***UPDATE: Added a picture of the final product (the pants/boots/holster/utility belt were legit too, but drunks like to take pictures from peoples waist to the ceiling). ****
So last year I went as Beerman (ironman + beer) so I needed to step it up this year. Beerman had an arc reactor and a pulse weapon on his palm, so I figured I needed a baller weapon to really push this years costume to the max. Enter Judge Budd. For the weapon, we have the Beergiver II (a la the Lawgiver II from the flick... the REAL flick). So let's get started!
* Here's what you need:
* Nerf weapon
* Play tank with sound fx from dollar store
* strobe light from walmart
* handfuls of white LEDs from Radioshack
* wire, soldering stuff, spray paint, Bud Light case, TV with NFL on, small screw driver set, hot glue gun, etc.
Step 1: Step 1: Flashing... Lights...
First I started with the strobe light to see its precious insides. Not much to look at though, just a small circuit attached to the back of the batteries, a potentimeter, and a strip of 4 LEDs attached to a reflector. I gently pried the LEDs off the reflector and cut the strip in half--this will make a smaller square of LEDs for inside the barrel. I had to trim the sides of the small strip that I pressed onto the back of the other one, so that it fit between the other two LEDs.
Step 2: Step 2: Trigger Job
Next I had to solder the lights on the strip to complete the circuit, this was pretty easy. I then took the positive lead from the LED cluster and cut it, splicing in two long wires that will eventually run into the gun and down to the trigger, setting off the light show when the trigger is squeezed. Please remember to squeeze your triggers, not pull them. The final touch was to put two chunks of conductivity on the ends of the spliced in wires to make the trigger contacts... not even sure what I used... maybe a scrap of copper and some copper wire soldered together?
Step 3: Step 3: Case Mods
The next part involves carefully modifying the strobe light body to fight where the ammo normally goes (the gattling gun part?). First I had to trim about a half inch off the bottom of the cover and the same off the entire body. I used strong kitchen shears. Theeeen I had to CAREFULLY cut a PERFECT circle out of the side of the case at the height of the barrel opening (this will make more sense with the nerf gun apart... maybe we should go to that step now, then come back). After I had my Perfect Circle, I jammed the LED cluster into the hole and secured it safely with hot glue, arguably the quintessential hacker syrum, next to perhaps only WD40.
Step 4: Step 4: Pretty Much Step 3 (The Gun)
Let's tear this bad boy apart! Take all the screws you find out and tug two halves apart (not too easy, so give it some oomph). Take the guts out of the body EXCEPT the trigger. Flip them onto some cardboard and spray paint. I did 3 coats; 1 gold, 1 black, then when it was all assembled I did a final black coat. Dont forget to flip the side with the trigger attached over and spray the trigger (dont want it orange on one side).
Step 5: Step 5: 6 If You're Really Counting...
Time to get up in them guts. First, get all the guts in the body of the strobe light and super glue it to the top part of the gun (check the photo). Then, secure the two trigger contacts; one to the post the trigger is mounted on and one to the trigger itself. I used superglue because IM HARD LIKE THAT! ehhem... next, line up the rest of the guts along the top rail and secure with masking tape, electrical tape, craploads of hot glue, whatever. I wrapped my wires with a copper wire to make it look cool. I then took the guts from the toy tank (no real instructions here guys, just tear it open, get the circuit and speaker out, and solder the power and ground to the contacts on the back of the battery case) and put the speaker facing forward under the barrel (photo).
Step 6: Step ... Whatever: Not Good Enough!
So after it was all complete, I took it back apart to put the power indicator lights on the side (the red lights). I took out the battery cover and soldered up some high output white LEDs with some resistors from Radioshack. I taped up the outside of the strobe body (the non-battery holding part) and created the outline of the power lights. I then went to town with my dremmel, but you could probably use a knife or similar dangerous instrument, maybe even heat it up first for extra danger points! Once those were done, I resprayed the last black coat of paint, taped a piece of paper over the inside of the power indicator holes (colored the paper with red permanent marker), then lined up the battery cover so the LEDs hit the paper just right to keep them lit. Note that this means that when the batteries are in, the beast is lit, so to avoid draining them, take them out. Final touches included beer-box slides for the bottom and a lower grenade barrel output from a beer cap.
The final product: