Digital Camouflage Howto
1.) More time than money (Ghetto)
2.) Middle of the road.
2.) More money than time. (Pimped)
$20 Good paint from hardware store.
$13 /10 sheets Frisket low tack adhesive
$4 Xacto blade
Middle of the road
$20 Good paint from hardware store.
$20 Digital Stencil from my site
$4 Xacto Blade.
Purchase a paint kit from Lauer Custom Weaponry.
$98 Desert MirageFlage Stencil plus 4 bottles of paint
$30 Add in a level II airbrush kit
Other Materials required.
$5 Denatured Alcohol
$5 M.E.K paint stripper/cleaner or Jasco Paintstripper (thanks to Malevolanet_frog for the jasco tip)
$5 3m Blue Paint Masking tape. This masking tape is low tack so it won’t peel the paint underneath when you remove it.
$3 Wet/Dry fine sanding sponge
Painting jig to hold the weapon. I simply dropped a chain from the ceiling with a hook on the end to hold the weapon
Sandpaper for metal (for anodized parts)
Understanding Wife (soon to be painting widow)
Lint free towels for cleaning
Ghetto: Creating a Stencil.
Go to my site
and generate a stencil.
Some sample settings.
Color Type: Stencil B&W
Paper Size: 8.5x11
Pixel Size: 13 (this will yield ~1/8" squares when printed)
Choose Digi for the pattern.
If you don’t like what you see hit F5 to reload the page.
Experiment with the values; you are doing a custom paint job after all.
Try to generate as much random patterns on page that you can. You will be cutting out each one separately.
Here is an example:
Next print the stencil to a laser printer.
I put my low tack stencil plastic in the manual bypass tray.
Make sure it prints the image on the plastic side, not the paper side.
Please be careful, some printers will not like this and I don’t want to get you in trouble with your IT department. Below are my settings on an old HP5000 LaserJet. I set it for manual feed tray and set the paper to “transparency”.
Start cutting out the stencils. I try to keep the blade touching at all times so that I don’t have small hanging chads.
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, take your time.
Sloppy work here is just plain inexcusable.
You want a crisp sharp edge, nice 90’ angles and such.
Sloppy cuts will yield a crappy finish.
Patience young padowan. Remember, you have more TIME than money ghetto dawg!
(Make sure to not touch the tacky side of the stencils with your fingers, use your xacto blade to lift and set the stencil. The oils from your fingers will inhibit the stencil from sticking which will make your paint bleed under when you hit it with a blast from your spray can.)
TIP: When doing other camo style you actually want that feathered look. In those cases make all the edges less sticky by touching them with your fingers.The Painting Process Step One: Cleaning
Clean your marker and clean it damn good. Failure to do so will cause immense emotional scarring.
Use latex gloves. This will protect your digits and also keep you from depositing oils on the soon to be painted weapon.
Decide whether or not you want to strip the paint off of your old marker. M.E.K. will peel it all off. When working with chemicals of any sort, its generally a good idea to test it on a small surface (Say the bottom of your marker) to see how it reacts. Same with your hopper. I had no problems with M.E.K on my Model-98, other than the fact that it wanted to take off the original factory paintjob. I actually didn’t want this because it would entail a lot more scrubbing work. So after a quick cleaning with M.E.K. I rinsed it with water and wiped with alcohol.
CAUTION Step Two: Sanding
MEK and paint strippers are nasty chemicals to work with. utilize proper protective equipment and procedures.
Gloves, Paint respirator and work in a well ventilated area. DO NOT TAKE CHANCES WITH YOUR HEALTH!
Take your sanding sponge, get it moist and scuff any smooth plastic areas, like your hopper. This will give the paint something to bite in to. Use a fine grit so that you don’t have any gouges. Rinse off any plastic dust.
My first attempt, at the very end when I pulled the stencil, voila, all the paint came off! So do it right the first time, lightly sand the plastic and make sure its clean when you are finished.
If you have any anodized aluminum or any other polished metal, you will need to sand it a bit for the paint to bite. (May require a special aluminium-oxide sand paper for metal surfaces (FINE GRIT or better). I tried steel wool to no real effect.
Mask off any areas you do not want paint to get into to. Like say, your open bolts, hopper feed tubes, etc...
I disassembled my marker, removed the bolt, placed masking tape inside to protect the internals. Apply the basecoat
This should be done slowly, and evenly.
It is better to apply 5 light coats than 1 heavy dripping coat.
Initiate the spray before you reach your marker, that way you have a nice fine mist hitting your gun. If you start right above your marker you risk globs and splotches. Not good. Not good at all young jedi.
Experiment with distances. If you spray from too far back, the paint particles will glob together making a nasty orange peel looking finish. For my airbrush 3 inches seemed good.
Basecoat of Urban White
Let it dry per the manufacturers instructions. Longer is better.
TIP: Using the oven
In general, yes you can cure your parts in a 100 degree over for 20mins - 1 hour.
But be careful, more residential ovens swing wildly. For protection, stick a rolled up towel in the door to prop it open.
Start placing stencils with the assistance of your xacto blade. Do not press them down until you are happy with the position. Remember, with Digital camo you want to make sure the pattern runs parallel/perpendicular to your marker. Once you are happy, press them down to make sure they stick.
Dont be afraid to cut your stencils up if they seem to large or too wide.
Urban White w/ Stencils applied.
Note: Everywhere you place a stencil on the basecoat will show through all subsequent layers. I tend to use smaller stencils on the basecoat so that I dont overwhelm the following layers.
Apply the next lightest color. Let it dry.
Repeat until you are done.
Snow Gray w/ Stencils Applied
After the weapon is dry, remove all the templates.
Now if you want you can place your female templates on the weapon now.
I tend to use these to cover up any areas where I feel the pattern is to large or to cover up areas where the paint peeled off with the stencil. It happens.
You may want to follow up with a matte clear coat for added durability. Plus it will even out the sheen of the different paints.
One final thought... Spray cans waste so much paint. I really prefer a small airbrush for this type of work.
Some more completed samples: