My first Nerf gun mod...(lots of pics)

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Master Member
Hey guys..

inspired by all the great work by everyone (especially JA)..

I took some steps to mod my first NERF gun ever (the classic Maverick)..

My first steps were to work out the internal/electronics, before the outter paint

(which I have only primed and blacked at this point.. still searching for some links to good weathering/dry-brush tutorials.. if anyone recommends some?)

anyways.. what I have done so far:

custom electronics (Arduino based)
plays custom audio files (changeable by user) loaded on micro SD card
user defined R, G or B led blaster/barrel color (defined on SD card config file)
semi & auto fire modes. (separate colors can be chosen if desired) (defined on SD card config file)
custom defined ammo count (defined on SD card config file)
top slide reloads empty clip
machine 'barrel' to house custom pcb and LED lens/holder..etc..

here are some pics of my progress start to finish.. (I even took some of making the boards from ordering pcbs solder paste, re-flow...etc..etc if interested)


after some work.. I made some progress on this project. ;)

I got the electronics all figured out.. (including making/baking/assembling the board, writing/finalizing the code, home brew/etching two additional custom pcb's...yadda yadda)

It is powered by S.C.A.B... :)
[kinda my generic/general platform for far I love it]

I think I had posted pics of making my board somewhere before.. (in another thread currently running about)..

here it was it looks like:

here it is on the left next to an Arduino board (with a WaveShield stacked on top of it for comparison)

(fonts changeable on SD card, reads/loads a few defaults off a text file on SD card as well to set a few parameters on the blaster)

*safety = if on.. you need to have the trigger pressed when you boot up

*maxammo = total ammo count before having to reload

*acolor = led color when in auto-fire mode (can be r, b, or g)

*acolor = led color when in semi/manual fire mode (can be r, b, or g)

here is the first video of stage/phase one of the electronics and code development stage of it:

Prepping the nerf gun: (in no particular order)

*I needed a motor.. but didnt really know how I was gonna make it all work.. about torque on motors...sizes..etc..
got lucky and scored a motor that looked like it would fit from my local science surplus store.. biggest I could find that was small enough to still (it seemed like it was MADE for the gun once I got it home)

*I knew I need to somehow get some leds into the barrel.. and wanted to have it be RGB..

*Wanted it to reload by pulling the slide on top back

*Since its a blaster the SD card and batteries needed to be accessible without having to open the the gun up (ie: accessible sd card and re-charge port)

*Needed to account for a switch/button to switch from semi/manual firing mode to auto-firing mode

here was my first mock up for testing space and how I was gonna attempt things: (pre dynamic default loading)


(s.c.a.b. in grip/butt)


after taking apart the Maverick gun (many tutorials all over on it if needed).. I saw how the barrel was turned internally by trigger pull.. and figured Id hack/modify it to suit my needs.
I cut/sanded the hexed shaped top off the post/part that connected to the barrel and turned a little inner sleeve and press fit hole so it would attach to the cut down motor shaft.

before/after motors:


** what you dont see pictured is any pics of the custom PCB I etched for the components to drive the motor (SCAB/Arduino do not have enough power itself to drive high power devices.. so you need a driver/transistor...etc.. something to help out)

but here are the schematic and pcb files I made in eagle for it:


RGB barrel LED:

I was going to use a DX RGB led star I had laying around.. but then decided it was over kill for a blaster (not like I need to light up a poly tube/blade or anything)..
so I opted for a 505 RGB led,.

*created a custom home etched pcb for it
*turned down a two piece optics holder and pcb 'presser up againster' unit to hold everything.. (similar to Ace's small OD optics/holders... but mine are much more ****ty and crude..and no threading....well you get the point).. haha..

I wont go into detail on how I etched.. I have posted a few tutorials step-by-step on how to make these at home in 10 minutes enough..

after etching.. smear some solder paste.. and populate board with resistors & 505 RGB:

bake it in toaster oven:



make inner sleeve/bottom portion to hold/push the pcb with (including some milled out section for wire passing)

make outter sleeve to hold optics in it.. and also has the bottom portion slide in and sandwich the pcb up against the optics......and fits in the Maverick gun plastic barrel part:



Unit all put together:

Inside the Maverick barrel:

Exploded view of all parts/optics/pcb..etc:


Mode select switch.. had to think about where I was gonna put this.. without some huge, ugly slider switch somewhere.. that looked like an after-thought...
I eventually decided to re-purpose the same button/area that used to allow the barrel to swing out and reload the darts..
*(this switch has an led in it.. I am not currently using it.. but could be used to have the switch backlit.. I have a 3.3v pad on the board)



using a simple lever switch.. for both both main trigger and reload..

reload switch:
this one is secured to some perfboard cut to snug fit for inside the gun area.. it positions it in the correct place so the top slide hits it when pulled back, w/o mod to the top slide area/parts

main trigger:
you can see where I placed it int he above overview shot of the gun layout..

I mod'd/filed down the trigger a bit to hold the lever from the switch it in easier...(works great!)

after getting all this work and aligning things up.. I did a quick mock-up and cram-fu test with it mostly assembled.. (some parts have to wait for final paint and/or assembly)..

I took this video of its current state.. which Im calling 'done'.. and ready for break down and final paint & weathering (attempts) lol

blaster v1 & blasterOSv.1 demo vid.. - YouTube

Im still not sure about trying a chrome/silver/nickle base and some dark washes.. or going with a black base..and trying to silver/grey dry brushing..etc.....

(better decide soon eh?) lol

currently all parts have been primed and blacked out.. going to try some drybush weathering once I get enough courage to give it a shot!

thanks for any feedback.

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Master Member

(wow only 1 comment?) lol

I was hoping to get some 'inspiring' links to help push me toward finishing the weathering on it..

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Ford W Maverick

Well-Known Member
Sweet! I've modified a few Mavericks now, I just love the design of it, but I've never attempted anything like that. I have thought about adding a battery pack and lights to one, but this is well beyond my capabilities. :D


Master Member
thanks for the thread link.

I have looked at JA's work before.. (that thread a well)..

that is the type of weathering (dry brush) technique I want to do..

it would be my first though... so figured Id see if there were any tuts or links to sites that outline this stuff?

I googled/youtubed a bit.. but nothing for blasters/guns much..although I understand the concept is the same..etc :)

probably just a bit 'gun shy' haha

also.. while I did my own custom electronics for this....

there 'are' retail boards (that are much better/more effects) you can buy for your blaster props..



Active Member
Wow... this is epic... have you got any updates?

I've got a guide on my site, if it's any use to you, though it's swayed more toward Australian modders.


New Member
Cool! I've seen programmable parts in Nerf blasters before, but this is a couple of levels above anything else I've seen so far!
I've been thinking about about doing a Borderlands 2 Jakobs sniper from Nerf blasters lately, your work made me start looking for parts. :p

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Well-Known Member
I came in here expecting to see a cool paint job, this is much more than a mod. You are building something new and just putting a nerf skin on it.

Can't wait to see the final product.


Master Member
wow! I didnt even get any email notifications about this thread!

Thank for the replies & kind words. :) (appreciate it.. these are the kinds of things that keep me going & interested in my project adventures)

as far as 'updates' go.. I have primed it..

and was going to go for a 'silver/grey' base with a black wash over it.. (but thought it might be too much for my first attempt at it)... then decided to go black base..and do some dry brush weathering..

I sprayed with satin black.. (then again with flat as I didnt care for the

and thats where I left it..

I googled & youtube'd a bunch of dry brush weathering tuts.. but never got the 'nerve' to actually 'try it'....

so there it sits, either:

A.) put it together all flat black (hero style, no weathering)..and seek out some decals or something (laser cut/plotter..etc)


B.) suck it up and find the time and 'balls' and attempt a 'go' at dry-brushing it..


it has more 'impact' and looks alot better all black, and fully put together with led in barrel, and slide on top working for re-load

thanks! :)


thanks the link(s) I cant see FaceBook from work.. :(

anything that will help give me some confidence to get this done will help! :)

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
The best thing about painting is... it isn't permanent! If you screw up, start over :) Isn't that big of a deal, so nothing to fret over :thumbsup

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Sr Member
Mmm. Amazing. I came to this thread today because they have the Maverick on sale again at the local Wallgreen's. But what you are doing mechanically is way beyond me. I love how blase you are about doing a home etch then reflow in a toaster oven! (Yes, I know people do it, but I'm sure I'd wreck the first ten I tried plus stink up the place horribly too).

Love that board, too. You should put those in production...looks competitive to the other Arduino clones out there. (The microSD is a particularly nice touch).


Master Member
Thanks for the kind words nomuse!..

I think alot of this stuff I do (home brew based electronics) it 'mysterious' only until you try it.. or have enough into to get started.

Many people either make things too technical (when they dont need to be).. (some things NEED to be done technically or have a nice base of knowledge to work from)

the re-flow thing I just started not long ago.. it 'can' get very technical.. the right heat flow signature..etc... getting a controller of some kind to control things/heat..etc

but for myself.. and the personal electronics I do.. it works fine for me..

the oven cost about $17.00 from the local wal-mart.. and your in business.. :)

I am still fairly new to all this stuff myself.. a few years ago.. I didnt even know how to use a breadboard...

I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to 'legit' electronics.... and having a TRUE understanding.. instead of half knowledge and reading/comparing/copying schematics around..etc..

for myself..

learning Eagle CAD was beneficial and helps in getting professional PCB's made..
getting professional solder stencils/masks helped me a lot in assembly of these tiny/SMD boards
some solder paste from
and the $17.00 reflow oven..

it (for me) is really fun still to watch the parts go in the oven in a few minutes.. you see the dull solder paste, turn shiny and flow-out.. once that happens maybe 30-60 seconds more.. and your done!..


Master Member
finally got around to giving its a 'paint job'..

(been sitting in its box since the electronics were mostly done)

a new project for someone else made me think (and stop being a sissy about things!)

its my first attempt at weathering/painting a nerf gun.. (first nerf mod at all actually too) :)

probably could use some better engineering for the barrel.. (like some bearings vs the plastic nerf friction fit bearings/parts..etc)

after painting its a bit 'tighter' for tolerance making it harder to spin the barrel sometimes...

over-all though, Im calling it done... :)

same specs:

all sound files are stored on microSD card (accessible in butt of gun) and can be changed
auto & semi auto modes (can set different sounds for each setting/mode)
can set color for each auto or semi-auto modes (pick from R, G, or B)
can set max ammo count
can set safety on or off (this means when you pull kill key/plug to power prop you need trigger pulled if not it plays FAILED sound..or 'user denied' etc..)

Here is a crummy YouTube video for it:
Nerf_Maverick_finalDemo - YouTube

(hard to demo a gun with one had!) :p

any questions ask.. feed back appreciated..

I think I need to learn the art of 'subtle' weathering.. HAHA I like a more 'lightly used' weathering I think...
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