This Halloween, my girlfriend and I decided to try a "Steampunk" theme, and after seeing how alternatively terrible/expensive pre-made "steampunk" costumes were, I decided to try and put something together myself.
This is the first Instructable I've ever made, so I hope it's not terrible!
Of course, the first thing any steampunk adventurer/time-traveler/airship-captain needs is a handy side-arm!
I'm not very good at crafts, and the only thing I "Steampunked" (and I use the term loosely) was an old computer for an art project back in high-school.... but I decided to give it a shot anyway!
I had seen several really great instructables on how to steampunk different Nerf guns, and was set on doing the "Hammershot," because I though it looked the most old-fashioned. Unfortunately, the local store didn't carry the Hammershot, and since this was the first "crafty" thing I've really done, I figured I should start small... Enter the "Doublestrike!"
A small Nerf gun that looks a little like a revolver, and operates like a derringer, the Doublestrike is an ideal gun to start with, in my opinion, because it already looks a little old-school, and it's pretty cheap. You can usually find one for around $10.
It was ideal for experimenting with, so that's what I did. It's not really a "mod," but more of a glorified paint-job. However, while it's not perfect, it's a first attempt, and really easy to do.
- Nerf Doublestrike
- Rustoleum "Hammered" metallic spray-paints. (These are great because they come out textured, and cover up surface oddities. I used their copper, silver, and black colors.)
- "Found Objects" gears. (usually run about $5-$10, these are carried by most craft stores in the jewelry or scrap-booking section.)
- Copper wire (just had it in my garage)
- Sandpaper, painter's tape, and a strong adhesive (I just used Krazy Glue)
Step 1: Prep
First things first, to properly paint it, we need to take it apart and get it ready.
Another reason I discovered the Double-strike is a great "first-try" gun, is because the internals are almost completely self-contained, which makes assembly/dis-assembly really easy.
IMPORTANT: Something I did NOT do, but wish I had, was to take a picture of the guts before you remove them. Make sure you have marked how everything goes together, or you'll be like me and scrabbling on Google for a half-hour trying to figure out how the torsion spring for the trigger fits back in.
The first thing I did after taking it apart was deciding exactly what I wanted/needed to paint. Eventually, I decided to leave the handle alone, since the "wrapped" look was pretty much what I wanted already, although it is something that could easily be stained or repainted for a weathered look.
Then I sanded everything I planned on having painted. This has two functions:
- It makes the plastic surface more receptive to the paint, and decreases the chance of paint flaking/peeling.
- Sanding down the logos and raised "Nerf" emblems makes them pretty much disappear underneath the paint.
Finally, I taped up the pieces that were going to be painted. Make sure you tape over the actual mechanisms of the gun if you want to use it later. This keeps paint from gumming up the internals.
Step 2: Painting
For the two main side-sections of the gun, I hit it with a base-coat of the copper paint. The nice thing about Rustoleum's "Hammered" spray-paint is that it doesn't need any sort of primer.
The barrel/hammer/trigger section got a base-coat of silver. This was trickier, as each side had to be done separately, and it never seemed to dry quite properly (a problem if you're impatient like me).
It's a good idea to put a paper-clip or something similar through the tiny pin-hole on the trigger, as this is important for the trigger's spring function, and it keeps it from being painted shut. Plus, you can just paint the trigger in one go, holding up by the paper clip and letting it air-dry.
After the base, metallic coats (it may require two or three to get the job done properly) I used the hammered-black spray paint on both the silver and copper sections, gently wiping it with a rag immediately after application. This gave the gun a cool, weathered/scored look, and filled in the cracks and crevices, making it look a little more textured. It's an easy way to make your gun look like it's been around the block.
If something goes wrong, you can always re-apply the base-coat and try again. Rustoleum is very forgiving. I had to on the barrel, since I didn't let it dry properly before applying the black and wiping it off... taking off most of the silver with it.
Step 3: Reassembly
After you're done painting, remove the tape and put it back together!
As you get tell, my tape wasn't well applied at the top of the handle, and paint spatter the handle. :(
The black part of the handle is easily fixed by just quickly brushing on some black paint over the offending areas, but since I didn't have gray paint handy, I just left the "wrapping" the way it was.
Aside from some trouble with the trigger assembly, which I mentioned earlier, the whole thing clicked back together very smoothly, everything screwing back into place without a hitch.
(With the trigger-spring, the part that sticks up perpendicular to the spring is what is inserted into the trigger's pin-hole, while the arm that sticks straight-forward since on the column in front of the trigger.)
Step 4: Accesorize
Like I said, this isn't really a "mod," but more of a glorified paint-job, so I just applied an assortment of gears I got out of a "found objects" grab-bag with super-glue.
This part is really only limited by the amount of knick-knacks and glue you have at your disposal. Originally I had tried to attach some brass-piping to the gun, but it just looked more strange than cool, and made the gun super front-heavy.
I wrapped the copper wire around the sight and back along the rail, making the whole gear system look like it had something to do with the hammer's function.
Aside from some minor, un-pictured paint touch-ups, that wraps it up!
A DoubleStrike got Steampunked, and now my costume has a side-arm.