Splash Damage Blog
Photo Blog: Creating a Brink Nerf Gun
One of our artists, Laurens Corijn, enjoys taking ordinary Nerf guns and turning them into something entirely more special. For this latest project, he decided to transform a Stampede ECS18 into the Resistance’s Gerund assault rifle from Brink. The end result is utterly stunning, to say the least. Luckily for us, Laurens has documented the entire creation process, so we can follow it along step by step. There are more photos of the finished article at the end of this post.
Take it away, Laurens:
The gun started life as a standard Nerf Stampede ECS18 with all accessories that I bought on eBay for about 20 pounds.
I decided that Brink’s Gerund rifle was closest to the Stampede, so this would be my inspiration. Plus I liked the colours a lot as well as the fishbone stencil.
I have a whole bunch of tools already from the previous pistol build, but the most important ones are a bunch of good screwdrivers and generic tools like pliers. Also very important is a rotary tool. Cheap ones can be had for about 20 pounds.
First up is just taking it apart. You can’t paint it unless all components are cleaned and separated. I took some pictures of the internals to help me put it back together later.
I used cardboard pieces with holes punched through to represent the position of all screws. There are an awful lot in a gun of this size, best not to get them mixed up.
I want to start painting of the small bits that I won’t be cutting up. I always wash them with regular dish soap and water, the paint barely sticks to the plastic if you don’t.
After drying throroughly (don’t wanna paint wet parts), I lay them out on a protected surface and spray-paint them. The plastic cover was a mistake though - newspapers are better since the paint tends to glue the parts to the plastic sheet…
Next up is cutting off the carrying handle to get it to look closer to the Brink Gerund rifle. I used my rotary tool with the cutting bit on the highest speed setting - the friction helps melt through and cut the plastic.
I changed the rotary tool's attachment to the rough sanding one to grind off the Nerf logos. I want to paint the fishbone there, so I need a smooth surface. After grinding, it gets cleaned up with fine sandpaper.
Meanwhile I’m painting some more parts, they need a day to try after every coat. I use Rustoleum Universal Satin Black and Silver as main colours. I always coat it black before I use metallic silver, as the silver doesn’t cover the bright colours very well.
The magazine turned out to be impossible to take apart, so I just painted in one piece, doing one side at a time.
Next, I cut the piece that connects the grip with the stock. This did leave me with two big ugly holes to fill.
I filled these by first spraying expanding foam, then cutting off the excess foam (which was a lot), and then padding and filling the actual hole with Epoxy putty, since this is stronger and more solid than the foam, yet a bit harder to apply. The putty was cheap but smelled absolutely terrible. I was very pleased with the results however, really good stuff.
Next my Red Dot sight and mounting rail arrived from eBay. The scope is the cheapest good-looking one I could find (they go between 10 and 25 pounds). The 20mm rail is necessary because the scope doesn’t really fit the Nerf rails well, plus I cut the top one off along with the handle. The rail I ended up using is a Walther P22 rail that cost about 7 quid. I picked it because it was short and looked easy to mount.
Test fitting to make sure this will work. The hole left from cutting the handle was also filled with putty and sanded for smoothness.
Once all the cutting and sanding is done on the body, I can finally start painting it. If you start painting earlier, the paint might get damaged and the gun could get covered with dust, requiring a re-wash.
Once the exterior’s black coat was finished, I taped off the parts that would be green and spray-painted those. I used Rustoleum Oxford Green in this case, but I should’ve gone for a more saturated green,as the cap colour is off. I had the same with the red I used for my previous Brink pistol.
Meanwhile, it’s time for a few more passes on the other, smaller parts. I found that covering the metallic silver with matte clearcoat gives me a very convincing finish. A handy trick is to blow on the clearcoat right after spraying, to make it even more matte once it dries. You have to get the amount of air blown just right between pieces though, which can be difficult.
I taped off the big halves again following the green coat and sprayed the top half silver since I’m liking the matte finish so much. It’s also closer to Brink’s Gerund.
After all the base coats were done, I started putting it back together. This took almost 3 nights and a lot of peering at the pictures I took during the breakdown (plus i needed some extra ones I found online). I would never have gotten the internals back together without pictures!
Now it’s time for the really fun part: detailing and damage. I use sample pots of wall paint to do the splashy streaks (cheap at DIY stores), and Molotow paint markers I got off Amazon to draw the fishbone, small splashes and other bits.
Next, I used a small pot of silver modeler’s paint along with a fine brush to paint little chips on the edges. I also wrapped some cheap looking yellow nylon rope around the barrel (not actually on the Gerund but looks cool). I wrapped some bandaid tape around the grip and dirtied that up by smearing thinned paint on it. All the silver parts get dirtied by smearing out lines drawn with the black paint marker. The sight rail is glued to the rifle with two-component Epoxy glue, as it’s the strongest type there is.
Finally, I stuck some dirty bandaids on the back, something that I saw on an old, unused concept of the Gerund. I put some glossy clearcoat on a sponge and smeared it randomly on the gun to produce some greasy-looking spots. I also painted creases with a thick cover of glossy clearcoat to make it look oily. And finally, a little Splash Damage logo on the back!
Here’s what the final thing looks like:
It took me about six weeks on and off in the evenings to build this thing. Total cost is about 120-150 pounds (not including tools), but a lot of stuff can be reused (like the paint, for example).
If you're looking to create your own Brink Nerf gun, I recommend trying a small one, like a pistol, before you tackle a bigger one. Happy Brinking!