Mod Shop – Lanard Triple Shot – Spring upgrade, deadspace reduction, couplered, shell reinforcement.

I’m the first to admit that I was never a fan of the Triple Shot when it was first released. It was underpowered, uncomfortable and went through darts like no tomorrow. A friend was in love with them though; he viewed it as a proper pump-action blaster, everything your zombie hunter needed. It’s aesthetics and priming style were never enough for me however. The real joy instead came when I finally decided to have a go at modding one. Because it fires three darts with each shot, I figured it would go far better if it was to only fire one. Did a quick search around the internet (as you should always do) as I assumed someone would have done something similar. It was as this point that I discovered the brilliance of an Octoshot. It took a few weeks working on it on and off before it was done, but I was pretty happy with my Octoshot. The best part however was discovering just how simple the Triple Shot is. In terms of modification potential, it’s certainly one of my favourite springers.

The reason being that it’s just so simple, cheap and relatively easy to get rather impressive ranges out of it. A few weeks back Myer had a sale where clear Triple Shots could be picked up for only $13. With that at the front of my mind, I grabbed a couple…

OK, lets get to it then. Today’s walkthrough will take us through a spring upgrade, a reduction of deadspace within the plunger tube, and adding a PCV coupler. We’ll also have to reinforce the catch and the shell itself to cope with the additional force provided by the more powerful springs.

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Tools/materials needed

Screwdrivers
Hot glue
Epoxy adhesive
Modeling putty
Upgraded main spring
15mm PVC coupler
Dremel with grinding and cutting tools
Foam padding
Small hand file

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We’ll kick off with the blaster itself.

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We’ll start by removing the priming handle.

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Exposing this screw underneath. This is the only screw on the outside of the blaster that is different to all of the other ones. Remember this.

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Then you can remove the rest of the screws on the outside and pull the shell apart

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As always, have a good look around the inside and try to get an understanding of how it all works. Here you can see the priming bar below, which pulls the plunger rod backwards, with the catch at the top.

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The front of the blaster is mostly concerned with the rotational mechanism that we’ll actually be removing altogether.

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Here shows how the priming bar moves the rotating bar.

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The trigger at the back.

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The stock.

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Ok, enough of that, let’s get back on with the dis-assembly. We’ll need to remove the stock.

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Then the barrel.

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It just lifts straight up.

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Then remove the rotating bar.

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Like so.

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Then remove the plunger.

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Then the priming bar.

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Then the catch.

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Ok, now to get to work on the plunger.

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The end cap isn’t held on with anything and should just come off.

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Allowing you to pull the plunger rod out.

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Being a direct plunger blaster, spring replacements are incredibly simple compared to reverse plungers. Practically any spring fits! In this case I used an aftermarket reverse plunger spring I had lying around in addition to the stock spring.

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Push them together.

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Now to work on the plunger head.

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Pry off the front cup.

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Then put it back on backwards. This removes some of the dead space inside the plunger tube.

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Then go to town on hot glue, filling the space between the two cups.

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Like so.

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Now move on to the plunger tube.

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Remove the front turret seal.

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Cut the front of the plunger tube off.

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Then go to town with the grinding wheel and your Dremel.

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You want your 15mm coupler to be able to fit.

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Like so.

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Now glue the coupler into place with some fairly hardcore adhesive. I used Tarzans Grip.

Note that you don’t actually want it this far inside as it appears in this picture. You only want it to extend maybe 5mm in the tube.

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Cut a piece of foam padding to be the same size as the inner diameter as the plunger tube.

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Then cut a hole in the middle with the same outer diameter as the coupler.

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Put it inside the plunger tube.

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Then push it right down to the end of the tube. The foam padding should eat up the deadspace between the coupler and the wall of the plunger tube.

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Now test fit the tube back in the shell and figure out how much we’ll have to remove.

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Grind away until it fits.

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Then do the same to the other side.

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Test fit again.

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Then we’ll move on to the catch. From the factory the catch has this stupid sprung section, allowing the possibility for misfires. We’re going to remove that chance.

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Start by removing this spring.

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Like so.

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Force the movable nub down and fill the space with hot glue.

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Like so. We want it so that the nub on the bottom there can’t retract back in to the catch.

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Then flip it over and fill the other side too.

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Now we need to file a small groove in the side of the catch. This give the catch spring somewhere to sit, while will be needed when we up the tension on it.

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Doesn’t need to be very deep, talking only 0.5-1mm here.

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Time to start on the reassembly.

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Put the plunger back in the tube.

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Then the end cap.

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Twist the plunger and end cap so that the slot is located at the top.

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Reinforcement time! Remove the screw holding in the catch spring, and the spring itself.

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Then reinforce the catch and spring mount with epoxy. Get as much as you can around the two mounts without interfering with the movement of the catch, the spring or the plunger rod. Place the other components in from time to time to test that it all still functions.

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Then reinforce in-front and behind the plunger tube mounts on both halves of the shell.

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Also put a fair amount of hot glue above and below the mounts too.

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Replace the catch spring. Specifically with the arm pointing straight down as pictured.

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Put the screw back in, then the catch. To put the catch back in you’ll have to use a screwdriver to force it across as you drop the catch down. Since we’ve moved the other arm around further and pre-tensioned the spring putting this in can be kinda difficult. It will happen though!

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See that nice new slot we carved out before? The spring should rest in that.

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Grab your Dremel again and grind away the two pointy tabs where the base of the stock used to sit in the handle. They’re pointy and will stick into your hand otherwise.

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Slot the plunger back into place. (I was also half way through gluing a few chunks of foam throughout the blaster at this stage, ignore that for the moment)

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Prop the priming handle back in place.

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Which makes putting the priming bar back in *way* easier.

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Slot the priming bar spring back in.

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Put the other half of the shell back on screwing it into place.

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Remember which screw went here? (it was the really small one)

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Screw the other half of the priming handle together.

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Tada! One couplered triple shot. For the barrel you can now use pretty well whatever you want, provided it fits inside 15mm PCV. Simply cut a small section of 15mm PVC and nest your chosen barrel material. I tested an assortment as shown below. No results as of yet as I’ll be continuing this post next week…

No, next week we’ll be building RSBC 🙂

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Mod Shop – Nerf Nitron – Voltage Upgrade

Whoa, our first Vortex blaster! First released last year the whole Vortex range pretty well took the blaster community by storm. It was a revolutionary new design that changed a fundamental aspect of blasters in general, the ammunition of course. Vortex blasters moved away from darts and instead use discs. The Nitron sure isn’t my favourite Vortex blaster but I was asked to do this for a friend so thought I’d better take the opportunity to create a walk through. Being a flywheel blaster a simple voltage upgrade should see us through.

 

Tools/materials used…

Screwdriver
AA battery holder
4 x 3.6v Trustfires
Soldering iron/solder
Electrical tape
Dremel with grinding wheel

 

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Aight, lets kick off with the blaster itself.

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Remove the battery cover.

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Like so.

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Unscrew these three screws at the front of the blaster.

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Pry one side off.

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Then the other.

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The the front piece should slide forward.

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Unscrew this screw in the middle of frame just a little bit.

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Which should cause it to pop out a little.

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Push it back, like so.

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Then unscrew while pulling the this bit away from the shell.

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It should then come all the way out.

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Ok, now attack the rest of the screws on the outside of the blaster. There’s a whole bunch of them, but no real tricks to any others. Then you’ll be able to open the shell.

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Like all Vortex blasters, there’s a hell of a lot more going on inside here than your standard N-Strike blaster. Take a really good look throughout the insides and try to get a handle on whats going on.

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Aight, back into it. Cut the brown and red wires going to the battery tray.

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The brown wire is at the front.

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The red at the back.

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Now we’ll move on to the battery tray.

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Grab your dremel and go to town. We need that AA battery holder to fit.

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You’ll also have to do some work on the underside of the lid too.

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Yay, it fits!

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Go back inside the blaster and grind away the top corner.

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Feed the wires from the battery holder through the hole we made.

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Strip and solder the negative wire from the battery holder to the brown wire we cut off the stock battery tray, then the positive wire to the red.

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Tape to protect and secure.

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And we’re done. Assembly is the just opposite of dis-assembly, screw the shell back together and enjoy your newly improved Nitron.

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Soapbox – General rules of blaster play

Going to take a step away from the norm this week and kick off something I’ve been meaning to do for some time now; time for a general rant/opinion piece. There will be more entries to the soapbox as time goes on throughout this blog, but today’s topic is going to cover what I believe to be some general rules of blaster play. This isn’t going to talk about in game rules or tactics or anything like that, but rather what I believe to be an assortment of truths that many new comers don’t immediately pick up on. By all means, take this as an encouragement to get more involved in local games but also take it for what it is, general advice from someone is probably isn’t quite as good as he thinks he is.

1. You’re not as good as you think you are!

I mostly blame FPS video games for this (now there’s a sound bite and a half), but really video games in general could probably take a fair chunk of the credit. Call it an unfair stereotype it you must but a lot of the people who play with blasters also play a decent chunk of FPS’s. That in itself isn’t a bad thing and it makes a lot of sense; play with pretend guns in a virtual world, play with toys guns in real life. Instead, the problem stems from with it does to your ego. In FPS’s, you’re always the protagonist; in real life, you’re not. Protagonists get all sorts of super magical powers even when they’re just a “normal” dude/dudette.  They can run out in front of 50 henchmen all going nuts will full auto guns, not get hit, and still take out all 50 bad guys with only 20 shots. Conversely, you are just a “normal dude/dudette”. When you run out in front of even 5 people on another team, you’ll  just get shot.

Many people, particularly newcomers, then get frustrated by this. They were all psyched up for their first game. They’re read all about the rules and game types online, they’ve already built themselves an uber-blaster, they’ve got all these really cool ideas of the mad ‘jump-dive-roll-shoot 10 guys-backflip-shoot 10 more guys’TM sick moves they’re going to pull; then they turn up and get shot in the first 30 seconds of their first encounter. This is devastating for them. They had visions of how awesome they’d be and their reality didn’t quite match up to that. Unfortunately  this then sours their experience of the whole day and hurts the chances that they’ll come back.

Instead, what people need to understand is that blaster games are quite similar to most other things on the planet; you don’t get good at something just by thinking about it, you have to practice. For blaster games this mostly means attending more and more games. Sure you’ll have skills that will transfer over from other things you’ve done before but unless you’re some kind of freak, you will get better the more you play.

Crux of the argument is that you’re not as good as you think you are, don’t expect to be the best person on the field on your first outing. Learn to walk before you try to run (metaphorically of course, running it quite a useful skill to have!) and you’ll be fine.

2. You’re (probably) part of a team, don’t try and be the hero.

The vast majority of games I’ve been involved in, I’ve been a part of a team. Sure there are the odd occasion where it’s an ‘everyone for themselves’ type game, but they’re fairly few and far between. This then ties in fairly well with our first part but unless you’re some kind of super human protagonist type (re-read the first point if you have to because you’re not), you will need the help of your teammates. Going it alone will only get you shot. Learn to work with the other members of your team and you’ll have a lot more fun.

3. You don’t need an uber-blaster.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that they didn’t want to get involved with an organised game because they didn’t have any really good modified blasters. Nuts to that. Turn up with what you’ve got and run with it. Sure you might not have the range or rate of fire of some of the other players, but you’ll still have fun. Take it as a learning experience; learn to play to your advantages and minimise your weaknesses. If you don’t have the massive range of an air blaster, learn to get up close and surprise people. Don’t have a high rate of fire, learn to make the shots you can take count. If you then do decide to later upgrade to a “better” blaster, all the skills you’ve picked up along the way will now be further amplified.

4. You don’t need 17 blasters.

Similar to the last point but albeit in a slightly different manner, don’t let your armoury stand in the way of you joining a game.  There will be people at your games who have 3 of every blaster ever released, you will be fine with practically anything. A single Hornet or Magstrike might cause you some problems, but any clip based blaster should be fine.

The more you play, the more you’ll get a chance to observe other players and figure out which blasters best suit your playing style. Allowing you to purchase only the things that you need.

5. Carry what you can actually use.

I’ve brought this point up with many players in the past but for some reason, lots of people immediately think that they need to carry at least a primary and a secondary. They’ll turn up with a Magstrike strapped to their back, a NiteFinder in their pocket, a LongShot in their hands and 12 clips spread around their person. How do you expect to be able to move? Blaster games are often fast paced, you will be at a disadvantage if you can’t move freely and effectively. Also, how do you plan on using all of those? The Magstrike is often a single use blaster and the other two each take two hands to reload. The answer is often someone along the lines of “I have this one as a backup” but really, how often do your blasters break mid game? Use one blaster to its potential, rather than using three half-assed.

On the darts front, it can be a little harder to know what you’ll need. For most games I’ll run with either a single 35 drum or two 18 clips taped together and not carry any spares. More often than not, that’s enough to last me a game. I’ll sometimes take another drum or pair of 18’s and leave them somewhere on the field (spawn points are good if the game type has one). Again, carrying extra things will just make it harder to move and slow you down. Take only what you need.

Ok, and that about wraps us up for this week. I do have a few more points in mind but we’re already fairly long on this post, so I’ll save those for another day.

Enjoy!

Mod Shop – Nerf Raider – Paint Job

Somewhat different to the previous posts on this blog, this week we’ll be touching on my first aesthetic mod in a while. Back in my HvZ@ANU days we had very strict power restrictions, so we were forced to differentiate our blasters through aesthetic mods. Every blaster I used then was painted in some form or another. Since then however, the group I’ve been playing with recently has far more relaxed power restrictions, so I’ve been focusing far more on practical things. That won’t stop us though!

This walk through will cover the specifics involved with a Nerf Raider, but the general painting techniques can be applied to any blaster. Just take very special care in the disassembly stage to ensure that you’ll know how to put it back together.

I find it’s often best to stick to 2-3 colours and work with the existing lines of the blaster, but I’m not going to tell you how to choose aesthetic points.

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Tools and materials needed

Screwdriver
Sponge + soapy water
Spray primer
Variety of spray paint colours
Scissors
Masking tape

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As always, we’ll kick off the blaster itself.

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Remove the screws in the priming handle, then the handle itself, then the screws in the rest of the shell.

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As always, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the internals.

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No seriously, there is going to be a decent amount of time between disassembly and reassembly. Know where things need to go and how they should work BEFORE you pull it apart any further.

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Ok, satisfied that you know how it works? Lets move on.

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Start by removing these two bars that hold the plunger in place.

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Then you’ll be able remove the plunger, the tube and the priming bar. They should all just pop out once you’ve removed the four screws and the two securing bars.

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We then have a similar process with the jam door. Remove the two bars that hold it in place and the door itself will come out.

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Then go through and remove everything you can. Grab some masking tape and secure anything that moves or could come apart. Last thing you want is for the whole blaster not to work because you lost a seemingly insignificant spring.

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Now put all the pieces we’ve removed in a zip lock bag.

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You should now have a completely stripped shell.

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Grab your masking tape and cover up any part you want to retain their stock colouring. Really take your time here because if you miss a bit it will take far longer to fix it up later than it would have to mask properly.

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Repeat on the other half of the shell.

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Hit it with a first coat of primer.

The tech with spray painting is to do long, consistent strokes. Start spraying on one side of the blaster and continue in a straight line all the way across the blaster until you’re past it. Always run with these strokes and never spray directly on to one specific spot. Many light coats will achieve a far better coverage than one heavy one.

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Ensure that you completely cover everything you intend to cover.

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Now move on to colour. Again we’re aiming for long, consistent strokes.

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It should take a couple of coats to get a decent coverage. Allow sufficient time for each coat to dry and keep going until you’re happy basically.

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In this case I was going for a two tone effect so the following day I went back and remasked different parts of the blaster.

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Which then let me hit it with the second colour.

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Again, a few coats were needed.

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Once you’re happy with the coverage and have allowed suitable time to dry we can peel the tap off and get the first look at your masterpiece.

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Mmmm, sexy.

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Lets now start putting it back together. Again, I’m obviously going to cover off the specifics involved in reassembling a raider so if you’re doing a different blaster these last steps might not be so useful to you.

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Grab your zip lock bag of parts and empty them out.

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Wow there are a lot of pieces.

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Grab the jam door and slot it into place.

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Then grab these two parts.

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Top one goes here. Two screws hold it in place.

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Then the bottom piece.

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Next we’ll do the tac rail attachments.

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They slot in along the top of the blaster here.

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Like so.

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Grab this piece.

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Place it here.

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Like so.

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Now for the dart tooth assembly.

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It needs to go here.

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Start with the front of the breech.

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Then the dart tooth itself.

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Then the part that holds it in place.

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Next we have the barrel.

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Funnily enough, it lives at the front of the blaster.

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Place the barrel tube first.

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Turn it this way up.

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Then slot it in to place.

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Like so.

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Ok, so this next part wasn’t strictly necessary but the blaster was apart, I couldn’t not to a quick AR and seal improvement.

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Check my previous post on modifying a Nerf Raider for the specifics but I’ll quickly go over it now anyway. Remove the o-ring and apply some teflon tape.

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Put the o-ring back on and grease it up.

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Tape up the release hole here.

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Like so.

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All right, lets get back in to the reassembly.

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Place the breech assembly back in the blaster.

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Move to the back.

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Slide the plunger back over the plunger tube.

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Now grab the two bars that hold the plunger in place. They go back in place in this order.

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Top one first. Two screws hold it in place.

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Then the bottom. Again, two screws.

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Then well replace the catch.

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It lives here.

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Like so.

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Then move to this blank spot just below the plunger rails.

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And we’ll replace this locking/catch release bar like so.

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Then the trigger.

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Finally, this little dart holder in the handle.

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Done! Mostly…

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Put the other half of the shell on, replace the great assortment of screws and we’re basically there. You’ll obviously need to replace the priming handle and the back plunger cover. I forgot to take photos of that but I’m sure you can figure those ones out on your own.

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All right, all done. One painted and now improved Raider. Forgot to take final photos before so here’s a quick one on the lounge room floor.

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