A few months ago I came upon a group of folks on the Internet who enjoyed painting Nerf pistols to make them more realistic or interesting. There is also a whole subset who are focused on increasing the power and just basically improving their performance, but this is just about the appearance.

Here are some Google search results on the subject:

The one from Tested.com has a good article.

I kept an eye out at my local thrift store, because I wasn’t interested enough to buy one new, but if I found a cheap one at the thrift store, I wouldn’t feel bad if I wrecked it. Eventually, I did find a couple, including the Maverick, pictured above.

The first step for me was sanding off all the identifying parts of the body that said Nerf or Maverick or serial numbers of the like. That didn’t take long with a quick pass of 120 grit, then 220 then 320 for a relatively smooth finish. The next step was disassembly, so removing all the screws and springs so I could paint parts separately. I went out of my way to take pics and carefully store the screws and springs:


Even with all that effort, I ended up with a leftover screw and spring on reassembly. I cannot for the life of me figure out what those did or where they even go! Sigh. Better/more careful pictures next time!

Then it was off to paint. After a coat of grey for primer, some black as a base coat, I added some metallic colors, some tinted. That completed the initial color coats, which I then sealed with a clear coat.

Next I went in and did some weathering, to make it look used and “lived in”. I wanted it to look like it had some history, not just purchased from the futuristic pistol store.

I went a bit heavy with the dry brushing and probably should have used some Rub ‘n Buff for the silver edging, but on the whole, I think it sells the “I’ve been kicked around and used” look. Next was using some additional paint to add some grime, again to just knock back the brand new and shiny aesthetic.

I was asked about this project “Now what are you going to do with it?”

Uh, nothing? It’s an art project. It’s for fun, to see what I would make and how it would turn out and to try some of the techniques I read about from other folks who do this kind of thing. I guess, like a lot of crafting, it’s not about being useful, it’s about making a thing. That’ll do.

Here are a few more pictures of the before, after color and after weathering for comparison.

Categories: Make


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