Introduction: Turning a Nerf Gun Into a Star Lord Blaster
By: Adrian Gonzalez
Original Nerf guns
Nerf released these blasters right after Guardians of the Galaxy came out, and they were actually a pretty good approximation of how the blaster looks in the movie. They just needed a little work to look really accurate.
The actual prop blaster from the film. As you can see they're not orange, and they have a few different details i'll need to create to make a more accurate replica.
Step 1: Break Down Time.
Straight out of the box. It's held together in halves with a million tiny screws.
Start by disassembling the gun, using a philips head screwdriver remove all the screws and pry the casing apart.
Once the nerf gun is disassembled it's got lots going on inside, but I needed to get the triggers out to paint them. I'll put it back together to paint everything.
Step 2: Painting
The pieces that needed to be black were sprayed with a few coats of flat black spray paint.
Based on the prop photos, parts of the blaster barrels needed to be silver. Rather than use silver spray paint, I went with silver "Rub N' Buff", which you can purchase at most hobby shops and online at places like amazon.
This is a really cool metal paste that I was introduced to on the Replica Prop Forum. It comes in a small tube and squeezes out like toothpaste. It's essentially a paste infused with metal, so anything you rub it on will turn silver. You can polish it to get a super shiny surface.
For my barrels though, I didn't want a super bright metal finish, i wanted the guns to look more worn and beaten up. So I used a sock to apply it to the barrels. The rough texture of the sock meant the rub n buff didn't go on smooth, and let me brush it on to get a battle-scarred finish. I used blue painters tape to cover the areas that I wanted to stay black.
After the initial pass of Rub N' Buff, i wasn't quite happy with how dull they were, so I went over them again. Much shinier, and i'm happy.
Repaint complete. These looked pretty good. I carried them with me at Dragon Con, they looked the part.
Step 3: Replacing the Barrel Tip
Phase II begins. Looking back at the movie prop photo, the barrel tip on the nerf blaster is very different from the screen used gun. So I 3D modeled a new barrel tip to match the movie. This one has the inner barrel protruding from the outer barrel, and the fins in between the new tip and the rest of the barrel.
I had my prop partner 3D print my design, the sand it smooth. He used that to mold and cast it in resin. He also added the pegs on the back, those will fit into the nerf guns barrel to position the new piece in the right spot.
I put the barrel back together with it's screws so i could make the cut in one pass. Using a dremel with a cutting wheel, i followed the line that was already scored in the barrel. Rather than cut right on the line and risk the dremel getting away from me, I cut a little to the inside of the line so i could go back with a sanding tool to finesse it to it's final spot. I also had to cut these pegs out because they're in the way of my new barrel tip.
The cut was smoothed down, sanded, and then a little rub n buff along the new edge to hide the orange plastic underneath. Next up was painting the new tip to match the rest of the gun. Following the same procedure as before, primer, flat black paint, rub n buff.
Step 4: Finishing It Off
I used a little blue can of spray paint for scale models to achieve the barrel bluing. Glued the inner barrel in place, and fixed the new barrel into it's final spot. You might also notice the funky little taser nozzle in the bottom barrel, that's another piece I designed to fit in the lower nerf barrel and add to the accuracy.
Thanks for looking! If you're interested in modding your own set of blasters, you can find us on etsy.