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Dizzy's Painting Method

On a minimized NF + brass, spring

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#1 dizzyduck

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:50 AM

Since people have been asking how I go about painting my blasters, I decided to do a write-up about my method. I can't let Salindin_Naz have all the fun with writing up painting walkthroughs, now can I?

I paint everything by hand, from start to finish, including sealing the final layers of paint. I've found I have much more control that way, and the paints dry more quickly. It also means I can paint without worrying about humidity, temperature, or having adequate ventilation.

Anyway, the "test subject" for this demonstration is a minimized NiteFinder with a spring replacement and a 3.5" length of 17/32" brass for a barrel. I also replaced the catch spring and cushioned the plunger head. All of these mods are pretty standard and you could easily find write-ups for them around NH.

Materials

Acrylic paint

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On the left is my big bin of paint. I use artist quality paints except for the big tube of black on the right, which is student-grade. This is important. Student-grade paints are often made with cheaper pigments and dyes that will fade over time with exposure to light, which is definitely not something you want to happen if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor nerfing. They also have a lot of fillers and brighteners that will end up looking like mud in some mixtures. They don't look as bright or as clean as the artist quality paints, so I use the good stuff. It's expensive, but it's worth it if you want a paint job that won't fade away in a few months.

The black I use to prime the surfaces of the blasters. Black usually doesn't fade, nor does white, but other colours of student grade paints aren't always as reliable.

Brushes

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I don't use my best brushes for painting blasters, since my method puts brushes through hell and back. These ones are pretty inexpensive but reliable. The synthetic ones are for applying flat areas of paint, while the hog bristle ones are for dry brushing and scumbing. Take care of your brushes; wash them out regularly with soap and water, and don't let the paint dry in the brush hairs.

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From left to right:

Paper towel

You can use this for anything and everything, most notably wiping excess paint from your brush when drybtushing. It's also handy for creating textures or wiping paint from the blaster in the event you make a mistake, though with acrylics it's often easier to simply paint over a bad area than to try to wipe it clean.

Mod Podge Gloss & Mod Podge Matte

These are sealers; you use them on top of painted areas to protect the paint underneath them. Usually I apply them over the first couple of layers of flat black before I move to colours, then on top of the finished colours, and finally over the entire blaster once graphics and lettering are finished. You can mix paint into them for some really nifty transparent glazing effects. You can also mix the matte and the gloss to get something in between flat-looking matte and retina-searing gloss.

Acrylic Matte Medium

Use this to thin down your paints instead of water. It's useful for details and small areas when the paint is too thick to apply with a fine brush.

Scarring

I use hobby knives, needle files and sandpaper for this. For bigger scars, I use bigger files, or for a really big one I might use a Dremel rotary tool grinding bit.

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To make more convincing scars, emphasize them more around corners and edges. The front of the blaster would be the first thing to hit the ground usually if it were dropped, or if something was coming towards its wielder, it would hit the front of the blaster first, so naturally there would be more scars towards the front. Just something to take into consideration.

(Over the image limit... again. Part 2 is on its way.)
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#2 dizzyduck

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:52 AM

Painting

Start by sanding down everything that you plan to paint with fine-grain sandpaper. I'd recommend a number 200-300. This step is very important; the paint won't adhere nearly as well to a smooth, glossy surface.

After sanding, I cover everything with two coats of Mars Black and seal them with Mod Podge Gloss.

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Now I start to apply colours with a small hog bristle brush.

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Graphics add a nice touch. Be sure to sketch out your image first. It's best to get your ideas down on paper before you commit to painting them.

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I added a few touches of Aluminum paint to the scars and to the bolts that were modeled into the shell before using the same method to paint the trigger and priming handle orange. I also painted the inside of the plunger tube to match the brass barrel as best I could.

The final product:

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This blaster does not have a name as of yet; suggestions would be welcome. I haven't had a chance to do range tests on it.

Questions? Comments? Flames?
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#3 Salindin Naz

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 01:24 PM

Very nice !!! I love seeing new a different ways of painting. Especially if it's coming from you!! Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing more from you!! Thanks for taking some of the painting weight off my shoulders, maybe you'll start getting some of those PMs loaded with questions. Just be prepared to answer a metric ton of questions about procuring those paints!! I don't mind them, but they do get a bit tedious at times. Just joking, but anyways, great work, keep it coming!!!


Salindin


P.S. Seeing the skull on that puppy, how 'bout calling 'er the "DeathNite" ? It's a little silly I know...

Edited by Salindin_Naz, 15 February 2009 - 01:25 PM.

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#4 MOD FREAK

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 01:30 PM

Wow. You never fail to amaze me.
How about Niteslayer
or Nitethrasher, Nitekiller?

Stupid names, but hey. They ARE suggestions.
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QUOTE(Boss18 @ Mar 27 2009, 02:51 PM) View Post

You stabbed your ding dong with an X-acto knife?

#5 serpent sniper

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 02:02 PM

I don't mean anything bad by this but, did you base this off of a nite finder that I did? It's the same colors.

Don't take that the wrong way. The gun looks very nice. You should really try some inks in your paint jobs, I think that you would use them well and could make your work even more impressive.
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#6 dizzyduck

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 02:19 PM

I don't mean anything bad by this but, did you base this off of a nite finder that I did? It's the same colors.


No worries.

To answer your question, no, I didn't base this on anything in particular.
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#7 balisticjoe

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:53 PM

I know I'm going to sound stupid, but what do you recommend for sealing gaps. I cant seem to figure out what works best.
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#8 Wes7143

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

I know I'm going to sound stupid, but what do you recommend for sealing gaps. I cant seem to figure out what works best.


HAHAHAHA!

Oh my gosh, That's ironic.

Lovely work, Dizzy. I'd love to have the steady hand for hand painting, but I prefer spray paint. I do use acrylic for touch-ups and dry brushing, though.
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#9 Robonerfer1

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:41 PM

I have an idea for a name,
THE DEATHFINDER
(all caps because it's awesome)

Oh, and nice writeup.
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QUOTE(OfAllTheNerf @ Mar 29 2008, 04:11 PM) View Post

Yeah, it also helps if your nuts are made of steel. Or atleast as hard as steel, to ensure that you can shoot far enough.


#10 boom

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:43 PM

I must say your PJs are spectacular.
I'm just the scitzophrenic clusterfuck of randomness that is me.


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