Ok long story short, I'm kind of rushing to get my cosplay (Travis Touchdown) ready for a upcoming anime expo and I think I may have time to modify my soon to arrived cheap lightsaber into the character Tsubaki 3 well trying to resemble it at most.
My ideal plan is to paint the handle white and the blade green at the most (don't have time to reshape the handle and putting the red stripes on it.
Anyway I know from past experienced at Design and Technology class that simply spraying paint onto plastic is not enough even if I sand the plastic abit and put lacquer on it. My main concern is due to the fact the blade is rectable meaning if I do spraypaint it, the edges of each of the smaller plastic tubes will come off easily because of the retractable. So I am wondering is there a proper way to spraypaint it without bits coming off or is there an alternative to paint it? Also no I can't keep the blade as a whole piece, it must still be able to retract.
Also as a bonus (but I highly doubt I will have time to do this), anyone got an idea on how to make that Kanji hilt on that image? Sure the intial idea is to get a piece of wood and simple cut and paint it in place but I have no tools to do something that complex and I'm not in highschool anyone to have access to such tools (also no I ain't going to buy equipment tools either!).
Another idea would be getting a stripe of metal and bend it into the kanji shape however due to the expo cosplay weapon rules I don't think that is allow. Using form on the hilt would be allow thought.
Just remember that modifying the lightsaber is something I may or may not do since I on a budget and running out of time but I will appreciate any info for next year anime expo (I will cosplay him again as fully acurate version of him).
Eh, I was going to suggest a dremel tool, but if tools are out, I got nothing. Dremels are pretty common though, maybe a family member or friend will have one. If you do end up using one, don't forget to vice clamp down the wood or plastic you are shaping, as handling a dremel in one hand with the material in the other can be dangerous.
As for the spray painting, http://www.wikihow.com/Spray-Paint-Plastic this is all I saw. It seems there are spray paints designed for use on plastic now. I suppose whether it flakes or not will have to do with whether it dries properly, and the clearance between pieces of plastic.
Rather than just sandpaper, use some scuffing paste to get a good surface to paint on. Then add a couple of coats of plastic primer paint, then a 2-3 coats of your colour and finally a few coats of clear acrylic. Thats going to be the toughest finish thats easily gettable.
As to modding the handle, I would suggest something like milliput, or any of the epoxy putties. You won't need tools, just use your hands to form the shape, sand down and then paint.