This shows the different skins that were created to give the basic shape. Each color is a different patch created by skinning a series of circles that where extracted from the cylinder and then copied to create the shapes. The orange section is the original cylinder patch. My goal was to get well defined edges without them being razor sharp. These are the steps that worked for me working through each patch orange to yellow to green etc:
1. Added an isocurve to the orange patch near the border with the yellow patch. This was so geometry was in place to give some rounding later
2. Use the stitch tool to join the orange to the yellow patch, this gives some rounding at the edge, but it still needs some work
3. Unglued/ungrouped the result to prepare for welding- not sure if this step was really needed
4. used the weld patch plugin to join the orange and yellow sections together
5. Adjust the same isocurve that was added earlier to fine tune the smoothing along the edge.
A lot of steps but it worked for me. If modelspace had a edge loop select like workspace it would have been easier to use the nurbs cage plugin to control the shape the edges. Oh, I forgot to mention I scaled the battery compartment way up in size while working on it. This made it easier to model since even a small change can change the look of a nurbs patch and the small size was making things jump too much as if grid snapping was on.
Someone mentioned Splinter Cell. After looking at that picture I'm sure the instructor must have been influenced by it. In another section of videos a gun is modeled, a pistol with a big silencer on it.