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Step 1: Selecting a Gun, Materials
Righto, the best toy guns for improvement are ones worth improving. Lights, sounds, screws, minimum/no glue or heat welds, good shape, fairly sturdy, are all signs that the toy needs to be reborn as a tool. Avoid ones that are difficult or impossible to disassemble. Cheap squirt guns are another option, they cant be taken apart, but many greatly resemble real guns, and make good cheap props.
As far as customizing goes, a big bin of random bits of junk is great. I used:
a dish soap bottle nozzle
a piece of what I think was a extension cord roll holder
an odd electrical fitting left by the telephone man and discovered when I ran it over with a lawn mower
lots of bits from a cd player
for the heads-up display, I used some copper wire, a antennae coil, a coil from a mechanical pencil, laser diode and scan lens from a broken cd player (non functional), the lid from a flash drive i took apart, and of course a pair of shooting glasses
As far as paint, spray paint is king. It may be wise to apply a spray on plastic primer, as some plastics just don't like spray paint. For superfine detail work, model paint. I went for a gray/blue/black color scheme.
For gluing together, I used E-6000. It's cheap, gloopy and it holds. Epoxy and JB Weld also work.
If your mucking about with the electronic effects, a soldering iron, solder, wire, and whatever else you need will be needed.
You'll also need a screwdriver of the appropriate type, hacksaw, and a razor blade / exacto knife
Step 2: In the Beginning...
Start by working out what you want. Fit bits and pieces together, sketch, scratch your noggin and come up with at least a basic idea of what you are after.
Take apart your gun, take out screws, find any glued or heat welded spots. I got lucky and only the bright orange muzzle was glued on. This worked out fine because I was sawing it off anyways.
After opening it up, remove any electronics, drawing a diagram if you must (or take pictures) so as not to forget where everything goes.
Remove any stickers, decals; wash all of the parts with soapy water. This will help paint and glue stick better.
AFTER I took this picture, I scratched the flashlight/scope mount idea for a separate heads-up display.
Step 3: Painting
The importance of a good paint job should go without saying. I'm gonna say it anyways. A good paint job makes the difference between crap and collectible. A good paint job will fix a crappy piece, a crappy job will ruin a good piece.
So how does one do a good spray paint job? First you get good, high quality paint. Then you get good primer. Then a pistol grip. Then you spot test a spot no one will see (like say on the inside). If it looks like crap, use different paint.
Lay down a coat of primer first. A pistol grip is a big help, easier on the fingers = better paint job. Use swift, smooth movements, light coats, and give time for the paint to dry between coats. Start the paint flow to the side of the piece and sweep over it. When using different colors, paint one color (in my case black on the handle), let dry FULLY, and mask with blue painters tape. Then paint your next color (silver), let dry, and mask. Repeat until all colors are used.
Paint parts separately, avoiding/masking surfaces that need glueing. Don't worry about superfine details for now, we'll get to them later.
To create the rubber looking grips, I first painted with matte black, then a light coat of glossy.
Step 4: Re-assembly
Currently all of your parts should be looking like some half baked repair job. Remove the masking. Now it should like a disassembled cyberpunk gun. If you are unsatisfied with the painting, and it really matters to you, let it sit a day then try again.
Now it's time to start putting stuff together. I put my electronics bits in and came to the discovery that I need to lengthen the wire on a light bulb so that it will fit into the muzzle. Crack out the solder, iron, and wires, increased wire length. Using your pics/schematics as reference and put all the internal organs back in. Make sure all of the various springs, switches, and whatnot are where they need to be. Test all of the functions before screwing back together, test again. Advance to next step.
Step 5: Yea Olde "Gluing Bits of Crap On" Trick!
Now 'tis time to add on the bits and pieces to complete the gun. All of your pieces should be pre-painted if they require paint. Scrape away any paint on surfaces that will be glued, for a better hold.
First I glued the hand guard on (hacked from a extension cord roll), and then the barrel assembly. I'll have to repaint some bits as the glue and paint didn't get along...
I'm using some bits from a cd player, stapler, and some other rubbish to create the ammo loader, and some other gadgets and gizmos.
As a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let them do the talking...
Step 6: Heads-up Display
I was going to make a scope when I thought of something better: a heads-up display. This to me entailed making a projector thing to fit onto my shooting glasses.
I scrapped a cd player for a diode and a lens, which fit together nicely to create a projector lens, used a coily-spring thing from a mechanical pencil and an antennae from a long forgotten item as a projector mount, and a flash drive lid as the main body.
I wired together the laser diode and the lens thing, to make the projector. I ran some wires through the mechanical pencil component, then wired the entire thing all together. It all slipped nicely into the usb lid, so I glued, and glued on some bits and pieces to hide the internal glue. I screwed some screws in so I could mount it onto my glasses with dental rubberbands.
Step 7: Tech Specs, Conclusion
Righto, now you've got an awesome cyberpunk weapon, time to come up with how it works ehh?
Mine's a customized Smith and Wesson X- MSB-500. It's a high power coilgun that fires a coper plated, steel and uranium .177 spherical round. Muzzle velocity is about 4,000 M/S. After firing the round, onboard equipment calculates when to fire a directed energy blast of multi phase laser and plasma bolt after the round, timed to hit the round and ignite it just prior to hitting the target. If an energy shield is detected, the energy blast will fire earlier to destroy the shield. Also capable of EMP and sonic blasts. A onboard "gun cam" sight wirelessly hooks up to the much modified heads-up display, and uses eye movement for control. Working the slide a: clears any james, b: loads 5 more bb's to be fired in a scattered "shotgun" pattern.
Only 50 of such blaster were produced in 2156AD, not only is the fusion power generator somewhat unstable and prone to blow if not used, it was made illegal on Earth, and in all off world colonies except Europa for shear destructiveness.
Mine's been refurbished, as it's close to a 130 years old...
Well, thanks for reading! Leave a comment if you have any questions/comments!
Live Long and Prosper
A big thanks to Gmjhowe for his help on this project