Soapbox – General Blaster Care

Hello one and all,

Taking a moment of inspiration from our last game here. I had a relatively new member come up and ask me if I had any general suggestions about how he should best care for his blasters and darts. I quickly ran through a few points on the spot with him, but then figured it would probably make a pretty good topic to do a proper post on. So by that logic…

General Blaster Care!

1: Don’t leave blasters primed for an extended period of time.

Seems fairly self explanatory when you think about it, but don’t leave your blasters primed. All it will achieve it placing unneeded stress on the internals which will cause them to break/wear out faster. Leaving sprung blasters primed will also cost you range as the spring becomes used to the primed position as it’s natural state. An important point with this however is to take notice of the words ‘extended period of time’. By this I mean check your blasters before you go home at the end of a day, or even between games. Don’t worry about leaving it primed in game, the added benefit of being able to fire immediately is very useful. I’m sure some of you are giggling at this last point but I’ve genuinely seen players prime their blasters immediately before firing because someone told them it was bad to leave them primed.

 

2: Don’t dry fire sprung blasters.

Dry firing is where you prime and discharge the blaster without a dart in the barrel. This is particularly important with reverse plunger based blasters (Recon, Raider, Longstrike, Alpha Trooper, etc) but still applies to direct plunger based blasters. Dry firing places unnecessary strain on the internals. When you normally fire a sprung blaster, the air travels forward, hits the dart, begins to push it forward, but will still have some air remaining in the plunger tube to cushion the impact. With no dart, the air rushes out the barrel and gets no cushioning effect, smashing hard plastic together as hard as it possibly can.

 

3: Don’t leave darts in clips for an extended period of time.

I’m sure this has probably happened to most of you at some point as the darts are fairly noticeable. When you leave clips loaded for an extended period of time, the darts will become misshapen. The dart that was on top will end up with two indentations in line with the top of the clip, the ones underneath will become oval in shape. Both of these concerns will affect the seal between the dart and the chamber, and the inflight performance too. All in all, bad for your darts.

 

4: Don’t leave blasters in a car.

This is more relevant in warmer climates but still applicable to the cooler areas. The variances in temperature cause unnecessary stress on the plastics and can lead to premature failure.

 

5: Generally be nice to your blasters.

Try not to drop, throw, bang, etc. Should really go without saying but play nicely.

HvZ@ANU – A YouTube Special

Hello boys and girls!

A few days ago I went had a couple of drinks with some of the founders of HvZ@ANU (the whole reason I got into blasters in the first place) which lead to some reminiscing. While the club was alive I became quite good friends with a whole bunch of people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, and this was the first time in a good while that I’ve been able to catch up with some of them. This then seemed like a good excuse to share some of our old videos with you.

Game One – A massive learning experience for all. I’m the guy in the cape, look at all that sexy, sexy hair (said hair hasn’t been that long for quite some time).

Game Two – My first go at moderating. Again, I’m the guy in the cape, although this time it’s white as I was an NPC. Check the brilliance of my mate Chris with his dual Storm Tommy’s.

Game Three – If you’re not noticing the trend yet, I’m the guy in the cape again, although this time with added morph suit.

Mod Shop – Melee Staff

As an aside before we kick into the actual post this week, I’d like to take a moment to plug my upcoming run. On the 12th of August this year I’ll be competing in the City2Surf. For those of you not from Australia, the City2Surf is one of the largest running event in the country, drawing thousands of people every year to run from the Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach. If you’re feeling particularly generous, pleas head along to my Fundraising Page and make a donation. All proceeds go to charity and I’ll need all the support I can get to actually survive the 14km.

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Another homemade this week but one that’s a little different in that it’s not a blaster at all. As the last two posts have eluded to, we ran a GoT themed game last weekend which included melee weapons. I’ve got a pair of short swords that I normally run with for these games, but decided I wanted something a little longer for this one. Thus, the FDG Staff was created.

Specifically I made a double ended staff, but the method could be applied to practically any melee weapon you want.

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Tools/Materials required…

Foam floor mat
Fibreglass rod
Knife
Hot glue + gun
Rope
Duct tape
Yoga mat

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To start with with have a floor mat.

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Trim the jigsaw sections off the sides, cut a piece the length you’d like for the striking zone and mark for four equal widths.

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Cut into said four equal widths. These won’t ever be seen so they don’t need to be perfectly straight.

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Grab your firbreglass rod, lay it over a piece and mark the edges of it.

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Like so. Do this for all four pieces.

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Create another mark across 25mm in from one end on each piece, then another mark a further 25mm in on two pieces.

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Then cut out the marks we’ve just made.

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Test fit that they nest together.

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Tape the core.

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Remove the core, leaving the tape intact.

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Slather with hot glue, reinsert the core then cover the top with hot glue too.

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Cover both sides of the core hot glue and slide over the other piece of foam.

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Should leave you with something like this.

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Do the same to the other end.

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Cut four more strips of foam the same length as your striking areas, roughly half as wide as the previous ones.

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Glue them in-between two sections on opposite sides.

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Then wrap the whole thing in tape.

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Should result in something like this. I’ve also used offcuts of foam to help strengthen the joins.

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Cut an end cap and glue/tape it into place.

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Glue one end of the piece of rope to the inner end of one of the striking sections.

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Then place a layer of glue around the base of the core and tightly wrap the rope around it.

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Continue wrapping the rope around. Ensure it’s as tight as it can be, this isn’t good enough.

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Wrap it the whole way down the core.

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Then cap it off by gluing the far end.

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I missed some photos here unfortunately but it’s pretty simple. I cut a yoga mat to size and taped it to the foam.

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The yoga mat is far softer than the foam flooring.

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Pay careful attention to the end cap. Put a good 4-5 layers on here as you will be striking with it and you don’t want to impale people.

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Finally, loosely wrap the yoga mat in duct tape and we’re done. Doing it tightly will compress the yoga mat and make it harder so make sure it’s relatively loose. You can also see here my short swords and my ball and chain. The swords were made with the same method; floor + yoga mat over a fibreglass rod core with a rope wrapped handle. I might do a write up on the chain someday if people are interested.

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Mod Shop – Nerf Jolt – AR Removal

Yay Jolt!

So these only arrived in Australia a few weeks ago but I still took my sweet time in grabbing some. As a result I haven’t actually had a chance to use one in a real game, only messing about with my housemates around the house. Initial impression is that the Jolt is good, fun, simple blaster. It probably won’t ever be a main-stay, but it’s pretty well ideal for stuffing around.

I’ve read a bunch of “walkthroughs” that have suggested either cutting the back off or to smash through it with a screwdriver, and I’ve also heard mixed reports on results. I was therefore curious as to whether or not cutting was was required and if it could be improved upon. Sure enough, the back of the blaster was indeed glued, but I wasn’t willing to call it there. Turns out you can get an improvement out of a simple AR removal and there was no cutting required.

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Tools/Materials required…

Screwdriver
Assortment of drill bits and drill
Hot glue + gun

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As always, we’ll kick off with the blaster itself.

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Looking down the barrel we can see the AR.

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Grab the dart peg with a pair of pliers and break it off.

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Remove the four screws at the bottom.

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Which will let us take the plunger out.

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Looking down the plunger tube we can now see the AR quite clearly.

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And here’s the same shot with with a screwdriver pushing it back.

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Work out how far you’ll need to drill in to attack the AR and mark the bit with tape.This way wen you do drill through the AR, you know where to stop so as to not go through the back of the blaster.

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Like so.

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Go to town on that AR. Unfortunately I couldn’t actually get any photos that effectively showed what was happening here so you’ll just have to take my work for it. The AR is sprung and slightly larger than the front barrel, so drilling straight though it won’t do. Instead, drill one big hole through it from the front, then turn it 90 degrees using a screw driver from the bottom, then drill another smaller hold through the now exposed side of the AR. It should now be in small enough pieces that it simply falls out the front.

The first time I did this it took a good 15 minutes or so to figure out how, the second one would have been <5 minutes from start to finish.

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Once the AR is out, screw the plunger back in and we’re done.

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Range of the stock blaster was ~10m.
Range of the modified blaster is ~12m.