyone of WO status. [As an aside, it was perhaps inevitable that the contemporary real-world RN would progress as it has, with the old Warrant Officers eventually being absorbed into the Commissioned ranks and disappearing and then the Senior Rates being expanded to include first "WO" and then "WO1"+"WO2". I guess this hypothetical RN will eventually do the saomething similar but, for now, we are still back in 1920, just after WW1 and certain antiquated societal norms are still at work...]

The RM are a newly merged Corps as part of the overall re-structuring in this alternate history. The intent was to create a single integrated force but one which still retained its historic and traditional role as a part of the Naval Service. As you can magine, this was the subject of significant friction between the Admiralty, the Army and the politicians. In the aftermath of Gallipoli, however, the RM is tasked to take on the role of being Britain's specialist amphibious assault force (much like now, although the "Commando" concept of WW2 has not yet been developed and applied to regular military forces). Thus the Corps retains both its traditional role, providing sea-going Ships' Detachments and defence and security of HM Naval Bases, and the extended role with a newly formed "RM Divsion" incorporating integrated assault infantry ("RM Infantry Regiments"), supporting light artillery ("RM Artillery Regiment") and a number of smaller units providing assault engineer support ("RM Independent Pioneer Companies") as well as a logistical support Regiment. Landing Craft crews may be mixed RM/RN and the division also has its own vehicle support companies. Light Armour for amphibious landings is in development and plans exist for establishing "RM Armoured Squadrons" but at this time the hardware does not yet exist. Taking and holding ports as well as open ground beach/estuary landings are also part of the role being developed. Compared to equivalent Army formations, the RM infantry regiments are slightly smaller than infantry battalions and are numbered as individual regiments, like Cavalry regiments, rather than being counted as battalions. The Company and Platoon sizes are likewise smaller and more tightly knit with the WO3 rank being retained in the RM Infantry Regiments as part of a robust leadership structure for these front-line assault troops.


Buttons and cap decoration and so on...

Well, the RM is NOT the Army -- they are part of the Naval Service and they just do some things their own way. If you look at current RM ranks and insignia, Field Officers (Maj/Lt Col) do wear gold oak leaves on No.1 caps and not the Army-style "passing peak" with a band of raised bullion embroidery; they wear standard RM officer cap badges and collar insignia, whereas senior staff officers (Col/Brig) wear oak leaves but with the cap badge and scarlet gorget patches of equivalently-ranked General Staff Officers in the Army. Note, however that officers' blue Service Dress caps have plain cloth-covered peaks for all ranks up to, and including, Field Officers. I originally intended this to be for ALL officers as the caps are more working dress than formal dress but in the end, however, I elected to keep senior Staff Officers and General Officers in the RM with oak leaves on their blue service dress caps (to maintain parity with their Naval counterparts when aboard ship and on bases). The only rank to lose out here is Lt-Col but that seemed like the natural place to make the change in distinction.

The buttons would also have been RM Corps buttons for ALL ranks with the General Officer and Staff Officer buttons appearing only on their respective gorget patches -- but then I figured that with the new role of the RM, it was time to grant RM Generals parity with their Army eqivalents,

I deliberately didn't introduce the passing peak for, say, Lt-Cdr and Cdr in the RN (which would parallel the Army ranks) as I wanted to maintain the historical difference in the origins of the Commander (from the rank Master-and-Commander, with independent command of his own ship) and the Lieutenant-Commander (previously a Lieutenant with over eight years service) but then I did choose to use it for the newly-formed RAF in a way that matches the Army pretty much exactly.

I admit that I did sort of start out intending to create an exactly matched pattern of uniform distinctions, such that every equivalent rank in each of the services had exactly the same distinction markings but, to be honest, it's actually just a little bit more interesting with some built-in historical quirks and differences -- which is why you'll see anomalies like this crop up from time to time!

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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:54 pm

Forgot this one... (!)

A Royal Marines officer as Marshal of the Empire?

Hmmmm. Interesting. The Corps has always been part of the Naval Service and the senior rank was only ever as high as a full General; there was never any need for an equivalent rank to Field Marshal as the Corps was never that big! I suppose the Adjutant-General, RM would continue to report to the Admiralty and his overall professional boss would, I suppose, still be the First Sea Lord, with the First Lord of the Admiralty as his political boss. The Captain-General, RM might wear a Field Marshal's batons but that is purely a ceremonial role.

Historically, a career as an officer in the Royal Marines was considered to be something of an act of social suicide -- it just didn't carry the cachet of a commission in the Royal Navy or an Army Regiment. This being the British, social class, social standing and so forth was an integral part of society, with lots of unwritten rules to be followed and career advancement was dependent upon who you knew as well as what you knew. Under those circumstances, I would say that it would be unlkely...!

Now, having said that, fast forward a decade (or several!) and ask if a senior officer from a Royal Marines background could be the hold equivalent of a US Unified Command and I'd say absolutely! Would the rank of "Marshal of the Empire" still exist at that time for such an individual to be promoted into it? That's a much trickier question! The RM, even in this hypothetical history, will still never be as be as big as the current USMC which is still part of the Department of the Navy but with the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps both reporting to the Secretary of the Navy.

So, in 1920, I'm afraid not -- but in later years, especially if the sigificance of the RM rises, then maybe, just maybe...

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(Maybe I'll have to design the uniform anyway, just in case... smilies-15 )
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Re: Hypothetical Marshal of the Commonwealth insignia

Unread postby Logan616 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:12 pm

Thank you for replying so quickly! I'm quite glad to know that the RAF doesn't have WO3 as a rank, to be honest: I never really saw the need for another WO rank. Given that the RAF Police and the RAF Regiment use Corporal instead of Leading Aircraftman / Leading Technician, would they also use Lance Corporal instead of Aircraftman First Class / Aircraftman Technician, and Private instead of Aircraftman (basic) / Apprentice Technician?

I understand your concerns over the likelihood of a Marine officer reaching Field Marshal rank or Marshal of the Empire rank; I just thought that someone ought to mention it. Since the Royal Marines were created by the merging of the RMLI and the RMA, perhaps some of its ranks ought to reflect this: e.g. Lance Bombardier and Bombardier instead of Lance Corporal and Corporal?

Finally, I've quickly knocked up a Table of Ranks for the British Armed Forces in this timeline. Please see attached, and let me know if any corrections are required!
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Table of Ranks.png
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