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How To Make A Kick Ass Steampunk Nerf Gun


We talked about it on last week's podcast, but now I want to show you how to make your own steampunk style badass Nerf gun, and give you an opportunity to be lazy and just buy one of your very own! It's easy to do if you have any sort of experience with models or taking things apart (what good Geek hasn't taken apart their toys?) and with a little paint and a screwdriver, you too can be amazing. Hit the jump for the full tutorial.

nerf1First, let's get some supplies. Here's what you will need:

  • Nerf N-Strike Maverick. This gun by itself is pretty awesome, and they are less than $10. You can find them at Toys R Us or, oh hey! Look at that. Our amazon store.
  • Some paint. Spray paint that bonds to plastic and model paint work best. I picked up some flat black, some gold, and a mottled gunmetal color.
  • Sharp knives. I cannot stress enough how important it is for your knife to be sharp. You run the risk of cutting yourself more if you have a dull knife.
  • Mini screwdrivers. If you don't have a thin Phillips head screwdriver, you can find one at your local hardware store for a bit more than a dollar.
  • Sandpaper. I like a really rough sandpaper to take off the logos and to make the gun look weathered.

nerf2Now to begin! Take out the screws using your small screwdriver. The back cocking portion has smaller screws than the main body, so make a note of that. Separate the halves and start removing the various components, making a note of where each spring and piece of plastic goes. This is important! Every little part of this is important to the way the gun functions, so either labeling where screws and springs go or making a diagram is preferred.


nerf4Sand down the offending logos with a rough grain sandpaper (especially the text that says "do not modify darts or blaster". That's gotta go.) This also adds to the weathered effect, but be sure to sand in only one direction, not in circles or squares or some crazy shit. I kept the N-Strike logo and "Maverick Rev-6" text because it looks cool. Dust off the remaining plastic residue and move on to painting!

logo gone!

Laid out


Lay out all your pieces on newspaper to spray paint, and give them an even coat, making sure to get the tops and sides. I am painting these black first so i can do some nifty weathered effects later, but these look equally good if you do just do a coat of cool metallic paint overall. Now for the barrel.

snip!I was going to take this apart to paint it, but I couldn't figure it out. I took out the screws but it just wouldn't separate. So you know what? Fuck it, it's getting painted as is. Just mask it or something to prevent it from getting paint in the important bits. See that nubbly thing? Take that off first. Take a sharp knife and cut it the hell off. It's one of two things preventing you from flipping the revolver part the full way and looking completely bad ass. How many times can I say bad ass in one article?

snap!Take off this little piece of plastic from the gun part as well. I guess you could do this before you paint it. Hindsight.

all painted bitsHere is everything painted. Now you can add details if you'd like. As it stands it would still make a pretty cool looking gun, but I am going to make it look even cooler.

all painted bits laid out

subtle detailsI painted a couple details on the gun, including some gold paint for the faux screwheads, painting the handle a matte black and some colored accents. Let these dry and then use a clear enamel spraypaint if you'd like. That will help seal the paint and make it last. You don't really have to, though. Personally I like it a little chipped and scuffed.

done!Put everything back in its place, remembering the order in which you took it apart. The most complicated part was putting the springs back where they belonged, but remarkably this doesn't have too many moving parts. Imagine the guy who invented the revolver looking at this toy today: he'd probably be incredibly impressed or totally insulted by the fact that this is way more sophisticated than anything he came up with, and it's a children's toy. Remarkable.

Now, enjoy your badassery!

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