Tuesday, May 15, 2012

N-strike Elite Rampage internals

In my previous post I had speculated some things about the N-strike Elite range, in particular what the internals were. I know a ton of Nerf fans were hoping for a direct plunger system, and the good news is it indeed will be a direct plunger system inside the Rampage, and therefore one can assume the same for the Retaliator.

Check out Mod Works for full internal pictures. This is an interesting turn of events, since I was actually expecting a reverse plunger with a beefier spring. But this new system seems to have more modding potential, bigger air volume and space for a bigger spring or extra spring could potentially push the ranges of these blasters beyond 100 feet. Time will have to tell I guess.

N-strike Elite update

Procrastination always gets the better of me. A few days ago, some pictures were leaked of the upcoming Nerf N-strike Elite Retaliator and Rampage, which has revealed some very interesting information. Urban Taggers, back in fine form scored the leaked pictures from a reader and has the full lot of photos of the ACTUAL blasters on the blog, posted here.

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There's a bunch of things that I've found interesting about these leaked photos which you will need to go to Urban Taggers to view so that you know what I'm on about (I'm not going to take all the photos and take readership away from UT.)

First, I saw that both the inner barrel of the barrel extension on the Retaliator and the inner barrel of the Rampage are rifled. I can't really see this having much effect on the darts, but maybe it will give them a slight spin keeping them from going out of control. Next, the plungers. they look smaller at the back when compared to a normal recon. Perhaps a kind of direct plunger? Maybe a smaller plunger to allow for a spring that's thicker and therefore has a smaller I.D? Who knows, but the plunger system is definitely different. Now look at the clip for the Retaliator, 12 darts max, as suspected. Unfortunately, the Rampage looks to have no stock or shield as previous concept art had hinted at, but it does feature a 25 dart drum which looks great. The "elite" darts look like they are thicker and longer, but still use the same clips so it may just be the angle of the photo.

Finally, the one thing that got my attention big time, was that in one of the box art images, there is what looks like an elite Nitefinder, with the annotation next to it that says "look for FIRESTRIKE blaster in 2013 subject to availability". 2013? Subject to availability? C'mon! it's a re-done Nitefinder, get your act together Nerf! Do I also have to mention the fact that they also still have a blaster called the Strikefire? That said, it looks like the shell has actually been redesigned on this one, it looks like the light beam targeting has been done away with, with something else (dart storage??) in it's place.

Interesting. in other news, Urban Taggers ACTUALLY RECEIVED their promised pinpoint sights, after all that drama. +1 to Hasbro Australia, I guess. Let's hope things can all start getting back to normal among the blogging circles now!

Friday, May 11, 2012

inf0rm3r foam funding!

For some time now, Oznerf forum member has been supplying the community with a cheaper, higher performance alternative to stock Nerf streamline darts, available with lightweight tips, heavy tips for higher power blasters, and custom weighted snap caps for extreme performance. I have not used this form of dart commonly called inf0rm3r's blue foam yet, however I am told by many that they are far more accurate and better performing than Nerf streamline darts, work with both modified and stock blasters and are well worth getting your hands on. In fact, I actually haven't read a single bad review of these products.

For lack of another picture, this is
the one straight from the indiegogo
However, these products may disappear for good soon, as some decent funding is now needed to move forward with production. The first indiegogo.com (kind of the same as kickstarter) project for pre-cut lengths of the blue foam is now under way, and pledges start from just $10. $20 will get you some samples and beyond that are packs of pre-cut foam at $48 for 80M of pre-cut blue foam lengths, up to $1000 for 2000M of glow foam (yep, glow in the dark foam available, and more colours are a future possibility!)

inf0rm3r blue foam is what is used at most public Nerf wars in Australia. So, if you want an alternative to Nerf darts in the future, get behind this project! at the time of posting, there is $1921 raised out of $8500 with 34 days to go. I don't want to see this awesome product disappear before I even get to try it out, so I certainly will be pledging! Click here to head to the project's home page.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Project Potato Rifle

A couple of weeks ago now, I started a project that I had been meaning to do for quite some time. The idea behind the project started out as a quest for a potato cannon that performed well enough to hit 50m ranges, but felt more like a rifle than a cannon. As the months went on, I discussed a handful of ideas with a friend of mine and we came to the conclusion it needed to also be accurate, and be able to use different barrels. I finally got around to gathering the materials a couple of weeks ago and after another week of building and troubleshooting (figuring out fuel mixes, finding leaks and accidentally shocking myself with the ignition) in my spare time it's now nearing completion.

So far, this cannon fills all of the criteria I had hoped for. According to Hybrid Gun Design Tool, it will make 50m ranges with a 2 degree angle and a maximum range of 175m with a 1 ounce potato, thanks to the use of propane as fuel and a 685cc chamber that wraps around on itself to form the stock. It utilizes the trigger grip from a Longshot front gun to house the peizo ignition, and just in front of that is an adapter to take barrel sizes up to 30mm without flow restriction. So far I have barrel a 450mm x 30mm bore barrel and an 800mm x 23mm long range barrel. I may build a Nerf dart barrel just to see what happens (HGDT predicts over 200 feet flat!). The cannon is also very safe, all pipes and fittings used are rated to at least 174psi, and maximum pressure inside the chamber is just under 100psi.

Before I painted this yet to be named potato rifle, I did some test shots at 20m and 30m and the accuracy and power is pretty awesome for such a compact cannon, so future additions will include either a red dot sight or a 4x scope mounted on a weaver rail. The suppressor on the barrels is foam insulation for 25mm pipe and is semi-functional in the sense that it takes away the ear piercing "CRACK!" sound from each shot, but still leave a decent thump. I chose purple, white and black for the paint work for the sole reason that I'd never tried that combination before and wanted to try it. Add on a couple of sections of foam pad left over from the suppressor as the cheek and shoulder pads, and you've got yourself a nice comfortable rig for launching vegetables. If you have any suggestions for what I should name this cannon, leave a comment below!

Johnson Arms Steampunk Rifle masterpiece.

I've been following this project of Brian Johnson's for some time now, along with a whole ton of other projects, but this one really blows my mind. His work with lighting at experimenting with different things is really paying off in my opinion. This particular example is a perfect showcase of what can be done with hard work, attention to detail and one hell of a creative mind. The longer you look at it the more awesome details you see, and it's those fine details that really make this former Nerf Longshot look like a serious battle rifle that is actually powered by steam.

Anyone interested in this project or any other work of Brian Johnson's should hit http://johnsonarms.wordpress.com/ and have a really good gaze in awe of all of his incredible work, and read up on the project updates. Johnson Arms does also do commissions including steampunk, mil-sim and some seriously cool sci-fi blasters.  I guess the only word to sum this post up is AWESOME.