Tag Archives: toys

Rocket Booster Controls: Part 2!

These were a fun little art project. Let me remind you what they looked like when I received them:

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

As you can see, it needs some finishing work.

Using an X-ACTO knife, I cleaned out the grooves and tried to smooth out any rough parts on these props. Once I was satisfied with the grooves, I spray painted them flat black.

Spray painting the booster controls. I made sure not to fill the grooves with paint by overdoing it with the paint.

Spray painting the booster controls. I made sure not to fill the grooves with paint by overdoing it with the paint.

Using a brush this time, I slowly applied a layer of silver Rub-N-Buff to give it a dirty, metallic look.  I left the center button black to match the film used prop. When I liked the look, I sprayed it with a coat of glossy Deft to protect the paint.

One thing I noticed with the Rub-N-Buff is that it NEEDS the clear coat. With paint, you can get away without the protective coat.  You would be taking a chance that the paint chips, but you could handle the prop carefully and get away with it. Not so with Rub-N-Buff. Because it is wax based, a thin coat never really seems to dry completely. It will rub off and blemish if touched with enough force. Just a word of caution there.

Anyway, here is a step by step look:

Finished product on the right. Thoughts?

Finished product on the right. Thoughts?

Thoughts?

Advertisements

One Month In…

So here I am, about 30 days in. I can definitely say that this project has been far more work than I imagined it would be when I started. I considered the time and money each piece would require to find, but didn’t think about the hours and hours I would spend customizing each item. The sanding, gluing, painting, sealing, etc. It adds up. The money adds up too. I doesn’t seem like a lot when each item is purchased days apart, but when I add it all together, and take into account the cost of crafting materials, the cost is significant. Quite significant. It’s a little stressful, honestly.

However, I have to follow that sentiment with this one: all my backers have made this project worth it. I’m blown away by the generosity of all those who have donated to the campaign thus far. Every time I get a little stressed out by the work I have yet to do (and the money I’ve spent) thus far, I remember that together we’ve raised $1000 CASA over the last 30 days. That’s incredible. So, thanks to my donors, blog followers, and everyone who has supported me thus far.  Let’s keep the train rolling!

I recently purchased a few new items that I can’t wait to share with everyone. As soon as I get them, expect some awesome updates. Stay tuned and spread the word!

Raised Progress

Rocket Booster: Part 3

The first booster is finished! Here’s how it went…

After the paint dried, I used a black wash (black paint mixed with water) to darken the silver and bring out some of the details. It makes it look dirty, old, and used. I then dry-brushed silver rub-n-buff on the edges and raised surfaces.  If this booster were real, black paint would have rubbed off on these areas.  To further add to the used look (and replicate the screen used prop), I gashed the black paint in a couple of places and then filled in the gash with silver paint.  This was designed to simulate the booster being dinged and battered during use.

To finish it off, I applied a clear layer of Deft (Satin Finish) in order to protect the paint job.

Here’s how it turned out:

Booster Bottom 2

IMG_5044

IMG_5042

Here’s the progression, from start to finish.

Rocket Booster Progression

I would love to hear thoughts, comments, and suggestions. Leave them below!

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!

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!

A Study in Pants

It’s fair to say that I’ve had Guardians of the Galaxy on the brain for the past few weeks. I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for helpful screenshots and digging through fan forums for costume ideas. I’m pretty sure I’ve had a dream about talking trees and raccoons, at one point. So, of course, when I was looking for something to watch last night, I quickly settled on Guardians.

Naturally, I paid close attention to Star-Lord’s costume and props while watching and was rewarded several times with some excellent looks at his clothing.  I wanted to share two particularly helpful screenshots which show his legs in detail.

This shot shows some of the details on his legs and his gadgets.

This shot shows some of the details on his legs and his gadgets.

Leg Diag

I thought this shot was interesting because it shows his rocket controls and where his blasters sit while holstered. Getting these props shouldn’t be hard, but figuring our how to secure these to the pants effectively and securely may be difficult.

One more interesting screenshot:

This shows Chris Pratt as he is detaching his rocket booster to attach it to Gamora.

This shows Chris Pratt as he is detaching his rocket booster to attach it to Gamora.

This action shot shows Peter Quill twisting the rocket booster to detach it. This is a hint as to how it mounts to the side of his spats. Maybe some sort of cell phone mount would work here? If anyone has any thoughts, feel free to share! Attaching all of these gizmos is going to be a chore…

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.