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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Painting tips for 1/3 scale M16A3 ?
studiocityslicker
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California, United States
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 74 posts
Armorama: 65 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 06:21 PM UTC
Gents,
I bought the Trumpeter kit for this, looks like it's gonna be fun to build.
Just wondering if anybody can give me some helpful guidelines to paint it? I only found 1 build review on the web, and it was just painted black overall, then the metal parts rubbed with MIG Gunmetal powder. It looked good but as someone who knows nothing about the actual weapon, maybe there's a little more to it than that. How it gets weathered, etc.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Michael Smith
hardhat
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: October 21, 2013
KitMaker: 37 posts
Armorama: 28 posts
Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 09:45 PM UTC
Hello Michael,
I've built several of the Trumpeter kits in question and I'm a collector and builder of the real thing too which allows me first hand research material. I found that straight flat black was just a little too stark and gave an unrealistic, toy like finish to the model. The real rifle is assembled from multiple components of differing materials including anodized aluminum, various steels, fiberglass and plastic, with each component made by a different manufacturer. Upon close inspection, you can see that although they all appear black, each material or component has it's own unique tone which would be decernible in 1/3 scale. I found it better to add a few drops of white or grey to black when painting the upper and lower receiver group. This is anodized aluminum on the actual rifle and it can vary from almost flat black to a very dark German panzer grey. I might suggest using straight black and lightly dry brushing with panzer grey. I found this added some visual interest. The buttstock and pistol grip are usually made from plastic and again, neither are truly straight black in color. I might suggest adding a few drops of a lighter color to black to achieve a different tone than the receiver group. Interest could be achieved by making the buttstock and grip each with slightly different tones and either lighter or darker than the receiver group, which would be accurate to the real rifle. The barrel and front sight base are parkerized steel on the real rifle. Again, this is not really straight black but a very dark chalky grey when new. Typically it is visually different and slightly lighter in color than the receiver group. Gunmetal would not be realistic here, except in the case of a very old and worn rifle. You might use gunmetal on the front edge of the compensator to show a common wear point on the end of the barrel but I wouldn't overdo it. The round handguards are typically black fiberglass and can sometimes actually have a slight gloss finish. An interesting visual effect might be to paint them straight black and finish them with clear satin.
Note that online pictures can often make the real rifle appear monochromatic and all black. A better source of detailed pictures can be found on gun websites such as GunBroker. Auctions on these sites often have multiple very close up pictures not usually seen in general resources like online articles or books.
Another approach would be to finish it as a rifle that has been painted a camouflage color by the operator. I did one of my kits in a desert tan and then used copious amounts of black dry brushing to simulate the color being worn off with combat use.
Probably more than you asked for but I hope it helps. I just found that straight flat black made my finished model quite disappointing and toy like. However, treating the different components as individual pieces made a big improvement in the overall finish.
Happy modelling,
Andrew
studiocityslicker
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California, United States
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 74 posts
Armorama: 65 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 05:24 AM UTC
Thank you so much Andrew. I planned on a couple of different tones, but I wasn't sure exactly which parts are plastic.
I'm thinking the magazine and the bolt or whatever it is(not sure of name)would be in a more flat aluminum finish?
Thanks for the website to go look at too.
How did you finish the stand for the gun?
MLS
hardhat
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: October 21, 2013
KitMaker: 37 posts
Armorama: 28 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 10:53 AM UTC
I finished the kit supplied stand by throwing it in the garbage
I actually made a display stand out of a simple wood base and brass rods to display it upright. The bolt, which is inside the upper receiver, is steel treated with a nitride or other protective coating process. They are usually black in color, similar to the barrel. The magazine is indeed aluminum but they are anodized with a dark grey coating that varies between manufacturers. There shouldn't be any mat aluminum visible unless you are depicting a well used magazine.
All that being said though, there are many variations possible for the colors on this model, so if it looks good to you, go for it!
I really liked Trumpeter's 1/3 scale weapons line up but I haven't seen too many of them lately. I wish that they had continued it with other weapons.
Andrew
studiocityslicker
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California, United States
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 74 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 03:06 PM UTC
BWahahahaha on the stand!
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,612 posts
Armorama: 1,065 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 05:24 AM UTC
An M16 isn't truly black. The plastic buttstock, pistol grip, and hand guards are about the only parts that are black. The buttstock is a very matt black that almost has a bluish tint like the feathers on a crow (same with the hand guards and pistol grip) with the butt pad being a very dark gray, the hand guards and pistol grip have a more glossy appearance but are still matt. The upper and lower receiver, as already noted are a black/grey anodized finish. The trigger, selector switch, magazine release, dust shield cover,mag retainer, front sight sight post, rear peep sight and the bottom of the trigger guard (which swings out of the way), barrel, flash suppressor are steel with an anodized finish that is a shade off of the upper and lower receiver. The cleaning kit storage box cover in the butt stock has a spring loaded retainer that is the same color as the other steel parts. Same with the two screws that hold the butt onto the rifle and the sling mounts, Areas of wear are the trigger, bottom of the magazine well, the selector switch, flash suppressor, front sight post, dust cover and charging handle.
studiocityslicker
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California, United States
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 74 posts
Armorama: 65 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 06:15 AM UTC
Thanks Patrick!