Saturday, March 4, 2017

NIR paint investigation

Some people take airsoft wayy to seriously.
A friend who I occasionally played airsoft with a few years ago started talking to me about a few night games he played a while back in which one team just dominated the field.  Apparently that had some night vision scopes and picked off anyone who dared show their face.  But apparently my friend said he and his buddies seemed to keep getting nailed more than others and he overheard one of them bragging about how some of the guys just glowed or stood out as dark blotches against a mid tone background.  Knowing my camera has a NIR pass filter I took it over to his place to see if I could help him ferret out the issue.  Looking at his uniforms made it very apparent what they were talking about.  Apparently his cheap kryptek nylon gear glowed like a beacon.  Anything just nylon glowed.  But is plate carrier and one set of ACU's did not.  we did a few paint tests with rattle cans and saw that standard camo colors ate NIR light like nothing else.

In the picture below you can see stripeson cardboard I painted as reference tests with the ACU uniform on grass, leaves, and concrete.  his GBB mags in his plate carrier were nice big black shoot me signs.  His Molle pockets made of cheap nylon (not shown) glowed like the sun under NIR illumination.  and aside from his higher end airsoft rifles which were anodized aluminum, the rest of his painted rifles were nearly black under NIR.   So he gave me one of his broken rifles and asked me to do some paint tests on it.  The first such paint test is in the bottom right.  This shows a tan rattle can paint seems to give decent matching to the ACU's.  And a black nerf gun just ate light. 

Colors are awesome, especially when you leave the visual spectrum.   I'm hoping I can convince him to cover costs so I can look more into NIR camo paints as I have a few ideas I want to try out.

Long story short,  Black rifles may look cool and scarry.  but they scream "shoot me" on the airsoft field if someone has night vision.  And don't buy those cheap nylon uniforms or pouches.

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