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 Blaster Pistol Build

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Blaster Pistol Build
« on: Sep 16, 2020, 11:52 PM »
I recently started work on the blaster pistol for my kit. I started with Nerf Sharpfire blaster.



Yeah, modding it is a lot of work; but I really liked the basic shape and proportions of it.

I started by making a mental list of the mods I wanted to make to it. Next I filed and sanded away all of the Nerf identifiers from the blaster - logos, nameplates, that weird embossed digital camo pattern. At this time,  I decided to leave the triangles on the body below the cocking mechanism; I was planning on adding a 3D printed power pack in that area and figured I'd just model it in a way that covered them.

Next after that was  cutting away the bits that didn't fit my vision, and in my opinion still made the blaster look a little too Nerf-y; this included most of the front pin sight, the rear sight, the two odd angled bars under the barrel (orange) and the body (white), the trigger web and the cocking mechanism guide rails (at which time both of these mechanisms were glued into place rendering the internal mechanics inoperable forevermore).

The last of the initial mods was to cut away that big bulbous swell at the back of the grip and that little triangular point under the trigger guard. The resulting voids, along with any other unwanted holes were filled using a CA glue and baking soda build-up technique that results in a rock hard structure that files and sands very nicely. It's a technique I learned from a guitar repair video; the technique is often employed by some professional luthiers to rebuild a broken guitar nut.  In this case, I lightly packed openings with polyester fill (the kind used in plush toys) to create a sort web of fibers the initial layers of glue and baking soda could adhere to and fill to quickly close the opening. Then it's layer after layer of glue and soda until the desired shape and profile is achieved. After the big openings were suitably filled and built up, I then proceeded to filling smaller craters and imperfections with spot putty.



It was a good start; but I definitely had some more mods I wanted to do. Nerf blaster barrels aren't particularly thick; so I felt the barrel needed to be beefed up. I rolled up a sheet of paper, inserted it into the barrel and allowed itself to uncurl until it was snug; after that I soaked the paper with CA glue.

I then started modelling the various parts to complete the conversion. This started with the power pack. It was during this step that I decided to build a more compact pack, and sand the remaining triangles off the body. You can actually see how thin the plastic where the triangles were has become.

Once the power pack was printed and attached, I modeled the scope. I didn't want to print the main tube; however, I didn't have any suitable tubular materials on hand. So, being bored, I decided to use my rolled paper trick again; only, this time around I was creating a tube from scratch. I started rolling the paper, soaking it with CA glue to laminate the layers together. I finished the tube off by coating it in CA glue and rolling it in baking soda to add significant stiffness, then sanded the whole thing smooth. With the scope tube built, I finished modelling the front and rear portions of the scope, as well as the scope mounts. I finished my 3D modelling with a couple of thumbscrew designs, a thumbwheel, and a couple of small levers.

Once the parts were all printed, I attached them and did more filling and sanding as needed. This is when I decided I should fill in the panel lines and even out/eliminate the panel on the grip. I filed in a deeper seam line near the top of the grip. I decided I'm going to paint the grip in a wood tone; so obviously the panel lines had to go.



Finally, the blaster was ready for the first coat of primer. It was at this time that the universe chose to play a practical joke on me. I had four varied cans of primer and filler primer; all of which were almost empty. That's why the photo of the primed blaster looks a bit patchy. I managed to get it fully coated; but it took what little was left in all four cans of primer. Who knew there would be so many different shades of grey primer.



So this is where I've gotten so far. My next step is to do some smoothing sanding to see what pits, and imperfections remain. Then another round of spot putty, and another coat of primer. Then it'll be on to painting and finishing.

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Ori Dart


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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #1 on: Sep 17, 2020, 04:13 PM »
I dig it. Wasn't sure with the first photos but after seeing it with the primer grey, I think you've pulled it off. Looking forward to seeing how you finish it.

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Oya!

Andry         ; )
Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #2 on: Sep 26, 2020, 05:01 PM »
The blaster build progresses. Another round of filling and sanding done. I was satisfied with the surface finish; but I felt something was needed at the back end of the blaster to further change up the Nerf-y appearance. I wanted that new element to be subtle, rather than extreme. So I attached a wiring nut to the back end of the barrel. IMO, the protrusion of the wire nut draws the attention to itself and seems to break the usual Nerf-like lines of the original blaster; I'm very happy with the shape of the blaster at this point.

So a new coat of primer had the blaster ready for the first coat of paint, a gloss dark grey.



Now it's effectively ready for more finishing. The plan going forward is to coat most of the body and the barrel of the blaster with graphite powder for a nice metallic finish. I'm thinking I'll paint the scope mount and scope black; and the handle will be painted to look like wood. I'm just not sure how best to sequence these different finishes.

Applying the graphite powder is likely to be messy; so I think that's the next step. With a clear coat to protect the graphite afterwards. Then I'll be able to mask those portions of the blaster to isolate each of the other sections for their respective finish paint jobs.

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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #3 on: Oct 17, 2020, 12:26 AM »
Soon after I posted my previous progress post, I received the graphite powder I ordered; so I set about metallicizing the body and barrel of the blaster. I didn't take a photo after this step; this is unfortunate because the newly metallicized parts of the blaster looked amazing! They had an amazing metallic sheen to them; that sheen dulled significantly after I applied the next coat of clear satin sealer.

Despite the dulling of the sheen on the gaphited parts; it still looked good. It actually looked like a well used firearm already. After the clearcoat I moved onto painting the rest of the blaster's parts to their final colors and textures. It was at this point that I decided to give the large thumbwheel, the butt knob, and the connecting rings on the scope a brass look and to make the scope's central tube a bright silver-ish color. The rest of the scope, and its mount would become black (except for the studs on the mounting rings). Then, another layer of clearcoat to get it ready for weathering.



The brass/gold parts look especially yellow in these photos; but in person, they look much closer to a rough brass color.

After that, it was time for weathering. Subtle weathering is what I chose for this blaster. My character is a sniper; so he uses his blaster pistol significantly less than his rifle. I started with a very dark brown wash all over the blaster; once dabbed and wiped away, I was left with a blaster with a light (but perfect) level of grime. I followed that up with some nice subtle 'paint wear' on the black portions of the scope and it's mount.

I finished the whole thing off with a final layer of clearcoat; and voila!

The following pics are all of the finished prop.



The paint job on the main scope tube was done in such a way as to evoke a turned and brushed finish. Before the weathering, the texture looked quite harsh; but the weathering knocked that texture back enough to make it look quite nice.









I am particularly pleased with how the wood texture of the handle turned out. I took inspiration from a Youtube video on how to paint props to look like wood, giving the technique my own particular spin. I never expected it to look so convincing. The technique worked so well that in person, the handle actually appears to have a dimensional grain structure, thanks to the careful brush strokes of the technique.





It was a lot of work; but I'm very satisfied with the result. Though I can't help think that I should paint the trigger brass/gold too; I think that would really bring the whole thing together.

« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2020, 12:39 AM by 14thWarrior » Logged

Nimrodt


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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #4 on: Oct 18, 2020, 11:35 AM »
now it looks really nice and like a blaster not a nerf good Job !

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Unbesonnenheit ist das Charakteristikum der Jugend,Besonnenheit das des Alters,und Vorsicht ist der bessere Teil der Tapferkeit.

Cdeal


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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #5 on: Oct 28, 2020, 10:52 AM »
That looks awesome!

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The_Exile


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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2020, 06:43 PM »
That is awesome! That is definitely one of the best nerf-moded blasters Iíve seen.

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Re: Blaster Pistol Build
« Reply #7 on: Oct 29, 2020, 09:23 PM »
Thanks to all for the compliments; I appreciate it.

I've started working on my next prop, which is going to be a massive sniper rifle. I'm using a NERF MEGA Centurion blaster as the starting point for it. I'm going to start a build thread for it in the near future.

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