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I took the heading pic on a short trek in California, around the Santa Monica Mountains in the summer of 2015. I always get slightly euphoric doing wilderness stuff in the US, even though on this occasion we weren’t that far from LA and Malibu (which we could see in the distance, most of the time). However, you don’t often come across signs like this in the UK; the most aggressive animal you’ll see is a badger, or maybe a really, really annoyed squirrel.

While I wasn’t in an airsoft mindset at the time, it’s amazing how these little things influence me in a big way…

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It may not be entirely apparent, but I ended up lending that desert ‘diamondback’ look to my mags; also replicating the bleached-out environment of the SaMo Mountains with my palette and a bit of weathering.

My initial intention was to clean all the shitty paint off my mags. They were covered in a pretty much unworn colour scheme which seemed like a good idea at the time, but two years hence I really did not like.

Thanks to Andy of Tactical Optician, who I was texting at the time, I relearned a few techniques he’d enlightened me with a few years back. One of which – important to this project – was acetone-free nail polish remover and green pan scourer.

This is how things ended up:

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I got the effect from a mixture of rubbing down the existing paint job with the solvent and scouring pad, along with a few over-sprays to get some angles in.

For me, the trick with painting or distressing is knowing when to stop. Less is nearly always more and I try not to get things too even or perfect.

These mags will be sent off to Tackleberry this week for an upgrade. He’s doing his Pmags slightly differently now, with more float. I think I’m right in saying that mine were from the first generation he made and I remember testing one of the prototypes. Must have been around 2010 and they’ve served me very well indeed (and saved my back).

Can’t wait for their return, post-enhancement; although they continue to feed perfectly and never need rodding anymore.