Stuff you might want:
Spray Paint (I used rustoleum camouflage series)
Colors I used: Khaki, forest green, earth brown, and black
Netting (this can be tough to find, I used the netting from a dump bag, which you can probably find in the camping aisle of Wal-Mart)
OK the first thing you should do is sand down any parts of the gun you are painting. After you do that lay down the primer on any metal parts and let dry.
After the primer is dry lay down your base coat, whatever the basecoat is is what color will appear in the lines that criss cross the gun. I recommend tan.
After the base coat is dry drape the netting over the part of the gun you are painting. Get the
netting as tight as possible for the best lines.
When you have the netting as tight against the gun as you think is humanly possible spray on the color of you choice. I decided to spray in stripes. I'm sure it would work just as well if you decided to spray in blotches though.
Keep adding colors until it is fully colored to your liking. You don't have to leave any tan blotches because the lines that will be left will show enough of the tan coat.
Well thats basically how you do it. There are some problems that I ran into along the way so heres a list of problems and how to fix them.
Netting not tight enough
This happened to me in a couple places and left big blotches of paint with no lines. My advice would be to meticulously check over the netting to make sure it is SUPER tight before laying down any paint. Tape the netting to the table or just paint sections of the gun instead of the whole thing. You really just have to learn as you go.
Netting the barrel
Figuring out how to net the barrel tightly was a little hard to figure out. What I ended up doing was putting the thread part of the barrel in a clamp so the barrel was horizontal. Then I draped the netting over the barrel and put a smaller clamp on to hold the two sides together and let gravity take care of the rest. The only disadvantage to this is that you can only paint one side of the barrel at a time, but its better than having a crappy paint job.
Paint not fully dry
This is pretty much a no brainer, but seriously, let the paint dry before handling. Especially the primer.
Paint rubbing or flaking off
I finished the gun with a flat clear coat and it works great! I did forget to spray the little bit of metal sticking out from below the bike grip (ok I was just to lazy to take the grip off, I'll admit it) and this part did end up rubbing off due to contact with my hands. Make sure finish ALL the metal parts. You could even consider finishing the plastic parts to make those last a bit longer.
And here are some tips that cyanrattlesnake added:
Second, I have to admit that I have not yet had the confidence to paint any of my paintball gear yet, but have been painting just about everything else to practice. In the process I have learned several tips that I thought might be useful to others who are using the pattern.
1. Keep it Simple.
As a general rule the simpler the shape you are trying to paint the better. Getting the netting to stretch tight and in contact with a surface at all points gets exponentially more difficult as the shape/surface has more angles. This typically means that you want to disassemble things as far as possible before attempting to paint them.
2. More thin coats are better.
This is especially important with this pattern. I learned this one the hard way. If you get too much paint on your surface then it will seep under your netting and ruin the pattern. More importantly as it dries it will form ridges along the veins of the netting that stick up from the surface and look really ugly.
3. Get creative with the netting.
The first few times I tried the pattern I used a cloth netting. Cloth netting works great for large, relatively smooth areas, but when I painted a nerf gun I was having a really hard time getting it close enough and tight enough so I had to do some lateral thinking. Later in the day I saw a bag of cherry tomatoes sitting on the table and noticed the plastic netting they were in was very elastic. The plastic netting was the perfect solution. It deformed easily over wide parts, but conformed well to the narrower sections as well. I also noticed that changing the netting I was using totally changed to color ratios of the finished product because I was masking off less of the base color.
4. Staples are amazing!
I found that if you are working with stretchy plastic netting, staples are much better than clips or clamps for connecting edges of netting together. They leave almost no shadow underneath them and give you more control over how the netting edges meet without pulling it away from your surface.
5. Clear coat.
I am sure that this is said often in other painting threads, but I learned that a clear coat can be just the finishing touch that a project need to really shine, but just as a clear coat brings out the best it also can magnify the faults as well, so be careful. I rushed my clear coats and messed some stuff up. You always have to be patient with painting, but since clear is the last thing you do you have to be especially careful, because you don't have a chance to cover up you mistake without starting over.
6. Practice first.
There are several reasons to practice on something other than your expensive pb gear. First, it takes a few tries to find a color ratio that you like. Learning how to get the netting tight also takes a few trials if you have never done anything like this before.
Some pics of a couple of my projects so far are attached.
I hope this helped all of you guys that want to do a DIY paint job but don't really know how to go about deciding what pattern you want. This is a great alternative to other patterns if you don't want to take the time to cut out stencils with a knife and all that jazz. Also as a side note you don't have to use camo colors. In fact I was going to paint my Trracer with a base coat of red that fades into blue, net it and then do a black over coat. I know very Spiderman but I don't care, it would look awesome.
Oh almost forgot here's the finished product
EDIT: Added one more thing to the troubleshoot list.
EDIT2: Added Rattlesnake's tips, so thank you for contributing!
This post has been edited by Nom Carver: 23 April 2009 - 05:29 PM