Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crispy's Firing line: Upcoming Blasters


Hey Squaddies, hope you are all doing well. This blog post will be the first of several 'rant' type posts I will be putting out over an uncertain amount of time.

These rants are just coming from my thought process, so please add in any of your own opinions, I would love to have a good discussion about these topics.

First up, is the upcoming Rhino-Fire.
Image courtesy of BlasterLabs.

First of all, I think this thing is just ridiculous. Seriously Hasbro, I mean where do I start? The ammo drums, cool that's high capacity, but get it in a single drum. What happens when you load a drum or clip in with a smaller capacity? You just sit there and spin flywheels for no reason? Next, this thing is going to be awkward to hold, it will be like the Hail Fire again, no ability to aim unless you are on your belly. Third major issue, moving barrels? Why? What is the point? Is it just for the looks, because I just see it as something else to drain away the batteries. Early footage of a firing demo show it being very much Full-Auto, but that could change for production costs.

For modders, apart from new motors and batteries, what options do you have? Sure you can make a remote turrent, but I feel that may not be worth it.

Then there is the price, and limited quantities. For something that will retail for $100USD, I don't see where that comes from. Sure, we get 2 drums and 4 motors, some plastic and a little rubber and 50 darts, then it will be nearly another $20 before we can play with the damn thing on 6 D batteries.

Anyway, will be avaliable in Walmart in the States, no international seller at this point. You want one, have a good friend in the US. Let me know your thoughts.

Next up, is the Cam ECS-12

The second most expensive Blaster to be released this year, thanks to an overpriced, yet crap camera gimmick.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are things I like about this blaster, and others I hate. For example, I love the shell, it just looks awesome. But that's all.

The camera is terrible, reminds me of my first camera phone all those years ago. Sure, Nerf says it is to keep costs to a minimum, but they could do better. Yes, they throw in a memory card, but it isn't much good either.

The final two points I want to make are, IT'S STILL SEMI - AUTO! It's almost as if Hasbro want us to buy the updated Rapidstrike instead. Which in all likelihood will probably happen. Then, a 12 round clip. A 12 round clip should be the absolute minimum to include with a blaster. For something which may be meant to replace the Rapidstrike, it should have an 18 round.

Gimme the RS any day.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the article here. If you have anything you want to tell us, do it!

Next up, will probably be about re-shells and repaints. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Crispy's Absence


Hey everyone, sorry for my extended absence from the blog. Life has been pretty busy.

As it is, I have managed to get my hands on 2 blue Longshots, which have not been imported ( the sellers would have wanted more than $10!)

One has an OMW Immortal kit, which equals my yellow version, and the second has the basic internal mods, along with my first integration of the front gun. I am not very good with aesthetic mods, but I am quite happy with how this turned out.

Total internal view.

I could not find a front gun trigger option that I was happy with, so I came up with my own. So far it holds up quite well. The front gun has the stock spring, and a cut down Retaliator spring. Shoots only 2-5 metres less than the LS with a 5kg spring!

Here you can see how i set up my trigger, and the spring layout.   

Oh yeah, one more thing! Who is familiar with the 1995 Nerf Crossbow? Looks a little like this:

Fully assembled.

Old-school box art.

Well, I actually have 2 incoming as you read this. One comes from Singapore which includes 2 arrows, and 10 darts. These are purely for collective purposes, although I will give you Squaddies a full and comprehensive review.

Keep your eyes peeled, I will have one great video review of the Crossbow up soon, but in the mean time, I will get some other stuff up soon.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

[S.O.F.T] New Darts / Upcoming Guides

[Alex] Hey Squaddies! This is just a quick update on what's been happening with me:

Today I got my hands on some of the new Elite Suction Tip Darts. I've heard rave reviews about how much better they are than regular Elite "streamline" style darts.

After trying them out in a few different types of blasters, I have to say that the Elite Suctions do fly straighter and more reliably than the older Elite Streamlines. But due to the windy conditions I couldn't get a good gauge on range difference.

However, I also found that they didn't always like *some* of my modded blasters (Rayven, Brass Breech Longshot) but *loved* my Rough Cut, Sidestrike and Crossfire Bow (all of which were modded with 7kg OMW springs and reinforced).

I use Xplorer Xtips as my main modified dart, and that still seems to take the cake for my main modified blasters.

But overall, for un-modded or lightly modded blasters, the Elite Suctions do perform better than the Elite Streamlines. Only draw back is the price - can be a bit expensive trying to buy in bulk...

On that note, I'm awaiting some of these so-called "koosh" tipped darts (not made by Hasbro), and also get some Elite Suctions (that may NOT be genuine Hasbro ones), but will be interesting to compare quality / performance :P


In other news: I've got in the works a Rough Cut mod video on what I did to reinforce some key areas that are prone to breakage - stock or modified! (This pic below may make it a bit obvious though :P)

Also, Tom recently acquired a Zombie Strike Ripshot Vortex blaster for his birthday. He had some problems with it, so I gutted it, took out about 3 locks and a spring, and added a rubber band... why the rubber band you may ask? Well, the written / photo guide about it will be up in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled! :D

Sunday, April 27, 2014

[S.O.F.T] Mini Review: SlyDev / BlasterParts V2 Hammer for the Nerf Hammershot

[Alex] Hey all :) time for a mini-review!

Tom and I finally indulged in some modding goodness of the Zombie Strike Hammershots. Tom being a fan of fan-firing, wanted a way to make it easier (and less painful :x) so we gave the SlyDev / BlasterParts cocking hammer replacement parts a go!

Check the vid for more info - enjoy! (And as always; comment here or on Facebook if you have any questions and/or suggestions :P)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[Update] Alex's Modding Corner Update

[Alex] Hey Squaddies. Today I thought I'd do a bit of a recap on what I've been up to lately.

Last fortnight I was on break from work, and I took some time to do some modding. Here's the short list:

 - Basic mods on Tom's Hammershot
 - Basic mods on Tom's Heartbreaker bow
 - Basic mods to my MEGA Magnus
 - Fixed / reinforced my modded Zombiestrike Sidestrike
 - Started work on my "Longunov MK II" (A Longshot / Longstrike shell merger, Longshot internals)
 - Built a Nerf Tactical Shield / Barrier (pics near the end)
 - Bought my own Hammershot and did Basic mods (plus a little extra, at the end)

A quick run down on Tom's blasters:

Tom had a U.S spec Hammershot with a strong spring. I added a bit of plastic to compress the spring for some extra oomph. Removing the air restrictor now means the cocking hammer SNAPS back into place when fired without slowing down, meaning maximum firing potential and more reliable priming / "fanning" slam-fire. It feels MUCH more comfortable and "beefy" to use. I also added a small O-ring in front of the barrel cylinder to improve the plunger tube air seal.

The Heartbreaker bow out of the box was a bit average, but after adding an extra spring, removing the air restrictor and inserting some 17/32" brass barrel, it now packs a punch. It's not *amazing* firepower, but for the Nerf Wars that we play at it will certainly be able to keep up...besides, who DOESN'T like using a bow? :P

The Magnus is by far the superior MEGA blaster compared to the Centurion. Very little goes wrong and has much more consistent firepower. But I find the MEGA darts tend to stray off to the sides a bit too much. I added some weight from cut down inf0rm3r .50cal dart tip stems and inserted them inside the MEGA dart heads through the whistler holes. Then in the Magnus I removed all the safety locks and added a stock Stampede spring. Now not only does the Magnus pack a punch, but with much better reliability and accuracy too!

The Zombiestrike Sidestrike is a great alternative to the Firestrike / Nitefinder, and mine has been modded with an OMW 7kg Strongarm spring and a brass barrel inserted. But there is a weakness in the priming handle; the metal bar that pushes the plunger rod back tends to snap off according to other users on forums / modding Facebook pages. Upon inspecting mine, it had *started* to break, so I caught it just in time. I reinforced the metal bar mounts with epoxy putty, I inserted a second rod next to it and braced the two together with some plastic. I then put more putty into the plunger rod to reinforce that. If you own or plan on getting a Sidestrike - you SHOULD / MUST reinforce it because even with the stock spring it has a tendency to break ):

I will discuss more about my Longunov MK II project another time when it is completed and I have some pics to show for it, but for now know this: my original Longunov I made was my first major modding project and has lasted me for as long as I have Nerf'ed, and has won me many battles :P however it is a bit worn and my "newbie" job is showing its age. Time for a refreshed, "cleaner" look with some performance upgrades ;)

If you have read this far without skipping - thank you, and I hope you enjoyed the modding reading :) and if you are a modder yourself I hope this info helps, and feel free to ask in a comment here / message me on Facebook if you want to know more about the above mods I did :)

Now... onto the main project I undertook during my holidays: the Nerf Tactical Riot Shield / Barrier!

The idea behind why I made this shield is to combat the growing presence of semi-auto blasters (Stryfe, Rayven) and full-auto blasters (Rapidstrike in particular).

In our local Nerf group we have had shields before with decent success, but nothing "large" size. We have put in restrictions on using larger shields, but no one in our group has actually bought or made one - until now.

But not only did I want to make something to test the larger shield waters, but I wanted to take it a step further...

Made out of a plastic sheet base from a pet cage, this has been reinforced with tripod leg sections to keep it rigid and to attach a gutted tripod to it. Now I am able to carry it as a shield *and* deploy it as a barrier!

The shield itself is quite large, using Nerf streamline tips to cover the ends of the bolts (both sides) and the streamline dart foam around the edges for safety. I'm thinking of putting something like a Nerf logo or name tag on the front... all that black empty space needs filling methinks :P

I also put two tactical rails from a Vulcan barrel onto either side of the perspex visor - currently I am using two Barrel Break dart holders, but I plan on getting some SlyDev thick dart holders and clip/mag holders instead :P This way when used in barrier mode, it can act as a miniature reloading station for myself or team mates (or lucky enemies who get to it xD)

Last on my Mods list is my new Hammershot I got today. At first I wasn't a huge fan of the Hammershot, preferring the Strongarm overall. But after modding Tom's and seeing not just the performance improvement but also the increased comfort of using it, I simply had to have one - and will work well with the shield to boot :P

But unlike Tom's which was a U.S spec one, mine was a weaker Aussie one. After doing all the same mods I did to Tom's, mine was still a little lackluster in range, and it wasn't accepting my custom full-length Xplorer Xtip darts which work well in medium level modded blasters. So I went a step further and copied something similar to what I did to my Zombiestrike Crossfire Bow...

I added some 17/32" brass about 1/2cm long into the front of the barrels. I've heard people have little to no success doing *full* brass barrel inserts into Spectres / Strongarms, but in this case I've found it has worked very well. It now accepts my custom Xtip darts, it gets increased range and accuracy and now holds up against my OMW Strongarm very well :P

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and keep your eyes peeled for the Crossfire Bow review and mod guide coming soon! Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

S.O.F.T News Recap & Opinion: ZS Slingfire and MEGA Thunderbow

[Alex] Hello Squaddies! There is a lot of buzz going on at the moment with the two latest Nerf Blaster announcements; the Zombie Strike Slingfire and the MEGA Thunderbow.

First on my "to-chat-about" list is the Sling Fire. Some of you may remember ages ago back in July 2013, when the first rumors of a Zombie Strike Winchester style were floating about, I did a mock-up of what I thought it could look like:

 Then a few days ago Nerf come out with the Slingfire:

And then my face looked something like this for several hours:

Before I spout out fan-boy drivel though, there are a few downsides to the Slingfire I should get out of the way first:

- The barrel is stupidly short.
- The cloth wrap under the barrel makes me think at one point the proper, bigger barrel was cut off katana style, and someone duct taped whatever they had lying around. It looks out of place...
- The lever-action priming ring looks flimsy where it connects to the blaster
- Is it just me, or does the trigger and barrel look unusually pink-ish?
- I fear that the shoulder stock may be on the short side too - hard to tell from that angle.
- Just being picky; the barrel looks like it has some dirt in it, and the jam door is open a bit...

Now onto the things that I DO like (is "love" too strong a word here?) about the Slingfire:

+ The lever-action ring *looks* nice and big and round, unlike the Buzzbee Rapidfire Tek...
+ The trigger is a nice, believable shape and should work well with the lever-action.
+ It looks really slim, maybe thinner than a Recon or Stryfe even
+ Dat shoulder stock :F
+ Clip System = easy reloading system we all know and love.

I'm a *tiny bit* disappointed that they didn't try a dart-tube barrel loading / feeding system, but I think it would have compromised ease of use, made the barrel stupidly long (instead of stupidly short...) or would have had Failturion mechanism issues. So I feel that the Clip System is a logical choice here.

I'm going to take a punt on it being direct plunger. Many are worried that the design screams reverse plunger, but to me it looks like there is a lot of room between where the trigger is and where the magazine sits. I'm thinking Rough Cut style cogs and plunger tube system...

Now the last thing on my mind about the Slingfire... the Hollywood  "spin / flip cock" priming and firing. Just like Arnie from Terminator 2, the truck chase scene, and John Wayne from True Grit, the "one eyed fat man" final fight scene:


It is doubtful that it would work; the force required to prime the spring, plus the lever-action loop may not be big or strong enough to do so.....but I'll be damned if I don't give it a try though!! :P


Now, onto the latest announcement: the Nerf MEGA Thunderbow:

Pic from MyLastDart / Mania

Now, unlike the Slingfire, this... thing... made my face look more like this:


This time, I'll start off with the positives:

+ Looks like proper bow action firing via the top bow arm (the round bit where it meets the mid section)

+ Being able to hold five darts without reloading after each shot is nice on a bow-esque blaster
+ First front loading, non-magazine based MEGA blaster
+ First MEGA bow blaster
+ The middle bit looks awesome.

Now onto the Nope.avi's:

- The bow arms look REALLY out of place, doesn't match the mid section
- The size of it looks big... almost stupidly big considering this thing shoots MEGAs
- The way it looks like it wants to be held at the grip looks very unbalanced / cumbersome
- Since it appears to use the same "Smart Air Restrictor" system as the Rough Cut / Triad / Crossfire bow, it is likely that each subsequent shot from top to bottom is going to lose range.
- *Politely* quoting my friend from work: "It looks like a shotgun mated with a bow!"

If it was April 1st I would have taken this as a practical joke. But... really? This thing looks monstrous and unwieldy! The most annoying thing about it though is the bow arms look like they were stuck on at the last minute. They should have at least added a bit of red to it to make it blend some:

Don't get me wrong though: I am keen as mustard to try it out. And as Link and others have said, praise to Nerf for coming up with some new designs and trying to mix things up a bit. I just think that it is such a different design than what we are used to or have preconceptions about how a Nerf Bow should be (compared the "sleek and elegant" styled Rebelle Heartbreaker bow) that it is almost a shock to the system to have such a bulky bow design pop out.

I think its too easy to fall into the aesthetic looks snobbishness trap; I shouldn't really judge a book by it's cover, so I'm definitely going to wait until I try it out first hand and see how well it works, and who knows maybe the awkward shape and size may turn out to be pretty comfortable for an older Nerfer... although heaven forbid how an 8 year old is going to manage it :P

But once I know how the internals work, I'd be curious to try and convert it to a MEGA shotgun:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

[S.O.F.T] Review: Hammershot - A Gunslinger's Best Friend

[Alex] Hey Squaddies! Finally I got this video review done: the Hammershot, by co-host Tom!
Click the link below to take you to YouTube:

[S.O.F.T] Squadron Of Foam Tasmania Review: Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot

Now, a few things I need to mention first before I add my opinion on the Hammershot:

- Yes, I know the Hammershot has been out for a while.
- I had computer problems in the later part of 2013, which halted review production
- I still think this is a nice summary of the Hammershot (with a funny ending :P) so it was fun to do and worth uploading still
- I only just realised I've got two YouTube accounts with S.O.F.T videos split between them. Future video reviews will be done on a dedicated account, so when that is up and running you may need to re-subscribe, because a lot more videos will be pumping out this year :P
- This video review was a good exercise in making shorter videos without going like 10+ mins, so I'll be trying to keep future vids nice, short and concise from now on.

NOW! My opinion of the Hammershot. Tom loves it to bits as his favourite side-arm of choice. For me, I still prefer the Strongarm. The reasons are thus:

- Extra dart for capacity. I used to love using 2x Spectres and didn't mind the 5 dart capacity as compared to the Maverick with 6 darts. But since using the Strongarm which more punch and reliability, the extra dart does help
- More reliable priming. The hammer cocking mechanism is novel and certainly useful for single-hand priming or dual wielding, but it just isn't my cup of tea. I get frustrated trying to make sure the hammer goes all the way down, otherwise I get a yucky misfire and a dart pops out...
- More controllable trigger. I used a Hammershot in a duel at the last Nerf War, and I kept firing by accident because the trigger was so sensitive - literally a hair-thin trigger pull. The Strongarm (even when unmodified) has never given me any grief in this area.

I still think the Hammershot is awesome in functionality and it looks the part, but I just can't enjoy it as much as the Strongarm. Although to it's credit the hand grip on it is FANTASTIC :D

As Tom said at the end of the vid; if you haven't got one yet, give it a go and definitely buy one if you like it :D

Monday, January 13, 2014

Intro to 2014 and an Update...

(Link) Hey Squaddies and Squadettes, and welcome to 2014!

(I KNOW I'm late, so shoot me.)

I hope this post has found you alive and well during these past few months of my absence. I have been tremenously busy with my job (being 'upgraded' tomorrow, you see) and a few 'unfortunate' events have plagued my blogging lifestyle. But now since most of those issues have been ironed out, it's time for me to return.

I know this is what you guys must be thinking right now... 

First and foremost, I want to clarify that my laptop (where I keep all the secrets and write-ups of S.O.F.T.) had a MAJOR crash. And I mean serious. I had to get the hard-drives replaced (thank God for warranty) and the majority of my personal files were GONE. :( But thanks to a Miracle, the S.O.F.T. files were saved.

YES!!! :P

I have been working very hard to restore everything that was lost, and that has taken up most of my time. My laptop is one of my most prized items, and I like to keep her chugging along nicely. My GF is gonna disagree with dat statement. :P

My second excuse can be summed up with the picture below.

What can I say? Skyrim is addictive. Once you have a few hundred mods installed, that is.

So, now that everything (to an extent) is fixed up, I aim to get back on track. :D I WILL be posting up the promised Revonix360 review this weekend, and I am working on a few NEW content for the blog, and for the YouTube channel. (I might be able to bring Jack back, but he has been a bit busy lately) And with any luck, I'll be able to get a new video camera, so I can fix up these audio issues that many of you guys have been reporting in. Or find an alternative. If you guys have ANY ideas, it would be HIGHLY appreciated.

Until the next review, Keep On Nerfing!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review - Nerf Rebelle Guardian Crossbow (US Import)


Hey everybody! Hope you have all had a good New Years. I figured it was about time to actually get into gear and get a new review underway for you, I have been pretty busy in the lead up to the holiday season.

A smile is nicer than an angry looking pre-teen.

Rebelle adds instructions to the box art, as well as a paper manual.

The Rebelle Guardian Crossbow seems to be the flagship blaster for the series. This is mainly due to the fact it is superior to the Heartbreaker Bow in every way. In saying this, the Crossbow is a pretty reshell of the N-Strike Elite Strongarm, so it is an odd flagship blaster.

Size comparison.

Unlike the Strongarm, the Crossbow features the priming bar underneath the blaster similar to the Rampage/Raider and AT/EAT. This makes the prime much smoother and feel more natural. The bow arms flex on the prime, with the barrel rotating after the trigger pull. The bow arms are actually a nice aesthetic touch, and only become annoying when it comes to blaster storage.

The Slam Fire feature is a nice touch, but as with the Strongarm the lack of capacity is the let down. You will be out of darts in a few seconds, leaving you vulnerable.

Minimalistic packaging.

Barrel can wobble, no front end support.

The decal is one of the best I have seen on a Nerf Blaster.

 The shoulder stock of the Crossbow is useful, but doesn't work very well with my 6ft 3 frame. I guess I am hardly the target audience! Thankfully it is solid, unlike the Recon stock.

The purple trigger Crossbow advertises ranges of 75ft, I have hit this once on around a 40 degree angle. On average I have found 45ft seems the standard, with 60-65ft on a 30 degree angle. This is a huge let down for the Strongarm reshell.

All in all, this is a pretty neat little blaster, it has good looks, decent range and is built on a reliable frame. But don't go out of your way to get your hands on one. There are some better options out there. I have chosen an Elite Spectre over it.

Hope you find this interesting, and a little informative. As for my next review, you decide: Rebelle, MEGA, Elite or Zombie?