Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Forgot to tell ya...

Not that it's relevant to Laser Tag, Nerf, or any of my hobbies, but enough folks have asked over the past couple months that I thought I'd clear things up.  After 2 years of dating, Laser Tagging, Nerfing, and general adventuring, I took a knee on an ice rink on December 30th, 2012.

When we first met, I was pretty bummed out because she had a boyfriend at the time.  Then, when she was single, I had a girlfriend.  Things lined up for us on January 1st, 2011 so just shy of our 2 year mark, I took her ice skating at a local rink, cleared the ice for the Zambonis, and took a shot at proposing.  My sister and brother-in-law took photos of the whole thing and I really couldn't have asked for things to go better!  Everything went to plan, including the "yes" part!

She's always been supportive of my hobbies, too and frequently gives me a run for my money at games.  On top of that, our families get along better than most best friends do, and family is very important to us.  It's been a no-brainer for awhile, but I just hadn't gotten around to popping the question until recently.

We don't have a date set yet, as I don't want to burden her with wedding planning whilst she completes her final semester of Grad School, but we're aiming for May-June of 2014.

I couldn't ask for a better companion to share life's adventures with!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Returning from the Back Seat

Able to haul my gear in ANY weather!
Admittedly, I haven't had very many updates this past week or so.  When I'm not planning Nerf games or modifying Laser Tag blasters, I'm usually busy with something else.  In this case, my car.  There's been a lot of snow here recently so I've been having fun running around in my Subaru with a new exhaust that we installed last week.  As a result, Tactical Tag took a bit of a back seat.  So it's time to open the door, stumble out, and get back to work!

Elite Longshot Ver 2.0
That being said, I've got two big projects that I want to finish up before the Month's end (this week)... but I've only really got time to devote to one of these.

The first is the Elite Longshot Ver 2.0.  It needs a paint job and, while I'm not sure it's warm enough to paint, I can at least plot out a design that I want to go with for it.  It wouldn't take me long, and if I can get some good weather, it could theoretically be done before month's end.
LTX EF5 - Laser Tag Recasing

Then there's my LTX EF5.  It's my laser tag sniper built from a Phoenix LTX and a Super Soaker Thunderstorm shell.  It needs a few final tweaks and a "finished product" video of it before I haul it out for a game scheduled for March 10th.  It wouldn't take me very long either.

So I'm letting YOU guys decide!  Do I finish the Elite Longshot Ver 2.0?  Or do I complete the long-overdue LTX EF5?  Cast your vote as a comment below!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Winter Wash

Who says you can't have fun washing cars?  With the unseasonally warm temperatures we had today, I thought it'd be a great chance to wash the car.  But with the hose all wrapped up for the winter, how was I to spray down our 2013 Subaru Outback?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Finishing the LTX EF5

What seems like ages ago, I started a project called the "LTX EF5".  LTX because, well, it's using guts from a Phoenix LTX laser tag blaster.  EF5 because of the shell it's using: a Tornado Strike from the Super Soaker lineup.  EF5 is the highest classification of a tornado, so I wanted to make this a high-performance blaster... and it certainly has turned out that way so far!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update! Elite Longshot Ver 2.0

I've had more than a few requests and questions about my latest Nerf project: the Elite Longshot Ver 2.0, so I thought I'd actually have YouTube updates on it's progress as well as my usual blog posting.  This is largely due to the overwhelming level of confusion that non-blog readers had when they first saw my Elite Longshot.  News of that blaster didn't really catch on until I posted my "Retaliator vs Elite Longshot" video, of which folks are still oblivious despite my efforts to respond to comments and put links in the video and description to help clear things up.  So, with the Elite Longshot Version 2.0, I'll be making it abundantly clear that I'm building it by showing the process as it unfolds.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rebelle: Did they need to?

You know, it seems like this new "Nerf: Rebelle" line has the right idea on the surface.  It's Hasbro's attempt at branching out it's Nerf lineup to girls.  I'm no sexist or anything like that, but believe me when I say that I really don't see a point to catering foam blasters to girls.  You can paint it pink, call it the "Heartbreaker", give it a cute app to use in a cradle they stole from TagFerret, but it just seems like an awful lot of work to create a whole new lineup that will essentially attract the girls who are already into Nerf and not much else outside of that.

When I see these blasters, I just think of the pink fishing rods, air rifles, and other "girl-themed guy-stuff" out there.  Have pink fishing rods led to an outbreak in girls taking up Pro Bass Fishing?  Nope.  Do Hello Kitty BB rifles make more women enlist in the army?  Not likely.  Girls that play with Nerf, Laser Tag, Paintball, Airsoft, or any other "male dominated" sports aren't easy to come by, but they do exist and I think they're just fine shooting normal non-Barbie colored weapons.

Let's flip the situation.  Instead of trying to make a "boys item" to be "girl themed", let's take a "girls item" and make it "boy themed".  For instance, high heel shoes.  Even if you were to have them clad in camouflage or play Metallica with every step, I don't know of too many guys who would attempt to don this kind of footwear.  Purses, well... most guys manage to play off a possible purse as a "Satchel" like Indiana Jones.

There are a LOT of products that bridge over that sexist line just fine.  Cars, phones, toothbrushes, they're all geared towards certain demographics, ages, and genders.  One could make the argument "Well why not bridge it with boy and girl styled blasters?"  This is likely where the Rebelle idea got started.  To me, it just doesn't need to be for all the reasons I've already pointed out in this rant.  Girls that typically want to shoot at things are already fine with it.  Making a product "for girls" that 'enables' them to play Nerf seems sexist already, as if the blasters and the game itself aren't fit for a girl to play unless it's pink and looks like a pop-star tatoo.

I might be wrong and the Rebelle lineup could explode into the Barbie aisle and be a big hit, but I don't think it really needs to.  The girls that are already playing will likely pick them up, but I don't expect this lineup to branch out to other girls who hadn't considered this before, which is the whole point of a lineup like this: to reach out to an audience you haven't tapped into yet.  Nerf already HAS tapped into this with their "boy" centered products thanks to badass girls that are cooler than their stereotypes.

Xplorer Coupon for Tactical Tag Fans!

Recently I've been doing product reviews for Xplorer Dart Blaster Developments.  It's been great working with them and I've enjoyed sharing their equipment with you guys!  They've given me a coupon to share with my viewers!  Watch the video below, get the coupon code, and go get some Xplorer gear!

Attack Pooch!

We had a great time last weekend with our indoor Nerf game and I thought I'd share some quick footage I nabbed from my iPod!  To the left is "Champ", our resident Attack Pooch.  He was a good sport about the whole thing!

I also managed to modify 4 Stryfes during the games (removed the safeties) so they'd work a little smoother for our players.  This venue we played at was pretty awesome since the home is mostly undecorated (easier to recover darts, not much stuff to break!) and the layout proved to make for some fun attack plans!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Phenomenon Wins the LTAR! Now go hide!

For the past 7 years I've been running Laser Tag games with the MLTA, "Phenomenon" has been right there helping out, shooting up n00bs, and been an excellent supporter of what we do.  Not only that, but he's a long-time friend of mine.  So when it was getting close to read through all the resolutions that readers submitted for the January contest and he told me he wanted to finally build a blaster instead of keep borrowing my friend's Phoenix LTX, it only made sense to award him with the LTAR for the contest.  I was very impressed with all your aspirations and goals for the new year, but I had to be a bit biased in this one, save myself the shipping costs, and award Phenomenon with the LTAR.  Hope that doesn't make anyone too upset!

For the next contest, you'll have to be sneaky.  Like, really sneaky.  Check the new contest rules up on the updated "Monthly Contest" tab above.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Supergame!

Before the 49ers and Ravens experienced a 35 minute power-outage at the Superbowl, I was having a day of Nerf and Laser Tag with a bunch of friends!  In the morning, we went to a friend's home and had an indoor Nerf Game for 3 hours.  That afternoon, we moved outdoors with another 3 hour game of Laser Tag.  Needless to say, it was an active day until the Superbowl started up at 5:30. Here's how it played out!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Project - Elite Longshot Ver 2.0

First Phase of the Elite Longshot Ver 2.0
If you follow the Tactical Tag Facebook Page, this will be old news for you.  For the rest of you, here's the scoop.  Last week I announced that I'd be sending my coveted Elite Longshot to Pocket at Urban Taggers to say "Thank You" for the great stuff he's sent me and for all the great support I've received from across the pond.  However, as the flagship of my Nerf arsenal, things seemed a little bland without it.  As a result, I have put plans in motion to start construction of a second blaster.

The Elite Longshot Ver 2.0 will share many aspects of the original.  It's still based off of a blue early-release Longshot CS-6 and will be firing normal Streamline or Elite darts.  However, enhancements for the Elite Longshot Ver 2.0 are built around accessories built by Xplorer Dart Blaster Developments.  At it's heart is a 14kg Spring that is commonly used in Xplorer's modified Longshots like the Trooper and Fighter versions.  Because it is too difficult to single-hand prime the Longshot with a spring setup like this, I'll be using the Xplorer Shotgun Grip to prime this blaster.

The Paintjob on the 2.0 will be similar to the original, which has made the rounds on the internet.  Obviously I'll have to get a little more creative with the design thanks to the addition of the shotgun pump, but I have a few ideas on how to make this look "legit" and continue the Elite Longshot's tradition of confusing uninformed and misguided YouTube aficionados.  I haven't decided yet if I will include the front gun attachment that I left out on the first one, but either way it should be a fun build!