Monday, September 14, 2009

PBR Multicam Film Transfer

At the beginning of the year I made contact with the owner of PBR Hydrographics out of Texas about their camouflage film transfer finishes. Audie, the owner, said to send some items to get finished as a sample for the site. I sent 2 vertical grips, a pistol grip, MI quad rail hand guards, 1 Pmag, and a RRA collapsible stock to get done in Multicam. I also send a Klean Kanteen steel water bottle to be done in Woodland MARPAT camo.

The film transfer process essentially takes a film in your preferred camo or pattern and floats it on the top of water, after preparing your part by putting on a base coat of paint, the part is then dipped down into the water through the floating film and the film wraps around the part and uses the water pressure to smooth the film on to the part. The part is then dried and clear coat applied. This leaves your item with a full coat of the pattern you chose. Any item that can be submerged in water can be coated.

There was some delay in getting the parts I sent done. The first delay was due to a machine dieing and the company had to buy a new machine which backed up the process and slowed production. Once a new machine was received there were issues with the clear coat used, and Audie wasn't happy with the results. Not wanting to send our sub par items that were not of the quality the company demanded, a new brand of clear coat was ordered. This held up production again. After having some staffing issues, and issues with the humidity negatively effecting the drying of the clear coat the rifle parts were sent out.

When I got the parts I noticed that the pistol grip, 4 rail hand guard and bottle weren't in the package. I spoke with the owner who checked into it and those rifle parts were on a different rack and didn't get put in the shipment. The company get the rest of the parts to me in less than a week. Overall turnaround time was 7 months. A little bit more of a wait than I'd want as a paying customer, but this was due to complications in the equipment and materials. The company claims that the normal turn around time once they receive the parts is approximately 3 weeks, and 4-6 weeks if you require a high gloss finish.

The company is just waiting on the digital camo to come in the mail in order to do the bottle. I'm not sure if this is the case, but i know a lot of the films come from overseas, so shipment of them can be delayed.

The film and clear coat is thin but can effect the fit of some tight fitting parts. When putting the hand guards on I had quite the time since they're tight fitting and hard to get on before being dipped. Also, putting the vertical grip on was a little difficult (since both the rails and the grip were dipped) but not too bad.

The quality of the job and film/clear coat on these parts is excellent. I've seen other parts that have been dipped and in areas where the parts are curved there is sometimes some distortion in the pattern. I didn't really notice this on these parts. On one part of the magazine I noticed a slight cracking effect in the film (see picture below), but it's not noticeable without looking closely. With any film dipping you'll have some small nooks and crannies that don't get the pattern into them, but it is very very minimal with the parts I got back. Overall, I'm very impressed with the quality of the work done.

As far as the multicam pattern goes it's Crye authorized and is an exact match with my other muticam patterned items. The only difference is the "MULTICAM" wording incorporated in the pattern.

One last thing I noticed is that the clear coat is a nice matte finish. Sometimes you get a great camo pattern with a glossy or semi-gloss finish. The matte finish on this is really nice.

Overall, very impressive job. I will update this post regarding durability as the parts get more use, but I can see this finish lasting for quite some time!




Anonymous said...

Nice! Are you a DOE employee? I hear they have some of the best tactical teams in the world.

Film to DVD

Jake said...

Unfortunately no....contract at a nuclear site.