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Advice wanted on painting/camouflaging kit

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I've just bought a Molle chest rig and I basically want to make it look better. It's brand new and looks so. I want to try and give it a more weather beaten, more used and, for more practical purposes, more camouflaged look. Are there any 'How to guides' out there? Can anyone offer any step by step advice? Can anyone show off any pictures of their own work and tell me how you did it?

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I like my kit clean. Natural wear is a different thing. Just use it and keep it clean, it will soon look the part without you looking like a tramp.

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You could try thrashing it against the wall a few times, or 'stonewash' it (i.e. literally stick it in a bucket or barrel of water with some gravel in it and move it about with a big stick to scuff it up), but frankly, after three skirmishes if will start to look used anyway. Don't overdo the wear and tear, these days soldiers do not live for months on end in trenches like they did in 1916 at Verdun, so equipment never gets really really crappy. Some equipment starts to get ropey in tropical climates of course, you could simulate that by washing it on fairly unforgiving settings in a washing machine, or holding it over a boiling pan or kettle to steam it up, but you don't want to go around looking like you've been on active duty fighting the Japanese in Papua New Guinea for two years, do you?

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I agree that there's no need for actual dirt on your kit, unless your loadout is intended to represent some particular battle, but some of my gear came to me with dirt so ingrained that no amount of washing has got rid of it... I know what you mean though, gear so new it looks out of place - it will get worn naturally, but there's no harm kicking it up and down a stony car park, for eg, to take the 'shiny' off it. My new Russian webbing is the same - gleaming OD that looks out of place against the KZS clothing. I'll be kicking it around the hard standing outside my house:

hard_standing.jpg

...not much, just enough to put a few scratches on all of it.

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I agree with the others, the more you use it the more or will dull

 

You could try 'kick it' around method or just pour a jug of water with old tea bags in it all over the front, sides and back, then hang it up to drip dry, this will give it the 'worn look'

 

I use that method for weathering my rc boats

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Thanks for the input. Clearly sounds like skirmishing is the best course of action, but I might try kicking it around the garden for a bit, just to take the shine off it and just to see the look on the neighbours faces as I do it.

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I have several leather jackets from a company called Aero leathers http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/products.php?cat=classicleather.

They are reproductions of WW2 American Flying jackets. They are stitch for stitch replicas made with the original patterns etc .

If you want one weathered to look like a vintage jacket they can do it for you or you can do it yourself.

Ken the owner recommends zipping it up, rolling it to a ball and playing football with it for half an hour.

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If you wanted to paint any of your kit, a relativley simple and good looking technique is to use leaves like a template, I do this with large pieces of kit that have solid colours (like a plate carrier in OD for example) the trick is to lay a few leaves on top the kit in desired fashion and start of with a medium to heavy layer of spray paint then move the leaves around and use lighter and lighter layers, choose which ever base coat you feel fits the current colour of the blank kit and then use other colours to make up you camoflage scheme, so you could have a base colour of light green than move to patches of dark brown, black, tan, and a few dappled spots of a sand colour, the great way about painting like this is the custom look you get afterwards.

 

For the worn look, you can either kick it around in gravel like Ian_Gere suggests, or use scotchbrite, lightly rubbing all areas and concentrating more on the edges of pouches ETC, you can even use a wire brush on those areas, just don't go too mad as you'll easily wreck the kit your working on.

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