Posts tagged ‘Buzz Bee’

09/02/2012

Favourite Steampunkable Toys – Tommy Air Blaster Tec 6 Follow up.

Two weeks ago I wrote a short review of the Tec 6 foam dart gun by Tommy. I bought this gun with the intention of using it to relearn my modelling skills as part of the run up to starting  a major new project. Well the modding is now done, so I thought I would share some pictures, and a very brief explanation of what I did, as well as what I learned while doing it.

So to start with a reminder of what this gun looked like when I got it. It is a truly hideous gun to look at, but had I felt serious potential for a reformatting.

Yup, it really was this ugly. (image via menkind.co.uk)

 To start with I dismantled it. From past experiences I knew to make basic notes on how it actually went back together as I took it apart. Make a note of the absolutely horrendous colours used by the manufacturers. If Satan puked up a gun, this is what it would look like.

Components with outside casing shown.

I decided early on to get rid of the cocking handle that came with the gun. Yes that hideous silver yoke at the top of the gun is the cocking handle. I’d love to ask the designer what he was thinking. But getting rid of it meant that I needed to fill in the slot for it on one side. I decided to use some wood stock I had lying around, and to simply shape it into a pleasant curved shape, rather than try to blend it into the curves. I feel that this works in a Steampunk way because of how often Steampunk styles involve clashes of colors, and forms rather than objects melding together.

The addition blends in nicely with the shape from the side.

But has that bolted on feel that is so Steampunk to me.

 As you can see from the above picture I also gave the whole casing a damn good sanding. I next sprayed the entire thing in a black enamel undercoat in preparation for detailed painting. I don’t intend to show pictures of the various stages of painting the gun, but I will say this, that enamel spray was a HUGE mistake. It reacted with literally every other paint I used in this project. It was quite simply a nightmare, and resulted in my buying a tin of Citadel Chaos Black Primer for use with all my future projects.

In the end though I did overcome those problems, and yesterday I finished the paint job on my gun, as well as adding a very small knob shaped drawer handle to be the new cocking handle. The result is this…

The finished article.

 As you can see in addition to the new cocking handle, I also did a little work on the trigger itself. Went with a black base color, but used both silver, and bronze as secondary colors, and a beautiful turquoise for highlighting in certain places. I also modified and painted the darts to give them that “shot to hell and back” look. unfortunately this photo simply doesn’t do the colors  justice.

I learned a great deal from doing this project. As well as what I learned about mixing paints by different manufacturers I also learned a lot about painting techniques (though I still need vast amounts of practice), I got experience reworking plastics, and modifying items to make them components for something the designer never, ever intended (new cocking handle). All those lessons will transfer nicely to my next project.

Well regardless of lessons learned, and fingers that may have been glued together. Ladies and Gentlemen may I present…

Occiditis Fatuis (Kills Idiots), personal side arm of Captain Lucretia AcidGurl, 13th Imperial Marines (retired).  But more about her later.

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19/01/2012

Favourite Steampunkable Toys – Tommy Air Blaster Tec 6

Over the course of the coming year one of my projects involves the creation of a Steampunk character. I’ve already spoken a little about this in my post about wanting to modify an old, unloved mandolin. But no steampunk character is complete without some weaponry that looks the part. Preferably for the first time out very cheap weaponry so that when I screw up modifying it I won’t cry too much.  So enter the Tommy Air Blaster Tec 6.

What will be my first attempt at a Steampunk weaponry mod. (image via nerfmodsreviews.com)

I bought mine last Thursday for the very reasonable sum of €8 from Smyths Toys. They do of course also stock many Nerf guns, but I decided to go with something cheaper to pop my modding cherry on. Besides I love the oddly organic look this toy gun has, and the internal mechanism is extremely simple, so I shouldn’t have an insane amount of trouble putting the damned thing back together when I’m done.

Okay so to review the toy itself. It looks great, though admittedly not as good as most Nerf guns. It’s pretty solidly built. I wouldn’t want to drop it from too great a height on to anything solid, but it should survive being owned by me. As a toy gun it works surprisingly well. It has a reasonable range being able to fire the length of my apartment (about 30ish feet). And despite having to be recocked by hand between shots has a nice rate of fire. The darts themselves are not my favourites. I much prefer the darts made by Nerf , but for a much cheaper toy they’re pretty good and the suction cups does allow for some fun to be had.

However, it’s about as accurate as a drunk guy peeing into a toilet with the toilet seat down. Yeah it’s going to be near the right place, but the next girl to use it will probably find herself wondering if she needs a hepatitis test. Also the grip is definitely made purely with children in mind as my little finger has nothing to hold on to, and ends up just dangling below.

My first modding project with one of these will be started tomorrow. At present I’m planning on adding a side-mounted rounded knob for the cocking handle, rather than that silver monstrosity that is currently used. The entire thing will have a matt black undercoat, followed by bronze and gold highlighting. Oh and of course some turquoise will find its way in there somewhere. Physical mods will be kept to a minimum, partially due to time constraints, partially due to my wish to be able to walk before I run. But If this is a success I think my next stop will be a nicely steampunked Nerf sidearm and rifle.

I will of course post an article on how this modding project goes, hopefully with pictures, assuming I can find a digital camera in this apartment that still works.

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