Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tactical Camo Stencils

Tacticalcamo.com is a provider of quality stencils for your camouflaging needs. They have plenty of patterns to choose from and are reasonably priced.

The stencils come on a large piece of paper, and by looking at the pictures you'd think it was a material similar to the blue painters tape. It is not. It's a quality vinyl stencil. The stencils peel off the paper easily, but I suggest using an exacto knife to help with this. I also wear latex gloves to help keep the oil from my skin off the item I'm painting and the stencil itself. The stencils have a low-tack adhesive which doesn't peel any underlying paint off when removed. What I found with this is that once you get all the stencils in place, you will want to go around and just make sure none have peeled up around the edges just before painting. The color you want as the background color of your camo pattern will be the last color painted. I used
Krylon on all the pictured items. With this paint it was easy to remove the stencils once the paint dried. I'm not sure if you used Brownell's Alumahyde if you'd be able to peel the stickers as easily once it cures. Tactical camo has plenty of tips to use their stencils on their site as well. Also, I should note that I only used the "male" stencils as I do not have a airbrush to be able to use the female portion that is left when you remove the male portion. Another plus to this system is that there is plenty of stencil material left over if you need to cut out more stencils for touch ups.

I received 2 patterned stencils to test out.

The first pattern I tested was a diamondback snake pattern. This is a cool pattern that is unique to tactical camouflage, but works well in the wild...so why wouldn't it on tactical gear. I really like this patterns look. When using these stencils on flatter items it's pretty easy to use, a little time consuming since you have to line up the stencils because the snake skin is a continuous pattern, but not too difficult. I used this pattern on a red dot sight for my brother and it was a little more difficult to get the continuous pattern around the knobs and adjustment screws of the sight, but it didn't turn out too bad! I will be doing some other items with this pattern and updating this post when they are complete.

The other pattern I received was the digital camo pattern. I really like this pattern and it's super easy to use. Since it's not a continuous pattern it's easy to just peel and stick the stencils. I think when I painted the items shown I could have used more stencils to make the pattern little more "disruptive" in nature, since this is how the digital pattern works. But I'll be buying more stencils in the future and I'll work on my technique.

I really like these stencils. I highly suggest that if you want a specific pattern for your gear that you take tacticalcamo.com into consideration. Their products are high quality, easy to use, and they're great people to work with.

MSRP: $20 per stencil sheet.

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