Of Nerf Guns, Mods and Pink Spartans

So, a few months back I was stuck working a bridal show on a Sunday afternoon that was much more suited for not doing a damn thing. This usually sucks, but the best thing about getting roped into the Sunday shows is that I get a chance to talk to some of my buddies from some of our other stores that I don’t get to see as often. During one of the lulls of the day, one of my equally geeky buddies asked if I was familiar with the Nerf gun modding community. He proceeds to pull up a few sites on his phone and show off some pretty epic paint jobs that people had done; some where as simple as making it look realistic, while others went absolutely nutso with full Steampunk conversions.

“Well crap,” I said. “Why are you showing me more cool ways to waste time?” And so, a few days later while at Target, I decided to pick up the Nerf Strongarm.

There are some folks out there that will fiddle with the innards in order to up the range and/or make it capable of hobbling a rhino, but being an artist my interest was more in the updating the cosmetics on this sucker. I kicked around a few ideas and was leaning heavily towards a Steampunk look until my inner smartass decided to take over.

“There’s plenty of Steampunk mods out there… why don’t you go some something crazy? Everything else out there is trying to look all hardcore and ish… why don’t you paint that sucker pink?!”

I laughed, but then thought about it. Yes, this is a good idea. It reminded me of playing Halo 2 with a group of friends many years ago- for deathmatches I would always use a Spartan wearing bright pink armor just to mess with folks because I found that few things are more hilarious than witnessing the sheer unbridled rage that comes from seeing someone get taken out by a dude in bright pink cybernetic armor. This plan eventually backfired as I learned wearing bright pink armor in a fire fight also makes you a VERY easy target for anyone with a sniper rifle. But I digress.

It wasn’t until I was talking to Lily one day and just casually asked, if I was going to color this Nerf gun, what color should it be? Without a moment of hesitation, she responded with “Pink”. My path was now laid out before me.

Between finishing the lawn and Lily still napping, I had a few moments to finally get started on the project earlier today. The good thing is that the Strongarm can be taken apart quite easily with the right screwdriver. The weather was nice so the paint also dried pretty quickly as well. With this being my first attempt I didn’t want to get too fancy (going for a simple pink and silver motif), but all in all I think it came out OK.


Things I’ve learned-

1. When painting with a color as light as pink, PRIMER IS YOUR FRIEND. If not, prepare to add some coats.

2. Not only take pictures of the inner workings to make putting things back together easier, it helps to actually pay attention beforehand. This will come into play later.

3. Nerf apparently has several gorillas on steroids on their payroll, as some of those screws didn’t want to budge at all.

For this being my first time doing this I have to say that I’m happy with the way The Pink Ranger (as I’ve dubbed her) came out. In retrospect I can see a few details I’d like to change (silver for the trigger and on the grip), but I’m definitely doing this again. Next time, however, I’m paying closer attention to those pesky inner workings. While The Pink Ranger might be nice and pretty I apparently don’t have a spring in the right place, so the firing is now… sporadic at best.

Back to work!


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