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boomheadshot (infidel)

how to get the "Afghan and back" look

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So this afternoon I decided that college work was sh*t, so I went outside and got to work giving my SFW a dusty Afghan look. I have been inspired by others attempts in the past and it was on the to do list, but I have not seen a dedicated guide to it so I thought I would continue not doing what I should and give you guys the low down on how I managed to achieve it.


What will you need?


Tools to take apart parts of your weapon if needed

White spirit or methylated spirits and even nail polish remover

J cloths

Tan spray paint like krylon or the halfords stuff

Nice well ventilated area

Gloves (If you aren't man enough)

Masking tape

Lots of patience and restraint


There is no need to attack it with wire wool or sand paper! that will only ruin the metal and original finish of the weapon, you are mearly trying to leave paint in certain areas.


So to start with I had to remove the original paintjob on the weapon. It had started to wear naturally and it was not too thick, so it did not take too long to remove. Don't worry about getting every last bit off, you want to leave it in the places you cant really get to. The RIS was a pain in particular so I just rubbed over the parts the cloth that I could get at and left it at that.


So I was then left with this


As you can see I removed all the accessories to do separately


The receiver with its original grey Finnish (Note the paint still remaining at the back of the delta ring)



So I then taped up the lenses of the Eotech, and some of the stickers on the PEQ box. I later found that as long as the coating is light there is no real need to cover them up. I then preceded with the second stage which is a tan dusting. I sprayed in sweeping motions about a foot away from the surface and gradually built it up. If you cant see it at first don't blast it full on, it will make it much harder to remove and may ruin the effect if its too thick.


Just after painting.


Close up on how light the coat was.


Other side




Another close up with taped over bolt.



The coat should be dry to the touch straight away if done light enough, so it comes off nice and easily for the next part.


I then got straight to work with rubbing it off, re dipped the J cloth in white spirit and got cracking. The paint should naturally stay in places where dust would normally collect, this is where you can decide how dusty you want it too look, with mine I have not left too much, and wanted it to gather in the usual places but also change the surface of the weapons colour to make it more realistic. If you are unsure of how much you want to lave on, don't put so much white spirit on the cloth, as then you can more gradually remove the paint rather than it all coming off and you having to waste paint respraying it.


Right after removing the paint.


Notice the effect it has had on the flat surface a well as where it has gathered and stayed.




I left more in the stock as firstly it was pain in the *albatross*, and secondly it would naturally collect more there because of being rested on the butt, and it being a low contact and usage area.



Other side of the reciever, collected in the trades nicely


Everything put back on.



Another hard to reach place.




"To the sand box and back" look, DONE!



I am very pleased with the result and I hope this guide will help others wanting to do the same. Please post up your results and any thoughts and notes you may find in your attempt.

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You need the very, very fine dust like sand you would probably only find only in theater to do something like that otherwise it would all just fall off heh.

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Nice! Great guide and great end result. It's good to see a professional job as opposed to the usual rushed and badly-done ones that are so common in airsoft. This would look great on an FN SCAR :P

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Do you think you could get a more realistic effect leaving the accessories on? I know it would be super finicky, but being as dust would be gathering around the gun in use, surely it would make sense to spray it with them on, thus leaving patches of clean space under the accessories?


I'm not faulting the way you've done this at all, it looks cracking! Far superior to anything I and many others could do :D I just want to know how it'd be made more real (if possible).

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Looks absolutely brilliant... Im going to have to give that a shot here sooner or later. Seems like it will work out a whole lot better than the typical steel wool approach lol.

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Here's a bit of an update, its staying nicely, wearing off in high contact places like where the pistol grip meets the receiver at the back etc. The lighting is much brighter than the first set of photo's but its working well. I've got some EMAG's on the way for it so I am tempted to do a similar job to them, as well as a few other bits of gear so expect more to this thread. Please post your own attempts and if you live in the UK I would be happy to do the same or similar paint job for you, just PM and I will get back to you ASAP :)








Keep your thoughts coming in :)

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Well I ended up doing my EMAG's as well, I will say that they were harder to do than my rifle, mainly because it has few places for it to collect. Here is the process again.


So same again started off with a dusting, it was thicker this time as it was a little windy and because of the smoothness of the mags it needed more paint for enough to stay on.



Comparison between between sprayed and unsprayed





Grab the white spirit, rag and put on something good, Sons of Anarchy series two for me (Can't believe able is taken!!)



A few reference photo's




All done, they do vary quite a bit




The most and least dusty





In theatre EMAG's DONE!



Still wanting your thoughts, and for somebody to ask me to do the same to their kit ;)

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