We needed a good prop for Darren's mafia costume this Halloween so we decided to make a machine gun. It was fun to watch him in the toy store trying to pick the right model for his costume although it took longer than it should have. He had to look at all of them but ended up buying the first one he saw. (*grin*)
The technique below would also work well for a Master Chief or Lara Croft costume. This prop is good for a Halloween party with friends or family but it is NOT something that you should make to take to school. I recommend that you leave parts unpainted to make it obvious that it is a prop or if you are really concerned choose a color of paint that is less realistic. For example, if you are wearing a purple Master Chief costume then paint your gun purple as well.
- plastic Nerf gun or similar that compliments your costume
- spray paint specifically for plastic in the color of your choice ('matte' or 'flat' finish is better than glossy)
- painters tape or masking tape
- Optional: acrylic paint
- Optional: paint brush or sponge to apply your special effects
- Remove the gun from its packaging and use painters tape or masking tape to cover the muzzle of the gun so it does not get painted. This is a common techinque for props used at conventions to make it obvious that it is a prop.
- If you have a stand that you can use to stand the gun on and paint it all around that is helpful. If not, you will have to paint one side first, allow it to dry, and then paint the other side.
- Use the spray paint according to directions on the label. Make sure that it is specifically for plastic.
- Spray in long smooth motions making a few passes. Be careful not to apply too much paint so that it will not run.
- Let dry.
- Optional: Once the paint is dry you can use acrylic paint to embellish your prop. You could make it look worn in some places or highlight logos.
- Notice how the end of my gun is the original bright orange color after I remove the painter tape that I had applied before spraying. Even though I have left the muzzle orange I still recommend that you NOT take this prop to a school or use it for trick or treating on the street.