Category Archives: Blasters

Star Lord Nerf Blaster Modification: Part 2

Turns out, it takes a while for spray paint to dry completely. After letting the paint set for 24+ hours, I began phase two of the gun conversion.

After doing some research, I decided to use Deft Wood Finish for a clear coat.  If you’re doing something like this, make sure to wear gloves and a mask.  The mask is key. The fumes go to your head quickly and – as the bottle nicely points out – can cause brain damage. Yeah.

I had a little debate with myself when choosing what type of finish to use: gloss or satin. I liked the idea of using satin as the gun is supposed to be worn and dirty. I was afraid, however, of losing the metallic look of the rub-n-buff. I ended up applying the satin to the back two sections of the outer shell to see how it looked. I have to say, I loved the way it made the black paint look. However, I did lose the metallic luster of the rub-n-buff and so decided to go with a gloss for the rest of the gun.

After applying the first coat, I was worried that I had ruined my paint job.  When the sealer goes on, it often clouds up, making the underlying paint job very hazy. To my relief, it became clear again as it dried.  I took the advice of some online forums and did not touch the finish for 24+ hours. Apparently, the oils in your hands can soak into the finish before it is dry, leaving it with a sticky texture forevermore. We certainly don’t want that!

My reference pictures helped during reassembly. I did have to break the blaster down again after discovering that one of the charging slides didn’t function properly. Other than that, it was a fairly straightforward process.  As complicated as the inner workings looked to me, I managed to get it back together with minimal confusion or difficulty. And it functions perfectly!

And so, without further ado, here are the before and after pictures:

Before and after. I was worried that the gold paint didn't make that much if a difference, but it definitely does.

Before and after. I was worried that the gold paint didn’t make that much if a difference, but it definitely does.

You may notice that I didn’t paint the barrel bluing onto the blaster. I actually tried a couple of different methods, but couldn’t get it right.  I think an airbrush would be the way to go, but I don’t have that kind of airbrush skill. Or an airbrush, for that matter.  And so, I elected to ignore that part of the paint job. I mean, at some point, Peter Quill’s blasters were new, right?

It looks ready for action!

It looks ready for action!

And it still works!

And it still works!

As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions, or questions! If you enjoyed reading about the project and have a couple of extra dollars, I (and CASA) would appreciate you supporting my fundraising effort! You all are awesome!

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Star Lord Nerf Blaster Modification: Part 1

Time for my first big project: modifying the first Nerf blaster. If you haven’t watched my video showing the blaster and it’s cool features, you should check it out!

So, you’ve seen the Nerf blaster. Here is a shot of the actual prop and what I’m going for:

This photo came from The Nova Props post on Instructables. You should check it out.

This photo came from The Nova Props post on Instructables. You should check it out. Click the picture to go there!

The first thing I did was consult numerous tutorials and guides.  There are no shortage of them when it comes to customizing Nerf guns. It turns out, this is a very popular hobby! Instructables.com is one of numerous websites that feature templates and guides. Nova-Props created one for the Star-Lord blaster that I found particularly helpful.

After buying the paints and supplies that I needed, I began by disassembling the blaster.

Nerf Blasters come apart fairly easily. Getting it back together...that's the tricky part.

Nerf Blasters come apart fairly easily. Getting it back together…that’s the tricky part.

I made sure to take meticulous pictures along the way in order to help me get it back together again. It’s important to take it apart before painting, otherwise the paint can gum up the mechanics.  It also results in a better overall paint job.

After breaking down the gun, I sanded off the Nerf logo and other plastic text. I then sanded off the silver paint and the finish on the shiny plastic to help the paint adhere to the gun. For a base coat, I decided to use a metallic, “carbon mist” black primer & paint. I thought the shine would give it a little more pop.

SprayPaint

I taped up one particular part I didn’t want to cover and proceeded to paint.

(right) A part with an area I wanted unpainted covered with painter's tape. (center) Parts after painting. (right) A close up of a painted component.

(right) A part with an area I wanted unpainted covered with painter’s tape. (center) Parts after painting. (right) A close up of a painted component.

Now, I have to admit, I’m not very good at spray painting. If you’re going to do this, read some guides. Most pros recommend a few different, very thin coats. My first coat went on way too heavy. It didn’t run or gunk up any of the details, but I’m sure it could be better.

After letting the paint dry, I began to work on the metallic details. Some people have used metallic spray paint on these parts, but, honestly, I didn’t trust myself not to hit parts I didn’t want silver. So I took some advice from Nova-props and used a product called rub-n-buff. It’s an interesting product.  It’s like paint combined with wax. As the title implies, you rub it on (as opposed to “painting”) and can buff he paint into a shine. It’s a wonderful product.

I, however, was not going for luster on the metallic parts.  I wanted more of a weathered, worn, and stained look. Using a sock, I applied it a little at a time to achieve the following look:

Silvered 1

Now, you can see where the paint didn’t come out smoothly on the side. This was a result of poor sanding before spray painting. The other parts came out better, I swear. Still, I think I achieved the worn look successfully.

I also applied the rub-n-buff to some of the corners and raised details. It helped with the worn look.

Silvered 2

This picture shows my silvering efforts “in progress.” The next thing I did as give some attention to the gold parts of the blaster.  Some people leave this part of the gun alone as it is the right color already.  However, I didn’t. I took some gold rub-n-buff and applied it to give this part of the gun a little more pop.

The gold rub-n-buff has been applied to the bottom picture.

The gold rub-n-buff has been applied to the bottom picture.

I then applied silver to the middle portion.  I put a black wash over this part to bring out the details and make it look dirty. Now, I’m waiting for the paint to dry before applying a protective coat and reassembling the blaster. So, this is where I currently stand:

Current

This was about four hours of work! Stay tuned for the finished product. If you enjoyed reading, I would appreciate any support for my fundraising efforts. CASA would too!

I Forgot Nerf Guns Were This Cool…

I have a confession to make.

After receiving the Nerf gun in the mail, I acted like a five year old. I shot darts at everything…including my wife. Four or five times. To her credit, she was cool with the first three.

A 3D model of the Quad Blaster would still be my first choice for a prop, but these Nerf guns are pretty darn cool. I began to write a post describing them, but words could not do them justice. So, naturally, I spent the whole evening making a video. Enjoy.

The Blasters…

For this transformation, I’m starting with the easy projects. First on my list: Star-Lord’s blasters.

His Quad Blasters, to be precise.

These things are cool looking, even for a casual sci-fi fan. Just look at the screenshot.

Yeah, these guns are cool. Uber cool. Photo credit: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia. Click the picture for link.

Yeah, these guns are cool. Uber cool. Photo credit: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wikia. Click the picture for link.

Like I said: cool. So where do I get my hands on a couple of these bad boys? After doing some research, there are basically two feasible options.

First, I could 3D print one.  After poking around online I found that an enterprising fan named Helagak on theRPF.com has painstakingly created a 3D print file for a Quad Blaster. Awesome. It seems that a number of people on the forum have printed copies successfully. Oh man, would I love to create an original prop with some 3D printed plastic weight to it that I can wave around (responsibly) the day of the race!

The biggest problem with this course of action is that I don’t have a 3D printer. I’ve never seriously considered owning a 3D printer. They intimidate me. They seem too amazing to be true, honestly. Like magic. Now, I could find someone to print it for me. There are services that link you up with 3D printing enthusiasts. I could also grovel on the RPF forums or go to a Fedex location (I hear they’re doing 3D printing now, right?). This is a lot of work for this ancillary prop, though, and I have no idea how much it would cost.

Luckily for me, there is a budget option. I present the Nerf Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord Quad Blaster:

Wait...why is it orange? Photo courtesy of Amazon. Click photo for link.

Wait…why is it orange? Photo courtesy of Amazon. Click photo for link.

This blaster is the right size and the right shape (and FIRES UP TO 25 FEET!). Costing a mere $13.50 (thanks Amazon Prime), this is definitely the way I’m going. I’m going to have to figure out how to paint the thing, but that should be a fun project. Hopefully.

I would love to have blaster with the heft of a 3D printed model, but with the potential cost of the rest of Star-Lord’s getup, I’m going with the cheap option here. Click. Ordered. On my way to being Star-Lord.