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.