So I first have to thank Nom Carver for getting me addicted to an amazing camo pattern. (I loved it enough to paint it on my cellphone!)
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.