Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, Everybody!

To those who celebrate it, Happy Halloween!  To those who don't, Happy Watch-people-dress-up-in-silly-outfits-ween!  We had our Halloween Laser Tag game last night from 5-9pm with our good ol' Laser Challenge gear.  Despite the cooler temperatures, we managed about 5 games in that time, which is pretty good considering it was LC gear (LTX games tend to go a lot faster).  Pictures will be up soon from that event.  In the meantime, a few pictures have been surfacing of my Captain America costume that I wore during the laser tag game, so here's one with me, a Female Captain America, and some Watchmen at a party held a few days ago.

More pictures later!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gear Up for Halloween

Amidst all my work with laser tag, Nerf, and just hobbies in general, I've accumulated quite a lot of stuff.  In an attempt to cut down on my Hobby Footprint, I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff.  I could've donated it to Goodwill or maybe make some $$$ on an eBay Auction, but for the GOOD stuff, I've decided to do a series of posts with prizes for those who contribute.  It's less of a cheap way for me to keep my loyal readers happy and more of a way for me to give back to the community.  You don't even have to be a subscriber, BUT if you are, you'll double your chances of being selected to win it.  Each week I'll have the prize and the conditions needed to win it.  I'll contact the winner and get shipping information from ya and send it out.  It's that easy!

This first giveaway was inspired by something neat that I found on a blog that a few of my subscribers watch:  Lasagna678.  There were a lot of awesome repaints, but the one that stuck out to me was the Gear Up Stampede.  While I was not officially a big fan of the Gear Up series, his work looked clean enough and accurate enough that, had I not known that it was a custom paint job, that it was legit.  I worried that a blaster that big would look silly with most of it being orange, but with the subtle details, it works nicely!

So, in the spirit of Halloween, this week's giveaway is my Gear Up Barricade!  To win, just post a comment about what you thought about the Gear Up series.  It can be anything like if you liked the extra disk that was included, how you felt about it's promotion of the Vortex series, if you were a fan of the orange paint job, maybe something about those black striped darts!  Just leave a comment and, by next Thursday, you'll be entered to win it.  Again, if you are a Follower, your name will be entered twice!

Good luck everyone!  Every Friday I'll be posting the winner of the previous week as well as the next prize up for grabs!

As an added bonus, the winner of this first giveaway will also recieve a Nerf-Brand Tactical Vest.  I attempted to give this away a few weeks ago, but I have not heard from the winner for it since I notified them, so it'll be included with this Barricade instead.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wrapping it all up... in Primary Colors

Stark did some nice work on this, eh?
As I move steps closer to finally completing my costume for Halloween this year, I thought I'd share a few more details I've worked out.  I just got done making better patches on each of the shoulders (and used a neat effect to give it that 1950s Magazine Catalog look on purpose).  I've also been using a Rivet gun to bolster a few parts of the jacket.  There are a few exposed rivet points, mainly on the red straps/buckles on the front.  It's been tricky trying to figure it out, but I like how they turned out.  Another point that'll likely get riveted to the jacket is the utility belt.

Testing the Rivets
Dying the Utility Belt
I purchased an OD Green WW2-era ammo belt and dyed it dark brown.  This is to mimic the look of the belt Captain America has, but his is leather .45 Cal ammo pouches, unlike my cotton-dyed ammo belt.  The belt will be mounted to the bottom of the jacket via 5mm Rivets (larger than the 3mm ones I've been using on the belts and straps).  The buckle will be painted Aluminum to look more like the actual belt buckle.  You can see the two tests I ran on these Rivets in Leather on this extra piece that I had from the brown straps I cut off of the original jacket.

I realized after building the pistol for this that Captain America uses a Colt .45 pistol in the movie, not the 9mm Beretta pistol I picked up for $6.  Still, I moved forward with the project and painted it with silver top and black bottom.  Looks pretty slick.  While I still wish it were a .45, this will work just fine. I'm quite pleased with how quickly something like this came together.

Other bits will be finished tonight.  The costume will make it's debut tomorrow at a party and again on Sunday for Laser Tag.  It's been really fun working on this, but it'll be nice to focus on my blasters again after this is all said and done.  I'll be finishing up Part 3 of that Recasing Tutorial, I promise!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Laser Tag Prop Pistol

So I've been focusing the past few days on something that's not quite so "Tactical", nor very "Tag"ish.  However, I DO have a laser tag game on Sunday that will be in costume and since my Captain America geddup is what I'm using, I thought it'd be fun to fill you all in.  But to keep you Taggers interested, here's a quick recasing I just built tonight to aide the Cap in taking down his enemies... as long as they're wearing a Laser Challenge sensor, that is!

The pistol is unique in the sense that nearly all of it's "Toy" features, like the recoil effect and the sound effects have been retained.  We did this by having both the toy gun sound board and the Laser Challenge Radar Extreme board run off the same power supply.  Both systems need 3 Volts to function, so it was a match made in ... well... my workshop.  To the left, you can see the Laser Challenge board getting prepped to install into the toy gun.  It actually rests on top of that battery box.

And here's the full layout of the blaster!  The trigger and reload button are wired into the LC board and function normally.  However, when they're pressed, they also activate their respective sounds via the sound board being wired into these buttons as well.  The only down side to using the toy blaster's sound effects is that I can't tell when I'm out of ammo.  But thanks to the fact that the board has 25 shots, it's unlikely that I'll run out as long as I reload frequently.  25 single round shots take a LONG time to burn through.

Below is a video showing how this guy works.  I'll be painting it tomorrow and using it as part of my equipment on Sunday for the Laser Tag game we're having, but I'll probably also use it as a prop for the costume even if it's not a laser tag event.

Captain America: 70% Complete

So today I went to my local Wal-Mart and picked up my copy of Captain America:  The First Avenger, on Blu-Ray/DVD in a familiar jacket and shield.  As I approached the cashier at the register, I told her "I feel like I shouldn't have to pay for something I was in."  We laughed and, alas, I was forced to pay for it.  Oh well!  The fact of the matter is that 70% of my costume is good to go!  Been working on details on the jacket and now am moving on to accessories and the pants.

Speaking of those darned pants, do you have any idea how tough it is to find a pair of blue sweatpants?  Not navy blue.  Just blue.  There's a serious drought in the stores I've been checking in my area for this and it's driving me nerts!  That, and trying to find accessories that match color is a bit tricky too when your color is dark brown.  If it were black, I'd have no problem!  Still, things are coming along.

Here's one of the changes I made to the jacket.  The maker had the straps in the front in brown leather, which is all wrong.  Those are supposed to be red to look like the stripes on the American flag!  So I got me some red suspenders and replaced them,  I used the same buckles on the jacket, just looped through them with the red straps which were wider than the brown ones.  I then integrated the red straps into the jacket's "belt" to secure them.

There have been other tweaks to details on this.  The jacket kind of smelled like a gas station attendant and had some metallic specs all over it.  After a good wipe down, vacuuming, and use of some diluted soap, I got it all spiffed up and good to go.  Next up is getting my accessories all together and the pants.  It'll make it's complete debut on Friday for a party before I take it out for laser tag on Sunday, so that should be a good indicator of how durable this costume really is.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Building a Hero

It's starting to come together!  Plans for parties, getting ready for the Halloween Laser Tag game on the 30th, and this costume of mine.  For the next week, I'll be making and receiving the finishing touches to my costume that'll debut at a party on the 28th, play laser tag the next Sunday, and perform in two different venues on All Hallows Eve.  I'm stoked!

The costume, if you missed it earlier, is Captain America, as seen in "The First Avenger" which hit the box office this past summer and will hit shelves in Blu Ray and DVD on October 25th.  It's probably my favorite superhero costume to date because it turns away from that "Men in Tights" look that Captain America (an most other superheroes) usually has and became much more practical and realistic.  It's more of a Biker suit than a superhero geddup and has a neat rugged and unpolished look to it that I dig.

Making the costume has been no easy feat.  Thanks to the help of a friend who knows a leatherworker, the jacket that the Cap dons will be arriving within the week (I've seen pictures and I'm really excited to see it).  The shield I just picked up at a local costume shop.  It looks the part and is nice and lightweight.  I messed with the straps on the inside a little so it fits in my hand easier.  The Helmet is being built from one of those kids "Hero" masks.  I'm giving it a bit of a facelift and making it a full helmet and cutting down a lot of the useless plastic and rubber inside the mask to make it fit better.  We'll see how that turns out... so far it's been a little tricky.

The next big battle? Trying to figure out what system to go with for this Halloween Laser Tag game.  Originally I had announced it as an LTX/LTTO game so that we wouldn't have to worry about vests interfering with costumes/getting covered up  by said costumes, but after a talk with one of my veterans, I'm considering going old school with Laser Challenge.  We've got exactly a week to figure that one out.  I'll post more progress as the costume and game details come together throughout the week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flinging with Flywheels

With the CS-18 Rayven in Nerf News and more talk about Flywheel blasters, I've heard a few complaints about the lack of mods you can do for Flywheel-based designs.  On the other side of things, the only mod you can really do is a voltage mod, but Nerfers are used to dealing with Air Restrictors, better springs and other physical mods.  Instead of becoming an electrician overnight, here's an easy way to get a little more "oomph" out of your flywheel blasters without breaking the bank.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It eats LTXs for Breakfast

I've been given the green light by "German", one of our players with a knack for electronics, to fill you all in on a breakthrough for custom laser tag blasters.  By utilizing an Arduino to run the system, we are on track to successfully make a board that is compatible with LTTO and LTX blasters.  As if that news wasn't good enough for you, the prototype's platform is a Nerf Longstrike shell!

These are pictures of an in-development, Arduino-run, blaster that can successfully land tags on LTXs in any Team Mode and LTTO blasters.  We were only able to test it in Solo Mode with LTTO for the time being since sensors have not been completed for this blaster yet.  Everything about the LTX and LTTO blasters can be replicated or altered, giving us complete control over the blaster's features.  Once the sensors are completed and a sound card is installed, this blaster's software will allow it to have whatever settings we can think of.  From custom sound effects to firing rate, everything can be adjusted.

Currently, the blaster is hitting as fast as an LTTO Blaster or LTX can recieve hits.  A 2 second duration pull on the trigger leaves either blaster with their hits completely depleted (once they catch up with themselves registering all those hits!).  Obviously with the ability to set anything, we could easily create what most would call a "God Gun", but that is far from our intent.  At the core of this development is the goal to develop unique blasters in custom shells that have adjustable settings.  However, with the ability to annihilate anyone on site, we now also have an "Admin Mode" protocol.  If someone is cheating (ie hiding their blaster behind something or covering their sensor), an administrator could swtich to "Admin Mode" and after a quick burst of IR death, could take that user out of the game.  Obviously those entrusted with the Admin Mode would only be using this in situations that called for it's usage and wouldn't abuse it's power and go on a killing spree.

Still, this is exciting for development of future blasters for our group.  This is the same system that we built Laser Challenge compatible blasters for, which means that anything we build with the Arduino at it's core can be set to be used for either system.  We will explore other possibilities to replicate the features of other laser tag systems in the future, but since the OLCA mainly uses LC and LT systems, we're set for now.

I'll keep you posted on further work of the sensor system and of the Arduino's continued development with our group.  These are NOT being produced for sale or production of any sort.  It's simply our way of building two taggers in one so we can use one blaster for the various systems we use instead of having to make a custom blaster for each one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Terra Nova Blasters

The most expensive show on television uses Nerf blasters as props.  We've already seen the Nerf Recon and Nite Finder used in the first couple episodes.  Now a fan favorite, the Longshot, has found it's way into things looking... for the most part... stock.

At least they took the time to make the Nite Finder and Recon blasters that have been featured look like they were worked on.  The Longshot  has almost no major aesthetic mods from what I can tell.

i09 has this to say about the matter:
Looks like they burnt all their money on dinosaurs and eyeliner for the sixers. The leftover money was spent spray painting these $40 Nerf guns. Oof.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Man, what a lost opportunity!  Not only did I get to the Webinar late held by Orange Mod Works, but the last 30 minutes that I WAS able to catch was ruined by folks asking the same questions and spammers making the moderators shut down the chat a few times.

Anyone who can answer this question for me is getting a free Nerf-brand Tactical Vest from ME.  I'm still trying to find a priming solution for my Longstrike with the OMW Stage 1 Kit in it.  The blaster shoots REALLY far, but the priming handle keeps popping off because the bolt sled on the inside of the blaster is too weak and is warping as I prime it.

Would a Massacre polycarbonate bolt sled in that kit solve this issue?  Or do I have to wait for the Stage 2 kit for the Longstrike to get the better bolt sled?

OMW Webinar Tonight!

Have you registered for it yet? The Orange Mod Works Webinar is tonight at 7pm Central Standard Time. Seriously... what better things do you have to do on a Tuesday Night than talk with the creators of some of the best mod kits for N-Strike yet? The answer is: you don't (or shouldn't!)

This is your last chance to register if you want to attend. Visit the link below:
The link to the conference room will be sent out to all registrants approximately 2 hours prior to the start of the webinar. Make sure you add to your to your email whitelist to ensure that their emails don't end up in your spam box inadvertently.

They'll also be announcing the winners of their mod contest at the Webinar too, so if you entered that, you might want to be around to hear your name announced in digital glory.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Arduino to the Rescue

Off and on I've mentioned "Arduinos" around here in terms of their usage for making laser tag stuff... mainly blasters.  While it's true that, at the heart of the Pulse Rifle project lies an Arduino that would likely run the blaster to use whatever system we can manage to program it with.  We have had success in building an Arduino-toting laser tag blaster and further testing has revealed the simple power that we have as long as we have the information to replicate the features of the Laser Tag systems that we're using.  By hooking an Arduino up to a computer, we can program it to do whatever we want, which means complete freedom to specify ALL the settings of a blaster.  They come in varying sizes too, so it's relatively simple to get what you need to fit into the right size blaster.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Tagging

If there's one thing that my laser tagging group, the OLCA, doesn't do much of, it's themed games.  Role Playing doesn't find it's way into our games much since we usually just try to play the game and have fun with it.  I have a few friends who are into LARP (Live Action Role Play) who have approached me about doing themed games, and while the concept is neat, I've yet to really try it out for fear that it wouldn't fly well with some of our players who just come out to enjoy the game.  I think at some point I might actually try a LARP game, but so far we've yet to do one.  The Middle Georgia League (MGL) has been known for their LARP games, especially their themed Halloween and Christmas games, but they're not very public about it.

The closest we have come have been a few Halloween games that have occurred in recent years.  As an active student at my University, I've been approached by several student groups to lead laser tag games on campus that have been a BLAST to organize and play.  Some of those games are for parties, like for Halloween, and the clash of Costumes and Combat was really fun for me to be a part of.  Last year, for instance, I used some of my tactical gear, put some "GI Joe" patches on my rig, and went as GI Joe.  It was pretty fun and, with Halloween around the corner again, I couldn't help but think what I could do to step up from last year.

Several of my friends are into costuming.  You may have seen some shots of our resident Stormtrooper playing laser tag with us in our park or caught a glimpse of a guy wearing a Bandanna a la Snake from the Metal Gear series.  So this year, I'm holding a Halloween Laser Tagging event for the OLCA with costumes required and I'm working up something that I think will be a big hit:  Captain America.  It's been fun to start work on this costume trying to track down parts to use to replicate his geddup as closely as possible.  I may even try to use left over parts from my M41A Pulse Rifle, which is based off of a Thomson M1A1 Airsoft gun, to build a quick laser tag Thompson (a WWII era machinegun that was even seen used in the film).  Not sure if I'll go with a shield when I play laser tag in costume, but I think it's probably a good idea to have the iconic shield if I'm going as Captain America.  Especially since I'm thinking of doing away with the helmet/mask.

I'm excited just to get the costume itself together, let alone to play games in it.  I'm hosting a game with the University's Choir for their annual Halloween Party on Saturday, October 29th and then holding the OLCA's Halloween Laser Tag Game the following Sunday.  Not to mention, using the costume on Halloween itself when I have two gigs in the local music scene here in town.  I'll post pictures when it's done, with appropriate laser tag blasters to go with it too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reshelling Tutorial, Part 2

The second installment of my tutorial series on reshelling a laser tag blaster into a different home.  I use a Laser Challenge Team Force 2000 blaster and a Nerf Nite Finder EX-3 for the example.  The techniques I use can be applied to any blaster or system you want to do this with.

See Part 1 in my previous blog post > here <

Saturday, October 8, 2011

N-Strike vs Vortex Game

On September 17th, I held a Vortex vs N-Strike game at our college campus with a few friends and permission from the building manager.  We split up 5-player teams, each outfitted with their respective blasters.  On the Vortex Side, we had a Nitron, two Vigilons, two Protons, and a Praxis with 70 disks on their side.  The N-Strike side had a few more options to choose from, but mainly used Clip-System blasters like the Raider, Longstrike, and Longshot.  They had access to 70 Streamline Darts.  The limited number of ammo on each side to split up between 5 players caused an interesting change of tactics.  Most N-Strike players who were planning on high-capacity magazines to use couldn't do so.  For instance: when a 35 Round drum was being used, it pretty much axed half of the ammo that the other 4 could use.  This meant that the high RoF of some of the N-Strike blasters was lessened since conservation of ammo was an important key in these games.  We held 10 minute games and we played with 1-hit kills.  When you were out, you'd return to your "spawn point" and mark a tally sheet.  The team with the least amount of tallies at the end of the round would be the winner.  Ammunition could be picked up regardless of whether you were out or not.

In the beginning games, the Vortex Team made use of their longer range to keep the N-Strike Team at bay while advancing and pushing them into a corner of the building, suppressing them for much of the match.  It got them the first win of the evening of what would end up being a pretty close set of matches to come.  Ironically enough, in the last match, the Vortex Team found themselves pinned up against the N-Strike Team who managed to get an early lead.  There weren't many blaster malfunctions either, though my Praxis got really badly jammed near the end of one of the matches.

As we played  through the matches, we swapped sides and blasters several times so each person could check out all the blasters.  Some of them were seasoned veterans while others had hardly handled a blaster in their life.  It was a good mix though and we had a lot of fun with this matchup of Disks versus Darts.  The ammunition factor helped balance things as when one side would run out of darts, they would be forced to stop their attack to retrieve their ammo.  This allowed the other side to advance from their position.  However, with 10 minute matches, it meant that the team with the best start generally ended up winning overall.  In the time it would take the other team to recover and regroup, there simply wasn't enough time left in the match to regain control.

We DID see a big difference between stock and modded N-Strike blasters though.  Unless they belonged to me and one other guy, the rest of the N-Strike blasters were stock.  They got pretty dismal ranges compared to the Vortex stuff.  However, even lightly modded N-Strike gear held up against Vortex a bit better.  I had performed Torsion Spring mods to all the Vortex gear except the Nitron, which obviously wouldn't work.

Gold Team FTW!
We made it a FULL night of Tagging with Nerf, so I busted out my LTXs and we had indoor laser tag in the building too.  We started with N-Strike vs Vortex and then about 2 hours in switched to the LTXs for some longer-ranged battles.  Both were pretty fun and I polled our players what they liked better.  It was pretty split.  While folks liked the projectile-nature of Nerf, they also enjoyed the precision and range of Laser Tag.  Some folks liked the Vortex's range, others preffered the speed of N-Strike.  Some folks liked to sit and wait out their enemies while others charged in with their Shields up to frap the hell out of the other side, engulfing them in a satisfying bath of Infrared death!

All in all, it was an awesome evening and we're planning on holding another one soon!  To view more photos of the Nerf War, check out my Flickr Account set.

Possibilities for Rayven

While it's only an unconfirmed blaster until proven otherwise to me, the prospect of the Rayven CS-18 is attractive as a possible candidate for another LTX reshelling. I'll be following progress on all these new blaster announcements, but expect a close eye to be kept on the Rayven.  The only thing that I'm trying to figure out now is what blaster to recase into it with only 4AA batteries in the blaster.  Maybe I can figure out a higher voltage solution with some Trust Fires to get it up to 9 to be used for an LTX?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reshelling Tutorial, Part 1

So I thought I'd make things easier for budding young modders who are interested in reshelling or recasing their laser tag systems into fancy new homes.  In this series of YouTube videos, I will take you along the step-by-step process of reshelling using a Laser Challenge Team Force 2000 Pistol and a Nerf Nite Finder EX-3.  The methods used to perform this can easily be applied to any other system or blaster, so it's my hope that folks can figure out how to make their own by using the techniques I showcase in these tutorial videos.

Here's the first installment!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Light Strike: My stand on it

I seem to be on a roll with answering off-topic comments in a blog post!  schrublycan asked me what I thought of the latest laser tag system popping up on store shelves.  I could only assume that he meant "Light Strike" by Wowee toys  It's been awhile since I ranted about this system and it's been out for awhile.  So, in a "final nail in the coffin" post for this system, I present to you:  Bazookafied's stand on Light Strike

I've been pretty hard on Light Strike since I first heard about it early in 2011.  When I first saw this video, it pretty much set a bad taste in my mouth.  The claims in the video are just radical.  "It's the first interactive game to bring Video Games in to the real world, live, and in color"... laser tag has been doing that for ages, so Light Strike certainly isn't the first. The options that they boast with the "Super Ammo" that's in the machine gun bipod, or the Scope that gets you up to 100 feet don't sell for me either.  Most laser tag systems can outshoot their sniper scope in their normal format.  Granted, this system is designed for indoor use anyways, but now it means that outdoor games with this gear are out of the question.  It's a steep price for this gear that's only geared towards indoor games.  The bulk of my laser tagging is outdoors, so while I am biased in my dislike of an indoor-only game, I can just as easily use my equipment indoors too.

Aside from those issues, my biggest complaint about this system has been it's overall design.  I'm a big fan of aesthetics and none of these blasters do it for me with their "Paper Jamz" designs and comic book graphics.  I just can't warrant using a blaster that looks THAT awful and cheap.  On top of that, they're gimmick laden with all sorts of flashy abilities that, from what I've heard, get in the way of the game.  Gameplay itself doesn't even seem to warrant much more than "Shoot!" with this system anyways, as the scoring system/objectives are lost on me.  The features seem like they're there for the sake of having options instead of actually enhancing gameplay and strategy.

If you think I'm being harsh to the new kid on the block, take a look at Light Strike in your own stores.  If your retailers shelves are anything like mine, you'll see the Strikers, Assault Strikers, Sensors, Targets, and accessories in the same spot you did 3 weeks ago collecting dust.  Heck, this system hit shelves around me in July.  3 months later, I've noted minimal stock changes of these products on the shelves.  Not even when it initially hit store shelves did I see signs that anyone had picked one up.  While I doubt that Light Strike hasn't been well received due to folks reading up on it and not liking what they've read on the interwebs, this overpriced system is taking up shelf space that I, personally, think would be better served for the LTX or for more Nerf blasters.

I had originally planned to pick one up myself and do testing on it, but seeing the prices remain high, reading the unfavorable reviews, and seeing that no-one else has really ventured into this system, I don't think I need to subject myself to getting these Paper Jamz blasters.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MilSim Laser Tag

I've gotten this question enough times to warrant doing a full-on post about this.  It just so happens that mchlmacdonald mentioned it in a comment and I decided to answer it with a new post.

Part of what this blog is really about is the tactical side of the blasters I love to mod.  Be it Nerf or Laser Tag Blasters, I do tend to sway in a MilSim-ish fashion.  Hence:  Tactical Tag.  While I understand why many hardcore MilSim folks go with Airsoft, I think Laser Tag can be an excellent compromise that can be just as fulfilling and exciting without running into legal issues/pissing off the locals.  The main dividing points between Airsoft/Paintball and Laser Tag that I recognize are as such:


  • Uses projectile-based rounds to land hits you can actually feel
  • Utilize physical ammunition that needs to be carried into combat
  • Have limited engagement ranges (~100 Feet)
  • Have much more realistic designs and features
  • Needs to be played somewhere that it is allowed/legal
Laser Tag
  • Uses Infrared Light to land hits on a sensor
  • Utilize electronic features to track scoring, ammo, etc
  • Have line-of-sight ranges of at least 300 feet (most can exceed this quite easily)
  • Have less realistic designs (unless you build your own)
  • Can be played anywhere
To me, one of the main elements of Military Simulation is "dressing up".  Donning full Digital Woodland Camouflage, wearing a load-bearing system of some sort to carry equipment with you, and going full-on "tacti-cool" with radios and other gadgets enhance the game to make it seem more like the real deal.  Really, you can accomplish this with just about any shooting-type game, be it Nerf, Laser Tag, Paintball, or Airsoft. You just need the proper equipment.  After that, it's about the game you're playing, the system you're using, to flesh things out.  

That being said, for mchlmacdonald's Airsoft Dilemma, I think the LTX system would be an excellent, cost-efficient, way to get into a MilSim style of play without breaking the bank.  While there are more MilSim-ish systems out there like FragTag, MilesTag, and others, the LTX would serve you just fine.  The features on the LTX like the recoil hammer, rumble pack, and reloading system harken to a MilSim style of play VERY well.  With a little tinkering/modification, you can easily make an LTX Blaster something that you'd want to field for that type of setting.  Ranges for Laser Tag work excellent for MilSim, since it's line of sight shooting instead of lobbing plastic pellets 100 feet.  With a little paint, your Shiny Blue Phoenix LTX can be a neat MilSim-esque blaster and there's simple enough mods you can make to get them to use real Red Dot sights, scopes, and Tac Lights.  One Source Laser Tag (1SLT) even has adapter rails for the LTX to use Weaver-rail accessories.  They're also the same guys who will be releasing the new accessories for the LTX: the RapidBlast and SniperShot I mentioned earlier, so just an all-around good store to keep your eye on.

That's my lowdown on Tactical-ness of Laser Tag and how it can easily be as MilSim as you want.