Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nerf Strikefire review

Throw back a while to the days of the old Dart Tag line by Nerf, and you may remember a Dart Tag set named the "Strikefire" set. It included vests, glasses, and a pair of Nerf Strikefire blasters, one orange, one green. Though a surprising number of people have never heard of the Strikefire, I assure you that this blaster that came with the set, if you can find one, is one of the more useful Nerf pistols available. But let's talk about the blaster itself first.

The Nerf Strikefire is a top-slide cocking pistol type blaster, loaded manually. It can take any kind of dart but was intended for the velcro tipped Dart Tag darts. It's claimed range is 30 feet, but I was surprised to find that it'll do a little better than that, even in stock form. It's also quite accurate, Dart Tag darts fly very straight and would easily tag a player from 30 feet away. Streamlines still get the same range, but as always with stock streamlines they are far less accurate. I haven't modified this unit yet but I expect that I can get some great ranges with it.

Cosmetically, it's also a winner. It has quite nice styling, I especially like the curved trigger guard. The trigger is a cool double groove shape and under the barrel is storage for 5 darts, which is actually very convenient for quick reloads. What I really love about this blaster though, is the ability to attach it to any tactical rail on N-Strike blasters. That's right, you can use this blaster as an under barrel for your main blaster! I have seen one used on a recon before, and that's exactly what I've done with  my "Gear Up" Recon and Strikefire. The clip on the top has a much stronger grip than that of other attachment clips, to the point where you can prime the blaster without it sliding off the rail, just don't do it too fast. There is a trade-off though, in order for this blaster to be used as an under barrel attachment, it obviously had to be made quite small, so big hands will definitely not find this to be a comfortable pistol.

Modification wise, I have not yet opened up the blaster, but being a reverse plunger blaster I would say that modifications would grant an extra 10 or 20 feet, which I'd be pretty happy with. I will do a mod guide for the Strikefire if I decide to go ahead with modding it.

Finalizing, this is a cool little blaster. It will probably become a vintage item in a few years, so pick one up when you see one. It's size and lack of store availability as a single blaster are probably the only things that can let it down as a stock blaster. The ability to store 5 extra darts, attach it to Nerf tactical rails and good out of the box performance would make it a wise choice. 8/10.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Public vs. Private

Nerf and foam dart blasters are always something that people will find ways of customizing beyond all belief, and why not, right? It's half the fun of screwing around with these things, you can make them look awesome. The problem is, however, not everyone is in to Nerf, and while most avid Nerf fans can spot a Nerf gun no matter what's done to it, the rest of the general public can't always. Take the TV show Terra Nova as an example for this, the gun props for that show are all Nerf guns, some modified, some just painted black. Now, Nerfers spotted it pretty quickly, but anyone else watching the show wouldn't have had a clue.

Prime example of what can be taken the wrong way in public.
...It's just a painted Nerf Recon.
Unfortunately, it's for this reason that sometimes we need to be a little careful about what we do, and think about how it looks in the eyes of the public. Someone running around with a bright yellow and orange toy gun is rather amusing to most people, however, recolour that blaster all black and suit that someone up in a set of cams and a Nerf tactical vest and they're going to create serious terrorism concerns and probably have a police officer or 5 pointing something much less harmless than a Nerf gun at them in less than a few minutes.  Most public Nerf wars in Australia (actually, all that I know of) ban any blaster painted in military or realistic colours, even tan and desert camo paints. Basically if it's not blatantly obvious that you're not a terror threat, you'll need to re-think your setup. I do agree with this completely, I'd sure hate it if I was a war organizer and it got shut down thanks to an old lady freaking out over someone rocking up with a blaster that looked like some kind of anti-material sniper rifle.

This, however is unlikely to get you in trouble.
...Unless you're firing Max Force pellets at non-players.
But don't get upset yet! There's nothing wrong with having you're own wars on private property, so long as you inform your neighbors that you're not a crazy firearm wielding nutter and are actually just using painted toy guns, they probably won't call in the federal police to deal with you and your friends. It might also be a good idea to set no-go zones, in the case that someone passing by and unaware of the foam warfare event spots half a dozen pseudo-terrorists in someone's yard. The private wars I attend are held on a fairly large lot of land which does have a main road nearby, so as a general rule, anywhere within sight of the road is a no-go zone, back behind the treeline is our border of action. There hasn't been any issues to date, and we get to suit up and paint our blasters however we like. So I guess there are advantages and disadvantages to attending private wars or public wars. Private could be more difficult to secure a venue and attendees but pick the right place and you can do it how you want, while  public is usually well organised but you're limited in the type and colour of gear you can bring. If you do both, perhaps have blasters set up for both. I have 2 Nitefinders, both modded exactly the same internally, but externally one looks like a rifle (The NiteSniper), the other is a standard whiteout series exterior. Likewise I intend to paint another one of my blasters in dark colours, but not until I have another to stay stock-coloured. I guess Bazookafied's words on the last post on this blog are good ones to keep in mind: "Don't get tazed, bro!".

Monday, December 5, 2011

Striking fear in to your opponent...

You could probably get arrested for being a terrorist in that outfit...
Yep, that's a Nerf gun. And yes, that's a real holographic sight. and a real radio. Yes, we do sometimes take things way too far, but it's all in good fun. This was the setup for Carlisle at Saturday's 3 vs.3 mini battles. He has about 6 mags available in the front of his vest, 5 mini vortex "grenades" at the back and can communicate freely from anywhere in the area of the game with his brother, thanks to the radio. Couple that with the modified Nerf Longshot and his ridiculously good flanking skills, and coming up against him becomes frightening. Out of all of the games on Saturday, I don't think there was a single moment where I wasn't thinking "Now where the hell have those twins gone now?". This was because I could hear their radios going off from behind cover, as they plotted their way to victory way more often than not. Then suddenly out of nowhere, you've been successfully flanked and tagged by Carlisle, landing multiple darts on you from more than 50 or 60 feet away before you even have a chance to realize what's just happened.

I guess the point of this post is to point out that in games of Nerf, it's not always about the blaster. If you can plan better than your opponent and kit yourself out (even if you have to go overboard) you can outclass anyone, even if they're on a mounted Vulcan and are spraying darts at you like a rain of foam death. Unfortunately for me, this time around I was the one on the Vulcan being trigger happy. It was a fun day, and the 3vs.3 battles were fast and exciting, giving me a chance to try out a fer more of my mods. My volted Stampede went well, and likewise the Alpha Trooper (that I still haven't finished off... part 3 will be posted one day...) but next time I'm going to have to think of something to have up my sleeve...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Hive Mind: comparing LTX to Light Strike

A new blog popped up recently relating to Laser Tag, run by an author going by the name of Skurj. There haven't been too many posts just yet, but they've all been quality and quantity. The latest post, I think will be of great interest to those in to the laser tag side of things. Skurj has written an extremely in-depth comparison between the popular LTTO/LTX laser tag system which is very popular among laser tag enthusiasts, and the newer Light Strike system. Light Strike has not received many great reviews so far but as far as a comparison goes, this post is a must read.

Friday, November 25, 2011

OMW Black Friday sales

The Orange Mod Works sales for Black Friday are now live, and offer one deal a day for 7 days. about now is a great time to pick up an OMW mod kit. Dates and sales are as follows, going live by 2am CST (Houston, Texas):

November 25th: Recon Metal Madness
November 26th: Stage One Stockpile
November 27th: Spring Fling
November 28th: Orange Bucks and Trigger Raffle
November 29th: Cyber Monday Mystery Gift
November 30th: Massacre Medley
December 1st: Longshot Bonus

I'll probably be picking up a kit for myself at some stage during these sales, they do look pretty interesting. for more information, see the link below:
Orange Mod Works Black Friday Sales!.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The long awaited: OMW Longshot kit available for pre-order!

I'm sure there have been a hell of a lot of people hoping to see an Orange Mod Works mod kit for the Nerf Longshot since OMW went public with their Recon stage 1 kit, and now those people (including myself) have had their hopes fulfilled. The Orange Mod Works "Massacre Immortal" kit for the Longshot is now available for pre-order on the website, expected release date is to be some time in January.

I am absolutely stoked on this kit, because while others have made some replacement parts for the Longshot, this kit is an almost full overhaul of all of the internals. Included in the kit will be:

-Trigger catch
-Double strength trigger catch spring
-High performance main spring
-Bolt sled and bolt sled pin
-Plunger rod and plunger face
-Plunger tube and plunger retention plate
-Metal trigger
-silicon grease

So, needless to say it's a pretty epic kit for $59.99US. The only things that it doesn't include are things like safety locks and cosmetics. I'm a little interested to see if the kit comes with the breech and plunger tube assembled or whether it needs to be put together somehow, and whether they've just straight copied the original with polycarbonate or redesigned it to be free of the dead space that the original has.

The kit also comes with a limited edition collectors tin box. I, for one will definitely be ordering this kit as soon as I get back from some time away (I've been working far too much lately...) Anyone wanting to pre-order the Longshot kit or purchase any other Orange Mod Works kit, should visit the link below:
Click here to visit Orange Mod Works.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New lens

Just a quick post, I am now back in action with my camera. I've now got a decent close end lens that I've bought from a good friend of mine to replace the lens that was stolen. So I may re-do the photos of the "Gear Up" Recon later tonight, to replace the ones taken with my old-school Pentax lens.

For the other camera nuts out there, it's a canon 17-40mm F4L USM. For the non camera nuts, it means I can take sharp, close range photos with a nice depth of field (subject clear, background out of focus). Now all I need is some sweet tagging gear to take photos of!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nerf "gear up" Recon review

The brightly coloured "Gear Up" series of Nerf N-Strike blasters are *Finally* hitting Australian stores, so the other day I went and picked up a Recon and a Maverick, which were the only two available locally that I've heard of so far. I've been meaning to get this review done for a few days, but the main camera lens I use to take decent quality photos for this blog was stolen on friday afternoon, and I can't replace it for some time. In the meantime, I've cleaned up an old Pentax lens and used an adapter ring to fit it to my camera body, so I apologize if the quality isn't up to standard, but it's all I've got.

The first thing I can say about this gear up Recon, is that it is orange. And by orange, I mean the kind of orange that's so bright it'll burn the retinas of your enemies. I have seen photos of these before and just thought they were over-saturated, but no, it's REALLY orange. But, I think it looks pretty good. These photos just don't do it justice.

Of course, the Nerf Recon has been around since the very early times of the N-strike series and has stayed available the whole time, which it's worthy of. It's the blaster that can be customized in so many different combinations it's hard to decide what you want it to look like! Thanks to having both a barrel adapter AND a stock adapter, you can put and Nerf barrel or stock on, so it can be a sniper rifle, a sub machine gun, an assault rifle, even a pistol. And on top of all that, there's 2 rails on the barrel, one on the cocking slide to attach scopes, lights, sights and foregrips, even a Nerf strikefire blaster under the barrel, AND an extra clip can be stored in the stock. That's a serious amount of stuff you can do with it straight out of the box! Unfortunately, not much will suit the bright orange colours, so if you don't like painting then you're probably better off with a standard Recon. If you do, most Nerf gear has some orange or black on it already, so it's just a case of painting everything else black (longstrike barrels work well).

Alright, so what about performance? Well, out of the box you can expect 30 foot ranges, nothing spectacular, and until recently modding was mostly cosmetic as there isn't much you could do with a reverse plunger style mechanism inside. But, Orange Mod Works has come to the rescue and started developing mod kits to get great performance out of the Recon, once again giving it more appeal. Cosmetic mods are also something that this blaster is a great platform for, I've seen the Recon turned in to an M4A1, a pulse rifle, small pistol and integrated in to other blasters, so you might say the word "versatile" is an understatement.

Honestly, I love the Nerf Recon. It's clip fed, can be anything you want it to be, can now be modded easily with a simple drop in mod kit by Orang Mod Works, and usually pops up at the price of $23AU quite often. There is so little I can fault about the Nerf Recon, about the only thing that stops it from being a perfect 10, is the fact that it's a little awkward cocking this blaster, but that can be solved with a mod to add a bolt handle. So, this blaster gets a 9.5/10 flying potatoes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick mod: shortened Spectre stock

For myself and many others I've spoken to, the folding stock that comes with the Nerf Spectre feels a little too long to be comfortable, so I've come up with a way of making it much shorter that just requires a bit of cutting, filing down, and glueing. A Dremel tool would be pretty handy, but you can get by with a small hacksaw and sandpaper or a round file, but you will definitely need either a hot glue gun or epoxy if you're following my method. By all means, I'm sure there is someone that will or already has come up with a better way for doing this mod but this is designed as a starting point for ideas.

Anyway, step one take the back half of the stock apart. once the yellow parts are off, you may screw them back together straight away, it's just to take them off their mounting point.

 Cut the stock where shown either with a Dremel and cutting wheel, or your small hacksaw. I guess you could use a large chainsaw if you really wanted, but that's probably overkill and I definitely wouldn't suggest using an instrument meant for cutting down trees to mod your Nerf gun.

You need this piece that was originally forming part of the mount for the yellow pieces at the back to fit the section where the middle brace was, as the flat piece sticking out gives you some more area to glue to later on. to make it fit, though, you will need to file or Dremel down the two little tubes circled, as they're too big for the sockets in the stock. You can also use sand paper but that will take a while, but it can be done. Grind them down until they are gone, and also get rid of the little peg that the red arrow is pointing at.

Screw back together with the original back piece from the middle brace and your stock should look like the picture above (take note that the T piece sits on the inside). Glueing the yellow parts to the new shortened setup is fairly easy, just add some hot glue or epoxy to the spots pictured below (a bit messy, but you get the idea) and align the yellow stock pieces to fit.

Wait for it to dry and you're done! you now have a much shorter Spectre stock, which is probably a bit more practical for a "stealth" blaster. Hope you liked the guide, leave a comment or email pictures of your own ideas to if you've come up with a better way!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Urban Taggers: on a roll!

Delivering the goods once again, Nerf blog Urban Taggers have scored themselves a Nerf Rayven CS-18. Urban Taggers is generally a great source for all upcoming Nerf blasters, usually having their finger right on the pulse at all times but this time I think they've really outdone themselves. Not only have Nerf not even announced this new blaster, but within a mere 11 days they've sourced what seems to pre-production or even final model of the rumoured N-Strike Rayven CS-18, and even BETTER is they've done a full pre-review (I guess that's what you'd call it). It is a very good review as always from Urban Taggers so I do highly suggest you head over and read up. It also clears up tons of the speculations that people have had, but still leaves me wondering, "what's in the front bulge?". Anyway, Preview: Nerf N-Strike Rayven CS-18

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nerf Rayven: One exists!

Popular Australian-based blog Urban Taggers got a hold of another picture of the "rumoured" Nerf Rayven CS-18 and posted it up today, asking their community, "does it still interest you?". This post (which can be viewed here) has attracted tons of comments speculating about it's function and internals, and some have criticized this blaster already over the main speculation of it being a flywheel powered blaster.

Picture from Urban Taggers

The main thing I got out of this is that if a real version exists, and the image landed in the hands of Urban Taggers, that means at the very least, Nerf has completely finished a working design for this blaster, sent it away to a rapid prototyping company that works with plastics (or more likely, their usual manufacturer), and a prototype or even final concept has been made. Now, a lot of time, money and effort goes in to progress like this so, it's likely that if the Rayven has made it this far that it will probably make it to store shelves.

Now, of course there'll be those who will tell me I'm wrong, but after seeing a photo of the blaster as well as the box art, here are my predictions about the features of the Rayven CS-18:
-It's a flywheel blaster. Think about it, it's semi auto, and there's no space behind the darts for a plunger, nor is there a priming handle. Furthermore, there's what looks like a toggle switch for spool-up present under the trigger, similar to that of the flywheel powered Vortex Nitron, and there are some interestingly placed bulges in the shell under the scope rail.
-Battery box on the clip is used to power some kind of light to charge glowing streamline darts. The box art states that it uses "firefly tech" and "clip charges 18 glowing darts". That one is obvious.
-Battery box on the blaster powers the flywheels. what is interesting however, is that it requires 4 batteries, unlike the Barricade's 3. This could mean it's feeding more power to the flywheel motors for more power, or there is some lights in the blaster as well.

One thing that has everyone stumped, including me, is how the darts move to the front set of flywheels? The bulge in the case under the front of the scope rail I'd say almost definitely houses a flywheel, but if this is the only set of flywheels it would be almost impossible for the darts to make it that far from the clip via the usual "pusher rod" mechanism, so is there another set of flywheels inside that bulge at the back of the scope rail? seems like a strange system for flywheels, but perhaps it's a way of gaining power without sacrificing accuracy? Who knows. Either way, it looks really good and I'm sure when it's released we'll see plenty of repaints, mods and re-casings.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blaster rumors: Nerf Rayven CS-18

Not too long ago I made a post ranting about how there aren't any bullpup blasters out there made by Nerf or anyone else for that matter, but now it's possible that the call may about to be answered! Spotted on the Urban Taggers blog, the rumoured "Rayven CS-18" looks like it could make it to store shelves!

I am actually really keen to grab one of these as soon as possible, I think it looks great and interestingly, it looks like uses glowing streamline darts, charged by the clip itself. Looking at the box it, the Rayven seems pretty feature packed. Attachment rails on the side, a stampede-like grip and sight rail, bullpup design, semi auto (assuming flywheels), 18 dart mag, and even the adaptor to accept add-on barrels (i'm already visualising the recon barrel with foregrip).

I'm going to keep and extremely close eye on this one, but if you want more blaster rumours that have been appearing lately, hit up They are always right on top of all the rumour mills!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Nerf gear: My take.

This afternoon I came home from work, and as I do, casually checked my blog reading list for things I've missed to discover that it had been virtually filled will posts about the latest press release from Nerf. I'm not going to repost it AGAIN, since it can already be read on other blogs, but I will provide the links to those posts since the blogs I follow are, in my opinion, all very good.

I saw this on the Nerf Facebook, and couldn't resist posting!
In short, Nerf has announced tons of new non-blaster products, including USB devices, night vision, and a helmet cam ranging in price from $19.99 to $59.99 (I'm assuming that's in US dollars). Now, don't get me wrong, some of these items are pretty cool, but I do feel it's all a bit of a gimmick now. I can't really see a 2Gb USB flash drive being worth 20 bucks US, considering well established factories in Taiwan produce these for mere cents each, and you can pick one up at Office Works in Australia for about 10 dollars. I also am pretty skeptical about the quality of the helmet cam, being $59.99, since the GoPro helmet cam system sells for almost $300. I'm actually looking at purchasing the GoPro system already, for the purposes of Freestyle BMX and incidentally, for Nerf Wars. 

So perhaps I'm a fence sitter on this one, while I think some of the products they intend to bring out are really cool, and quite useful additions to a Nerfer's kit, I doubt the quality or value of these products will be all that great. I also doubt they will even hit Australian shores, and I'm not so sure that all of them will actually be released at all. I guess we will see what happens what happens in the next few months, and also what comes out at the Dallas Toy Fair. No doubt I'll pick some of the gear up for review if they land on our side of the globe.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Nerf N-strike: Jolt EX-1

This has popped up without warning in the last couple of hours, a new Nerf blaster appearing on store shelves as the "N-Strike Jolt EX-1". By the looks of things, it's going to end up being the replacement to the Nerf Secret Strike. What's awesome about this, is that it is a direct plunger system, and apparently hits ranges of 40+ feet. not bad for something so small!

On the packaging reads: "This blaster packs a powerful punch in a super stealth size. Hide it in your pocket to get the drop on your unsuspecting target!"."So, does this mean Nerf are finally listening and giving their dart blasters more power? I sincerely hope so, because if they are, that will make the next major releases of N-Strike blasters more interesting. Perhaps in the near future the won't be much need for modifying Nerf blasters, unless you're taking to the extreme. Who knows, but what I would like to see is Nerf catering for a more grown up market as well, say, larger, more comfortable stocks and grips, and maybe a lot more power to entice the older crew to get on board?

"NiteSniper" - Modified Nerf Nitefinder

Alright so this is basically a total reworking of my very first Nerf mod, which I posted up here a fair while ago. Unfortunately after I mad that post, the plunger on it broke so I had to throw in new internals, and while I was at it I added a new light and battery terminals. It sat around for a while until today, when I had the time to repaint it and add the faux barrel back on.

This time, I went for a different camo look, using a technique that I will do a guide on how to do at a later date. This turned out really nice, and it's probably my most powerful Nerf gun I have at the moment, hitting 100 feet or more. It's because of this that I added the faux barrel back on, because it slows down reload time to make it a little more fair and challenging to use in a Nerf war, and also because the wide aperture barrel helps reduce the flailing that streamline darts do sometimes without having much impact on range.

Loading is done by sliding the port tube forward, pushing a dart in and closing the port again. Of course, you don't have to close the port tube, but for night games it covers the bright orange tip of the dart, and makes the whole blaster almost invisible until you activate the light. Personally I'm eager to get in the action with this blaster to see shots I can make from a decent range.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Nerf Target Challenge: Carlingford Court NSW

Just spotted this one for the Aussies on the Nerf facebook page, It's a promotion by Nerf outside Target at Carlingford Court in NSW and offers the chance to show off your Nerf skills to win gear, which is pretty cool considering not many major Nerf events happen down this end of the globe! It's running until 4pm Sunday, 2nd of October, so there's still 2 days left. More details on the flyer!

So if you're in the area, check it out, or if you already have, leave a comment and tell us what it was all about because unfortunately, I live near Brisbane, so it's definitely more than a casual stroll down the road for me... But hopefully this is a sign that there are more good things to come from Nerf for us Australians!

Friday, September 23, 2011

And the new blaster is...

 ...Another Nerf/Transformers Barricade repaint. Ok, seriously? Nerf's Marketing department need learn the difference between "new" and "repaint". But I will say, this is a pretty cool looking Barricade. This is consistent with Jerm's (of Nerf Mods and Reviews) find of repainted Barricades and a Dart Tag 10 blaster on the taobao site.

So, will we see a Dart Tag 10 blaster? a sonic series Barricade? Who knows. personally, I'm just sick of repaints and want new gear. You know, like N-Strike blasters that can compete with Vortex in range and accuracy without having to mod the hell out of it and make custom darts etc. But, these are my humble words, There are definitely going to be some collectors out there who will absolutely love this Barricade.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another new blaster from Nerf?

This one has come completely out of left field, and may have something to do with the "Nerf" blasters spotted on taobao by Jerm from Nerf Mods and Reviews, but according to the Nerf facebook page, they are announcing a new blaster in just under 24 hours...

"Get those eyelids opened wide, Nation! We'll be posting details on a new, exclusive Nerf blaster tomorrow around 3pm EST right here on the Nerf Facebook Wall. Is it Thursday yet?"

I have no idea what it's going to be, as there seems to have been no rumours or warning about anything other than Vortex the last few months, but the post after this mentioned a vortex skin (???) and featured an Inside Blast video of the Dart Tag quick 16, which leads me to believe that it will be a dart tag blaster, but who knows right? it'd be nice to see either Vortex or N-Strike expand a little more!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: Nerf Vortex Proton

Continuing on with the Vortex theme I've got going on lately, is a review of the smallest of the new Nerf Vortex line, the Proton. I picked this one up at Kmart for $13, and it includes 3 discs along with the blaster itself. At first sight, I found it was a little smaller than I expected, but still quite wide. Unfortunately I can't really see this as being a blaster you could keep in a holster because of it's width, but the Proton features a loop at the base of the handle were you could add a strap and still use it as a sidearm. Also on the negative side, there is no storage for extra discs, but utilising the disc storage trick of TripleBification's, you can keep a disc in the chamber as you run, and all you need to do is pull the sled back, hit the load switch and you're ready to rock and roll. 

The final feature I need to mention is the inclusion of a tactical rail on top to add sights and lights. it is set quite forward which gives it an interesting look with the Nerf Longshot scope, and I have a feeling that this combination would be popular with those who like to steampunk their Nerf. Overall, it's not the prettiest blaster Nerf have ever created but the combination of colours and interesting design go well together, and the base design is also a great platform for repaints if you're looking to turn it in to a sci-fi or steampunk style blaster.

Performance is similar to that of the Vortex Praxis, with ranges of around 50+ feet and great accuracy, it is quite a good blaster for $13, and makes it a tough opponent against it's N-Strike counterpart, the Nitefinder. Managing to line up an extremely accurate shot is a little difficult, though, due to it being a pistol, so don't be surprised if someone using a rifle style blaster hits you first at mid range. Modding for power is as easy as a spring relocation and will leave you with quite a powerful disc shooter. There is also a very useful mod out there by LordDraconial that creates a gravity feed clip that can be added and removed from the tactical rail (you should subscribe to his youtube channel if you haven't already, Drac is a wizard of Nerf modding).

Again, if you are looking for a sidearm then you might prefer a smaller blaster with ammo storage, like the Nerf Nitefinder, but nonetheless the Vortex Praxis is hard to pass up for out of the box range and accuracy, so it scores an 8/10

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vortex Praxis: interesting find?

I've now had a little more time to use the new Vortex Praxis I picked up the other day, and I must say the more I use it, the more I like it. However, I discovered something that the Praxis can do this morning that is a little strange, almost like a "slamfire" function, but not. I found that if you pump the handle back, then forward while holding down the trigger the entire time, it will fire a disc once the handle reaches the forward position. But, this only works once, so you can't just hold the trigger down and slamfire away, you have to lift your finger and squeeze the trigger again, and then you can pump and fire, then repeat, lift finger, pump back, pump forward.

I had to have a picture to go with this post, so, have a bonus picture.

Strange, right? I'm not at all familiar with the internal cycling of these Vortex blasters, but it almost seems like it might be possible to modify it somehow to allow slamfire function. Combine this with the "convenient" placement of an extra screw hole for modding these blasters (mod guide here), the full clip +1 in the chamber trick that Bazookafied discovered, AND tripleBification's proton disc storage trick, and it kind of makes you wonder, did Nerf intend for people to find these things in order to create a product that modders would really want?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Changing it around!

I'm attempting to make a few changes with this blog, I felt the old red and black background was getting a bit old so I've changed it to this green pattern for the moment, seems kind of fitting with the release of the new Vortex blasters and all. I am also trying to make the ads a little less boring. Yes, I know, ads suck. But buying tons of blasters to review is expensive. As to date, the Adsense ads on the side have earned approximately $2.40 from the time I started this blog. I am assuming that's because the ads aren't really that interesting or relevant, so I will look in to putting amazon ads up instead, and hopefully there will be some good deals for readers. the Max Force ad earns me nothing, and is simply a link to the Max Force site as a thank you for the shadow hawk they sent me to review.

So, this means if you have ANY suggestions, comments, advice or even negative feedback about ads, please leave comment or email me. after all, I run this blog solely to provide content and information to my readers. In other words, if you click on an ad, the money earned from the ad goes directly towards buying a new blaster to review etc. BUT, If you think the ad is in the way or irrelevant or you just don't like it at all, tell me, and I will change things around.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vortex Praxis Mod guide

This mod is essentially the same mod you can do on the three spring powered Vortex blasters, and simply involves reconfiguring the spring to have more pre-load tension. Though, there are already guides on how to do this, this guide is more about how to access the spring in the Praxis easily.

So let's get started! first, disassembly:
First remove the stock and accessories. then have a look at the rear of the blaster and remove the two screws holding the stock adaptor on. Then go ahead and remove the 13 screws in the green part of the shell. You do not need to remove the screws on the barrel or the pump action grip.

You now have access to what you need. Remove the screw from the left side of the plastic plate housing the spring, and also the screw in the picture below, allowing you to pry that plate down. Now lift the cover plate off the pins that hold the firing arm and rubber stopper in place, and slide it left until it is free. The pictures below should help.

Below, you can see the plate is removed and there is clear access to the pins that hold the rubber stopper and firing arm in place. Use a pair of pliers to slide these out and take the firing arm out for now.

Now, all you have to do is unscrew the silver screw and move the spring position around to the left, and screw the silver screw back in there. originally, my Praxis had the spring set in the centre position, and now uses the left-most position to apply more pre-load pressure.

Re-assembly is as simple as reversing the steps to disassemble. you will now have an increase in disc speed and a little more range. Hope this helps!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Nerf Vortex Praxis

After moving in to my new place, I was finally able to get some free time to pick up the new Vortex Praxis by Nerf, and have some fun with it. This blaster has been well known about for quite some time now, and hit store shelves some time before the "official launch date", along with the other Vortex blasters. Nerf seemingly "leaked" info on the whole line prior to the release date in order to create a little hype, but the reception of disc blasters wasn't ALL good, many traditional Nerfers swore by darts in the lead up to these hitting stores, and even I was skeptical when I bought this blaster.

However, after unboxing, I laid eyes on a rather good looking blaster. The grip is comfortable, and the blaster features a tactical rail on top for scopes, sights and lights, and the pump action works great. Also, the stock is less flexible than the comparable N-Strike Recon stock, and fits adult sized shoulders perfectly. The blaster is wider than most N-Strike blasters but doesn't really feel bulky, likewise the tubular magazine isn't huge either. In fact, I'd say that the mags may fit some paintball vests, meaning until Nerf produces Vortex tactical vests, Vortex users could possibly use those.

Performance is the aspect of this blaster that blew my skepticism right out of the water. The range and accuracy of the Praxis straight out of the box is nothing short of incredible. Though the discs do curve slightly at long range even without wind, they still perform way better than streamline darts (which sometimes travel in... "abstract" directions). I would say that claims of 60+ feet are not over-estimating.

Though the Praxis accepts N-Strike accessories, It doesn't look quite right with them...

Attachments are a little limited on the Praxis, for a blaster that is probably aimed to be the Vortex counterpart of the N-Strike Recon. Having an attachment rail on the side wouldn't be a bad thing for this blaster, allowing you to have a light AND a sight. It would go really well with the scope from the Vortex Nitron, but I don't own one just yet to provide an example. Modding is something that hasn't really been touched with the Vortex blasters much, but the Praxis is still spring powered so there is obviously a way to increase the power, but if you were to heavily modify this blaster, it might get a bit... dangerous.

Summing up, the Vortex Praxis is a fantastic blaster, but could have benefited from having slamfire function and some more room for attachments. The great ranges and pinpoint accuracy make it a definite must have, and grants this blaster 9 out of 10 baked potatoes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tippmann TPN Tango One paintball marker

I haven't posted a whole lot on paintball on this blog, but yes, I do still have a high interest in paintball and I'd like this blog to reflect this a little bit. One thing I have noticed while looking around for a paintball marker to start off with is that Tippmann now have a new marker advertised on their site. I'm not really sure how new it is, but it is new to me. The marker I spotted is the TPN Tango One, and looks like it's aimed at people who are starting out or have a smaller budget.

At a bit over half the price of an X7 marker from Tippmann, you obviously get just the basics. There's no E-grip trigger, and no cyclone feed system, but it does come with 4 picatinny rails and a foregrip, and can be upgraded to E-grip, as well as being available as the "bravo one" (M16 kit) and "sierra one". In fact, from the research I've done, it looks like most parts from the older Tippmann 98 custom, which it seems Tippmann based this marker on. I'm not too sure what the availability is like in Australia, as I do know the Tippmann A-5 is sold as slightly different model here, the CFM.

Only having gravity feed,  mechanical trigger and less available parts than an A-5 does mean that eventually any new paintball player will need to upgrade if they want to play more than just casual weekend fun, but for half the price and Tippmann quality, the TPN paintball series looks like a pretty good offer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yoko Ritona rifle props by Blind Squirrel

Faffing about on the net today looking for ideas for my next potato cannon, I stumbled across an anime called "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann" or Gurren Lagann in short. Anyway, one of the key characters, Yoko Ritona, uses a long range sniper rifle, which I thought I could loosely base my next cannon around. So I did a little more searching for better pictures and my search lead me to a blog called "Blind Squirrel Props".

The owner of the blog does many props for cosplay, but the two posts that caught my eye were the posts on the Yoko Ritona rifles. The first link includes a fairly detailed description with pictures of how it all went together, which is well worth a read, especially if you're interested in making props. the post is titled "Yoko Ritona's Sniper Rifle" The second post is the more refined and painted version, "Yoko Ritona's Sniper Rifle II"

I know it's not directly related to Nerf, Paintball or even potato cannons, but hopefully soon I'll have built a potato/vortex cannon similar to this within the next couple of months, and I do know any prop makers will love the Blind Squirrel blog.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vapor Atlas 250: more info

Right, I'm back in action again. Acer kindly replaced my faulty hard drive under warranty free of charge, so needless to say I'm happy again. A while ago I spotted something on the Foam From Above blog about a new blaster being produced by Razor, known as the Atlas 250, released under the brand name "Vapor". There still hasn't been much info on this but I decided to do some digging myself.

What I have found, is that it is a pistol type blaster that fires water based gel balls around about 50 feet. I haven't found anything on other blasters in the Vapor line, but I did find a Facebook page, and at the time of posting it only has 50 likes. I would say this will be the best source of info on these blasters at the moment. There is also a video showcasing the blasters in action, the description is concise and to the point:

"The Vapor Atlas 250 is the next evolution play battles. Using a gel pellet that is 98% water, it simply evaporates after hitting your target. So there's no mess and no cleanup. The Vapor Atlas 250 holds up to 50 pellets at a time, so you can longer without reloading and it can shoot up to 50 feet. Check it out."

To me, It looks like a cool blaster that might function fairly well, and fortunately it has a trigger and cocking mechanism, unlike other gel ball blasters like Xploders (BIG plus). But  there doesn't seem to be a big push of advertising or information, nor even other blasters in the line-up like what happened with Max Force blasters. So at this stage, I'm still holding out for more info and I will keep updating this blog as I find out more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Downtime update

Unfortunately I am still limited to blogging on my iPod touch, which is incredibly frustrating however Acer has informed me that the repairs on my laptop are done, and I should have it back within 48 hours. Then comes the fun task of reinstalling everything, and processing the 8gb of photos that I haven't been able to do, but then, after all that, I'm back in action. I've got a few interesting findings to post so keep watching!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Down but not out

This is an update I unfortunately have to make, I wish I didn't have to but it's bad luck I guess. Last night, my hard drive decided to start giving up so I backed everything up, but after that it became apparent that my laptop is now pretty much useless with the state of the hard drive being that it's reading incredibly slowly and I doubt it wpould last more than a couple of days. Therefore, my blogging is limited to what an iPod touch can do, until my laptop is repaired. Good news is, it's covered by warranty so I hopefully won't be out for too long

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Foam From Above: New challenger?

Over the last few days, I've spotted a couple of interesting posts pop up on the Foam From Above blog, something about a new contender in the backyard blaster game. well, all will soon be revealed, as a picture popped up late last night (my time) of a blaster made by Razor. They make scooters, remember?

Image courtesy of Foam From Above

Now, from the looks of this picture, I can see the words "Atlas 250" and "Vapor". I can also see what looks like a tactical rail similar to Nerf's rails. I also see little yellow balls. Oh, and a TRIGGER. So what does the "250" stand for? feet as in the range is 250 feet? probably not, that's a bit hardcore. Maybe it's ammo capacity? What are those yellow balls made of? How does it work? Well, Foam From Above has got this one, so I'll be watching that space!