The Crossroads of the Aether
The Maverick is a fair piece to modify, just because it's easy to open and paint, hard to break, and already has something of a steampunk look to it. That said, if one is going to go with the 'modiied dart gun' approach (which I myself tend to), I'd personally go looking for something else, if not just because everyone already has a Maverick. My new favorite is the Lanard Rotator X-8, which is an 8-shooter style revolver- which actually look like a revolver, by the way- with better functionality and cooler extra features than the Maverick. And it's 2 USD cheaper. That's 2 USD I can use on better paints, better epoxy, and so on. I've posted my modified version of it below to show you. The point is, Mavericks are great guns to start with, but they shouldn't be your end-all unless you've really done something significant to it- which, as we now have a Maverick Gallery, I can see is a very real possibility.
to be fair
i have nothing againt nerf mods as a rule,but i have concerns too.to me at least steampunk is "staying out of the lines".
i found my solution was modding a 1896 mauser pistol that was a 25 buck metal 6mm bb gun.but hey works 4 me.when i shop toy stores and even thrift shops/garage sales, sometimes older toy guns odd and unusual show up.youd be surprized what you find and often theyre screwed together instead of sonically welded.sometime the old star wars han solo pistols surface , which is kina funny if you mod a already moded pistol design, lol.
my 2 cents
In my line of work, I had a chance to get to know these guns pretty well. Are they over-used? Possibly. Are they over-used because they just look freakin cool with a little work? Definitely :) I personally have moved a lot of what I make to the Lanard X8 - It's a much more detailed and more refined looking gun (aside from the garish color scheme when stock) and after painting them, they just really put the 'ol Mav to shame.
I'll see if this makes a picture..if not, hopefully you can at least click the link to see what the Lanard can be when customized :)
I was at a steampunk panel at a convention once, and a guy stood up on his own volition to show off his Maverik and the people teaching the panel go "oh, don't ever paint a gun like that, it's silly and overdone" and the poor guy just stood there. He just looked so ashamed and embarrassed. He even started to agree with them and say things like "yeah, it's not the best paint job" and other mumblings as he slowly sat down. It was a great panel other than that, but it was so sad to see someone who was so proud of their stuff, even enough to stand up in front of everyone and show it off, only to be told his work was sub par and something to be avoided. I've heard people apologize before showing off their painted gun as well, and it kills me, because when someone spends so much time on something, especially when they consider it to be steampunk, even if it doesn't fit into someone elses definition, we as a community should encourage their work. Everyone starts out small, but if they are berated for their work, maybe they'll never get to show off their full greatness.
My first gun I ever made was a painted ray gun toy that lit up (and made noise before I silenced it) and I loved it. It was cheap, fun to make, and pretty, if I do say so myself. However, after it was done, I wanted more. I wanted to learn how to work with wood and metal and make a gun from scratch rather than paint one. So I tried my hand at it, and it kicked my a**. Me and sharp, loud power tools do not mix! Maybe next time. Anyways, mavericks and other plastic guns are just fine in my book and I hope no one ever feels ashamed to have one.
Isn't one of the key points to this thing we call steampunk that we have all decided to thumb our noses at what others think, at conventional thought? So why would we worry about what others think about our Mavericks? Personally, I like them, though I do feel they are a bit common place. I paint them for others fairly regularly, and enjoy doing it. It has been said before, but they are, in my mind at least, the steampunk equivalent to the Colt Peacemaker. There is nothing wrong with the Peacemaker, and there is nothing wrong with the Maverick. I say, keep thumbing your nose at conventional thought, even if that thought comes from an unconventional person. Wear your sidearm of choice proudly, and never be ashamed of what you love.
The Maverick is to Steampunk as the Colt Peacemaker is to the Western motion picture, ubiquitous and symbolic.
I always felt that steampunk is about self expression and art. Anyone who thinks that someone shouldn't rock a modified maverick because it's "too common" should take a long look at their own goggles. Goggles are everywhere, and have more or less been adopted by streampunk as a whole. I believe the Maverick is like this. It's a toy that has been adopted as a good starter project and should always be worn proudly as a milestone. Sort of like how your mom keeps your baby booties, and displays your baby pictures even when you're 30. Also, it's unrealistic to me that everyone in the multiverse has a different gun. Modified, I could believe, but not different. In the west, you could call out the name of a gun on someones hip. Knowing what it was. However, you may not fully understand the modifications they did to it. Since our fantasy reality should in the most basic form emulate true reality, it only makes sense, and lends (at least to me) credibility when several people have similar guns.
I have to say that although I understand why people use the Maverick, at this point, for me at least, it is overdone.
I will almost always like something handcrafted out of metal and wood over a maverick mod. I have seen some very nicely done mavericks that have nice paint jobs and lots of shiny brass bits. but it's still a maverick at its heart, its still a $10 plastic nerf gun.
Frankly those nice mavericks are the most disappointing to me. Because you know that the crafter has put tens if not hundreds of hours of work into the gun whereas if they had only had a better base to start with it could have been so much more.
That said I will never hate on someone just because they used a Maverick. At least their trying, at least they made the effort and showed up! Now if they were to ask me how to go about improving their outfit only then would I suggest looking into another form of weaponry.
I opted for a different route myself. I got a real WWI German Flare gun that I am going to mod to be even more steampunkish. I am also going to try and craft my own rifle/tesla cannon.
i like mine, working on a 2nd for myself, 3rd in all after modding one for a friend's airship captian costume, the overall look of an oversized six-shooter already lends itself well to people who just want to repaint, but they're also somewhat easy to mod the insides to shoot further, with a little work there's alot you can do with nerf guns in general, I'm also planning out once Maverick 2 is completed, an Imperial Bolt Pistol for a rouge trader costume.
I'm not going to knock anyone for using a nerf gun. as far as other props, I'll work on scrounging materials, buying parts for things like my arm and my medical/mechanical bracer, and maybe more bozzare weapons, but if I want something that actually shoots, I'll take a nerf gun. at least until i have space to work on my future giant potato cannon rifle.
I personally view them as a good starting point for people who are getting into the modding sector. Easily available, well priced, and not easy to break are all great qualities for people just starting out. Are they the goggles of the weapon accessory? Yes, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't have them, mod them, love them. I personally love the Mavericks, though neither of my personas would carry them. As others have said, you can find some really wonderful mods and paint jobs of the Mavericks.
Just because something is overdone, doesn't mean people can't still do it. In the end, it comes down to "does the Maverick make sense with my persona?" If the answer is "Yes." then go for it, have fun, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it because it is "over done".
Least that is how I feel about the matter.