Howdy all, I just recently discovered the RPF when I was googling around looking for painted Nerf guns after hearing about them on the Tested youtube channel and decided I really wanted to try to make one for myself! I was at Target recently on an 'unrelated' trip and picked up the cheapest/coolest-looking blaster on the shelf, brought it home, poured over this forum and a few good youtube channels and got to work! I was only expecting to spend a day or two on it but I ended up investing about four days on it including drying times and I am glad I spent the extra time on it, even though I can see every flaw and numerous places where I would have done things differently knowing what I now know...The process was really fun and I am already started on my next one! Below I will post all of my in-progress phone photos as well as a few I took with my dslr. My original goal was just to paint the Nerf Double Strike as a pseudo-steampunk piece with no more real inspiration than that and have it still function as blaster so that way, even if I had a hideously ugly gun, I could still pop spiders in the ceiling corner with it. Luckily the process granted me more inspiration and I really got into thinking up a little story behind it while I was painting the details...Definitely putting a little more planning and backstory into the next one I make beforehand! On to the process...
Planning what will be what color, of course it changed when I realized I had bought 'brass' and not 'copper' spraypaint!
I considered making some kind of sticker/label for the side area but I am morally opposed to Kinko's and I didn't feel like making a separate trip to my good printshop so I'm saving that for my next project
I realized afterwards that this was a totally unnecessary step just to get these sections black! I plan to prime nearly everything with flat black in the future to eliminate this step - it did serve me well later during my weathering though as I would probably have gone through to the original plastic with my heavy handedness
At this point I was genuinely worried I had wasted a LOT of time on this project because I was seriously hating how it looked: most of my mask lines had been off, the gun was gold and not copper (I have a pet peeve against gold and black together haha), and I still wasn't %100 I could get it back together and working BUT I was about to start the most fun part of the entire thing: weathering! I followed the awesome (and fairly terrifying) technique found on this blog and was extremely pleased with the results. I have never done this style of process before and glopping black paint over my good 8 hours of work was intimidating, but I'm already anxious to try it again on something that's actually copper-colored!
Second pass of black - you can see where I got overzealous and wiped right down to the white primer in a few spots, most noticeably the top rail and hilt-butt. I addressed these spots later with sharpie highlights and other weathering techniques
My first attempt at painting 'mud' into the crevices. After I laid down the paint I thought it looked waay too smooth and liquidy to be real mud so I ran inside and grabbed my salt grinder and covered the whole thing like I was curing it for the long journey across the Atlantic. Immediately I realized I should have just put the salt INTO the paint and that now it just looked like salted mud... but there was still more weathering to do and hey, that fixes everything, right?
At this point I was thinking about how the gun would have been left outside forever, maybe part of some failed attempt to cross a desert wasteland or salt-flat... I figured I would adjust it a little and argue that it could fit in with the Firefly 'verse
On to the next step outlined in the blog, another type of weathering I've not tried before but am very excited to try again! I was a pretty worried with how bright all the acrylics were looking, but was hoping they would fade/darken with some sunlight and a good rubdown from my dirty, spraypainty hands. I also noticed something else really cool; the teal paint was seeping into the salt crystals which gave the appearance that they were causing the degradation and hence, the teal color, perfect!
After all the acrylics were dry I went over the whole gun and highlighted the silver/gold areas with corresponding sharpies to indicate some more recent wear, like it's new owner found it, picked it up, and just started using it right away without cleaning it, like some kind of toothless outlaw!
My apt neighbors definitely gave me a few weird looks while I was taking this one
For the handle I ended up using the rag I wiped all the black paint off with! I really liked the 'bandit red' of the cloth and the black and brown paint (and being dropped in the dirt a couple times) already meant it was nice n weathered. I roughly cut it into a couple strips, tied them together, dipped em in some watered-down wood glue, and wrapped up the handle as tightly as I could. Note - my hands (and most adult males, I assume) are far too large to hold the handle of the Double Strike comfortably so I figured I would address via my handle-wrap. To get the whole handle wrapped I had to cut two pieces of cloth and knot them together. Normally, this would create a huge lump of cloth that would make a grip uncomfortable, but in this case I just situated the majority of the knot right in the crook of the handle, effectively beefing the thing up enough so I could grip it and cock it comfortably with one hand!
Overall I'm happy with the results and really enjoyed the process! I have already acquired a Nerf Reflex and Recon to go with a less weathered approach and I am definitely considering doing a Borderlands-style gun as well. I would love to hear any comments or recommendations from my fellow makers! Thanks for reading!