Goal: To promote the creation of homemade designs and tutorials that are accessible and easily understood by new members.
As evidenced in this thread, new members can feel intimidated by the sheer volume of information about home made nerf guns on this site. Most of the write-ups are out of date, or assume you already have an understanding of the terminology and techniques involved. While this site encourages self-reliance and research, you shouldn't need to spend hours poring over dozens of threads before you start building your first homemade. And if you don't really care about the technical part of the hobby, you should still be able to slap something together to get you through your first war. To that end, we will be hosting a "Noob's first homemade" write-up contest.
Your mission is to borrow, steal, mix and mash any existing homemade designs combined with your own original ideas to create something that any new nerfer can build. Then write up your design, keeping in mind that this may be the first thing someone reads when they come to this site, looking for a weekend project.
There will be two categories of submission:
The 'Plusbow' class: Does not have to be based on the Plusbow. Assume that the noob following your guide has some disposable income to spend on materials and some commonly available tools (like a tap-and-die set, or a hole saw for example). Feel free to include parts that need to be ordered online, but try to limit this to one or two suppliers. If you can, try to avoid using less common tools, but you can assume there are some power tools available. Definitely assume some common handheld power tools like a drill, a dremel, maybe a handheld jig saw. Less likely: a drill press, a scroll saw. Out of the question: a mill, a lathe, a 3D printer.
The 'SNAP' class: Does not have to be based on the SNAP. Assume that the noob following your guide has a few weeks worth of lunch money, some hand tools and a cordless drill. This person is a teenaged nerfer version of Tony Stark in that cave, but without all the cool toys. Huge bonus points if all of the parts can be acquired in one or two ubiquitous stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, or other national chains). Also major bonus points for not explicitly requiring a dremel.
Write-ups should meet the following criteria:
- Use terminology that people outside of the NIC can understand. Look at it as an opportunity to teach someone new the acronyms and lingo that we take for granted. Make a diagram if you have to.
- Have a comprehensive list of steps, with images. Don't lose someone in the details because you forgot to photograph a step. Mark up your photos or make a cut-away diagram if it's hard to express with photos alone.
- Provide a clear list of parts and where to get them, and do the same for any tools that newbies might have to buy.
- Make sure the blaster is at least competitive at an NIC nerf war. It should be pump-action or similar and capable of firing with a hopper.
- Make the design relatively idiot proof. Keep it simple, and if there's a tricky part, break it down. The blaster should ideally not be likely to fail or break, even if the builder's skill is not very great.
- Provide alternatives. If you are requiring an uncommon tool, show how someone might be able to work around it. For the 'SNAP' class entries, provide work-arounds for odd parts. If a pipe with a specific inner diameter is required ('Magic' PVC or thinwall), or a fitting with an unconventional shape (flat 3/4" endcap), or a particular style of clothespin, make sure you provide an alternative.
- Test your design. You can run hundreds of rounds through a blaster and it can still malfunction or break under actual war conditions. Put your gun in the hands of the guy who's gear breaks in the first round of every war.
You have until June 1st, 2014 to submit your final draft, but don't slack off. You are expected to design, test, and revise your design, and write the most detailed and complete write-up since the plusbow, so if you've got an idea rattling around, you should get started ASAP.
- Feel free to make it ugly, clunky, and not especially comfortable. It's going to be someone's first homemade. It needs to work reliably, keep them from getting picked last, and not frustrate the hell out of them.
- Link to other people's work. The write-up should stand on it's own, but if you want to provide alternative options for things like plunger heads, hoppers, barrels, etc. you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Don't forget that this is someone's first homemade, so you have to provide everything needed short of a dart making guide.
- Steal. Use someone else's design, or even someone else's writeup as a jumping off point. Don't plagiarize the text itself, but don't spend a lot of time coming up with a new design. Focus on the writeup, and making it work for the new guys. Just remember to credit the originator of the design. You can come up with your own original design if you want, but be prepared to test the hell out of it.
- For the "SNAP" class entries - Ideally someone should be able to go out to the hardware store at lunch and be done by dinner. If you can do this without a k26 or a wye and still come out with a reliable, moderately competitive blaster, you've pretty much got this in the bag. Look into bungies, bow-arms, latex surgical tubing, extension springs, <cough>screen door closer springs</cough> etc for the mcmaster spring alternative (don't depend on everyone having a good selection of springs at their local true value, or be prepared to write up a spring buying guide and provide an alternative). You'll earn points if you try to provide an alternative to a wye, but it's safe to assume this will be the first thing they'll replace.
- For the PlusBow class entries - Feel free to build a design around one weird part, like an obscure bushing from flexPVC, or an expensive pnumatic cylinder from mcmaster or a 3D printed rainbow catch from shapeways or whatever. This is totally worth it if it saves the noob from having to have a lot of skill with a dremel or a scroll saw, or an uncommon/expensive tool like a scroll saw or lathe.
The pool of judges will be drawn from the NerfHaven Moderation Team and the Apoc Round Enforcer Crew. The final vote will be made public (unlike the recent mod contest) and judges will be encouraged to provide feedback before the end of the contest to help participants revise and improve their submissions. Some members of the aforementioned groups may provide a submission of their own. This will disqualify them from judging, however they will still be included in the discussion leading up to the final scoring. Judges may enlist the help of actual noobs to evaluate the noob accessibility of certain designs.
The first place winners in each class will earn a standard NH prize pack including a wristband, bandanna, custom avatar, and custom title. I will also provide free web hosting at yourname.nerfers.com and e-mail forwarding at firstname.lastname@example.org . You will also receive a gift card to a supplier listed in your writeup, (such as lowes, mcmaster, etc.). The gift cards will start at a $50 value which may increase over the duration of the contest depending on the number and quality of entries and the amount raised by various NH fundraisers.
A second and third place winner will be selected from the combined remaining entries in both classes if there are at least 8 and 12 submissions, respectively. They will each get the standard prize pack, and first and second choice from whatever is in the NH prize pool (which will be similar to the 2013 mod contest including various stock blasters and other Nerf-brand or NerfHaven-brand swag)
By entering this contest you grant NerfHaven permission to reproduce your submission in other formats and/or on other sites for noncommercial purposes (you will be credited as the author). You grant NerfHaven permission to host images and other resources which are included in your submission. You grant NerfHaven permission to make (mostly minor) changes to your writeup after the contest has concluded and winners have been announced. All contest winners outside of the contiguous 48 states must pay the difference in shipping prizes to their location. All submissions must be written and created by you, the contestant and you must post your submission on this site. You must be an active member in good standing (not banned or suspended) during the contest submission period and judging period.
Ring Catch Blaster (more forgiving of different diameter springs than a SNAP: http://nerfhaven.com...showtopic=21503
Rork's Pump Action Snapbow: http://nerfhaven.com...showtopic=20409
Beaver's Homemade reference thread: http://nerfhaven.com...showtopic=22561
Edited by Aeromech, 23 November 2015 - 01:22 AM.