In this Instructable I will be showing how to create my take on Deadpool’s Dual Wield Pistols. I was thrilled how my last nerf modification turned out, and was really inspired to try another. You can use the techniques I show you in this Instructable to create any other style of Nerf pistols, and customize them in your own way. With a simple change of color schemes and logos, you can create your very own customized Nerf Maverick for any superhero or movie you would like. You can also add a unique aesthetic modification by also adding all of Nerf’s different attachments, scopes, stocks, and barrels. This modification was not only aesthetic, but I also completed quite a few functional mods, which greatly improved its performance and usability. I am absolutely thrilled with the way these dual wield pistols came out, and can’t wait to make future blaster modifications.
(2x) Nerf Maverick
Black acrylic paint (for washes)
Silver acrylic paint (for drybrushing)
Rustoleum Flat Gray Primer
Rustoleum Satin Poppy Red Spray Paint
Rustoleum Semi Gloss Black Spray Paint
Step 1: Disassembling the Blasters
First, you have to disassemble the main body of both Mavericks. Make sure to remove all the screws first, then carefully remove the top shell and butterfly it open. It is crucial to document this process and keep all the pieces so that you know exactly where each piece goes, and which screws go where. Even with pictures, it took me around 3 hours to put both guns back together, and I eventually resorted to taking apart a third so I could tell exactly where all of the pieces go. It shouldn’t take more than maybe 15 minutes, but I made silly mistake after silly mistake, leaving pieces out and putting in parts in the wrong orientation. I kept all the gun pieces in their own compartments in a large 11 by 17 organizer. Sorting the pieces this way is great because you can keep screws with the internal parts they go with, and it is a super efficient way to store these pieces. If you don't own an organizer like this (any "craft organizer"), you could alternately use sandwich and snack bags, or any cheap tupperware containers.
Step 2: Performance Enhancing Mods
As previously mentioned, this wasn’t only an aesthetic modification, and I also added some performance enhancing mods. I removed all the air restrictors, stretched the spring, and completed the “full barrel drop” mod. Removing the air restrictors gives the air a more direct path from the plunger straight to the dart, therefore giving it more power and allowing the blaster to shoot darts much further. Stretching the spring makes it harder to compress, which also gives the gun more power and improves its range. As for the “full barrel drop mod,” this allow the entire chamber which hold the darts to drop out far enough so that you can load all of the darts without having to spin the 6 chambers and jam each dart in. This makes reloading much faster, and it is actually really fun playing and spinning the revolver-style barrel. An alternate modification to stretching the spring would be to glue a stack of 4 or 5 pennies to the end of the spring, which also makes the spring harder to compress. Another modification you can do with pennies is using them to give the prop a realistic feel. By hot gluing around 100 pennies inside the handle. This adds roughly a pound or two depending on when the pennies were made (different alloys which make up the pennies). Again, it gives your prop a more realistic weight, and makes it feel less like plastic, but put in careful consideration to whether this might actually help you. If you are going to be carrying these as a prop at a convention, then by the end of the day the extra weight may feel a lot heavier and tire you out. The same goes for if you are going to be using your blaster at a Nerf war. I’m sure after a long day of running around and holding up your blasters, your arms will get very tired. All of these modifications are great, and there are plenty more circulating around the internet, however, make sure to choose the right modifications for your specific application of the blaster.
Step 3: Removing Logos and Sanding
This step is pretty self explanatory. If you want, you can sand off all the logos and warnings. Some people even like to go as far as remove any and all texture from the blasters including camo imprints (on elite blasters) and the texture on the handle grips, but in this case I only had to remove the logos and warnings. I hand sanded off all of the logos, then sanded the entire blaster until it felt “chalky”. This gives the spray paint a great texture to bind to and allows for the best paint adhesion.
Step 4: Adding First Coat of Paint
I started by first separating the pieces into two groups, one group in which the final pieces would be predominantly white, and one group in which the final pieces would be predominantly black. I did this so that I wouldn’t have to spend so much time masking off pieces, and so that I could visualize how all the pieces would come together.
I used Rustoleum Ultra Color Semi Gloss Black and Rustoleum Ultra Color Satin Red, which seemed to work great. I made sure to take many light, even coats to prevent dripping. I found with the spray paint I was using, if any coats were too heavy, it would also crack as it dried. It was a really simple application, but I took quite a few coats on each piece from different angles to make sure that all parts were covered. I also submerged my spray paint cans in warm water from the tap for 10-15 minutes before I started painting, which allows the paint in the cans to warm up and lower in viscosity. The lower viscosity allows the spray paint to spray out more evenly and in finer particles than when at room temperature. This is something I hadn’t done on my first mod, and I found it makes a huge difference!
Step 5: Masking Off Pieces and Applying Second Coat of Paint
Masking off the pieces for painting the second layer luckily wasn’t all that bad this time. On my last mod, it took around 5+ hours to mask of the whole blaster, but this time it probably only took about 2 hours for both guns. It took quite a bit of work to mask off the pieces with crisp sealed edges right where I wanted, but in the end almost all of the tape kept a clean edge, so there weren’t any spots I had to touch up. The barrel was by far the most complicated because of the sharp angles towards the top of the piece. In between each barrel I knew would be incredibly difficult to mask off with just plain masking tape, so I resorted to using a liquid resist. A liquid resist is, as the name suggests, using any liquid substance to mask of part of a surface. In this case, I used toothpaste, and painted it over some of the tricky spots I wanted to keep black. The liquid resist works because you are laying down a thick layer of resist, whether is is toothpaste, mustard, or a specialized paint, and it prohibits any spray paint from making contact with the plastic underneath and adhering to that. After you let the spray paint dry completely, you can rinse off the resist, and it should leave you with nice clean lines wherever the resist was.
Adding Second color of paint:
After I masked everything off, I took all the pieces back outside and added the second color for each piece (black pieces get an accent color of red, and red pieces get an accent color of black). This step is pretty self explanatory, and any details on painting were mentioned in the previous step.
Step 6: Creating and Adding the Custom Decal
To add the Deadpool decal to the gun, I created a custom stencil using the Cricut. This is not how the cricut is traditionally meant to be used, however I was thinking how I might be able to create a custom stencil, and came up with this great idea. If you don’t have a Cricut or any sort of vinyl cutting-type machine, no worries. The icon I used is incredibly simple, and I have cut out more advanced logos with just an Xacto and had no problems.
I made this custom stencil by finding Deadpool’s logo online, and then replicating it as closely as possible using the Cricut. I used simple geometric shapes and adjusted sizes and stretched the figures until I was happy with the product. It is nearly an exact replica to the logo, and I was super proud of the outcome. I think the time spent creating a custom logo really adds a professional feel to the prop, and it really ties the prop together.
After creating the logo, I then layed down some overlapping pieces of masking tape on the cutting sheet, set the pressure to high, and had it cut out my custom stencil. I used an incredible painters tape that my dad got me, and if produced such clean lines with absolutely no touchup work. (see third picture). It worked phenomenally on the first try, so I was super happy with that, and I am happy I created this process while working on modifying my first blaster. Again, if you don’t have this particular machine, there are hundreds of other options (freehand painting, Xacto stencil, waterslide decal paper, print out custom stickers, etc.).
I then placed the stencils on opposite sides on each gun so that if the blasters are each held on their respective sides, the logos both face out. This also allows for some really awesome dual wield pictures with the gun with the logos both facing out (like this “Hitman” movie poster).
Step 7: Weathering and Detailing
Weathering and detailing
In my opinion, the weathering and detailing is what really made this project look even more awesome, and it brought the whole project together. I used mainly a black wash over the whole gun to give it a dirt and grime effect. I was trying to simulate an unclean greasy and mechanical look, where grease has seeped down in the cracks and crevices, and hasn’t come out. I made the wash by adding a bit of water into black acrylic paint to make it less viscous, then painted it all over the gun, then gently wiped it away. The trick to using washes is letting the paint sit on the gun for a short time, and allow capillary action to pull the wash into the cracks so that it can’t be wiped away. It is a terribly simple process, and it hides any crimes on the paintjob beneath it. Another technique you can use to bring the gun to life is by dry brushing some silver paint over the edges of the project. This gives it the effect that the gun has been dropped and mistreated, and it makes it appear like the gun has been scratched up… definitely needed on a Deadpool gun.
Note, if you are using this blaster as a film prop, you have to make the weathering a lot more pronounced because otherwise the cameras and viewers won’t pick up on it as much. I’m sure you all have seen things which look better in person, whether it is a car, a prop, or something else, and that is the same thing that happens with film props. I actually learned this from Adam Savage, and he said that screen props are always vastly more weathered than their reproduction counterparts. I managed to find a great balance between what looks good in person and what looks good on camera on this prop, and I am super proud of the weathering and detailing I did on these two blasters. Again, Deadpool is a very run-and-gun type of guy, who I can’t imagine takes a bunch of time keeping his equipment in great condition. This allowed me to add more weathering than I had on my previous blaster, and it turned out awesome! I’m still in awe by how great it came out, and I can’t help but smile everytime I see them.
Step 8: Final Thoughts
At this point, the gun is completely modded and finished, but there are a couple of extra things. First, if you will be using this for gameplay or walking around at something like a convention, I would highly recommend spraying on an extra protective coating. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you will want to protect the blaster from any chips and scratches if possible.
This is only my second Nerf mod ever, and I am beyond ecstatic on how it turned out. For any beginners looking to get into this too, I will share some of the most important things I learned while building and painting this. I learned to make light, even coats to get the best results from spraypaint. I learned not to spend so much time painting incredibly crisp lines on a blaster like this because the weathering covers up most of the seams. And lastly, I learned the overall basics of how to aesthetically and functionally mod nerf guns, and am excited to complete more mods.
The last thing I want to say is that it is crucial to be careful with this prop. It could very easily be misinterpreted for a real gun, especially in this day and age, so make sure to use immense caution when working on this, and if you are going to Nerf wars or a convention, I would urge you to keep your tip orange. I knew mine would just be hung up on my wall to look cool, so I painted my tip black. Again, whatever you do, just please BE CAREFUL, and have fun building!