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    Tokyo Marui at 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show Announcement

    The All Japan Model & Hobby Show 2017 is fast approaching. Going on its 57th year, this show showcases the products of some of the biggest toy and hobby companies of Japan that influence the global toy and hobby industry. We see the names of Bandai, Tamiya, TommyTec, Kyosho, Hasegawa, and of course airsoft’s very own Tokyo Marui at this event.

    The All Japan Model & Hobby Show is the second to the last major event that Tokyo Marui shall be attending, with the last being their own Tokyo Marui Festival that is set in November. They always have a big presence at the show and this year is no different.

    Their display area is usually divided into three areas but if they have the shooting range again, then it will be for areas. At the new product section, they will exhibit next-generation new products to be released for the first time at All Japan Model Hobby Show and new products that they have under development and already underway. These are usually planned for release in the following year. The models that will be display in this area are not to be touched as they are either mock-ups, or prototypes.

    For the already released products, visitors can hold and check how the airsoft guns handle though only those 18 years above. There are products for children, just like the train guns but we do not know if they will on display this year. If the shooting range is up, those who are curious about airsoft can fire the airsoft guns they will make available for them to use.

    They will also their Official Webshop setup shop at the show, so to speak. Items that will be available for purchase at the show will be at an event price, perhaps with a good discount that can be availed of by visitors.

    No teasers for now on upcoming products so we might as well wait for the event to take place and we’ll find out what they have in surprise for us. If you plan on going to the All Japan Model & Hobby Show, the event will at the Tokyo Big Sight East 7-8 Hall. The event will be from the 29th to the 1st of October with the first day open to trade visitors only and the next two days will be open to the public. Entrance fee is JPY1,000.00

    You can visit the offiical event website here.


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    Albuquerque Police Department (Wikimedia)

    Another round between airsoft gun versus a real gun gets reported this week. We all know which wins this round just like in every other round when an airsoft gun is used against someone who is with a real gun. In this case, a 23-yeard old robber found out the hard way when he tried to rob a Circle K store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    According to KOAT-7, Monday of this week, police were called to a Circle K store located at Eubank and Candelaria NE for an attempted robbery and there they found the robber had been shot by a clerk. The suspect was identified as Ferron Mendez and he suffered from a gunshot wound in his torso. He was taken to the hospital where he is said to be in a serious but stable condition as of Tuesday.

    In the KOAT-7 TV news report yesterday, September 21, policed confirmed that Mendez was said to be carrying an airsoft gun when he attempted to rob the store. He also had an accomplice.

    Unfortunately for the suspect, the Circle K clerk Jennifer Wertz decided to arm herself that night as she felt uncomfortable walking to her car at night and she was to work until 10pm. When she heard about another convenience store was just robbed, she put her gun in her pocket. New Mexico is an open carry state where gun owners can carry their guns as long as they are in full view. Wertz had her gun in her hip and was at the door when Mendez barged in.

    In the Tuesday TV news report from KOAT, Wertz said that they are not supposed to defend themselves. They are not to chase or provoke and just give what robbers want so they will leave quickly. But this time, she said, “I’m sick and tired of being a sitting duck. He pointed the gun at my face, I grabbed my gun from my pocket, I cocked it and I shot.”

    Police said that they are not going to file any charges against Wertz while Mendez will be put to jail after the hospital discharges him.

    The Circle K management has suspended Wertz for two weeks. While New Mexico is an open carry state, businesses can tell persons not to bring their guns into their property.

     

    Top photo:Albuquerque Police Department - Traffic Unit (Source: Wikimedia)


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    The Invictus Games 2017

    One of the sporting events that should deserve the support of the airsofting community is the Invictus Games. Today, the games will kick off and wounded and disabled veterans from various military organisations invited to the games will go for glory for the next seven days. Toronto will be the host of the Invictus Games 2017, the third city to host the event ever since its inaugural games in London in 2014.

    Prince Harry of Wales (officially it is Prince Henry of Wales), created the Invictus Games. It is a Paralympic Style “sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women”.

    For 2017, 17 countries have been invited to participate in the Games. This includes the 15 countries that participated in the 2016 Games in Orlando, Florida with new participants coming from Romania and Ukraine. They will be competing in 12 events from Archery to Wheelchair Tennis.

    As the Invictus Games Foundation website puts it:

    “Invictus Games competitors are the men and women who have come face-to-face with the reality of making a sacrifice for their country. They are the mothers, fathers, husbands and wives who have put their lives on the line and have suffered life-changing injuries. These people are the embodiment of everything the Invictus Games stands for. They have been tested and challenged, but they have not been overcome. They have proven they cannot be defeated. They have the willpower to persevere and conquer new heights. The Games shine a spotlight on the sacrifices these men and women made serving their country, and their indefatigable drive to overcome.

    The Invictus Games is about much more than just sport – it captures hearts, challenges minds and changes lives.”

    All the competitors in the Invictus Games should be lauded, and the event overall should be supported. This is not only in recognition of their service and sacrifice but in giving the utmost respect for their super human efforts to overcome their disabilities. The games will be televised on BBC, we could at least follow them on our screens wherever we are in the world if we have access to BBC.

    The Opening Ceremonies of the Invictus Games will be tonight at 1930H EDT.

     

    Top photo:Invictus Games flag in Calgary, Canada (Source: Invictus Games 2017 Toronto Facebook Page)


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    Glock 19 Gen 4 Pistol

    From unlicensed ones, to the imaginary licensed airsoft Glock, to the French Airsoft Glock from Cybergun, the journey of the airsoft Glock is a long one. Now, a truly fully licensed airsoft Glock will be made available worldwide for airsoft players to purchase through Umarex. Through the years, airsoft players have been clamoring for a fully licensed airsoft Glock and the company has been slow or perhaps adamant on not licensing their pistols for airsoft use. But finally, the company relented and agreed to a worldwide licence to Umarex to produce Glock airsoft pistols.

    There is already a licensed airsoft Glock to Cybergun. We thought that it is an exclusive one until we got the Umarex news. The Cybergun licence is limited to France, French administered territories and French territories outside of Europe. This is a big win for Umarex as it gets a worldwide licence (minus the Cybergun coverage).

    But who is the real winner here? Some say it is VFC as VFC is said to be the OEM of the Inokatsu Airsoft Glock being sold by Cybergun on a limited basis. At the same time Umarex already has established relationship with VFC, with the latter being the OEM for the Heckler & Koch airsoft guns the licence of these are from Umarex. No need for Umarex to look elsewhere to find a partner to make the airsoft Glock pistols as VFC already has the tools to make these for them. It's a win-win for the Taiwanese airsoft company.

    We do not know what will be the first to be released and most probably will be the Glock 17 and Glock 19 pistols as these are popular amongst airsoft players. But if you want more choices of Glock pistols, you may have to look at the unlicensed ones made by Tokyo Marui.

    We await for further details or plans of Umarex (and their Elite Force brand in the U.S.) with their Glock licence. For now, here are the reactions from the airsoft YouTube Celebrities.


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    31st MEU With Suppressors

    Just last month, the Marines released an RFI for suppressors that can be used for the M4, M4A1, and the M27 IAR, with the possibility of purchasing these that will run into over a hundred thousand cans that will be issued to the Corps.

    But it looks like that instead of having the suppressors as separate attachment for the weapons, they may just want to call for proposals for integrally suppressed rifles according to the Marine Times.

    In their report, the news site mentions that in a panel at the annual Modern Day Marine military expo at Quantico that took place last week, Marine Col. Mike Manning, the Ground Combat Element Systems Commander for Marine Corps Systems Command, they will soon be drafting a request for proposal for the industry to follow and answer.

    While he did not mention any specific weapon the suppressors will be for, they are already testing commercially available suppressors. But if there is an integrated suppressor in the weapon, meaning integrated with the barrel, the better. The reason is that an integrated suppressor may not impose an additional length and perhaps weight to the rifle. Attaching a suppressor module to any rifle these days obviously adds length and weight at the front-end.

    “Quit throwing it on the end so that now we have a 14-and-a-half inch barrel or a 16-inch barrel. We just added four or five inches to that barrel,” Manning said in the same Military Times report.

    There is no mention also of the number of suppressors they will require other than saying that it will be “across forces” indicating that it will probably across the board, with most of the combat units of the USMC receiving the suppressors rather than just specific units in the Corps.

    The 2nd Marine Division has been testing suppressors when they got deployed to Norway in May of this year. They tested the suppressors in live training and live fire training and they do not want to go back. Using suppressors has obvious benefits of stealth, easier communications and coordination, as well as lesser hearing problems for the shooters.

     

    Top photo: Battalion Landing Team 31st MEU with suppressors (Photo by Lance Cpl. Stormy Mendez, USMC)


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    Linda Hamiton Terminator 2

    There are two women who were big in the action movies in the 1980s up to the start of the 1990s, Sigourney Weaver of Alien Franchise, and Linda Hamilton of Terminator Series. Both had worked with director James Cameron and thus, would welcome working with one of the highest grossing directors in film history. Whilst, we still see Sigourney Weaver very much active in Hollywood, we rarely heard of Linda Hamilton these days.  But to hear that she is coming back for a reunion of the Terminator originals --- with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron, for those nostalgic of the Terminator 1 and 2 movies have a reason to be happy.

    Of the originals, only Schwarzenegger has appeared in most, if not all Terminator movies. Hamilton as Sarah Connor appeared in Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day and did the voice in Terminator: Salvation. She has been depicted by different actors in Sarah Connor Chronicles, and recently by Emilia Clarke of The Game of Thrones fame in Terminator: Gensys.

    With the Cameron back on board to write the story, and Hamilton also back to join, they will be supported by a much-vaunted writing team: David Groyer (Blade and Dark Knight), Josh Friendman (Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Charles Eglee (Dark Angel). James Cameron won’t be directing this latest Terminator movie, which many say will be a reboot of series as the last one underperformed. Tim Miller of Deadpool will be directing.

    Both Schwarzenegger and Hamilton are already seniors, being 70 and 60 respectively. Cameron is said to be looking for a young woman to take the lead role with the two Terminator veterans anchoring the story.

    What is very much welcome here is that the upcoming Terminator movie is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (call it Terminator 3?) and thus continue the original formula of the Terminator movie which were proved to be blockbusters. Perhaps, taking a cue from Star Wars franchise?

    We surely hope that this will carry the original Terminator formula where movie goers fell in love with a killer robot, a strong woman, and scared of a dystopian future ruled by Skynet. As for the our younger airsoft readers, they better start watching the first Terminator movies so they will be able to connect the stories to the future one.

    The Terminator, the movie franchise that keeps on coming back. We don’t mind at all.


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    Kalashikov Hoverbike

    When we hear the name Kalashnikov Concern, one thing comes to mind, the AK rifle. You cannot be blamed for that as the company formerly known as Izhmash Concern, full embraced the name of the inventor of the AK-47, knowing that a more familiar name around the world is a richer brand to use in doing business around  the world.

    But nowadays, the companies makes a lot of things for the civilian shooting and the defence industry. It is easy to lose track as we mainly are more focused on the firearm part of the company, such as the new AK rifles being tested by the Russian Army for eventual adaption. Apart from weapons and destructive devices, they also make cars, motorcycles and watercraft.

    Speaking of vehicles, they have something that Star Wars fans would love to own: a hoverbike. But for the company, they’d rather call it a “flying car.”

    Watching the video the company released last 25 September 2017 on YouTube, the hoverbike (or flying car), it is prototype showing a contraption made of 8 rotors. These are not petrol or diesel powered, instead these are powered with electric motors with the batteries located under the rider. It has  shell which is shown hear the end of the video which reminds us of the Parrot drone.

    It does work and manoeuvered by the pilot. But for now electric powered aerial vehicles are limited in staying power dues to battery technology. Popular Mechanics suspect that batteries may last 30 minutes. We have seen electric powered passenger planes being tested and just like this hoverbike prototype, they can only stay aloft for a very limited time. Until a breakthrough in battery technology that would allow for flying vehicles to fly for longer periods over a much longer range, the Kalashnikov hoverbike will have to wait for now before it can be really used for day-to-day operations.

    The future will be in electric powered vehicles, and Kalashnikov is in the right direction. I for one would love to ride one of these for airsoft games, be it in transporting players to the game zone, as a marshal, or as a responder to emergencies in the field. Hoverbikes make it easy to travel on any terrains as they will not require roads as compared to the wheeled vehicles.


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    GoPro Hero 6 Black

    In the action camera world, the biggest name finally dropped their latest product. The GoPro Hero 6 Black is now shipping worldwide today and you can already check with your retailer if they already have it in stock. But before you drop that Hero 5 Black and go for the latest, it is best that you learn more what this newest action camera can do that the Hero 5 does not.

    Indeed, it is the question you need to ask as at first glance the Hero 6 does not look different from the Hero 5 externally. It does have the waterproof case as well as it shoots 4K video, but this time the 4K footage gets recorded at 60fps for better and smoother footage.

    But for those who want more leeway in editing the action, especially for slow motion scenes, then they can be much more happy with the new features in the video capture. Apart from the 4K 60fps, it does 120fps at 2.7K, and 240fps at 1080p. The higher frame rates allow for even smoother videos.

    The Wifi connectivity has improved as well, at 5GHZ, can allow faster file transfer to your smartphone provided you have the GoPro mobile app installed. Other features are linear zoom and a new HDR move to replace the WDR that is a feature of the Hero 5 Black.

    What is even more important here is that GoPro has put its own sensor into the Hero 6 Black. With the GoPro GP1 chip, the company pulls itself out of using the Ambarella imaging chips that are much in use in action cameras and camera drones. According to the company, the GP1 offers better dynamic range, extensive manual controls, enhanced color reproduction and better low-light performance.

    There is also an improvement in image stabilisation but it is still digital at six axes (Hero 5 has 4 axes), but we would prefer optical stabilisation than digital.

    So already convinced that the Hero 6 Black will be your next action camera? Well, you can if you are willing to shell out US$499.00, which makes it US$100 more expensive than the Hero 5 Black. If you are having budget problems then you might just want to get the Hero 5 Session and it is capable and more compact action camera.


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    Tokyo Marui 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show

    It’s the 56th All Japan Model & Hobby Show this weekend and Tokyo Marui unveiled the latest member of the new generation electric blowback and recoil shock AEG, the AK-47 NEG. For those looking for the more Kalashnikov traditional look and with the recoil and blowback features done by Tokyo Marui, then here it is.

    The TM AK-47 NEG has the auto-stop when the magazine is empty and features the bolt release. The working distance of the bolt is short though this is always an issue with AEGs that feature the simulated blowback. If the performance of this AK-47 is just like the previous Marui AK NEGs such as the AKS74U NEG, then it is a keeper.

    Other releases are three pistols: the Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 4.3 AEP; the Tokyo Marui M&P 9L PC Ported Gas Blowback Pistol; and the Tokyo Marui USP Gas Blowback Pistol. The information that we forgot to ask is when these are going to be available to retailers in Japan so players can anticipate their actual release.

    On display a the trade fair are mock-ups of future products from the company: Glock 19 3rd Gen, Colt M45A1, and the V10 Ultra Compact. All of these are gas blowback and we see these getting released next year.  As for accessories, the 600-round box magazine for the SGR-12 and the AA-12 will soon be available. This does not show a window unlike the original magazine for these automatic electric shotguns.

    The last event that we shall expect a major announcement from the company this year will be in November, the month in which they will hold the Tokyo Marui Festival. This event  is something to look forward as there will be more significant product announcements as compared to the All Japan Model & Hobby Show.

    More photos of Tokyo Marui at the 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. If there are more information that the company will release, we shall post them as soon as possible.


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    Operation Overmatch

    The U.S. Army is into another online gaming project again. While the America’s Army First Person Shooter Game is aimed at the civilian population as a recruitment tool, the Operation Overmatch multiplayer game taps soldiers to provide feedback to help in the development of the future force.

    In a news report at the Army.mil website, Operation Overwatch’s purpose is to connect Soldiers to inform concept and capability developers, scientists and engineers across the Army.

    Here is a more clearer information from the Operation Overmatch website:

    This new pilot game from the U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) and Army Game Studio is an innovative approach utilizing Early Synthetic Prototyping or ESP. Players including Soldiers, research personnel, and leaders can configure future concepts of vehicles and equipment, perform missions, and complete objectives in a virtual complex operational environment. Operation Overmatch aims to disrupt the design/test/build paradigm by validating equipment, doctrines, and organization through direct Soldier and stakeholder feedback and player behavior data analysis. Innovation comes by experimentation, failure, and iteration. Operation Overmatch is serious gameplay to shape the future force.

    Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP) is a process and set of tools that enable warfighters to radically transform development and acquisition decisions by designing and assessing emerging technologies in a game environment. Soldiers and collaborators in acquisition, science, technology, and industry can virtually prototype models and scenarios for play and evaluation. ESP encourages the exploration of disruptive ideas at minimal cost by inviting warfighters at all levels to test drive and refine future systems. ESP enables the Army to learn by failing fast, a process that encourages risk taking and investigation of different ideas, but also a rigorous evaluation of those ideas to quickly eliminate failures before extensive resources are expended. Moreover, early prototyping of material solutions enables further refinement of operational and system requirements. ESP is innovation through serious games, Soldier feedback, and human behavior analysis.

    The video game is an 8 versus 8 multiplayer setup with the soldiers going up against enemies with emerging capabilities in more realistic scenarios as explained by the Army.mil.  There are 100 testers of the game as it is still in development and interested members of the U.S. Army can request for Beta access. This is not limited to soldiers only but can involve civilian personnel, reservists, cadets, academe, and industry partners of the Army as well. While playing, the gamers can experiment with hundreds of weapons and vehicles in different variations and development stages. As they play, they provide insights on their capabilities and usage.

    If you are a member of the U.S. Army, you can sign up for early access. The Beta testing phase will take place in October.


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    Magpul PMAG Gen M3 02

    The U.S. Army has finally relented and gave its blessing to purchase the Magpul PMAG as other brances in the U.S. Military have started using the polymer magazine from Magpul. The U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command has authorized the purchase of these magazines using unit funds by their unit commanders.

    In tests, the Magpul PMAG Gen M3 outperformed the U.S. Army’s own Enhanced Performance Magazine (EPM) in 2015 as reported by Military.com but has been said to have ignored the results of its own tests to stick with the EPM. While the new development is very positive for Magpul, the Army says the EPM will still be the primary magazines for the standard weapons in use such as the M16 and M4 rifles.

    In a listing at FedBizOpps, the U.S. is soliciting bids for the PMAG Gen M3:

    The MICC End User requires the following items, Brand Name or Equal, to the following:

    LI 001: M4 Magazine. Color preference is coyote tan, but gray/black is also considered. Fits 30 rounds of 5.56x45 ammunition. Transparent window on side to see the ammunition level. Strong and durable springs. Light polymer material. Warranty for defective items. Include shipping. PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 Window or equal., 12600, EA;

    That sounds like a lot of magazines for the U.S. Army. But please do remember that the U.S. Army is a big organization with a lot of units. For this purchase, it can be around 3 battalions that can be supplied with the Gen M3. This is believed to be an initial purchase, and there will be more purchases in the future. There is no mention yet on the units that will first receive these magazines.

    The U.S. Army is now the biggest branch to use the PMAG GEN M3 after the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Air Force authorized the purchase of the magazine.


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    Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan TV Series (Amazon)

    Whilst many airsoft players would usually think of Tom Clancy around Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon novels and video game series, Tom Clancy’s writing career went to great heights writing about the Cold War around a central character, Jack Ryan. The books the he wrote on his own covering Jack Ryan started with The Hunt For Red October to the Teeth of The Tiger. Overall, the Tom Clancy’s novels with Jack Ryan eventually were called the Jack Ryan Universe. Other Jack Ryan novels were written in collaboration with other writers and eventually were carried by on by others after Clancy’s death in 2013 in which the main characters is Jack Ryan’s son, Jack Ryan Jr.

    Films about Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan were The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and Sum of All Fears. The only Jack Ryan film that is not adapted from a novel is the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit featuring Chris Pine. Harrison Ford starred in two of the films (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger) whilst Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck starred in one, The Hunt for Red October and Sum of All Fears, respectively.

    Now, we get to have Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in a made for TV series by Amazon. In August 2016, Amazon Studios gave the greenlight for the TV series and will be produced by Fringe producer Graham Roland and Lost writer/producer Carlton Cuse. For this TV series John Krasinski (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi) will be taking the lead role as Jack Ryan.

    An initial teaser video shows a US$10 bill with a smiley face written on it gets passed around until it lands on a terrorist’s hands. The teaser sets the series initially as a Middle East concern. For those very familiar with Tom Clancy’s style, they will expect exacting details for the TV series as the novels are highly detailed and well-researched. I have to admit that the film adaptations of the Tom Clancy’s novels were a bit underwhelming save for the use of A-list actors who brought these to success.

    Now the first reveal trailer gives some more details for the premise of the story:

    When CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers his search for answers pulls him from the safety of his desk job and catapults him into a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout Europe and the Middle East, with a rising terrorist figurehead preparing for a massive attack against the US and her allies.

    Thus, we can assume that the TV series does not put as back to the Cold War where Jack Ryan really thrived as an analyst intricately familiar with the Soviet Union. This is more contemporary, dealing the main issue of terrorism. Though for fans of Tom Clancy, they would not mind if the series is set in the Cold War and perhaps would welcome it wholeheartedly rather than another Middle East concern that many TV series are already tackling such as Homeland.

    The first season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is set to premier in March 2018 with 10 episodes. No mention of which stations or TV channels, as this an Amazon Prime exclusive before it gets released for syndication. If you are an Amazon Prime member, then lucky you as you will get to access this series next year.


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    Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Beta

    For those who have pre-ordered Star Wars: Battlefront 2 before the start of October, they get early Beta access as of yesterday to the game. Those who have pre-ordered after will get their access tomorrow, the 6th of October.  For those who have been waiting for Beta access, they have already been prepped by EA as they have revealed the modes and maps they will be able to use.

    What fans of the game and Star Wars should be happy about is the inclusion content from the prequel trilogy as well as more heroes to play with. The Star Wars Battlefront II beta is said to consist of four modes and the best bits for those who want to pew pew in outer space is the Galactic Assault and as well as Starfighter Assault.

    With the Trilogy sequel content inclusion, players are able to play the various heroes from both Episodes I to VI, as well as VII with the inclusion of Rey. Now an even better addition apart from the inclusion of the heroes is that players will be able to pilot their vehicles such as the Millennium Falcon, Scimitar and Slave I. To unlock these characters, one will need to garner 5,000 points in a match.

    The other game modes are the Strike, and Arcade with the latter playable as a 1 or 2 player mode with split screen. The Galactic Assault will take place in Naboo which fans are familiar with as the planet in Episode 1 and it will be a 20 vs 20 battle across the stages. The Starfighter Assault will be on Fondor which will feature three starfighter classes.

    If you want to jump into the Beta action, you can pre-order Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Official release will be on the 17th of November.


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    Rezvani Tank

    Enough of the guns and gear stories and let’s talk about wheels. From time to time, we post stories here on Popular Airsoft showing some unique vehicles, either made for military or civilian use, that players can just dream about of owning and bringing to the next airsoft game. But if you, our dear reader, got money to burn, feel free to get one of these expensive monsters on wheels.

    For today’s feature story, we present to you the Rezvani Tank. Just one glance at it, you will agree that it looks like to last like a tank. You might want to call it an SUV, but Rezvani got an even better term for it – the Tactical Urban Vehicle or the TUV. Whilst it looks like it is built to last in a MOUT area, it will also feel at home in the field, as it has a 6.4L 500 horsepower V8 engine under the hood with on demand 4x4. That should make it good to go over on any rough terrain it is driven on.

    Based on the Wrangler Jeep chassis, it also has 430-pound feet of torque and it has“two unique off-road packages provide high ground clearance, top of the line off-road suspension, and equally capable tires allowing for unstoppable capabilities over any terrain. Standard are GRID off-road wheel package with option for T6061 Air craft FORGED aluminum custom design wheels.”

    Perhaps as an airsoft player who wants a more tacticool vehicle, you won’t be impressed with those specs, then how about this: it has a thermal night vision system from FLIR as well as standard night vision. Now you get to go that night missions at the next Milsim event driving with the headlights off and catching the opposing force off-guard driving the vehicle in the dark. What’s even better, it has a heads-up display (HUD) displaying driving and vehicle information on the windscreen, helping your eyes look at the road at all times without glancing to the dashboard to get information on fuel, mileage, speed and environmental conditions.

    If you are paranoid, thinking that there are enemies everywhere, you can avail of the optional armour protection.

    Now, if you have the cash, or filthy rich parents, then you can get one Rezvani Tank at a starting price of US$178,000. If that’s dirt cheap for you, then you can contact them to put more add-ons to your Tank and perhaps they can throw in a grenade launcher and a .50 caliber MG that can be retracted from the roof. Smoke generators to cover your escape from a firefight would be a nice addition too.

    If you do indeed get one, don’t forget to invite us. We’re always ready for a joyride in one of these.


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    Tokyo Marui All Japan Model & Hobby Show 2017

    Perhaps by now most of the readers of Popular Airsoft and the general airsoft community, know what to expect from Tokyo Marui in terms of new products in the following months. At the 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show, they revealed new releases as well as upcoming products that airsoft players can expect next year.

    Of all the products that will be released later this year, the most popular is the Thor’s Hammer. This is a bigger version of the SGR-12 AES, the second product in the Marui’s Automatic Electric Shotgun series. It is a limited release, made to heighten interest in the upcoming DLC of Resident Evil 7 “Not A Hero.” What is significant about this AES is that it is also used in the actual video game, marking for the very first time that an original airsoft design is used in a very popular video game that has a worldwide player base.

    We have already put initial information about the new AK-47 NEG (New Generation Blowback and Recoil AEG). Since it uses the simulated recoil and blowback seen in previous Marui AK NEGs, this is something that we look forward to. But additional significant information about this AK-47 NEG, to be more precise, is that it is an AK-47 Type 3. The Type 3 is still the Russian design, a further refinement of the Type 2 AK-47 with production started in 1953-54 ending its run in 1959. This information should be useful for airsoft playerswho are very particular in terms of the history of gun the airsoft replica is based on.

    According to the company, customers are a bit overwhelmed by more modern airsoft guns that come with all these rail systems and long for a simpler looking airsoft rifle though updated with latest AEG technology hence the release of the AK-47. We like what they are thinking and hopefully they will come out with a new line up of classic guns that come with electric blowback and recoil system such as the Uzi, M14, M16VN, FAL, SLR, etc.

    With three pistols to be released soon, Tokyo Marui also released a Micro Pro Sight that can be mounted on two of these. This is a lightweight reflex red dot sight that can be mounted on the Marui USP GBB as well as the S&W M&P9L.  Customers were delighted to see that it has little distortion and can withstand BB impact at close range. It is a affordable as well as it is priced at JPY6,800 (US$60) as of this writing. This can be mounted on any gun that had the Picatinny rail too such as the Marui MP7.

    According to the company, the USP has been requested by customers for 20 years. With its pending release, many are actually excited that finally a USP GBB from Tokyo Marui will be a reality. They did not state the reason why it took them so long to make one.

    The real surprise is the announcement of the Marui S&W M&P9L PC Ported Gas Blowback Pistol. For those familiar with the M&P9L, it is a 5-inch barrel the visitors at the trade show like. The M&P9L is production is already stopped by Smith & Wesson, but the M&P9L PC Ported (Performance Center Ported) is still is and it comes with Hi-Viz Fiber Optic Sights whilst the Marui version does not come with it. With the Micro Pro Sight installed, it does really look good.

    So what else to expect? Well, the Tokyo Marui Festival 2017 is coming up in November and we are expecting even better news as they will be saving the best for their own big event. We’ll be reporting on that event as well.

    More photos of Tokyo Marui at the 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page.


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    PEO M14 7.62mm Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR)

    The U.S. Army has been talking about the need of an ammo that will be able to defeat the body armor of potential enemies and they see that the 7.62mm is the bullet that should be the solution. Thus, they issued out an Interim Service Combat Rifle (ISCR) Competition to bridge the gap as they start the search for the replacement of the M4 rifle.

    In a post at The Firearm Blog (TFB), they report that the ISCR is “dead in the water” according to multiple sources “as part of the massive review of the U.S. Army’s small weapons program.” One reason TFB wrote is that “sources cited the lack of a pressing threat necessitating the change, poorly written requirements, little or no support from the ranks, and no backing holistic DOTMLPF assessment.”

    It  is a bit surprising why there is no support from the ranks when the plan is to have a rifle that will be able to fire a round that ensure that it penetrates the body armor of the enemy, thus negating that advantage.  Still, the search for the 7.62mm rifle is said to be continuing, it is only the ISCR that is being cancelled.

    However, according to Military.com’s Kit-Up! Blog, the Army’s senior leadership has not killed the ISCR as decision has not been made, quoting Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings. However, other sources have informed Military.com that the ISCR is cancelled and that no official announcement has been made. The solicitation of the 7.62mm ISCR was issued out two months ago where they planned to whittle down the submissions to 8 rifles for evaluation.

    Chances are the ISCR competition is already a dead horse and though it is best to know the reasons why the Army leadership are not pursuing it by officially announcing that the ISCR is cancelled. There seems to be no full backing to the 7.62mm rifle as the U.S. Marines are still sticking with the 5.56mm as they intend on getting more of the M27 IARS. As for NATO allies, there are also no plans for the 7.62mm rifle as the Germans are still looking for a 5.56mm replacement of the G36 rifle and the French just gave the contract to Heckler & Koch to supply them the HK416 which is a 5.56mm rifle.


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    USMC Congratulates First Female Infantry Officer

    A first in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps, a female officer have graduated from the Infantry Officer Course. The officer, who prefers not to be named, completed the demanding course over 13-week period in Quantico, Virginia. The U.S. Marines have opened all military occupational specialties to women in 2016, and thus, they are now taking opportunities to advance themselves.

    “I am proud of this officer and those in her class‎ who have earned the infantry officer MOS,” said Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller in a press release at the Marines.mil website.

    The course is one the Corps’ toughest, with 10% dropping out on the first day. Candidate offices are trained in leadership, infantry skills, and develop character to lead platoons. The class that she was in started in July 2017 with 131 candidates with 88 completing the course by the end of September2017.

    “Marines expect and rightfully deserve competent and capable leaders, and these IOC graduates met every training requirement as they prepare for the next challenge of leading infantry Marines; ultimately, in combat,” said Neller further.

    While the female marine mentioned in the report is the first to complete it, she was not the first one to make an attempt at being an infantry officer. There were more than 30 women who applied between 2012 and 2015 when the Marine Corps were experimenting with opening up the Infantry Officer Course prior to the officially opening up all specialties to women in 2016.  The Obama administration ordered the Pentagon to open up all roles to women in 2015. The USMC requested that some roles remain closed to women but were overruled by then Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    With the completion of the course, the female officer can now lead an Marine infantry platoon to battle. Her follow-on assignment is to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.


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    Revision Military Sensys ComCentr2 Tactical Headset System

    The inevitable finally happened. Revision Military just made a move into the Tactical Headset Market.  The company revealed the Sensys ComCentr2 during the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition that is taking place in Washington, D.C. from the 9th to the 11th of October 2017.

    What do I mean that the “inevitable” happened? Revision Military has been heavily investing in the developing modular tactical head protection system, especially with their Batlskin Caiman modular system. The design requires a comms system that can fit such head protection system that Revision decided to make one that will fit go with such instead of relying on other vendors to provide the comms portion of it.

    It does make sense and that the comms technology they will be providing can be networked into the soldier systems as well as have digital active noise reduction to protect the ears of the soldiers from noise generated by military vehicles as well as improve speech intelligibility. The unit, which is an over the ear headset has two forward- and two rear-facing microphones for 360-degree audio detection as and also a handheld human interface device (HID) for radio transmission, volume control, and switching between radios. It is also software based, making updates to the headset easier via firmware updates, thus, quality of use can be improved over time.

    More information was released by Revision Military via the press release below:

    Revision Introduces New Tactical Communications Headset System at AUSA
    Revision Military unveils the SenSys ComCentr2™ Tactical Headset System at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C., October 9 - 11.

    ESSEX JUNCTION, VERMONT (PRWEB) OCTOBER 09, 2017. Revision Military, a world leader in integrated soldier solutions, is proud to unveil the SenSys ComCentr2™ Tactical Headset System at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C., October 9 - 11. Drawing from Revision’s background in operational focused integrated head protection systems and power management solutions, this next-generation communications and hearing protection device represents the newest addition to the Company’s line of integrated soldier system products. The ComCentr2 Tactical Headset System will be commercially available in the first Quarter of 2018.

    “This is not a one-off product; this R&D direction represents Revision’s tenacity and long-standing dedication to integrated soldier systems,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO, Revision Military. “Revision has worked in parallel with companies in this field, collaborating to seamlessly integrate helmet systems with tactical headsets. Leveraging past successes, our extensive knowledge of this technology, and our considerable capabilities, we are now taking the bold step to set the bar higher in the tactical communications and hearing protection industry, and to take our head systems solutions to the next level of integration. The ComCentr2 Tactical Headset System will integrate with a variety of helmets, hubs and devices, will improve team communication, will keep pace with future technology, and, crucially, will provide unfettered situational awareness for warfighters in hostile, noise-cluttered settings.”

    Integrating advanced electronics and software into a sleek, comfortable and user-focused design, Revision’s ComCentr2 Tactical Headset System offers high quality, natural sounding audio and enhanced sensory performance. The fully digital system enables mission critical communication; improving command, control and communication on the battlefield while enabling dismounted close-combat users to detect vital sounds in a noise polluted environment.

    The SenSys ComCentr2 Tactical Headset System is designed to integrate seamlessly with modern helmet systems, including Revision’s Special Operations Forces helmet, the Batlskin Caiman™ Head Systems suite. The headset’s fully digital design allows for advanced electronic features and provides an upgrade path for technological improvements. User customizable, the ComCentr2 is an ideal communications solution for the modern dismounted close-combat warfighter and plug and play with the wider soldier system.

    Digital Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology mitigates low frequency noise generated by military vehicle platforms, protecting hearing, preventing fatigue and improving speech intelligibility. Full 360° situational awareness provided by an array of two forward and two rear facing microphones provides front and back audio detection, enhancing user awareness and closing the gaps left by existing systems. 3D spatial communication enables users to hear radio communications in a three-dimensional listening environment, further decreasing the cognitive burden caused by monitoring multiple nets.

    The ComCentr2 System includes the Human Interface Device (HID), an intuitive, hand held control unit designed to fit comfortably in the user’s hand. Buttons on the device enable radio transmission, volume adjustment and switching between radios. Unlike systems containing a fixed number of ports, the HID includes a lower section outfitted with a custom dongle. Supporting a wide variety of system configurations and communication devices, dongle attachments enable mission specific configurations in multi-role and multi-channel environments, while ensuring compatibility with legacy and future systems.


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    Ukrainian WAC-47 Assault Rifle

    Last October 5, 2017, the Ukroboronprom, the Ukranian state-owned defense company posted videos and photos of the WAC-47 assault rifle. While at first glance you will think of it as another AR assault rifle, it is a unique rifle design if you factor in that it can be made to fire either the 7.62x39mm  and  5.56×45 NATO ammo by changing the upper receiver assemblies.  It is like the Ukrainians would like to use the best of both worlds, using the standard AK-47 round used by Russia and her allies as well as the standard NATO round.

    Sounds like the SR-47 rifle? In a way yes, as the SR-47 was designed to allow U.S. operators to use AK-47 rounds in theatres of operations where the enemy use the AK-47 and its variants while enjoying the ergonomics and modularity of the AR. However, the SR-47 is not interchangeable to use the 5.56x45 NATO like the WAC-47.

    If you have been following geopolitics and the recent developments in Ukraine, you will understand why Ukraine would want a rifle like the WAC-47. This will allow Ukraine to use either round mentioned since Ukranian soldiers will encounter both rounds in the field as it gets support from the West and use AK-47 rounds it still has or has captured in the field from the Russian-supported rebels as well as Russian regular troops (which of course Russia denies).

    As Ukrainian is getting support from NATO-member countries, the AR-style of the WAC-47 allows it be able to use accessories made for the AR-style weapons and 5.56 NATO rifles.

    The WAC-47 is being developed by Ukroboronprom in cooperation with the U.S. company, Aeroscraft and the subsidiary of Ukroboronprom, the Ukroboronservice will be manufacturing the rifle. The need for interoperability, especially in joint exercises with NATO troops, made it more compelling for the Ukrainians to build the WAC-47.

    "This project will enable transition of the Ukrainian Army and industry to NATO standards. Our soldiers will be armed with Ukrainian weapons – this will boost the country’s economy. This means workload for our enterprises, new jobs, tax increase, and technological production increase. In addition, this will be another step in the development of relations with Euro-Atlantic partners, and integrating Ukraine into the global world markets ",   said UOP Deputy Director General for Aircraft Industry and Operations Volodymyr Korobov in a news release by Ukroboronprom in January 2017.

    As the WAC-47 is designed to be modular, it is designed to user other calibers as well such as the 5.45x79, 458 SOCOM, or the  6.8 SPC II with high kinetic energy and stopping properties. It will also allow it to mount barrels of different length, depending on requirements: 10.5 ", 11.5", 14.5 ", 18" or 24".

    While the rifle is being tested by the Ukrainians, there is no mention when the acceptance will be made and which units are to first receive it. According to The Firearm Blog the first units will be the Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade and Ukrainian peacekeeping forces.

     

    Photo Source: Ukroboronprom


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    U.S. Marines New Body Armor

    A newly designed body armor will be delivered to the U.S. Marines in 2019. Flora “Mackie” Jordan, body armor engineer at Marine Corps Systems Command (Marcorsyscom) is able to come up with a modular body armor that is effective as the present body armor but is 45% lighter.

    According to the Marcorsyscom, Jordan, who joined them 5 years ago, has led a team to develop the new body armor by using unconventional means. What she did in collecting data, was to dress in full gear and marched alongside with the Marines in field exercise. This helped her understand how the Marines use the gear and their problems they encountered while using the present body armor.

    "I was in body armor the whole time, I was eating MREs, we were sleeping in tents. It was a very miserable experience," said Jordan as quoted by the Marcorsyscom news report. "But it really gave me an understanding of how Marines use the gear, what the issues are, and helped me gather the data we really needed.”

    After several design changes, Jordan and her team were able to come up with a body armor that is lightweight and comfortable. It can also be customized to fit different sizes and body shape of Marines can is compatible with existing gear.

    Jordan added that “Marines are at the center of everything we do. From a design standpoint, we took into account a lot of human factors and how Marines wear it and move with it on. We looked at its compatibility with packs when Marines are hiking, or how well it holds up to different environmental conditions—from flames to extreme cold to maritime.”

    In recognition of Jordan and her team’s work, they have been awarded the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America “Promising Innovations Medal” from the Partnership for Public Service. Jordan also become the first civilian marine to win an award in the award’s 16-year history.

    During her free time, Jordan is studying for her Masters in Engineering Management at George Washington University.


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