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    RedWolf Airsoft UK Airsoft Showcase The Mall 2015

    Just seven days to go for the Airsoft Showcase 2015 that RedWolf Airsoft UK will be hosting.   Set to take place on the 17th of May 2015, the Airsoft Showcase will be held at The Mall, the famous QCB site which is an abandoned mall right in Reading, England. The Mall, also known for its Zombie experience, is maintained by Zed Adventures.

    If you are planning to go to the Airsoft Showcase, you can purchase your tickets at the RedWolf Airsoft UK website where the ticker prices are at £8 for advanced adult tickets and £5 advanced child tickets (8 - 14 years Old).

    UK airsoft retailers will be out in full force and that means opportunities for airsoft players to compared products from different vendors under one roof. That also means some saving up is in order to get the most of what airsoft vendors will be offering. There are more airsoft vendors showing up at the Airsoft Showcase as compared to the British Airsoft Show last February 2015. You can check the names of exhibitors and participating airsoft groups in the poster below:

    It's not all just airsoft shopping. If you want to experience playing at The Mall, then Zed Adventures would be more than happy to oblige. They have prepared 30 -minute CQB games and you can bring your own gear.  A single game will cost £7.50 for walk-on players with their own kit and £9.50 for rental players  and it will include an airsoft gun, face mask, and 1 mag of BBs

    The gates will open at 9am and we highly suggest that you arrive early for the event if your intention is mainly shopping for gear and airsoft guns. If you're early, you always get choice pickings on what is on sale.

    We'll be there to cover the event so be on your Sunday best and here's the final reminder and put the postcode on your satnavs:

    Airsoft Showcase 2015
    Location: The Mall, Garrard Street, Reading , RG1 1NR
    Date: Sunday, 17th May 2015
    Time: 9am – 5pm

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    Star Wars Boba Fett

    Ever since Disney acquired Lucas Films and the Star Wars anthology to go with it, they plan to make sure that they get squeeze more from what one of the most successful movie series of all time. Apart from starting another trilogy that will take place into the future after "Return of the Jedi", they also plan to create movies based on the two minor characters who became fan favourites: Wedge Antilles, the leader of Rogue Squadron, the Rebel X-Wing Squadron that he and Luke Skywalker built; and Boba Fett, the Bounty Hunter with the Mandolarian Helmet.

    We all know the origins of Boba Fett in "Attack of the Clones", where he watched his father, the Bounty Hunter Jango Fett, get beheaded by Mace Windu. He was able to get the Helmet back as having a Mandolarian armour is central to the Mandolarian way of life. But how did Boba Fett get into the legendary bounty hunter that even Darth Vader himself availed of his services? Obviously, that's what the movie is all about.

    Disney initially hired Josh Trank to direct the movie. He is said to have exited the movie due to concerns about his erratic behaviour in the production of the "Fantastic Four" movie. So far, there is no news of who will be the new director for the movie. So far, we also don't know who will be taking the role of Boba Fett, which was the role played by Jeremy Bulloch in "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."

    In the order of well-known bad guys in the Star Wars movie, I think Boba Fett is second to Darth Vader, with the Emperor and Jabba the Hutt following.

    In airsoft, there are those who made their own custom Boba Fett Helmet but mainly the helmet is used in Cosplayers' conventions. But one tacticool use of the Bobba Fett helmet that was customised to fit with the FAST Helmet and the result is something we want seen in airsoft. With this movie project, expect someone to make a custom airsoft mask again, as long as Disney doesn't come after him.

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    Tydex Holster Kryptek Tatooine

    Another Star Wars story for today as we excitedly anticipate the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The anticipation will just get crazier as the months go by until we reach December, the Star Wars VII month. We're starting to see Star Wars-themed merchandize and projects that die-hard fans make and for some enterprising individuals capitalizing on this craze.

    With Disney as the owner of the Star Wars films now, we will expect more merchandizing to come out, being the masters that they are. We'll see some toys, action figures and costumes in all shapes and sizes. Too bad that Disney didn't look at tactical gear. But we'd rather welcome Tydex Holsters doing their Star Wars bit with new Kydex Holsters they're producing inspired by Star Wars.

    Initially, they came out with a Millennium Falcon in ACU pattern which they then followed up with the Millennium Falcon in what they call to be " Kryptek Tatooine" named after Luke Skywalker's home planet.

    But they didn't stop there. They now made a Darth Vader Holster, a Tie Fighter, and a Rebel Alliance logo. We see a lightsaber in the photo below, but so far, no sign of a holster for it.

    Tydex Holsters didn’t mention on their Facebook page what guns that can fit the holsters, though we believe they will make a custom fit for your pistol. I wonder if they would make an E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm, but I will have to find an airsoft version of it, which means somebody will have make a custom Sterling AEG designed to be the E-11 Blaster.

    You can email your interest to Tydex Holsters by emailing them Their website is online but it still needs to be populated with their products and not ready to take orders yet. If they cannot be contacted via email, you can message them at their Facebook Page as they're active there.

    But if Star Wars is not you, you can also check some of their custom holsters. They have the Tydex Holsters Tactical Art Series where they different designs that cater to non-Star Wars fans.

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    Tokyo Marui AES

    Tokyo Marui pulled out a surprise at the ongoing 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show, with the unveiling of the first Airsoft AA-12 Automatic  Electric Shotgun (AES) in the world. This caught everybody by surprise as not even a hint was said when they posted their teaser images as part of their tradition a week before the Hobby Show begins. Oh boy! We do like what we see and we hope it performs as well as the Tokyo Marui M870 Tactical Gas Shotgun.

    We're not yet posting an AAR of the 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show as we'll be waiting the images of the Tokyo Marui Exhibit Floor. But what we have right now are the first hand information of what will be the first batch of products from the company this year. This includes updated information on the M4 MWS Gas Blowback Rifle and the U.S. M9 Pistol with a Variable Hop-Up System.

    But if you can't wait for our report, we highly recommend that you visit Hyperdouraku for their full report which is now online.

    Model: AA-12
    Series: Automatic Electric Shotgun
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale: Undetermined
    Target Age: Over 18 years old


    • Equipped with fully new “3 Cylinder Mechabox”.
    • 3 round fire from 3 barrels. Adjust hop-up individually.
    • Full (10 shots per second)/Semi-Automatic selective fire. 30 shots per second
    • (3 shots x 10 times)
    • FET (Electronic Switch Method) is newly adopted to lessen damage of the switch.
    • Kashima-coat of alumite is used for nozzle guide. This makes nozzle motion and 3 shots supply smoothly.
    • Metal inner frame strong body.
    • 90 rounds magazine. 3 seconds can be shot by full automatic mode.
    • The drum magazine is produced as optional magazine. Its power-operated system takes in BB bullet by pushing the switch at the magazine bottom. Magazine capacity is over 3,000 rounds.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length:    838 mm (Undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length: Undetermined
    • Weight: 4,200g (Undetermined)
    • Magazine Size: 90 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: 8.4V 1,300mAh Ni-MH Mini S Battery

    Model: Hi-CAPA 5.1 GOLD MATCH
    Series: Gas Blowback
    Price: Undetermined
    Target Age: Over 18 years old


    • Hi-CAPA 5.1 base custom model.
    • Gold color parts (Outer barrel, Hammer, Trigger, Thumb safety, Recoil spring guide, Grip Screw)
    • Special slide carefully made with precision cutting work.
    • Equipped with long slide stop that is easy to use.
    • Light focus acrylic is adopted to front site.
    • Rail-integrated chassis.
    • Metal notch spacer prevent damage of slide stop and notch.
    • Anti-slip grip attached.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 222 mm
    • Inner Barrel Length: 112 mm
    • Weight: 860 g (Undetermined)
    • Magazine Size: 31 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a Gas

    Model: U.S. M9 PISTOL
    Series: Gas Blowback
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale    In Summer: (Undetermined)
    Target Age: Over 18 years old


    • Measurement from real gun and produced M9 frame. Real gun holster can be used for this model.
    • The mechanism base is Gas blowback M9A1.
    • Variable Hop-Up system.
    • Decocking system.
    • 2 white dot type rear sight.
    • 944g weight is the same as real gun.
    • M92F Magazine can be used in common with GBB M92F and GBB M9A1.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 216 mm (Undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length: 115 mm (Undetermined)
    • Weight: Undetermined
    • Magazine Size: 26 Rounds
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a Gas

    Model: M4 MWS
    Series: Gas Blowback
    Price: Undetermined
    On-Sale: In Summer (Undetermined)
    Target Age: Over 18 years old


    • Postponed the release date, we are improving durability thoroughly.
    • Modification change from last prototype.
      • Modified internal parts and mechanism to improve durability.
      • Changed Hop adjustment method ( to adjust after takedown.)
      • Change the actuation of fore assist knob as real gun, due to the change of Hop adjustment method.

    Product Specifications:

    • Length: 777 mm / 854 mm (Undetermined)
    • Inner Barrel Length: Undetermined
    • Weight: Undetermined
    • Magazine Size: Undetermined
    • Bullet: 6mm BB
    • Power Source: HFC134a Gas

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    Lily Camera Drone

    Japanese girls would cry, "Kawaiiiii!!!" when they see the Lily Camera Drone. With such a a cute look, this is probably the first camera drone that comes with a very pleasant face to look at, giving it some sort of a personality. Just like man's best friend, Lily is a camera drone that will follow its owner wherever he/she goes, as long as she's got batteries left.

    In this age of selfies, mega selfies, perhaps drones that have "follow me" features such as Lily will lead to the another term, "extreme selfies". What we like about "follow me" drones is that there's no need to have another camera man to take videos of you, especially in fast-paced action, much more aerial videos where before it takes a rather very expensive helicopter and camera crew just to pull it off.

    For airsoft players who love to have themselves seen in action in videos Lily could be that camera drone that they would love to bring with them in the field. A unique feature of Lily is that you once you turn it on, you can just throw it up in the air and it will start to fly to follow you with its built-in HD video camera. Neat.

    When it's thrown, Lily's sensors detect this action and they immediately kick that quad rotos to life, hovering in the background and waiting for any movement of its owner to follow. Just like the new generation of "follow me" drones, the secret is a device that is carried by the owner that the drone is wireless connected to. In the case of Lily, this is rather a puck-size device that can be pocketed or worn in the wrist with a waterproof casing. Lily will then follow the device where it goes via Wifi and GPS.

    Lily also has a trick up its leave, errr… rotor, when filming the owner. When it detects that the owner (with the puck device) jumps or does some extreme maneuvers, it immediately kicks in the slow motion video mode. Now that's cool. Even cooler is that it's a waterproof drone, you might throw it and it lands on water, but it will still take off and do its job.

    The HD camera shoots at 1080p/60fps, 720p/120fps (which can be used for slow-mo footages), and 12mp still photos.

    There are caveats though. First, it's mainly a "follow me" camera drone and thus it has no controller. If you want to control the drone and determine how it will take video of the action happening in front of you, then you'll be disappointed. Second, which is perhaps the problem with most civilian drones, is the battery life, which is 20 minutes. Third, it has no anti-collision/avoidance sensors and definitely will fly smack into trees and other obstacles that it is advised that Lily be used in open spaces. For airsoft players planning to order Lily, this might be big let down and they can just use it in open fields.

    Lily is now on pre-order at US$499, without shipping costs yet.  It will cost US$999.00 when it finally gets released next year.

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    RedWolf Airsoft UK Airsoft Showcase Zed Adventures The Mall 2015

    If you haven't made plans for the weekend, we suggest that you look into going to the Airsoft Showcase 2015 as it will be taking place this Sunday at Zed Adventures The Mall in Reading this Sunday, 17 May 2015. This is probably the largest gathering of the British airsoft sellers and by just looking at the list of exhibitors, has more airsoft exhibitors in one place as compared to the British Airsoft Show.

    Here's the poster to prove that the organisers have gathered a very impressive number of airsoft businesses and organisations that will be setting up shop:

    Convinced now? Just imagine of rummaging through airsoft guns and gear from the various vendors all in just one room. For a ticket price of £8 Advanced adult tickets and £5 Advanced child tickets (8 - 14 years old), it's a cheap weekend getaway and here's what you can expect according to the organisers:

    • See some of the latest, coolest, hottest products from well-established retailers across the country.
    • Meet the site operators and find out more about the game site and their game scenario.
    • Talk to some of the leading teams and clubs in UK.
    • Watch the top UK Action Air Shooters performing their dynamic shooting skills and a chance to “have a go” yourself.
    • Want to play with “smokes and bangs”, then meet some of the experts in the pyro business.
    • Take a trip to the town of Destinus for a taste of Infiltration Airsoft's awesome post- apocalptic scenario. Will you fight for Flame or Rain?
    • Raffle prizes kindly donated by majority of exhibitors and also by Thatchreed, who will be at the showcase with their latest catalogue. All monies raised will be donated to Pilgrim Bandits Charity.
    • Have your photo taken with SAS hero Rusty Firmin (make sure you get his autograph as well)
    • Want some action? Zed Adventures will be running 30 minute CQB games across two levels within the Mall itself.

    What's more? Spend over £100 and have your entrance ticket deducted. That's a good deal to make your visit worthwhile.

    To navigate The Mall for Airsoft Showcase 2015, here's the floorplan where you can find where the exhibitors are located. Click here to download the large PDF file so you print it out for your reference.

    If you get to have the trigger finger, you can try joining in the 30-munute CQB games that Zed Adventures will be holding A single game will cost £7.50 for walk-on players with their own kit and £9.50 for rental players  and it will include an airsoft gun, face mask, and 1 mag of BBs.

    Come early to be have a the best choices in airsoft guns and gear at the Airsoft Showcase 2015. The gates will open at 9am and we shall be roaming around to take photos and videos of the event. Don't forget to write the details down for your Satnavs and for those travelling by public transport they can take the train to Reading and The Mall is just near the train station:

    Airsoft Showcase 2015
    Location: The Mall, Garrard Street, Reading , RG1 1NR
    Date: Sunday, 17th May 2015
    Time: 9am – 5pm

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    Airsoft Showcase 2015 AAR

    Imagine that you find airsoft retailers, gear vendors, event organisers, and even an indoor airsoft games facility in just one location? It's ideal, isn't it? It's just like a shopping mall where you can find most of what you need from clothes to gadgets, but in this case airsoft guns and tactical gear. It was the case of the Airsoft Showcase 2015 held yesterday that I suggested to Chris Kong of RedWolf Airsoft UK to rather call it  the "Airsoft Mall" since it actually happened inside a mall.

    The UK airsoft community converged in Reading, Berkshire to hold the first airsoft fair inside The Mall. The Mall is known in the airsoft community as the only airsoft games site that is held in an actual shopping mall. It is an abandoned mall, more known to the public as the Friars Walk Shopping Centre which was put up in 1973 and awaiting demolition to give way for a project which so far has not yet commenced. But for the airsoft community, it's plainly called "The Mall" and also for the Zombie Immersive Experience that is managed by Zed Adventures.

    Thus, on the 17th of May 2015, airsoft players who trooped to The Mall found a good showing of airsoft guns on display for the Airsoft Showcase. I arrived when the event just opened at 0900H, it was really a convenient location, just right outside the Reading train station and near the city centre. Navigating my way through a dimly lit corridor as we used the back entrance on Garrard Street until we hit the main corridor inside where Chris Kong was welcoming visitors to the event.  it was a trickle of visitors for the first two hours until by 1100h where the place became really busy as more airsoft players showed up.

    The airsoft retailers where allotted stalls, which basically are the empty shops of The Mall. The Grange Airsoft shared a big space with Swindon Airsoft and Strike Force CQB.  This section was more known for the good collection of HPA-powered airsoft guns, of which The Grange has all the major HPA airsoft names in stock: PolarStar Airsoft, Wolverine Airsoft,  Valken Tactical, and Tippmann.

    It was hard not to miss the Landwarrior Airsoft stall as they all had one for themselves and at its entrance was a "Predator" taking guard and it's made of various vehicle parts but it was well made. It became a selfie location with visitors taking selfies with the Predator. Inside, Scott Allan and the rest of the Landwarrior Airsoft crew were busy attending to visitors checking their merchandise.

    Opposite of Landwarrior Airsoft is the largest space on the floor which is shared by RedWolf Airsoft UK, RIFT Airsoft, HT Immersive Simulations, Army Surplus & Toys, Opt Tactical, CamoLab, Airsoft Action Magazine, and Pilgrim Bandits Charity. SAS Legend Rusty Firmin was also there doing book signing for his new book "15 Years in the SAS."

    At the next stall was Dave's Custom Airsoft which has expanded fully from providing custom airsoft guns and services but is fully into actual airsoft and tactical gear retail sales. Sharing the stall was Stitch Me Up which provides custom patch design services for airsoft teams.

    Right beside them were Drone Airsoft which had on display some interesting contraptions to spice up airsoft games, especially for those who love "diffuse the bomb" scenarios. iWholesales had on display Ares/Amoeba Airsoft AEGs with the new EFCS; and Bolt Airsoft guns that are equipped with the Bolt Recoil Shock System (BRSS) which many of our readers are familiar with as the strong kicking electric blowback and recoil system. I had a very good chat with the ladies of Cloud 9 Combat which is the newly named subsidiary Octavius Hunt Ltd.,  the Bristol-based company which is the largest smoke manufacturer in Europe. They were kind enough to give me a bunch of smokes and Thunderflash to test and for those who want their own brand smoke grenades and thunderflash, they are more than happy to accommodate such requests.

    Pro Airsoft Supplies also had a stall for themselves and it was quite busy as many visitors check the various airsoft guns on display. Ammo Drop had their own stall as well, with tactical clothing displayed outside and an assortment of WE airsoft gas blowbacks and AEGs on display inside.

    For airsoft players wanting to sell their own unwanted airsoft guns and gear, an area was also available for them to use and enterprising airsoft players took this chance to self airsoft gear they want to dispose of and make way for new stuff back home.

    Krytac was very visible as well as they finally have opened their UK and European Sales. Shield Airsoft handles the distribution for them and thus, Krytac Trident AEG series were on display. Sharing the big space with Shield Airsoft were Ashleigh Wright Photography, House of Wolves, and Spartan Airsoft. Opposite them are BadgerTac, BadgerTac2, and A2 Supplies. For those looking for spare parts, then this stall was the go to area for these.

    As always, the noisiest stall was that of Incentive Designs, known for their Venom MFG (Muzzle Flash Generator). The S.M.G. Rattle was there on display alright, and with its built-in sound system was generating machine gun noise which was music to many airsofters who were there.

    Airsoft practical shooters were there too. The Watford Practical Shooting Club  and Elite Customs of Mike Cripps had a mini course setup. For 2 quid, those who want to try airsoft practical shooter can shoot all these static and dynamic targets they had set up. At the end of The Mall corridor was TLSFx known for their pyros and airsoft grenades.

    A floor above the main floor was Infiltration Airsoft which are running a story to run their airsoft event operations about the rebellion of the poor in the UK and the government, called "The Flame" have established militarized areas in cities they control and separate the have nots from the haves. "The Rain" is the rebel army that that is combined forces of the Free People's Army and Guys Army.

    Zed Adventures also had their CQB games running which I checked out. The session that I decided to follow was said to have a surprise in store and we wondered what it was. When the game started the team that I followed almost got caught flatfooted when Martin of Incentive Designs opened fire on them with the S.M.G. Rattle! That made the CQB experience more tense as opposing teams had to take out the Martin and the S.M.G Rattle before they can retrieve their objectives of capturing their flags and bringing it to their starting areas.

    In the afternoon, Zed Adventures unleashed the zombies, who scared the bejeezus out of some. It would have been fun if there was "Walking Dead" theme during the Airsoft Showcase but they weren't in play for the CQB games. If interested in joining their Zombie game days (or nights), you can visit their website or contact them for the schedules.

    By 1600H, most of the shops were starting to pack-up to call it a day. Asking some of the exhibitors on how they find the Airsoft Showcase, some were quite happy as compared to the British Airsoft Show and would just need more improvement. I wonder if there will be another one next year since and held at The Mall as it's quite convenient, done indoors and at a location which is easily accessible. I do hope so, whilst The Mall is still available for airsoft players to play in.

    Photos at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. Video of the event to follow.

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    Tokyo Marui AES Catalog

    Oh boy! The online airsoft boards, blogs, websites, and social media pages litt up like Christmas trees last week with the news that an airsoft AA-12 will be a reality at long last. The announcement of by Tokyo Marui of their AA-12 Automatic Electric Shotgun (AES) at the 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show generated a lot of excitement, with some starting to save up for something that they believe will be a premium priced airsoft gun.

    We don’t know yet when this will be released, but our take is that the Tokyo Marui engineers will be targeting a December release which is always the month that their most anticipated product for the year is released. But don't get your hopes up yet, the company will definitely announce a more exact date at least two weeks before.

    Apart from the AA-12, Tokyo Marui admitted about the delays on their other highly anticipated product, the M4 MWS (Modular Weapon System), which is a rare thing for a major airsoft manufacturer to admit. There have been changes to the design ever since the last prototype was unveiled to the public last year such as improvements in durability and hop-up  adjustment method. But what they are looking into is a Summer 2015 release, though they have not quite announced in which part of the summer season it will be.

    Some might be bored with the releases of another Hi-Capa 5.1, albeit this has more bling with Gold coloured (or plated?) parts, and thus, being called the Hi-Capa 5.1 Gold Match. But it is one of the best selling airsoft pistols of the company and the Hi-Capa series has a special place in the airsoft practical shooting community and it's the most customised airsoft pistol ever. As for those who already thinking of ways of blinging it up further, release date is still undetermined just like the AA-12 AES.

    Now, another M9 gas blowback pistol is coming out this summer, the U.S. M9 Pistol. This is a full 1:1 scale pistol with weight is the same at 944 grams. You would be interested with its variable hop-up system and compatibility with the M92F and M9A1 gas magazines.

    If you are needing more information, we have posted the features and specifications of these products last week. But if you want more information, Tokyo Marui have posted online the product brochures that they released during the 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show. Unfortunately, these are all in Japanese, but you can just use Google translate to squeeze whatever information you can. These are limited run downloads so we suggest that you download them now as they will be taken offline by the 31st of May 2015.

    Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES

    Tokyo Marui M4 MWS

    Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 Gold Match

    Tokyo Marui U.S. M9 Pistol

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    Nutshellz CEO Bulletrproof Test

    A bit over two years ago, I wrote about a new groin protection product called the Nutshellz. The product was developed with two levels of protection: The first level is made for sports, especially contact sports such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) where the possibility of being hit hard in the nuts is at 100% (and goes for other Martial Arts). The second level is for police and military and that means a Nutshellz which is actually bulletproof.

    And to prove that, the President and CEO of Nutshellz, Jeremiah Raber, had his groin shot by an expert shooter, wearing the Nutshellz of course:

    Well, that prove he really has some balls of steel. That was a bit hair-raising or perhaps harrowing for us men who watch another man getting his balls shot at. It's one of the things males will imagine without failing to cringe as it is one of the more important components of their masculinity. Many of us experienced getting hit in the balls and it is one of the most unpleasant experience in our lives.

    The Nutshellz is made of several layers of Kevlar and Dyneema and designed to absorb  or "swallow" the round rather than deflecting it since the bullet might be deflected to other parts of the body, especially the thigh to avoid hitting the femoral artery or else it will cause a bleed out.

    Finally coming out with a slogan for their product, "World's Strongest Athletic Cup", Nutshellz are developing a version for young men who need to use to their "athletic cup" or what they call a "youth model groin protector."They have gone to Kickstarter to raise funds for the development of the product, with the target of having parents or school sports administrators  open their wallets  for the safety of young people's groins when they go out there in the sports field.

    Previously, Nutshellz was priced a bit high at US$125.00 when it was first released.  But since then, they developed the Level 1 Armor at US$69.99 Nutshellz made for professional sports and is twice cheaper than Level 2 Armor which is at US$140.00 aimed for police and military use. You can purchase them here.

    For airsoft players wanting to protect their masculinity, the Level 1 Armor Nutshellz is more than enough protection. We usually have protection for our knees, eyes, hands, and faces so we might as well put in something for the groin since we don't know hazards that we may encounter when playing in the airsoft field and we may just get hit there. Apart from that, you might make other players (and perhaps the ladies), think you are well-endowed.

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    Megabot Maker Faire 2015

    Sometimes, there are times when we find airsoft guns inadequate for our need for fun and excitement. We always have the inner child in us, especially for the male gender, and we look with glee when we see some big and small metal contraptions parade in front of us, especially if these look like robots that we see in the movies.

    If you were at the Maker Faire 2015 Bay Area, you might just forget your airsoft guns for a moment and gawk at all those inventions that people from all walks of life make. It would also have been great to see someone use airsoft guns in some of the bots that were on the show, such as this Megabot which uses paintball to lay "waste" to an unfortunate car:

    The Maker Faire should be a place that airsoft enthusiasts should think of attending , as many of us love to tinker with airsoft guns, modding and upgrading them , and even mounting them on weird vehicles that we sometimes call them as "tanks" no matter how far they look from a real tank.  The Maker Faire gathers together tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, food artisans, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Thus, it would be great for airsoft players to interact with these types of people to get ideas, suggestions, and even collaborate on projects that would be fun to use on the airsoft field.

    Photos from the Maker Faire Facebook Page

    The bots on display is probably what you will be interested in since it would nice to imagine if we can mount airsoft guns on them and lay waste to hapless players in some futuristic airsoft event such as the one planned by for Operation Nations End. But still some might have idea on making your old car collecting dust inside the garage turn into some kind of a beast with all the finest airsoft guns and airsoft grenade launchers mounted on it.

    Of course, there are other interesting things to see at the Maker Fair 2015 apart from the big bad bots. Small robots are there too like the spiders from Intel, and the simple but fun Ultra High Five. If you want to read more, the best is to read what Gizmodo reported from the event.

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    Spartan117gw "Jurassic World: Asset Containment Unit" Fan Film

    Gregory "Spartan117gw" Wong, dropped us a message, giving us that his latest project is now online. Well, it's not exactly an airsoft video which most of us are used to when visiting his YouTube Channel; but for fans of Jurassic Park and the creatures of the Jurassic Period, it's something to watch.

    "Jurassic World: Asset Containment Unit" is the first fan film that Spartan117gw made. Spartan117gw leads a team called the Asset Containment Unit (ACU) which is a highly trained security group of Masrani Global tasked to making the Jurassic World secure. The plot is about Spartan117gw and his team in search of Owen Grady of Jurassic World and an ACU team that have gone missing inside the restricted area:

    We got in touch with Spartan117gw to learn more about his fan film:

    Popular Airsoft: Is this fan film your whole idea? What made you do this?

    Spartan117gw: Yup! The Fan film was my idea. It was something I always wanted to do and time, manpower, and equipment lined up!

    Who wrote the story for this fan film?

    For the story I came up with it but it kept changing due to continuity. I ended up going with the K.I.S.S method and went simple.

    How were you able to pull together different groups to do the production?

    Through meeting at comic conventions, I was able to assemble the Jurassic Park Motorpool and some fans of the new movie's Asset Containment Unit together. By combining Cosplay and Carsplay we had the DNA to make a fan flick.

    How long did it take you to do the production up to uploading it on YouTube?

    Production was about 2 days of shooting. Post was about a week and a half of screening, editing, slimming it down, and other post production effects. God knows I watched it over a million times!

    Why a Jurassic Park fan film? Other related projects in the pipeline?

    Jurassic Park is one of my favorite flicks of all time. It finally had a more tactical element to it so it just popped up and I'm super excited for the movie. May do some other fun projects in the future. Thinking of John Wick, Star Wars, Halo or some other things. But this is definitely the most thematic at the moment.

    So, we'll be expecting more fan film projects from him in the future though if he has plans to do one later this year, we'd recommend a Star Wars fan film for obvious reasons. Though the John Wick thing would be a wicked thing to do, so to speak.

    More videos from the Spartan117gw's "Jurassic World: Asset Containment Unit" and this time, the "Behind The Scenes" to wrap up this story. He'll welcome suggestions and critique that will help him improve on future fan film projects, thus feel free to post comments on his YouTube Channel.

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    TrackingPoint Extreme Precision Hunting

    TrackingPoint, a really promising company that has a technology considered by many to be a game changer in precision shooting, has put out an advisory that the company is not taking orders. The company has mentioned financial difficulties,  laying off staff, and according to those who have been following the company's progress, is about to shut down.

    TrackingPoint owns the XactSystem that is the heart of the Precision-Guided Firearm (PGF) that even a novice will be able to hit targets with dangerous precision even with just a few instructions. The system  allows the shooter to tag a target then align the reticle to the tag when a pip shows up (just like the pip of a jet fighter); from there the shooter just needs to squeeze and hold the trigger. The XactSystem does the rest --- it won't fire the rifle until the crosshair and the pip aligns, and bam! Right on target.

    Depending on the sources, the company has laid off a big portion of its staff with just a skeletal crew remaining for day-to-day operations. According to a report from the TruthAboutGuns, the restructuring happened in February 2015 and that ten weeks forward, the owner of Tracking Point, John McHale,"pulled the four month CEO Frank Bruno’s name tag off the door walked in and shut the door."

    The company is expected to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy which will enable the company to avoid paying creditors and holding off investors who have poured millions of dollars in the company, believing in the technology that the company has developed.

    Many are actually surprised by this development since the company released information that "year-on-year unit growth was 281% and year on year bookings dollars grew 107%,"according to the press release posted at the Outdoor Hub.

    The hardware or the PGFs can be easily sold off if a liquidation sale takes place but what other individuals or companies would be interested in will be the crown jewels --- the XactSystem. If the Pentagon would be interested in the technology that can be worked on by its various research centers such as DARPA to improve it, then it can easily buy this with the money that is just a drop in the bucket of its over half a trillion dollar annual budget. The U.S. Army actually expressed interest in using the PGFs for training use in January 2015.

    According to The Verge, McHale has been in disputes with the gun design with the CEOs and top management, the company has cycled through several CEOs already.

    For now, we await further news from the company on the cause of its financial problems and how it would be go about resolving them.

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    Range 15 The Movie

    Writing this story, I have initially thought of having the title "The Military Movie That Ends All Military Movies In The Works". But I decided against thinking that it might just be something of a "clickbait" title that every person using the internet totally hates, but will click on it anyway. But to make you read this story further, it's best to use the description that Article 15 Clothing and Ranger Up used for  their movie project:

    "This movie is so hardcore military it makes Hollywood wet itself and run home crying to mommy."

    Now, that surely would get your attention to read the story.

    Range 15 the movie was a product of the drunken minds of the veterans who make up Article 15 Clothing and Ranger Up. They envision Range 15 to be the greatest military movie ever,  if they get the funding required for them to make the movie. So far in just twelve days, they already raised over US$450,000, already exceeding their target original target of US$325,000.00.

    The men of Ranger 15 are already familiar names in the tactical community and even in the airsoft community since most of them have airsoft fans who follow. Popular Airsoft posts the videos from Mat Best and the rest have served in the infantry and special operations with two being Medal of Honor Awardees, Dakota Meyer and Leroy Petry. Ross Patterson, the B Movie Director and Parody Actor will be directing the movie.

    What will you expect when they raise even more money to make the movie?

    "Bottom Line: The more we raise, the more badass your movie becomes.

    1. Bigger explosions.
    2. Crazy special effects. 
    3. Non-stop Act of Valor style knee slide shooting. 
    4. Forget about 3.  That’s not happening. 
    5. Hot chicks. 
    6. Even bigger explosions. 
    7. More badass celebrity cameos. 
    8. Viper semen. 
    9. Did we mention hot chicks?"

    Now, "Lone Survivor" Marcos Luttrell will join the cast when they hit US$500k, and with a lot of time going and Indiegogo page already nearing the 500k mark, it looks like he will really part of the cast.

    Oh, but the way, did I mention zombies? I bet that gets your interest even further as they will be doing a lot of zombie-killing in the movie. If you chip-in US$2,000 for the movie, you can be one of the zombies and be killed by them. As to how you will be killed, it's for Ross Patterson to figure it out.

    The movie is expected to be released in early 2016 with a VIP Trailer party that will happen at the SHOT Show 2015. If you haven't checked out the Range 15 Indiegogo funding page, better do so now. You might whip out your wallet while laughing when reading about the project.

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    Sprite Drone

    Whenever we think about civilian flying drones, we think about those quadcopters or those that fly with even more than four rotors, with some even using almost a dozen rotors just to fly and hover above to take photos and videos of the mortals below. However, one company, Ascent AeroSystems, is determined to change that perception, totally redesigning the drone that can be easily brought to the outdoors and can take the rough and tumble job of taking videos autonomously. This looks like a drone that airsoft players would want to bring to the field as is a more convenient and durable camera drone to carry.

    Now on Kickstarter to raise funds with a target goal of US$200,000, the product, called the Sprite Drone is closer to this goal with over US$170,000 already pledged by backers with over two weeks remaining to reach the target.

    The first impression when I looked at the videos and photos of Sprite, it reminded me of space probes, sent by aliens to seek intelligent life on planets (though it's closer to the probe in the video game which is one of our all time favourites, "Homeworld"). It's not a quadcopter as it uses coaxial rotors that has lower noise as compared to competitors and looks like it took inspiration from  the Russian KA-50/52 Black Shark Attack Helicopter.

    The Sprite is cylindrical with no landing gears or skids which is a feature on most civilian drones drones. This means that it will tumble on its side when it lands but the coaxial rotors will fold before impact. The design makes the Sprite a very portable drone as you can easily strap it to your backpack with no need for special bags or cases. It is ruggedly design so it can withstand impacts and can land just anywhere as it's waterproof and built with a high-impact air frame.

    Just like some drones, including the new Lily, Sprite has a "Follow Me" feature that will follow its owner where he/she goes, depending on the battery life. But it also has an FPV (First Person View) option, and it is compatible with the features of the most common Ground Control Station Software including Mission Planner, DroidPlanner and the Tower flight control software. 

    The designers have made the Sprite modular and future proof allowing it to be upgraded when new technologies become available. No tools are needed when parts need to be changed in the field. It has a built-in 1080p full-HD video with stabilized gimbal, but it is also ready to take in the GoPro Hero Action Camera.

    The Sprite, when it becomes available will have a basic price of US$799.00. If you want a transmitter and onboard receiver, then prepare to shell out an extra US$150.00. As for the FPV capability, you'll have to pay up another US$300 more, making it a total of US$1,249. For that total package, the Sprite becomes more expensive than the new DJI Phantom 3 Advanced which is priced at US$1,099.

    If all goes well, especially in achieving its funding goal, the Sprite is seen to be ready for delivery by December 2015.

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    Airsoft GI CEO Walter Chang

    Thanks to Angel Mitsukai Sosa who shared to Optimus Prime this post on Facebook by Walter Chang, Airsoft GI's CEO, on the problems of the airsoft industry in the USA. This is an old post, dated 17 October 2014, but airsofters on Facebook have started to pick up and share this post to others just last week. Walter is worried about the downward trend of airsoft as shown in this graph of airsoft in Google trends:

    You'll notice that the last high peak of airsoft in Google trends was in 2011, and from there, it is a slow downward trend. Google trends is about a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions and languages of the world. It can be considered a consumer barometer as consumers these days usually consult internet search engines to look up a product before making a purchase. It also shows interest in an industry or sport, such as airsoft. With Google being the dominant search engine it can provide an almost accurate outlook about airsoft as based on the search-term. The graph above covers the United States, but you can also check worldwide and regional trends.

    Walter has this to say:

    This is the problem for this industry, the public opinion of airsoft as whole is going down hard and fast. GI has been trying to spread the fun and joy of airsoft. We have been sending out our marketing team all over the country to promote airsoft game more than ever.

    Price will not fix the issue. However, as a business we must compete. Price war is the stupidest way to compete and it will ultimately destroy the whole commerce of airsoft. Shops and distributors must understand that. GI is part of the problem, because we have to constantly react to some other shop. We can keep doing this, but the smaller shops would be very hard to survive because of the war. The war has been going on for almost 3 yrs. It is almost like Black Friday everyday in this industry. So, really in order to keep the sport alive, we must somehow stop the war. [sic]

    But is it always about the price war alone? After reactions began coming in just last week, months after his post, he adds more:

    There are plenty of problems that few of hobbyists understand. I can try to point out a few here.

    1. Political Climate and school districts both have very negative views on airsoft.
    2. Misunderstanding views on airsoft from real gun owners
    3. Generation gap between players; hardcore players tend to look down on newbies (which is understandable, however, not good for the hobby)
    4. Very few innovation from manufactures due to down turn of the industry. Also, distributors and factory went out of business.
    5. Long Beach port strike did not help our current situation. (lousy inventory, stocking issue)
    6. Price war
    7. Limited airsoft fields
    8. Social medias dislike airsoft and other shooting sports (no facebook or google ads) [sic]

    The points he raised gives us a more holistic view on the problems that is facing airsoft in the U.S.A. and thus. cannot be blamed on a price war amongst airsoft retailers alone. While a price war may be damaging to the airsoft retail sector as a whole, for the consumers, it is a big benefit. If the price war will continue, there will be a market correction and consolidation that a few would survive and come out stronger. The efforts of and Airsoft GI (through GI Tactical) to expand their physical reach in various U.S. regions can be an example of a defensive strategyto stay ahead of the competition; others are resorting to just internet sales only to answer shortcomings in the lack of physical store branches.

    You may not agree with all the points raised, but surely you will agree with some. Each needs to be addressed carefully by the airsoft community (players and industry) in cooperation with other sectors that have a stake in the survival of airsoft in the country, such as tactical gear makers which recognize the revenue stream that the airsoft market is providing for their products.

    I digress with the point of "very few innovation" as airsoft is actually experiencing an explosion in innovation this decade. We’re seeing even more airsoft technologies being deployed: electric blowback and recoil, enhanced gas blowbacks, new generation HPA systems, safer BFGs, airsoft pyros, and realistic action airsoft shotguns. More serious players are coming to the airsoft market, with the entry of Tippmann and Valken Tactical plus the recent newcomers but innovative shops such as PolarStar Airsoft, Hephaestus, GHK Airsoft, Wolverine Airsoft, Angry Gun, Ace1Arms, Incentive Designs, Airsoft Systems, etc., the list is just increasing.

    With that said, what Walter wants is a stop to cutthroat competition that is happening amongst the retailers in the U.S. given a shrinking market if Google Trends is to be believed. Once that is done, a harder battle is ahead --- that of turning the public opinion on airsoft for the better as shown in his December 3, 2014 post:

    We have failed to realize public viewpoint on airsoft is actually hurting the sale; not can you sell it cheaper. Plenty of parents will not purchase any airsoft guns for their children because of public negative view on guns and school policies on violence.

    Even one of the airsoft brands CEO said "He doesn't want his kid to play airsoft. Because, he doesn't want the school to call him, if his kid chat about airsoft at school". [sic]

    There are several solutions to this, the drastic one is not to sell airsoft to children and do not allow them to hold or handle airsoft guns without adult supervision.

    The real steel firearm owners may still look down on airsoft users, but these days, the recognition and acceptance of airsoft is more pronounced by bigger appearances of airsoft in firearms trade shows and personalities from tactical and practical shooting communities coming out in support of airsoft as good tool for crossover training.

    A tall order? Well, there is no industry association for airsoft, to speak of, with the closest being the  Airsoft Safety Foundation that was founded in reaction to the efforts in California to further regulate airsoft. The name itself is apt for the association to show that the industry is serious about the safety of the sport. If there's no central coordinating body to properly focus the efforts of the industry to improve the image and acceptance in the U.S.A. and at the same time increase the market pie as brought about by such acceptance, Walter's dream of stopping the downward trend may remain as is, just a dream. Airsoft in the U.S.A. might just hit rock bottom first before a big change will take place.

    You can follow Walter on Facebook by going to the Airsoft GI CEO's Corner.

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    Cybergun Booth

    Cybergun has been restructuring lately especially with a new set officers ever since its Chairman, Jerome Marsac, and CEO, Olivier Gualdoni, resigned in November 2014. According to Bloomberg, "Year over year, Cybergun SA has seen revenues shrink from €69.5M EUR to €51.2M EUR, though the company was able to grow net income from a loss of €12.8M EUR to a smaller loss of €4.1M EUR."

    In a report from Reuters, as of 26 March 2015, the company issued a press release detailing their plans for the year.  This covers their plan to restore sustainable growth in the airsoft market and broadening their range of activities in the leisure shooting to cover .22 and 4.5mm (.177) calibres.

    But what is prominent in their plan to restore growth in the face of shrinking revenues is to intensify their fight against counterfeiting. This is probably what many airsoft players would say is what Cybergun does best as a company. Though valid is their campaign to assert their rights on the protection of the brands they have got licenses for the airsoft market, they also have not endeared themselves to the airsoft community by trademarking certain innovations that they do not own, such as "hop-up", and names of airsoft companies to try to lock-up the airsoft market, especially in France. A good number of airsoft players won't even touch Cybergun products even with a 10-foot pole.

    An example of such trademarking activities can be read here. Of course, many of you have heard all the legal battles of Cybergun in the USA. This means for the distributors and resellers of airsoft guns in the USA and Europe they better check their inventories to find out if they are carrying airsoft brands that do not have any agreements from Cybergun to have the trademarks of the firearms companies they carry on their products (trade dress is another matter though). As of this writing, here is the list of the brands they carry for the airsoft market and that airsoft manufacturers intending to use these companies' trademarks on their airsoft guns will need to take a licence from Cybergun:

    • Blackwater
    • Blaser
    • Colt
    • Desert Eagle
    • DPMS
    • Famas
    • Firepower
    • FN Herstal
    • GSG
    • Kahr-arms
    • Kalashnikov
    • Magpul
    • Mauser
    • Mossberg
    • Schmeisser
    • Sig Sauer
    • Smith & Wesson
    • Swiss Arms
    • Tanfoglio
    • Taurus
    • Thompson

    Will it be litigation time again this year with Cybergun? You bet as they will be aggressive in enforcing their licensing rights as they will need to increase revenues for the company. Their lawyers would be busy and happy.

    Also part of the press release is the signing of an agreement with a "powerful" player in the Polish airsoft market. This contract aims to increase revenues from Polish airsoft market from €0.25 million in 2014 to €0.8 million by 2017. There was no mention of the company and we actually contacted one player who have not confirmed nor denied an agreement.

    For the Asian market, Cybergun have signed an agreement with RedWolf Airsoft for the Inokatsu brand which they acquired in 2010. This deal gives revenues for Cybergun from US$600 to US$1 million by 2017.

    After the IWA Outdoor Classics 2015, they have signed orders worth €0.8 million for the Latin American market.

    You can read the full press release here (in French).

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    LEGO: First Person Shooter

    Andrew McMurry (Andrew M Films) just has another viral video that already has received millions of views ever since it was uploaded last Tuesday, 26 May 2015. "LEGO: The First Person Shooter" is getting views left and right and being the subject of many write-ups from various online news site, and you can count Popular Airsoft to be one of them.

    Portal, Skyrim, Bioshock, and Counter Strike are some of the first person shooter video games that this video recreated in LEGO and we're just liking how Andrew creatively did it. I chuckled with the Counter Strike portion as he nailed the game scenes, including bunny hopping. I am more interested in the CS scenes in the video, since it is what I consider to be the best FPS video game ever (and longest running at that).

    I really had fun watching video and realised that I had already click on the replay button several times. Now that means a call to action as several news sites are also wanting the same thing: a real LEGO First Person Shooter video game.

    Admit it, whether you are a casual or a heavy gamer, you would want a real LEGO First Person Shooter game if LEGO would agree to license it to a game development house. If ever they agree, we would prefer the concept of Andrew. If they need to rip-off the Counter Strike game, then so be it, let's call it LEGO: Counter Strike. No first player campaign, just straight on online multiplayer game based on Counter Strike. That means modding and player made-maps are included too.

    Just imagine playing LEGO: Counter Strike using the de_dust2, de_nuke, de_office, or de_mirage maps and watching all those terrorists and counter-terrorists in LEGO form going at each other, weapons blazing and these LEGOs falling apart when they get fragged.

    Now, all we need is an online petition. Who wants to start it?

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    Tokyo Marui At 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show

    The 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show is already two weeks in the past, and still the talk of the town is the surprise that Tokyo Marui have pulled off --- the AA-12 Automatic Electric Shotgun (AES). It was such a surprise since we were expecting those products that were shown in the teaser photos they released before the event. Not even one image gave us an idea of the AA-12. Why? It wasn't shown in the teaser at all.

    Tokyo Marui are a mainstay at the Shizouka Hobby Show, drawing big crowds interested in their airsoft products and anxious of what they will unveil for the year. It is a big exhibit space for their products, which includes areas for kids, a shooting area to test their products, product presentation area and very organised product categories. We have seen many airsoft exhibits, but so far Tokyo Marui still pull off the most amazing shows for airsoft whenever they show up at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, All Japan Model Hobby Show, and their very own Tokyo Marui Festival.

    Just the photos below show how well-organised they are:

    Now, for some bits of airsoft history in the making. By this, I mean that we see another milestone in airsoft history, and it is a history written again by Tokyo Marui with their announcement of the AA-12 AES. It is automatic, it is electric, and it is an airsoft shotgun. The design of the AA-12 as an automatic electric shotgun is the big surprise itself. We have been conditioned to expect airsoft shotguns to be spring or gas or Co2 powered, just like the Tokyo Marui M870 series. Now an electric airsoft shotgun? That's something new.

    We know that there are already plans for an airsoft AA-12 such as those from Airsoft Absolution and Silverback Airsoft, but the Tokyo Marui AA-12 is already in the advanced stages. Further on, the story about the Tokyo Marui AA-12 is that this is not a very recent project at all. The company has been receiving requests from players that they design an automatic electric shotgun and they started working on this project years back with an actual prototype produced two years ago. But what the airsoft players were thinking of was a SAIGA AES (which would be more than welcome if they make one too), and thus, they were surprised and ecstatic that it is an AA-12 AES with a full auto firing mode.

    The Japanese airsoft players remember the AA-12 from the movies "Predators" and "Expendables" like most airsoft players around the world. It is a flat-design and players may like to give it a camo skin like in "Predators 2."  The 3,000-round drum magazine is an optional magazine which will have to be purchased separately and I expect it would be a magazine that will be in demand (I plan to have the AA-12 with the drum magazine when it gets released).  There are requests for a rail mount to be used on the flattop of the AA-12 so they can mount optics and other weapons accessories. So far, they haven't decided yet if they will make one which can be an opportunity for third-party accessories makers to take and release their rail mounts for the Marui AA-12 AES.

    According to the company, there are concerns that the AA-12 is a strong airsoft gun that it might just bring an imbalance to an airsoft game, especially that it comes with three barrels that will expel a high number rounds in a short period if done in full auto.  It is hefty, at 4 kilograms by its default setup, and over 5 kilograms with the drum magazine. If you think that the AA-12 is a good one to bring for indoor games, I would rather suggest that Marui M870 Breacher, it is lighter, more manoeuvrable for indoor games and range is crazy too. Time to strengthen those biceps if you want to bring the AA-12 regularly.

    The Tokyo Marui AA-12 AES release date has not yet been determined. Unofficially, they are looking into a Summer or Fall release. We are eager for its release, though others cannot wait longer and have been throwing their money at their computer screens when they learned about the news online.

    For the long awaited Tokyo Marui M4 MWS (Gas Blowback), perhaps some are already disappointed that it's taking longer than usual for its release, which is not typical for Tokyo Marui to be delayed this much. But the delay has been for the better. According to the company, they have improved on the durability and stability of the rifle, with the recoil effect even much improved.

    There have been requests that they place some real internal mechanisms, but for them it is more of reliability and performance that they are concerned with rather than making it even more realistic. Will it be a hard-kicking one than other M4 GBBs made in Taiwan?
    Most definitely, the M4 MWS will get released this year. For avid gas blowback users, this might be the M4 Gas Blowback Rifle that they have been waiting for. If I get to own one, I hope I can use some real steel weapons accessories and kits on it.

    The M9 series continues with Tokyo Marui, which early this year the Tokyo Marui Biohazard Samurai Edge Barry Burton Model Version II was released. For owners of the Tokyo Marui M9A1 Gas Blowback Model who have been very much satisfied with its performance, they welcome the new M9 Gas Blowback Pistol uses the same M9A1 Gas Blowback  Engine. The company didn’t mention this but our source says that when those who checked it during the show found out about the M9A1, they spread the word around to others who welcomed the news.

    The Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa Gold Match is what they call a "renewed version" of the Hi-Capa 5.1 Match Custom. The difference between the Gold Match and the other Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa Gas Blowbacks is it has a function to avoid notch damage for the slide stop which other Hi-Capa versions didn't have. For practical shooters, they have another pistol to look into for modding into a race pistol for airsoft practical shooting tournaments.

    With all those serious looking airsoft guns that are based on real world firearms, there is also an airsoft gun for children. But this is not an airsoft gun that is designed to look like a deadly firearm. Called the "Train Gun", this is an airsoft gun that can also be played like a toy train. It comes in various colours and for parents, it's going to be hard to object to such "Train Gun" when kids want them to buy one for them as it looks totally harmless.

    If you're a parent, you might be concerned with the "Train Gun" as it fires BBs. Many incidents of airsoft eye injuries are about children playing with airsoft guns unsupervised and without any eye protection at all. What Tokyo Marui did is come with another type of BB for this product. It is a "spongy" BB (the material looks to be foam) which means it is soft BB that won't hurt children even in the eye.

    Some say the airsoft AA-12 will be the product of the decade. I cannot agree with that  for now as we're still halfway through the decade and I am expecting even more innovations in airsoft. But if they say it's going to be airsoft product for the year, as long as it performs as expected, then I'm all for it.

    More photos of Tokyo Marui at the 54th Shizuoka Hobby Show now at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.

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    Nano UAS PD-100 Black Hornet

    Drones nowadays come in different shapes and sizes. They can be a size of a jet fighter and able to rain hellfire missiles on unsuspecting terrorists hidden somewhere in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, or a camera drone that's the size of a day pack that takes amazing footages for a concert, extreme sport or a wedding. It can still go smaller, smaller that it can be as big as hummingbird. The beauty of such drone is that it can fly and be agile like the hummingbird too.

    Almost four years ago, I wrote about the British Ministy of Defence (MOD), awarding the contract for a supply of the Black Hornet Nano UAV to Prox Dynamics. The PD-100 BLACK HORNET PRS is an incredibly small camera drone that can be used by special operations units and search and rescue units for intelligence gathering or finding survivors in the disaster-struck areas. The British Army were the first to use such Nano UAV though not much has been said of its actual use, which I shall assume for now as classified.

    Just last week, Popular Science (no relation at all to Popular Airsoft), reported about the U.S. Special Forces testing the Black Hornet. It is a very handy and tiny scout for the operators on a mission as it can position itself in small areas that won't be suspected to be harboring recon drones, since it is equipped with a thermal camera to help see in the dark areas and can transmit the information to the drone operator through a console which is the size of a tablet. Even if the Black Hornet get trapped and discovered by the enemy, there is no information stored in the drone as everything has been streamed to the pilot/operator of the UAV.

    The Black Hornet has a range of 0.6 miles which for a small unit using it, will have to be close by as it has a flight time of 25 minutes. I guess that will be enough range and flight time for the team to verify a target and decide if they will proceed with the mission or bug out once they see what they need to see. But for such a small system, it costs US$40,000 acquire one according to Engadget, it sounds pricey indeed. Perhaps it can justify that price with the valuable information that it can find that other drones of bigger sizes cannot.

    It would be nice to have such a Nano UAV that can be used for civilian uses or for airsoft. If there's one, I would like to have a "follow me" feature where it can easily follow me in tight spaces, such as indoor CQB games provided that it has anti-collision sensors.

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    DHCustoms Friendly Fire Rocket

    It's always good to see airsofters who tinker in their bedrooms, garages or workshops to come up with nice ideas to elevate our airsoft game experience. Well, many world-changing innovations in the world happened in the garage, just ask Apple, Hewlett Packard, Google, and many more. It’s also good to see them looking into crowdfunding to get their projects from dream to reality. But so far, we have not seen an actual airsoft project that have achieved its target funding at crowdfunding websites.

    DHCustoms Friendly Fire Rockets which is now Kickstarter may perhaps be the first airsoft project to achieve this. That is, if the airsoft community will believe in the project and put their money into it.

    Before you think of "Friendly Fire" rest assured that the project is not aimed at blasting your own team mates with the rockets. These are foam projectiles, or rockets if you want to all them that way, that are safe to use, and can be fired at longer ranges than existing safe projectiles used for training or airsoft.  It's "friendly" to use it for games.

    Dayton Holt, the man behind the DHCustoms Friend Fire Rockets, has designed  two types of Friendly Fire Rockets foam projectiles. The 40mm version is designed for the grenade launcher types while the 50mm version is for rocket or mortar launcher type training devices. The launchers should be pressurized to be able to lob the rockets at greater distances.

    But before he designed the Friendly Fire Rockets, he designed a pressurized mortar-style launcher, with off-the-shelf foam rockets that can be bought from toys stores as the projectiles. Going through several types, he decided to design his own as he was unhappy with their poor availability, not fit in launchers that can be used for airsoft games, lack of durability, and high cost. Further research led him to design the 40mm and 50mm versions as there are no foam projectiles that can used with M203-type launchers and other launchers (mortars and AT4-types). After going through several designs and tests he finally settled on a design which has the following features:

    1. Blunt nose. Increased impact surface area to reduce impacting force and increase rocket durability.
    2. Over-sized Seal Band with tapered leading edge and sharp tailing edge. Maximizes air seal to barrel. Tapered front reduces drag, sharp tailing edge decreases air-blow by during launch and increases launch stability by keeping launching forces near the front rather than the tail.
    3. Reinforced and tapered tail stem. Thicker than previous designs, this extra thickness reinforces the tail to Increase durability and inflight stability by effectively transferring rotational and drag forces from stabilizing tail to forward mass.
    4. Canted Tail Fins. All 4 tail fins are canted to maximize accuracy and inflight stability.
    5. Mass Placement. The majority of the mass is kept as far forward as possible, further increasing the inflight stability of the rocket.
    6. Overall Aerodynamic Design with slight air drag points placed strategically to increase stability.
    7. Neon Orange Color. Bright colors allow maximum visibility for in-flight tracking, and easy recovery for re-use. (more colors may be available in the future depending on interest)

    Checking out the videos, the Friendly Fire Rockets sure have a great range that I've never seen in other similarly-designed launchers designed for airsoft. While some of you will be disappointed that these are not pyro-types to produce that explosion effect, these projectiles are safe to use that they can be allowed for use in most, if not all, game sites, as compared to the pyro-types.

    Satisfied with the design and range of the Friendly Fire Rockets? Then prepare to help Dayton Holt to produce the foam projectiles and even the launchers so we get to see more of these in action in airsoft games and milsim events. Depending on what you need, you can pledge from US$1 which only gets you a "Thank You" from Dalton to US$2,500 where you get to be a Beta Tester, get the DIY kit and the DHC Launcher. But if you make your own pressurized/pneumatic launchers then it's best to get the DIY kit to make your own 40mm or 50mm Friendly Fire Rockets at US$200. But if you can spare another US$200, then you get  a 3D printed DHC Standalone M203-style launcher so you don't have to make your own and some extra 40mm ammo. I guess the AT4 and mortar-type launchers are not part in the packages so you better design and build your own  pneumatic launcher to use the 50mm foam rockets.

    As of this writing, the project has raised about US$1,500 which is still way off the goal of US$16,000 with 26 days to go. That amount as requested by DHCustoms, is a modest amount for a project like this. If you are an airsoft retailer, you might be interested in helping fund this project to ensure that a supply of high performance foam rockets that can be used for airsoft games is always available. With the DIY kit, you can make your foam rockets to sell without waiting for DHCustoms to supply you.

    With still a long way to go to achieve its funding goal, if you believe in this project, it's best that you pledge what you can as based on the packages. If the Friendly Fire Rockets project is successfully funded on Kickstarter, it will encourage others who are doing other airsoft projects to put theirs on crowfunding sites, and spurring more innovation in airsoft from the players themselves.

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