Saturday, December 31, 2011

Speedvens and Rayswarms!

I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season! I've been very busy with family and friends this winter break ( and yes, even managed to tag it up a little bit). I've seen m favorite blogs reviewing the new Rayven and Speedswarm and found the two of these blasters at my local Target. I'm waiting to see the results of Urban Taggers' Christmas giveaway before I decide which one to get, but I thought I'd share that little bit of info with ya.

The box for the Rayven is smaller than I expected, but I'm tempted to pick one up regardless of UT's results. It's a nice looking platform for a Recasing and I know a few other guys in the OLCA have their eyes on it for that reason. 2012 will see the return of the weekly giveaway for Tactical Tag as well as some news on the new Lazer Tag system and some more mods of my own. Have a safe New Year's celebration and thanks so much for all your support!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Time is here!

So if you haven't noticed, it's Christmas Adam (get it?  Day before Christmas Eve?  Adam & Ev-you know what.  If you don't get it, it's not really worth explaining at this point...)  And that means a couple of things.  The first being that it's December 23rd.  Duh, that's just a given.  You could've learned that from a calendar.  We're ALSO about a day out from Urban Tagger's Christmas Giveaway!  The grand prize is really... well... GRAND if you ask me!  Nerfenstein has been employed to custom paint a Nerf Rayven!  You can check out the pictures at Universal Nerf.  If you haven't entered something by now... you really should.  The prizes are great and a neat contest in itself.  Still can't think of something to submit?  Just steal some ideas from mine that I submitted!

In either case, this will be my last post before Christmas hits, so have a Merry Christmas, everyone!  I'll be out of town the 26th through the 30th of December visiting (and Nerfing) with family in the Northeast. I might pop on for an update or pictures of me tagging it up with my cousins.  Until then, stay safe and have a blessed holiday season!

Oh, and as an added bonus, check out the repainted Lazer Tag B.L.A.S.T. featured in this Dr Pepper 10 commercial.

If you forgot, the B.L.A.S.T. looks like this.  Flux from the ALTC got help from Hawkewood to build this LTTO-compatible BLAST.  It's kinda funny to see a blaster that old featured in a commercial nowadays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


As a disclaimer, this blog post is not directly related to Laser Tag or Nerf.  I generally try to keep things as on-topic as possible, but I've noticed a growing trend of questions about "How come people like Tactical Tag" or "I want a blog like yours".  If you're reading this, know that I am not singling any one person out, but addressing a large general issue that I've seen worsening.  This post is only intended to help and not to attack any one or any specific blog.  If you find yourself being offended by what I've got to say, instead look at it as advice and follow it.  These are my Blogistics.

Longshot Recasings

In the previous post, there was a video that I used a recased laser tag blaster in a Longshot shell.  While this is a rare blaster nowadays, when I started these projects, the Nerf Longshot CS-6 was a common blaster on store shelves.  It has frequently been used as a basis for building Sci-Fi Props and has even seen some screen time in films and TV shows.  While most Nerf Modders praise the Longshot for it's internals, you can't deny that it's just a good looking blaster, which is what made it appeal to ME at first.  I've built two Laser Challenge-based blasters from the Longshot aI frequently get comments and questions on, so I thought I'd share some info on some of my favorite recasings that are built around this legendary Nerf Blaster.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LC Sensors: CSS-04

Me with my CSS-04 mounted to a MOLLE Rig.
It's the small black module on my left shoulder.
In continuing my trend of reshowing older stuff I've worked on, here's something you don't see a lot of work on: sensors.  Seems like, in Laser Tag, everyone is focused on trying to make blasters better.  With a few exceptions, you don't see folks making themselves EASIER to hit/make things more fair.  Now, I know a lot of you are not avid Laser Challenge fans, so here's a quick rundown.  This system uses a blaster and front/back mounted sensor worn on the player that is NOT attached to the blaster.  The common problem folks have with Laser Challenge is that arms/the blaster can block the front sensor making it harder to hit your opponent.  For the better half of a decade, I've been working on Customized Sensor rigs to make myself easier to hit, regardless of the blaster I'm using or the firing position I'm taking.  The CSS-04 is the 4th prototype in this line of sensors that I've designed for this purpose.  CSS stands for "Custom Sensor System" and the basis of the design is to have a front and back sensor that can be attached to a harness or Rig.  The CSS-04 is designed to attach to MOLLE webbing, which is a common mounting system for the United States Military to use with their soldiers.

Here I display how the CSS-04 functions and how it is mounted.  Again, it's an older video of mine, so bear with it!  I still use the CSS-04 in our outdoor Laser Challenge Games and even managed to get it to fit onto my Captain America Costume in our Halloween Game, which further shows how modular this system can be... provided you're wearing something you can manage to MOUNT it to!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dart Tag Ammo Storage

So I've been really busy recently with my offline life (real life) and haven't done much work on stuff, but I figured I'd take a trip back into a vault of stuff that I've done BEFORE opening this blogtastic blog and share some tips with you I learned back when the Swarmfire and the rest of the 2011 Dart Tag blasters came out.

It's an easy mod for Dart Tag Ammo Storage that could help you during a war.  It's an older video of mine, so it's kind of funny to see how things have kinda changed since March of this year... and what things I still tend to do (like my quirky anecdotal comments)

Friday, December 16, 2011

SMG Stampede

So I've been working a lot recently with the Nerf Stampede ECS and decided to perform a well-known mod for it: Minimization... or what ends up looking a lot like a SMG variant.  Mine is certainly truer to the "SMG" stylization than purely minimizing the Stampede's design because, lets face it, I'm an aesthetics whore when it comes down to it.

Here's a short video outlining what I've done so far.  I do plan on a few more tweaks to the design, the big plan being that I want to turn the Battery compartment into Clip Storage and relocate the Batteries (which are now 3 small AA-sized Ultrafire Batteries) elsewhere.  I haven't seen anyone else attempt that, so I'm hoping that this unique aspect of my design helps it stand out from other similar projects.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spring Upgrade Fail

I just can't do it, Captain!  I don't have the power!!

Last night I was working on some modifications with my friends and we decided to try this ridiculously strong spring in the Stampede.  We all kinda knew it probably wouldn't work to begin with, but we wanted to see, via use of the DC Regulated Power Supply, how much voltage it would take for the Stampede Motor to actually prime the blaster.  28 Volts later, we decided it just wasn't feasible to use.  No worries, as we have springs from OMW on the way to mess around with.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Focus Tests: Light Strike vs LTX

Ran some tests on the Light Strike gear that got donated to our cause.  Decided to get the Nightvision running to see the focus of each one's lens/their power.  Light Strike is considerably weaker than the LTX, which is probably why it gets more dismal ranges too.  Check out this short vid we took of the tests.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Deploy yourself to Target Online

Thanks to DarthRambo's exquisite intel, we now have a price on a Deploy that makes it worth buying: $7.54!  This is Target's online price on the Deploy.  While I would agree with most Nerf folks' dismal opinions of the Deploy, this price might actually make you take a second look.

Go to or follow this link to directly get to this deal while it lasts!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Glowing News!

So alongside the release info on the Nerf Rayven and it's glowing ammo, we have a Vortex contender for glow-in-the-dark blasters now!  That Lumitron that everyone thought was a fake (since it's essentially a Praxis with what looked like a 20 disk clip), is now confirmed thanks to info from TomClark2011 on the Nerf Wiki.  The listing on Amazon doesn't have a price, only a box art and a side-view of the blaster.  It's neat seeing the Firefly Logo shared on both the Rayven on the clip for the Lumitron.  This certainly continues the "N-Strike vs Vortex" theme, but takes it into the dark, which should be neat to see.  Urban Taggers has also managed to find the Glow Disk ammo for this too, so I expect there to be new Glow Streamlines released with the Rayven.

My question, amidst all this glowing goodness, is will the Firefly REV-8, the blaster that started this glow-in-the-dark business for N-Strike, will continue to be released.  If so, I wonder if they'll do away with those silly glowing stickers on their Suction Cup darts for it and go with the glow foam that's on the Disks and Darts for the Lumitron and Rayven respectively.  Perhaps we'll even see the Firefly get a bit of a facelift with that neat "Firefly Tech" logo on it somewhere that the clips for the Lumitron and Rayven boast.  Who knows!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ready the Rayven

Our friends at Urban Taggers have the inside scoop once again!  (Go figure, right?) The much anticipated Nerf Rayven CS-18 looks to be hitting US Shelves in late January 2012 with a $39.95 retail mark.  This is info from the same guys who have done most of the in-depth testing of the Rayven, supplying fans with lots of photos and insight to the latest addition to the N-Strike lineup.  Here's a list of Rayven news they've had if you've been behind in your homework!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Light Striken

I received a package yesterday from a Laser Tagging friend that had a nice assortment of gear.  From an old school Laser Challenge Team Force sensor vest to a V2 Ultrawide Blaster to some off-brand head-sensor system I hadn't really ever seen in person.  However, I was most surprised to come across a GAP-024 Striker and a Target from the Light Strike line.  I have been reluctant to pick up any of these myself, even being the avid laser tagger that I am.  I haven't heard wonderful things about this line and the price tag wasn't low enough to warrant me purchasing a set to test out on my own.
I was hoping to get a full idea of the Light Strike system with this stuff, but I'll probably need to find a second blaster to really assess this gear.  The Target sensor proved to be far more simplistic than I had anticipated, as it just changes colors to whatever team setting you manage to fire at it.  The stories about being able to switch teams on these whenever you want looks to be true too, as there's a button on the main display that allows you to change instantly.  You can probably imagine the opportunities for cheating with a feature like that.  I almost prefer the no-teams approach to Laser Challenge since you can at least hit anyone instead of your opponent changing to your team to avoid taking fire from you.

I suspect I'll need a little more time/another blaster to finish up my opinion of this system.  I will say that the blaster was much more comfy than I had originally anticipated.  It's got a nice weight to it and the grip is comfortable.  Trigger feels nice too.  There is also more detail to this blaster than I originally gave it credit for, but the main panels are just basically stickers with graphics on them.

I did, however, run a few tests with Light Strike up against my two other laser tagging systems:  Laser Challenge and Lazer Tag.  I check for cross-compatibility between new systems.  For instance, Lazer Tag brand blasters (like LTTO and LTX) are able to land hits on most Laser Challenge sensors, but cannot receive hits from Laser Challenge Blasters.  As such, if someone were playing a Laser Challenge game, they could use a Phoenix LTX as their blaster, so long as they were wearing a Laser Challenge sensor.  I ran cross-compatability tests with the Striker and the Target and found no hope of utilizing this system with other popular systems.  In my next update, my pal Sundawg will be hooking up this Striker to his equipment to see what kinds of signals are used for Light Strike.  We'll release all that technobabble once the tests have been completed.

Universal Nerf Opens it's Doors

If you haven't noticed already, there's another new blog in town.  I know, right?  Who needs another Nerf blog?  Well that's what myself, JetCell and Triangle were discussing a few weeks ago.  It's a place to feature YOUR work!  Head on over to get the full scope of what Universal Nerf is all about.  Click the logo to get started!

Congrats Skurj! Vacation for the Giveaway!

Congratulations to Skurj, the winner of the modified Tactical Light!  If you don't know, he runs a blog called "The Hive Mind" and when he was randomly selected for the winner, I couldn't help but think that maybe this light would look good on one of his recased laser tag blasters like that Longstrike pictured to the left.

Either way, it's a busy time of year for me right now.  Hobbies are kinda taking a temporary back seat to everything else that's going on, and since I'm still a week behind on getting Eagle1011 squared away with his prize from last week, I figured it best to put the Weekly Giveaway on a bit of a hold.  Next week is Finals week for me, and I've also been playing in a Pit Orchestra for a musical in town, on top of normal holiday busy-ness.  Don't worry, it'll return once I get some time back, as I've still got plenty of stuff here that could use good homes.

In the meantime, go check out Skurj's blog.  Or the new Universal Nerf blog, or any of my older posts.  Though it's not really my place to tell you what to do, I figured some suggestions and shameless plugs couldn't hurt!

Don't worry, I'll still be posting stuff and bloggin.  The Weekly Giveaway will just be taking a bit of a break to give ME a break!

Monday, December 5, 2011

LTTO M4 Carbine Final Pics

Earlier I shared a Nerf Recon recasing of a Lazer Tag Team Ops Deluxe built by another fan.  It was functional and didn't look half bad either.  However, new pictures of this creation have surfaced and the new paint job/details really make this fella look great, so I thought I'd share those with you here!

I'm told that it's actual range, now that it is focused, is 1,892 ft with a magnifying scope.  With only the red dot sight, it's effective range 1000 ft or so.  The Entire blaster is running off of a LTTO Deluxe system, with a working rumble pack as well as Hit Lights installed in the sensor dome (not standard on a Deluxe).  He's done a fine job with the paint job and finishing details on this blaster!  Enjoy the images!

 Pictures of the finished LTTO M4 Carbine have given it a different paint scheme than the all-black pictures from before.  The subtle tiger stripe patterns, orange accents, and other details are nice and crisp.  If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was factory made!
 Size Comparisons wtih the LTTO Tag Master Blaster and Deluxe.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Whiteout Conditions

It's the first big snow for us here in the Heartland, so I nabbed my favorite Whiteout blasters and ran around outside.  Got some neat pictures, and the Whiteout blasters just lend themselves well to this weather!

Pictured are my two favorites, the Whiteout Longstrike and NiteFinder.  The scope is off of a Super Soaker Shotblast, and I've also got a Bandoleer with Whiteout Whistlers and Streamlines on it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Countdown to 2012

Found this on the Nerf Nation Facebook Page.  Looks like Hasbro is pulling out all the stops this Holiday Season! For every new 25,000 people who “Like” their page, an additional grand prize is up for grabs – up to 7 total!  Click the image below to go directly to the page and enter to win!

Prizes for this are as follows:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Congrats, Eagle1011! Lighting up Week 6!!

Congratulations to Eagle1011, the winner of Week #5's Giveaway, the modded SharpShot!  I do have one regret, and that is not being able to complete this blaster in time.  Originally I had planned on just doing internals, but I wanted to use the unique construction of this blaster to give it a neat paint job.  With the colder weather setting in, I don't have it painted.  Eagle, when you send me your address, let me know what you'd like to do.  I can either send the blaster as-is or I can give it a paint job of some kind.

To express how sorry I am for not having this blaster done today, here's an embarrassing picture of me being a complete goober.  It's actually pretty normal for me.  But nevertheless, I've already got THIS week's prize in the "completed" bin!

This week's prize isn't a blaster, but an accessory.  Cleverly housed inside of an N-Strike Tactical Light that is commonly packaged with the Nerf Recon, this is actually an LED Flashlight.  The on/off switch turns this bright light on and off running off the original AAA's that the Red Dot light would've run off of.  I've found them to be very handy for indoor games, especially when trying to find darts in the aftermath of the game.

Which brings me to this week's question:  what's your take on the Accessories in the N-Strike lineup?  Technically Vortex counts too, now that they've got that scope and stock that are N-Strike compatible.  Whether you love 'em, hate 'em, or just want to see something new that hasn't been done before, comment and you'll be entered to win this Flashlight!

Yellow Longstrike Barrel Pic Spam

 I took some requests when I debuted my Yellow Longstrike Barrel Extension and took pictures accordingly.  I know a lot of folks have said that the Longstrike Barrel, or barrel extensions in general, are useless.  In defense of that I say to you: these blasters now look better because of it!  That, and the Longstrike's barrel diameter is wider and doesn't interfere with dart range like the others do.  That, and this project wasn't very hard to do!  Just took apart my barrel, sanded down the two panels, primed, painted, and enjoy!  Speaking of which, ENJOY!

Shelf News! Max Force Clearance!

This week's trip to my local retailers has Max Force, the glorified Spitwad guns, on clearance just about everywhere.  The entire lineup is on clearance at Toys R Us, making for some decent prices on these blasters.  I was wondering how Max Force was doing in the toy market, but apparently kids chose to not "Graduate from Foam" and stuck with their dart slingers.  I can't even get the official Max Force website to open for me.  The entire line may have quietly tanked.  And if the aisle is any indicator of another failing shooter game, Light Strike looks to be getting rid of it's plethora of accessories for the time being.

Light Strike isn't doing so hot, seeing still mostly-full shelves and falling prices.  I did manage to find Assault Strikers in the middle of a Nerf display at Toys R Us (still at full price), but things don't look too promising for these guys either.  At least their Strikers and Assault Strikers aren't getting liquidated like Max Force, where it seems to be a product-wide clearance.  There is quite a lot of shelf space for both of these lines, what with their bountiful accessories and generally large packaging, they're seemingly on the chopping block.  Things aren't looking too promising for either Jakks Pacific's Max Force or Wowee's Light Strike.

I didn't expect ANY good news to come in the form of Nerf's Lazer Tag, but those Value Packs have been spotted on local shelves now.  The only problem is that I've seen them showing up at 79.99 USD, instead of the 69.99 that they had previously been retailing for.  I'll keep looking to see if there's a cheaper price out there for these, but I am certainly surprised to see the price go UP for a "Value Pack".  Hasbro typically hasn't done this in recent "Value Pack" releases for Nerf, so it's odd to see them do this.

$30 for a Stampede

I never thought I'd see prices this good for the Stampede for awhile.  A little over a year after it's release, the Stampede is now marked down to $29.99 at Toys R Us, of all places!  Thanks to the tip from DarthRambo on the NM&R Chatroll.  The only Stampede I've owned served as the platform for my LTX DMR and in general I like the 18 dart straight Clips.  I prefer them to the 18 dart drum clips that the Alpha Trooper comes with (now also available on it's own @ Target).  A Voltage Mod and a spring from Orange Mod Works could really make this a nice blaster for someone.

If you can't seem to find these in your stores, go to Toys R Us' website and order them off there.  It's free shipping too, so it's the same price you would pay for getting it at the store without that sense of "instant gratification".  It's likely these won't stay this cheap for long.  You can also get these from Wal-Mart for 34 bucks WITH a Bandoleer included!  That's an even better value!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yellow Longstrike Barrel Extension

So earlier I was complaining about how arguably the best looking Barrel Extension that Nerf has ever made is molded in a color that doesn't match the other blasters it can go on.  I really wanted to get a unified look out of my favorite blaster setup: the Nerf Spectre w/Raider stock and Longstrike Barrel.  So I finally decided to just go with repainting the Longstrike's blue panels yellow.

The process I used was simple:  sand off the digital camo on the Longstrike barrel with a thick grit sandpaper and then smooth it all over with a series of lighter sand paper types.  Then prime and paint the panels yellow and re-assemble the barrel for a Longstrike Barrel that'll look good on a Recon, Spectre, Deploy, or even a yellow Longshot.  I'll have more pictures up later once I find all the parts I wanna mix and match with.  Wanna see a certain combination?  Leave it in the comments and I'll see what I can do!

Workin for the Weekend

I've been doing some work today on two blasters.  The first is this week's Giveaway: the Sharp Shot.  I've done all the internal work and am working on ideas for a paintjob on it.  Here's a few shots of the basic internal work I've done.  Just standard AR removal, air release seal, improved O Ring Seal stuff.  I also upgraded the spring.  It's now packing the spring from the Swarmfire, which is actually about the same size only stronger.  (I have a stronger spring in my Swarmfire now)
The paintjob that I have in mind for this Sharp Shot is to do a Whiteout style repaint.  I'm just repainting the yellow shells on this, keeping the black plastic frame in it's stock colors.  The shell will be painted white with the Dart Tag logos that are etched into the paintjob to be painted Orange and Gray, to mimick the look of the Whiteout series.  I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out.

The other is painting a Longstrike Barrel yellow to go with my Spectre and Recon.  I actually found a picture of someone with a Recon and a Yellow-painted Longstrike barrel and it looked nice, so that's what I'll be doing.  It was warm enough today to do some painting when I started, but now the clouds have rolled in and it's chilly out again, so they're in my garage by a heater.  I just put down the second coat in this picture.  Before painting, I spent time sanding off all the digital camo on them so they look nice and smooth/match the Recon and Spectre's finish.  Hope it turns out good!
I also opened up a non-functioning Nerf Raider that got used (and abused) on last week's Black Friday Foam-tacular.  I suppose naming the rapid fire feature "SlamFire" gives people the idea that they're unbreakable.  Not the case.  I'll either find spare parts from a gutted Raider that my friend turned into a Laser Tag blaster or use this fella as a candidate for a Massacre kit.  Actually, I was thinking of getting a Massacre kit to put in my Clear Series Raider, so maybe I could just put those internals into this guy.  Either way, it'll live to shoot another day soon enough.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Redraw for Week #4 and Shelf News!

So as it turns out, our Weekly Giveaway winner from last week is unable to provide a shipping address.  I'm told that you can't deliver something without saying where it's going, so we're going to redraw!  And the new Week #4 winner is... Five Seven!  Or Echo... or whatever variant of those he's going by.  Make sure you send a mailing address to Icicle and he'll send out that Minimized Firefly to ya!

In the meantime, if you haven't entered to win the modded Sharp Shot for this week, time is running out!

Onto "some news".  I was at my local Toys R Us checking stuff out and I came across something I think Clip System fans will like:  TRU Exclusive Raiders with an extra drum.  They've done this before, but now it's an exclusive, so I think it'll get stocked longer on shelves.  The ones I found retailed for 34.99.  Even though it's TRU's usual high prices, it DOES come with that extra drum, which is still a good deal if you ask me.

I also found that Nerf video camera, but it's overpriced and has awful specs.  49.99USD for a Nerf labeled camera that's designed for "sport" use?  Don't even get me started on that awful digital camera or Flash drive.  My disappointment in Sakar Electronics just keeps getting better, huh?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modified Vulcan EBF-25 Review

I started work on this Vulcan a couple months ago, but I was knee deep in Laser Tag season.  I finally got around to finishing it up in time to debut at our Black Friday Foam-tacular.  While I didn't get to use it (I let a friend run around with it), it's performance was rock solid.  It covered entire hallways with more darts than Drac has commission requests.  I tested out the Vulcan myself and ran a series of tests I caught on video to show you what this fella can do.  It's probably one of my best modified blasters yet.

At the heart of this modification is the power, which I didn't get solved until recently.  There are 4 Ultrafire Rechargeable batteries that are running 3.7 Volts each.  There are also two Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries that run about 1.7 Volts each.  The battery pack clocks in at 19.60, which is excellent for this mod.  Those Ultrafires are actually running closer to 4 Volts, so even when they start getting weak, the power going through this fella isn't going to suffer much.  It's more than enough to push through the strong spring I put in this Vulcan.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Game Results

With a grand attendance of 19 players, we held our Black Friday Foam-tacular on November 25th at 5:30pm inside St Pauls United Methodist Church in Papillion, NE.  We played Nerf and Laser Tag games in the maze-like building until 10pm, so it was quite the evening!  Unfortunately, only this group picture exists.  We were all having too much fun to nab any pictures of gameplay.  Speaking of gameplay, it was quite the night with lots of memorable moments and interesting strategies.  From getting showered in darts from the balcony overlooking a room to some not-so-even randomly-picked teams, there was craziness left, right, and center.

Some impressive mods made their debut tonight with some good and bad results.  First, the bad.  See that guy near the center with the Clear Raider?  That's the shotgun-grip one I just modified.  It's now on my workbench being fixed.  Apparently he took the term "Slam Fire" literally and messed up the internals of the Deploy grip I modded onto it.  I may just revert it back to it's original handle.  As a result, I ended up loaning him my modded Whiteout Longstrike.  Thankfully he didn't break that one.  But there was some good news too, with my modded Vulcan EBF-25 owning the competition!  I suppose the only downside to that was that I was always on the receiving end of it.  Reports from it's users were quite favorable.  Because I was without my main blaster for most of the game, I switched to using a Magstrike.  In the past, folks using this blaster usually got owned because they would be out of ammo more than they were actually firing.  But if you ask anyone at our game how I did with a pair of Magstrikes and 2 extra magazines, they wouldn't tell you the same story.  I had a LOT of fun with that blaster and adopted some unorthodox strategies out of necessity of using them.

We played 4 Nerf Games of 20 minute increments before switching to LTX Phoenixes for Laser Tag.  We played 3 more matches with that and called it a night.  There were never really landslide wins for either side, so it was neat to have close matches and even rivalries.  I want to say almost all the blasters that saw action last night were modded in some way, so it was a pretty intense game.  My legs are still killing me 2 days after this 4 hour long event.  The verdict from everyone is that we want to do this again soon... and we will!

Keep it here on Monday for a full review of my completed Vulcan!

Put a Spring in your step... or Blaster

Orange Mod Works has a nice deal, along with a slew of new products to go with it.  In the midst of Winter coming up, they've got Springs!  Spring upgrades for lots of your favorite Nerf blasters that are out right now!  Head on over to OMW to get your hands one!

Spring sale... in the Fall!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Decisions decisions...

Messin with Configurations
I know, I know... N-Strike barrel extensions don't actually increase range or boost performance, but you've got to admit this much:  they still look cool. Perhaps my favorite barrel extension is the one off the Longstrike.  The design looks great on the Spectre and Reconand has rails on the top and bottom.  Last year, when I was messing around with configurations of N-Strike Accessories, I found a combination that I could not resist.  It's a Spectre with a scope, Raider-style Stock (pictured is a Super Soaker Shotblast stock), a Longstrike Barrel and a Tactical Light mounted underneath it.  Unfortunately, none of these options match in stock colors.

The guys at Indigo Studios have been teasing me for a long time with their Whiteout Spectre box art that gets talked about a lot.  If they made it, I could use a white ShotBlast stock and the Whiteout Longstrike barrel to mostly complete a unified looking version of this aesthetic beauty.  It'd be great, but we still don't know if it'll ever even happen.

So I've been considering painting some parts to match other stock parts that would unify the design.  I've had folks ask "Zook, why don't you just repaint the whole thing whatever color you want?!?"  Well, the truth is that, while I am quite capable of painting my own blasters, that when it comes to Nerf, I try to avoid this.  I like painting my Laser Tag blasters in camouflage and such because we actually use them outdoors.  I don't mind the stock Nerf colors on my blasters I use indoors and in the event that I get a picture nabbed when I'm playing a Nerf Game, I want it to be eligible for "Shot of the Week" :)  Silly, I know.

So now the decision is... what parts do I paint to unify the design?  Thanks to the parts I have... there are 3 major options to consider.

  1. Whiteout Colors.  I would have to paint the body of the Spectre white and attach a Whiteout Longstrike barrel with a White ShotBlast stock and scope.  It could wind up being in vain should Wal-Mart actually release the Whiteout Spectre... in which case I'd feel pretty silly.  I also don't have a good method of replicating the Whiteout Graphics onto my white-painted Spectre.
  2. Blue Colors.  I would have to paint the body of the Spectre blue and attach a Longstrike Barrel and Raider stock.  I do like my blue blasters, so this doesn't seem like an awful idea.  My worry is that the blue paint on top by the priming handle will wear off showing the yellow underneath. This wouldn't be so noticable/bad on the Whiteout repaint.
  3. Yellow Colors.  I would have to paint a Longstrike barrel's blue panels Yellow.  Attach that to my Spectre with a Yellow Raider Stock.  It could even add a Yellow scope and Tactical light to complete the original look in that picture above.  This would be the easiest option (and the Longstrike Barrel would look great on my Yellow Recon too)
So... I've got those 3 options that I'm trying to decide between.  Any insight as to your opinions or choices would be great, so leave a comment if you want.  I wanna do my painting before it gets REALLY cold around here!

Congrats Nerflover! Week 5 info too!

Congratulations to NerfLover, the winner of Week 4's Giveaway: the Minimized Firefly built by Icicle of Arctic Nerf!  Get in contact with either of us about receiving your prize.  Hope you enjoy it!

Sorry for the Weekly Giveaway announcement for being so late.  I've been busy this week with family and Thanksgiving schtuff, so I'm not exactly prepared for the announcement this week.  I didn't get a chance to finish up and properly "advertise" this week's item, but here's some general info on it.

This week's prize is an upgraded Dart Tag Sharp Shot.  This is an excellent small blaster when modded and, in general, I like it's construction a lot.  While it's the weakest of the Dart Tag blasters in it's stock configuration, the upgrades I have made to it have it performing exceedingly well.  The seal on the O Ring is perfect enough that it will actually suck a Streamline dart into the blaster if there's one in it when it's primed!  Again, I apologize for not having more info on this right now.  I'll make another post showcasing the blaster early next week.

And the question to answer to be eligible to win is this:  What do you think of the direction the Dart Tag line has been taking with their new 2011 lineup.  Be it marketing, comparisons to the older Dart Tag blasters, or just general likes or dislikes about the blaster, I wanna hear what Nerf Nation has to say about Dart Tag half a year after it's latest release.  (and with a new Blaster on the way)

Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Improved Seal Technique

I've been doing light mods on Nerf Blasters for awhile now, but one of the performance upgrades that I've always had trouble with was improving the seal around the O Ring.  I've tried different types of Tapes, but the problem I run into is getting the right thickness around the plunger tube.  When I was working on sealing up electrical bits on a Laser Tag blaster, I brought out my Liquid E Tape (it paints on with a brush and dries in about 4 minutes) and had an idea.  Since the Liquid Tape can be applied evenly in coats, I thought I could make a good seal around the O Ring with it.  After testing it on a few blasters and figuring out how thick to get it, I've pretty much worked out the kinks in this idea.  

Liquid Tape can be purchased at most retailers and hardware stores.  Mine is "Performix" brand that I picked up at Wal-Mart.  They run a little over 4 bucks a bottle and underneath the cap is the paintbrush applicator.  It goes on pretty well.  All you have to do is remove your O Ring and apply it evenly around the end of the plunger tube.  Get the first coat as even as you can (if you can still see orange, it's too thin).  It'll take forever to dry if you use too much though, so don't put this on in gobs.  After 4 minutes, apply a second coat to finish it up.  The bottle says to let it dry for 4 hours for a permanent set.  After that, put your O Ring back on and add a little bit of silicone grease.  This should be a near-perfect seal for Reverse Plungered blasters.  It may require different thicknesses on other types of blasters.  

Liquid Electrical Tape can be removed relatively easily, so if you find you've applied too much, you can get it off after it has dried.  Don't try to take it off while it's still wet.  It makes an awful mess.  The one you see in the pictures was for my Longstrike Blur.  While the Stock Spring that I tried it out on was too weak for this perfect seal, the Orange Mod Works Stage 1 Kit for the Longstrike pushed through it just fine (and is quite powerful too!)  This version had 3 coats on it.  I'll be experimenting more with this Liquid Tape and if I find any other good uses for blaster modifications, I'll post 'em up here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Calm before the Storm

This picture is only what I have on hand.
The rest is stored at a friends house (about 2/3rds more)
On Black Friday, November 25th, I'll be taking part in an annual tradition with my friends and family.  While for some, this tradition is just another Nerf and Laser Tag game, for others, it's a chance to let out their failed shopping frustrations from the sales they missed that morning.  Either way you cut it, there's a lot of Foam Flinging and Laser Blasting that is always a highlight of our Thanksgiving break.  It used to just be laser tag games outdoors, but with weather not being so kind this time of year, we have since moved the event indoors and included Nerf in the event.  Last Year's event was held inside an indoor Laser Tag arena, which was awesome.  Unfortunately, they are now out of business, so we have since retired to using a Maze-like church that a few of our friends are members of.  Regardless of the venue, folks are already asking me "hey, can you reserve that yellow gun for me?" in which case, I bang my head against a door for a few minutes since there's too many yellow blasters in my armory to count.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eyes on UT!

Keep your eyes peeled, as sometime within the next 24 hours, Urban Taggers is set to reveal some more new equipment!  Remember when that slew of new info came out with the Speedswarm and Rayven?  They also caught wind of a new Super Soaker based off of the Thunderstorm with a removable stock that had EVERYONE talking.

Well, according to Urban Tagger's Facebook page, we'll be seeing a review of this soon!  Check out that Transparent shield mounted on their Praxis and the sturdy looking removable stock!
So hit that refresh button every hour or so on Urban Taggers!  I'm excited to see what they have to say... even if it's a Super Soaker!