Why ruin a Crossbow? What's the point? What was the underlying goal of the project... It was to rustle jimmies. Seriously, that was the number one goal of this project decided within the POON discussion forums long before the materials were purchased or the modification list was solidified. Too often I hear ridiculous comments about the Crossbow being the 'best' Nerf blaster and I thought it would be funny to hack one up just to watch people get butthurt about it.
Don't get me wrong, I like the Nerf Crossbow. It has a comfortable shell with decent modification potential. But if you want to effectively use a Crossbow in a nerf war, the best modification you can do is to effectively transplant a homemade into it rendering the Crossbow dead. At that point, why not just build a homemade? That is my opinion. Everyone digs this hobby for different reasons, so don't let my opinion stop you from modifying and fielding a Crossbow at your Nerf wars if you'll enjoy using it.
After some planning and tossing around different budgets for the project, I decided to pretty much throw as much money at the project that was needed to ensure I couldn't look back and say "upgrading [part] would make it better." With that mentality, this project has ended up costing the most out of any of my Nerf projects of the past. The whole cost is not visible in the final project, much of the funding was used for R&D to confirm theories about performance gains when using certain items (wiring,switches, batteries, integration materials, etc.).
- Electronic locks removed
- Mechanical locks removed
- Flywheel housing and flywheels replaced
- Xtreme 180 motor replacement
- Low resistance wiring
- Rev switch replaced
- Rewired to Deans connector for LiPo battery
- Battery tray cleared out to fit LiPo battery
- Crossbow shell integrated
- Rapidstrike rail integrated
- LEDs added with "POONBOW' illuminated in stock
- Black vinyl dye primer
- Gray base coat
- Blue accents
- Pink details
- Matte clear coat
[YOUTUBE VIDEO COMING SOON]
Unmodified blasters. Yes, the Crossbow was in great in shape and was fully functional before I mauled it. #youmadbro?
Opened and cleared out.
Crossbow cuts. Video on my second channel shows the cutting process: VIDEO LINK
The Stryfe's top and rear were trimmed slightly for the integration.
Crossbow rail prepped. I initially secured the Crossbow parts with solvent weld and followed that up with a small amount of hot glue.
Initial bonds have been made. The placement looks off but the orientation of the parts was intentional. I extended the Crossbow stock so it feels longer than a standard Crossbow.
Painter's tape and Play-Doh walls were built for the application of Smooth Cast 65D
Apoxie Sculpt initial application. This material is easier to work than epoxy putty because it has a work time of over an hour. It dries just as strong so it's a great item for body work like this. I wasn't rushed to apply the material because of the dry time like when using epoxy putty.
One way to smoothen the project is to use modeling picks, as shown in the photo. Dipping them in water makes smoothing out the material pretty easy. You can also wait for it to dry/harden and sand it away (which I also did).
After a few hours of sanding. This isn't actually the final photo but I lost the final - I later added another round of Apoxie Sculpt on top of this to level it out more.
After. I cut down this shell piece so the 3D printed plate could sit flat in this area.
Inside the rail area before the polycarbonate or LEDs were added. It's pretty messy!
Inside view. If you leave it open like this, your battery wiring can shift and cause friction on your firing mech. The white mess in the photo is a mix of Smooth Cast 65D, Apoxie Sculpt, and hot glue.
180 motors are longer than the standard 130 motors included with the Stryfe. Because of their length, you have to cut into the Stryfe shell to ensure the flywheel housing fits (as seen in previous picture). To protect the motors from external damage (like dropping the blaster and breaking your wiring connection), I adhered a 3D printed motor shield.
After wet sanding. The weird red color you see is filler primer. It's a thicker primer that is supposed to fill small scuffs and scratches. It's used in the automotive and prop industries when you sand beyond 1,000 grit - it's really not noticeable unless your project is insanely smooth to begin with (because the large scratches will still be visible). I doubt I'll use it again in the future unless I'm sanding something massive and flat (like a car - hence its use in the automotive world). The project simply isn't smooth enough to benefit from this that much. It was an improvement, but not worth the hassle in my opinion.
In the painting booth, ready for primer. Video about my painting booth: VIDEO LINK
Thanks for reading,
Inside - final photo before primer.
3D printed part with a cutout displaying 'POONBOW'.
Brush painting finished.
LED installation. These are strips of LEDs that are super easy to install. Single component LEDs are great for certain applications, but I will definitely use strips like this in the future when I need to light a large area like this. The light is evenly distributed and installation is much faster than wiring single LEDs in a chain.
Nerf Stryfe AMAZON LINK
Apoxie sculpt AMAZON LINK
Smooth cast 65D AMAZON LINK
Filler primer AMAZON LINK
Vinyl dye AMAZON LINK
LEDs AMAZON LINK
LED wiring (visible in some photos) AMAZON LINK
Modeling picks AMAZON LINK
Items without purchase links
Replacement flywheel housing - I posted a review about this item which includes the price and seller contact information.
Xtreme 180 motors - I haven't been able to find these motors in-stock anywhere for a while.
Low resistance wiring - I don't remember where I acquiring the wiring I used. A search for 'low resistance hobby wire' on eBay or Amazon can get you something close to what I used.
Replacement rev switch - I don't remember where I acquired this switch.
3D printed parts - Lots of people custom make parts for Nerf blasters. Search around.
Nerf Crossbow - These aren't sold in stores. I bought mine on eBay but they are pretty expensive. Garage sales or thrift stores are a cheaper alternative, but finding one is unlikely.
Project Reflection/Ending Notes
- Overall, I'm super happy with how the project turned out. The performance is incredible due to the battery and flywheel housing swap. The flywheel housing doesn't improve the velocity drastically, but the firing groupings are great so the accuracy is remarkable. I made a review on the product which can be found HERE.
- Due to the high cost of materials and insane amount of time put into this project, The POONBOW is not for sale.