Recently we were contacted by a local outdoorsman with a brand new 2010 Ford F-150 King Ranch edition truck wanting to take his beautiful new truck to the next level with a nice camouflage accent package. We went out to the warehouse and picked out a pattern, talked about exactly what he wanted to accomplish with the kit, and basically settled on a standard VAK 1540, with a Custom Outdoor Elements package. If you’re familiar with our Outdoor Elements: RealGrassFX line, you know it can really take a standard VAK up a notch with a nice, custom look. Well the Custom Outdoor Elements package is similar to the RealGrassFX, but really steps it up with custom hand-cut graphics that work within the flow of the VAK to give an unmatched custom look and feel.
A Custom Outdoor Elements package is something that we recommend you have done by a professional, as it can be a somewhat delicate procedure. However, if you have worked with our material before, you know it can be quite forgiving and easy to use so if you’re careful and have a gentle touch, you can probably give your vehicle the same look at home! The key is to make sure you’re using a sharp blade and a very light touch to keep from damaging the finish on your vehicle.
The idea behind the Custom Outdoor Elements package is pretty simple: take away the hard edge of a standard Vehicle Accent Kit by trimming around the elements of the pattern. Every pattern and every install is different, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to come out with something completely new and unique every time. The cut-edge you choose can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it, so for now we’ll just cover the basic concepts!
Obviously the first step will be to figure which VAK you will need. Remember that you’ll be trimming quite a bit of material away from the top, so you will probably want to order the kit that is at least one size higher than you would typically choose (for example, if you want an 11″ stripe it would be best to order the 15″ or 23″ VAK, depending on how much detail you want when you start trimming it down). Most people going for the Custom Outdoor Elements look will opt for the 40′ package, plus an additional one or two full sheets to accomodate wrapping the bumpers and/or tailgate, as well as other accent pieces here and there. For a tutorial on installing your basic VAK, head
over to our videos page and watch our install videos!
Once you have your Camoclad VAK in hand, it’s time to come up with a game plan for applying your camo. If you want to do any special lines or layouts (such as rising up across the bed to go above the wheel wells or maybe a rise in the front that will continue over the hood to the other side), it’s a good idea to layout a tape line or use a grease pencil to help keep things straight and level. Once you have your VAK layed out and installed, it’s time to start trimming away some of the excess to get that sweet, custom look!
It’s important to have a game plan while your cutting away parts of the pattern. Before you go at it with a blade, figure out a start point and an end point and try to envision the path between them. Maybe even take your grease pencil and just trace out a pattern to follow as you’re cutting. For best results, use the edges in the camo as a guide when you’re cutting. Cut around the edges of leaves, sticks, grass, bark, and other features within the print. Try not to repeat your steps too much to avoid a repetitive look, and even vary the height of the VAK as you trim it away. Our eyes gravitate toward hard edges and straight lines so keep it sort of random and it will really blend in well!
As you’re finishing up, it’s always a good idea to hang on to any scraps or remnant pieces as you go. This way, you can take that extra stuff and cut out a few leaves and sticks and whatever else you find buried in the camo (for this truck in Mothwing Winter, we even cut out several moths from the pattern) to place over your tail-lights or up on your windows, or even just running along the VAK to give it even more flare. The sky is the limit with this technique so be creative, have fun, and SEND US PICTURES!!