However there are short cuts to this 'distressed look' effect. This can be achieved by taking a new rifle and scrubbing the steel with variouse grades of wire wool, paying attention to the parts that are handled more. Or you can create the effect using enamel or ceramic based paints with an airbrush or feather brushing, this tends to be more for looks than practicality. A joke amongst gun owners is that if you want to make a brand new gun look old, simply take 20 foot of rope, said new gun and a car; tie one end of the rope to the trigger guard and the other to the back of a truck and drive for five miles up a dirt track!
The majority of Airsoft gun owners would have to use paint and a spray gun, feather brush or sponge, because as most Airsoft guns are made of plastic there simply is no other way. The more exspensive airsoft guns that have cast or milled aluminium bodies could be force worn with wire wool, though a more realistic look would be achieved with a selection of enamel paints; steel and aluminium look quite different when exposed.
I recently purchased a new plastic AEG airsoft gun for around £50, the Cyber Gun DPMS 'Kitty Kat' M4 with Panther Arms trademarks.
|Also comes in two tone clear and black in the UK, along with batteries , cheap charger, crap .12g BB's, and that all handy unjamming/cleaning rod.|
It's a short AR used generally for CQB, and using a pot of dark silver enamel paint I lightly feather brushed it to look worn.
|Still had gun metal silver paint on the brush when iIadded a mud effect for the polymer stock, it's been removed since this picture was taken.|
I used light tan paint to give a slightly dusty/dirty used appearance. You can really go to town if you want to give it a post apocolyptic or Steam Punk look.
|White spirit is good for cleaning grease off the gun before starting as well as cleaning the brushes after, the box it came in made a good stand for the gun whilst treating it.|
Feather brushing involves a large art brush with paint on it,
|Don't put too much paint on the brush.|
the paint is mostly worked off by stroking the brush vigorously back and forth over some card.
|Work off the paint till there is the lightest amount on the brush - the brush can be topped up from this patch as well.|
When there is the lightest hint of paint on the brush it is worked back and forth over the gun.
|Flick the brush back and forth vigorously over all the parts that should be metal with gun metal silver paint, a smaller brush is good for scratch effects.|
Most paint sticks to the edges, corners, and high spots leaving the flat inner areas darker. It's more effective if the open areas where the hands and fingers handle the gun regularly are given extra attention, such as above the pistol grip where the web of your hand goes, the front of the mag well and the controls for the fire select, mag release, charging handle, forward assist, weaver rail, and sight adjustment.
|The magazine on this model is a high capacity one made of metal, along with sling studs and inner barrel.|
|Repeat brushing over areas of more wear and tear until happy, you can always rub down with a cloth before the paint really sets if too much is applied.|
It's pretty accurate out to 35 yards shooting 280 FPS with 0.20g plastic BB's, it has a working fire select and mag catch for the metal hi cap mag and the charging handle drops the dust cover to reveal the hop up.
|Hop up behind the dust cover which flips down when the charging handle is pulled, I know there is a bit too much paint there but it's done no harm.|
It will easily hit a small body size shape at this distance, and with the hop up adjusted correctly it will hit a 12 inch square plate at 35 yards nearly every time. The majority of AEG's in this price range are lucky to get 150 FPS with 0.20 g BB's, so i'm actually very impressed with how this gun performs.
|A very, very cheap H&K G36 copy made by Double Eagle.|
The body is two molded plastic halves screwed together with a seperate three position crane stock. This wider style of stock is ideal for wiring the batteries to the rear of the gun.
|The butt stock has to be in the exact position otherwise the release lever rattles about.|
|Slide the butt pad down and the compartment for the 7.2 volt nunchuck style batteries is revealed.|
It does have plenty of seperate short sections of weaver rail that screw on and hide a lot of joins.
|Plenty of rail space for such a short gun.|
However the gearbox and gears as well as the piston are plastic, which does mean that it will not stand a lot of abuse without breaking down. You get what you pay for, though in this case the materials are of a better quality than most other AEG's of this price range.
Both front and rear sights are removable from the weaver rails and made from tough plastic, with the rear sight being flip up and adjustable for windage with a choice of four different sized holes.
|A choice of four different size appertures on the rear sight, and adjustment for windage.|
The front sight is your archetypal AR sight but has no adjustment for height as it's just molded.
|Non adjustable front sight post, niether hop up or moving the sights further apart sorted out the high shot placement. Unless shooting .28g BB's at 30 yards.|
From the box the gun was shooting way too high no matter how I adjusted the hop up or distance between sights, so a thin section of black electrical wire with the copper removed was slipped over the front sight to raise it and now it's spot on.
|Rubber tubing slipped over the front post was the only quick fix to hand.|
I like the look of it now it has been given a distressed look, it certainly makes the controls that are just mouldings look a little more realistic. For a first attempt it's not that bad at all, the fact that I used to make and paint plenty of Airfix military models as a kid probably helped a lot. I have an old, old Cyma MP5 which I will attempt next, this thing is lucky if it reaches 100 FPS with 0.20g BB's so I might have a look inside first.
|Old Cyma AEG's were of very poor quality unlike the stuff they put out nowadays, however metal wieghts gave them a good heft.|
The thing I do like about the low capacity magazine is that it fires every last BB it holds, which makes a pleasant change from having 3 or 4 BB's fall out every time you drop the mag.
|Low capacity magazines usually found on spring guns use every last BB.|
These things are technically airguns so hit the criteria for this blog, be it not very powerful airguns at all. But they do shoot plastic BB's fairly accurately and that's good enough for me, however I will draw the line at Nerf guns (for the time being).
Best wishes, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.
P.S. My 5 year old daughter had a go at archery recently and really liked it, so she now wants an archery setup for Christmas. This is wicked as I like archery as well, though I haven't done it for years. Might be some blogs in it as well.
|The Hunger Games series of films has a lot to answer for, not a bad thing in this case.|