Introduction: Borderlands Themed Firefly: Angler

About: Hello. I'm JonnyBGood! I'm a college student who now has a degree in Mechanical Engineer Technology. (MET) (excessively worded to mean a person who builds stuff).I enjoy building K'nex guns and many other thin…

I've never played borderlands, but I was always amused at the "shark" themed Nerf guns they painted to match the style of the game. One day I decided why not make my own? I decided instead of a shark why not an Angler fish, or a predatory fish that lures prey with a light. It all just went downhill from there and I'm very happy with the final product. In this ible I will mainly cover my detailing and painting techniques and the colors I used to get the effects that I achieved. Since this is one of a few instructibles I've done that doesn't involve K'nex, I apologize in advance for missing pictures of some steps. In K'nex I build my project then disassemble it, and build it again. Same does not apply to Nerf, but I tried to make up for it in words, so please read all the instructions. Alright lets start with a list of materials!

You'll need:

A N-Strike Firefly Rev-8

100 and 150 grit sand paper

Multiple sizes of Phillips head screw drivers (got to love those varying screw sizes in N-Strike guns...)

A medium sized flat head, mainly for prying shell apart if it sticks somewhere

A soldering iron and solder ( I don't cover my electronic mod very well, but you may need that)

A Dremel

A 9 volt adapter plug (I picked mine up from RadioShack)

A 9 led flashlight (I picked up a pack of three for 5$ at a local dollar store)

Electrical tape

Painters tape

A couple varying paint brush sizes


Duplicolor Vinyl Dye Flat Black (found in most automotive repair shops. I bought mine in AutoZone)

Duplicolor Vinyl Dye Gloss Red

Model Master Acrylic Flat Black

Model Master Acrylic Gloss Black

Model Master Acrylic Burnt Sienna (for dry brushing the metal looking surfaces)

Model Master Acrylic Gunmetal

Testers Acrylic White Gloss

Testers Acrylic Yellow Gloss

Testers Acrylic Blue Gloss

Testers Acrylic Green Gloss

Testers Acrylic Orange Gloss

Testers Acrylic Metallic Silver Gloss

Testers Acrylic Metallic Gold Gloss

Step 1: Disassembly and Modification

So as this step says, the idea of this step is to disassemble and modify the Firefly. I highly suggest that you take pictures of your mechanism before disassembly! This makes the reassembling process much easier and less stressful. Also older N-Strike Nerf guns have many parts as opposed to the modern Elite Nerf guns which have self contained sub assemblies. So pictures help tremendously!

I did not document it, but I removed the air restrictors from my firefly to increase it's performance. If you would like to know how to do it, it's very similar to Maverick with the exception of the axle which does not go all the way through the Firefly turret, and once all the screws are removed it is very tightly friction fitted. Just be patient and careful and it'll come apart. If you are still confused or want to make a more logical approach to this mod I would also recommend looking it up on youtube. Youtube is probably one of the largest contributors to my Nerf knowledge.

At this step, its also a good idea to make you modifications if you plan to do any. On mine I decided to removed the camera flash feature from the firefly and replace it with a bright 9 led flashlight I bought from my local dollar store. I do not claim to be an expert at electronics so I will freely agree with you my wiring is a mess. However it works and is soldered together, so it won't be coming loose or disconnected anytime soon. When you finish rewiring your Firefly, hot glue your wires down to prevent them from catching the mechanical components. If you plan on duplicating my wiring, make sure to add a resistor before the power indicator led. Mine ended up burning out during a final test fit and I just didn't feel the need to replace it due to the fact the entire turret is illuminating which should mean it's on.... Anyway you can also see my projects is painted, but these are the only pictures of my wiring and test. I'll cover the base coat in the next step.

Step 2: Base Coats

Alright before we break out the cardboard, Duplicolor vinyl dyes, and painters tape for the base coat, sand down your Firefly with whatever grit sandpaper fits your needs. I know I once again I did not document my sanding process but, I was teaching a friend of mine how to paint. My rule of thumb for sanding is to sand everywhere, but focus you efforts on wherever you will be handling the Nerf gun and wherever you plan to detail. I find that using 100 grit effectively removes logos and other textures you don't want on your Nerf gun and I have always used 150 grit to sand everything else. This grit also leaves enough texturing for the Tester or Model Master paint to stick to very well so I haven't seen a need to use a greater grit. If you aim to duplicate my results, I removed all logos, warnings, copyrights, and nameplates from my Firefly. I also took out those annoying texture bumps on the grip, just because I find them uncomfortable. After you have a nicely roughed up shell, rinse it off and allow it to dry completely! Remember that patience is a virtue. This will also be handly for when we paint.

Okay, now break out the cardboard, Duplicolor vinyl dye, and painters tape! It's time for a base coat! When you paint your shell, make long strokes across the entire shell and make sure you start spraying on the cardboard before the shell. This ensures the coat will look even without an accumulation of paint wherever you started. You want to eventually paint the entire shell flat black, but don't expect the paint to cover in just one pass. Take your time and allow each layer to dry. Also make sure to spray the Firefly from every angle. This allows you to cover the majority of the features and leaves only the difficult areas left to paint. Once your shell is completely flat black, flip it over and lightly paint the inside. The goal is just to make sure the edges don't appear yellow. Focus one just getting the shell around the edges. I intentionally went heavy on the inside front of my firefly because I wanted the light to only shine in the turret and not illuminate the shell. Overall just apply as you see fit.

Next is a step you can choose how precise you are. I admit I am terrible with painters tape, which is partially because the tape I use isn't very good either. Regardless, cover the parts of the Firefly you want to remain Flat black. Again if you're trying to duplicate my paintjob, then please use my reference pictures. If you have good quality painters tape and don't mind taking more time taping, then I'd recommend being super precise with your tape. I wasn't and didn't really care, I was already expecting I'd need to clean up my bleed through on the next step so I just went really rough when taping off. If you also expect to tape off roughly like I did, make sure to not tape an area you want red. It's much easier to make a red area black then it is to make a black area red.

After you've taped off the firefly apply a coat of gloss red using the same method discussed earlier.

Step 3: Detailing Part 1

Well I was trying to think of an easy way to describe this, but none came to mind. Detailing is really an expression of artistic talent and craftsmanship. So instead of trying to describe how I'm detailing in words scroll through the pictures and read the annotations. Pictures are worth a thousand words and one with a description should be a novel. What these pictures represent is my thinking process of how I decided to detail it. I started doing both sides simultaneously and then decided to choose my colors and features on one side, then transfer the same color choices to the other. I also tried free handing a catch phrase under the name, but I decided against for lack of space and time. After you've gone through the pictures you should be almost done.

Step 4: Reassembly and Final Details

Alright now we're ready to reassemble for the next part of detailing dry brushing. I didn't cover how to do that mainly because its a really preference based technique and I highly recommend you look up how to do it on either instructibles or youtube. You can leave it clean as I show in the first few pictures but I really like having my blaster look worn so I always apply drybrushing. To each his own.

After your done with that you have finished your Borderlands Themed Firefly: Angler! I hope you like how this turned out, and hopefully inspired your own spin off. For those of you who would like one but can't make one, I am selling the angler in the community forums "for sale" section and depending on demand I will produce up to three of them.

Anyway thanks for checking out my instructible and I look forward to posting in the Nerf section again!