Mod Shop – Nerf Super Soaker Hydro Fury

Look how tiny it is; isn’t it a cute little water blaster…

Cool, got that out of the way up front then. This week we’ll be converting the smallest Super Soaker in the current lineup to a rather strange looking dart blaster. With Summer approaching fast here in Australia I’ve gone and grabbed an assortment of water based blasters recently with the intention of using some of them for water based games, but honestly mostly for converting to shoot darts. This is by no means a complicated mod here, basically all we’re doing is jamming a barrel on the end of the nozzle, but this is a surprisingly easy way to get a decent amount of power out of interesting blaster. Well, it normally is… Due to the rather interesting trigger setup on the Hydro Fury, we’ll never get crazy power out of it without completely redesigning the tank release mechanism. This is nothing like singling a Hydro Cannon or Shot Blast for example; I’m sure you could get impressive ranges out of the tank, and I do intend to try, but not easily.
Ok, enough stuffing about, lets get to it.

__________________________________________________________________________
Tools/materials required

Phillips head screwdriver
General adhesive (I used Tarzan’s Grip)
Hot glue + gun
Dremel with cutting disc and grinding wheel
__________________________________________________________________________

As always, we have the blaster in question.Photobucket

Start by removing end cap.

Photobucket

Then the seven screws holding the shell together. You don’t have to touch the one in the pump handle.

Photobucket

Have a look around the internals and try to get an understanding of how it all works. In the case of the Hydro Fury, there’s really not much to it.

Photobucket

The pump pressurises the tank, and the trigger pulls this arm off the hose between the nozzle and the tank.

Photobucket

That’s literally all there is to it.

Photobucket

Cool, lets continue by removing the internals from the shell.

Photobucket

Lets look at that trigger once again.

Trigger at rest, stopper closed.

Photobucket

Trigger pulled/stopper open.

It’s just so simple. I don’t like it from a modding perspective, but from a design perspective, it’s brilliant.

Photobucket

Remove the nozzle cover, cut your chosen barrel material to length, glue it to the nozzle. Ideally this should create a good seal, but double chucking the seal with some hot glue never hurt anyone.

Photobucket

In this case I’ve used a 70mm length of 16mm conduit as that’s what gave me the best performance. I’m sure you could use anything you wanted though.

Photobucket

Grind out the nozzle surround so your barrel fits, then replace the internals in the shell.

Photobucket

Do the same to the other half of the nozzle surround.

Photobucket

Replace the other half of the shell.

Photobucket

You could stop at this point, but I had a piece of left over ‘Nerf orange’ tube from a Stampede sitting on the floor next to me when I was finished.

Photobucket

I thought it looked good so it got glued on…

Photobucket

That’s all kids! One Super Soaker Hydro Fury that now shoots darts.

With 50 pumps I’d get 5-6 shots that would all get ~8m flat. It’s by no means amazing, but I think it’s cool. The pump it before a game then get half a dozen shots off without repumping kinda appeals to me. I’m sure I’ll use this when I feel like messing around in a game.

Interview – Australian Blaster Enthusiasts – Part Two – Now with added Pocket

Hello blaster enthusiasts of Australia and the world once again! The post for this week is a continuation of last week’s interview of Australian Blaster Enthusiasts.

Again, for those of you outside of Australia, please take the opportunity here to see how people outside of your community play. Notice the similarities and differences and hopefully you’ll learn something you can apply within your own community. For my fellow Australians (said in a suspiciously POTUS voice…) have a look at what the other states and groups around the country are doing. We’re a relatively small country population wise but I think we punch well about our weight in the international blaster community. It’s time to give up with the infighting, yeah?

So with all that out of the way, lets reintroduce you to today’s interviewees.

From New South Wales we have Matt, admin with Sydney Nerf Wars (Facebook and Forums), and Chris, admin with Riverina Dart Tag.
From Victoria we have Grep, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf (AN).
From Tasmania we have Alex, admin on Squadron of Foam Tasmania (S.O.F.T.).
From South Australia we have FaytZero and Winterstrike, both Admins on Australian Nerf, and AJ, admin on Foam Sports.
From West Australia we have Mohrlock, admin with West Nerf, and Stawsonia, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf.
Nobody I could find in the Northern Territory 😦
From Queensland we have Rolley from Street Tag Warfare, Clunk of Clunk Weapons Co and an admin on OzNerf, and Girly Gamer from Nerfenstein (Blog, Facebook, and Twitter).
From my home here in the Australian Capital Territory we have Neil, admin with Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag and Chris from Combustible Props.

Each respondent was sent a series of 10 questions regarding their blaster usage and their thoughts on the Australian community (today we’ll answer questions 6-10). I know I sure found some of the responses particularly interesting and I hope you do too. Big thanks to all those who gave their time in responding; I really hope it improves our little corner of the world.
Cheers,
Joe

________________________________________________________________________

Edit: Hold the press! Late entry from the one and only Pocket of Urban Taggers, again from my very own ACT. We’ll run through Pocket’s first five questions that everyone else answered last week, then add him on the end of questions 6-10.

Go team!

Pocket – Urban Taggers

How did you first get into the hobby? When?
I love toys; always have as a kid and never grew out of it. Also always been a big fan of toy blasters, though I was more into water guns and laser tag than projectiles.

What do you think most attracted you to it originally?
Very much the role play toy element, but also the way a blaster just adds a layer of randomness and hilarity to any situation. I’ve always maintained the fact that leave 2 blasters in the middle of the room, be it an office, lounge or classroom, fill the room with some people, and just wait and see what happens. It’s AWESOME.

What’s your favourite thing about the hobby now?
To be honest, it’s still the same as when I first started. I probably also like the way the kit has evolved and developed over the years, but I still stay true to the toy element and casual fun that comes with them.

How would you describe you main usage of blasters? Do you take part in organised games, mess around with friends, just enjoy modding, mostly in it for the collecting, etc? Why?
As a toy collector I’m a bit of a completionist, but I still believe toys are made to be played with so I don’t keep them in boxes for value. I tend to leave 3-4 lying around my living room area for when guests come over; tend to rotate them every few weeks for a bit of variety. I admit I’m never one for organised wars nor care much for what makes them tick- it’s really for random, impromptu, indoor casual fun.

Do you mod your blasters? Why/why not?
Nope. Mainly because I don’t like opening things up when I’m doubtful of my ability to put them back together again; for my purposes they do their job fine stock in an indoor environment. I am impressed with what people can do with them, but it’s just not my thing. I do love aesthetic mods, but don’t have the patience to do it.

________________________________________________________________________

Ok, and back to our regularly scheduled programming.

First Blaster?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
My first blaster was the Switchshots Max. It was great. While not the best water gun out there, it could send MegaDarts probably about 30ft/10m. Not bad if you ask me. I had the whistling ones, which were always really cool. My first blaster when returning to the hobby was none other than the N-Strike Recon CS-6. I picked it over the Raider because I liked the look of it more. I’ll admit though, I regret keeping the Recon for myself and giving the Raider to my brother. That was one of the worst decisions in my Nerf-ing career.

FaytZero – SA AN
My first blaster was a Nite-Finder which I took the air restrictors out and added rubber bands to the plunger rod to give it more power. They are great pistols that are great for members who are just starting, cheap and effective.

Chris – Combustible Props
Maverick!

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Nerf Nightfinder! I still have it too, but it’s now heavily modded.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Technically that would be the Nerf Bow & Arrow. In more recent times it would have been buying two Recons at the same time. I still have those two, all the usual basic mods without replacement parts.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
POS Vulcan…

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
My first blaster was a clear Maverick — “because it looks cool”.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Buzz Bee Belt Blaster, don’t judge me.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My first blaster (technically) was a SSPB. That broke quickly (I was around 7 or so, I believe). I then bought a Lanard First Shot, not realising its potential at my age. When I restarted back in ’09, I bought a Recon, as it was the only real rifle sized blaster available locally.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
1st one ever, an old twin shot. The first of my new collection was either a yellow tommy 20, or 3 recons.
Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
2 Vulcans! I didn’t mess around with Nitefinders and Mavericks.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I think the first Nerf blaster I purchased was the Nerf Barricade, well that was first in the trolley, I bought two of those and a bunch of others due to the huge sale.

AJ – Foam Sports
N-Strike Recon x 2 closely followed by a maverick. PERFECT NOOB TRI-FECTA!

Alex – SOFT
I started out with the Longshot and Stampede, a bandolier and a flip-clip kit. Bought them from a local Toy World… wayyyy too overpriced, but for the memories and where it has lead me to; priceless ❤

Pocket – Urban Taggers
Depends on how you interpret this question, it would have to be the Nerf NB1- I used to ‘battle’ my cousin with this, and he had the Nerf slingshot. Wars didn’t last very long, nor were very accurate. Following this, my first real DART blaster would be the Nerf Powerclip DX1000 which I still love to this day. What got me into the hobby at this stage of my life, would have to be the 4pack of Nerf Eliminators, which was a staple for our office and inspired us to start an arms war, buying bigger and better kit.

 


 

Favourite blaster? Why?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
My favourite blaster is the Longshot. It’s an iconic blaster within the modding community because of its large plunger tube and the fact that it can use N-strike clips (which I think are one of the best things that Nerf has ever done). It’s just the versatility that does it for me.

FaytZero – SA AN
At present I’m going to have to go with my “Repulser” it’s a Long-Strike with Mortar Pistol air tank installed, and has a clip accepting brass breech which I designed myself. I have painted it red and gold and  it has started a wave of blasters of similar design being seen around several communities now. I’m a fan of blasters that have great accuracy, to me hitting my target the first time has priority over rate of fire and range.

Chris – Combustible Props
The Stampede for sure. Its a fully automatic nerf blaster that has decent modding potential and takes clips. Oh and the rate of fire! When you strap two modded stampedes together and link the triggers you end up with something to be feared. The fun of emptying 2 drums worth of darts only slightly outweighs the time spent loading, and loading and loading…

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
That’s a tough question. I don’t think I have a blaster that I don’t like, but I have to say that my Xplorer grip Longshot is my current choice although the paintjob isn’t public friendly. For public wars I tend to favour my Nerf Rampage.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
The Recon. I’m yet to be sold on the Retaliator but am sure it may replace this. Why? I love having a clip-fed blaster able to broke down to a pistol size. That being said my preferred Recon at the moment, with the BT Kit, I usually use with a yellow Raider Stock due to the really stiff trigger/catch spring it has and the Spectre barrel to help straighten the odd stray shot.

The other reason I love the Recon? It’s kind of the underdog of the clip system blasters in the N-Strike range. Not many people use them compared to other blasters, like the ever-prevalent Longshot or Stampede, so it normally sets me aside from the crowd.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Favourite blaster to mod has to be the Longshot. Main reason is the surprising amount of power you can get out of it, and the overall feel when using it.

Favourite blaster’s in my collection would be my; Modded Titan Pegasus for aesthetics and power, ETRL PAS with Raider pistol grip/stock – this blaster justs looks sexy, vacuum loads, and hits over 100ft with phenomenal accuracy.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
Shortly after that, I bought an Alpha Trooper, which is my favourite because it feels right in the hand; the pump-action is comfortable, and I can either shoot slowly and carefully one shot at a time, or charge in, slam-firing and spray the enemy, shortly before getting out.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Either a Berzerker or a Triple shot. Good long range capabilities, sturdy design and flexible for all situations.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My favourite blaster is hard to pick. It would have to be my Crossbow though. I particularly love mine as it seems to have a bit more punch than other Crossbows in the country with its stock spring and plunger head, but mostly for its laser accuracy.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Well my fav blaster will always be the power clip, it was the first blaster I ever got to play with, and fell in love with straight away. Failing that for games, my trusty OMW’d AT with red dot scope and cut down night finder, because there is no horde big enough that I cannot face them down with those 2 blasters.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
That’s a tough one. I’m a big fan of the Stampede (as long as it’s got a Black Tactical kit in it). I used an Alpha Trooper almost exclusively for about 8 months as well. These days I just use flywheel stuff like Barricades and Rayvens because a) voltage mods are easy and b) they’re cheap blasters so it doesn’t bother me if I blow one up.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
That is REALLY tough, I have a lot of favorites, all for different reasons. At the moment I love the Rayven, it is such a beautiful design. If the rumors are true I like the look of the Firestrike also.

AJ – Foam Sports
It sucks but damn I just love the shell of the alpha trooper – so streamlined.

Alex – SOFT
Technically speaking it would be a Longshot. However, I modified my first Longshot to keep the internals, but with the exterior shell cross-bred with a Longstrike barrel, shoulder stock and trigger grip. Dubbed the “Longunov” the goal was to make it look like a Nerf-style Dragunov sniper rifle (keeping it in Nerf colours of course :P) while being Nerf-War worthy.

“Why” is a hard one; I also love the Spectre being a revolver-style and for quick draws, the Scout has always been a faithful and compact sidearm, and I’ve really gotten hooked onto my Rayven, and Vulcan “Iron Kurtain” minigun mod is VERY cool… but honestly despite all that, the Longunov still is, and always will be, my favourite and main blaster of choice. It was one of my first, I played around with it a lot and did HOURS of target practice with it, it’s the first blaster I modded, then later was also my first major step into cosmetic and higher level internal mods, it has surpising accuracy despite not shooting as far as some other Longshots I’ve seen, but it has won me MANY battles (especially Free-For-Alls which is astounding for such a slow-rate-of-fire blaster :P)… but most of all I think it’s what I’d define as my crown achievement thus far; my own unique blaster that noone else has, and it describes my Nerf Identity flawlessly 🙂

Pocket – Urban Taggers
A real tough q because it does depend on my mood at the time, i tend to revisit and ‘rekindle the flame’ as they would say. Right now, I’d have to say the Nerf Vortex Pyragon- it’s just awesome on so many levels. Last year I would have said the Alpha Trooper, and before the Alpha Trooper It’d have to be the Raider. I guess I have a thing for pump action slam fire:)


 

What’s missing from the Australian blaster community at the moment? What do you think can be done to fix that?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
What’s missing? That’s really hard to pinpoint. Many other Nerfers around Australia are very keen on interstate events and the like. However, I can’t say I support pushes for those sorts of things. Clashes of egos and discrepancies in rules sets just present too many barriers. If there can be something that can be done to fix it, it’d be a standardised rules set that all the state communities can agree to. It’ll be difficult, but it might become a reality one day, when we’re all ready.

FaytZero – SA AN
The two most important things that any community needs including ours are organization and co-operation, now we do see it from time to time between all of our communities but no where near the level required to be able to take out sport/hobby to the next level. I think if we all spent a little less time bickering about small things and looked at the Australian community as a whole we could create something great that we could all be proud of.

I would love to see more interstate competitions and wars as I feel that is a great way to start things off in creating a better understanding of each other, and in turn creating more co-operation and then organization will follow as we start to talk more.

Chris – Combustible Props
I’m not sure that anything is missing from the blaster community in Australia, and in particular Canberra. We seem to be the Meca for exclusives. In regards to the prop building community, it seems to be pretty small in Australia. Nerfenstein and myself are the only larger ones Im aware of. In the US it’s a different matter entirely as every man and his dog has jumped on the Volpin props bandwagon (Google for awesome builds) and is highly contested. In Australia it seems to be more open and akin to the US about 5 years ago. So… to fix that? I guess I had better get started 😀

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
I think a little more community involvement with events and wars would be great. There’s quite a few very talented war organisers out there already, but I feel like if they had a helping hand they’d be able to get a lot more events running in many more areas.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Officially sanctioned Dart Tag competitions. Dart Tag has always held a fond place in my heart, and I used to try to push it on anyone interested. It requires a similar skill-set to most other Nerf game types, but just adds in a measurable point scoring system and nullifies most of the over-powered blasters.

I have my inclination to believe it may be coming in the future, with Hasbro finally bringing the Dart Tag line for sale into Australia again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, my hopes high and try not to get to disgruntled if it never happens.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
My biggest issue with the Aussie community is our inability to pick up vintage blasters from secondhand/goodwill stores. When you compare the prices that we have to pay off of ebay as opposed to the couple of $$ that the Americans pay for these blasters, it really does get frustrating. Obviously there’s not much that can be done about that, but a guy can dream. I think if us Aussie’s had more access to rare blasters, then you’d definitely see a greater variety of modifications being produced by our guys.

Also, I think a standardised gaming ruleset and dart type would be advantageous. I have serious doubts that it could ever happen with rulesets, but dart type is possible, especially considering the performance and pricing of the Velocity Tag sili darts.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
I think it’s a real shame that there are so many different groups, even within one state — sharing interests and members would benefit all the groups and all the people involved. It seems to me that there is a lot of ego-boosting going on in being “The Head Of My Very Own Group”; whereas we’d all get a lot more fun if we had a more diverse range of more people. How do we fix it? I dunno. We’ve got a few ideas in store to attend similar events and invite those people to ours; let’s see how it goes in six months.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Tournaments, tournaments, tournaments. If you inject money/fun into anything, it’ll be a success, no matter how ridiculous the premise. All this stems from a lack of organisation and general enthusiasm. All this would be easily remedied if people stopped asking questions like the one above.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
What’s really missing from the Australian community at the moment is the lack of cohesion that we have. Unfortunately past events has meant that different communities have split off from the whole, and we are no longer the national group that was on OzNerf back in early 2010. Otherwise, we just need a larger promotion of researching everything yourself, and exploring alternatives and DIY compared to just buying a kit from OMW or Xplorer. That is just my opinion, however.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
I think the blaster community is an up and coming thing. It is starting to be accepted by more and more cities, hell, even WWCC came around in the end, I think it need to be recognised more as a sport by society, and players need to lose that fear of being ridiculed by passers by. AS time goes by, I think these issues will pass.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
The Nerf community in Australia mimics the issues you’d find in any community. Some groups are insular, some groups think their way is the best way, some groups discriminate against other groups, some want to unite the community, some only play one type of game (like HvZ) etc etc. I don’t see that as a problem that needs to be fixed as such. Considering how geographically spread out we are, and how diverse a bunch we are, it’s inevitable we don’t all agree with each other or get along.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I can’t think of anything huge really, I think it’s a great community full of great / friendly people. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I guess an overarching one website / forum would be great, as it’s hard to visit all the different forums when you’ve got work, family and other commitments. If there was one overarching community forum that all the key members of the many Australian Nerf communities ran or were regulars at, that would be great, a sort of one stop shop. I realize that’s quite difficult as these things tend to splinter via locale or interests (much like the deluge of video game forums), but it would be very handy for users… a sort of one stop shop.

AJ – Foam Sports
Well… I think I’ll just preface this.. take it all with a grain of salt. I’m based in Adelaide and the community down here appears to be quite different to many of the others around Asutralia.

Overall though a ‘lack of unity’is pretty obvious – people need to stop thinking that ‘their’ way to nerf is the ‘right’ way to nerf.. as that concept is laughable. People should give everything a shot and also just accept that some people like different things. We can still support each other and respect each other even if we don’t have the same oppinions on some things.

What can be done: People can stop being butthurt? This one is really up to the people that have ‘the beefs’ to settle, but for everyone else, reach out, expand your horizons, go see how the other side live. Accept people that do different things etc

This also ties into the attitude of some parts of the community:

I really dislike some instances i’ve seen of guys that mod talking down to people that prefer to play stock etc or people calling someone weak because they don’t want to be in a war full of singled titans. At the end of the day, we’re grown ups playing with toy guns, please leave any semeblance of ‘toughness’ or a ‘macho attitude’ at the door, because you really forfeited it when you picked up the bright yellow toy.

What can be done: just drop the tough guy attitude I guess?

Game design- This only really applies to ‘nerf’ as a competitve sport, so many people who are just in it for modding etc probably won’t get much out of this but..

This is a big one – everything is just generally pretty haphazard and messy rules etc wise. One of my biggest pet peeves is boundries and terrain – often clear boundries aren’t set or are broken, or the fields are just generally unbalanced because we’re playing in whatever park we could find at the time. Anyone who’s played FPS can tell you how imortant map design is to the game, and in nerf it’s the same.

At the moment with all the variance; haphazard fields, random teams, rules, blasters, etc etc nerf isn’t something you can ‘learn’, it’s pretty hard to get quantifiably better at, as all of the things change so much between wars. This also makes it really hard for new people coming in – what do they prepare for, how do they propperly ‘learn’ to nerf, is it even possible to ‘practice’? etc

What can be done: In the year 2156 there will be a planetary allignment that will finally enable all players to agree on some common rules.. util then we’re probably boned.

Alex – SOFT
This might sound like an odd answer that may seem like it’s dodging the question… but I think that being based in Tasmania, we’re a little bit cut off from how the Australian community is really like on the mainland. Especially compared to certain other groups with much larger populations and more frequent games.

Pocket – Urban Taggers
The fact that there’s even a blaster community to talk of is incredible- We’ve grown a LOT since I first got into this- I mean other than a few Mavericks and Nitefinders here and there, the extent of a store’s blaster range could be fit into three-four shopping carts (normally those who got to the store before me on the sales!). Now the toy stores are all almost wall to wall.

I admit though I’m not really an active member of the community given I don’t mod nor do I attend organised events, but just from the few things I’ve seen, I think acceptance is important- I’d probably like to see a lil’ more understanding that just because someone else doesn’t play the way you do, doesn’t mean they’re any better/worse than you.

 

How can the manufacturers best improve the hobby? What do you want to see from them in the coming years?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
As a modder, I was delighted to know that Hasbro had returned to something very similar to a “Direct Plunger” design, as seen in the new Elite series. However I was personally disappointed in the number of “Flywheel” blasters that are currently bouncing around in the rumour mill. Manufacturers like Buzzbee and Airzone have been making some good blasters. The Panther, for example, is something the US community has been raving about. If Buzzbee and Airzone were to continue on their current path, I can see the hobby, from a modding and warring perspective, grow into something far less niche.

In the future, I’d like to see more Springer blasters, similar to the Retaliator and Rampage, and less Flywheel blasters. I’d also like to see the returns of blasters similar to the Magstrike. Perhaps even an updated version of the Stampede. But most importantly, I’d like to see all of these new releases from all manufacturers on Australian shelves. Too often do we see new models months (or even years) after the US release. Sometimes, we never see them at all. That needs to change.

FaytZero – SA AN
I think what they are doing know is fine, what we have to remember is that these are toys made for general enthusiasts and kids. The best thing they could do is create a secondary label and create gear marketed at us the warring and modding community so that it is clearly separated from the general kids toys and therefore allows parents and us to make better decisions in regards to purchases.

Equipment wise I would love to see some improvements on clip technology, I feel that at present they are far to unreliable for effective use. Unfortunately they are prone to jamming and that is something you don’t want in the middle of a fire fight. Other than that I’m also a big fan of multiple shot blasters and Sci-Fi looking equipment, I would love to see more blasters with these characteristics coming out.

Chris – Combustible Props
Stop with the repaints. Seriously.
I understand that you make money by creating demand but enough is enough. Though this being said at least they have stopped with the reverse plunger clones and gone with direct plungers in the Elite line. In the future id like to see more unique blasters that have modding potential.

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Aftermarket parts, replacement parts and full blasters. I think for continued development and expansion there needs to be a manufacturer that develops products target directly for the older people that get involved in outdoor wars. Right now, the only manufacturer doing anything like this is Nerf with the elite line, but their stuff is still geared for kids. I would love to see a blaster designed specifically for competition. That said, stuff that’s coming out from Slydev and Xplorer is fantastic!

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Take blasters back to the base line! Don’t kill our local retailers by releasing different versions for Australia in comparison to other countries. I hate the whole Blue Trigger & Grey Trigger game we have to play here in Australia; they’re basically asking us to open our blasters to make them measure up to the rest of the world. I like it when we all got the same thing in every box the world over.

Things I’d like to see in years to come? I’d love to see N-Strike under-barrel ball launcher (grenade launcher) and shotgun (masterkey); something officially made by Hasbro – I prefer to be able to buy what I want not have to fabricate it. Seeing the old Tactical Vest 6 clips sold seperately. The Fury Fire to receive some Elite treatment. Digital pressure-sensitive dart tag vests so we can use streamlines for Dart Tag. Just a few things on my wishlist 🙂

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
I think Hasbro need to change their age demographic and start targetting the 20 to 35 yr bracket. Some more DP systems like the Longshot would be greatly appreciated.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
On all the internet sites that I’ve seen, there has been zero obvious interest or involvement from manufacturers. I find it hard to believe that they are unaware of interest groups and/or blaster modifications. It would benefit both them and us, I feel, to have some level of involvement from the people who actually design, test, and manufacture the goods — to see how the customers feel about their product, and to make those customers feel privileged by being interested in them.

Winterstrike – SA AN
They can hold their own tournaments. They’ve had some success in Singapore/USA but they need to publicise it more and market it to an older demographic. What I’d like to see is Hasbro actually create an entire department based on nothing but event management. They’ve already created a very popular sub culture and all they need to do to greatly profit from it is to organise events.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
In terms of what the manufacturers can do to help improve the hobby, I’d like to see more innovation. While more power can be nice, by modifying that point is moot anyway. Different feeding mechanisms, priming actions, etc, are what I’d like to see in the future. If Hasbro could make a clip fed lever action rifle, I’d be in on that in a heartbeat. That, or a proper shotgun type blaster that achieves more than the Triple Shots measly 10ft.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
I am starting to think that the hobby has hit that point in regards to manufactures, that they really can’t improve it much, without continuing to rehash old ideas. When you cut right down to the meat, the elite series are only slightly improved n-strike blasters. I think that over time all they are going to be able to do is keep improving the materials that they use. Though I don’t think that this will change the game up very much, think about what we were all saying before the release of the Vortex range… A real game changer we thought. I have seen blasters that will always out perform anything on the market, yes, I am talking about your long strike Joe, but even then, they don’t change it too much.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
I think with the release of the Elite line it’s clear that Nerf are certainly listening to the fans, and that’s a really positive development. Overall I think the more community engagement they have, the better the result for everyone. We’ve started to see Hasbro Australia make their first few tentative steps in that direction, and going forward that makes me very optimistic about the future of the hobby in Australia.

What I DON’T want to see in the future from dart blaster manufacturers is that they start to cater for the gun fetishists and COD losers by producing blasters that look more and more like ‘real’ guns. I know from speaking to my parents that as soon as that happens, Nerf are going to lose a lot of sales to the under 12’s. And let’s be clear about this, they’re toys. For kids.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I think they’re doing pretty well 🙂 It would be nice to see them open up a little more in their advertising, we’re not all teenaged boys lol.

AJ – Foam Sports
I think that overall, blaster wise, things are going okay. The areas they could imporve in are accessories and consumables.

A lot of really cool things have come out in the last couple years – new Dart Tag, N-Strike Elite and Vortex – but the way these lines are supported and distributed hurt their chances of being widely adopted by the organised or competitve nerf community.

If hasbro were serious about dart tage being a ‘sport’ rather than a line of toys… give us the option to buy darts in larger packets than 16 and get out SOME GODDAM ADULT SIZE JERSEYS.

Vortex has the potential to be the defacto indoor war weapons, as they have great range and using stock blasters presents a lot less risk, but they need to make the accessories and consumables more widely available – disks are super expensive, only availabel in small QTY’s and WHY CAN I NOT BUY A 20 CLIP SEPERATELY HASBRO… WHY?

Elite also promises to offer a better ‘stock’ experience, but again the way they distribute the accessories is wierd… why can I only get 12 clips with a Retaliator? Why can’t we just buy stocks, sights etc?

Modders will always be disapointed… nothing will shoot 100ft out of the box, or with just an AR removal. Just deal with it, learn to mod well and it’s not a problem anymore.

Also, Hasbro Australia are a bit of a joke.. then again Nerf is only one product line of many for them.. but it does suck how little support we receive compared to say SG.

Alex – SOFT
I could rant on about a few things such as certain Nerf blasters never getting released into Australia (Firefly, Quick 16, etc) or how certain blasters are shop brand exclusives making them harder or more expensive to purchase, or the whole ‘detuned’ Elite series mess… but I think despite those setbacks, there is always ways around it like buying online or for those who can; modding. However it would be nice to see some sort of resolution where;
–  Blasters are easier to obtain
– Fewer new blasters that come out aren’t just simple re-shells or re-paints, and more original designs and unique mechanics
– Better availability of purchasing accessories seperately
– Getting blasters ‘generally’ powerful enough to perform better in outdoor conditions, where modding would not be necessary or required. (The Vortex and Elite ranges are good steps in that direction… although there is still some ways to go yet, but understandably the Australian toy safety regulations kind of decided that for us =_=)

As much as this may seem fanciful, I really like the idea of having regular official Tournaments (like the Dart Tag ones… although I think they’ve stopped now?) and other local events / group incentives to try and promote it more like a sport rather than just a hobby or a kids toy; in my opinion it has just as much potential as Paint Ball or Airsoft and certainly could gain enough interest if more events were organised by Nerf in Australia.

Pocket – Urban Taggers
I actually think manufacturers are doing a pretty decent job to be honest. I would like to see them have a stronger, smarter marketing pressence here in Australia to keep us in the loop on what is going on in the blaster world, BUT I also know as we are such a small market worldwide, it’s an issue we have in all areas, not just the toy blaster one. And I guess UT wouldn’t have grown so much if that HAD been the case:)


How do you describe the hobby to other people? Do you flaunt your enthusiasm or would most of your acquaintances in real life not know about it?

 Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
I’m not afraid to say that I’m a big fan of Nerf and that it’s my hobby. It bring in all the ladies!!! (it actually does the opposite). However, that doesn’t deter me because everyone is entitled to have their interests and hobbies. If a person will oust you or label you as socially awkward because you have a hobby that is different to theirs, then they aren’t worth being acquainted with. On the flip side, there are some who believe the quirky and unique hobby is an interesting conversation point.

FaytZero – SA AN
I definitely do not hide the fact I Nerf, almost everyone I know is fully aware of what I do and about the sport. Yes it can be a little hard at first to try to describe what we do as it’s so out there; I generally start be saying think of paint ball but more safe and less expensive. You also have more choice in your equipment than paint ball as you get to customize and modify it yourself.

Chris – Combustible Props
Depends on who im describing it to, for example if its to someone who has no idea id say something like “Its like cheap and accessible paintball”. If it were to someone who had similar interests I’d grab them while shaking them ask “WHY ARENT YOU PLAYING THIS AWESOME GAME YET?” lol

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
I usually just show them a picture or two of my modded blasters, it’s easier than explaining. I often flaunt my latest gear and quite often I get the reaction of “WOW that’s so cool! how do I do that!”

Mohrlock – West Nerf
I’m not too shy to share my passion for it. It’s kind of hard to hide when I get tagged in photos on Facebook anyways, so most people have seen me pulling “derp” faces holding Nerf blasters many times online *laughs*.

How do I describe the hobby though? I normally let people know that it’s just like any sport, you run around and have objectives or “win conditions” and play all sorts of games. I call it a “community sporting group”, because functionally that’s really what West Nerf is. We just shoot eachother rather than using some kind of ball is all.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Most of my good mates and family are all aware of the hobby – it’s a bit hard for them not to when my workshop is loaded full of Nerf parts, and there’s about 50 blaster’s hanging off racks on the walls. I wouldn’t say that I flaunt it, but certainly don’t hide it. It’s not a bad ice-breaker when meeting new people either – I think the majority of people are closet Nerf fans!!

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
It’s a strategy game where we use toy guns which launch soft darts to score points. I try to be careful to point out that we’re not gun nuts and careful about safety — we have fewer injuries in a single day than the average football or tennis club.

Some people are interested, some aren’t. That’s ok, I’m not interested in football or cricket; but having a variety of interests gives the guys at work something to talk about during the day.

Winterstrike – SA AN
It’s a sport, same as soccer, football or cricket to me. The second question smacks of condescension, as you would not ask the same question of a tennis, Grand Prix or basketball fan.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
Introducing the hobby is always tricky. I always make a point of differentiating it from stock blaster muck-abouts at home, especially if talking to guys about high school/uni age.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Oh, I flaunt the hell out of it. When I am describing it, I tend to describe it as either poor mans paintball, a form of advanced tag with blasters, or just a great excuse to get out and run around with a fun group of people.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
All of my non-Nerf/HvZ/’battle sports’ friends are aware of my hobbies to some degree. They’re all supportive or at least accepting of it – to my face at least

I tried explaining this stuff to work colleagues once. Once.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I don’t really describe it, but all my family and friends know I’m into it due to my incessant updates on what I’m working on. My family are fantastic and all involve themselves in different ways. Strangers find it a little strange, I’ve had a cashier in a store say “Who’s the lucky boy” when I’ve bought loads of Nerf, when I’ve replied “I am” for amusements sake, being a woman I’ve had the judgmental look… I just find that a little sad and think it says more about that cashier than it does about me. Keep your inner child alive I say 🙂

AJ – Foam Sports
All of my friends know about it, for me it’s not something to be ashamed of. At the same time, I rarely try and ‘convert’ any of my friends into becoming full on nerfers, as at its present state the hobby/scene requires a lot of commitment to be a part of and I think people need to decide to go down that path themselves rather than being pushed. I’ll happily show my friends some blasters, let them play with some of the cool ones, but I don’t hustle them into joining the war or modding scene etc.

Alex – SOFT
I think I’m 50/50; some people I don’t talk to them about it either due to they wouldn’t understand or be interested, or may be inappropriate. However to the others who do know and understand me… then yeh I guess I do flaunt / get carried away with it 😛 especially my work colleagues; its kind of like a big ongoing joke to everyone (except the boss… who doesn’t seem to know *yet* 😛

Pocket – Urban Taggers
After obvious media exposure early this year, most of my non-nerf friends KNOW about my hobby. I normally just say I’m a toy collector and write a blog about toy guns. Everyone knows me well enough to know this isn’t abnormal behaviour for me:) I don’t flaunt it per se, it’s just something I do and enjoy.

Interview – Australian Blaster Enthusiasts – Part One

Hello blaster enthusiasts of Australia and the world! Today marks a special occasion that I was hoping to bring out to celebrate my 20,000th view. The theory was to conduct an interview with all of the powers that be throughout Australia in the blaster community.(Un)Fortunately, readership picked up over the past month or so and I hit that milestone far sooner than expected (29/10/12 @ 11:05 if you were curious). Sooo… you all get a slightly belated view into the Australian blaster scene instead!

For those of you outside of Australia, please take the opportunity here to see how people outside of your community play. Notice the similarities and differences and hopefully you’ll learn something you can apply within your own community. For my fellow Australians (said in a suspiciously POTUS voice…) have a look at what the other states and groups around the country are doing. We’re a relatively small country population wise but I think we punch well about our weight in the international blaster community. It’s time to give up with the infighting, yeah?

So with all that out of the way, lets introduce you to today’s interviewees.

From New South Wales we have Matt, admin with Sydney Nerf Wars (Facebook and Forums), and Chris, admin with Riverina Dart Tag.
From Victoria we have Grep, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf (AN).
From Tasmania we have Alex, admin on Squadron of Foam Tasmania (S.O.F.T.).
From South Australia we have FaytZero and Winterstrike, both Admins on Australian Nerf, and AJ, admin on Foam Sports.
From West Australia we have Mohrlock, admin with West Nerf, and Stawsonia, State Lead Organiser on Australian Nerf.
Nobody I could find in the Northern Territory 😦
From Queensland we have Rolley from Street Tag Warfare, Clunk of Clunk Weapons Co and an admin on OzNerf, and Girly Gamer from Nerfenstein (Blog, Facebook, and Twitter).
And from my home here in the Australian Capital Territory we have Neil, admin with Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag and Chris from Combustible Props.

Each respondent was sent a series of 10 questions regarding their blaster usage and their thoughts on the Australian community. I know I sure found some of the responses particularly interesting and I hope you do too. Big thanks to all those who gave their time in responding; I really hope it improves our little corner of the world.

I had originally planned to run this as one post, but given that I’m currently well over 9000 words (closer to 12,000 for those of you playing at home), I think I’ll split this over two weeks. Be sure to check back next week for questions 6-10!
Cheers,
Joe

 

How did you first get into the hobby? When?

What do you think most attracted you to it originally?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
It’s hard to say really. I was probably about 10 years old when I got my first Nerf Blaster (one of those old school SwitchShot Max things that did water and foam), but I’d wanted to play with Nerf blasters well before then. I believe my interest was sparked by the advertisements on TV showcasing how “awesome” Nerf really was. My parents didn’t want to spoil me too much though, so it took them a couple of years to buy me my first one. I lost interest in Nerf when I was about 12, but picked it back up again when I started my retail job and saw how much the blasters had changed. That was when I was 18!

Originally, I just liked the idea of shooting projectiles. Being a 10 year old, you generally don’t think of much else with a gun shaped toy in your hand. If it shoots, that’s great! If it shoots far, that’s even better! When I was 18, it was more the look of the blasters that piqued my curiosity. They’d evolved into something that looked and felt more real. I liked that.

FaytZero – SA AN
I have been Nerfing for just over 5 years now, I started when I was 18 back in 2008. I turned up to my first war with a stock Long-Shot and AR’d Nite-Finder with rubber bands attached to the plunger rod to give it more power. I tagged along with 4 of my other friends who also had never played before, one of us found OZNerf and saw that there was a war is SA and well it took off from there.

I always liked the concept of Nerf, same as paintball and Air-Soft but since Air-Soft is illegal and paintball was so expensive Nerfing was just a natural progression. I’m keen on projectile sports that involve tactics, team work and encourage physical activity. I was and am still very interested in the engineering aspect of Nerf, opening a blaster and seeing what you can do to improve it beyond it’s original design. There’s nothing more satisfying than spending a few hours crafting a masterpiece then using it in a war and seeing your hard work paying off.


Chris – Combustible Props
My first nerf blaster was a ‘Ye Old Maverick’ from ThinkGeek. When they were first released on that site (5-6 years ago) myself and a number of co-workers did a group buy of them so we could have a little fun in the office. I *really* got into the whole modding aspect when I bought my first Stampede for an Aliens M41A Pulse rifle prop I started about 2 years back (Note that this Pulse rifle still isn’t finished!). And by coincidence that was the time I started down the path to being a prop building.

I have now worked on local movie called Theatre of the Dead and a large number of theatre productions with the ultimate aim of having my own small prop making business.

I think at that time the nerf brand was limited to balls and things so seeing this cool little revolver style nerf blaster was sweet! That and the idea we all had to have inter-office wars.

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
I think I first got in to it properly a few years ago when I stumbled upon the SG Nerf blog, and after reading about the tons of different blasters out there I was immediately like “WHOAH! There’s so many!” and started collecting!

I think the ability to mod the hell out of them and the out of the box customisation is what really attracted me. I love working with my hands so modding was only a natural path to follow.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
It’s kinda a two-tailed story. I first got into Nerf sixteen years ago when my friend had got the original Nerf Bow & Arrow for his birthday. Naturally I had to get my hands on one that summer as well.

I truly got into Nerf about 4 years ago by tangent searching the internet at work (as you do). Being the geek that I know I am, I ended up stumbling across the Humans Vs. Zombies forum and got hooked on the idea of eventually running the game in Western Australia. I’d already been into playing Dart Tag with velcro darts some years ago, but never heard of playing with Nerf on such a level. I started buying into the N-Strike range and things started to spiral out of control.

I’m huge on RPGs of all varieties and have been for almost two decades now. I think the aspect of bringing Live Action Role Play (LARP) into a post-apocalyptic setting with foam blasters that are (generally) clip-fed said it all.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
I came in to the hobby fairly late in life. I was bought a Vulcan for my 30th birthday in 2010. Typically, I have to know how things work, and after a bit of googling, I came across OzNerf and NerfHaven.

I’m a guy – we all like shooting stuff!! Really though, it’s the hands-on of modding that really sucked me in, which stems from my background as a rigger/boiler-maker.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
About two years ago, my two oldest kids, both boys, wanted to buy Nerf guns to play real-life Counterstrike or similar at home. After arriving home and looking up “nerf guns australia” on the internet, they discovered (semi-)organised groups, which they then pestered me to take them to. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, and having a chance to spend time (a) outdoors and (b) with my teenage sons, I bought a Maverick, shortly followed by an Alpha Trooper, and joined in.

Winterstrike – SA AN
I’m not sure what did it, and it was about 6 years ago. I think we were just looking for an alternative to paintball/airsoft. I joined Oznerf about 3 months after it was created and talking with a few people on there got me to start modding.

Something that I could play with my nephews and friends that was available. Again, if airsoft/paintball were available for 6 year olds, I would have gone down that path.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
I first got into the hobby while researching alternative forms of combat sports, like paintball and airsoft. This was back at the start of ’09. My first “real” war was in the middle of 2010 with a group of guys that we rounded up together. Finally, in the December of 2010, the West Nerf team finally started up, and had the first “Official” war, which was a blast.

What originally attracted me was the ability to be able to play in a far wider variety of locations for cheaper than continually playing paintball or even laser tag. Always being a big fan of milsim, the useage of clips and slightly more realistic shapes also played into my involvement.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Through a mate who was organising the now defunct CSU HvZ Group, Ash, about 4 1/2 – 5 years ago.

The struggle to survive, and just how normal it felt to wander through public areas covered in foamy goodness.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
Back in early 2010 I was down the coast (Bateman’s Bay) with some friends for a few days and the brother of one of the girls brought down a Vulcan. It got a lot of use over the long weekend, and before I’d even left the coast I’d bought two from the local Kmart.

Referring back to the first question the Vulcan seemed a lot of fun. It was big and pretty cool looking. But after a couple of weeks of the missus and I blasting each other and our respective house mates, it all got a bit boring. That’s when I started thinking ‘there must be more you can do with these’. A bit of internet searching later and I’d come across the OzNerf forums, and half a dozen noob questions later I’d found out about something called ‘HvZ’. Not only that but there was game coming up the following weekend at the Australian National University. By then I had a Raider too, so with that and my Vulcan I pitched up to the game. I had no idea what to expect, and realistically I had a pretty bad game my first time out, but it was enough to ‘catch the bug’.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
I bought my first Nerf back in July / August 2011. I got into modding them aesthetically a couple of weeks later when I thought it would be fun to try and paint a Tek blaster (didn’t want to ruin any of the Nerf lol).

There was a big Nerf sale on and I thought my family would have fun if I bought a few…. I was right!

AJ – Foam Sports
I started back in early 2008, so almost 5 years ago now. The Recon had just hit Australian shores and a friend of mine showed me after he bought it. I went out and bought 2 recons and we had some good fun just shooting each other around the house. The same friend mentioned that he’d heard there was a website that showed you how to make them shoot further, and after a bit of searching I stumbled upon Nerfhaven and NHQ where my realy ‘nerf’ journey began.
Nerf blasters have an intrinsic ‘cool’ quality about them; people generally think blasters are cool or novelty, but beyond that for me I liked the challenge of making the blasters perform beyond what they were designed to do. Adelaide Nerf Wars and any kind of social or competitive aspect really didn’t exist when I started, so it was all about modding the guns as best as possible and trash talking on American nerf forums.

If I was just modding blasters on my own I really don’t think I would have kept it up for 5 years, so I’d like the take the time to mention and thank two guys – Tidge (or The Inventor Guy) and Chaos Blades (screen names obviously). They’ve both been into nerf for way longer than me, and I met them through Nerf Haven and started hanging out with them after I got into nerf. They took me in, taught me how to do some mods and are solely responsible for curing my ‘noobness’. We found a few more adelaide guys and started to have wars down here.

Tidge and CB did dart hire before that was really a ‘thing’, they would let us borrow blasters because ours sucked.. it would inspire you to try harder, get better at modding and really helped the community get off the ground. This was right around the time OZnerf started getting more users and this ‘Adelaide Resurgence’ got a lot of attention and made other people start lifting their game, which grew over time into the Australia wide organised nerf scene we have today.

Nerf without a community would be a sad thing, so I want to acknowledge these guys for their contributions both personally to my growth as a serious nerfer and modder, and also to the current overall scene which I believe is really built upon the foundations of their efforts back in 08/09.

Alex – SOFT
It’s actually a bit of a long story but I’ll *try* to keep it trim. I went to a relatives’ Christmas party in 2010. His son got a Nerf Vulcan, Maverick and a Nitefinder, and some kids around his age had some Mav’s and NF’s as well. My brother and I joined in for a backyard battle… and we were hooked xD
But it wasn’t until about a month later in 2011 some of my friends came over to my place and we all discussed how we’d seen them at Xmas time… next thing I knew we were all out in the ute, filling the boot with Nerf loot 😛
Another aproximate-month passed and I found online communities, forums, and discovered modding. This combined with finding and joining a local Nerfing community that had just started up – it all snowballed (in a good way) from there on 😀

In the beginning stages I feel it was the novelty of having a unique kind of toy that I didn’t get to experience when I was a kid. In addition they are *toy guns* that actually fire *safe* projectiles; it doesn’t get much cooler than that for me! Although I enjoy laser skirmish based games, I constantly get frustrated with not being able to see epic headshots that I scored, or being able to tell who hit me from where… Nerf blasters changed this perspective for me, and furthermore proved to be a great sports activity with friends.


 

What’s your favourite thing about the hobby now?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
Something that Nerf is great with is bringing like-minded people together. I’m really enjoying the community aspect of Nerf right now. The community in Sydney is flourishing, with a fairly diverse set of members ranging from 12 years old to well into their 50’s. It’s really the people that I’ve met and the bonds that I’ve developed that have really made Nerf one of the big things in my life.


FaytZero – SA AN
It hasn’t really changed, I still enjoying the team work and tactics behind this sport as well as that satisfying feeling when you have completed a long and hard modification then using it a game to great effect. The only thing that has changed since I first started is that now I have gotten to know my community I also go to enjoy their company, going to meet with them is as fun and exciting as Nerfing itself.


Chris – Combustible Props
It’s now hit a critical mass of awesome. There are so many groups all over the world playing and modding nerf blasters! I think my fav thing would be the sheer amount of talent out there for modding and the enthusiasm for playing HvZ/team games help keep the excitement there.
Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
The community and going to wars! They’re so much fun!

Mohrlock – West Nerf
The community. I love how a common interest has built this ever-growing large group of people who have become friends over the last few years. It’s a really positive thing to be a part of.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
2 things really – The NIC is a fairly big part of my life now, and I enjoy the social networking via the web. And probably the biggest enjoyment is seeing the finished product of a modification/commission.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
I’m a geek, I spend 40+ hours in an office in front of a computer. This hobby gives me a chance to get out into the fresh air, get some exercise, and meet real people interested in the same (non-computer) stuff that I’m interested in. And the point above about time with my kids is important to me too — I’m mid-40s, and they’re teenagers, so (based on my own experience) we’ve only a few years left to enjoy being together and doing things together.

Winterstrike – SA AN
The variety in which one can modify blasters/ammunition. No other sport I know of can one mould their tools so specifically to tailor one’s needs. Neither paintball/airsoft has this and the fact that nerf introduced this to me is serendipity.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My favourite thing about the hobby now is experimenting with different forms of the hobby. I started on homemades at the beginning of 2011, and then over the last half year or so I have developed Australianised versions of American concepts, like hoppers and slugs. I also started being far more involved in our local milsim organisation, Tactical Skirmish Perth.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
My favorite thing about the hobby now would either be scaring the new zombies by running at them, rather then away, or the friendships that have developed in our club.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
For me now it’s about spending time with friends, having a laugh and introducing noobs to the hobby.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
The people I’ve met / connected with through my Facebook page (Nerfenstein) and various forums. The Nerf community is a truly great community, I’ve never had a problem, can’t rate it highly enough.

AJ – Foam Sports
For me nerf now exists as both a ‘hobby’ (modding etc) and a ‘sport’ (competitive play etc). I’m growing more and more passionate about the ‘sport’ side, but as far as pure ‘hobby’ or modding stuff goes I still love complex springers and homemade springers – I think airguns are too easy, so I like the challenge springers present, especially when you try and add other mechanical components like linked breeches, auto-rotating turrets etc.

Alex – SOFT
The more I got into Nerf blaster collecting / battling, the more I found just how much it really meant to me; for a long time I’ve always felt like I’ve had to conform to ‘the norm’ of what others expected of me (even though I’ve always been a bit on the quirky side) – I mean really, to the average bloke having a twenty-something year old tell them they play *and* collect *and* modify kids toy guns… it was embarrassing for a while…

But by getting into Nerf and discovering where it could (and did) lead me it really shattered those boundaries and made me feel like I had my own sense of identity, goals, confidence and (without sounding cheesy) independance, along with all the new friends I’ve made through this hobby.


 

How would you describe your main usage of blasters? Do you take part in organised games, mess around with friends, just enjoy modding, mostly in it for the collecting, etc? Why?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
I love Nerf wars. I feel it’s the ultimate purpose of Nerf, whether or not that’s what the line of toys was designed for. Here in Sydney, we’ve got a pretty strong warring community where we host organised events, which can get just that little bit competitive. And then there’s the HvZ community that’s growing out of Sydney University. We can’t forget them and the work that they’ve just begun!

FaytZero – SA AN
I do equal parts of modding and warring in organized games. Being one of the head members in SA I also take tame out to organize games and events so that we can keep a stable and prospering community. The SA Nerf community of one of the oldest with us having member who have actively Nerfed for over 6 years! That kind of community doesn’t just appear and hang around it take a lot of effort by it’s members to keep it going as smoothly as we have.

Chris – Combustible Props
I am one of the moderators for Canberra dart tag so tend to be at most of our organized games. I also mod blasters to use myself and when making props so collecting isn’t really my thing. I have been making props for about 2 years and am currently putting the finishing touches on a Warhammer 40k themed Recon kit. I will eventually move to solid replica props but having something that looks like your fav movie/game prop that fires nerf darts is awesome 😀

Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Although I’d love to be out at a war every weekend, my work takes up large chunks of my time so really the main usage is collecting and messing around. Sometimes I’ll pick up a blaster to just pop a couple of shots, but then it turns in to half an hour of screwing around and targeting my unsuspecting girlfriend. I would like to spend more time on doing more complex mods in the future though.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
Fun? That’s probably the best way to describe my main usage of blasters. I’m actually a casualty to everything mentioned above. I love taking part in and organising games/events, certainly enjoy messing around with friends (how it all started), love the modding aspect of the scene and once had a fairly prolific collection.

The social aspect of organising games and watching something you’ve created on paper become a living, breathing game that people not only enjoy but keep asking to play is a great feeling. Modding is great to see what a little tinkering, blood, sweat and multiple profanities can produce from what is “intended” to be a kid’s toy. And the collecting, I’m just one of those obsessive compulsive collector types.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Living in a small rural town, there’s not many Nerf enthusiasts close to my own age, so organised games are extremely limited. Foremost I’m a modder, and take great pleasure in supplying commission pieces to people all over the country. I also do a bit of vintage collecting, but that’s just a sideline.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
I have a few blasters from the N-strike range, because that’s what was available when I started. I’ve bought a few clone non-brand blasters too — I don’t have any particular brand loyalty, but I like the look and styling of the Nerf brand.

I seem to have fallen into the role of Victorian State Organiser on Australian Nerf, so I’m trying to host a war at least once a month, and trying to get to every war. Living an hour or so away from the suburbs means that we don’t have many people to be able to recruit and play with up here (although we’re trying), so apart from a very occasional war in the front yard with friends, it’s all at organised game events.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Nerf wars. I don’t use them at all for cosmetic reasons nor do I mod accordingly. Everything I make has the full intent to be dropped, stepped on, beaten or thrown so they have to be durable and perform well. Since I am the primary war organiser for events in SA, I take part in all organised events. As to why, I simply enjoy the sport that much.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
My main usage of blasters depends on the war. In the high-power wars I run, I normally use my Crossbow or my reshelled Snapbow Mk5. Otherwise I mainly use my upspringed Longshot, until my Magpul Retaliator project is completed. I mix up between the two depending on terrain and the ranges needed. I have almost always used my Scout as my sidearm, and it’s seen a lot of action at my side over the last 2 years.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
My main usage for blasters was for the most part the collecting, though now, I have reached that limit that I can only really justify buying new ones if they are cool/useful/or to mod it in some way.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
I’ve always been an ‘eventer’. It’s all about the games to me. Either attending or running them. I wouldn’t classify myself as a collector, serious modder or ‘apartment warrior’.

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
The main use of my blasters is aesthetically modding them, however I do have a whole collection that is just for playing with around the house, at parties with family and friends etc. As for why, I find modding them a great creative outlet and I also enjoy doing commissions for people who want a certain style but can’t do it themselves for whatever reason.

AJ – Foam Sports
I’ve done pretty much all of the above at some point – I started messing around with friends, then got serious for mostly modding reasons. My collection eventually swelled to over 170 blasters, including a lot of rare/old school stuff, but has since shrunk back down to a more managable size. I now mostly take part in organised games and maintain my blaster collection as a means to an end for those games.

Alex – SOFT
I am now one of the key leaders and game organisers of the Hobart Nerf Squadron; I usually organise a day of games every few weeks. My brother frequently drops by my place to hang out and occasionally have a muck-around with our latest additions to our collections 😛 and on occasions mod some of his blasters for him.
I do a fair amount of modding actually; even setup my own shed and miniature workshop for just that reason :P. And of course… I collect one too many blasters 😡 seriously I need more limbs just to carry and use them all…

 

Do you mod your blasters? Why/why not?

Matt – Sydney Nerf Wars
I do modify my blasters. I do it because I know some blasters have far more potential to be awesome compared to what they’re like out of the box. I like to push those blasters to their limits and achieve the very best results possible while not compromising the safety of the community members. I also gain that little bit of satisfaction out of being able to improve on something with my own skill and ingenuity. It isn’t often we get the chance to do such things in this day and age.

FaytZero – SA AN
Yes, of course! In SA we highly promote and use modified blasters, we don’t have anything against stock blaster but feel that you can get more out of the sport with modified blasters. Now we of course take safety into account and we take special care to ensure that all blasters and darts being used are safe and are not capable of causing and serious damage.


Chris – Combustible Props
Almost every blaster I use is modded as stock ranges/powers make puppies cry.
Rolley – Street Tag Warfare
Sure do! I just like having an extra bit of power, but I don’t usually have the time to do major cosmetic mods or custom breeches.

Mohrlock – West Nerf
I do and I don’t. I mod pretty much every Recon that comes into (and out of) my possession. I’ve done the odd Nitefinder as well and do the occassional mods for friends as well. I like modding for others more than myself though. My Black Tactical Recon has been super reliable and range-producing so I enjoy keeping most of my other blasters stock. I’ve been lucky with stock blasters like my Furyfire and Strikefire – those things get ridiculous stock ranges for some reason. And it’s always fun playing competively with a stock Longstrike.

Clunk – Clunk Weapons Co
Yep, see above. The only stock blasters in my workshop are set aside for either commissions or parts for modding. Even my 3 y.o. daughter’s blasters have been modded (cosmetically) and include a scout, stampede and reflex.

Grep – Victoria SLO AN
I do, but not as enthusiastically as some others. Most of my modding is painting and highlighting details.

It’s nice to be able to get better performance (range, rate of fire) from a blaster, but in the end, we do this for fun; it really doesn’t matter if I can’t shoot as far or as fast as everyone else; being older and more fragile, I don’t mind that much if I get “out” early and can sit and have a rest for a while.

Winterstrike – SA AN
Of course and the answer is obvious; performance and durability. A stock gun not only shoots worse but is far more fragile. I buy all nerf guns with the assumption that they are “broken” out of the box and I need to fix them.

Swatsonia – WA SLO AN
I originally didn’t mod my blasters, instead relying upon my ability to run around. However, as WestNerf developed, this was no longer as effective as it used to be. Once I developed the taste for modifications, I haven’t stopped.

Chris – Riverina Dart Tag
Yes, I think I may have 3 blasters that are not modded, an AT that is still in the box, a whiteout long strike, still in the box, and my all time fav, a 1999 mint bnib Power clip.

Neil – Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag
Yes, but usually only to AR removed level or bit of extra voltage. I’ve got a couple of uber-modded blasters but I use them very rarely. With playing a lot of HvZ and indoor games where the effective ranges are very short it becomes a safety issue. As we always says when people ask us about mods they can use in our games: “If you’re happy to be shot in the face at point blank range with it, then we’ll allow it”

Girly Gamer – Nerfenstein
As above, I mod blasters externally for fun, I would like to get into internal modding as I find the entire process fascinating, but just haven’t had the time.

AJ – Foam Sports
Yes, quite often pretty serious mods too – complete re-shells, homemade internals, scratch built blasters etc I really enjoy the personal challenge and like designing and building new things. For me modding is about pushing boundries, not just the final range, so I often fail, but a few times I’ve succeeded (megaraider, bathplug plunger heads, conduit breeches etc) and these successes have gone on to be used by other nerfers to do even cooler things, which inspires me to keep trying, failing and spending ungodly ammounts of money in the plumbing section of bunnings.

Super high powered blasters are not appropriate for all (or most) settings though, so even though I love to mod, I maintain a stock kit and modded blasters at different power levels to cater for different wars, game types, player classes etc.

Alex – SOFT
Yes I modify most of my blasters. Some I keep in ‘stock’ form either due to A) lack of modding potential, B) they perform fine as they are, or C) for indoor, venue hire or ‘safe-rules’ games where modded blasters are excessive or not allowed.
But the main reasons why I DO modify certain blasters is because;

– In most outdoor or long-range conditions, most blasters right off the shelves don’t always cut the mustard
– Some blasters have great potential in them to perform better, or contain design flaws which impede on the overall enjoyment factor (for example; the Hail-Fire performs well in terms of firing and range, but the clip rack rotation device being so unwieldly and unreliable was not a great design and caused several firing and reloading problems – yet with some modding it can be resolved.)
– It personalises my blasters; they are *mine* – different from anyone elses. They become unique to me; I become more familiar and more comfortable with them and adjust them to suit my play-style or for a type of game mode I’m playing.
– It teaches me A LOT about how they work, how to fix broken parts and how to improve them or create ‘make-shift’ components. But the flipside is it teaches me quite a few life skills; how different simple mechanics and technologies work, how to use different tools for different purposes, how to expand my mind in terms of puzzles and problem solving, and opening my eyes to different creative possibilities.

I’m not pulling this out of the fancy ‘show-off and up-myself’ hat; there have been many “real-life” situations where my modding experiences have helped me and others out greatly. One memorable time is my wife lost one of her favourite (and expensive) earrings down the bathroom sink hole. I ‘modified’ our Dyson vacuum cleaner with drinking straws, wire, disposable drinking cups, hot glue, a pair of stockings (to catch the earring), a sealable plastic bag (to prevent the water from frying the vacuum cleaner) and a fistful of confidence that rescued it and saved us from either abandoning it to a sludgy doom or getting an expensive plumber to retrieve it @_@

Mod Shop – Nerf Vulcan – AR Removal

I’m somewhat surprised that it’s taken me this long to get around to doing a Vulcan, but also not in many ways. Back when I first started Nerfing back in 2009, the Vulcan was the daddy of them all. It was bigger, badder and meaner than the rest of the available blasters, but for some reason I just didn’t care. I had my Tommy’s and I was pretty happy. However, I finally picked up a Vulcan as part of a bulk purchase I grabbed a few months back. Ergo, time to do some mods!

Today we’ll be running through a basic AR removal, but since it’s a Vulcan it’s not going to be all that basic. There are a lot of parts to this blaster and this wouldn’t be something I’d recommend to the beginning modder. With that, I mind I won’t be doing a full walk through this week; there will be full disassembly and pointing out of the parts you need to modify, but there will be no reassembly. If you aren’t confident in your skills yet, this isn’t the blaster to try them out on.

__________________________________________________________________________
Tools/materials required

Phillips head screwdriver
Flat head screwdriver
Claw hammer/small crow bar
Drill and assortment of drill bits
Small round hand file
__________________________________________________________________________
As always, we’ll start with the blaster in question

Photobucket

Remove the battery tray.

Photobucket

Pry the sides off the top handle.

Photobucket

And the rest of the handle will just come off on its own.

Photobucket

Using your hammer/crow bar, pry the priming handle apart.

Photobucket

Remove the screws holding the belt cover in place.

Photobucket

Then pry the locating pin out.

Photobucket

The whole belt cover will then be able to get lifted off.

Photobucket

Ok, now on to the boat load of screws.

Photobucket

Two very small ones go here, the rest are all the same.

Photobucket

Once they’re all removed you’ll be able to open up the shell.

Photobucket

As always, take a good while to look around the internals and get an understanding of how it works.

Photobucket

This is particularly important in something as complicated as the Vulcan.

Photobucket

Remove this small black screw here.

Photobucket

Then the whole front can come off.

Photobucket

Remove this bottom tray thing.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Move to the back and remove this top cover and the catch.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Under here you can see the micro-switch used as the trigger.

Photobucket

Remove the trigger itself.

Photobucket

Then the internal trigger mechanism.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Remove the priming bar cover.

Photobucket

Revealing the main cog.

Photobucket

Remove this small roller above the main priming bar.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Now we can get on to the main cover. There’s 6 screws holding it in place.

Photobucket

Then this orange piece.

Photobucket

There’s also a screw hiding at the bottom of this hole.

Photobucket

All right, most of the covers gone.

Photobucket

Flip the blaster over and you’ll find another screw hiding just in-front of the priming bar hole. Remove it.

Photobucket

You should now be able to finally remove the priming bar itself.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Then remove the motorised priming bar.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Remove this front clip and spring.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

Two small screws live here, remove them.

Photobucket

Then we’ll be able to remove the whole clutch assembly.

Photobucket

Like so.

Photobucket

It will have to go back together like this once you get back to re-assembly.

Photobucket

Grab the plunger tube and turn it about 90 degrees.

Photobucket

This will allow us to pull it forward.

Photobucket

And out of the blaster.

Photobucket

All this time, this is actually the piece we’re after.

Photobucket

Have a look down there and you’ll find an air restrictor.

Photobucket

Grab your drill and go to town on it.

Photobucket

Then clean it up with a small round hand file.

Photobucket

 

There we have it. Re-assemble it and you have yourself an AR’d Nerf Vulcan.