Thursday, February 7, 2013


No, not this guy.

I'm starting a new prop.  Tight budget, tight deadline.  The best kind.

For a friend, I'm joining the legions who have re-painted a NERF gun.  And the smaller legion (but still enough to rate at least a Centurion), who re-painted, specifically, a NERF "Maverick" to look Steampunk.

Here's the main requirements:

It should still fit in the same holster (the friend is ordering one of those custom-made ones).
It should be study enough to wave around.
It would be nice if it still worked.

Now, I'd seen a few NERF re-paints around.  And a few Mavericks, of course.  And a couple things always bugged me about the Maverick, especially when it is in a Steampunk guise.  The worst of these is that grip.  It just looks too...well....NERF.

So I grabbed an image (of a gorgeous re-paint by "boon119" over at DeviantArt), a couple pictures of Colt revolvers, and opened PhotoShop to brainstorm ideas.

This was the concept: a Hogleg Maverick.  Or, rather, a NERF with a Colt-type grip.

Taking Down:

Boy, there are a lot of parts in this thing!  The cups are of course holding the many smaller screws and springs.  What all of them do isn't entirely clear but the basic mechanism is understandable.  The problem is going to be working around it.

Cutting Up:

I have no pics (I took one, but it didn't come out well enough to use).  An hour or two with scale rule, razor saw, and X-acto knives and I had trimmed a quarter-inch space between the halves, where the frame of the new stock would fit.


As careful as I was in tracing, the alignment wasn't quite there.  Making holes for the various posts was even harder...I smeared them with paint but the test alignment was far enough off that I had to re-drill and expand them anyhow. 

However, this did give me a chance to try out my new tool.  Someone right in my own neighborhood just tossed out a Dremel Moto-Shop.  No, not the rotary tool.  This is an ultra-cute scroll saw with a 15" throat.  After cleaning up a little rust, and buying a new set of 3" pin blades on eBay, I put it into action.  It cut right through that birch ply.

So I'll probably glue this in, as rough as it is.  But I'll save a trace in case I want to make another one of these one day.  And that way the next one can be a little more accurate.

(Interesting, but there is a suspicious gap behind the trigger that suggests NERF planned to put a switch in there at some point.  Suggesting the possibility of electronics.  Not for this particular mod, though, I think.)

Proof of Concept:

The shape looks right, it feels comfortable enough (though not that comfortable, alas).  And even without the epoxy, quite solid enough to wave around.  I have no problem believing this will support the weight of the final prop, even firing it.

Now the question remains how to finish the shaping.  The original idea was to actually carve grips out of soft wood.  But there is a bit of a gap, there are several funny places in the fit, and I think I might be smarter to just build it up with Bondo/Apoxie Sculpt, then paint it to look like wood.

 Whatever I do is going to have to be fast.  I only have twelve more days.

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