Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still no bullpup?

Call this post a rant, if you want, but something that seems to bother me more and more these days, is the absence of bullpup style Nerf guns. Well, actually, there's no bullpup foam dart gun of ANY brand that comes to my mind, nor in the range of any other form of popular street tagger... I suppose I should explain what the term "bullpup" means for some who aren't familiar with it. Bullpup basically means that the magazine is behind the trigger, and therefore the loading mechanism and clip receiver are built in to the stock, meaning the overall length is much shorter, making for a more agile setup. (think: FAMAS from Call of Duty Black Ops or the type 88 sniper)

So what's the deal? Nerf's ever popular N-Strike range has been around for a fairly long time, and as part of that line there's slamfire "shotguns", revolvers, assault rifle style blasters, snipers, even fully automatic machine gun style blasters, but not one single blaster in the line is a bullpup blaster? surely the popularity of the FAMAS in a few popular FPS games would have sparked the urge to come up with an interesting design for a bullpup Nerf blaster amongst the design team at Nerf, right? Nope. In fact, the closest thing to a bullpup Nerf blaster is the Nerf Firefly, which isn't really bullpup anyway, It's just a mediocre revolver with the rotating turret placed above the trigger handle.

Of course, there is always going to be design challenges involved. the barrel would have to be of larger aperture and not excessively long, and of course the internals may need some redesigning to incorporate a large bore, short stroke piston to be able to generate enough force to fire the dart far enough. But seriously, if someone such as myself, a self-taught AutoCAD tinkerer can design piston valve potato cannons and high end BMX parts in mere spare time, I'm sure the design team could overcome such challenges easily to create a bullpup dart banger. I mean, seriously, you should see the bullpup pneumatic potato cannons people have managed to build over on the spudfiles forums...

...I hope you're listening Nerf!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Nerf Furyfire

Here we have the Nerf Furyfire, part of the now older Dart Tag line. These are a little hard to find, here in Australia. You might find the odd 2 player pack pop up from time to time, usually around the time of the big toy sales, otherwise, much like the new Dart Tag blasters by Nerf, they are very very scarce.

Availability aside, The Furyfire isn't too bad of a blaster, this green one and it's 10 green darts came as part pf the 2 player set, which also includes an orange blaster with orange darts, 2 vests and 2 pairs of glasses. It looks kind of like a Maverick on steroids, with a shotgun-like pump action priming handle instead of a top slide, chunky aesthetic, and a 10 dart rotating barrel instead of the Maverick's 6. It also features an N-Strike rail on top for attachments, though nothing would really be that useful, other than the ammo holder from the Nerf Barrel Break, due to the manual loading. Unlike the Maverick, the barrel doesn't pop out, so you have to rotate it by hand or by pulling the trigger to advance it to load more darts. read on below...

Terrornator review by Johnson Arms

First of all, allow me to apologize for the lack of posts lately, I've been extremely busy with work and photography so I haven't even had much time to scope out what's happening in the world of taggers, let alone review any. I do have a blaster that I will review this week, and I have a couple of mod projects I want to do but I'll update when I can.

In the meantime, there is a great review of another Max Force blaster over on the Johnson Arms blog that's definitely worth a read. Though I had the opportunity to review of the Shadow Hawk, I never got the chance to review the Terrornator, the fast-firing belt fed Max Force blaster. You can read this review by clicking HERE.

Other than that, I'm also looking for more reader submissions on STW so if you have something interesting to share, be it a Nerf mod you've done, a cool paint job on a blaster, or hell, even a potato cannon you've built, email me at with a brief description or a full write up and I will post your submission as an article here on the blog.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STW modified Nerf Longshot

I've always liked the Nerf Longshot, they have so much potential as a powerful marksman blaster and the cosmetic mods for these is absolutely endless. Almost every Nerf collector either has a Longshot or has a few of them. I haven't done a review on a Nerf Longshot yet, because there are plenty of reviews already out there, the reviews by SG NerfUrban Taggers, and Nerf mods and reviews are all very good reviews. But, I will post the finished (for now) result of modding my Longshot.

So here it is, a moderately modified Nerf Longshot that hits 80+ feet and is fairly accurate, with custom paint. Internally, the mods are actually quite basic. All I have really done for performance is drill the air restrictor out and stretch the stock spring a bit. I did originally add a Nitefinder spring for more power, and ranges were about 100 feet, but it was difficult to cock if you were in a hurry and it wasn't very accurate, not to mention the strain on the internals was enough to damage parts. So for the sake of having a reliable, accurate blaster I sacrificed the extra range and took out the Nitefinder spring. Other than that, I removed the clip lock and trigger lock as I normally do with my other modded blasters. The operation is nice and smooth, and I'm still able to out range almost any other blaster, so I'm quite happy with the internals the way they are.

Externally, I didn't change anything major other than paint and a custom removable barrel. For the paint I used a base of flat black and layered up red and white stripes without a stencil, because I wanted the colours to fade in to each other. The custom barrel can be removed, just like a Nerf barrel. All I did was take the barrel adapter piece from an old Nerf barrel and grind it down until it fit snug in to a spare length of PVC I had, and used PVC plumber's glue to make the bond. Add a few coats of flat black and it was done. The wide aperture of the barrel means it doesn't affect the performance at all, other than sometimes stopping darts from gathering too much tail spin, or "waggle".

Overall, I like this blaster a lot, The ranges are great, and so is the accuracy. But the bolt action type loading means that it is restricted to a marksman or sniper role, and doesn't fair all that well in fast assault situations where a slamfire, semi auto or full auto blasters excel.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Battle tested: Shadow Hawk and Alpha Trooper

This is a follow up post from yesterday's Nerf/ Max Force games, I was going to split it in to two posts but I didn't really see much point spamming anyone's blog feed full of posts. I'll start by saying that both of these blasters did really well, and I'll be using them both again in the next wars that come up.

The Max Force Shadow Hawk (review here) I used was unmodified, though I used a different barrel. the barrel I used was my extended Recon barrel that I made when I first got into modding. It's actually useless on a Nerf blaster because it impedes on the dart too much and slows it down. So to make it work on the Shadow Hawk, all I needed to do was take it apart and trim down the inner barrel tube a bit so the Shadow Hawk's barrel adapter fit inside, and wrap some electrical tape around the base of the adapter on the Shadow Hawk to make a firm fit. This trick can be done with any Nerf N-Strike barrel, and allows you to add Nerf attachments to your front end, like the bipod grip or mission light.

flimsy bipod haters can't hate no more...
In action, I found this blaster to be incredible as a sniper blaster. I found that I got used to the pull and release mechanism, and the only time it was a pain was when I had to hold it for a long time. I was able to keep heads ducked under cover easily and some of the shots I landed were further than any of the ranges a Nerf blaster could reach. About the only blaster that could counter-snipe me was a heavily modded longshot, and even then my shots were more accurate. Needless to say I was stoked... Right up to the point when I ran out of pre-loaded clips. At one point I had prepared 2 clips for myself, thinking I'd have time to prepare another, but unfortunately I was wrong, and this came to be this blaster's main downfall. Though, I think by next time, I will either have more clips or a flex ammo belt to solve that problem. Overall, This turned out to be very good at it's job. If you're considering buying a sniper type blaster, but don't want to go all out on a longshot mod, I very highly recommend the Shadow Hawk.

On to the Alpha Trooper. The one I used was the rebuild I've been working on in the little spare time I have (part 1 here, part 2 here), modded to accept the Nerf spectre barrel, and with a rail on the side to accept a mission light, this proved to be very versatile. The spectre barrel doesn't really serve much purpose other than to eliminate the tail spin darts sometimes get after being fired from a blaster with the air restrictor removed, so at times when I needed clean, reliable shots I had it on, but when I needed to move fast and freely, I still had the option of taking it off. The slamfire on this blaster works so cleanly and I did find myself having to use it it tight situations.

on the left, the AT with full kit, in the middle is the modded NF,
and on the right is the mighty shadow hawk.

Combined with a tactical vest, spare clips and my modified Nitefinder as a sidearm, I was able to really put the heat on the other team and the only time I really ran in to trouble was when I was pinned down by myself or was being shot at by someone with a Shadow Hawk, but in both cases I had enough ammo and freedom of movement to get out of bad spots and into some cover very quickly. Despite lacking long range and churning through darts like no tomorrow, The Alpha Trooper is an almost unstoppable force, and great addition to anyone's collection.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday battle day: good times.

Mmm, clear blue sky!
One of the best things about living in Australia is that we get such great weather most of the year, and winter Sundays usually mean perfect blue skies, nice warm sun shining down, but never too hot to get outside to have fun. Today was a prime example of how to best use these days; get outside and run around blasting your mates with foam and spitwads! After gathering everyone together, downing loads of energy drinks between us and doing a couple of quick mods, we got in to it. Be warned, this is going to be a long post, with plenty of photos. I actually have about 3 other write-ups to do, 2 on battle testing, and one write up on my modded longshot that I finally finished today. but anyway, after the jump...

Sunday battle day!

Needless to say, I want one, if it exists or not.
It's a sunny winter Sunday, and I've got an invite to another Nerf war, this time trialing the inclusion of Max Force blasters. I'm taking the opportunity to take a few photos and test out my modded alpha trooper and my shadow hawk to see how they go against competition. So tonight I'll have a couple more updates on how these two fared in an actual Nerf war. I know the layout of the venue quite well and have a couple of sniper spots scoped out already, as well as some routes with good cover to push through. In the mean time, doe anyone know what this kid in the picture is holding??

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Now THAT'S how you paint a stampede!

Mr. Johnson from the Johnson Arms wordpress blog has done it again, I saw this pop up in my feed and was absolutely stunned at the look of this stampede he has done for a buyer, so I just had to post it, Johnson's work more than deserving! So there's a pic for now, and go to to see the blog, including the post on the stampede HERE.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My second blog.

This is just a quick post to announce that I have my second blog up and running, It's basically just a blog that I will update a few times a month with my photography work. It will usually be just a bit of camera fiddling to see learn what works and what doesn't, but I will upload some backyard warfare photos from time to time that I haven't loaded here. For example, there's a couple of extra photos of the Max Force Shadow Hawk that I didn't include in yesterday's review.

So anyway, have a look from time to time, and feel free to leave a comment. I'll let you know via this blog when I've added extra Nerf/ Max Force/ lazer tag photos on my photo blog. enjoy!