Monday, March 2, 2015

NERF Crossbolt Review

As if it wasn't already official from the last 20 bow-based blasters we've seen on shelves, Nerf has gone bonkers for Bow N Arrow and Crossbow setups.  For the first bit of that, it was more or less faux bow arms attached to a plunger-system blaster.  The Nerf Big Bad Bow, the Rebelle Guardian Crossbow, the ZombieStrike Crossfire Bow, they're all culprits of this design and can easily have the bow arms left off while retaining their basic functionality as a blaster.

Somewhere along the line, there must've been one guy at Hasbro who said "Hey!  Let's make functional bows!" because now, amidst the rest of the bow products they already have, there are a few that can actually sling darts or arrows utilizing their namesake.  In this case, it's the NERF N-Strike Elite Crossbolt.

I think I can speak for all Nerf fans when I say that even IF the bow arms on this were fake... we still wanted this blaster.  This mean-lookin bullpup style blaster has an undeniably aggressive design, despite it's compact size.  However, as the photos floated around the internet and fans began to break down how this blaster might work, we realized this blaster would actually fire darts by use of the elastic cord held in by two bow arms at the front.  Since then, the blaster has been released and is available at most local retailers.

UPDATE: I mention in the review a size comparison to the Rayven and there have been a few questions about that.  Here's a photo of the Crossbolt and the Rayven with their Magazine chambers lined up.  You'll notice that not only is the Rayven's stock longer by almost two inches, but that the Crossbolt trigger is also a little shorter.


There are some good and bad things about the blaster, of which I cover in detail in the video below.  Click "Read More" to see it!

Demolisher Project Update #1.5

Generally when I do a Laser Tag recasing, it's pretty simple to integrate the components into whatever shell I'm using.  However, when dealing with leaving other components in, like those needed to fire Nerf Darts, real estate inside the shell gets limited.  When this happens, I have to get a little more crafty with how I fit things into the blaster.

In this case, it's this Demolisher Project that I've blown the dust off of.  In the summer of 2014, I started working on making this "2 in 1" blaster actually serve both of my hobbies under one roof... making it a true "2 in 1" in my books.  Nerf darts slingin from the top barrel.  Laser Tag IR shots blazing from the bottom.  

Fitment has hit a bit of a snag for two major portions of the Lazer Tag Augmented Reality (LTAR) system that I'm using to integrate into the Demolisher's shell: the motherboard and the Sensor Dome.  These are major hurdles that must be overcome in order to move forward, so I'll be spending some major time this week getting around these two bits.  Once the placement is right, then I can start wiring up all of the other components and make some significant progress on the rest of the blaster.

Check out the video after the jump to see details of this update!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It Begins... AGAIN!

I can't think of a better way to get back into the way things were by going BACK to something that pre-dates this blog.  This project has always been a doozie, but thanks to some help from near and far, it's the perfect chance to get back at it!

These last few weeks of being away have driven me crazy, so I'm very excited to be with my hobbies again!  Consider this the first of many updates coming!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Back with a Throwback!

Hello everyone!  Even with my break from Nerf and Laser Tag only lasting a few weeks, I kept finding myself eyeing my workbench and wanting to get back into the swing of things.  Once the weekend hits, I'll be back at it with some updates and projects that I've been itching to return to.  In the meantime, I was going through a bunch of my older stuff and found a little project that's been in hiding for 3 years.  With it being Thursday, I figured a little Throwback action was in order before I jump in with the new stuff.

This is my Dart Tag Sharp Shot.  I finished it in January of 2012.  I painted it to resemble the sought-after Whiteout Series colors and utilized the layered shells and engraved logos to full effect to simplify this repaint.  After spray painting the shells white, I hand painted the orange and dark gray colors into the bits of the shell.  To be completely honest, this repaint kind of started my "make it look stock" craze that eventually led me to build things like the Elite Longshot.

Throwback Thursday doesn't end there.  The whole reason I'm sharing this is, as I was going through and cleaning out old unused files, I found a video that I never published on YouTube that goes over the Whiteout Sharp Shot.  It's kinda funny seeing my old video skills (or lack thereof) in full swing with the old outtro music and logos.

Check it out after the jump!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Bit Tied Up

Instead of dropping off unannounced, I thought I'd give my readers (all 5 of them) a heads-up.  Activity for Tactical Tag has admittedly dropped off recently.  I figured an explanation was in order.

Long story short: I'm busier than I ever have been and, as a result, Nerf and Laser Tag have taken a back seat.  While I don't know exactly when things will clear up, I wanted to let you know that I'm not gone... just a bit buried.  Once I'm reloaded, I'll be back at it with some updates, videos, and projects that have been on the back burner for far too long.

I may still update a picture or two on my Facebook page, but once I'm able to, I'll have major content for the blog and YouTube!  In the meantime, there's a bunch of great blogs, websites, videos, and pages out there to keep you entertained.  There's a list of my favorites on the right side of this blog, so check 'em out if you haven't!  Or, if you wanna take a trip in the WayBack Machine, you can go through almost 4 years of content from Tactical Tag.  Either way, keep at it and I'll be back as soon as I can!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

BigShock = BigJolt

I knew it when I saw it.  So did everyone else.  Nerf didn't need rocket scientists to think up a small compact blaster for the MEGA line.  They simply hooked a helium tank up to a trusty Nerf Jolt and then added an extra piece of dart storage on top.  You can literally remove the red/gray shell and there's a big orange Jolt underneath!  The name suggests that this blaster would knock you off your socks, but at the end of the day, the concept of MEGA BigShock is just that.  A Jolt for MEGA Darts.

Don't let that deter you, though.  Even with no silly gimmicks, tactical rails, or fancy ideas, the BigShock is still a lot of fun.  I've been mixed on the MEGA lineup and the dart design for awhile now, but this blaster doesn't try to be anything earth-shattering.  Maybe that's what I like about it: it's just a compact MEGA Dart slinger that feels good, has some decent power, and doesn't look half bad, either.

Maybe that's what's surprising and what makes me actually prefer this blaster to the Jolt.  While the concept is identical, the BigShock packs more of a punch and just feels more substantial.  Don't get me wrong, there will probably never be a better super-compact blaster than the Jolt... except for the Secret Strike AS-1 of course.  The Jolt just sort of "poofs" an Elite dart out... whereas the BigShock kinda thwack's you a little more.  The dart is bigger and the power is better.  Sure, you can't hide it in your pocket, but it's a great little hand cannon.

There's already a bunch of great reviews out there, so below I've linked one from my buddy RandomShadow09.  Nothing against other reviews, but his also conveniently links to a range test at the end, too.



Or you can check out the one I made after the jump!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Workbench!!

Just in time to tackle some off-season projects, I've got a new workbench in place that is MUCH better than my temporary fix... that I had been using for almost a year and a half.  When I moved into my new house in August of 2013, I quickly assembled a makeshift table to work off of that was comprised of a folding table and a large flat piece of wood.  It wasn't very stable and it was very disorganized since I never really unpacked or sorted things out.  I just kept working over my mess... and it continued to grow until I finally decided to sort things out and get a legit workspace.

The new table is very sturdy and bigger than my old one.  It also has pre-molded points in the legs where I can install outlets (which I might actually do later on).  My batteries and the charging station are on the right.  At the left are the storage for my Dremel, Electric Multi-tool, Drill Bits, and screwdrivers.  The adjustable light with a magnifying glass is incredibly helpful when I'm doing tedious electrical work to get a closer look.

As I cleaned and organized, I also redid my Tool Wall.  I used to just have a few small screw drivers, drill bits, and other Nerf and Laser Tag related tools, but now that I own and maintain a home, my collection of tools has expanded quite a bit.  I can't say I use them all for my hobbies, but it's certainly nice having better selection  when I'm working on a project.  Also, having them organized on a wall is much better than having them crammed in a backpack.

Usually, my Thursdays are spent working on equipment.  While I didn't make any progress on my latest projects, I can safely say that it will be infinitely easier to work on them now in this great space!