Nerf Barricade Borderlands 2 Vladof Gun Prop




Introduction: Nerf Barricade Borderlands 2 Vladof Gun Prop

About: 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 of my favourite websites. I've bulit a lot of fantastic things t...

NOTE: if you have already seen my Nerf Hyperion Guide, be patient! I will repeat a lot of things, but i want every 'ible to be indipendent! :)

Welcome dear friends!

This is Filippo from Italy.

Probably some of you have already seen my Nerf Strongarm Borderland Hyperion replica, which is also my first Instructable! :)

This guide takes another beautiful gun, the Nerf Barricade, and shows you step by step how to create another Borderlands prop, this time inspired on Vladof weapons!

Vladof desing is inspired by Soviet regime, with red stars, hammer&sickle... and a lot of their rifles look like AK47, the calssical Russian weapon.

The Barricade chassis is full of little details (much more than the Strongarm!), like bolts and other scanlines, that give a complex old-industrial look to the replica, perfect for Vladof!

This time I'm only using 2 colors (+ the dry-brush): Black and Diamant Red.

Diamant Red is a red spray paint which contains a really fine grit that reflects light in a fantastic way! I totally love it! It can be easily found in stores, and costs only a few €uros more than normal paint.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Barricade is an electric gun, therefore is MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to disassemble than normal Nerfs. I've used A LOT OF PHOTOS (more than 60 high-res images) for this 'ible, and I suggest you to rely on these (as well as the text guide) to have a better overview of everything. Every image has comments and notes to help you! :)

As usual, let's start with a shopping list!

  • Nerf Barricade (20-22€ 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€)
  • Black matte spray paint (5€)
  • Diamant Red spray paint (7€)

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 too glossy. Matte paints are the best for this kind of plastics.

  • Primer spray for plastic (4€)

A transparent one will also serve as anti-scratch finish!

  • 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 60€

You will also need:

  • a philips screwdriver
  • mask for painting if you are making the project inside
  • paper, water
  • some containers for little parts (like tupperwares)

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, Barricade included. In fact, I've used a lot of material from my previous Nerf project. :)

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Step 1: Disassembling 1: Main Chassis and Barrel

As I said in the intro, disassembling this gun is much more difficult than the Strongarm or other non-electric Nerfs!

So take your time, be patient and take a lot of photos to help you at the end for the build-back part.

I've put a lot of images in this guide, use them! They are extremely useful to understand what you're doing.

1) Let's start by removing the screws on the main chassis (Image 1) with your philips screwdriver. There are 16 of them.

As usual, put everything in a safe, closed place like a tupperware, to avoid losing any pieces.

2) Then, open the battery socket. There is another little screw inside to remove in order to open the gun (Image 2).

After this, I suggest to close back the battery socket, because we don't want to paint it inside!

Now we have our Barricade opened (Image 3). The two parts of the chassis are linked togheter by two little blue and red wires. Pay attention not to cut or broke them. Don't worry, after the disassembling we will have the two parts completely divided. :)

3) The first thing to remove is the barrel.

It's pretty easy. Tilt it a little with attention, and you should be able to slide it out with no problems.

As you can see in Image 4, there is an inner white cylinder in the barrel, and two little orange caps.

We don't need to paint them, so apply some masking tape (Image 5) to hold everything togheter and put them in a tupperware.

Ok, this was easy.

Let's move on.

Step 2: Disassembling 2: Trigger and Slide

1) Now we have to take the trigger apart.

Start by removing the two chrome screws which hold a little plastic piece over the trigger. Put that piece away in the tupperware.

Remove the main chrome screw that holds the trigger in place, it's the longest screw of the gun (Image 1).

Then, flip the trigger on the other side to find the spring. Remove the screw as indicated in Image 2.

Great, our trigger is now out of the chassis :)

2) Now it's time for the top slide!

When in closed position, there's a chrome screw immediatly under the slide (Image 3).

It's the first one you have to remove for this passage.

Then, you have to unlock the orange box-like piece that holds the long and thin part of the slide (Image 4).

It's blocked by two chrome screws. Remove them.

Note: If you prefer, you can mount back the orange box piece for the painting process. It's another way to leave it in a safe place ;)

Finally, tilt the slide with care and you should take it out with ease! (Image 5).

Great. Now comes the difficult part.

Step 3: Disassembling 3: Front Engine

Disassembling the front engine is the most difficult and annoying part of the project.

It consists in a plastic shell and a little engine with two gear wheels. The aim is to remove the engine from inside to perform a no-mess painting.

Pay extra-attention in this passage and take your time.

1) There are 2 screws on the front side which hold the plastic shell (Image 1).

These are the firsts you have to remove.

Then, flip the piece to discover 4 more screws fixing the engine in position (Image 2).

Remove them.

2) In this passage, I've discovered that some internal parts are glued togheter! And are almost impossibile to reach with the cutter without breaking something. Damn.

But, luckily, Nerf's plastic are pretty strong.

So, the solution is to bend the shell with our hands in order to open a passage for the engine.

But first, have a look at Image 4.

The red and blue wires are blocked by the shell itself. We have to make a way-out.

Use your cutter (or even better a Dremel) to cut the plastic as shown in Image 5.


Now, you should be able to move out wires and have an open passage (Image 6).

3) Finally, we can take out our engine.

Bend the plastic shell with care (stop if you hear some crackles and bend it in another point) until there is enough space to remove the gear wheels engine (Image 7).

Now, celebreate with some good beer! :D

We have have our engine out of the box! (Image 8).

The disassembling parts is finally over and we can begin the sanding process.

Step 4: Protect the Inside and Be Ready

In order to start sanding (and painting), we have to protect inside pieces from dust and colors.

We don't want to ruin any electrical contacts!

After the long disassembling, we finally have the two parts of the main chassis completely divided one from the other (Image 1).

Use some large pieces of masking tape to cover everything on the inside and hold the little parts togheter (Image 2).

Now, gather all the other parts in addition to the main chassis:

  • front engine shell
  • barrel
  • top slide
  • main trigger
  • battery socket trigger
  • the little button near the top slide (the one with the spring)

...and be ready for sanding!

Step 5: Sanding Time

We can leave our screwdriver, for now! :D

Sanding is very important to obtain a great result, because it will create a new, rough surface for our spray paint.

If we avoid sanding, new paint will easely come off because of the glossy surface of the original plastic.


Start with your 80 grit sand paper to erase logos and text.

See Image 1 and Image 2 for a before-after comparison of the N-Strike logo.

Then, take your 240-250 grit sand paper (or even a lighter one) and scrub it all over the pieces (Image 3).

Try to sand well even little and hidden parts (like bolts and handle near the trigger).

The better you sand, the better your spray paint will result!

Now gather all the parts (Image 4), and with a wet tissue remove dust and little grains of the sanding job.

Be ready for primer!

Step 6: Plastic Primer

As shown also in my first Instructable, I use Luxen PVC Transparent Primer.

Lot of people use grey or light-brown primer to bring out sanding imperfections, but not me.

Why? We are creating a Borderlands replica, imperfections and little scratches are part of the game!

Obviously a colored primer is suggested if you are painting a Nerf with a sleek, new and tactical look.

I rely on Luxen PVC Transparent Primer for three reasons:

  • I have tested it over years, and I know for sure that it's GREAT for this kind of toy plastics and fiberglass
  • It's also a fantastic anti-scratch finish paint, and doesn't change underlying colors even after 2/3 layers
  • It's incredibly cheap (3 or 4€ for a big can. Competitors cost more than twice)

So, let's start.

Use two layers of primer on all the pieces (Image 1 and Image 2).

Wait at least 30 minute between each layer to obtain the best result.

Step 7: Paint It, Black

Now we can apply Black Matte Paint to create a neutral base for new colors.

I love matte paints much more than glossy ones.

They're elegant, beautiful and give a realistic look to our gun.

In addition, they tend to dry faster thank glossy paints.

I suggest 3 layers of black paint (not less than 2 layers!) on everything.

This will create a really strong coverage. If you've sanded and primed well, color should already be very resistant to scratches.

As usual, wait at least 30 minutes between each layer and don't touch anything during the drying process.

Digital prints are hard to remove.

Image 1 and Image 2 show final result.

Step 8: Masked to Perfection

It's time for masking.

The attention you'll use in this passage can greatly influence the final result.

As I said in the intro, the Barricade has a chassis full of details that help us to create a fantastic replica.

We have two benefits in this:

  • they'll look marvellous with the DRY-BRUSH (we'll see later)
  • if we mask some details to leave them black, we will improve the general appearance

The first thing to cover is the handle.

Try follow contours as better as you can to avoid paint smears later.

After that, I've masked some bolt-like things rich in little textures (see Images 1 and 2).

I've imagined them with black background and chrome effect over and I thought it would be very cool.

Little parts are hard to mask, help yourselves with an X Acto cutter or similar (mine is a Typograph Cutter, even smaller than the X Acto) to cut masking tape excesses.

When you think everything is well done and ready, go to the next step.

Step 9: The Glorious Diamant Red

I think this is the best part!

Now that the main chassis is masked to perfection (or almost...), it's time to use the Diamant Red paint. (Image 1)

Apply 2 coats of paint in the same way of other colors.

Just wait a little more (at least 45 minutes) to let it dry, cause this spray is thicker than the Black one.

While you spray, you can see the marvellous grainy texture of the Diamant Red applying directly on your gun, it's really beautiful! :D (Images 2 and 3)

This paint is also very resistant.

Be sure not to touch anything before drying, or you'll have to sand out digital prints and start all over again!

Step 10: DRY-BRUSH Magic: Internals

While red paint is drying, we can start to DRY-BRUSH other pieces. (Image 1)

How does this technique works?

I've talked about it here, in my first guide.

It's a very simple but extremely effective technique. Take your little brush, completely dry, and put it in the chrome effect 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.

In Image 2, you can see the work in progress on the top slide.

In Image from 3 to 5, there are Before-After comparisons of barrel, trigger and front engine shell.

The difference is amazing.

Because of the really thin layer of paint used in this passage, colors will dry very quickly! It's a matter of minutes. (Image 6)

Finally, put a layer of transparent primer for an anti scratch finish on everything. (Image 7)

NOTE: If you have a specific anti scratch paint it's also good, just be sure that it won't change underlying colors. Try out on a little piece, first.

Step 11: DRY-BRUSH Magic: Main Chassis

After a total of 2 layer and 1h30m - 2h, the main chassis should be well dry and ready for texturizing!

Remove masking tape with care (Image 1). If you've done everything well, there shouldn't be a lot of paints' smears.

Now, I suggest to start DRY-BRUSHING on the handle. This technique is easier on black parts and the handle has a great surface to work with and get used to. (Images 6 and 9)

In Image 2 you can see a comparison between the two handles, before and after the magic. Great, isn't it?

Some people told me that this technique makes the Nerf to look trashed. Well, if you don't like trashed and war look, you shouldn't be reading a Borderlands Replica guide! :D

After the handle, try out on bolt-like things that we have left black. The chrome paint really makes them look metal as hell! (Images 3, 4 and 5)

I love this details, they are the little things that make the difference.

Now it's time to soil the Red paint with the dry-brush. (Images 7, 8 and 10)

Here, act according to your taste. I've concentrated on the edges and tried to not overdo on plain surface.

Pay attention on the general appearance, it's easy to get carried away by the dry-brush magic!

Now, put the two parts on carboard and spray at least one layer of transparent primer for an anti scracth finish.

Step 12: Build It Back

Wait the classical 30 minutes for the last layer of primer to dry.

Now we have all the pieces ready for the build-back part.

Take your time and rely on images of the first steps to help you.

Like for taking it apart, the hardest part will be the front engine.

But with patience, you can do it with no problems at all! :)

If you want to see more photos of the final outcome, return to the intro.

I really hope you liked this Instructable, if you manage to create this replica or even a different one, please post some photos in comments section, I'm really curious about it! :)

Follow me and stay tuned for some new Nerf Mods!

From Italy, this is Filippo.

Ciao a tutti! :D

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    28 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Easily one of the best Nerf mods ever. You sir, deserve a high five. The design is awesome and the paint scheme is immaculate. I'd appreciate it a ton, if you could check out my "Striker" Mod build.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    These are very nice words from you, they warm my heart :) Thank you!

    I've just checked your Striker mod, it's amazing! You get my vote for that! :D


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Always glad to give credit where credit is due! And thanks for the vote! :D


    5 years ago

    I hate to say it but,

    Vladaf would never paint their guns that color scheme. Bandit would.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Uhm, maybe you're right :/

    Hope you like this guide anyway :)

    acaptain crumch
    acaptain crumch

    5 years ago

    Great Job!! I live in the US and I can't find this paint anywhere is there a website I can order it from?


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks a lot! :D I don't know any spraypaint website that makes international shipping, sorry :( ... but you can search a similiar solution in your local DIY-Paint shop.

    Try to search a "Pearl Red Spray" or "Metallic Red Spray". These kinds of paints often have a tiny grain inside for the desired effect!

    For example, this Metallic Red on ebay looks pretty good:

    Hope it will help you!

    Thanks again my friend! Have a great day


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this is great! :) I started play Borderlands 2 about a month ago! :D Also my GF wanted to buy us some nerfs, so I definitely want to add some tuning... Voted for you bro! ;)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you bro! Really glad you liked this! :) Borderlands and Nerfs are both a great choice! :D


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this looks so realistic :O I regret now not buying a barricade hehe. I may try this sometime when I get one :-)

    Awesome 'n neat job! :D


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you hunter! :D Hope you'll vote for me ^^


    5 years ago on Introduction

    this is an awesome ible! i shall be trying this dry brushing myself :P and definitely voted!! GOOD LUCK!