Friday, 8 February 2013

Nerf in the hands of a 3D games developer!

Splash Damage hotly awaited FPS Dirty Bomb
Whilst this seems a bit off the mark from my usual updates on all things Nerf there is method behind this keyboard! This is the team that has bought us fantastic titles such as BrinkQuake: Enemy Territories and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.
This is something I have been following personally for a while now as an avid video gamer, and I was surprised when the Splash Damage's 3D and Technical designer Laurens Corijn contacted me about something we share a love for - Nerf! He mentioned that he is a fan of my blog, and has spent the last few months working hard on a brilliant mod which he recently completed - and every right to be proud. The project to date has cost around £200 in materials (not including tools). I will let Laurens take the stage and share with you his journey of this fantastic piece:

Laurens modified Longshot mod not only looks hot it fires 2 rounds a pop!
This gun started out as a standard, bright yellow Nerf Longshot CS-6 that my girlfriend actually gave to me as a present. It’s an older blaster, the first one ever released to feature the "Clip System" with darts in magazines. It's still quite popular these days because it is one of the best looking Nerf blasters, and because the internals feature one of the largest plungers of any Nerf blaster, so it has a lot of potential for upgrades. I decided this was the best blaster to win the office-arms race; Studio Director Olivier Leonardi had been beating me ever since he got that shotgun and machinegun!

With that in mind, I decided I wanted to go all the way with upgrading this thing, I wanted to put every high-power mod and reinforcement I could into it. This included re-barreling with brass, replacing the spring with one 4 times as strong, replacing or updating the bolt-sled to withstand the spring forces, as well as various other updates.

The brass re-barreling was by far the most time-consuming and difficult thing. I followed this excellent guide online. It took a lot of sanding, grinding and fitting to achieve a full airtight seal. The spring was replaced with a 10Kg spring from Orange Mod Works (instead of the standard 2.5Kg). This spring is so powerful it destroyed a lot of the stock internals while testing, forcing me to replace more and more. Two component epoxy glue proved to be inadequate, so I switched to riveting some components. The bolt-sled (the part that transfers the cocking motion to the plunger) was replaced by an Xplorer Composite Bolt Sled, which can withstand the spring forces repeatedly without breaking. The back of the plunger tube was strengthened with a steel plate. Finally, I had a piece of the plunger custom-machined from aluminum since the plastic one broke as well. Almost all of the safety locks had to be removed since they just got in the way of the upgrades.

I decided I also wanted to do a "front gun integration", where you cut the under-barrel launcher from the original front barrel attachment and glue it onto the bottom of the main gun. I integrated a hidden trigger that can be fired separately, because I didn't want to hook everything up to the main trigger (it was already quite heavy to pull). The parts were glued with epoxy, transitions smoothed with Milliput. The result is that this gun can actually fire two darts at once!

I built the barrel out of scrap from the original Longshot front barrel and a separate Nerf Recon barrel I had lying around. It took a lot of cutting and smoothing to make sure the barrel wouldn't obstruct the under-barrel launcher. The Bipod is a cheap airsoft thing from eBay. The scope is also from eBay; not the cheapest thing I could find, but this one has an illuminated reticule, which leads to that cool red tint in the scope glass!

The whole thing was almost completely painted silver, then covered with matte clear coat. I applied techniques such as “washing” with thinned black paint, airbrushing shadowed areas and using the "hairspray technique" to get a scratched paint effect. I also tried some new things such as Rub-n-Buff metallic wax which I picked up from Adam Savage's "Man Cave" videos. All the heat gradients are just simple airbrushed gradients of yellow, red, blue and black (in that order). I pushed the metallic accents by using graphite powder to make them darker and shinier.

So how does it shoot? It depends on the ammo and if you put the barrel on or not. With standard blue Elite darts and the barrel attached, you can only get about 15m/50ft, due to the friction in the barrel slowing the darts. With home-made smaller, heavier darts that's slightly more, about 20m/75ft. If you take the barrel off, the range easily doubles!

The whole thing took more than 2 months to complete and cost quite a bit in material; you'll probably need at least £200 to do something exactly like this, excluding a lot of the tools like an airbrush, drill or rotary tool.

Many thanks to Laurens for his time and effort on the mod - a fantastic piece we can all agree on :) Full credit of the article goes to Splash Damage's Blog.

Please check out the other works of genius by Laurens Corijn at this website - you won't be disappointed!
For Brink fans - check his write up on his take of the Gerund rifle.

If you have any questions, you can contact him at l.corijn | at |

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