photo BD-L119-REPTILEMAIN_zpsc0da52bc.jpg

How many amateur airsoft bloggers get to run articles by proper print-media professionals?

Aside from the great honour that’s felt, you just know the content is going to be well written, engaging and come complete with a crop of beautifully shot pics. Well, that’s what I expect from the AI guys, anyway!

And indeed, being able to drop-in a blog written by none other than Ben Dickie – Art Director of Airsoft International Magazine – is even more welcome after a ten hour flight from LAX and the associated jet lag.

Over to Ben:

“Much like beards, L119s are the ‘in thing’ right now. The main difference though is that where you’re likely too see a lot of beards, you’re not likely to spot that many Marui recoil, custom L119A1s with full Diemaco trades engraved!”

 photo BD-L119-REPTILE2_zpsae695f62.jpg

“My thinking behind this project was that I wanted something a bit different… and before I set out, there were some requirements that needed addressing; I knew straight off the bat that patriotically, I wanted a unique SAS/SBS UKSF M4 platform, primarily to lean away from the over-crowded US hardware and load outs out there, that every Tom, Dick and Harry can be seen with….”

 photo BD-L119-REPTILE6_zps41a50547.jpg

“Why two? Well, I’ve never really been satisfied with the look and feel of my back-up SOPMOD M4 and it’s always been the ginger step-child, left in the shadows, or in the back of my car at games, incase my go-to gun failed on me.

Once I’d finished work on the shorty I fell in love with it so much that I decided the SOPMOD was going to share some of the love, get more use and undertake similar treatment, but this time as the ‘long’ version…”

 photo BD-L119-REPTILE3_zpscaeae5b2.jpg

“I’ve had a surprising amount of interest in the paint jobs on this brother and sister project.

I call it the ‘left in the back of a Somalian Toyota Hilux’ look…

Guys often stop me, asking, ‘Dude, how did you do that?’ Or, ‘Man, if I send you my gun can you do mine like that?!’

 photo BD-L119-REPTILE4_zpscf7ee50d.jpg
 photo BD-L119-REPTILE5_zpsf97b13b0.jpg

“In all honesty, I always say the same thing… it’s the easiest thing in the world to achieve and you don’t need me or even have to have an artistic eye at all… in fact, if you did it with your eyes shut, you’d probably get the same result!

It’s a two stage process; starting with a light dusting of Khaki Krylon (not tan, I find it too yellow), then before it has a chance to dry properly, simply give it gentle wipe with a rag, dabbed with a shot of white spirit and you’re done! By chance, once dry, the white spirit takes the shine of the metal, leaving a nice matte finish which compliments the dusty bits that were untouched by the rub down process.”

 photo BD-L119-REPTILE1_zps35975551.jpg

“Lastly, a big shout out to Keith at ‘Airsoft Machine Shop’ for the engraving and barrel cut-down/rethreading – his over-engineering, attention to detail, customer satisfaction and CNC skill set is second to none!”

Ben Dickie
Art Director
Airsoft International

A massive thanks to Ben for words and pics, and for choosing The Reptile House Blog 🙂