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Unread 07-15-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
nadesico81
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FMA State Military Uniform Color

Hey every one

This question has been buring in my skull for quite some time. I have even had heated arguments with friends over this. Ever since I seen the some of the first FMA State Military Cosplayers back in 2004. The uniform color never looked right for some reason. Some people where the light sky blue, and others where the dark navy blue color? What I want to know is what is the right color and why are people whereing the Sky Blue?

I know this seems a strange question to ask. However I am all about cosplay being correct when ever possible. What I dont understand is where this Sky Blue color came from? Is it actualy a color seen in the serries or is it becouse some one could not afford the right kind of material and the trend just spread?

Some have speculated the Sky Blue Color came from the Manga? However in anime series and in all the art books the color is clearly a Dark Navy Blue.

Here is a picture of the colors case in point

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=1125298

Please weigh in on this matter

Cheers

Nadesico81

Last edited by nadesico81 : 07-15-2007 at 04:44 PM.
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Unread 07-15-2007, 07:18 PM   #2
Artemis XIII
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Well...you should look at this cosplayer:

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=916608

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=911001

They are the same cosplayer...
But that colour would be the most accurate.
As they explain further about their FMA military cosplay, they say that when you're taking photos w/flash, the lighting makes the outfit look overly bright if you use a normal blue colour (the colour you see in the anime.)
It's best to go darker.
Just my opinion though ^^;
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Unread 07-15-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
Tallus
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Fantasy-wise, FMA's uniforms are a shade lighter than the above. However, if you're striving for a sense of realism, going a shade darker (and using a heavier fabric) will look more authentic.

So...I guess, generally speaking, the cosplayer in the back is more accurate to the show, but the cosplayer sitting is more accurate to if FMA were real.
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Unread 07-15-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
nadesico81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis XIII View Post
Well...you should look at this cosplayer:

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=916608

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=911001

They are the same cosplayer...
But that colour would be the most accurate.
As they explain further about their FMA military cosplay, they say that when you're taking photos w/flash, the lighting makes the outfit look overly bright if you use a normal blue colour (the colour you see in the anime.)
It's best to go darker.
Just my opinion though ^^;
Funny you should show me a picture of arcanewinter. She is makeing a FMA Uniform for me for London Expo. She is one of the BEST FMA cosplayers on the site. Thats why I picked her to make my uniform. I am spareing NO cost on this cosplay and its going to be right.

Well my question still stands does ANY ONE know where the concept of the light blue FMA uniform came from? Some of the Uniforms I have seen look cheap even with the silver stripeing. I know shiney things look good to the eye but I feel it does not go well with the uniform.

In the eyes of cosplaying in the USA and the States its not about what your uniform looks like. Or if its 100% right it wether or not your haveing fun. However when I cosplay I spend alot of time to be percise as possible. However I am going to be cosplaying in Japan and this mentality does NOT fly over there.

Last edited by nadesico81 : 07-15-2007 at 11:51 PM.
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Unread 07-15-2007, 11:55 PM   #5
skye_fall
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I think the sky blue may have come from the color scans done by the artist. I have a pencil board (which is sitting in storage at school >_>) with headshots of all of the characters. The military personnel's uniforms were really quite pale.

I've seen more eye burning electric blue with matte, darker grey trim more than naught during the past couple of years >_> I personally did a darker steel blue (not as dark as arcanewinter's havoc) with a pale grey trim for my rendition of hawkeye two years back.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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I'm totally out of date on the series and the fandom, sorry.

For our old FMA unifoms I went with a royal blue. A navy blue is good if you want something like anime translated to live action, but in the series and the art, it varies. They're pretty dang blue sometimes, and then dark in others. Lots of the stand alone art is brighter than the actual animation. Even they don't know what colors their uniforms are, if you ask me. To be honest, I haven't watched the series in three years, so they could have revealed that the uniforms are really purple with hot pink paisely chickens on them and I would have missed it.

Also at the time, the uniforms you could buy ready-made were really bright with a kind of iron-on tape for trim. I saw a lot of those on ebay then, and I think more than that were used for reference.

In my case, I was making three identical uniforms and was limited to the colors of twill I could get, because I needed a jillion yards. My options were a royal blue or a navy blue that was practically black. I was going from series art more than series clips, and went with the royal, because it was closer.

It really depends on what look you're going for, and if you're matching within a group. For my realism touches, I used silver and gold trim in actual metallics, instead of grey or yellow bias tape or just colored trim. Since it's an anime and not a super-realistic CGI where you can actually see fabric weave, there's some more variables in the details. I think it gives people a little more creative room.

However, (and this is a problem that I think happens a lot) if you want to look at these two shots of my partner in her uniform (right out of the closet, so forgive the lack of proper starch ;p) you can see that the fabric photographs very inconsistently.

http://www.bishink.org/bishink/cosplay/FMA09.JPG
is the color it SHOULD be, and the color it is in person, under natural indoor light.

Nail it with a flash or with sunlight, and you get neon death.
http://www.bishink.org/bishink/cosplay/FMA07.JPG
You can see at the bottom that most of the light from the window is hitting it there, and it's really bright.

Honestly, and this is my stage costumer talking, to me the shape and cut of a garment will always trump the color. As long as you're consistent with the people you're with, and as long as your tailoring is correct, you should be good. If your outline is wrong, those things will look 'off' to me way before I start holding up fabric swatches to you.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
nadesico81
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The world may never know?

Thanks for all the info

well I think we will never have a firm answer for this question? I guess like any thing the color is open to interpitation. However it does seem from that the sky blue color is from the early adaptations of the Manga or some promotional items. Or it could be from the translation from TV to computer for the fan sub, which could have changed some of the colors?

No doubt some of the first FMA (Cosplay) uniforms were a Sky Blue color. This could mean that it’s based off the manga. Some of the oldest FMA uniforms I have seen are Sky Blue. So it can be deduced that the Sky and Dark blue are both correct. And we can assume that The Amestris State Military could have changed there uniform some time between the end of the Manga and the beginning of the Anime.

So I guess that both colors are right and it’s up to the person to pick which one they want.

Cheers

Last edited by nadesico81 : 07-16-2007 at 12:20 PM. Reason: slow PC
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Unread 07-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
LadyHawke78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis XIII View Post
As they explain further about their FMA military cosplay, they say that when you're taking photos w/flash, the lighting makes the outfit look overly bright if you use a normal blue colour (the colour you see in the anime.)
It's best to go darker.
IAWTC. You couldn't be more right about the wonders of flash photography wreacking havoc with the appearance of your costume.

My military uniform is a very dark navy (made with a very heavy fabric-- Fedora, you know EXACTLY what I'm talkin' 'bout since I sent you all of those fabric links...) However, in certain photos, depending on the light, it can appear to be quite bright blue.

My Rising Sun photoshoot was done pn a slightly overcast day in Tampa, FL, and my uniform looks quite dark in many of the photos (no flash + overcast skies.)
http://www.risingsun.net/albums/cs87...s87-0018.shtml

Dave Ng and I did a photoshoot during a BRIGHT sunny day, right around midday, and even though there was no flash used, the direct light made the fabric look a LOT brighter:
http://www.ng-master.com/cm/displayi...bum=526&pos=27
(It looks somewhat brighter in my avatar as well...)

Also, when in a group, color choice will be more obvious depending on the color choices of the rest of the group members. One example is this picture from this past weekend at Connecticon:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v2...Alchemists.jpg (Looks darker because the other fabrics are lighter. Flash was used on this picture.)

IMO, going darker is more authentic. I took artistic license with my commissioner when we did this project because we were going for more of a 'real life interpretation' of the character instead of a 'costume-y' interpretation, so we chose to go with dark navy and metallic accents (all of my trims are gold and silver, not yellow and gray. Although they can wind up LOOKING yellow and gray depending on light.)

the bright/ligher blue colors PROBABLY came from the official MANGA art.

http://www.fullmetal-alchemist.com/f...eq=si&img=1180 <-- Perfect Guidebook cover

http://www.fullmetal-alchemist.com/f...eq=si&img=3792 <-- A fan-made wallpaper, I know. But the Roy image used in this pic comes from the first volume of "The Art of Fullmetal Alchemist" by Hiromu Arakawa.

So, that's my theory. I LOVE that Havoc cosplayer that was posted, and I think the darker color does work best for this costume. IMO, the fabric choice plays even MORE of a role in how the costume will ultimately look. I'd rather see a lighter color fabric with the right grain/weight/texture than someone do the costume in a darker clue, but using something inappropriate such as broadcloth... D:
Both the Hughes and the Mustang in the Connecticon photo used heavy/stiffer fabrics for their costumes, so even while the color is lighter, the fabric still LOOKS good because it seems to 'hang' appropriately.
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Last edited by LadyHawke78 : 07-16-2007 at 12:34 PM.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 12:59 PM   #9
nadesico81
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Hey there

Thanks for the info and the case in point. I have offten taken out a artistic license my self for certian cosplays. In Full Metal Panic Sosuke does not where a helment in the serries but he does in the Manga. Also Mithril Does not where name tapes. I added them because it made the Mithril Uniform more relistic.

FMA Uniform Colors

Sky Blue= Manga Style Uniform

Dark Blue= Anime Style Uniform

I guess this puts it to bed for once and all.

Cheers

Nadesico81

Last edited by nadesico81 : 07-16-2007 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Slow PC
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Unread 07-16-2007, 06:12 PM   #10
Katsumiyo
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I know that FMA military uniforms come in three shades of blue...I've always found the middle shade to be both most accurate and pleasing to the FMA crowd. But if you only have light or dark as options, definitely go for the darker one.
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Unread 07-16-2007, 09:47 PM   #11
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My uniform always looks lighter in photos then in real life due to flashes and it changes colors due to the light source. I don't like the look of the very dark blue uniforms personally. I also didn't want a bright sky blue but in photos it looks that way. Mine is a few shades darker then sky blue. My fabric also matches the color on a Roy plush my friend has to a T ,it also matches some photos in the above mentioned art book and some photos I pulled off the net for reference pictures. I used dull silver ribbon on my trim but in photos it glows though it's not shiny. I can usually pick out the bought ones because most have that look and the cord looks to small. I also didn't go with yellow for the shoulders and cord, I went with gold to match the buttons and also the stars (actual military stars from a surplus shop). I went for a duller look because I don't see general military uniforms being flashy (at least not the daily wear ones)

Most of the darker navy blue ones look black to me and they silver stands out to much for my liking. Finding the right color to match the actual color of the anime and art books is a difficult prospect. I got very lucky finding the color of mine (at walmart of all places) and I haven't seen that color since. My uniform is made of denim and is very comfortable to wear. Cosplay is also an Art, so everyone interprets things and sees colors differently.

In heavy sunlight


lower light

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Quote:
And we can assume that The Amestris State Military could have changed there uniform some time between the end of the Manga and the beginning of the Anime.

Though the Series has ended, I do belive the Manga is still going. They started out on the same page (since the manga came out first and the first few episodes of the anime mirror the manga) and then it split off. Though the anime has ended, the manga hasn't. So I don't exactly know what you mean by the End of the manga and beginning of the Anime.

"As of June 2007, there have been 72 chapters serialized and 16 graphic novel compilations released. Viz Media began releasing the manga in North America in May 2005;since then, thirteen English-language volumes have been released. The manga is still running in Japan, and 16 volumes have been released so far. The anime, on the other hand, is finished, and consists of 51 episodes and a full-length movie sequel"
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Unread 07-16-2007, 11:46 PM   #12
nadesico81
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Well then let me rephrase. Some time between the "Makeing" of the first vols. of Manga and the anime the color changed. It would seem pluseable that for some reason or another the state of Amestris changed the color. Or the Japanese production team changed there mind. It could be one or the other but I am leaning too the second reason.
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Unread 07-17-2007, 04:40 PM   #13
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First of all, blackcat, I just need to say that you win mega-internets for cosplaying Maria Ross. She never gets enough love. And I could never pull her off because I look TERRIBLE with black hair. I'm much more suited to being a blonde...

And second-- your GROUP in that last photo wins because you have a Mei-Chang. Yay for obscure manga characters!

The manga is still ongoing. Chapter 73 came out late last week.

Fedora-- I believe you are right in assuming that BONES made some artistic decisions when they adapted the manga to anime form. Since the manga is primarily black and white, the only time Arakawa had to be worried about colors was in the promotional art and the trade covers...
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Unread 07-17-2007, 10:16 PM   #14
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I say solid blue would be the best color to use if you making the uniform accurate to the anime colors.

I used navy blue since it was more accurate to real life uniforms. In my opinion, darker blues make your uniform look more impressive and professional.

You can look in my Anime Expo folders in my gallery. I have some pictures of AX's FMA gatherings. You can look at them and determine what color uniform might be right for you.
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Unread 07-17-2007, 11:41 PM   #15
nadesico81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master1080 View Post
I say solid blue would be the best color to use if you making the uniform accurate to the anime colors.

I used navy blue since it was more accurate to real life uniforms. In my opinion, darker blues make your uniform look more impressive and professional.

You can look in my Anime Expo folders in my gallery. I have some pictures of AX's FMA gatherings. You can look at them and determine what color uniform might be right for you.
Can you do me a favor and send me some of the pictures to my email. I would normaly just look at them online. However I am on a classified goverment network in the Middle East since I am supporting the war in Iraq.

Thanks for all the info you people are awsome!
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