Back in February Adam Savage documented a one day build of a Nerf Gun , A Nerf Longstrike to be specific, I thought his creation for a secret Santa gift to a Reddit member looked so awesome.
You can see my original post on Tested’s video by click this link Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Custom NERF Rifle
I thought that creating a Nerf Gun like that as a 40th Birthday Present to my brother would be pretty cool but I also knew if i created it I would want to keep it, so I made 2 of them.
It then dawned on me that he wouldn’t have anyone other than me to play with so I thought his girlfriend might like one so she can shoot back when he decides to shoot at her. I made did a custom paint job on a Nerf Gun (Longshot) for her.
As this was a present it needed to be packaged in a presentable way so I decided to create a shipping container for the Nerf Gun, the mags and a load of Nerf bullets.
In this post I am going to tell the tale of how I created these fantastic pieces from start to finish.
The first thing to do is to strip the gun down and remove the internals as I will be upgrading them anyway. I worked around each piece starting at the top right and working my way around clockwise lining up the screws on my airbrush pad in order so I don’t lose them and I know where they go when I need to put them back in.
Tools for the job are 2 flat head screw drivers and a cross head screw driver.
The cocking handle needs to be removed to do this I used 2 flat head screw drivers, one on each side and carefully pried the handle off by Levering it upwards and it just pops off being careful not to break the Nerf Gun’s casing.
The gun comes apart fairly easily but I did it carefully so I didn’t lose any of the screws or springs. the front section of the Nerf Gun twists off and the gun butt is just held on with clips inside the main body, I left the butt as one piece to paint.
I then put just a couple of screws back in to hold it together while I worked on it and rubbed all the plastic parts with with some Scotch Brite Pad’s this is to scuff or “key” it in so the paint has something to grip to and wont flake off easily.
Next comes the fun part painting and masking, I painted some of the edges silver using plasti-kote silver fast dry enamel as it gave me the best metal colour so I can create a flaked off paint effect later on the Nerf Gun.
I masked off the area I wanted to have coloured using basic painters masking tape. for this tongue depressors, skewers and tooth picks are a real help to get the tape in the hard to reach places. I also used an exacto knife to get some clean lines around some parts. for the flaked paint effect I put some masking fluid on the corners where paint will flake off or get rubbed off naturally. Masking fluid is a liquid latex, I put a few layers on to make sure its thick enough before painting the colour on. I apply the masking fluid with a brush and use a little washing up liquid on the bristles to stop the latex sticking to it too much.
Once the colour coat dries just peel off the latex and the paint just chips off and looks awesome.
Next mask off any areas of the Nerf Gun that have already been painted ready to take the next colour which will be the black for the handles, grips and picatinny rails.
It’s all just masking and painting in different layers, the next layer on the Nerf Gun is the Gunmetal grey so I masked off the areas I wanted to keep the colour on and then sprayed the Gunmetal Grey. the Gunmetal Grey is just an automotive paint I found in the local car superstore, Rover Gunmetal Grey.
Now the gun is painted I wanted to make the silencer for the end the only problem is I don’t have a lathe. But I do have a CNC Router so I made the silencer as a master ready for moulding in rings with the bottom rings with a slightly smaller diameter so I could fill it in with body filler. The idea was to put 2/3 lines around the bottom this as a detail but it didn’t work out as I couldn’t centre the part properly on the drill press . I need to buy a lathe at some point as round objects are a problem for me right now.
Once I had all the layers glued up I drilled some holes ready for some grub screws as nothing I could make looks better than real hardware. the whole thing got sanded smooth sealed with PVA glue from the hardware store.
Next spray with grey automotive primer this gave the surface a shiny finish to get there requires some sanding to get the bumps out. These bumps can be filled using Spot putty, then sanded again and painted again, this process is repeated until the finish is perfect . Glue in some grub screws and its ready for moulding.
Next stage is to make a mould of the silencer master in silicone, I super glued the master to a board to prevent it from moving and built a box around it out of scraps of plywood and hot glue. the hot glue is applied along the seams to make it water tight so the silicone doesn’t leak out and sprayed a fair amount of silicone release spray on the walls of the box and on the master.
I mixed up a few batches of silicone using an old kitchen mixer, I’m not worried about bubbles as I will be degassing it using a vacuum chamber. Then after degassing just pour the silicone in the corner of the box until it is full, making sure to put some in the middle and not let it overflow and create a big bubble in the middle and making sure to get a good inch over the top of the master.
Demoulding the box was fun, after waiting 16 hours for the silicone to cure of course, and required a fair bit of strength even with the silicone mould release spray. I removed the Flashing using a utility knife and trimmed the edges to ensure it sits flat ready for pouring. As this was a single piece mould I have to cut the mould to get master out, this is the first time I have done this and it seemed to work well. The cut that I did was a large zig zag cut to ensure the sides would key in to each other. I had some troubles removing the master due to suction but with some care I managed to get it out without tearing the mould.
Next part is moulding the parts, again I sprayed silicone mould release in to the mould and using a piece of card and some dress pins to hold the middle in a central position which was easy as the mould picked up the lines I drew on the board before making the mould. put 2 boards on the sides held with elastic bands to hold the mould together so the liquid plastic doesn’t leak out.
I used liquid polyurethane plastic which has a very low viscosity and pours in the mould and gets in all the details easily. I did this in batches and sloshed each batch around the mould to try to eliminate bubbles which worked well. I used a pigment to make the part black which will help if the paint gets chipped.
The silencers turned out great , picked up all the details I am very pleased, I cut the ends off with the band saw to tidy them up and sanded them smooth. A quick coat of the plasti-kote matt black paint and they are ready for fitting.
Now to fit the silencer to the front of the gun, I had trouble finding a tap and die set which was for cutting new threads and not just renewing old ones otherwise I would have used real grub screws and attached it that way. Decided it would be easier to just super glue it in place. Before I glued it in place I used some Silver Rub n Buff to give it a worn look and a brush with some on to make the screws look real.
The next bit to do was to put the main gun body back together properly with the butt and the Longstrike Immortal Upgrade Kit for the Nerf Gun which was fun, I also applied some Silver Rub N Buff to the main gun too to bring up the accents and sealed that in with a Plasti-kote Matt clear coat.
Now the gun is fully assembled its time to start the weathering using acrylic paints a chip brush and some blue roll / a rag and some water to dab off the Nerf Gun.
The paint colours I was using are
It’s a fairly simple process, wet the brush and grab some paint on the brush using a sheet of plastic as a palette I mixed the water with the paint and dabbed it on the gun in places I thought would get dirty on the Nerf Gun. thing Dabbed it of with a dam cloth / rag so it stayed in the cracks. I applied the paint in layers starting with the yellow, then orange then the Burnt Sienna and finally the Umber. This process was also applied to the Mags to match them in.
Once the weathering is complete just gave everything a coating of Plasti-kote Matt clear coat to seal everything in and assembled it.
Now the Nerf Gun is created and looks awesome the next thing to do is to build a box for it. I decided on a simple shipping container style like you see weapons being shipped in on films a simple plywood and pine box. The hardware used , 2 drop handles and 4 butterfly latches no hinges I decided it would be easier to remove the lid entirely.
The gun is supported by pine struts lined with foam to protect the gun and keep it in place and filled with wood wool as a packing medium.
I decided it would look cook to have stencils on it so I made a Nerf Gun logo stencil and a Nico Props Logo Stencil. These were just printed on a black and white laser sprayed with spray adhesive and tuck to pieces of cereal box until set. I then cut out then out using an Exacto knife, turned the stencil over and sprayed it with spray adhesive and let it mostly dry so it was just a bit tacky then stuck it to the box and masked the rest of the box and sprayed over the stencil. Obviously the Nico Props logo was 2 stencils one for the splatter and one for the words and they worked out great.
If I had my laser delivered in time I would have used that to cut out the pattern required.
I have had to keep things quite until after I gave this to my brother which I did Saturday and he seemed very taken back with the Nerf Gun. I’m hoping in a good way, I don’t think we was expecting this, he did know I was making something for him but didn’t know what.