Introduction: Nerf Strongarm Borderlands 2 Hyperion Gun Replica

Picture of Nerf Strongarm Borderlands 2 Hyperion Gun Replica

Hi to everybody, dear friends! :)

I'm Filippo, I'm italian (from Bologna), so I apologize for my bad english XD It's a long time since follow Instructables, but I've never made one of my own. This is my first one!

I love Borderlands and Nerf Guns, so... the result is simple! I made a replica out of a Nerf Strongarm, one of the most common and cheap guns of the N-Strike Elite series. It's a beautiful toy, like all of the other Nerf Gun. But obviously, it looks like a toy (and for a good reason!). Our aim is to turn this little guy in a Borderlands weapon, and this time I took my inspiration from Hyperion guns: yellow is the main color, and there are always some white stripes on the chassis. The name of our creation will be HYPERION STRONGARM! :D Not very clever... but effective. So, let's start with a shopping list!

Remember that I'm writing down italian prices for everything. I know for sure that in America Nerf Guns are cheaper. Sigh.

You'll need:

- Nerf Strongarm (17€ on amazon Italy)

- Sand paper grit 80 + grit 240 (5€ total)

- Masking tape (in Italy we call it "nastro carta": paper tape), several sizes (3€)

- Spray paint: white, yellow, black (15€ tot)

H20 Spray paint is always good, but I have used a more generic paint for hobbies and decoration. Luxen is a very good quality and cheap brand here in Italy. Avoid spray paint that make an extremely thick layer or are to glossy. Matte paint are the best for this kind of plastics.

- Primer spray for plastic (4€)

- Good quality acrilic paint, chrome-silver effect (9€)

- Little brush, good quality (2-3€)

- X acto Knife, or a similar pen cutter (5€)

Tot: circa 50€

You will also need:

- a philips screwdriver

- mask for painting if you are making the project inside

- paper, water

ATTENTION: as always, if you are using spray paint (even H2O based) the best choice is to work outside, in a well ventilated area. We don't want to paint our lungs! :) Pay attention to the cutter too.

NOTE: A lot of this material (almost everything except for the gun) will not be used entirely for the project. In fact, the "real" usage of the paint and other things will cost you 30€ circa, Nerf included. :)

Step 1: Disassembling

Picture of Disassembling

First of all, we nedd to disassemble the gun.

Pick your little philips screwdriver and take out all the screws. Take several photos of the inside, or use an image like this ( to know how to put everything back at the end. Don't worry friends, Strongarm is a simple gun. :)

All of the interal parts that we won't paint are best to be put in a closed place like a tupperware.

Don't put everything on the table. If you lost a spring or a little screw, it could be hard to replace with one of a different misure.

Step 2: Sanding Time

Picture of Sanding Time

Now, the sandpaper work! Is, in my opinion, the most boring part. But we have to do it very good.

DON'T SPRAY PANT DIRECTLY ON THE GUN WITHOUT SANDING IT FIRST. If you don't sand the Nerf, new paint will come off quickly and the final effect won't be satisfying. Use the 80 grit paper to sand off logos or other text, if you desire. Then use the 240 grit on all of the surface.

We don't need to sand off all of the existent paint of the gun, is nearly impossibile. At the end of the work, the surface should be uniform and slightly slightly rough. New paint will hold better on a rough surface.

Use a wet tissue to take off all the dust of the sanding.

Step 3: Primer Is Your Best Friend

Picture of Primer Is Your Best Friend

Put the parts on something like a large piece of cardboard, to begin the paint job.

Spray 1-2 (2 is better) layer of plastic primer.

I use the Luxen PVC primer, which works very good with this toy plastics.

Also, it's transparent and I use it also for a protective layer at the end. It's incredibly anti-scratch!

Let it dry for 30-40 minutes between each layer.

Step 4: Black Paint All the Way

Picture of Black Paint All the Way

Then, I suggest to spray a layer or two of black paint on EVERYTHING. Black paint is very useful to create a neutral base for next colors. Trust me :)

Remember to let it dry and not to touch it during the drying process!

Otherwise, you'll get digital prints on the surface, which are very hard to eliminate. If you want to work fast, use fast-dry sprays and work in a well ventilated area: fresh air will help the colors to dry quickly!

On the main chassis, put also a third layer of black paint.

The handle will remain black, and an additional layer will help the color and the resistance of the paint. The "wet effect" will disappear after the drying.

Black Nerfs are beatiful! I love them. But they look more Hellboy than Borderlands ;)

For our project, we need to make them more...crazy!

Step 5: A Good Masking

Picture of A Good Masking

Now a delicate part.

Use the masking tape to cover the zone that you want to remain black, in our case the handle.

Take off the extra tape with the x acto knife! I use an alternative of the knife, called CUTTER GRAFICO: it's a special cutter shaped like a pen for typograph work, and it's even more precise of the x acto.

Obviously, the better you mask the better the final result.

You can use normal masking tape, but here in Italy in our hobby stores we have a different version specific for little paint jobs, and it has a weaker adhesive to preseve the colors.

Step 6: Yellow Body

Picture of Yellow Body

Now, we put two layers of yellow on the main chassis!

It's fundamental to apply two layer, because the first one will look a little "greeny" on the borders. Nasty. With the second layer everything will be solved.

The masking operation is good also for other parts.
This, for example, it's the handle to charge the air in the gun, firs painted black, thenk masked and painted white in some parts. More colored stripes means more life to our replica! :D

Step 7: Be Ready for the Trick

Picture of Be Ready for the Trick

After, we take all the parts that we have left black: the charger, the barrel and other little pipes.

Take out the chrome paint.

We call it "perlata" (pearly). It's similar to silver paint, but it's darker, it looks like anthracite.

Step 8: The Magical DRY-BRUSH

Picture of The Magical DRY-BRUSH

This is the KEY PASSAGE.

It will turn your work from a "painted toy gun" to an "high-quality replica". Believe me!

This technique is called DRY-BRUSH. It's a very simple but extremely effective technique. Take your little brush, completely dry, and put it in the acrilic. Then, with some papers, take off the paint excess.

Finally, pass it quickly with strong movement, back and forth, all over the piece.

Eventually, the color will accumulate mainly on embossed details, and will create a "scratch-effect" on plain parts. This will create a fantastic effect of depth, taking your prop to life.

Look at the difference: from plain and anonymous, to original with a complex texture.

Complete this operation on all the black pieces. Finally, put a layer of transparent primer for an anti scratch finish.

Step 9: White Stripes

Picture of White Stripes

Now, after we are sure that the yellow paint in COMPLETELY DRY, we mask the surface with the tape leaving two stripes at the center.

Follow the scanlines on the surface on the gun to help yourselves. These will be useful to create the typical white stripes of the Hyperion weapons of Borderlands.

Spray paint with the white, but a single layer this time.

If the yellow will come out a little under the white, the effect will be fantastic ;)

Don't worry about smears of paint on the borders, the dry-brush effect will help to cover everything.
The good thing about Borderlands weapons is... they are crazy, like the game!

Everything is rotten, war-damage or extremely unusual, so we don't have to worry about little imperfections.

The great Bob Ross used to say: we don't have mistakes, only happy accidents :)

Step 10: Take Off the Mask!

Picture of Take Off the Mask!

Now, like we have the Mona Lisa in our hands, take off the masking tape.

And there it is! Not bad. A little boring, don't you think?

The dry-brush will do the magic.

Use the trick on the entire gun, avoid the main white stripe. Bottom: the normal gun.

I was impatient, so I put the main part togheter to test the look!

A layer of transparent primer to cover and protect everything.

Step 11: The Finished Baby! :D

Picture of The Finished Baby! :D

The last part is to put everything togheter again. Don't worry if you can't make it work again the first time, I have to build it back for three times XD

The little guy is ready. It's a great result and not too difficult to obtain.

Try yourself my friends, make your origianl high-quality Borderlands replica for less than 30€!

From Italy, this is Filippo.

Ciao a tutti!

P.S. My next project will be the Nerf Barricade! :D


AlexA214 (author)2017-08-04

Did you sell this gun?

If so, How much did you sell it for?

bardbard (author)2015-06-07

were do u get the acrylic paint

BrekertK (author)2015-02-11

This instructable is amazing! I made this as a valentines day gift for my boyfriend, he is a really big fan of Borderlands and especially borderlands 2. It turned out amazing! I had 0 experience at this kind of stuff at the beginning, but your instructable helped me really well! Thanks a lot :) I hope he'll like it!

I couldn't find chrome-silver effect paint at any of my local stores, so i used a silver gel pen. Gel pens already have some kind of metalic effect and they only cost around 1 euro a piece and also work very well, very handy if you want to make really little details. Just a little tip for other people who want to make this ^^

Darthorso (author)BrekertK2015-02-12

I'm so glad you liked it! :D
I'm sure it will be a super super valentines gift for your boyfriend!
Please share a photo with us, if you will! :)

BrekertK (author)Darthorso2015-02-28

He really liked it :D

I decided to use the dry brush technique anyways after I found the correct paint. Thanks again for your awesome instructable. ^^

Darthorso (author)BrekertK2015-03-11

GREAT! Well done, it's wonderful! :D

Bluejay196 (author)2014-12-27

This is by far, one of the coolest instructable I've ever seen. Great job!

Darthorso (author)Bluejay1962014-12-28

Thank you dear friend! :D

BBoy.Saru (author)2014-11-26

Ciao! ottima guida e ottimo lavoro :D stavo provando a seguirla e sono arrivato alla seconda mano di nero e aspetto che asciughi, ma quando metti il nastro per coprire non c'è pericolo che l'adesivo rovini la vernice? :)

Darthorso (author)BBoy.Saru2014-12-02

Ciao! :D Grazie mille per l'apprezzamento.

Il trucco è usare una vernice di buona qualità su una superficie ben "scartavetrata", in questo modo farà ottima presa e non dovrai preoccuparti del nastro.

Al tempo stesso, mi raccomando usa un nastro carta leggero! Nei negozi/catene di fai da te, ferramenta e mesticherie dovresti trovate proprio il nastro da mascherature, che di solito usano i carrozzieri per questo tipo di lavori :)

A presto!

BBoy.Saru (author)Darthorso2014-12-02

mi sa che il mio errore è stata l'impazienza XD che non ho dato molto tempo alla vernice per asciugare bene..però nel complessivo il risultato è stato buono essendo stato il primo tentativo, allego la foto così mi puoi dare il tuo giudizio ^_^

Darthorso (author)BBoy.Saru2014-12-03

Beh, mi sembra davvero un ottimo risultato, soprattutto per il primo tentativo! :D Complimenti!

Mi raccomando per le prossime repliche cura molto la carteggiatura, sembra uno step poco importante in realtà determina in gran parte come attecchirà il nuovo strato di vernice :)

Ancora complimenti :)

BBoy.Saru (author)Darthorso2014-12-03

grazie mille mi fa piacere ^_^ eh in effetti mi sono impegnato poco nella carteggiatura, avevo poca carta e poca voglia ahahaha e dire che siamo una famiglia di falegnami XD al prossimo tentativo voglio provare a farla con i colori della maliwan :)

Darthorso (author)BBoy.Saru2014-12-03

Io ho comprato un nerf Centurion (il fucile lunghissimo da cecchino) e mi piacerebbe farlo maliwan, ho anche già i colori :) Peccato abbia zero tempo... come vedi il mio ultimo progetto è di mesi fa...

BBoy.Saru (author)Darthorso2014-12-05

wooooooo quando riuscirai a farla voglio vedere la foto :D

gil.nackaerts (author)2014-11-09

Great work my friend! This will go nicely with my Handsome Jack cosplay!

Thanks for sharing the step-by-step proces!

Darthorso (author)gil.nackaerts2014-11-10

Great to know! :D Please post some pics of your finished cosplay, I'm curious! :D

djlee48 made it! (author)2014-08-19

Love This!!! Had to make my own. Very good Instructable!

Darthorso (author)djlee482014-08-26

This is epic!!!! Well done my friend, it's a marvellous gun now! :D

Thank you for your appreciation! :D

Jonathan Payne (author)2014-07-12

This is amazing. Such craftsmanship you have done, do you have a step by step on doing greatness like the Hyperion pistol.

Darthorso (author)Jonathan Payne2014-07-13

Thank you Johnathan, you are very kind! :D I have one or two project ready to post similar to this one, but first I want to wait for a proper contest to begin! :D

I hope this guide will help you with your projects, my dear friend! ;)

gbush-whitmer (author)2014-07-12

Do you think this will work with the Nerf Maverick REV-6? It's basically the same thing.

Pensi che questo funzionerà con il Nerf Maverick REV-6? E 'fondamentalmente la stessa cosa.

Darthorso (author)gbush-whitmer2014-07-12

I DO think so my friend! :) They are basically the same gun. I don't own a Maverick, but I think you'll only have to disassemble the internal parts in a different way (if internal parts are somehow different!).

But you can use this instructions for every gun in your armory! The painting process is the same.

When Instructables will make a proper contest, I will also publish a Barricade mod guide, where I'll also show the complete disassembling of an electric Nerf ;) (MUCH MORE difficult than this one!)

My third mod will be a Centurion one, where I'll hope to add some leds, too!

If I can help you with everything, you only have to ask my friend! :)

hcollier1 (author)2014-07-10

Hey, is there a way to do this without disassembling? I would disassemble it, but I can't since several of the screws are stripped, and I don't have a drill nor can I get my hands on one. It really doesn't matter that much if it doesn't look as good. Thanks! :)

Darthorso (author)hcollier12014-07-10

Hi dear friend! :)

Yeah, if you don't want to disassemble the gun, you can always paint it as it is, but some parts like the trigger won't be really good, 'cause you can't paint internal parts... :/

What about stripped screws you were talking about? It's strange, Strongarm is not supposed to have stripped screws... I've disassembled mine without using any drill at all... Maybe you are talking about a different gun?

Gabry295 (author)2014-07-01

Forse sarebbe meglio mettere un breve video per la parte del Dry-Brush, comunque davvero bella figata!

Darthorso (author)Gabry2952014-07-01

Grazie mille Gabry! :D

In effetti il dry-brush è una di quelle cose più facili a dirsi che a farsi. Fidati che appena lo provi il risultato ti si palesa "magicamente" tra le mani!

Vedrai anche nella seconda pistola che posterò, ci sono ancor più foto :)

Gabry295 (author)Darthorso2014-07-01

Bene! Sono stracurioso! :D

Darthorso (author)Gabry2952014-07-01

Aspetto che ci sia un contest Nerf o simile! :)

phudson4 (author)2014-06-26


ThisIsSteve (author)2014-06-18

Looks good. Nice ible

Darthorso (author)ThisIsSteve2014-06-18

Thank you! :)

I have another one about Nerf Mods almost ready... ;)

inoname (author)2014-06-17

That's a good one.

Darthorso (author)inoname2014-06-17

Thank you, I'm glad you like it :D

eyouel (author)2014-06-17

That's cool

Darthorso (author)eyouel2014-06-17

Thank you dear friend! :)

Another one is coming soon :)

inoname (author)2014-06-16

is a good one but not fires to far check out mine at fires ink cartrages up to 80 feats

Darthorso (author)inoname2014-06-16

Really good idea, my congratulations! :D

xarlock667 (author)2014-06-12

I love the design of guns like this. (I have been shooting real guns since I was 3 or so.) But with no barrel they are impractical as all get out. I have given some thought though to making one that fires a steel, aluminum, or tungsten dart in a plastic sabot (casing) so that the fins on the dart could stabilize the round. It will be much fun once I find the time to work on it. Borderlands makes some of the most original gun designs I have seen, it is one of the main reasons I play it.

Darthorso (author)xarlock6672014-06-12

Great xarlock! Please, if you realize something like that, do not hesitate to post some photos here, it would be great.

I hope you'll follow me, I have some great project for future guns, indeed! :)

Have a wonderful day my friend.

bgibson72 (author)2014-06-12

Very nice, Darthoso! I am contimplating doing the same thing as my children have so many of the Nerf guns laying around, but I'm not sure if they would mind having them painted up or not. I would love to try to make a Maliwan gun with some green, purple or orange LEDs...Well done!

Darthorso (author)bgibson722014-06-12

Thank you very much bgibson72! :D

I'm sure your children would LOVE to have some special and unique weapons! Ask him! :) Maliwan weapons are beautiful, I also love the western look of Jakobs.

LEDs are one of the possibilities that I'm considering for future project. Stay tuned my friend! :D

bgibson72 (author)Darthorso2014-06-12

I'll be looking forward to seeing those. I wouldn't mind doing one of each set. I also love the Torgue checkered pattern and Tediore's use of phosphorescent carbon fibre. So many possibilities with that game!!

Darthorso (author)bgibson722014-06-12

Oh yeah, that would be awesome! Please post some images when you'll realize a nerf mod, I'm very very curious about it! :)

And yes, Borderlands it's one of my favorite games ever and it gives you a lot of wonderful ideas! :)

Create, my dear friend! :D

nerfrocketeer (author)2014-06-08

Nice mods man! I can't wait to see the Barricade mod!

Darthorso (author)nerfrocketeer2014-06-08

Thank you dear friend! :D

I think the Barricade will be a little more difficult, because it has some electric parts (it's semi-automatic) and a more complex chassis! :D

I hope to start the Barricade this weekend ;)

nerfrocketeer (author)Darthorso2014-06-09

Yeah, electric blasters are usually more difficult. I prefer modding larger guns, like the Centurion and Alpha Trooper. If you ever want to collaborate on a Nerf project, feel free to ask me. It's rare to find a person who posts extensive mods like this one.

Darthorso (author)nerfrocketeer2014-06-09

Yeah, in fact I want to mod a Centurion after the Barricade. It's a beautiful rifle. I bought the Barricade because there was a huge discount on Amazon Italy and I paid it less than the Strongarm ^^ Since my mods are only aesthetic (for now), I think the problem will be only the disassembling!

It would be awesome to collaborate on a Nerf project! Maybe the distance is not our friend (I'm from Italy, you?), but we'll find a way! :D

nerfrocketeer (author)Darthorso2014-06-10

Yeah man I'm from the US, but yeah there's plenty of ways to collaborate! Congratulations on being featured! Twice! ;) It's pretty difficult to get a Nerf mod featured here.

Darthorso (author)nerfrocketeer2014-06-10

Thank you man! Yes it's great, we can find a way to collaborate! :D

Thank you again, I've made a good start, two out of two! :D

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi everybody! I'm Filippo from Bologna, Italy! My friends call me Orso (Bear) :) I follow Instructables since 2009, and it has always been one ... More »
More by Darthorso:Wooden Chest With Charred Wood CoverWall Mounted Bottle OpenerLumber Storage Cart With Bottom Drawers
Add instructable to: