Last year some time, while thrifting, I found the largest toy gun that I had ever seen.
Remember the Space Gun paint job that I did before? I bought this gun, thinking that I would paint it, too, sooner or later. That day has come.
Using the great ideas in the Steam Punk Gun Tutorial (which I previous saved), I set about transforming this amazing weapon.
First step is to photograph every part of the gun. I’ll spare you all those photos.
Then, draw an outline of the gun on cardboard or paper. When you remove a screw, tape it down onto the outline in the location where it belongs. Like this …
As you take the gun apart, continue to photograph it as each piece comes out. I can’t emphasize this enough. I thought that I had taken just about every photo that could possibly be taken of this thing, until I tried to put it back together. Because I was unable to get each piece in place exactly right, it no longer fires, the front end doesn’t come off anymore, the back end is not spring loaded, etc. etc. etc. You can’t take too many photos. Seriously.
The next step is priming this bad boy. I asked my friend, also known as The Handiest Man in the
Universe, what I could use to de-gloss the plastic, he recommended “Self-etching Spray Primer.” I struck out at Home Depot, but did find it at an automotive supply shop. I thought that the best part of this stuff would be that the top coat would stick well, or that the paint wouldn’t come off easily. But no. The best part was that the color was just perfect for a military-style weapon. Perfect.
So I set about painting the disassembled gun. Most of it remained this grey color, but I chose to paint some parts black, and some chrome/silver. There were also a couple of parts that were already grey that came off easily. I didn’t bother painting those. Here is the picture of the first layer of primer.
Finally, I wrestled the whole gun back together again – or almost together again. There were springs that I couldn’t figure out, a barrel that I KNOW I put in backwards, etc. etc. But overall, I’m happy with the results. Here is the final product, plus a before-and-after.
EDIT: Since writing this post, I discovered a new trick for great-looking costume guns.