Monday, April 2, 2012

Steampunk Nerf Gun Mod

Once I learned that there was going to be a nerf shooting match at the DFW Costumer's Guild Steampunk Tea, I knew that I wanted to make Steampunk modded gun to play with.  I started with a Nerf Maverick.


I removed all the screws and took the casing off of the gun to reveal all the guts. I made sure to take several pics of the guts to make sure I'd remember where to put everything for when I reassembled the gun.


Then I took out the guts.


Once the guts were out, I sprayed the casing with a layer of black spray paint. I sprayed the slide, too, but it isn't pictured.


Once the black layer was dry, I went in with a brush and some metallic silver acrylic paint and gave it a coat of silver.


I then gave it a very light dusting of metallic gold with some spray paint, just to give it a hint of the colour.


At this point it was time to add the distressing to the gun.  I added another layer of silver, let it dry, and then went in with some black acrylic to add depth and detailing.  I worked quickly, brushing the black into the recessed areas and then wiping it off right away with a damp paper towel.  I kept using the same towel because as the black built up in the paper, it would lay down some of the colour on the gun, giving it a more grimy look.  Since the silver layer wasn't completely dry, the towel also picked up some of that layer, letting the bottom layer of the gold/silver mixture come through.



Once I was finished weathering the "metal" parts of the gun, I started adding some colour to the grip. I wanted to have a pearly light blue colour, so I used a bird's egg blue colour overlaid with a layer of pearl white paint.


Once the main body of the gun was finished, I started work on the cylinder. Since it was already black, the first layer of paint I put down was gold metallic spray paint. I wasn't too worried about getting a full coverage since I wanted it to look worn and weathered anyway.


I added in black acrylic detailing to accent the raised parts of the cylinder, that hold the darts, the recessed areas at the bottom of the cylinder, and the smooth part that "holds" the dart cartridge area.  This made it look really grimy, which I loved.


I was really pleased with how the bottom of the cylinder came out, because it looks like a really well-worn piece of machinery.


I wanted the raised parts of the dart cartridges to have a little bit of shine still on them, so I took the corner of a damp paper towel and dipped it in a very little bit of liquid leaf.  I then rubbed it on the tops of the cartridges and on some of the raised areas and edges to give it back some of its shine.  I also went in to the recessed areas of the cylinder, between the cartridges, and painted them the same blue as the grip of the gun.


Once I added a pearl white layer over the blue, I called the cylinder done!


I decided to go back to the main case at this point and add some more detailing.  I wanted there to be some more shine on areas that would be more worn by frequent use, mainly the areas under where the hand would sit.  I added some silver around the grip and on some of the raised areas. I also darkened the area under the trigger guard.


At this point, I was happy with how the gun was looking, so I reassembled all the innards and put it all back together. Despite all the pictures of the guts I had taken, I still had a bit of a memory flub on how it all connected, so I ended up using this to guide me, which was a huge help.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Steampunk Keyboard

A few years ago, I fell in love with Datamancer's epic steampunk keyboard mods.  I decided that I needed one of these for myself, so I decided to take a stab at my own version.  I bought a regular keyboard from Wal-Mart  and set to work.

One of the first thing I did was snip the skirts off of all the keys. I had purchased a large lot of typewriter keys on eBay, which I intended to cut flat on the back and epoxy to the posts of the old keys. Unfortunately, I didn't have the proper equipment to do that, so I ended up having to cut grooves into the posts that the backs of the typewriter keys could fit into.


Since the keys were all rather rusted, I sanded off the rust and spray painted the backs of all the keys a uniform colour. 



I made the faceplate for the keyboard out of a nubbly faux leather.  I cut a rectangular piece of the faux leather roughly the size of the board and used a pair of cuticle scissors to cut out holes that corresponded to the posts on the keyboard.


I then stretched the faceplate over the frame of the keyboard and glued it down to the top half of the frame.


After the glue keeping the faceplate down had dried, I glued the backs of the typewriter keys onto the keyboard posts with e6000.  The glue proved to be very strong, and the keyboard is still going strong now, 3 years after I first built it.


I printed out some antique lettering to put into the key backs and applied them to the new keys.


I then put the glass back into the keys and put the rings back onto the rims.



I bought some wooden trim at Joann's (of all places) to use to frame out the board.


I cut the trim to size, and glued it on with e6000, bungee cording it on while the glue dried completely.

Once the glue had dried, I gold leafed the wood and added a filigree jewelry piece to be the space bar.


I added some amber coloured gems over the Scroll Lock, Cap Lock, and Number Lock lights, and added brass filigree pieces to frame each light.


I also added filigree scrollwork to the corners of the board to finish it off.




The keyboard is fully functional, and I actually use it every day. I would like to make another keyboard in the future, but until then, this one is still going strong.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Year of the Prop

Hello, all! This is the future home of my (the Mistress of Disguise) prop blog. I'll be limiting this blog to large prop builds only, the costume stuff itself will stay over on my main blog. I'm going to try and keep this as one post per prop so that you can see all the steps in one place, instead of having the process spread out over several posts.
My first build is going to be starting up soon, and is either going to be a Cardassian phaser rifle from Star Trek, or a Silurian gun from Doctor Who.
For other costume stuff, including my full portfolio, check out my main site, MistressofDisguise.com. I'll see you soon!