Monday, April 17, 2017

Airsoft GBBR experiments

Ok, so when a friend offers to let you paint their cool airsoft guns, you cant say no can you?
Even when he throws a few mags after youve finished and says please paint these too.  Ah scope creep in comissions,  at least it comes with funding creep!.

I rather like how these experiments turned out.  The M4, Im told is a G&p gbbr, and a ptp 1911 make up his more practical aresenal. (dont ask me why he wanted to keep the orange tip on the pistol but not the rifle)   NIR on this rifle looks pretty good though the pistol suffers from the same problem as the nerf guns.  My suspicion is I base coated this with a darker earth color and despite spraying a lighter tan over it in places, the tan is translucent in the NIR causing the light to be eaten nicely by the darker underlayer.  Interesting lesson to learn. Start with the brighter colors that are known to be NIR "compliant" and then paint darker so that you add contrast, just in case some of the colors turn out to be translucent in thin layers in the NIR.   Also, take extra care to degrease that annoying silicone oil from the mags or paint will never stick.

Then we have my favorite, the experiment at a visible spectrum "high visibility" Tech scheme, that in the NIR is actually a decent NIR "compliant" "camo".   Im quite happy with how this one turned out and he apparently is to.  Though he wants the bottom and his mags to stay black so those will stand out in the NIR.... oh well. I do agree the contrast looks cool as hell.

Also, as a side note I discovered some more interesting info.  I was using duracoat paint chips to estimate NIR compliance.  However in contacting them they informed me that (had I been thinking duh) they use a printer to print the inks and it is not actually paint on the test cards.  So the NIR compliance based on the cards is silly.  However!  this made me wonder why some behaved differently than I expected and looking more into it discovered some inks are very bright or translucent in the NIR.   I then remembered a strange phenomena I dismissed a while ago where the printed labels on my paints were blank white in the NIR.  So food for thought, consider mixing inks in with dark paints to push their NIR compliance, depending on if the ink is reflective or translucent in the NIR.  Broader solution space for painting investigations!

But back to my regularly scheduled program. All this painting of big things got me itching to paint smaller as well so I started a few Silent Death Spaceships,  Alt-WW2 fighters etc.   Soon to a blog near you.

NERF camo extravaganza

Well I didnt care for the grey nerf gun, so I repainted it.
I actually like this one a bit better even though it appears to be worse in the NIR.  I also painted up a nerf grenade launcher (shoots the big red darts) which accounts for my two favorite action nerf guns.  I much prefer pumping each round than relying on batteries.   I went with a messy concrete'ish top for the grenade launcher and a quasi tech camo with mostly classical earthy colors for the smaller pump action.   However (shoulda done a color sample test in the NIR first) it turns out the base earth color I used for these is pretty darned dark in the NIR.  Oh well I still like them.    And they add nicely to my eclectic nerf arsenal.

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Stealth" camo exp 1

It was time to start playing with colors.   While Im not thrilled with this color set, or rather the set with the camo scheme as I think an all technical pattern may have looked better aesthetically, the pattern makes an ok camo  in the visible but seems to blend pretty well in the NIR.  These colors were made to mimic duracoat paint chips aug green, arctic shadow, tactical dark blue and tactical coyote brown.   Interestingly when I tried to use model paint (cheaper and I have some) to mimic the blue its NIR signature was radically different.   After playing a bit I managed to make a mixture of blood red with a deep blue to push the NIR reflectivity up without making much noticeable effect in the visible.   Look closely as the blue which contrasts fairly strongly in the visible all but disappears in the NIR. ...all with just a little red added in....

I think the primary mistake was using gray as a base. I think I should have used coyote brown as a base and had a lot less gray, or ditch the visible camo completely going for high visibility in visible and make it primarily camo in the NIR.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Uniform Camo Exploration

Going to a local Army Surplus for less in Denver on Pecos one of the employees was kind enough to let me get some images of a few camo uniforms.  I believe they were Tru-spec but I cant be sure all were.

The surprises were I expected the multicam and ACU to behave like the hats I got from there on previous trips (pictures seen in previous post using hats as references).

A few interesting notes:
>ABU, a bit more low contrast than I expected, eve with other images taken directly on it.  Apparently the green is not as dark as it appears in NIR.
>Desert Digi, decent but not as contrasting as the ACU
>Multicam: not as contrasting as I expected, I want to look more into this a bit.
>Urban Digi: very contrasting,  would be interested in looking about a city to see if the contrast is warranted or poorly thought though.
>ATAC LE: quite dark, see urban digi above. Except for the nylon velcro, glows like a glow stick at NIR.  not well thought through.
>ATAC AU: not bad contrast compared to the ACU

>Navy Digi, not as dark in NIR as I expected. Likely due to the blues used being much lighter in NIR.  Need to keep this in mind, leverage blues, greens, and dark reds if you want darker VIS camo but lighter NIR to match typical background reflectances.

I may need to go back and repeat but taking a few leaves, grass bushel, pine cone or such for comparison against real things its trying to hide you among.   Next time do the experiment with pants, they are easier to arrange.

Once again, thanks to the good people at the Army surplus in Denver.

And for a bit of silly fun...
No the pink camo is cute but glows like a beacon.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

M4 NIR/arid experiment

Giving it another go I played with making up an arid camo for an M4 air-soft.
I'm starting to get the itch to play with grays and blues. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

NERF Rapidstrike quasi-sci-fi NIR "compliant"

Ok so not quite so NIR compliant but getting closer.  This partially satisfies my goal of stands out a bit in the visible but is decently camo'ed in the NIR.  Top image is in the visible meant to look a little sci-fi 'ish with semi-camo colors for arid-urban.  Bottom the NIR view with an ACU camo and multicam hat on some grass, leaves, and dirt.  I was surprised the techno-patterns blend act as a decent shape breaking pattern.  If I didn't leave the large black sections this might work well.  I may try some dark blues or purples since those seem to be quite dark in the visible but can be fairly compliant in the NIR as seen in the previous post. These paints were just model paint, not duracoat.  Im not that rich by any stretch to put duracoat onto a nerf rifle.

Also if your interested in more the company hyperstealth appears to do great work in this realm.

Also here is an interesting paper on oxide nanoparticles and their NIR properties.
just beware some nanoparticles may be a health hazard prior to proper binding. 

I also put a small bit of paint onto a few sudden death ships that have been sitting on my desk forever screaming at me to start painting again.

Now the question, do I paint another nerf or move on to an airsoft rifle.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sci-Fi SL8 concepts

After narrowing my colors down a bit based on visible camo, NIR camo value at 780nm,  NIR at 940 (or 980?nm  not sure what the diode was spec'ed for).   I set out the colors to see what might be interesting.  If you look closely some of the colors appear to change reflectance a bit as you shift from 780 to 940nm illumination.  Particularly of interest is how some of the blue, dark purple and dark red are fairly bright in the NIR.   Duller, grayer versions of these colors may work fairly well as visible camo or stand out visibly while being effective for camo in the NIR.

Then started playing around in a photoeditor with an sl8 and afg found online to get a feel for possible color and pattern combinations.   Do we want a bright sci-fi  that stands out or one that blends a bit or blends a lot.   Interestingly, done right most of these will stand out far less in NIR than in visible.   Think of it as flashy "high tech imposing government forces" in visible for the average joe observing to keep his distance, and then if they are actualy engaged in an operation at night the weapon blends more into the background ambient.