Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Beginner's Guide to Modding - by guest author Bobololo

Hello to all the wonderful readers of the Southern Brisbane Nerf Club blog! I am your host for this post, Bobololo.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about some key steps to take in the modding world. This post is geared towards the newcomers and people who haven’t gotten into modding yet. Maybe some of this will be a nice refresher for the intermediate crowd? Anyway, let’s begin!

1. Learn the blaster.

There are many, many blasters out in the Nerfing world! Some are more complex than others. Before beginning a project, familiarize yourself with internals. You can take pictures, use mod guides on the forums, and Google images to help you go from “I broke this” to being able to put a Vulcan back together with your eyes closed. I’ve seen many people throw away blasters because they can’t remember how something is put back together. Don’t throw away something that isn’t 100% broken!


Speaking of throwing things away: Salvage as much of a blaster as possible! Springs, air tanks, and even the shells themselves are great items to hold onto for future mods. Shells can be integrated with other shells, springs can be swapped, and air tanks… well, you know what they’re good for.

2. Use your resources.

Remember this: Google is your best friend in the NIC (Nerf Internet Community). So are the numerous blogs and forums out there. They have the answers to about 99% of any and all questions you can think of!

3. Learn the lingo.

Just like with any hobby or sport, the NIC has its own set of words and acronyms. There is a great list that covers a large range of words and acronyms on Nerfhaven.

The biggest word you should look out for is “gun”. Before I continue, I can tell you that are people who find it odd and strange that “gun” is so strongly discouraged, but I try and use it as seldom as possible just to be on the safe side.

Gun is a sensitive word depending on where you say it. Putting the word “Nerf” in front of it is fine, but saying it by itself is a no-no. The overall preferred term is “blaster”. This is especially true in the HvZ scene. When speaking to admin about HvZ, “blaster” is the 100% better term (you know, school shootings and stuff), thus, it’s preferred on the forums. Some of us will switch between the two, but you’re better off using “blaster”.

4. Tools of the trade.

The initial investment into modding can be a little high for some, but the difference between a hacksaw and a rotary tool are incredible. Here’s a list of items I believe every modder should own:

-Dremel/rotary tool: Makes modding fast, efficient, and easier! I suggest getting the Dremel brand rotary tools due to their quality. However, Harbor Freight has some cheapo ones that are good to start off with.

-Multiple screwdrivers: not all blasters have the same sized screws and screw ports. I, personally, own around 5 different screwdrivers for any sized screw head and screw port.

-Rubbing Alcohol and Sand paper: Why are those paired together? For cleaning and stick! Sandpaper creates a great area for adhesives to stick, and rubbing alcohol cleans up any oil and dirt that would otherwise compromise the bond between materials. When you need something to stick, a good sanding with 80-100 grit sandpaper, and a cleaning with 70% rubbing alcohol, will great the best bond possible.

-Epoxy and Epoxy Putty: Hot glue is fine for some stuff, but when you need the best hold possible between two things, you can’t beat epoxy and epoxy putty. Epoxy is great for sticking two objects together that won’t be taking a beating, and epoxy putty is excellent for adding structural support as well as bonding two surfaces. When you want ultimate hold, use both! The only time hot glue should be used is when it’s high temp and holding something until you epoxy it and you aren’t using it for integrity.

-Soldering iron + lead-free solder: If you plan on doing any electronic mods, these are necessary for success. Not only will you need both, you’ll need to know how to use them! There are many tutorials on YouTube… refer to #2.

-Disposable gloves: This might sound unneeded, but trust me, these are wonderful! I hate getting my hands sticky and dirty when modding. Silicone grease is awful stuff that refuses to come off with regular soap and water. And don’t get me started on epoxy putty. How do you get around that? Disposable gloves!

-Good lube!: This is the last item on this short list. Lubricant is important! I cannot stress this enough! Do NOT use WD-40, it is not designed for use with plastic toys. You want silicone grease, and the kind that doesn’t contain any petroleum. If you live in the US, Lowes and Home Depot have something called “Danco Silicone Grease” in the plumbing section where the o-rings and sink stuff are located. Get the non-water proof version. Not only does silicone grease have great lubrication, it’s not a thin layer that will rub away in a month or two. It can actually increase the seal a little bit and last for a year. If you can’t find that, white lithium grease is an alright substitute.

There are many more items that could be on this list, but these are the ones that I find essential.

5. Creativity, Imagination, and Inspiration

The most IMPORTANT part of this hobby, if you ask me. Nothing is possible in the NIC/Nerfing world without some brainpower and creativity. YouTube has a large roster of modders that post videos of blasters they have modified and sometimes show you the steps needed to create your own. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing someone else has done!
You can also try to think of things that people haven’t done, even if they sound crazy. Some of the best mods come from stupid sounding ideas.

If you’ve made it this far, congrats! I hope you found this list helpful. I’m sure some of you already knew this information, but for those of you who didn’t, I hope you create some marvelous blasters and become proficient with modding!

~ Bobololo

Take heed, when it comes to mods, Bobololo knows what he's talking about. He's been into the hobby longer than I have and has a well established reputation in the NIC. Even I learnt something today. Disposable gloves, I'm getting some. And if you're in Australia, Bunning's Warehouse has tubs of white teflon grease for about the $10 mark usually available in the tool shop.

If you don't know who Bobololo is... how the hell did you find me first? But he has a YouTube channel that can be found HERE

~ Robololo


  1. That's one hellofuh author you picked up there... not to mention some absolute GOLD advice from him! NICE article!

  2. Read this or the Viking will just bring you down :)

  3. "Labels: bawlz,..." Made me lol so hard.


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