Painting It Right – Part 1: Materials and Getting Started

Hello Airsofters; Chris here from the GI Virginia store. In this post I wanted to run through a quick step-by-step about the proper way to paint your Airsoft guns, and things to both do and avoid if you decide to give your blaster a little extra personality. This first blog post will cover more or less just the basics of painting, mostly about what kind of paints to buy and how to go about the beginning process of laying a good base coat on your replica.

First and foremost, do understand that painting any part of your gun does generally void any warranties from manufacturers. I usually recommend waiting the 30-90 days for the warranty to run its course before I spray my gun. This ensures that if anything goes wrong with the gun right off the bat, you can get the issues taken care of as easily and seamlessly as possible. Also please keep in mind that removing or painting the orange tip of most guns also accomplishes the warranty being voided, so tread carefully or accept your fate before you get started.

Step One; Buying Paint

With that out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The biggest part of painting your rifle is selecting the right paint for what you need. If you want to do a more modern, military focused paint job, or really any paint scheme that doesn’t look like something from Stargate, you’re going to want to buy a very specific type of paint. Specifically, Krylon or Rustoleum Camouflage paints. Anything labeled Ultra-Flat is exactly what you’re looking for. The number of colors offered in these ultra flat finishes is limited, usually, to tans, greens, and browns. Keep that in mind when you do your shopping. PS; don’t forget to paint to your surroundings. Think about where you normally play and what kind of foliage and colors exist in that space when you buy your colors.

Rustoleum and Krylon flat colors make the best for spray painting camo patterns for your guns.

The full suite of Rustoleum Camouflage paints. These have always been my go-to.

The Pattern for Painting

Now, the most important decision you make will be what pattern you decide to put on your gun. Don’t forget that the end goal of any camouflage, either on your clothes or your gun, is to disrupt the outline of the shape. A gun is a very recognizable silhouette, so keep this in mind when you spray your patterns onto your blasters. Once you’ve decided on a pattern and color scheme, all that’s left is to gather materials, tape up what needs to be protected, and get it started.

Typical Painting supplies can be found at most "big box" stores including Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc...

Painters tape, a brush or sponge, and some different sized mesh will help you along the way nicely. Camo netting, like the material on the left, can be purchased for cheap at most surplus stores. For larger mesh, I suggest finding laundry bags

Taping it off

Taping up the gun is important, as the process will keep important areas of the gun protected and paint free. This includes any and all attachments you don’t want painted, including glass on optics, flashlights and lasers. Also keep in mind that the inner barrel of your gun needs to be stuffed and taped up at the end. I recommend just shoving some shop towel or paper towel into your muzzle to absorb and block the paint. Tape that down to ensure it doesn’t shift out of place.

After this, tape up your trigger, should you wish to do so, and tape up any trademarks you want to keep covered. Also remember to either insert a magazine into the gun to be painted simultaneously, or tape up the magazine well to protect your hop up unit, if you choose to leave your inner barrel installed during painting. Some people prefer to take out the gearbox of their gun to ensure no paint touches it, but realistically, as long as your dust cover is closed then you should be good to go without affecting performance.

Photo pulled from Google Images to display taping off of firearm.

A good example of some finished taping work

The Process for Painting

Some people prefer to hang their guns to produce a more consistent product from side to side on the gun. Laying the gun down on a flat surface, however, will do in a pinch. First up, decide on your base coat color, and apply a very light coat from about a foot away. Sweep the can from side to side while pulsing the button to release paint. Think about shooting the spray paint on semi automatic as opposed to full auto. Holding the button down and spraying the gun will result in thick, sticky paint that could potentially show runs. This will produce a pretty poor looking finished product.

Remember that this initial base coat isn’t really about coloring the gun; it’s more or less just giving the next few layers something to stick to as you go forward. After your base coat is applied to both sides and has been given time to dry, apply a second coat of the same color, going perhaps a tiny bit darker on this one in order to ensure your base color shows through the next couple layers you’ll be applying on top. Allow this coat to dry.

On the next blog, we’ll be talking about putting pattern on guns. Also, we will discuss what kind of materials to use to produce the effects that you want.

Need to pick a gun to get started? How to Pick the Best Beginner Gun

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Quick Tip: Installing a Battery in the Classic Army Nemesis Guns

We’ve had some recurring questions recently from people who have come in to check out the Classic Army Nemesis line of guns. Rest assured, the battery tube is deceptively spacious, if you know how to set everything up in advance. We’ll walk you through the process, as it does require a particular “ancient secret technique” to battery connection that you may not be aware of.

What is that ancient trick you may ask? Deans Connectors!

For those of you who are a little new to the sport, you may be a bit confused, and that’s ok! Deans connectors are the tiny red plugs you’ll find standard on classic army guns (though many include an adapter for your typical tamiya plug). The Nemesis guns require this connector to make full advantage of the space inside their rear storage tube. Converting a tamiya plug over to deans is easy enough, with a little bit of soldering knowledge, but a well trained technician (like the ones in our stores) should be more than capable of handling this for you as well!

Once your battery has been converted over it’s just a simple matter of how to connect everything together, as you’ll get the best results from setting this up in a specific manner. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with pictures!

Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

  • As you can see from the picture above, the red deans connectors are hooked up, and the gun should be able to fire from this point. Remember your Gun Safety procedures (and it doesn’t hurt to be wearing eye protection at this point forward, just to be safe).
Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

  • From here, slide the battery into the tube, make sure your plugs lay on the side of the battery, and be mindful of the length of wire connecting everything together. Be careful not to pinch or crimp any wires, and go slow trying to fit the tube onto the threads.
Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

Tenergy 11.1v stick with Deans plug inserted in a Classic Army Nemesis tube

  • If all steps have been done correctly, you should have a result much like the one above with your battery safely nestled inside the storage tube, and your brand new Nemesis Airsoft Gun ready to sling plastic at your opponents, whoever they may be!

Some other things to consider:

  • Switching your other guns to deans plugs may also be a wise choice. Keeping all your guns to the same type of connector helps to keep your battery collection a bit more versatile, and additionally, Deans Plugs provide a significantly more stable connection for your electrical current than a Tamiya plug.
  • Be Mindful of your Gun Safety while installing a battery. Make sure your magazine is removed, and you are not pointing the replica at anything you don’t want to get shot. Make sure everyone in the area around you is safe from an accidental discharge as well.
  • Go Slow. Don’t force the cover on. This is usually a sign that something is not lined up right, and forcing the cover on may cause you other more serious issues. If the cover isn’t fitting, try to realign the battery and it’s wires again following our pictures above. It’s easy to get excited when you get a new blaster, but you’ll have more fun if you don’t break it before you get to shoot it!

What’s in the Box? Fish Shows off his Gameday Box

Ever wondered how other people handle getting all of their stuff to an event? Some of us like a never ending parade of tactical bags and rifle cases. Some of us like a more elegant solution, like Fish. Check out how he gets his gear to the game in the video below! Is this how you prefer to get your items to the game? Let us know in the comments below!

What Changes would you make to Fish’s setup? More boxes? One big box?

How to Pick the Best Beginner Gun

Airsoft GI Custom Samehada-e Airsoft AEG

Airsoft GI Custom Samehada-e Airsoft AEG

If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes in an airsoft store or looked around on an airsoft forum or Facebook group, you’ve come across this question.

“I’m brand new to airsoft, so what’s the best gun for me?”

This is a question that will always be a part of the sport we all love and hold dear, because there isn’t an easy answer to it. The same way that the .45ACP fanboys in the real-steel world can’t ever let the 9mm heroes have the last word, nobody can seem to agree on the best answer for what the best beginner set up is for an airsofter. Is it the 10 inch M4 with an RIS? Is it the plastic fantastic AK47 style model that has the rave reviews online? What about the budget stuff from a big box store? The answer may surprise you.

The answer to this question is simple. There is no “best” gun. There is no “best” setup. Only what works best for you!

What this means is that the only person who can really answer this question for you is yourself. To answer this fundamental question though, let’s break it down a bit and ask some additional questions to get the necessary information.

Question 1: What is my budget?

Budget is important, as obviously, you can’t spend money you don’t have. Decide what your ultimate bottom line is for jumping in, and then decide what that budget has to cover. Are you looking at 250$ just for a gun because your buddy is going to loan you gear? Is your budget going to include everything you need to play like a facemask or gear?

Question 2: What do I want to shoot?

The second most important thing about an airsoft gun is finding one that makes you feel awesome. What good is spending $500+ on a super slick new blaster and never playing because it’s too heavy, or because it doesn’t look neat or make you feel awesome. Decide what style of gun you would like to play with. This can be an aesthetic preference based on looks or what you like in video games or it can be an extension of what you enjoy shooting when you shoot firearms.

Question 3: How do I want to Play?

The last question is what do you want this gun to do? Have you been watching a ton of Novristch videos or Swamp Sniper and feel the need to become one with the dirt and play the long-range game? Do you like watching CQB or Speedsoft videos and want to be a hard charger kicking in doors? Maybe you have no idea what you want to do and would like a gun that’s a bit more versatile.

Once you have these questions answered, you have the data necessary to determine what gun is best for you! From here, you can work within your budget to plan for extra equipment necessities like a facemask or tactical gear, or even extra magazines so you don’t run out of ammunition on the field. It’s a complex question to answer, and it’s never going to get easier because there isn’t one gun that’s perfect for every beginning player. However, now, you too, can find the best gun for what you want to accomplish!