So, I’ve been asked a lot about this since I’ve posted up about sticking my newly acquired Block 2 RIS in the oven…
Why the hell am I doing it? Well it’s pretty simple, Most Airsoft clone Daniel Defence rails are completely the wrong colour… The most popular choice is the Madbull Rail, Licensed by Daniel Defence it has great trades… However their colour is shockingly wrong, As seen on a previous build of mine below.
It’s far too bronze, the real rails have a far more subdued tone… more brown than anything else… Although the master of colours, Rich from The Reptile House was just telling me about his rail having an almost purple tone in some lights.
Another popular choice is the Nuprol Bocca 2 Rail, It’soneI’ve owned for a couple of years now… But again it’s too bronze and the lack of trades means that painting it isn’t something you do with so much as a second thought. I’ll also struggle to recommend it, The QC is decidedly below average… My barrel required considerable modification to fit correctly, The rail also boasted “No shims required”, Well nearly a whole mil of shims in my replica says that’s a croc of shit.
Aside all the initial issues it’s served me well enough but I’ve craved a longer barrel for a while now, The stars aligned and I’m now going to be building this into a MARSOC inspired Block 2 build.
Another real rail, A Mk18 RISII From Cobalt’s C-12 (Or Cheese to his friends) has a very dark tone, dark brown with almost a hint of grey/green.
Another real steel rail from the Cobalt collection is Andy’s (C-11) MARSOC inspired Block 2 build, Something close to what I’m aiming to replicate (Albeit with a more budget friendly optic). There’s a definite red tone to this rail but it’s a flat colour with no shine.
For those who can find it, The VFC Rail is an awesome choice. Very close se in colour and complete with passable trades, To paint it would be near blasphemy. Tom (C-03) from Cobalt has migrated this rail from its original home on a CTF226 teammates VFC to a PTW, It currently sits on his TM NGRS, And it’s never short of compliments.
So, As you can see… The real rails are far superior to the Madbull and Nuprol offerings, The VFC is without a doubt the champ of the clones… But at the cost of availability. With this in mind, I looked at a relatively unknown techniqu, But one that’s gained considerable popularity in the US Mk18 clone circuit… Baked rails.
Baking rails is something I’d heard of a couple of years ago on a Facebook Mk18 group but had never had the balls to try.
I acquired a black Block 2 RIS for a tidy amount, sure it was lacking 2 bolts and also the absence of a barrel but would put a lot of buyers off, but I have a barrel nut that should prove adequate, I’ll simply use the one holding on my Mk18 rail at present.
So, onto the bake… It’s a tricky one and there are no guarantees on results so do it at your own risk, But remember… Airsoft is a fashion show, If just one person says “Is that a real rail” then you know it’ll have been worth it, If you turn your £100 Rail pink, fuck it… Grab the krylon and spray the whole damn thing.
I used a fan assisted oven at 240c, Basically as hot as I could get it… your effectively changing the molecules in the metal so your going to want a nice consistent and high heat. It will smell a little funky so make sure it’s ventilated, My wife has had enough of my shit but at least it’s not Krylon this time… That stuff reeks!
I sat down by the oven… Surrounded by confused cats, Chilling with a Beer and keeping an eye on the rail, It took around 30 minutes for anything to happen at all and a further 15 to get the colour to change. Once out the oven I feared it might have gone too far, a little too red under the light of the overhead fan…
However once the rail cooled, The colour appeared to settle down. It’s not as subdued as a VFC or genuine rail, but it’s a damn site closer than the other clones.
It’s also worth noting that the white trades are seemingly unaffected by the colour change, this isn’t a fluke and it’s a well known quirk that the white doesn’t discolour.
And after all that wait…
Not a bad effort I’m sure you’ll agree… The true test will be once it’s on the receiver and out in the field, I’ll be keeping you guys up to date with the build… I’ll be interested see what it feels like to move back to a 14.5″ barrel, Not that I think it’ll add range but it might change how I play.
I’d like to thank Cheese, Tom and Andy from Cobalt for the kind use of their pictures (And supporting information) and also to Rich from The Reptile House, As ever on hand with a wealth of knowledge and the kind use of a pic from his archives. Also a special mention to Kim (Sabre_Domino) for the fantastic work on the Mary Berry pic, made me chuckle… I’m sure I’m not alone!