My wife and I went to our first convention in 2010: Star Wars Celebration V, to be exact. Being a couple of excited young convention n00bs, we decided to dress up--and that meant blasters.
Well, as it turns out, replica blasters are expensive. In 2010 I don't think I'd even heard of Amazon Prime, much less Etsy.
Now today, you can walk into Toys R Us and see Han Solo's blaster (albeit in orange & white), but in at that time it had been 5 long years since the "last" Star Wars film. Merchandise of interest to me was at a lull.
Absent a DL-44, we were forced to settle for a pair of green "laser guns" marked ToyQuest that made cool laser sounds and locked together to form a small laser carbine. I painstakingly gave one of them my first amateur paint job near the dumpster of our apartment complex, but tragedy struck when it was lost on our trip.
At least I can take joy in the fact that it served its purpose before no doubt becoming the heart of some bus driver or patron's collection.
Now that we are Celebration-bound once again, I decided to dig out its mate and paint once again (this time in the comfort of my own garage, where the fumes are mine alone).
First, I used Paper by 53 to sketch some ideas. Paper is a neat little app for iOS devices, and one of the things it allows you to do is import a photo and then sketch or paint over it. This is not unique to Paper, but it is my favorite app for drawing.
Next, I masked off the grips and red light-up strip on the side (the only colors I felt were worth preserving) and then hit it with a couple of primer/primary layers of black--or, in this case, a can of Chalkboard Paint I had in the garage. I was suprised at how much more "real" it looked with that alone.
Full disclosure: I did test out paint colors on a Clone Wars Y-wing that my nephew plays with when he comes over. I'm an amateur, but I'm not a total idiot.
After letting it dry, I masked off the barrel and parts of the frame, then sprayed it down with a can of mirror paint that--you guessed it--I had in the garage.
Because the holes in what appears to be a heat shield were such a pain to cut out, I touched them up with a sharpie, and at that point I struck upon the idea of highlighting the raised portions of the gun with it, too. I think it came out looking pretty sweet!Lastly, I backed down the chrome on the frame where my masking was sup-bar and touched up some of the "buttons."
I also did a little weathering with some steel wool that I had lying around--too much in some places, perhaps? Nah, that's just some moss from Endor on the barrel, there.
Yeah, we'll go with that. At this point I'm willing to chalk up any imperfections under "hard use" by my fictional character or the last-ditch "Hey, it's only a costume!"
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how it came using the supplies I had to hand on a lazy Saturday. It won't win any awards, but the little guy should look fine in whatever pics we take.
And hey, after surviving 7 years in my possession (including a move), I get a kick out of putting him to use.