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Originally posted by VicIV:
For those of you with cans of Aerove on hand, can you do me a favor? Can you see what the optimal painting temperature is?

I will be placing an order here pretty soon, but I fear I shall have to wait until Spring/Summer of next year to use it.

Thanks guys. Great paint jobs all around, as well.

Let the spray cans sit in a pot of hot water for a while. Chuck the weapon in the oven for a few. Combine for profit.
Originally posted by sethbullock:
Chuck the weapon in the oven for a few.

Did you just suggest throwing your weapon into the oven to warm it up? That is not necessary to do at all. Room temperature is more than enough if you take it outside right before you paint it.

Putting at gun in the oven won't hurt it. I've even done it with a Glock (the one time I tried alumahyde) to speed things up.
Well, I made my first effort at painting a gun this weekend. I used the Aervoe paint recommended by Pat Rogers, except for the matte clear coat. I could not get a single can of the Aervoe stuff, so I had to resort to Krylon for a clear coat.

I actually made a mistake and should have used the dark green last instead of the forest green, so it looks "greener" than I envisioned in my mind before I started. It is hard to even see the dark green now. I'll just leave it this way until I need to re-do it.

These are the best pictures I can get with my photographic skills.

I'm going to come across as a little harsh here, but too bad. This isn't arfcom. The purpose of painting your rifle, at least here, is to make it less observable. Not pretty. Lightfighter is function, not art.

The primary purpose for painting your rifle is so that at a distance, i.e. not up close, it doesn't look like a rifle and it doesn't draw the eye because it contrasts with your clothing and gear.

Unless you've got chameleon super-powers, you can't camo yourself or your weapon to be invisible at close distances. You look like a human and your rifle looks like a rifle. Move that distance out a bit and now you can break up and disguise outlines so things don't look like what they are.

So where am I going with this? Detailed artwork that looks pretty from 2-10 ft away stands a very good chance of just looking like an-other-than-black rifle at 50 yds. Stephen and Pat went to a lot of trouble to teach both techniques to paint the rifle, but also selection of colors and patterns.

There are very effective patterns that also have a lot of detail. They are very hard to achieve because the little patterns combine to form larger patterns that obscure the outlines and markers that stick out visually.

Here's a tip. Most EFFECTIVE patterns really don't look that good up close. There are distinctions in color that are apparent at short distance, but cause the rifle to disappear in the background when far enough away. Think of the leopard or cheetah. Distinctive, standout spots up close, but add a little distance and stillness and they disappear.

Here is an example of a rifle that looks "good" up close. Lots of detail.


Images (1)
  • M16A4_(3)
Does that look like a pattern is still visible and capable of obscuring the features and outline so it isn't instantly recognizable as a rifle?

Absolutely not. At even a relatively short distance, the colors run together and the contrasts disappear and instead of a black rifle, it's a brown one. But it still looks like a rifle.

This is Lightfighter. This isn't a place to show off your pretty rifles and your "artistic" ability. Rant over.
I'm curious to see if these designs work well in their intended environments. Perhaps a series of photos from various distances might illustrate the paint job's pro's and con's. If there are enough participants we might be able to better define what works and what doesn't.

I like where this is headed. The only questions are... who's going to kick it off? do we need another thread?
Here are various pics of my gun in my yard. I don't know how many you want, so I may have gone overboard. I won't be able to edit this post after I leave the page. Mods let us know how many you want and at what distance please.

I used stencils because I bought them before Pat's Painting thread was started, and after the money was spent; by God, I was going to use them! I will see if I can buy a repair piece of camo netting somewhere for when I re-do the paint job Pat's way.

It's Wisconsin in October, so lighting and terrain are what you get, especially in my yard in the city.

If I had painted the colors in the correct order as I noted in my previous post, I think this would have worked better. Let the critiques begin.
Originally posted by Pat _Rogers:
Good suggestion.
When are you going to paint it, photograph it and post it here?

Since I wasn't going to use it where it needed to be camoed, I had never planned on painting my rifle.

However, since you've invited me to give it a try it looks like I'll be painting it up.

As far as when, first I have to figure out what terrain I'm going to camo for. Then I need to find some paint. I'm thinking that the color is what's relevant to the environment and the pattern can be mostly the same regardless.

I've blown through most of my spending money this month so unless I can get some paint cheap I won't have it done until some time next month. Although I might have a buddy with some paint to spare.

I also need to re-read your painting thread.

Rob's rifle shows good promise for his area. Note where it was good and not so good. In the open, in the suburbs, when positioned against grass, not so good. In the woods, with shadows, much better.

So lets compare the two environments. Should you use the area around your neighborhood as a standard for your camouflage? I don't think so. Analyze the situation. In your neighborhood, there is probably no effective camouflage. A rifle in the park is going to stand out, especially if you're camo'd out.

So the 2nd environment is the one you strive for. The one where camo can be effective. Here is another tip. Don't just set it down on the ground take your pictures and evaluate how it looks there. Unless you're proned out, your rifle won't be on the ground. It will be several feet higher and that may look radically different.

Take a good look at your area and make a not of how things look 4' up. In my locale, there actually isn't a huge difference because the brush isn't any higher.

What about seasonal differences? You may want a base pattern with more durable paint, but in fall you add a little seasonal bowflage . Same for winter.
Originally posted by Pat _Rogers:
Good suggestion.
When are you going to paint it, photograph it and post it here?

Ok here it is.

I started with this rifle.

I have no real application to prepare the gun for so I settled on the weeds growing on a pile of dirt next to the shop.

A friend had some Krylon camo paint and I used just two colors:

The paint is not very durable. Below is scuffing after just taking pictures:

I thought about it and decided to try what a Marine told me when I was a kid about face camo i.e. make the light bits dark and the dark bits light.

So, figuring that the top would typically get more light than the bottom flipped it upside down on the saw horses and shot the bottom facing surfaces with the khaki, then flipped it upside right and shot the top facing surfaces with OD.

Here is the result:

I placed them on the weed hill, walked ten paces away, and took the picture.

I thought the big uninterrupted panel of khaki made it stand out. So I sprayed diagonal stripe of OD across the receiver.

Here is a not very good picture with a Magpul FDE mag in it for color comparison.

Thanks for the suggestion. That was fun!


Might want to try a bit more contrasting of colours. Maybe a good dusting of OD to darken it up a touch. Other than that, It's not black anymore so I suppose you're going the right direction.

I like the carbine, nice and simple back to basics.

Our face-o-cam SOP is darker on the high points (nose ears cheekbones) lighter on the low sunken areas(eye sockets cheeks neck) I think thats what he meant.
I was down by the shop this morning and took a picture of the same spot on the weed hill.

Did you see the rabbit?

This rabbit has been hanging around for a couple months now and I often don't see it until it moves and with a much higher contrast background.

It's definitely not a painted rifle but it reminded me of what Pat Rogers said about animals typically being brown (and that brown works for them).


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