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HYPOTHETICAL RANKS

Hypothetical Space Force Ranks

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.

Moderators: Miklós Lovász, Pavel Močoch, Erskine Calderon, Zdzislaw Rudzki

Unread postby Kedyw » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:40 am

I'd like to see some enlisted variations. But the work is fantastic!
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Unread postby BW » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:12 am

Really impressive drawings!
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:12 pm

Hi guys, thanks for your comments!

Enlisted variations wouldn't be hard to produce but these are as much role insignia as true military rank insignia and the organisation I envisage is more of a uniformed civillian space service/agency than a full-on part of the military hierarchy.

The discussion was more about the likely early development of a space fleet within our solar system rather than a fully-formed "Starfleet" of the familiar "Star Trek" type.

I guess this organisation is obviously an extrapolation of NASA as it currently exists. Much as today, I guess the military would provide crews for their own vessels should the DoD believe such missions are warranted - and as such the crews assigned to such missions would continue to wear the uniforms (and rank!) of their existing services.

I haven't even come up with a name for this organisation, maybe it would be just the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Commisioned Corps (?) and I suppose it would take up a place in the panoply of uniformed services alongside the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps as a non-military service. In that respect, that's why I've kept the naval-style markings. The PHSCC in particular uses grade/role titles other than the direct naval eqivalents. I suppose that, in that respect, there would be a natural tendancy to simply use the standard US commisioned rank markings for the patches (in which case the structure would probably stop at the 4-star grade, if not lower!) but I wanted to try to develop something a little different and unique to this service.

I guess I imagine an agency with substantial establishments on Earth, and stations in Earth and Lunar orbits as well some established Lunar and maybe Martian bases. I envisage manned missions throughout the solar system and maybe some more far-flung bases on some of the slightly less inhospitable moons of the further planets. Some of the vessels might be a little bigger than the current shuttle and would probably have a bigger command/engineering crew as well as a wider range of mission specialists but this still isn't the sort of thing where I imagine a need for lots of enlisted crew or a career structure specific to that sort of role. I guess there might be a justification for a Warrant Officer Corps to cover, say, certain technical specialists ...?

It's still a fairly nebulous creation (no pun intended!) but I hope that gives you a better idea of what I was thinking when I started to put this together.
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:58 pm

Okay, I admit it! I'm speechless! You should be working full time as insignia designer smilies-15

Now, one more challenge. You said, these designs would be the next step in NASA's development. How about the next step in ESA's development? How about an Earth Space Organisation, reflecting its US, European, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Indian origins?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:03 am

Aw, shucks - there's not really that much that's new here though; all I really did was mix and match some existing rank insignia and some existing space agency emblems! I guess there a are a few original tweaks though...!

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:48 am

Not to rush you or something, but anything on the next level ESA and Earth Space Organisation yet? I'm dying to see what you would come up with smilies-15
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:39 pm

LOL...! I'll think about it! smilies-01

I'm a bit busy at the moment but doodling these things is actually kinda relaxing and I enjoy the process of planning them and then trying to create drawings that match the image mental pictures I've created in my head!

If you need another fix though, go look at all the UNNS stuff I mentioned above - just remember that those drawings were inspired by a series of novels and were therefore intended to depict a particular style and "look" for one author's fictional space fleet that was in keeping with the tone of the novels.

I'm working on refining and updating the UNNS drawings as I've got some minor tweaks I want to introduce, things I only really settled on after I posted the pictures on the Seafort forum. The basic content won't change, just the detailing. David Feintuch's creation of the UNNS is deliberately drawn from the Royal Navy (Seafort is much, MUCH more "Hornblower in space" than James T Kirk ever was!) so the new updates have a much stronger leaning towards historical RN influences than my original drawings. The core concepts remain the same.

Here's a taster...

Image

Image
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:48 pm

Oh, and before anyone mentions it...

yes, I know - I've plagiarised myself on several occasions between work I've presented on this site and work I've posted on other sites!

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:14 am

Well, the artwork is at standard quality ... meaning outstandingly and overwhelmingly beautigul smilies-15
However, talking about ESA one should remember that there are British, French, German, etc, etc, influences. So a very British looking system would be definitely frowned upon by the other 26 countries ... How about something more neutral? The French would never accept Nelson's Eye on the cuff, but perhaps British-looking cuff, French striped shoulder tabs and German dress epaulettes/shoulder cords with stars? Or shoulder cords with stripes for ealking out dress and epaulettes with stars for full dress uniform?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:22 pm

I don't disagree. Remember that the above designs are very specifically inspired by one author's series of novels (David Feintuch's "Seafort Saga" - Midshipman's Hope, etc...) and the uniforms and ranks therefore follow (or are derived from) the style described by the author. I've posted copious notes on the thinking that underpins those designs on the relevant pages of the Seafort forum.

If I was going to design a true European version of the NASA Comissioned Corps(or whatever else you might call it) that I've presented above, then I'd try to come up with something TOTALLY original that was unique to that particular hypothetical organisation (i.e. an ESA-derived uniformed service). The risk, of course, is that you end up with something VERY bland in your efforts not to offend individual national sensibilities (just look at some of the designs for the Euro currency...!) but hopefully I could manage to avoid making it completely boring!!

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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Here's a set of designs for a fictional space Fleet that I've been playing around with since I was a kid. It's evolved over the years and I actually haven't done anything with these for quite a while now but I thought I'd dig them out for you.

In my head, it was always just "The Fleet" - it never had any other more detailed name!

The badge is a sort of very stylised arrow-head (rocket ship...?!) and wings - but also bears more than a passing resemblance to an "F" for Fleet.

Image

Somewhere, there are uniform designs and enlisted ranks too - but I can't find those at the moment!
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:03 pm

Dear Medic (btw, what's your first name, if I may ask?),

Please consider that the first few hundred lines of my post are praises to your skills smilies-15

Now, to some suggestions. First, I think that ESA would use the EU blue background-12 golden stars insignia ... perhaps as a circular badge applied to the stylised rocket ...

As to the rank insignia, how about using squares - coloured squares 1-6 with golden borders (and perhaps one/two or one narrow/one broad golden stripes in the midlle) for the officers and all-gold squares, 1-5 for the directors? This way, the "WO" class could have squares with silver borders, the "E" class coloured squares with no borders?
And perhaps the same thing on the cuffs? Could you try it?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:59 am

Well, the grey uniforms above were just something I've been toying with on-and-off for years and I thought you might like to see them - they're certainly not intended to be ESA specific!!

Now, to some suggestions. First, I think that ESA would use the EU blue background-12 golden stars insignia ... perhaps as a circular badge applied to the stylised rocket ...


Yes, that would be a pretty reasonable idea; something fairly similar occurred to me too - almost like an updated blue-and-gold version of the ISF badge from the old Dan Dare comic strips...!

I'm also intrigued by your ideas for the "squares" grade markings - I like the simplicity of it and the fact that it's different to most other systems of insignia that are out there! Could you do even a very basic picture of what you have in mind? I'll happily have a go at doing some more detailed drawings once I have a better idea of what you intend this to look like.

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STAR TREK ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET SLEEVE LACE

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:26 pm

I have just found my color photograph showing that the Admiral of the Fleet did in fact wear sleeve lace with FIVE rectanglar embroidered devices. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had been allowed to inspect and photograph these insignia, and finally I found the photo. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how to post it here. But, I will gladly email to anyone who wants it. Perhaps someone will help me to post here.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:05 pm

Hi again - hope you are well; it's been a while! smilies-01

I think I know the one you mean...

It wasn't in the original uniform and insignia designs developed by costume designer Robert Fletcher for that era of the movies but a unique version of the Admiral of the Fleet / Fleet Admiral uniform and insignia was created for ST:VI where the character of the Starfleet Commander-in-Chief made a brief appearance.

There are a number of additional embellishments to this version of the flag officers' uniform, over and above those intended by Fletcher. In the original designs, the Admiral of the Fleet had additional details compared to the other admiral grades (with commodores having slightly less but still more than the other officer grades). I suspect it is likely to be this specific variation that you are referring to!

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Commander_in_chief

(Note that the description of the various uniform embellishments in the wiki I've linked to isn't entirely correct but it does give the general idea!)

I'll see if I can dig out some pictures too!
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:04 pm

I'm sorry, but I'm on holiday, and my laptop doesn't do well with a graphics program. So, I'll try to describe what I have in mind.

Every employee would have ranks marked by squares. On the service dress, flight dress and other, non-ceremonial dresses, the squares would be on the chest or shoulder loops. Both the chest patches and shoulder loops would be bordered by coloured/silver/gold cord, appropriate to the rank of the respective person. The insignia proper would be coloured squares (1 to 6) for enlisted-equivalents, coloured squares (1-3) with silver border for WO-equivalents, coloured squares with gold border for O-1 through O-6 equivalents and gold squares for O-7 through O-10 equivalents.

On the dress uniforms, the same squares would be worn on the lower sleewe, with two coloured or gold stripes, above and below. The general-equivalents would have thicker gold stripes. Also, E-equivalents would have twisted coloured shoulder cords, the WO-equivalents coloured-and-silver - all of them made with 2 cords, while the O-equivalents twisted shoulder cords of 2, 3 or 4 gold cords, respectively.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:22 pm

OK, no worries - I'll have a go! smilies-01

I guess I was just trying to work out what you had in mind for the arrangement of the squares themselves...?
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:11 am

Side by side, in one row, with the fabric showing between them ... about say 1/20th of the squares width.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:23 pm

That seems reasonable - I'll see what I can do!
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:48 pm

OK, Miklós, here's a reasonably well-developed first pass at the formal versions of these insignia. It's taken a while to get back to you 'cos my real work has been kinda hectic...!

I've used a fairly unique shade of grey as it shows off the gold, the silver and the bright blue quite nicely - but it wouldn't be hard to re-draw these in more traditional navy blue with white-topped caps instead.

I guess the blue from the cap bagdes would be used for the rank "squares" of the straightforward "line" ranks (as shown) and other colours could be used for engineering, medical and so forth. Equally, the "rocket" emblem in the cap badge could also be changed for different symbols if you wanted to do that for the specialist support branches of the service.

Close-up of the different levels, for comparison of the detailing, and also the
Commissioned, Warrant and Enlisted cap-badges for formal uniforms:
Image


I deliberately haven't assigned titles to the various roles as I wanted to think of titles that could be easily translated into several European languages - and also that would take into account at least some of the varying traditions for naming such grades. For example, the French and German traditions of naming the more senior commissioned grades as "Captain of [traditional size of ship]" such as "Capitaine de Corvette / Korvettenkapitän" rather than the Anglo-American "Lieutenant-Commander." Whilst it may not be appropriate to use such old-fashioned vessel descriptions for a space-faring fleet. Nevertheless, the ranks could simply be described as "Captain, Third, Second or First Class" instead.

I'm always a bit wary of using similar insignia in gold vice silver because of the risk of confusion when the markings are seen at-a-glance and I think that definitely applies here to the Warrant grades and the junior Commissioned grades - having said that, depending on the role of the Warrant Officers and the way they fit into the command structure, it may be entirely appropriate that there is some sort of "overlap" and that the visual distinctions are actually fairly subtle...?

The cap badges do borrow somewhat from those of the Interplanet Space Fleet from the Dan Dare comic strip (apologies to Dan Dare fans!) but I've adapted them to incorporate both some existing ESA symbols and also the existing European flag of gold stars on a blue field.

Finally, here's a combined set of all of the insignia for all grades, including patch versions of the rank "squares" for use on working-rig (essentially just drawn direct from the sleeve insignia). Note that the patch versions of the insignia for day-to-day use have gold borders for commissioned grades but plain grey borders for warrant grades. The "Flag" grades get a blue background to parallel their blue sleeve stripes.

I haven't done any subdued versions of these markings as I just don't see an ESA derived fleet as being all that military somehow - therefore they should have no need of such insignia!
Image

Enjoy!

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:34 pm

Perfect! Outright pearless!!!!
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:56 pm

smilies-08 smilies-08 smilies-08

...!!

Nah, surely not - there's *always* room for improvement! smilies-01

This was just a first pass at these; I have a few ideas for some minor tweaks that I'd like to try - I'll post the pics when I'm done!

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STARFLEET ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:15 pm

For clarity, I thought I would point out that the senior most officer of Starfleet was the C-in-C, and unlike most places this abbreviation was used in which it meant Commander in Chief, in Starfleet it meant CHIEF IN COMMAND. In addition, I now have a full set of original shoulder and sleeve insignia for all Flag officers of the Starfleet. Sadly, many fan based reproductions or website entries have embellished these devices wrongly. We should post photos of them here to set the record straight. Finally, in my many conversations and visits with Bob Fletcher, designer of Starfleet uniforms and insignia, he made it clear to me that it was his intention to follow the 1-5 stars concept in designing officer badges for Commodore through Admiral of the Fleet.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:18 pm

I agree.

Reproductions of Mr Fletcher's original designs for these uniforms and the various rank-related embellishments that went with them were, for a time, available to buy from specialist sci-fi retailers and they make fascinating reading if one is interested in this area. Many of the early commercially produced "reproduction" Starfleet rank insignia for this era were indeed incorrect (some were pure conjecture) but then what was used on-screen did not always exactly follow Mr Fletcher's original designs either.

...and that sort of thing will always be a problem when trying to put together a definitive list of rank markings for TV shows movies: we can describe a basic pattern but one has to accept that variations will always occur (and some of these will remain inexplicable) and sometimes simple costuming errors will also creep in. Either way, what appears in the finished article is not always entirely consistent with the original designs or what has previously been established and things will be changed at random moments at the whim of the producers if that's what they decide they want!

Given that this thread is about hypothetical rank insignia, I suggest that if we are to try to put together a definitive list of Starfleet rank insignia and uniforms from the various incarnations of the Star Trek franchise then we should split that subject off and start a new sub-section in the area for FICTIONAL rank insignia.

Then we can discuss this as much as you want!

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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:52 pm

I knew I wouldn't be able to resist playing with these a little further! Some minor amendments only:

I've tidied up the patch versions of the insignia; I think they look better based on a standard size patch. The full-size version of this pic is probably about right for how I think the life-size patches should be.

I've also updated the cuff stripes slightly (but only slightly!) All the flag ranks now get single gold rings above and below the blue ring (albeit slightly thicker rings). Only the most senior grade (five gold "squares") retains the double gold rings.

The rest is pretty much unchanged in design but I've tidied up the artwork a little.

Image

Image

Image

The final change is to the big version of the badge (above) - I've added the two missing gold stars from the EU flag back into the badge so that they are superimposed "on top" of the rocket emblem, rather than "hidden" behind it. I think I prefer it and I'm sure it'll look even better against the silver versions of the badge. Which do you prefer?

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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:51 pm

Some uniform variants for you to consider, from very traditional to slightly more futuristic.

Image


Close up of the Officers' version of the breast "wings":

Image


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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:23 pm

The stars-above version is definitely better! As to the uniform ... I wouldn't be surprised, if it would undergo an evolution just as you showed. Could you do a shoulder knot version, too? I was thinking of something a bit German-style, with the shoulder knot made of coloured, coloured-and-silver, coloured-and-gold and gold cord, quite flat, with the squares appearing as brooches. Also, could you do more colours?

An other thing is the system of rank designations. I suppose, something civilian-sounding would be prefered, out of political reasons.
Last edited by Miklós Lovász on Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:47 pm

Yeah, I prefer the updated badge too.

I'll see what I can do about producing some German-style shoulder knots; it seems like a pretty straightforward concept.

Alternative versions in other colours would equally be pretty easy to put together. The obvious place to start would be a colour-chart that detailed the insignia colours for the various specialist (and sub-specialist) roles. What colours did you have in mind?

I envisage the following changes:

1. Enlisted Grades: change the centres of the squares but leaving the blue edging. The narrow blue stripes on the cuffs and patches may or may not change, depending on how the finished version looks - or maybe they should only change to specialty colours for the senior enlisted grades with the junior grades retaining the blue stripes...?

2. Warrant and Junior Commisioned Grades: The the centres of the squares will change to specialty colours; the Silver or Gold edging to the squares will be retained. Similarly, the central blue stripe of the Silver or Gold cuff-rings will change to specialty colour. On the patches, the blue edge will change to specialty colour for Warrant Grades and there will be a narrow coloured edge inside the gold for Commissioned Grades.

3. Senior Commissioned Grades: The the centres of the squares will change to specialty colours; the Gold edging to the squares will be retained. The gold cuff-rings will remain unchanged but will be outlined with a narrow edge of specialty colour. The patches will have a a narrow coloured edge inside the gold, as for the junior Commissioned Grades.

4. Flag Grades. The basic gold stripes and insignia remain unchanged but the blue background (cuff ring or patches) will change to specialty colour.

Cap badges for ALL grades will remain unchanged. The breast "wings," however, will be specific to each specialty and sub-specialty role and may incorporate the specialty colours as well as some form of specialty symbol.

Does that seem about right?

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:06 am

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Alternative versions in other colours would equally be pretty easy to put together. The obvious place to start would be a colour-chart that detailed the insignia colours for the various specialist (and sub-specialist) roles. What colours did you have in mind?

Colours:

Navigation (pilots&navigators) - midnight blue
Engineering - black
Communications - light blue
Administration - purple
Security - medium green
Medical - cherry red
Science - orange
Head administrator and his staff - bright blue


I envisage the following changes:

1. Enlisted Grades: change the centres of the squares but leaving the blue edging. The narrow blue stripes on the cuffs and patches may or may not change, depending on how the finished version looks - or maybe they should only change to specialty colours for the senior enlisted grades with the junior grades retaining the blue stripes...?

How about specialty-coloured squares on a light gray patch, edged with specialty colour?

2. Warrant and Junior Commisioned Grades: The the centres of the squares will change to specialty colours; the Silver or Gold edging to the squares will be retained. Similarly, the central blue stripe of the Silver or Gold cuff-rings will change to specialty colour. On the patches, the blue edge will change to specialty colour for Warrant Grades and there will be a narrow coloured edge inside the gold for Commissioned Grades.

Warrant grades - coloured squares with silver edge on specialty-coloured patch, silver stripes

3. Senior Commissioned Grades: The centres of the squares will change to specialty colours; the Gold edging to the squares will be retained. The gold cuff-rings will remain unchanged but will be outlined with a narrow edge of specialty colour. The patches will have a a narrow coloured edge inside the gold, as for the junior Commissioned Grades.

All Commisioned grades - coloured squares with gold edges on coloured patch with double gold stripes

4. Flag Grades. The basic gold stripes and insignia remain unchanged but the blue background (cuff ring or patches) will change to specialty colour.

Flag grades - gold squares on coloured stripes, twisted gold cord edging

Cap badges for ALL grades will remain unchanged. The breast "wings," however, will be specific to each specialty and sub-specialty role and may incorporate the specialty colours as well as some form of specialty symbol.

Quite right! Also, the navigators would have full wings, the others half wings only (those assigned to ships and space stations the left wing, others the right wing as seen by the wearer, with the head administrator's staff carrying a special device and the head administrator carrying a version of the cap insignia)

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Could you please do a full dress and a jumpsuit version, too? In which case, the full dress would have the shoulder knots, the service dress the sleeve insignia and the jumpsuit the chest patches. Also, in case of the full dress, how about coloured edging to the jacket and coloured stripes on the trousers, like this:

Enlisted - narrow coloured edging everywhere
Warrant - twisted cord, coloured with silver everywhere
Commisioned - medium gold stripe with a thin coloured stripe in the middle, twisted cord, coloured with gold on the jacket, same stripe in the middle of the collar, running around the neck
Field grade - two medium gold stripes with a medium coloured stripe in the middle, twisted gold with gold on the jacket, one row of golden oak leaves ambroidery along the outer edge of the collar
Head administrator - one thick gold stripe, narrow gold embroidery on the jacket, collar embroidered in gold oak leaves.

All ranks with collars in specialty colours.
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Unread postby BW » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:02 am

Miklós Lovász wrote:pacifists, greens, anarchists and various other assholes

Sounds a bit insulting ...
I always thought this site is not political. smilies-04
I know many pacifists and green voters. I don't think they are assholes.

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:52 pm

Sorry about that, will modify my posting. smilies-08
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Hypothetical Space Insignia

Unread postby BillW41 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:41 pm

I've only just come in on this, and confess I haven't read all 6 pages. So please forgive me if I'm repeating something. First, Medic in Uniform's cap badge is very close to Dan Dare's International Space Fleet badge in the old British EAGLE comic. Second, when Winston Churchill invented ranks and insignia for the Royal Air Force he based them on naval practice (having been First Lord of the Admiralty). A naval structure makes much more sense than a military one with generals, colonels, etc. Way back in the dim dark ages, 1963 in fact, I had published in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society the following "rank proposal" (as they headed it!) for an International Aerospace Force under the auspices of a United Nations Aerospace Administration: Aerospace Commodore, Control Captain, Flotilla Commander, Flight Major [in deference to Yuri Gagarin], Crew Lieutenant, Flight Observer, Ensign. There are seven ranks to commemorate the original Mercury astronauts. I recommended green uniforms with a badge similar to NASA's and rings, chevrons or stripes for insignia in naval/RAF fashion. I even concocted a generic term, "Boatmajor", term for a spacecraft skipper.
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Unread postby lordziba » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:23 pm

"I recommended green uniforms with a badge similar to NASA's and rings, chevrons or stripes for insignia in naval/RAF fashion. I even concocted a generic term, "Boatmajor", term for a spacecraft skipper."

Just curious, why green? Why not dark blue, or black. Green seems to me more less army akin ground forces domain color?

Zibster smilies-10 !
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:05 am

Zib, you need to check out the Dan Dare comic strips - the uniform was definitely NOT a military olive green.

Bill, absolutely! - I freely acknowledge my influences here! (see above) smilies-01

I'll post the updates I promised when I'm not snowed-under at work.
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Hyothetical Space Force insignia

Unread postby BillW41 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:02 pm

When I chose green I was thinking of Dan Dare, too. Back then army khaki was closer to brown. It was a case of coming up with a different colour than blue. smilies-05
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:47 am

Hi All,
Sorry - it's taken a while to get around to these!

Miklós,
These are the colours you suggested. I tried using the specialty coloured background patches for all grades but, to be honest, it was just a bit too much and you rather lost the effect of the different coloured squares - so I've gone back to using plain grey backgrounds, except for the "flag" ranks.

I'm not sure the different shades of blue work all that well so, on balance, I'd suggest merging them into the standard "bright" blue of the generic insignia (possibly indicating roles by use of different "wings" insignia); this would keep the coloured specialty insignia for the truly specialist roles, leaving just one shade of BLUE as the standard (and readily identifiable) "line" colour. Having said that, the light blue does sort of work so I would suggest using that for "Administrative" (Clerks, Paymaster, etc.) and reserving the purple insignia for legal staff only....?

For the sake of argument, I've assumed that the most junior enlisted grade wouldn't qualify for a specialist role and, at the other end of the spectrum, that specialist flag ranks would never be appointed above the four-square rank (if that!).

Image
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:05 pm

This is just a quick first pass at both a service uniform and a full-dress uniform:

Service Dress:
Image

Full Dress:
Image

Trouser stripes for Full Dress:
Image


I'm still working on a flight-suit type working dress and also the full-dress shoulder knots!
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:25 pm

This is perfect! Exquisite! Unbelievable! You've read my mind! Can I nominate for you a Nobel prize or something? smilies-15
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:16 pm

LOL...! smilies-15

Yeah, I quite like 'em too - it's a really unique set of primary insignia and is very different to pretty much anything else on this site, which is nice! I've obviously used fairly traditional secondary uniform embellishments but the basic insignia are very, very simple - yet the system is such that they convey quite a lot of information about the wearer very easily.

...and I take no credit for that - it was very much your idea; all I did was draw them! smilies-08

The true test of this will be how well you think it works once I've finished the "working" uniform because that should be a pretty stripped back and basic version: just a grey flight jumpsuit with one of the coloured rank patches, a standard ESA patch (or possibly the wings) and maybe a specific ship patch.

Watch this space...

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:19 am

Could you do some more modifications to the uniforms? Like having the full dress' jacket trimmed in colour all around (lower edge of the skirt and cuffs, too) and moving the insignia to the collar. Could you also draw a black (or dark grey) belt for the service dress and a silver/golden/coloured combaintion on the full dress? Also, could you put coloured bands on the full dress hats?

As to the working/battle dress, I believe it should be
1. shipside dress: a branch-coloured coverall and black boots with insignia on right chest, specialty insignia above, ESA patch on one shoulder, unit patch on the other shoulder, peaked garrison cap.
2. battlle dress: battle armour/pilot suit which is not essential.

It just came to me: how about doing away with the peaked cap for enlisted and NCO-equivalents and replace with a French-style kepi? Or something similar to the US Army peaked garrison cap of the 50's and 60's, but whith a rigid peak?

As to the colours, I would modify the charts by giving bright blue/Prussian blue for the highest leadership and their staff. I think having "Line" as bright blue and "Pilot/Navigator" as deep blue could be a bit confusing, since pilots/navigators ARE line officers. True, here we must clarify one thing: what kind of ESA are we talking about? Small vessels with small crews or large ones, like the USS Enterprise? If the first, "Line" would certainly be preferable, since it would encompass many specialties. If the second, it would basically mean "those who handle the flying part of the vessel".

Could we use sand brown for administration and purple for legal?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:00 am

Whoa! This is starting to get complicated! smilies-01

I was trying to keep the overall look of these uniforms fairly sleek, simple and un-cluttered. I'll happily draw some out for you but the belts and the coloured hat-bands are starting to sound a lot like US Army dress blues, if you ask me...!

Equally, I can certainly try the rank on the collars but remember that it will also appear on the German-style shoulder knots; putting it on the collar could appear to be over-kill. I suspect that it will also look pretty silly for the senior ranks that have more than four squares in their insignia (the six squares for the senior Captain rank will likely meet up around the back of his neck!!). It would also confuse the purpose of having the single/double rows of oak-leaves on the dress collar for the senior grades.

Branch-coloured overalls is certainly one idea I'd been playing with although I'm not sure that I'd want to see purple overalls, to be honest (!) but I can certainly see merit in having certain specialist roles like the medics and the security staff being readily identifiable. What I was going to suggest was grey overalls with subtle generic blue (or specialty colour) detailing for most crew members but then reverse that and have, for example, the same design but in cherry red with grey detailing for the duty medical team, etc.

I'll post a few pics when I have time.
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:07 am

Medic_in_Uniform wrote:Whoa! This is starting to get complicated! smilies-01

I was trying to keep the overall look of these uniforms fairly sleek, simple and un-cluttered. I'll happily draw some out for you but the belts and the coloured hat-bands are starting to sound a lot like US Army dress blues, if you ask me...!

Or any other armed force smilies-01 Nevertheless, dress unifroms were always a lot more colourful than other dresses.

Equally, I can certainly try the rank on the collars but remember that it will also appear on the German-style shoulder knots; putting it on the collar could appear to be over-kill. I suspect that it will also look pretty silly for the senior ranks that have more than four squares in their insignia (the six squares for the senior Captain rank will likely meet up around the back of his neck!!). It would also confuse the purpose of having the single/double rows of oak-leaves on the dress collar for the senior grades.

I agree!

Branch-coloured overalls is certainly one idea I'd been playing with although I'm not sure that I'd want to see purple overalls, to be honest (!) but I can certainly see merit in having certain specialist roles like the medics and the security staff being readily identifiable. What I was going to suggest was grey overalls with subtle generic blue (or specialty colour) detailing for most crew members but then reverse that and have, for example, the same design but in cherry red with grey detailing for the duty medical team, etc.

Good idea!

I'll post a few pics when I have time.
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How about the belts and enlisted hats?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:48 am

OK, this is (more-or-less) what you described. I tried adding the gold +/- colour round the jacket skirt but i just didn't look right somehow. I guess you could consider this a form of ceremonial special full dress...
Image

I did try duplicating the oak-leaves detailing from the collars on both the hat bands and belts but it just started to look WAY too busy - so I ditched that idea!

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By the way, you can't see the detail in this drawing but the senior flight medical officer has specialty specific wings:
Image

These would work with either the generic European Blue background *or* a specialty-coloured background (as shown here). I think probably specialty colour for working uniforms and standard blue for formal uniforms (to match the cap badge) is the best bet.

As far as specialty colours go, remember that the senior flag grades ARE "line" officers, so really there should be no difference between the colours worn by them and their staff and other "line" officers. Remember also that the blue was specifically chosen as the generic colour because of its link to the current EU flag (which is also why the centre of the cap badge has a blue background with twelve gold stars). Making some small changes to some of the sub-specialty roles shouldn't be a major problem though...!
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:00 am

Perfect!

As to the "line" issue: my point is that we're talking about a uniformed civilian organisation, so basically what we need is to set apart the various branches. Therefore, the branch whose members do the actual spacefaring (pilots and navigators) can be called"line" or "navigation" or any other term and of course, those higher managers that coordinate this branch would use that branch colour. The point about having a different colour for the apparatus of the seniormost manager is nothing but a visual aid in the work of those employed there, in other words: you're told to do something by a guy wearing bright blue, you know that it comes straight from the top smilies-15

The background idea is great! I only wonder is it should have the same badge for every branch?
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:46 pm

The point about having a different colour for the apparatus of the seniormost manager is nothing but a visual aid in the work of those employed there


I thought that's what all the GOLD was for...?! smilies-15
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:20 pm

I meant those working FOR the head (advisers, experts, clerks, aids, secretaries, inspectors, anybody else working directly in his office).
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:35 pm

OK, finally I had the time to work on finishing the shoulder-knots for the dress uniforms. Inevitably, the designs have evolved a little and I have refined them as I have gone along but the basic concept remains unchanged.

The two major things I have played with have been (a) the positioning of the rank "squares" and (b) whether or not to use "knots" or plain "shoulder-straps" for the warrant and junior commissioned grades.

The problem with the squares was that, potentially, I had to fit up to SIX onto one epaulette - this meant I either had to make them very small if they were to appear in a single line (as on the cuffs and the patches) or I had to come up with an acceptable alternative. In the end, having played with placing some side-by-side in pairs, I have stuck with the linear approach and I think it looks best and continuity with the simplicity of the established pattern. I also considered turning the squares through 45 degrees so that they would "align" with the intersections of the woven braid of the knots - but that just didn't sit well with the cuff designs and patches so I abandoned that idea. The squares are edged silver on gold knots and vice versa.

The knots vs. plain straps was more difficult; the original idea from Miklós was that these should be of a German style, which suggests plainer straps for the junior grades, but somehow I had always imaged having the inerwoven knots for all the grades, just in varying proportions of coloured lace to bullion lace (silver or gold) depending upon the seniority of grade.

In the end, I drew full versions of each design - and I still liked them both, so I have compromised by using both versions! In essence, the plain straps would be used on the plainer version of the dress uniform (i.e. without the coloured belt or hat bands) and the full knots would be used only if the full, ceremonial version of the dress uniform is worn (with all the other embellishments). Flag grades and the other senior grades would wear appropriate full knots at all times when in dress uniform.

Note that the enlisted grades have grey straps with blue lace (blue lace on blue straps for the senior grades).

The dress uniform shoulder insignia:
Image

The full ceremonial shoulder insignia:
Image

Finally a quick updated chart showing how these would appear for specialist staff:
Image

In this case, I have shown the straps for the junior commissioned grades the warrant grades. Another alternative option would be to use the two designs together: coloured knots with gold centre-lace for junior officers and silver billion plain straps for warrant officers. The junior enlisted specialists have blue lace on grey straps and the senior enlisted grades have specialty-coloured straps with blue lace and all specialists have specialty-coloured squares with gold or silver edging as appropriate.

All I need to do now are the working dress variants...!!

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[Edited to update content.]
Last edited by Medic_in_Uniform on Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:44 pm

Excellent! As always, let me add smilies-15
I see what you mean about too many squares ... I can think of only one solution: keep only 1 through 4 squares, so we would have a system akin to that of the British Army, with (equivalents of) PFC, CPL, SGT and SM, while the WO-equivalents would be superior NCO's rather than a cathegory of their own. Not to mention, that nobody would have more than 4 squares, if you could design a special insignia for the O-10 equivalent (head of the Agency).
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:43 pm

Hi! I've actually made some small updates - I had hoped to slip this one in under the radar before you checked the site! smilies-15

I extended the knots by one set of loops and now the squares fit (just!) in their original linear pattern. I've edited the above post to show this so if you hit <Ctrl>, then it'll reload with the new images.

I think these look better - and it solves the problem of having to start again with assigning the rank insignia! This is also closer to what I originally had in mind for the shoulder knots anyway, so I'm pretty happy with them!

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Unread postby Miklós Lovász » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:47 pm

Yes, this should work ... though the last img doesn't show:(
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