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?