Last month I wrote about the new company, Nocorium. At the time I wrote that, Alex of Nocorium only had wraps for three devices; PVS-14, RNVG, and DTNVG. However, Alex had already forged on ahead wrapping other devices. I previewed a handful of them last month and that only scratched the surface. In this weekly installment on Friday Night Lights, we will take a look at a Nocorium Update and take a peek under the NVG wraps.
It’s More Than Just Vinyl Decals
Since Nocorium’s start in the night vision market space, there have been a number of comments made about his product.
“Wait, its just stickers? I could make that myself“.
“That’s it? Why didn’t I think of it? Maybe ill make some myself”
It’s just 3M vinyl bro, you have created a monster
Above is an example of “doing it yourself”. Cutting up fabric or vinyl and slapping it on every surface is certainly easy and while the example could be argued that it “gets the job done”, let us take a step back and ask ourselves: “Was it done well? Was it well designed?” There is a lot of planning that Alex does when he designs his NVG Wraps.
Here is another example only this is a before and after shot. The photos were taken by Quoc Ha of Q Concepts of his ANVIS9 goggles. He wrapped them himself many years ago with some off the shelf camo wrap. It’s more like an ACE bandage with Multicam printed on it.
Here are the same ANVIS9 with a set of Nocorium update wraps.
In a chat with Alex about his wraps he clued me into a bit of the process he goes through when planning out what areas he wants to wrap with vinyl. He takes into consideration high-wear areas and avoids having any vinyl material on those areas. Look at the ANVIS9 goggles above, the lobes on the objective lenses, just behind the Butler Creek caps, will be handled by your hands when you adjust focus. Or when they are stored in a gear bag or case, those lobes can rub on whatever surface they touch potentially wearing out the vinyl wrap. Take a look at the other Nocorium update wraps in this article and think about high-wear surface areas and you will start to understand why Alex cut his wraps the way he does.
Another little known fact about Nocorium wraps is that while it is a vinyl wrap, that is like saying an AR-15 is just aluminum and steel. There is a wide variety of vinyl wrap material. The US-based manufacturer that provides the raw material for Nocorium’s wraps uses a proprietary matte overlaminate that helps protect the material from fading when exposed to the sun.
The adhesive that this manufacturer uses on the back side of the wraps is a special blend of two adhesives. They claim that there is an initial adhesive that helps you adhere the wrap to the surface you are applying it to. It is tacky enough to hold but you can lift and readjust if need be without leaving residue behind. Only once you burnish the wraps onto the surface, there is another adhesive that is activated and locks the material onto the surface. While this adhesive will keep the wraps on your nods, you can remove them without much fuss and no residue is left behind. Life is better with science.
• Material : Premium Adhesive backed printed opaque vinyl film
• Adhesive Type : non-permanent acrylic adhesive
• Surface Finish : Matte finish overlaminate
• UV Resistance : UV coated to resist fading from sun exposure
• Shrinkage : Will not shrink
• Flammability Tested : ASTM E-84 tested and passed
• Operating temperatures : -70°F to 220°F
Nocorium Update On Wraps
While Multicam, Multicam Arid, Multicam Tropic, and Multicam Black were already available through his vinyl manufacturer, they are under license with Crye Precision. For the most part, this is not an issue when wrapping large objects but wrapping smaller devices like night vision, it is easy to have large areas of color rather than the pattern you want. For regular Multicam, there are sections of brown that pop up and due to the way the pieces are cut out you could end up with a piece that is all brown. But Multicam is not brown. It is mostly green. So Alex has to work with the vinyl manufacturer to select sections in the Multicam pattern that will yield a better pattern per piece. With the first batch of Multicam Black wraps, there is less variation in the pattern than regular Multicam and there are actually large sections of black. So now he is revising the pattern with the manufacturer in reducing the scale of the pattern as well as getting approval with Crye Precision for a higher density pattern that has more “camouflage” in the pattern. Outside of that, they are not allowed to alter the Multicam pattern. All this work just to provide a product that the end user will be satisfied to have and expect.
As I mentioned in the last article, Alex was working on increasing the models of night vision wraps as well as patterns. Below is a glimpse into his process of making M81 Woodland. He drew the M81 woodland pattern from scratch. Then he got color swatches from the vinyl manufacturer to choose the right color that closely matches M81. This is the basis of color theory. The solution is not just “pick the color that matches”. The problem is people have an idea of what M81 should look like. If you get it wrong it is sort of like the “uncanny valley”. When you see clothing companies fake M81 you can tell immediately that it is wrong. The problem is not just color matching, but understanding the material and how lighting affects those colors and behaves with the material. NYCO fabric reflects light differently than ink on vinyl material. So Alex has to test the color swatches in multiple lighting to see how it looks. In some cases, colors need to shift when interacting with neighboring colors. It is a tedious process but necessary for a well-polished product.
Here is a Nocorium Update DTNVG with prototype M81 pattern. He needs to play with the scale a little bit. It is a careful balance of having enough variation of the pattern to show up on the small surfaces but also keeping the pattern recognizable.
Ranger Green was just as complex. In a different color temperature of lights, Ranger Green can look more green, a shade of brown or in some cases gray. So finding a vinyl wrap color that can match Ranger Green cloth is a lot more difficult than one would think.
New Wraps By Nocorium
Public response to Nocorium wraps has been mostly positive and a whole host of requests to wrap other devices have been flooding in. One of the top requests was for Adams Industries’ Sentinel housing.
Next up was a personal request of mine and more a curiosity than anything else. PVS-18. The PVS-18 shares some similarities with the PVS-15 like the objective lens as well as the eyepiece. And while the pod and battery housing look similar they are different enough that a whole new set of Nocorium wraps had to be designed for the PVS-18.
Remember the BNVD-1431? Here they are wrapped in Multicam.
Another Nocorium update are night vision clip ons. PVS-27 and PVS-30.
The PVS-30 focus ring is definitely a high wear area so Alex only wrapped the scalloped sections.
Nocorium update: AN/PAS-29 COTI.
One problem that we discovered was with the MOD3 by AB Night Vision. There have been three variants of the MOD3 bridge that we have been able to identify. Which complicates making wraps for them. There is significant demand for these to be wrapped.
Above is the third variant bridge. It is a low two-digit serial number. You will notice it has an IR illuminator in the middle of the bridge similar to the later variant provided by Jayden of VG6 Precision. However, this variant has a vestigial bump on the upper right side of the bridge. On top of this problem is that the MOD3 has different monocular pods. At the moment Alex has access to a manual gain version, sent in by me, and a non-manual gain version sent in by a mutual friend, Jayden. You can see the two variant pods below.
I reached out to AB Night Vision and the owner confirmed that there are only three variant bridges but the oldest one was only made in very few numbers. However, if anyone has one of the older bridges, AB Night Vision will upgrade your old bridge for $250 plus shipping. Alex has his work cut out for him on wrapping the MOD3.
Below is a wrapped PVS-31C.
Nocorium Update Wrap Up Party
Nocorium’s website lists nine different NVG wraps. Each one you can get in 8 colors for now. I’m sure more camo patterns and colors will be added to the list. Right now Nocorium’s website says “SOLD OUT” for all his wraps and this is due to the fact they are only sold through a handful of authorized dealers. Some of the wraps like the PVS-31C are exclusive to Steele Industries while the Clip-On’s and COTI will be exclusive to VF1 Systems. There are other vendors working on exclusive wraps through Alex. There are more devices that are not wrapped yet and there has been some interest for Alex to start wrapping other things like LPVOs and ear pro. He made some prototype wraps for his Ops-Core AMPs. While Gentex already offers vinyl stickers for the AMPs, they only come in Multicam colors. He is thinking of offering colors and camo patterns not offered by Gentex.
To stay current with any Nocorium update, follow his Instagram @notorius_nocorium.