Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nerf....DUCK!!!! Yes they can look good (pic heavy)

OK guys I'm gonna start this Blog off with a bang (kinda) and touch on what I think is a cheap costumers best friend...... NERF GUNS. Nerf guns were my first custom costuming try. I purchased the Nerf Recon and the Nerf Maverick as my first guns to start off with. The first thing you have to do is play with them (now the dog runs when she hears the click of a recon cocking). Please play with them for a few before you start taking them apart, this can give you some great ideas and a little fun brainstorming. Once you have worn out the new on them its time to start taking them apart. During this walk thru if you see something in bold, italics, and underlined then it is very important. Before you get started make sure you get a basic starter set to work with here is a picture of my starter set:
The total cost for this set was $16.00 (2X $5.00 for paints, $1.00 for sand paper, $1.00 for screwdriver set, $2.00 for masking tape, $2.00 for the sanding block). So now we have our starting out tools and away we go:
    1. Make sure you remove all the screws. Nothing will tick you off worst then trying to figure out why the parts won't separate and then find that one tiny screw you missed. (also make you feel a little durrrr cause you missed it.)
    2. The springs in a Nerf gun are under A LOT of tension, so be careful when you pull the halves apart that a spring doesn't go shooting across the room or into you forehead (Yes I had a ring on my forehead for a few).
    3. Big piece of advice here....before you dump out the two halves TAKE A PICTURE OF THE PIECES IN PLACE. This will help you immensely when you start to put them back together.
OK so now we took our pics and this is where we are: 
    1. Now we have the the Nerf guns apart your next step is the most important thing.... Get rid of the Nerf logos and any extra writing. This is an important step cause if you don't do it your gun will just look like a painted Nerf gun ( great if you are doing Nerfpunk.)
    2. So we are done sanding and getting rid of all the plastic dust ( use a mask or respirator if you want to ). Take the Nerf husk and wash them with some warm water and soap. Why you ask..... this gets rid of all the fine plastic dust and also any oil on the guns.
Next thing is a base coat. Most spray-paints will not stick to plastic without sanding or a primer but Krylon make an awesome paint called Krylon Fusion that will stick to plastic on the first go. Spray them down with nice even sweeps dont glop ( i know technical word) it on or it will run. Please ignore the Nerf logo, I didnt follow my own advice here but fixed it later down the road. So here we are:
    1. So now we have our undercoat now you need to decide on your colors with the guns for the costume (Inquisitor Thaddeus Kolos) we wanted to stay in a limited color palette (Maroon, Silver,black and Bronze/copper.) So to give guns a metallic look we used Fusion for plastic: Hammered Finish. The colors we used was the silver and the copper.
Grab you masking tape.... you got some didn't you? Little word of advice here keep the tape out of reach of your dog, we lost a roll from leaving it on a low table. OK so now you want to tape off your sections you want different colors, make sure you get a nice seal around your tape edges so the paint doesn't bleed. Example below:

Now we have sprayed on our first color:
Let this coat dry for at least 24 hours before you start to take the tape off, peel it off slowly or you may take paint off with it. once you get the tape off time to do it all over again and tape over what you just painted so you can spray your next color on:

    1. A little note here sometimes you may "overspray" that is when you spray one color and it flies  over and lands on the other color. Now some people would freak about this me I call it a "happy mistake" when you have the colors mix a little it helps tie the colors together.
Now we have our two coats but it looks a little plain doesn't it:

We decided to add in some maroon to help break it up and also to tie it into the rest of the costume. Please don't laugh at my Superman sleep pants:

    1. I will admit I do not have a very steady hand or good patience so all the small detail lines and touch-up was handled by my girlfriend Dana Tyler.
    2. We are going to focus more on the Nerf Recon core piece now since it was the one I used in the Dragon*con 2011 costume contest.
Alright now we have the painting done now my advice to you is to find a good glaze so that you can seal the paint so it  doesn't rub off  or get chipped. Just to let you know some glazes will change the colors of your paints slightly ( made our maroon look redder, and our copper look almost like wood ). The glaze we used can be purchased at any Hobby Lobby for around $5.00.  This is the glaze we use: 
    1. OK so now we are on to the details, since the grip of the pistol looked plain I went to Wal-Mart and picked up some carpet tacks (.90 cents for 25 of them). To insert them into the grip all i did was heat up the tip of it and pushed it in to the plastic till it punched thru, then I pulled it back out and added a little glue and pressed it back in.
    2. Since this gun was going to be for a Warhammer 40K costume I added two Purity seals (I will cover them in another post) to the side. The last add-on i added to the gun was a small skull key chain I bought at Pep-Boys for $6.00.
    3. You now come to the hard part.....the decision to install all the Nerf "guts" back into the gun or leave it hollow. If you are just using it for costuming and NO shooting I don't see any problem leaving it hollow, if you want to shoot it again as part of a game welllllllll your gonna need those important "guts" back in there. Remember those pictures you took ( or I hope you took ) now would be a good time to get them out and use them if not then Youtube   can be your best friend. Just don't be embarrassed that a 9 year old kid is telling you how to put a Nerf gun back together.
Now that we have finished painting and putting our Nerf gun back together the last thing you need to do now is take an awesome picture and show it off to your friends:

That ladies and gents is a wrap. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I know it was long and very picture heavy. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to send me an e-mail at and I will do my best to answer your question. Remember to follow us on Twitter @sixpencestumpy and tell your friends about us. Until later

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