Post Apocalyptic AK-47 - Airsoft rifle re-paint tutorial (Pic Heavy!)

Steelgohst

New Member
First off, stripped off all the 'wood' parts and primed- Found this great primer that etches into plastic and metal removing the need for sanding (the most tedious part!) After priming I painted on then stippled my 'Steelgohst copyright magic rust paint' (iron powder mixed into acrylic paint, shh it's a secret) - it's important to stipple as brush marks will show later if you don't! If you want a really heavily rusted look you can make this using just brown paint and stipple it on thicker, that enhances the effect. for this one I'm doing a realistic old steel, not too heavily rusted, so I made the paint this muddy grey colour , then I applied a catalyst to start the rusting process and put it in a plastic sack overnight.
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Day 2 - the magic paint has done it's thing, the next step is to arrest the rusting process by sealing it with a matt spray varnish, this also makes it more hard wearing and stops the rust staining you and everything else! I also find that this also gives a very nice realistic metal finish, as opposed to just a hunk of rust. The next step is to go in with the rusting paint again, this time more strategically and artistically, using a small brush ( a nice battered one like this is good) and giving thought to which bits might rust more than others, so mostly applying to cracks and crevices and hard to reach parts. Then that gets some catalyst on it and put to one side again overnight.

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I quite like the wood grain on the plastic parts, but they do look very plastic.. they will be mostly covered up on the finished gun but I give them some wood stain varnish so that any bits you may see sticking out will look more realistic.
The magazine doesn't need any more rusting so it's on with the finishing.. my preference here is using 'rub n buff' in a pewter finish. I apply it very, very lightly to raised areas and edges then give it a really good rub down with my thumb to smooth it out, then add a bit of character and history with some acrylic paints, just crudely, this wasn't an artist painting this, it was a soldier from some future battlefield sitting in the ashes of civilization
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- I don't mess with the colour of the paint because I want it to look like the weapon was found and the text added later, but if you wanted you could obviously add a bit of brown to the white to give it a more aged look.
Then the finishing touch is to dust it all down.. I use this Ben Nye ash professional dirt because it's what I bought when I started doing this, I now know that you can buy 'Fuller's earth' much cheaper on eBay, and it's the same thing so do that
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- Just slap it on liberally with a soft brush (preferably outside!) and using the same brush, brush it all off again. It'll stay in the crevices and generally make it look like it's seem some action..

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Rusting is all done so I use the same technique as with the magazine and strategically apply very light amounts of pewter rub n' buff with my finger and rub it really well in - this does take a bit of practice to learn just the right amount and how to apply it, so be aware that it's easy to mess up and put too much on, so less is more -


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The `wood` parts are far too shiny and clean and not as realistic as I'd like, so I put one drop of black and one drop of brown acrylic paint into a bowl and mix to a fairly thin consistency with a little water, apply liberally to the `wood` parts of the gun and then dab it mostly back off again with some rag or kitchen towel then allow to dry and put them back on the gun.


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Time to break out the apocalyptic staple, the duck tape! when wrapping this around it's important to be fairly sloppy about it so that you get lots of nice texture. I sand it down then using a couple of different grades of sandpaper to give it a well worn look, then add a bit more brown acrylic to the black and brown from earlier and apply liberally to the tape (particularly the butt, which I imagine spends more time in the mud than any other part) then dab some of it off again with a bit of kitchen towel.


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My personal preference with the grip is to wrap it using nylon string, hot glueing it on as I go, then going over the string with flame to melt it slightly; this has the effect of making it look old but also perhaps more importantly, makes it solidify, become hardwearing and also, along with the hot glue, helps to fix it in place.


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If you're interested, heres a link to a gallery of some of the things I've 'Post Apo'd' on my facebook :)

Steelgohst Art




Next I paint on a few bits and pieces to help with the illusion of history, before dusting everything down with fullers earth, paying particular attention to the grip and tape sections, then brushing it mostly back off again. A quick spray with matt varnish on the grip and tape parts seals the dirt in and stops the tape from feeling sticky where it has been sanded and depending on the finish you're after (more or less rusty) you can at this point spray all the 'metalwork' with matt varnish also. varnishing will make the finished gun less rusty looking and give it a more 'aged metal' look. that's what I did with this one.
Done! from orange airsoft to battle hardened old weapon of war!


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If you're interested, heres a link to a gallery of other stuff I've 'Post Apo'd' on my facebook :)

Steelgohst Art
 
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Riceball

Sr Member
That looks fantastic, the wood really came out well. One thing though, I woudln't have put the duct tape over the handguard like you did. Reason being is that in real life you would have to remove the tape every time you wanted to clean the piston. Now, if you put it there to suggest that maybe the gas tube/piston cover doesn't sit that securely and you need tape to hold it down I would maybe add some tape residue all around the edges of the tape to make it look likes it's been repeatedly taped and retaped.
 

Steelgohst

New Member
Absolutely fantastic... If it isn't a trade secret what is the catalyst you use to rust up the iron powder?
It's one I bought from eBay, but I've recently learned you can make it with
Copper sulphate - 6 parts
Ammonium chloride - 1 part
Calcium hypochlorite- 1 part
Add water to make up to 100 parts
Although I haven't tried it yet, ingredients are on the way!
 
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Steelgohst

New Member
That looks fantastic, the wood really came out well. One thing though, I woudln't have put the duct tape over the handguard like you did. Reason being is that in real life you would have to remove the tape every time you wanted to clean the piston. Now, if you put it there to suggest that maybe the gas tube/piston cover doesn't sit that securely and you need tape to hold it down I would maybe add some tape residue all around the edges of the tape to make it look likes it's been repeatedly taped and retaped.
Well, the hand guard only broke fairly recently and I've not needed / had time (what with all the zombies/mutants) to clean the piston since ;)
 

ZeroSum

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's one I bought from eBay, but I've recently learned you can make it with
Copper sulphate - 6 parts
Ammonium chloride - 1 part
Kalcium hypochlorite- 1 part
Add water to make up to 100 parts
Although I haven't tried it yet, ingredients are on the way!
I look forward to hear how you get on with that :)
 

00fil00

New Member
That looks fantastic! Literally on my way now to see how much airsoft ak47s are. Those textures and finishes are pro - dunno how you managed to discover them! My only dilemma is that if I left the UK for Canada, I'd have to destroy my hard work yea? No way to take your realistic props with you?
 

Steelgohst

New Member
That looks fantastic! Literally on my way now to see how much airsoft ak47s are. Those textures and finishes are pro - dunno how you managed to discover them! My only dilemma is that if I left the UK for Canada, I'd have to destroy my hard work yea? No way to take your realistic props with you?
you can always try putting an orange bung in the end and posting it to yourself in Canada. I've sent several things around the world, trouble is the law around these things is very Grey. on the one hand, you get people that say painting them to look realistic is an offence, but then I've walked past police at a comicon looking like this (see attached pic) with no problems. Also realistic airsoft guns are available, but the seller has to be sure that the person they're selling them to is above 18 and has a good reason to own it- this usually translates to them requesting an airsoft licence, although technically this isn't needed.. it's all very blurry legally. As far as I can tell, it boils down to :
a) you can legally own a realistic gun so long as no-one sees you with it and calls the police.
and
b) if you're selling it, the seller has to make sure the person buying is over 18 and has good reason to want it
I think. Plus if someone at the post office who doesn't understand the law (I'm not sure anyone does really) sees it, they might refuse to send it.
 

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