Thursday, April 21, 2011

Laser Tag Recasings

I've been recieving a lot of positive feedback regarding the work I've done on recasing laser tag blasters and thought I'd share what has been done by myself and a few others in the group I'm with (OLCA).

Early Laser Challenge Recasings
I did my first recasing utilizing a Namco GUNCON and a Laser Challenge Team Force 2000 pistol.   I got the idea from the Middle Georgia League's Guncon Conversions.  It took me awhile to get it working right since I had never attempted something like this before.  Eventually I got all the bugs worked out of it and christened it the "NPC-103A".
A few more would follow this (CQB PistolP99G2, Super Cobra) and follow a similar development.  All of these early recasings utilized Laser Challenge systems, since it's what the group I tag with uses.  Guncons had proved to serve as good candidates for these as they were already designed to house electronics.  However, as I used these in games, I found myself wanting something with a little more heft.

Using Nerf Shells: I managed to find a broken Nerf Longshot at a garage sale and decided to see if I could make it work for laser tag.  Although not designed for electronics, I made use of the moving parts inside the blaster like the trigger and bolt mechanism.  After a few weeks of development and paintjob changes, I got it running and used it as a battle rifle in our games.  I intentionally gave it a paintjob and name similar to that of the M41A Pulse Rifle (made famous in the film Aliens), the M42B Scope Rifle II.
This blaster paved the way for a long line of recasings utilizing Nerf Shells.  The M43A-2 Super Sentry, Longstrike Carbine, Scout Auto Pistol, V2 Firefly, and RE-CON Mk III are all examples of blasters developed using this technique.  Because there is an abundance of pistol designs for stock Laser Challenge blasters, many of these weapons are larger rifle-style blasters to make up for this.

Integration Projects
After being introduced to Airsoft, I thought of a way to integrate a laser tag system into an AEG.  I caved and picked up a conversion kit for a Pulse Rifle for a M1A1 Thompson Submachine gun.  Utilizing the main barrel for Airsoft, like the kit was designed to, and the empty space in the Grenade Launcher housing to store the Laser Tag components, I set out to build the first Dual-Purpose blaster.  Using a toggle switch on the main battery, I could switch the weapon from Airsoft mode to Laser Tag mode easily.  The weapon has been under development since fall of 2009 and has seen a few changes and upgrades, but this idea paved the way for integrating Nerf and Laser Tag.  Since being exposed to so many Nerf Blasters, we started to mess around with ones that were working.  After visiting sites like SG Nerf, NerfHaven, and other popular websites with modifications, we started to have Nerf games as well as Laser Tag games.  However, our modification skills wanted to combine these two elements.  The first attempt at this was the M42I "Durango".  The Longshot components in it remained the same (with upgrades of course) but in the space that is traditionally reserved for the folding bipod, we used a Longshot Front Gun Integration to our advantage.  We installed Laser Challenge Radar Extreme internals into this space and wired necessary components throughout the blaster.  Much like the Pulse Rifle, the top barrel is the blaster's original firing method and the bottom barrel is the lens for laser tag.  There are other projects lined up that include this dual-purpose feature for a Longstrike and a Stampede.  The "Amped" Stampede will serve as the platform for this kind of project.

For more information on my Recasings, check out THIS blog post.

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