Have you seen me?
After announcing on at least 3 separate occasions that my AR was "finally done", I found myself still itching to mess around with it. Because I'm that guy, apparently.
I don't know what it is exactly, the rest of my guns I've pretty well gotten to a point where I'm comfortable with them, then I leave them alone. But the endless possibilities provided by the AR platform... it's hard to stop. As you probably know.
In any case, I felt like doing a little something else to it, but other than replacing the M4 style handguard with some sort of rail, I couldn't really decide what.
Brief aside- I like to paint. It's sorta integral to this story. I started painting models for a miniatures war game called Warhammer 40,000 back around the time I turned 30 (holy mackerel- was that really that long ago?). I was horrible at painting when I started. I mean, like 3rd grader using finger paints bad, but I didn't give up because I found painting strangely relaxing. Then over the years, I got better as I practiced and practiced. In the end, I'm not going to win any awards for my painting ability, but I can definitely knock out stuff that I'm not ashamed to show other people.
Camel Snus can for size reference- that dude is literally 1" tall
So yeah, painting isn't something I'm particularly afraid of.
One of the things I thought might be cool would be to paint around on my guns some. I did kind of a reverse paint-fill on my CZ Scorpion Evo because the lettering is actually raised rather than recessed. It didn't turn out horribly, so then I painted some hazard stripes on the bottom of my "Uh oh", magazine to help me differentiate it from the mags I use at the range so I don't shoot
anymore tracers indoors the expensive Critical Duty it's loaded with most of the time.
After touching up and sealing, the look really grew on me, so I paint-filled my CZ P-07 Duty pistol...
And my BUG (backup gun) Ruger LCR.
And those turned out pretty well too.
Not to sound stuck-up or whatever, but the paint-fills were not challenging in the slightest for me. The hazard stripes and stuff on the Scorpion really wasn't that much work either once I got over the intial "Oh my God, I hope I don't ruin this gun!", nerves and second-guessing.
That's when I decided my new challenge would be painting my AR.
I like my AR a lot. I bought an entry level and upgraded it with some new components that I like to think are PractiCool rather than TactiCool. It's pretty pragmatic without a lot of bells and whistles, but the bells and whistles that are present, are functional and extremely handy.
When my desire to paint something more challenging met my desire to do something else to my AR, I started browsing the net for rifle paint jobs.
Camo patterns of various hues and complexities presented themselves, but nothing really jumped out at me as something I wanted to try and do or emulate. I started switching out search terms, and at some point I ran across Randy Jacobs' brilliant YouTube video on painting a rifle in a post-apocalyptic scheme.
Not only do I love the beat-up, lived in look (probably from growing up a Star Wars fan) I was surprised to see that a couple of the techniques that Randy uses on his video are very similar to techniques I've used in painting my little 40k models (drybrushing and stippling, if you're keeping score at home).
So here was the challenge- to turn my AR into a post-apocalypse, Borderlands-ish, 5.56 throwin' rifle of nasty aggression.
In Part 2 I'll tell you how I did it and how it turned out!