And finally, we prepare Project Predator for a final finish. My eventual goal is a black-and-blue color scheme, with the grip, barrel, and attachments in black, and the body of the blaster in dark blue. Of course, the Predator is expected to have done hard service and been banged around, so some weathering and finish worn away to expose the base metal is also needed.
I started by masking the electronics in the rangefinder box (the Rainbow Hat, and exposed parts of the ultrasonic rangefinder) and the flashlight with blue painter’s tape. I then used my trusty Dremel to grind off the Nerf logo, safety warnings, and the like, and then followed up with 60 and then 220 grit sandpaper. Some areas were still not flush, so I smoothed them down with Apoxie Sculpt, which is amazing for this kind of work. A final sanding across the Apoxie patches with 220 grit and I was ready for a base coat. As I want to see some exposed metal at the worn edges of the blaster, I laid down three of four thin base coats of silver Rustoleum. Once dry, I painted along the edges where I wanted wear with a latex art masking fluid, and then followed up with the black body coat.
I then masked off the grip, top rail, electronics box, and lower mag well / receiver / foregrip and applied a couple coats of blue to the central body. Once dry, I peeled away the masking fluid to reveal silver at some of the high-wear points. Finally, I did a little bit of gray acrylic drybrushing, and then a wash with diluted black acrylic, wiping it away when partially dry. This allows the paint to pool and remain in low points of the shell, giving some depth and grime to the blaster.
When all else was done, I added three coats of a clear matte finishing lacquer to protect the paint scheme, then removed the tape protecting the electronics.