Camo Rifle Project: AlumaHyde II


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Shalako
October 19, 2005, 03:15 PM
If anyone is looking for a DIY camo finish on their rifle, they would be hard pressed to find a better product and value than Brownell's AlumaHyde II. I first learned of it here at THR from a Zak Smith post. This stuff really goes on easy, coats well, and is extremely durable. The paint dries with a semi-porous texture that has a completely flat finish. If you don't like any glare, this is the stuff. I went ahead and put on the AHII Matte Clear to seal the paint and keep it from getting scuffs. At first the Matte Clear was way too shiny, but when it cured, I hit it with a light brushing of 0000 steel wool. That took the sheen off and now the finish doesn't look layered like before the clear coat.

http://www.hunt101.com/img/334870.jpg


http://www.hunt101.com/img/334978.jpg


http://www.hunt101.com/img/334981.jpg

Two thumbs up from this satisfied customer for Brownell's AlumaHyde II

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Jake
October 19, 2005, 04:03 PM
That looks really great. I'd be scared to try something like that for fear of screwing it up big time.

Zak Smith
October 19, 2005, 04:09 PM
Glad it worked out for you.

Another type of camo can be very easily done using a mesh-type material. Here is a very simple sample with only one color "dots" on the base material.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Magpul-PRS/small/A100_1378_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Magpul-PRS/?medium=A100_1378_img.jpg)[ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/Magpul-PRS/?medium=A100_1378_img.jpg)

Having done a lot of stuff in Aluma-Hyde II, and also used Norrells Moly Resin, and Dura-Coat...

I find Aluma-Hyde II the easiest to apply -- you just spray it from a can.
Dura-Coat and Norrells are more durable than AHII.
With a good airbrush and air supply, Dura-Coat is easier to apply without getting streaks/runs.
Norrells needs to be heat-cured, which rules it out for some components.

I have never applied K-G Kote, but it appears to have about the same durability as Dura-Coat or Norrells.

My future projects will probably be with Dura-Coat.

MartinS
October 19, 2005, 07:08 PM
Nice work both of you. You got them looking professional and beautiful at the same time.

Shalako
October 19, 2005, 07:08 PM
That looks great Zak. I was tempted to try the mesh pattern but I wanted it to match my RealTree getup.

Did you try the Matte Clear on the AlumaHyde II? I think it went to a whole new level of durability when I applied the clear coat.

Zak Smith
October 19, 2005, 07:21 PM
I haven't tried the matte coat, no.

Dionysusigma
October 19, 2005, 07:24 PM
I involuntarily said "Nice!" :) when I saw the pics. Did you use a prefab stencil, or real leaves for the masking?

Shalako
October 19, 2005, 07:46 PM
I guess this would be a Block and Stencil method.

After the base coat of Desert Tan, I blocked it off with cypress clippings. The clippings needed a quick shot of spray adhesive to tack them onto the rifle.

I then sprayed diagonal stripes of Coyote Brown over the cypress clippings. After 15 minutes to let the brown dry, and without removing the clippings, I shot through the leaf stencil with Olive Drab wherever needed.

The stencil part was from microsoft clip art. I just printed it on card stock and cut it out with an xacto knife making sure to leave a twig-like area attached in the middle of the leaf to represent the veins.

porterdog
October 20, 2005, 11:01 PM
After the base coat of Desert Tan, I blocked it off with cypress clippings. The clippings needed a quick shot of spray adhesive to tack them onto the rifle.


Nice work- really looks good! Shoulda left the clippings stuck on there though ;)

mpthole
October 20, 2005, 11:41 PM
Looks very nice.

How did you prep the rifle before painting? Was it all in one piece when you painted it? I've got a Rem 700 with a butt-ugly "urban" camo McMillan stock and I've thought about just doing the whole thing. I'm just scared to paint everything... because I've never done it before.

Zak Smith
October 20, 2005, 11:45 PM
mpthole,

I suggest practicing on ammo cans or other "scrap".

mpthole
October 20, 2005, 11:54 PM
Good idea. I've got lots of those. :)

Shalako
October 21, 2005, 08:06 PM
Yeah, I practiced on 2x4s with about 3 different styles before I settled on one good one.

To prep the rifle I just taped off the lenses, trigger, pad, and muzzle and then wiped the whole thing down with rubbing alcohol on cotton balls. I think the directions said to then wash with soap and water but I did not. I just let it dry like that.

Taping the lenses was the scary part. I cut a circle out of a microfiber lens cleaning cloth about twice the diameter of the lense. Packed it into the scope onto the lens. Then I made a cardboard cutout just the diameter of the lens and pressed it into the scope on top of the microfiber. Then I taped the cardboard around its perimeter to the scope. This worked ok because I then pressed on my flip up lens covers part way and they covered the tape.

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