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Hydrographed guns


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#1 Ice

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:04 AM

Alright, I told you I was going to do it. I used a kit I bought online from Hydraphics. It comes with all the stuff you need including an airbrush and a DVD that was over an hour long. It's a fairly straightforward process. Sand down the object, prime the object, dip the object, then apply the clear coat. They use automotive quality paint with a hardener that you add yourself right when you're going to use it, so you are sure to get a diamond hard paint job when you're done. So here's the product of my hard work. Give me some feedback!

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Here is my PMR with Lurker Barrel. The PMR was originally the crappy Proto camo color, and the lurker barrel was dust black. The film I chose was "Conceal Green". I left the eye covers, reg, and grip frame black on purpose because I think it's kinda cool that way. Wow do I need a new grip though.

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This is my SLG. I have an ultralite barrel that I'm in the process of doing so it is not pictured. This SLG started out silver in color. I was worried that I would have problems with the paint sticking to it, but it worked flawlessly and it's hard as nails.

If you want to do this yourself, I recommend going with Hydraphics like I did. I searched all over the internet and there are a few other companies out there that offer do-it-yourself kits. As a test, I sent each of the companies an email with some basic questions on it. I did this early on Superbowl Sunday. Hydraphics replied within an hour, I'm still waiting to hear back from the other companies. Also shipping was really quick.

Edited by Ice, 10 March 2011 - 08:17 PM.

Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#2 andrewthewookie

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:11 AM

Looks good. How long did the process take?

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#3 Ice

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:25 AM

Looks good. How long did the process take?

After every step you should let it cure for a day. So priming, dipping, clearcoat; about 3 days. While the clearcoat felt completely cured in 1 day, the instructions say it is ready to use in one day but won't be fully hard for 3-4 weeks. I can tell you that I wouldn't be afraid to take them on the field right now. The clear coat is freaking rock hard! I've painted guns before and even if you use high quality spray paint and clear coats, you can't escape that soft feeling (not to mention flaking). Not with this stuff. It feels just like the factory paint job.

The longest part of the process was actually the dipping because you have to cut out the film before you dip each piece and clean the ink out of your tub from the previous piece. Once a piece is dipped, you have to wash it off under running water for 10 minutes. So to do all that dipping took me at least 2 hours, probably more like 3. I definitely wasn't in a hurry.


Those pictures don't even do them justice. I'll have to see if I can take some better ones outside.

Edited by Ice, 04 March 2011 - 12:29 AM.

Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#4 Algae

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:44 AM

Huh. That looks pretty damn good!

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#5 jderrill

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:58 PM

Very interesting. I didnt know they sold kits like that.


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#6 Nobben #44

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:07 AM

Id rock a gun in that color.
The SLG's pattern look really, really good

Edited by Nobben #44, 05 March 2011 - 10:08 AM.


#7 usmercenary

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:19 AM

This is so cool. Looks like maybe i should try it on my old tippmann

#8 The Inflicted

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:43 PM

Looks neat!
Is there a reason you didn't dip the frames too, or did you just not want to?

#9 etekgirl27

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 01:14 PM

very interesting...I'm curious to know how it holds up

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#10 DarkEgo06

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 01:32 PM

that looks awesome! good stuff. keep us posted on how it holds up. pics after each day of play would be awesome.

#11 Ice

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:27 PM

Looks neat!
Is there a reason you didn't dip the frames too, or did you just not want to?

Mainly because they would have taken a lot of film, and I didn't have enough to do them. :) When I'm playing my hands cover the frame anyways so there wasn't much point to it. Most of my film went towards dipping my Reloader B, which is only half done. Looks really good though.

As for how it holds up, it's perfect. I played and even took a hit to my gun. The company told me that it would be as durable as car paint. So basically if something would scratch your car, it might scratch the gun. Of course that is pretty much the way most guns are. I put like 3 or 4 solid coats of clearcoat on it to make it super tough. It feels like it was anodized.

Nobben: Both guns were actually dipped using the same pattern! One of the great things about that particular pattern is that it doesn't repeat at all, at least that I could see. They also have films like carbon fiber, woodgrain, snakeskin, water droplets, etc. My pics aren't really good, I'll get around to taking some new ones soon. The PMR looks a lot better in person than it does in the pic. The colors and pattern are kinda washed out by my camera flash.

Edited by Ice, 05 March 2011 - 08:47 PM.

Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#12 Pakistani

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:52 PM

WGP did this to a series of karnivors back in the day.
i believe bob long also does this to a few guns.

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#13 etekgirl27

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:01 PM

I like this idea alot....i wish it wasn't so expensive though

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#14 etekgirl27

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:13 PM

do you think the small kit will work for 1 marker? (i wanna do my AKP)
how easy was it to do for you?

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#15 Ice

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:51 PM

do you think the small kit will work for 1 marker? (i wanna do my AKP)
how easy was it to do for you?

I think the small kit would work for one marker no problem. You'd most likely have enough to do the reg and some small pieces (feedneck, asa) too. Not really sure. I only bought the big kit.

If you're not somewhat detail oriented then it'll be difficult for you. The quality of the finished product REALLY depends on the quality of your work. I had some frustrations along the way (had to redo one of the halves of my hopper because I didn't put enough activator on the film), but I was able to recover from them. For instance with my hopper when I dipped it the ink tore and left big voids. So to fix it you just sand it down again, spray the base coat again and you're ready to dip 30 minutes later. If you're not the kind of person that finishes what you start, then maybe it's better you pay someone else to do it. :) So difficult isn't the word I'd use, more like potentially frustrating if you aren't careful. But if you are careful you'll come up with something awesome. FYI when I did screw up that hopper, I called the 800 number the company gave me for support. I ended up talking to the actual guy in the instructive video for about half an hour. He walked me through my problems, told me what I had done wrong, and told me how to fix it without wasting a bunch of supplies. Pretty cool guy.

Edited by Ice, 05 March 2011 - 10:53 PM.

Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#16 etekgirl27

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:01 AM

sounds really cool....i think I'm gonna get the small kit since I'm only doing the body, feedneck, asa, reg, and pump handle...ill try and measure to be sure though. I just cant decide between the white/silver or the black/red carbon fiber
i dont really have a problem with detail oriented stuff...I'm actually pretty good at it. I watched a bunch of videos on youtube on how to do it and it looks like something i can manage

Edited by etekgirl27, 06 March 2011 - 01:02 AM.

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#17 Ice

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:09 AM

sounds really cool....i think I'm gonna get the small kit since I'm only doing the body, feedneck, asa, reg, and pump handle...ill try and measure to be sure though. I just cant decide between the white/silver or the black/red carbon fiber
i dont really have a problem with detail oriented stuff...I'm actually pretty good at it. I watched a bunch of videos on youtube on how to do it and it looks like something i can manage

FYI the guy told me carbon fiber is probably the toughest film to do because it is rather unforgiving. Even once I got the hang of it I still had to touch up a couple small spots. Really easy to do with a camo pattern, really tough with carbon fiber. I'm not trying to dissuade you at all, just letting you know that you'd be jumping in with both feet!

It is definitely something you can manage if you're careful. The trick to the whole thing (as I learned) is learning how much activator to use. Once you get the hang of that dipping is much easier and your results are a lot better.

Another tip... don't leave the feed tube of the airbrush sitting in acetone overnight to clean it like I did.... when you go to take it out there will be nothing left! Luckily for me they sell that tubing at Lowes for $.14/foot (and you only need 4 inches or so).
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#18 True Colours

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 11:50 AM

This looks sick, Nice job.

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#19 etekgirl27

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 12:11 PM


sounds really cool....i think I'm gonna get the small kit since I'm only doing the body, feedneck, asa, reg, and pump handle...ill try and measure to be sure though. I just cant decide between the white/silver or the black/red carbon fiber
i dont really have a problem with detail oriented stuff...I'm actually pretty good at it. I watched a bunch of videos on youtube on how to do it and it looks like something i can manage

FYI the guy told me carbon fiber is probably the toughest film to do because it is rather unforgiving. Even once I got the hang of it I still had to touch up a couple small spots. Really easy to do with a camo pattern, really tough with carbon fiber. I'm not trying to dissuade you at all, just letting you know that you'd be jumping in with both feet!

It is definitely something you can manage if you're careful. The trick to the whole thing (as I learned) is learning how much activator to use. Once you get the hang of that dipping is much easier and your results are a lot better.

Another tip... don't leave the feed tube of the airbrush sitting in acetone overnight to clean it like I did.... when you go to take it out there will be nothing left! Luckily for me they sell that tubing at Lowes for $.14/foot (and you only need 4 inches or so).


I'll keep that in mind thanks

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#20 Ice

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:37 PM

Here's what they looked like throughout the process. I only wish I had taken pics of them before I primed them, but oh well.

Posted Image
That is after priming. As you can see there is no hint of what colors the guns were originally. I used wine corks to plug all the holes so no water or ink would penetrate. For the barrels, I filled them with cotton balls then put a barrel plug in each end which made really good handles.

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Here's the UL barrel that I failed on. Not enough activator (not even close). Not a big deal, just primed it again. Now that I know what I'm doing that mistake will never happen again. Part of the learning process. That and half the halo shell are still waiting to be redipped.

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This is right after these were dipped, before I had applied the clear coat. Top to bottom: SLG, PMR, Lurker. The color of the print shows a lot better in this picture. That's closer to what they look like now than the other pics I posted at the beginning of the thread.
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#21 Ice

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:24 PM

A little better picture of my PMR & Lurker
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Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#22 etekgirl27

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:36 PM

i see you dont have the proto jewl on it...do you plan on putting it back on? and what sort of glue would you recommend? I'm going to take the CP jewls off my reg but I'm not sure what is a good way to re attach them

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#23 Ice

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:40 PM

i see you dont have the proto jewl on it...do you plan on putting it back on? and what sort of glue would you recommend? I'm going to take the CP jewls off my reg but I'm not sure what is a good way to re attach them

I still have the jewels. The factory just attached them with double sided foam tape. If I were to stick them back on again I'd use the same, or maybe some e-6000. That way they'd never come loose, but would still be removable if I wanted them to be. But the jewels for both the PMR and SLG are silver, so the chances that I'll be putting them back on the guns at this point are pretty slim.

I'm actually going to sell the SLG on ebay. I'm curious to see how much I get for it.
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#24 cockerpunk

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 03:39 PM

wow, that is really cool. i always knew of that process since WGP used it on some of there special edition guns, but a home kit is really cool.

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#25 kawasaki.kdx200man

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:33 PM

Nice work! I was on the fence about doing this to my twin tac8's but I for sure am now. But I am gonna be lazy and have a company do it. :P

#26 etekgirl27

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:02 AM


i see you dont have the proto jewl on it...do you plan on putting it back on? and what sort of glue would you recommend? I'm going to take the CP jewls off my reg but I'm not sure what is a good way to re attach them

I still have the jewels. The factory just attached them with double sided foam tape. If I were to stick them back on again I'd use the same, or maybe some e-6000. That way they'd never come loose, but would still be removable if I wanted them to be. But the jewels for both the PMR and SLG are silver, so the chances that I'll be putting them back on the guns at this point are pretty slim.

I'm actually going to sell the SLG on ebay. I'm curious to see how much I get for it.


I'm sure you'll prolly get a good amout for it....kids on ebay eat that stuff up

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#27 NickDR8

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:32 AM

If anyone does the CF one Send me pics!
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#28 Ice

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:11 PM

Nice work! I was on the fence about doing this to my twin tac8's but I for sure am now. But I am gonna be lazy and have a company do it. :P

Let me know how much they're charging. Maybe I can save you some money. ;)



i see you dont have the proto jewl on it...do you plan on putting it back on? and what sort of glue would you recommend? I'm going to take the CP jewls off my reg but I'm not sure what is a good way to re attach them

I still have the jewels. The factory just attached them with double sided foam tape. If I were to stick them back on again I'd use the same, or maybe some e-6000. That way they'd never come loose, but would still be removable if I wanted them to be. But the jewels for both the PMR and SLG are silver, so the chances that I'll be putting them back on the guns at this point are pretty slim.

I'm actually going to sell the SLG on ebay. I'm curious to see how much I get for it.


I'm sure you'll prolly get a good amout for it....kids on ebay eat that stuff up

I hope you're right!
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

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#29 Ice

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:16 PM

If anyone does the CF one Send me pics!

What part of the gun would you most like to see in CF? Body? Barrel? Small parts would work best with CF. Things like eye covers would be perfect. If my SLG sells well, I may try CF next. I'm up for a challenge!

Edited by Ice, 09 March 2011 - 12:17 PM.

Posted Image
One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#30 seriouslysilly

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:25 PM

awesome job!

#31 NDomipolo

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 03:40 PM

i think i may do this,it looks really good,i think ima do it to my ego 8 once i get a new gun

#32 CdnNinja

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 04:12 PM

Great job man. Lookin' good.

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#33 K.YO

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 02:22 AM

wow those look really sweet. nice job

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#34 RealtorTommy

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:48 PM

If you wish to offer a service here. Join the Players Club and we will move this to the Third Party Customizing section.

#35 Ice

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 08:30 PM

If you wish to offer a service here. Join the Players Club and we will move this to the Third Party Customizing section.

Cool! I didn't make this thread to with the intent of offering services (edited my initial post to make that clear), just showing off some work I'm proud of and telling people how to do it. But if I do decide to turn it into a business then I'll definitely follow your advice. It would basically be like free advertising on TechPB. Well, almost free. :)
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#36 Rock out w/your cocker out

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:13 PM

Dude, nice work! I've been on the fence in regards to trying this - looks like I may have to give it a whirl... :)

#37 PaintballPlayer247

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:28 PM


If anyone does the CF one Send me pics!

What part of the gun would you most like to see in CF? Body? Barrel? Small parts would work best with CF. Things like eye covers would be perfect. If my SLG sells well, I may try CF next. I'm up for a challenge!

:blink: the whole gun? (everything you did to yours with the camo would look nice)

Edited by PaintballPlayer247, 20 March 2011 - 08:29 PM.

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#38 propaintballer97

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:52 PM

How do they know which color you're ordering, I might use the solid colors as an alternative to anodizing.

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#39 etekgirl27

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 09:00 PM

How do they know which color you're ordering, I might use the solid colors as an alternative to anodizing.


you email them or put it in the pay pal notes after you buy

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#40 Aulldeath

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:03 AM

nice man, this is exactly what I was planning to do with my Luxe, 2 barrels, and maybe pinokio, but I was too worried about using a do-it-yourself kit, and was thinking of just sending it in somewhere.
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#41 Ice

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:25 AM

nice man, this is exactly what I was planning to do with my Luxe, 2 barrels, and maybe pinokio, but I was too worried about using a do-it-yourself kit, and was thinking of just sending it in somewhere.

I bet they would do it for you. Email them and ask. That pinokio would probably take a whole yard of film by itself if you did both nose cones. :)
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#42 Ice

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

How do they know which color you're ordering, I might use the solid colors as an alternative to anodizing.

If you're just looking to make your gun a solid color, duracoat is probably a better idea. Check it out here. Hydro dipping is more for complex or multicolor patters that would be impossible to paint unless you're an amazing artist.


Edit: They put my gun in their ad! Cool!!!

Edited by Ice, 21 March 2011 - 09:30 AM.

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#43 Mr.V

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:14 PM

too bad this service is so far away (seen from europe over the pond :-) )
anyway, any tips on technology to look at to find someone who can do this?

#44 Ice

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:17 PM

I found it by googling phrases like "Hydro Dip" and "Water Transfer". Throw the word "Camo" in there too.

But before you order, send the company an email with a lot of questions. I sent the same email out to 4 companies. Only one ever responded, and that response came only an hour after I sent the email. That's why I talk so well about Hydraphics, they have great customer support. I had read some really bad things about other companies on a few gun forums too. Once they bought the kit from those other companies it took 6 weeks to ship and they had no support at all.

If you do your homework, you should be ok.
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Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#45 etekgirl27

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:56 PM

Saw your marker on the ebay page ice, congrats.
Ive been talking to Dan and he sent me a color chart for the base colors. I think I've settled on pink but now I just dont know which pattern I want

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#46 Ice

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 03:11 PM

Saw your marker on the ebay page ice, congrats.
Ive been talking to Dan and he sent me a color chart for the base colors. I think I've settled on pink but now I just dont know which pattern I want

What patterns are you deciding between? I think their snakeskin would be awesome. I actually just came inside from dipping my hopper and touching it up. Here's a pic. Sorry about the glare from the flash.
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#47 ThunderLights

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:59 AM

hey, i think this prosses looks really nice. do u think it would work on high impact plastic? im thinking about doing it to my vibe.

#48 Ice

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:24 AM

Yes however I recommend you get their 'adhesion promoter' if you're going to do that. It kind of turns whatever you spray it on into superglue for paint. They sent me some by accident with my first order. :) Amazing stuff. You could probably get by without it, but it would be a lot more resistant to chipping if you used the stuff. I should have used it on my hopper, but I had primed my hopper before I even found out they had sent me the adhesion promoter. Just sand down your vibe with 300 grit sandpaper, then again with 600 and it'll work.

The only things they told me to avoid are rubber or flexible parts (like masks). I might just try a mask anyways... ;) There's a little bit of hard plastic on my profilers and on my pro axis that I could do. I'd have to tape off the entire rest of the mask, but I've got 3 profilers and 2 pro axis so if I screw one up I won't hate myself.
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One of my hydrographed guns. If you want that for your gun, send me a PM and I'll help you out. Or click here for my thread about it.

Now get off my damn lawn, whippersnapper.

#49 ThunderLights

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 04:54 PM

Yes however I recommend you get their 'adhesion promoter' if you're going to do that. It kind of turns whatever you spray it on into superglue for paint. They sent me some by accident with my first order. :) Amazing stuff. You could probably get by without it, but it would be a lot more resistant to chipping if you used the stuff. I should have used it on my hopper, but I had primed my hopper before I even found out they had sent me the adhesion promoter. Just sand down your vibe with 300 grit sandpaper, then again with 600 and it'll work.

The only things they told me to avoid are rubber or flexible parts (like masks). I might just try a mask anyways... ;) There's a little bit of hard plastic on my profilers and on my pro axis that I could do. I'd have to tape off the entire rest of the mask, but I've got 3 profilers and 2 pro axis so if I screw one up I won't hate myself.

cool, im kinda sketchy how about it, i dont wanna fuck up my vibe. can u dumb it down for me as to what the steps are and how you do them please?

#50 etekgirl27

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:56 PM

Ice- I like the water droplets one and the carbon fiber, the zebra one looks cool but i dont think it would look good on my marker
also what did you use the keep stuff from getting in the screw holes?

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