Cowford Steampunk Society Wiki

This Article is on how to modify your standard maverick to look something like this :


This will be a standard tutorial discussion with pictures at each step... with explinations about what is being done... from attaching metal bits to the gun.. to painting and so forth. I will not be doing an advanced tutorial with this by modding the front to add accessories... or making the gun have more power by replacing the main spring. This will be a basic steam punk gun with a little information on why certain parts have to be done certain ways for plausibility. Please feel free to ask questions.. post pictures of your gun that you are modifying and I will see what I can do to help. I have quite a few of the nerf guns available out there..

First Point of the Tutorial - What gun should I use.. And what is the easiest to modify. Well as usual this is a loaded question....(pun intended) There are several out there... and will depend on your comfort level... Even a squirt gun can be modified to work for steampunk. Typically steampunk guns fall into two categories : Ray Guns - These are the typical classic sci-fi style... bulbous... wires and so forth. usually I find that squirt guns make the best ray guns. There are many inexpensive squirt guns out there that look like th

6286squirt gun.jpg

is :

Chemically Powered Guns - These are your typical pistols and most nerf guns (not the super soaker line those tend to be of the ray gun style) These can be found in many many places. I have found base guns at Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, Yard Sales, Drug Stores... prices can vary between inexpensive to around $100 depending on the model and features your looking at... A typical starter gun should not cost you more than $10 until you know what your doing . This is the one we will be modifying :


This is the nerf maverick and is one of the easiest of the nerf guns to make into a steam punk gun because as you see its already somewhat steamy in its design. These can be had used for $2 or new for $10 (target, walmart, toys R us, kmart).

After Gathering your gun to modify you need a few things :

  • Small tipped phillips head screw driver (smaller than the standard size but larger than the jewlers)
  • Painters Tape
  • Jar or Cup to store all of the parts with a sealing lid.
  • Sand paper
  • Xacto and Box knife
  • Krylon PLASTIC spraypaint matte (this is VERY important... the first paint has to be for plastic)
  • Flat Black spray paint
  • Silver Spray paint
  • Brass Spray paint
  • Optional Decorations

This can be anything.. I have a bits and bobs collection of springs, knobs, brass tubes, old jewlery, gears and sprockets, brass nick nacks. These just pick up as you go from various stores...

Optional Items which will make things easier:

  • Drill Press with sanding disks or a Sander
  • Dremmel Tool

First off let me share some of the things I use to make these guns:

This is the type of spray paint I use for the base primer coat:


It is important that you do not use regular spray paint as your primer coat... Regular spray paint does not bond with the plastic and will flake off. By first priming the gun with the plastic specific paint the regular spray paint will have something to stick to.


Next is a jig I use to remove the nerf branding on the gun along with anything else that needs removing. You can use something like this.. or sandpaper or the dremmel to remove what needs to be removed. First Step Decide if your going to be connecting any knobs or such and where they need to go.

Second Step Remove all of the screws from the gun. Here is a picture


Ok The green arrows are safe areas to drill your holes to attach knobs to... another point is also behind the barrels in the yellow bulbous area.. do not drill anywhere near the trigger as this will interfere with the trigger movement. The black arrows are where the screws in the gun are placed. The blue arrow denotes that there are 2 screws here.. the first on the cocking mechanism and the second is under the mechanism.


Ok this is the inside of the cocking mechanism leave the little orange tab where it is...but remove the metal rod and save it as its used to cock the gun..Once the cocking mechanism has been removed and all of the screws have been removed and secured in your jar, gently take an xacto knife and run along the seam of the gun to pry it apart.. take your time doing this and be gentle cause you can break the internal tabs if you force the gun apart and you may loose pieces... so take your time... Once you have removed the side of the gun it should look something like this:


If you have an older maverick the inside may look just a little different...Take the following things out and store them away :


These do not need to be painted so store them with the screws.So now your gun will look like this :


Take the following things out as they will need to be primed:


Now your gun should look like this:


Next Step is to remove all of the identifying parts which show that the gun is a nerf... so the following items will need to be sanded with the dremmel or sandpaper or if your really patient use the xacto knife to remove them. The pieces I generally clean are the following:


Once you are done you should have the pieces look like this :


Now you need to take some painters tape to prevent issues with movement when the gun is reassembled.


The Trigger only needs to be painted to the point you see above.. also make sure to tape the top near the screw hole as well to prevent the trigger from sticking.


This is just to prevent the gears from getting gummed... in the rotator gear.


Next protect the end gear as you see here... Now your ready to prime everything:


This is going to take rotating the pieces around to get all sides.. the cylinder will take a few times to get everything. Make sure to get inside the cylinder etc.. rotate the piece to make sure to get it all covered. Now comes the hard part.

LEAVE IT ALONE!!! for atleast a day, the longer the better, to give the paint time to bond

Do not touch it

Do not move it



First you will need to get your flat black paint. I use the cheap 99 cent flat black from walmart but you can use whatever flat black you wish. At this point it really doesn't matter. Now take the flat black and coat the parts with the flat black. The paint will now stay on the gun because it will bond with the primer coat. If you had skipped the primer coat step the paint would eventually flake off and you would have to repaint the gun.Once you are done with spraying the gun parts flat black let it dry and it should look like this:


Let the parts dry and make sure that on parts such as the cylinder you get every side.Now take your gun parts which you want to make look metalic and place them on the floor. Again do all of this in a well ventilated area outside or in a garage.

Now take your silver paint and 'Bless' the area around the gun with short bursts of the spray paint.

  • Do not point the spray paint directly at the gun.
  • Do not get close to the gun while doing this.
  • Stand at a comfortable position and spray short bursts in the air around the guns like you are spraying an air freshener.

Don't worry that there doesn't appear to be any silver showing.. you don't want silver to be showing you just want the silver paint to highlight the gun. The fine droplets of the silver will accumulate on the parts. Dont worry if you mess it up you can always spray over the mistake and start over. Continue 'Blessing' the area over the gun parts until you get the gun to the sheen you want. Once done they should look something like this:


As you see the flat black gets a sheen on it and looks grey now much like steel from a gun...

Now we start the embelishments. But you need to take the following into account when painting these guns:

  • Brass / Bronze and Gold and Copper are relatively soft metals.
  • Because they are soft they will bend or break easy when put under stress.
  • The highest points of stress on a gun are the frame that surrounds a cylinder, the cylinder, and the barrel.

These parts should not be painted any further than what we have done here with few exceptions

which I will show here.. We will now tape the gun up to prevent the next set of paint from getting on the 'steel'. Take the painters tape and cover the areas on the gun which you do not want to paint your accent color of brass or gold. Once done the parts should look like this :


As you see from the above pictures there are some areas which I will be painting brass / gold. These areas do not require the handling of extreme pressures or heat on a gun so are perfect for accent colors.. the gear on the bottom of the cylinder, the cylinder holder, the bulbous area that is behind the cylinder when assembled and the but cap. Any nobs are usually good as well end caps of barrels are also a good accent point as well. The trigger should also be painted the accent color as well. When done the gun should now look like this:


and the trigger should look like this:


Once everything is dry remove the tape and you should now have parts that look like this:


Now before you put the gun back together you want to add in some of the bits and bobs which need to be anchored to the gun. In this case drawer knob pulls. When you get these you want to make sure that you also get some shorter screws to go with them the standard drawer screw is too long to securely hold the knob against the plastic. If the bit or bob is on a joint between the two halves I sometimes use a washer and a drop of super glue to keep it in place.. This is the point where you want to have fun and let your imagination go. Once I put the bits and bobs on and they are secure the parts look like this:


Now you can start putting the gun back together... once it is all back together you can add any additional decorations which suit your imagination or fancy. I use old earrings, (clip on or post) old jewelery pieces, watch parts, chains, etc...

The finished gun for this tutorial looks like this:


When you reassemble the gun sometimes they no longer fire sometimes they do... to be honest these are prop guns and dont always need to fire. This one somehow got the rotator gear disengaged from the cylinder so it does not always rotate the cylinder. You just have to fiddle with the gun and so forth. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to modify and create your own steam punk mod for a maverick.

Your Obediant Servant

Prof Von Ahrent

prop. The Professor's Workshop of Wonders