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 Yodamann's Weapons

  • 40 Replies
Yodamann's Weapons
« on: Jan 31, 2017, 12:46 PM »
A couple Summers ago, I picked up a Nerf DC-15S at a garage sale. Thinking it was close to full size, I thought I might paint it up one day and have a nice costume gun. This sat in my closet for years, until about two days ago, when I was inspired to take it out and maybe add it to my WIP kit. Think is, it's wildly undersize. I thought to myself: "Self, you've got a nice Swarzy base for a gun right here." I covered up the barrel, and thought that would look pretty sweet. And thus, this idea was born!

Here we have a crude photoshop of more or less what I hope the finished product will look like. I plan on designing the barrel to be 3D printed and it will mesh with the support structure inside the gun. With a plan in my head, it was time to open this baby up.

Reading online, the suggestion was to pry the orange cap off the tip of the  gun with a flathead screwdriver. After destroying part of the tip, and nearly ruining my fingers, I decided a more... powerful approach was needed. Enter my $5 garage sale Dremel:

With that out of the way, I unscrewed the various screws and tried to open it up. No dice. Apparently, there's some glue inside the barrel keeping everything together. So using a flathead screwdriver, I pried it open so I could see what the innards look like.

My idea for this gun (beyond the planned shape) is to have some nifty electronics inside. First of all, I'd like there to be an LED inside the barrel that lights up on a trigger pull event. I'd also like there to be a blaster sound too. Finally, on the original nerf, there was a red light up top that would shine when the trigger was pulled. This light was kind of sickly, so I want to replace it with a better light that would be activated by a second switch. The only problem there is that I can't seem to get the original light tube out. I tried levering it out with (you guessed it) a flathead screwdriver, but it wouldn't budge. Does anyone here know how to dissolve whatever glue nerf used?

« Last Edit: Mar 20, 2017, 03:15 PM by Yodamann » Logged
Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #1 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:22 PM »
Since I only have about 5 irons in the fire with my armour, I thought I'd add one more... a 3D printed Thermal Detonator.

I found the files on Thingiverse, and separated it into 3 separate chunks so I don't have to sit in front of the 3D printer at university for 8 hours straight.  Anyway, here's the first part, the top of the detonator!

Here's the raw print. I printed with .27mm thickness and PLA. I've got some spray filler primer at home, and I hope that with that I won't have too much sanding to do. Aside from that, any tips on getting the last of the support out of it? The inside doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to lock into the bottom.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #2 on: Apr 18, 2017, 11:19 AM »
Now that my local weather is starting to turn, I can do some outside-ish work!

In the time since my last post, I printed out the bottom of the detonator, but the printer messed up the dimensions a bit, and the top didn't fit into the bottom. Enter: my $5 Garage Sale rotary tool! I ground out a good amount of plastic and now it fits together.

All ground out

I need to reattach some locking pegs. They... broke while I was trying to get the support material out of the print. Any tips on adhesive? I've got some two part epoxy, e6000, and some bondo-type stuff. Also, I probably have some superglue.

« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2017, 07:08 PM by Yodamann » Logged
Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2017, 07:55 PM »
I've made some progress on the pistol since the last update.

First, I cut that barrel off, making a more pistol-ish shape for this fella:

I also ground down the raised "Star Wars" and other caution text. However, I was a bit... enthusiastic, and so I hit it with a layer of filler to get everything back to being level:

Now the front of this bad boy isn't looking so hot, so the scheme is to model a short barrel in some not-yet-determined 3D Modelling software and print it out on a 3D Printer that I haven't bought yet.

Now as per the original post, I'd like there to be some fun functionality to this piece, that is, a light at the end of the barrel, sounds when you pull the trigger, and an independant light in that top hole in the previous picture.

I've got the trigger circuit mocked up on an arduino, and I've got some speakers that I can... rescue from a career fair giveaway freebie, and I've got a micro SD reader on the way to store the sound files. I was wondering if there was a good way to still have access to all the internals once this gets closed up. I know that I have to fill in the screw holes, but that takes away any way of opening this sucker up again. If the Arduino pro mini burns out or if the speaker comes loose, I'd like a way to get in there that doesn't involve ruining the finish of the blaster. Is there a way to make an access port?


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Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #4 on: Apr 30, 2017, 08:12 PM »
Lookin good!
Did you plan on adding grips or a powerpack/magazine? You could try hiding the boards and battery in or behind those, or add a swary lookin panel. You could run a removable bulb or make the barrel removable to get at the led as well in case it goes bad.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 02:18 AM »
Lookin good!
Did you plan on adding grips or a powerpack/magazine? You could try hiding the boards and battery in or behind those, or add a swary lookin panel. You could run a removable bulb or make the barrel removable to get at the led as well in case it goes bad.

I was planning on keeping the batteries in the same original spot, just dremel out where the double As went and put in a 9V or something.

Are any screws allowable? Or is it just the really sunken ones that are a problem? Because if I can have some screws, I recon that would give me enough access.


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Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 07:39 PM »
The only screws you have to cover are the ones that hold the two halves of the toy together. Any screws that are simulated or would be on an actual weapon are A-OK.

May Hod Ha'ran guide my tongue, may Kad Ha'rangir guide my gun, and may Arasuum guide you to your final slumber.

MMCC #2010 - Nevik Marev
Cabur Akaata Member 139 | O.S.B.A. 007
Anansi's Longstrike Carbine
Another Anansi Nerf Mod
Anansi's Armor WIP
Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 11:15 PM »
Thanks for the tip!

Now I've made some progress in the time since my last post. First of all, I cut an access hole into my blaster.

Before. See that bar?

That fella's gone now! Also, I ground out a bunch of the internal supports for the firing mechanism, since they aren't needed anymore.

Just look how empty that half of the gun is.

The other major update to report is...

I got a 3D printer!

Here it is, printing out an M19 scope!

That print wound up failing, but after some helpful conversation with Thaxos, I was able to get one that printed pretty perfectly!

How about that?

Without most of the support material.

So that's where I'm at right now. Progress is happening. I also found a different speaker that I may try to use in my blaster.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 10:57 PM »

Here's a quick vid showing a prototype circuit for my blaster. I think it's coming along pretty well.

I also printed out some greebles to glue to the gun:

These come from the same source as the scope,

Here they are in a possible layout:

Finally, I mocked up a quick design to close of the barrel:

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #9 on: Jul 22, 2017, 01:30 PM »
After many cycles of filler primer/sanding, I got the base coats down on my detonator.

I've also managed to get the scope for my blaster about ready for paint:

Next steps are painting the "band" on the lower half of the detonator black, and the three little light holes silver. Then I've got to figure out how to switch the blasted thing on and get some magnets to keep it together.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #10 on: Feb 25, 2018, 07:41 PM »
I perform some thread necromancy to bring some progress on the blaster pistol:

I modeled and printed out a test tip for the blaster, and made a quick scope mount out of scrap cardboard to get a feel for how the finished product would look. I still need to model a mount for the flashlight I want to get in there.

The final scope mount will be screwed in place so that I still have some access to the innards of the piece.

Here you can see the hole where I want to put the flashlight

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #11 on: Mar 03, 2018, 06:19 PM »
Thanks to the wonders of 3D Printing, I successfully created a mounting point for the flashlight.

Here's the flashlight I'm using. It came from a flashlight I picked up at a career fair a few years ago.

This shows the design evolution for the mount. I started just having a plug for the hole, and then moved on to a piece to attach to an interior peg from the nerf gun. The final one (on the far right) has the housing for the LEDs already inserted.

Nestled in its spot

And in its final place.

I'll reprint the bit in transparent filament so that more light shows through. I did a test with this, and there was no light bleed around the "lens". Unfortunately, there's no pictures of that, since I don't have quite enough hands.

I also added an LED hole to the blaster tip.

This also shows the design evolution of the tip, starting out with just plugging the end, moving up to the shape of the tip, and finally adding and resizing the LED hole.
Unfortunately, this LED had an awful lot of light bleed. I've got another test tip being printed now where the LED will sit closer to the end, so hopefully that'll help. I also tried wrapping it in aluminum foil to block out the light. That helped a bit, but not enough. Any tips on stopping light pollution?


I did a quick test with a painted 3D Printed piece I had on my desk, and I found that it did a good job blocking out the light. I'll just give the piece a coat of black after the priming/sanding loop as extra insurance

« Last Edit: Mar 04, 2018, 03:51 PM by Yodamann » Logged
Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2018, 12:55 AM »
Today, I got the mounting bracket for the scope more or less finished. I probably need to give it a bit more sanding, but I've got it cut out and I've worked out how to attach it to the blaster.

First, I made a paper template based off the ESB DL-44 scope mount.

After I made sure that it would fit the hole in the side of the gun, I went ahead and cut it out of sintra. To get the right angle, I clamped it in a vice buffered by some cardboard with the fold line at the edge of the vice. I heated the sucker up with my trusty heat gun, then folded it over using another piece of cardboard to get a flat surface.

here it is in position:

I still need to install some hardware inside the blaster so that the screws have something to screw into.

I've also been playing around with the electronics for this sucker. The old design has been scrapped, in favour of a design where I don't need to wire up a circuit for the SD card reader. I picked up a couple of these babies, and my first tests have been successful. If I had to do it again, I'd pick up the variant with a built in amp, since the signal coming out is pretty quiet. As it stands, looks like I'll need to pick up a couple discrete amp boards for this. 

As for where the electronics will go, the plan is to grind out the battery case and put all the electronics in there. The speaker will go closer to the barrel, in the cavity that's accessible through the scope mount. the LED wiring will also be in there.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #13 on: Jun 10, 2018, 09:51 PM »
Got some more progress!

With the externals of the blaster coming along, I swtiched gears to the internals. So after some orders to Digikey and Adafruit, I breadboarded out a circuit that was supposed to play a blaster sound when the "trigger" was pulled.

Long story short, it worked.

Check it:

To activate the flashlight on top of the blaster, I needed a switch. So I picked up a simple rocker switch from a local brick & mortar electronics shop, and cut a hole in the side of the blaster shell

First I used my handy-dandy digital calipers to measure the switch's footprint and traced a rough pencil outline onto the plastic.

After more work than I expected, I was able to get a hole cut out. I then slowly increased the hole's size until the switch fit in snugly.

there it is, resting in place.

Should I obscure the I/O symbols on the switch? It occurs to me that they're not all that swarzy.

Re: Yodamann's Weapons
« Reply #14 on: Jul 29, 2018, 01:28 AM »
Despite the lack of updates, I have been working on this bad boy.

First of all, I got the electronics installed and working.

After dry fitting the blaster to make sure everything fit, I noticed a lot of light bleed from the LED flashlight at the top, so I hit the inside with some matte black to block that out, since I'd have no way to do that if the outer paint wasn't enough.

Attentive vode will notice the pennies hot-glued to the grip. I felt it was lacking some heft, so I took out the ol' bag of useless copper, and found a use for it.


Both sides got the same treatment.

Once I was happy with the heft, I taped up the holes from the inside, and closed it up.

Tomorrow is an armour party, and I plan to get this fully sealed, and maybe even primed.

With regard to greeblies, how's it looking? Should I be adding some more stuff to it?


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