This is topic Battle School Uniforms - Just what do they look like? in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
I'm planning on attending Dragon*Con again this year, and being as they are the biggest Sci-fi/Fantasy genre Con in the US, I thought I'd go as a Battle Schooler. Ok, so I'm too old/tall to actually have gone to Battle School, but still. It's a Con. I have been wracking my brain, doing everything I can think of short of searching out my copy of Ender's Game and skimming through to see if I can find some details that will lead me to what I want to know.

The best thing I've found is some concept art that some guy drew of the flash suits, but that's not really what I'm looking for.

I'm sure this has crossed some peoples minds before. It's just that noone's posted about it (I think...I did try searching first).
All ideas are welcome. Thanks.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
I always imagined battle school uniforms to be once piece jumpsuits like pilots wear. Long sleeves, relatively simple, with the army markings on the breast or shoulder.

Was ]Jin Han the guy who did the concept art? He's a fantastic artist... He drew the art for 'Fat Farm' in Intergalactic Medicine Show, and the pictures for Eviction Notice and Night Walks.

I really, really, really like his style.
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
That's what I was thinking too, actually, but what color? Maybe a navy blue-ish?

Yes, that's the guy. I think one year for the Con, I might take one of his sketches and see if I can make something out of it.

You don't see many (if any) OSC Characters (Ender/Shadowverse or otherwise) represented at these conventions. That's something I'd like to change...before the film comes out if possible.
Posted by B34N (Member # 9597) on :
I could be wrong but I think they were white or grayish in the books, but I can't remember for sure.
Posted by Gwen (Member # 9551) on :
I always assumed that they were the colors of whichever army it was: Salamander in green, maybe Phoenix in red (I think), but then you'd have duplicate main colors so probably white or grey makes the most sense as far as confusion in the battle room goes. Never mind, that would just make it worse. I don't know; maybe the battle room would assign colors to opposing teams through cool suit-color-changing capabilities?
Maybe ask the people over in VBS.

Edited to add: Never mind, I was confusing flash suits with army uniforms. I still have no idea what color the flash suits are, but the army uniforms have specific colors (Bean noticed that all the groups jogging together down the corridors each had the one color of uniforms) and Dragon's is orange (or at least Bean's was, but I'm pretty sure they didn't change the fabric color when they were trying to make one to fit it).

[ August 16, 2006, 10:01 PM: Message edited by: Gwen ]
Posted by Hank (Member # 8916) on :
I believe the uniforms themselves were all the same color; the patches were the only thing army-specific. I don't know if that's from the book or just because it would make more sense if the only thing they had to do to change affiliation was to switch the patch.

I believe it does say in Ender's Shadow (the part when Bean frist gets to Battle School and wanders around observing the other students) that the flash suits are color-coded.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
I took them to be basic cloth suits. Nothing too fancy to look at, as the fanciness was with what was discretely built into the fabric (locators, body sensors...)

I can't remember off the top, but my mind sees them as greyish too, B34N, with 'after market' details for specific armies or commander status.

I can see a bit of detail at the seams, maybe a trim sort of thing, to make the freezing a little easier when in the battle room? Maybe with a few larger bits of 'trim' at certain points to help determine/specify what had been frozen?

Oh man - if you do go with that idea for the convention - please post pics or at least describe your finish concept! : ) Great Idea!
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
Thanks for all your input. So here's what we have for the Battle School uniforms:

A one-piece greyish colored jumpsuit
Patch with Army name/insignia to go on one of the arms

Now, for the shoes, I'd probably say just standard black boots.
I mention the shoes because they're the number one rule when it comes to costuming. If you're walking around, and your shoes don't fit your character, then you're not winning any contest of any kind. Not to mention all the funny looks you'll get.

As for the flash suits. I agree with the color-coding concept for them. I probably won't be working on a Flash Suit costume for a while tho. First things first.

Right now, the Battle School uniform is my alternate costume idea for Dragon*Con this year. My friend that I'm going with was going to ask his aunt about making other costumes for us, but with him putting off asking her and the Con being 2 weeks away, I had to come up with my alternate plan.

Speaking of Dragon*Con, has anyone else on here ever been? It's the biggest all-around Con in the US, based in Atlanta. It's main focus is Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but it covers everything far and between. It happens over Labor Day weekend every year.
I check the guest list periodically, hoping and praying to see OSC on the guest list. No luck yet...
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
Haven't been... But I had some more thoughts on the flash suits... *insert cheezy grin here!*

I think that it would work for a 'belt' to be built in (quicker to get dressed)... Meaning, any holder for a lazer-type device would be in there (like for a hammer in carpenter's pants). I also think it would be cool if there were a 'holder' for the hook on every suit... so launchies could sort of imagine themselves with the hook in position, if they so desired. I also think it would be neat if there were extra pieces, like loops (sort of ala the hammer-holder) at the knees, elbows, shoulders, etc, to make formations that much more flexible, not having to rely only on body parts.

Also - I think it would be neat if the seam (from crotch to neck, i liked that jumpsuit visual) to be quickly sealable, kind of like velcro, and almost invisible when sealed... If that's even possible.

Okay, sorry, my imagination has taken me away with it... : )
Posted by Gwen (Member # 9551) on :
We talking army uniforms here, or flash suits?

'Cause flash suits might be harder because as I recall they're stiffer, more resistence, which also magnifies your movements so that you don't have to use as much force to move around in the battle room.

But if you just did the army uniforms, it'd be a bit hard to tell exactly what you were dressed up as (not that it would be easy for the flash suits either, but with the normal uniforms they might be mistaken for something else, even with the army insigna on a patch somewhere). Though it would still be cool to go around with the Salamander or Phoenix army insignas on your uniform (the best of the four insignas we've seen so far, in my opinion) and maybe the commander triangle. Go around talking in Battle School slang...or not, depending on whether you think people be insulted by the "ho"s or think you're Canadian from the "eh"s.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
I thought part of the magnification was from sensors in the suits? Am I making that up?
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
Going around talking in Battle School slang, eh? Not a bad fact, I like it! I wonder just how many ppl will recognize it...
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
The best people will... ; ) (teehee)
Posted by jin977 (Member # 8752) on :
Hey Scott, this is Jin. Thanks for the plug! I really appreciate it!

When I think of the Battle School uniforms, I see them as being light-weight, slightly form-fitted, with pockets and compartments spread throughout. The colors of the uniforms would not be so obvious. It would be subtle, with the collars, cuffs, or belts being matched to represent each army. I imagine the BS would produce massive amounts of a base model/style of uniform to save some money, then easily add the appropriate markings at a later time.

The uniforms would also be designed so students could easily get in and out of their Flash Suits. Much like football players wearing Under Armor under their pads to enhance performance, the BS uniforms would also be an integral part of the Flash Suits. One could not work without the other. There would be various components throughout the uniform that would activate the "freezing" mechanism when the Flash Suit is on and a student is shot in the Battle Room.

As for the footwear, I don't picture anything resembling military boots. They are inside a space station, and not out in rough terrain, so the massive treads would not be necessary. The basic boot for BS students would be streamlined for wear inside a sturcture that has smooth floors, and perform for movement within the training facility.

Plus, the students are very, very young when they first get in. The BS's main objective is not to train them to become good hand-to-hand fighters, so the strength/stamina conditioning of having them wear heavy boots wouldn't be necessary.

Thanks for starting this thread, TheDemon2300! I'm really interested to hear how everyone else pictures the book in their minds. I love geeking out on this sort of thing!

Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
Not a problem, Jin. Since starting the thread, I've sat down and started rereading through EG to pick up on any details that I may have forgotten (it's been like 3/4 a year since I last read the series). The launchy uniforms are all the same color, which is the navy blue.
The older kids all wear a plainer shade of grey. It doesn't really talk much about where the color markings are signifying each army, but it's mentioned that they're there.
I like the idea of them being subtle. I'm going to look around and see if I can come up with something at the last minute for this year. If not, then next year for sure. Only 8 days to go, and on my limited funds, it may or may not be possible...all depends on what I can find. For a patch, maybe I can just take the artwork from one of the army merchandise things and see if I can find someone to make it into a patch for me...
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
It doesn't really talk much about where the color markings are signifying each army, but it's mentioned that they're there.

In Ender's Shadow it mentions Bean noticing "a lizard" on the uniform (that would be Salamander.) So the markings aren't just color markings, but some kind of insignia, stylized animal markings, and as he notices, they all look tough, the dog is a hunting hound, not a friendly dog you'd meet on the street.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
TheDemon2300 - What if you went to a 'uniform' store? You can probably get a jumpsuit type something relatively cheaply?
Posted by Gwen (Member # 9551) on :
The uniforms would also be designed so students could easily get in and out of their Flash Suits. Much like football players wearing Under Armor under their pads to enhance performance, the BS uniforms would also be an integral part of the Flash Suits. One could not work without the other. There would be various components throughout the uniform that would activate the "freezing" mechanism when the Flash Suit is on and a student is shot in the Battle Room.
I thought that the everyday uniforms were different from the flash suits; that's why Bean had to change into a specially-made flash suit, why the whole army had to change for battle, why Ender noticed that the flash suits were stiffer but magnified small movements better, and so on.
I think that the flash suit colors would probably be made so that people could distinguish between a member of their own army and a member of the opposing army(/ies) on sight from as far as the range of the weapons are. I do remember Bean's suit being described as orange, and I think it was the flash suit they were describing.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
the BS uniforms would also be an integral part of the Flash Suits. One could not work without the other.
I distinctly remember a part where somebody wasn't ready on time, and they were running down the hall naked trying to put on their suit. I'm pretty sure that character put on their flash suit with nothing on underneath.
Posted by cmc (Member # 9549) on :
Maybe they were SUPER unprepared? ; )

(yet - i do remember that part...)
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
Concept art for Dragon Army uniform. (For very young recruits.)
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
I could try a uniform store...if I can find one around where I live. You think they sell 'em at Wal-Mart? If I can find a gray jumpsuit, I'll just need the army patch and some markers (or something of the sort) to mark the army colors in various places.
Posted by JLGpepe (Member # 9680) on :
is there anyway to post images here so we can show our ideas
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
don't think so...looks like they have HTML disabled for the forum. Links would work tho. There's all kinds of sites that can host images. Just upload 'em there and then post a link.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
Quite frankly I always thought of flash suits as something more like what the Michelin Tire guy wears, in other words, more heavily padded. It's mentioned that you can't really do any Null G fighting in them, so while they still have to be loose enough to move around in and do maneuvers, they'd also have to be somewhat restrictive.

As for the actual uniforms, quite frankly the closest thing I've ever seen to what I always thought they'd look like has been the uniforms the people on Stargate Atlantis wear. Only in the case of the BS uniforms, they'd be more form fitting, maybe one piece, but it allows for a couple different color patterns and a unit patch.
Posted by TheDemon2300 (Member # 9665) on :
Update: It's a-go. I went down to Wal-Mart today and managed to find some gray coveralls. That combined with some orange paint, a printout of the Dragon Army logo, and some safety pins, and I have my own make-shift Dragon Army Uniform. The first coat of paint is drying as I type this. I've decided to paint the cuffs of the sleeves, the collar, the bottom of the legs, and I'm considering a stripe going down the center of the front. For the insignia (print-out [being as I couldn't find a place where I could get a patch made on such short notice]), I've decided to put it on the left upper arm. However, being as that will be the last thing to go on, I'm now open to suggestions on the following:

1. Position of the insignia. Where is the best placed? Arm or Breast? Left side or Right side?

2. Should I add-in the stripe down the center of the coveralls (that will be the 2nd to last thing I do if I decide to do it)?
Posted by B34N (Member # 9597) on :
Originally posted by dkw:
Concept art for Dragon Army uniform. (For very young recruits.)

That's just plain awesome! I love it! [ROFL]

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