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:

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