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Banshee's Guide to Painting: Part 2

Part 2: Marbling

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#1 Banshee

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:37 PM

This will be the second part of my painting tutorial where I will show you a few basic things like filling holes, marbling paint, and using bedliner paint. I suggest that before you read this, you familiarize yourself with what I said in Part: 1so I don't have to repeat anything that was said before about prep-work and taping. Once you've done that, we'll move right into body work.

Step 1: Body Work

In this segment, my test subject will be an overhauled AT3K. This particular AT3k has had its pump replaced with a Magstrike Pump, and I no longer use the slots on the sides where the shotgun style pump used to be. How tacky does it look with these huge gaping holes in the side that do nothing? Let cover them up!

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Before we start filling the hole, we need to seal it off from the backside so the filler can stick to something. There are several ways to do this, but I've done this to at least half a dozen AT3K's, and this is how I do it. I take two shish kabob skewers, one for each side.

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Then I measure them to the length on the inner channel and break them to the right length. You can this with your hands. Then place them into the channel and glue them in place with hot glue. The picture is pretty explanatory:

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Next you're going to want to fill the outer side with a thin layer of hot glue. You want to make sure that you keep the glue below the edge of the gun. This step isn't completely necessary, but we will be using Bondo later, and the thinner the layers of Bondo you can use, the better. This part takes up some of that room.

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This is what we're going to need for this part, a sanding block, a putty knife, and Bondo Glazing Spot Putty. For those of you who have never used Bondo because they only sell it in huge containers at high prices, and you have to mix it all together to use it, and itís just so overwhelming for such a small project like a Nerf gun, this is for you! Spot putty is pre-mixed, ready to use Bondo in a tube! Itís as easy to use as tooth paste. You can even buy it at Wal-mart, itís like $4 in the automotive section.

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Bondo is something that takes a little practice to get good at using, and a lot of patience. But some tips when using it, the thinner layers you can use, the better. Even a millimeter thin layer will form cracks as it dries. If it does, thatís not a big deal, you can put another layer over it, but thicker layers also take an exponentially longer time to dry. A paper thin layer may take 10 minutes, but a 2 paper thick layer could take an hour. But just remember, one or two layers will NEVER be enough. By the end, I believe I ended up doing about 8 layers on each side with sanding in between each one. Bondo isnít an easy thing to work with, but itís the best way to get good results.

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After you smear the first layer in, let it dry completely. DO NOT rush this part or you could ruin everything youíve done. Youíll know its dry when all the dark spots are gone and itís a flat redish orange color. Then take your sanding block and sand it smooth and continue applying layers until youíre satisfied. Generally speaking, the more time you put into it, the better it will look.

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#2 Banshee

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 10:38 PM

Step 2: Marble Painting

This next step is where we begin our “marble” painting. Marbling is a very simple technique that will give you one of the most visually intriguing finishes you will ever get from a rattlecan. And once you do it, you will laugh at how easy it was, and how awesome it looks! But before I get into that, you need to paint your gun with a flat black base coat or primer. And as you can see in this picture, my pump handle slots are completely gone, and that’s what yours should look like after the base coat.

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You’re going to need Saran wrap, and a silver metallic paint. This part helps if you have two people. One person to hold the shell, the other person to spray the paint and work the saran wrap. If you don’t have two people, then good luck! I’ve done it before by myself, but it ain’t easy! You’re going to need to tear off a square of Saran wrap, spread it out and place it in your hand.

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This part needs to be done very quickly and it’s why you should have another person help you. You need to spray a very thick, wet, and runny coat of paint on one part of the gun. I generally try and do it in sections the size of my hand, so when I place the Saran wrap on it, it does its job the first time.

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Immediately after you spray the paint, and I do mean IMMEDIATELY, you need to place the Saran wrap on top of the wet paint. And make sure you paint is thick and runny. That may seem counterproductive, but for this paint job, it’s exactly what you need. You can crumple, stretch or twist your Saran wrap however you want at this point for whatever effect you want, feel free to experiment. But you only have about 2 or 3 seconds to do it before you need to take the Saran wrap back off.

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But that’s what it should look like! If it looks too light and too silver still, you either took too long to get the Saran wrap on, or you didn’t use enough paint. If you took up too much of the black paint and you can see the original plastic underneath, you need to start over and make sure your paint sticks this time. But just continue that process over the entire gun, don’t worry about overlapping sections, you will never see the difference. Just be quick about it and consistent.

Now is the time to candy coat it if you want another color other than silver. You can use Krylon X-Metals as mentioned in Part: 1 or Duplicolor Metalcast. For mine, I wanted a flat silver with no clear coat.

Step 3: Bedliner

Bedliner isn’t something I ever see anyone else use of their guns, but they should! You can buy it in a spray can at Wal-mart for like $8, and it goes on like any other spray paint, but it’s like liquid sand paper and it’s hard as nails. It really increases the feel of your handle, it takes it from feeling wimpy to feeling like you’re holding a power tool. I highly recommend you give it a try. Hell, paint your whole gun with it if you want! But the stuffs not cheap and it doesn’t go very far at all. Haha. Just tape off the area you want to spray, and then cover the rest of the gun. It’s really easy, just like paint.

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And now you’re done! You can spend hours looking at the detail in the paint, it looks so deep and three dimensional.

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Here’s a shot of the bedliner grip. It’s subtle texture, but it feels really nice.

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Now I know you’re probably all wondering where on earth I got a clear tube on the back of my AT3K.

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It’s actually a bottle for vanilla coffee syrup that my mom uses, I found it in the trash and it’s a pretty close diameter. Anything roughly 2.25” in diameter will work.

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Its looks AWESOME clear though, doesn’t it!? A few other things I did was replaced the goo gauge with a ½” section of PETG filled with glycerin because of its high optical clarity. If you don’t have glycerin, as I doubt you will, hand sanitizer is usually part glycerin and looks just as good.

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I also put some stainless steel rings from an old curtain rod on the ends of the barrels. It matches the rest of the gun, I like it.

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Now I know I’m starting to stray away from the initial point of this thread with all the little ornaments on my gun, but I just wanted to follow up the post with a performance review for any of you guys who were wondering.

This gun is basically a freak of nature. It has a 100% air seal, I used a ½” rubber grommet from Ace Hardware between the tank and the turret, no cutting required. I just super glue it son the tank, lubed it up and I was done. I can plug the barrel with my finger and pull the trigger, and hold the pressure there all day. I can fill the tank with the Magstrike pump with 5 pumps.

I did a range test outside, and I was kind of baffled by what was happening. There was no wind at all, I was firing perfectly level to the ground, and I was using the same weighted streamline darts that I normally use, yet my ranges far exceeded any of my other overhauled AT3K’s with the same mods.

The gun averages out at 180 feet, with about 4 or 5 rounds out of the 30 that I shot landing at 250 feet. That’s not a joke… There must have been some kind of strange updraft coming from down the street where I couldn’t feel it, but the darts would just sail perfectly straight until I couldn’t see them anymore. When I finally found them, they were roughly 250 feet from where I shot them. I’m completely convinced it was a freak occurrence, but even so, the gun averages out at 180 feet, and even that is a little ridiculous sounding to me. So I’m going to test again tomorrow with the same darts and see what’s going on, because if someone told me their AT3K hit 250 feet, I would slap them for trolling…

Any question, comments?

Edited by Banshee, 11 May 2012 - 10:40 PM.

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#3 soloz1

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:21 AM

...Bedliner isn’t something I ever see anyone else use of their guns, but they should! You can buy it in a spray can at Wal-mart for like $8, and it goes on like any other spray paint, but it’s like liquid sand paper and it’s hard as nails. It really increases the feel of your handle, it takes it from feeling wimpy to feeling like you’re holding a power tool. I highly recommend you give it a try. Hell, paint your whole gun with it if you want! But the stuffs not cheap and it doesn’t go very far at all. Haha. Just tape off the area you want to spray, and then cover the rest of the gun. It’s really easy, just like paint...


This is really interesting stuff. Very cool! So use it like spray paint? Does this mean multiple coats?

I love your painting write-ups! Thank you very much for sharing!

Edited by soloz1, 12 May 2012 - 01:28 AM.

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#4 Banshee

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:31 AM

This is really interesting stuff. Very cool! So use it like spray paint? Does this mean multiple coats?

I love your painting write-ups! Thank you very much for sharing!

Yes, its just like paint, re-coat at anytime. It seems to develop the same texture whether you put it on thick or thin, as well.
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#5 makeitgo

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:29 AM

I like how you treated the slots on the side with Bondo. Something I will have to do to my latest (and future) AT3K's.

I've seen this technique done on Motorcycle gas tanks and helmets. I would suggest top coating with high gloss clear coat, wet sanding smooth, buff and polish. The end result is a really cool 3D type effect. I know you said you didn't want a clear coat but a high gloss one as opposed to the normal flat would add to this effect.

example

Nice work. I thought I'd be the first to do this to a blaster but you beat me to it. Posted Image

Edited by makeitgo, 12 May 2012 - 03:36 AM.

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#6 Banshee

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

I like how you treated the slots on the side with Bondo. Something I will have to do to my latest (and future) AT3K's.

I've seen this technique done on Motorcycle gas tanks and helmets. I would suggest top coating with high gloss clear coat, wet sanding smooth, buff and polish. The end result is a really cool 3D type effect. I know you said you didn't want a clear coat but a high gloss one as opposed to the normal flat would add to this effect.

example

Nice work. I thought I'd be the first to do this to a blaster but you beat me to it. Posted Image

Yeah, I've painted 3 or 4 guitars with the marbling technique, all with high gloss clear. But I've been wanting to do this flat paint job for a while now.
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#7 ThatBritishGuy

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:20 AM

Great guide, just one question, when you apply the paint to create the marble effect do you have to put on enough to make a 'runny' coat before you add the cling film? And is it easy to recoat?

Also props to getting those mad ranges out of a 3k. No sneaky tank expansions?
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#8 Banshee

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:23 PM

Great guide, just one question, when you apply the paint to create the marble effect do you have to put on enough to make a 'runny' coat before you add the cling film? And is it easy to recoat?

Also props to getting those mad ranges out of a 3k. No sneaky tank expansions?

Yes, you don't have to make it actually run or drip, but it needs to be a heavy thick coat done very quickly. I usually hold the can about 2 inches away when I do this. You can get a good idea of what it should look like in the picture before I put the Saran wrap on. The thick coat helps slow down the drying time which gives you a few more seconds to work, and it exaggerates the effect a bit more.

As for recoating, I'm not sure what you mean. If you layer the effect on top of more effect, you're going to have too much silver and not enough black and it wont look as good. But adding new sections of the effect to the rest of the gun is very easy. Its one of those things that are better explained if you try it yourself. And no, no tank expansion on the AT3K, just confusingly high ranges. Haha.

Edited by Banshee, 12 May 2012 - 04:57 PM.

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#9 makeitgo

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

How is the fit of the aluminium rings on the PETG? Is it 'snug' or loose?

It's an interesting find. If you knew where it's from that would really help. I can see a potential for breeches with this.

Your ranges aren't too surprising but streamlines (unmodded) always explode coming out of my higher powered blasters. I'd be interested to know your ranges with slugs and or domes to compare with my own.

My theory is, if the paint job is cool, it will shoot farther.

Edited by makeitgo, 12 May 2012 - 09:25 PM.

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#10 Banshee

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:27 PM

How is the fit of the aluminium rings on the PETG? Is it 'snug' or loose?

It's an interesting find. If you knew where it's from that would really help. I can see a potential for breeches with this.

Your ranges aren't too surprising but streamlines (unmodded) always explode coming out of my higher powered blasters. I'd be interested to know your ranges with slugs and or domes to compare with my own.

My theory is, if the paint job is cool it will shoot farther.


It's actually not aluminum, it's stainless steel. I had an old towel rod lying around, and I used that. It was a pretty snug fit, I don't even think its glued on. But yeah, streamlines do explode, that's why mine have a layer of packing tape around them to protect them. That might have something to do with the ranges too, but I didn't think it would help ranges, if anything, I thought it would hurt them.
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#11 Blue

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:04 PM

Solid guide; I really like how you used springs to pose the blaster. Quite clever.
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#12 Banshee

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:17 AM

Solid guide; I really like how you used springs to pose the blaster. Quite clever.

Thank you, I didn't know if anyone would notice that. Haha
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#13 Frant1c

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:43 PM

This stuff works great for some extra grip.

Edited by Frant1c, 28 May 2012 - 10:16 PM.

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#14 Banshee

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

So I tried your recommendation for using Truck-Bed Liner for handles...and you're right, "itís like liquid sand paper," and it feels like sandpaper on my hands too. To say that this increased the feel of my handle was an understatement. Maybe my hands aren't as calloused as yours, but after spraying it on a test handle it felt like I was holding fine grit sandpaper. Which was uncomfortable. I was wondering if you coat the Truck-Bed Liner with sealer afterwards, and maybe that's why it feels rough to me. The rest of your painting advice is great, I'm just not sure that Truck-Bed Liner is for everyone.

Well, what grit of sandpaper would you say your handle is comparable to? I would say mine feels like 350 grit, so that's pretty fine grit, its certainly not rough on the hands. But yes, I do have very calloused hands, I work as an auto mechanic. No I didn't use a sealer on the handle, though that would help, I just laid it on really thick, which might have an effect on the texture, though I'm not positive. Did you use the same Rustoleum brand that I used? Because Duplicolor's version is considerably rougher.
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#15 Frant1c

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:16 PM

After giving this an extra few days to dry, the abrasiveness of the material was significantly less. In fact, I would recommend this for any type of hand, as I have baby-hands. However, I wouldn't put it on the whole handle, just on the grippy part (as it's shown in this write-up). Thanks for the painting tip Banshee, I've edited my other post to reflect my change in opinion. I'll have to use this on some more guns.
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#16 BMSCmods

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:04 PM

Very nice outcome and very interesting strategies awesome
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#17 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:09 PM

A quick tip, that bondo is going to crack and fall out. Spot putty is used for what it says in the name, filling spots or small air bubbles in primer coats and things like that. When used thickly it doesnt cure correctly. The whole process was well done though, just use real bondo and you're good to go. You can get a reasonable size thing for cheap at harbor freight.

Also if you carried the curve of the bottom over where the slots were it would look real nice.
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#18 Banshee

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:41 PM

A quick tip, that bondo is going to crack and fall out. Spot putty is used for what it says in the name, filling spots or small air bubbles in primer coats and things like that. When used thickly it doesnt cure correctly. The whole process was well done though, just use real bondo and you're good to go. You can get a reasonable size thing for cheap at harbor freight.


This isn't the first time I've used spot putty. I've done 5 AT3K's using that exact method, I filled a dent the size of a quarter on a motorcycle tank, and I've refinished half a dozen guitars all using spot putty. You're right that it cracks when you put it on thick, but that's why I put in my post that you need to use thin layers for that exact reason. I use tons of Bondo as well, but the purpose of this write-up was to show how a person can do this cheap, and with little experience. Spot putty is very simple, and very cheap.

Also if you carried the curve of the bottom over where the slots were it would look real nice.


And I have no idea what you're talking about... Haha
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#19 ktcookie

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:16 PM

An amazing guide, out of curiosity, what kinds of camera do you use, it has amazing quality, or maybe my camera just sucks.
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#20 Banshee

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:37 AM

An amazing guide, out of curiosity, what kinds of camera do you use, it has amazing quality, or maybe my camera just sucks.

Thanks. I use the camera mode on my Canon HF200 camcorder. Its a decent camera, not great, but the trick to a nice looking picture is lighting. I use a huge work lamp straight above the gun for those last few shots. It looks really good that way.
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