Something new: Borderlands 3 Nerf Pistol Mod, Part 1

Everyone knows there’s a lot going on right now. Like, a lot. What everyone might not know is that I deal with a little thing called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Current events are making the eternal negotiation between my brain and limbic system a little…interesting.

On the one hand, this feels like the event my brain has been training for. I spend so much of my time waiting for the other show to drop, and now that it FINALLY has, those nights of lying awake while my brain spins up countless doomsday scenarios suddenly seems worth it. We started doing what we could weeks before the stay-at-home order came out. So that’s a bonus!

The downside is that we’ve been in this for long enough that my brain has started working on new scenarios. It’s not like it doesn’t have fertile ground for this. My brain is a pro at worrying, about asking what-ifs ad nauseam, it’s part of what makes me a decent writer. It’s also getting hard to sleep at night.

When the proverbial shit first hit the fan, I had problems engaging with my creative brain. I was in a place where my creative works had naturally hit a slow point. My latest book was out to beta readers, and comments were only starting to trickle in. I’d finished my most recent prop project, and none of the ideas I’d had lined up to do next were really tickling my fancy. One idea had been to work on rehabbing my Elder Scrolls IMG_1046Skyrim cosplay to enter into the local con this summer, but that was sounding less and less likely.

But now that my brain had found some new ruts to churn in, I decided it was time to get back up on that creative horse I’d been letting flop around the pasture with no particular direction. First thing to get going was the novel. That does have a deadline, after all. It’s a generous one, but not enough that I’d be doing myself any favors by letting it get too far away from me. On the plus side, my editing passes have been fruitful, not only because I got some great feedback from my betas (with a couple more to come, hopefully), but because I gave myself a whole chunk of time before coming back to the story. That always helps me figure out the holes in the manuscript.

That only scratches one of my creative itches, however. It’s time to get a new prop project going. For that, I’ve decided to do something completely different, not only in the prop, but also with this very blog post. I’m going to document my progress, and add write-ups here. I have no idea if anyone else is going to be interested in that process, but I’m doing it anyway!

I’m also breaking out of the Fallout/Elder Scrolls box I’d put myself in thus far. That’s right, I’m finally doing a prop outside Bethesda’s IP! I have a whole new style to learn, so that’s exciting! I enjoy a new challenge, and this is definitely going to deliver it. I’m also going to be modding a pre-existing item, which is something I’ve never done before.

So what I’m doing is transforming this lowly busted Nerf pistol I inherited from my son:


into this Borderlands 3 Dahl Raptor pistol with all sorts of bells and whistles:


I’ve never done any modding before. On the plus side, it no longer fires so I don’t need to worry about maintaining that action. On the down side, I’m going to be doing a lot of prep to get the pistol to a point where it’s ready for modification and paint. I foresee a lot of sanding in my future!

I’m looking forward to making some new things, and hopefully giving my brain something to grind on that it can actually control. We’ll see how the write-ups go. The build is going to be worked on as I have the time for it, which you’d think I’d have a lot of right now, but my wife has ideas for projects…

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