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    Megabots vs Suidobashi on Twitch

    Yes, the fight is over and it was not broadcasted nor streamed live for those anxious to watch this fight. The first question of course is: Who won? We do not know and both Megabots and Suidobashi teams are keeping mum, as well as the production team in charge of coverage. That means we’ll have to wait until the match is streamed online on Twitch this coming Tuesday, the 17th of September, 2017.

    We have been anticipating this first of its kind battle ever since news broke out that the Japanese Suidobashi (“Kuratas”) accepted the challenge laid down by the American team behind Megabots two years ago. Originally, the Japanese robot fires an airsoft minigun whilst the Megabots uses paintball. But with the robot duel upgrades were made to ensure that this will be a melee event. No idea if it went into a pure robot vs robot, steel on steel, bashing extravaganza.

    Looking into discussions at the Megabots Facebook Page, it looks like the actual battle took place in Japan in an abandoned steel mill, perhaps a good decision given how the Japanese are fascinated by robots and probably have better facilities in place.  According to the American team, the fight consisted of several rounds spread out over a few days to allow the teams to repair their mechs.

    The fight was not open to the public as public safety is paramount and they do not want to see any spectator being crushed by flying steel debris. Only the engineering crews of both robots were there to ensure the robots can duke it out.

    But we caution our readers not to get their expectations high, as this will not be like the robot fighting you see in Pacific Rim or Real Steel. The robots are slow and not as versatile as those seen in Hollywood and Japanese movies or TV series. Still, it is something that we look forward to watching the fight on Tuesday. The question is, will this spur the giant robot fighting league that the Megabots envisioned? We don’t know, but it might just sow the seeds for future of robots who will be the gladiators in the arena instead of frail humans.

    Watch the event on Twitch, 17 September 2017, 1900H PST.

    All photos from the Megabots Facebook Page.


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    Casio G’z EYE GZE-1 Action Camera

    The action camera market just got tighter with a big name joining in to spoil the party --- Casio. Known for their tough watches, especially the G-Shock Series, Casio is also an electronics company, developing their own mobile devices as well digital cameras.  Thus, just like the other big Japanese consumer electronics companies such as Sony, Panasonic, and Nikon, they are well-positioned and well-equipped to join the action camera market. The entry will just make it harder for GoPro to compete as more big name companies  join in this market.

    With its experience in making tough devices and digital cameras, Casio finally decided to make their own offering, the G’z EYE GZE-1. Whilst its features in terms of resolution is behind the leaders, its reputation for tough products will make the G’z EYE GZE-1 a contender for the budgets of outdoors people, including airsoft players.

    But first, the disappointing news. The G’z EYE GZE-1 is a Full HD camera when others are already going to the 4K route. However, many will still settle for a FHD resolution as 4K content for YouTube viewing is still bandwidth and storage intensive. The is that FHD recording is only at 30fps whilst the competition already allow for higher frame rates for slow motion editing. But it has a slow motion feature that allows certain parts of the video to slow down for effect.

    Now for the good news. The G’z EYE GZE-1 got built-in three-axis image stabilizer, time lapse shooting, Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. As for the lens, it has an aperture is f2.8, it is ultra wide-angle at 170.4° for videos and 190.8° for still images. With the wireless connectivity feature, it can be connected to the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F20 Smart Outdoor Watch and be controlled with a mobile phone using the mobile app. This also has a tripod screw mount, wrist mounted remote control, multi-angle stick, a stabilizing  mount, and will also soon have a chest mount (no idea how this will be head mounted).

    The best selling point of the Casio G’z EYE GZE-1 is its toughness. It is built to withstand a drop of up to 4 metres, waterproof up to 50 metres, is IP6X rated (also dustproof), and can withstand temperatures of -10° C.

    Casio has not revealed pricing for the G’z EYE GZE-1 and it will initially be released in Japan. We still have to wait for information on worldwide availability.


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    USMC Tactical Decision Kit (TDK)

    In what looks like a fun thing for first person shooters to play with can help the U.S. Marines prepare for war. They can train without actually leaving the barracks as they can use an augmented reality system combined with a first person shooter system called the Tactical Decision Kit (TDK). Designed by Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz this will allow Marines to train on and off duty virtually.

    Make no mistake that this is a video game. Whilst it does look like a video game, any decision can make difference between life or death. The Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office collaborated with the Office of Naval Research to develop the TDK so that Marines can train virtually on or off duty, and test their decision-making skills from the barracks. Especially whilst in transit to a theatre of operations, they can train virtually such as being on an amphibious ship far from any land-based training camp.

    “Mainz performed a mission analysis of what defined the success of his battalion,” said Col. Walter Yates, program manager for Training Systems in a report at the Marine Corps System Command website, adding that, “He said it boiled down to the basic elements of accomplishing the mission—whatever the mission might be—and bringing his Marines home from the fight alive and well. Mainz wanted to develop the Marines of 2/6 to become the best tactical decision-makers in the world.”

    The Marcorsyscom lists the following components of the TDK:

    Augmented Reality: The augmented reality system allows Marines to visualize a variety of terrain to aid in their mission planning and real-time decision-making skills.  It enables a group of Marines to conduct virtual briefs and terrain walks while interacting with other Marines in the same virtual environment.

    Virtual Battle Space 3: A first-person shooter simulation from the viewpoint of the player that places the Marine in squad- and platoon-level force-on-force scenarios. VBS3 requires Marines to think tactically, make decisions, and communicate with subordinates and adjacent units in a complex, competitive environment using a range of supporting assets.

    Interactive Tactical Decision Game 5: The ITDG 5 system allows the users to create and execute in-depth, customizable TDGs that show second- and third-order effects of decisions. This enhances Marines’ abilities to create after-action reports, debriefs and digital sand table exercises, among other uses.

    It would be fun if airsoft players are allowed to try the TDK out if they can develop decision making skills that are required by the Marines. Many airsoft players are first person shooter video game players and thus it is easy to have them setup with the TDK. The only thing that an FPS shooter will need to understand is that it is not like any other video game and instead assume that any tactical decisions can lead to a disastrous or successful mission and getting fellow Marines killed in battle just like in the real world.

    The TDK is being delivered to the Marine Corps infantry battalions since May 2017 and it will conclude in October 2018.


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    Quark - Smallest Waterproof Stabilizer for GoPro

    Action cameras are getting their own built-in stabilizer, whether optical or digital, just to help smoothen out the footages that would come out jittery if they do not have stabilization. Even with such features, we still see a jittery clips and we try to stabilize these out by using stabilization tools in video editing software.\

    One way that we try to stabilize them further is by the use of gimbals such as those from the DJI with their OSMO and Feiyu with their G4 action camera stabilizers. While they are excellent to use handheld, these gimbals are not helmet mountable, and would look awkward on helmets. So for now, airsoft players still have to mount action cameras on their helmets still the old unstabilized way.

    An answer is coming soon. Provided it gets funded and developers get it into production --- the world’s smallest stabilizer called the Quark on Indiegogo.

    Already in the prototype stage, the Quark, which is designed by Noir Matter, is that it can be left on the camera after it is being used. As it is small, it can be easily carried anytime, anywhere. Best of all, especially for airsoft players, is that it can be helmet mountable. Made mainly for the GoPro action camera, it is compatible with the GoPro mounts and other similar mounting accessories.

    Apart from its main feature of being a stabilizer, the Quark is also a timelapse tool, just mount the the GoPro and twist it so start the timelapse recording either for 20 or 60 minutes. No need to buy a separate timelapse tool for the GoPro. Even better is that it is also waterproof so for those in the outdoors such as airsoft players, will not be worried that it will stop working when it rains.

    While it is not a 3-axis gimbal, the Quark corrects horizontal roll by using an internal gyroscope and accelerometer to make this possible. Changing from the horizontal axis to either the roll or yaw axis when needed is also possible with the Quark.

    The crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo has already achieved its funding goals. What is needed now is to work on making it to production as the developers promise a delivery of February 2018. 

    If you want to become one of the first owners of the Quark when it gets released, you can still become a backer but time is running out.  After the crowdfunding, you may need to pre-order via the Noir Matter website.


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    Eagle Prime vs Kuratas

    If you were not able to watch the American Megabots Eagle Prime go up against the Japanese Suidobashi Kuratas streamed online on Twitch, here is now the video of the fight complete with commentary. Posted by Megabots, the Americans won in what we hope to be just the first round of giant robots fighting and that another round would take place in the near future.

    As written here previously, the streamed video on Twitch was not a live one and has been already edited as teams fixed and readied both robots for the next rounds which takes more than a day to do as compared to three minutes like in a boxing match. Some may be disappointed as it was not a live battle between two hulking chunks of steel but it is understandable. Apart from not being a livestream, other websites found it to be “Hilariously Bad” according to Popular Mechanics, and that “it was an incredible waste of time and effort” according to Quartz.

    Team Megabots

    Was the fight oversold? Perhaps, as the Megabots team were more savvy using social media to promote the fight that was two years in the making and get people excited about history in the making. Some may have thought this is ala-Pacific Rim, but for those who have been discerning enough to take time and watch the videos of Megabots in their preparation, it is obvious that these first generation giant fighting robots are lumbering ones. So there is actually no slam-bang action with, fireworks, and explosions. Just two giant robots trying to topple or rip each other off, albeit slower than the faster but pet-sized robots in “Robot Wars.”

    Team Suidobashi

    Thus, we did not have high expectations that the fight would be spectacular (though in the back of our minds, we hoped it was to be really exciting and tense) and more of understanding that both American and Japanese teams are attempting prove that it can be done and can be improved on in the future. Putting together giant robots for a fight is a very expensive undertaking, but from an engineering and robotics standpoint, Eagle Prime and Kuratas will pave the way for more interest in giant robots.

    I do not know if military organisations around the world took interest in this event. Probably they had done so in secret. They have the budgets and capability to make these things happen.

    The Megabots team dream of a giant fighting robot league. Do you think after this first fight between Eagle Prime and Kuratas, it is going to happen?

    Watch the fight below:


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    BCM Combat Rail Systems

    For some Rail System goodness before we all go and enjoy our weekend, whether to play airsoft or spend time with our families. Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) have put up a page showing their expanded family of combat rail systems. These are free float rail systems that are made of lightweight aluminium alloys and designed according to the specifications of combat end users.  These Combat Rail Systems are available for the KeyMod, M-Lok, and the 1913 Picatinny Rail.

    Whether they will be made for airsoft AEGs is another thing. But for AR gas blowback and PTW owners, they would probably be able to fit them without any modifications as they are usually made to the dimensions of the real steel AR.

    So what are these Combat Rail Sytems? Let’s let the company tell more about these:

    KMR α: KEYMOD SYSTEMS

    The BCM KeyMod Rail(KMR-Alpha) delivers a robust, ultra-light modular handguard for the AR platform, second to none on the market today.

    Manufactured from Aircraft Grade Aluminum alloy, the KMR-A gives end users an extensive range of customization options, with seven KeyMod lined mounting surfaces and one with baked in MIL-STD-1913 at the 12 O'Clock position. The KMR-A features ergonomics tailored to combat end user requirements, with its reduced profiled maximized for positive control of the weapon system in the lightest possible package.

    MCMR: M-LOK® COMPATIBLE MODULAR RAIL SYSTEM

    The BCM M-LOK Compatible Modular Rail” (MCMR) delivers the same optimized ergonomic profile and lock up** developed for the KMR-Alpha rail system, but with an M-LOK® compatible interface. Precision Machined Aerospace 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy, the MCMR is both rigid and light-weight, featuring mounting interfaces on seven sides in addition to the baked in MIL-STD-1913 at the 12 O’Clock position.

    QRF: QUAD RAIL FREE FLOAT RAIL SYSTEM

    A MIL-STD-1913 rail, the BCM QRF(Quad Rail Free Float) Rail System is built with Picatinny Rails running the full length of the handguard at 12, 3, 6 and 9 O'Clock. Precision machined from high-strength lightweight Aerospace 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy, the BCM QRF features the same lock up* as and steel barrel nut insuring the rail resists movement even under extreme use.

    With four QD limited rotation sling swivel slots built into the rail at 3 and 6 O'Clock, the QRF provides end users an uninterrupted mounting surface at 12 O'Clock when mated with a BCM or other Mil-Spec upper receiver, allowing for the fine tuned positioning of optics, lasers or other accessories potentially vital to mission success.

    COMBAT RAIL LOCK UP

    The entire BCM Combat Rail System fleet uses our patented** lock up system where self-locking cross bolts apply force at the 12:00 position of the handguard equally distributing force around the surface area of the rail. This insures continuous top center alignment of the rail and mitigates forwards/backwards movement of the handguard when the weapon system is fired.

    MADE IN AMERICA

    All BCM Combat Rail Systems and accessories unite state of the art manufacturing with lightweight and durable materials to ensure components that last a lifetime, performing far beyond performance requirements established nearly six decades ago. Like all BCM rifles and BCMGUNFIGHTER™ accessories, all BCM Combat Rail Systems are made in the USA.


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    4th Tokyo Marui Festival Pre-Event

    Planning on visiting Japan next month? If you are, you might just want to schedule a visit to the 4th Tokyo Marui Festival. This event as organised by the most respected airsoft company in the world, will treat visitor not only to their airsoft products, but they will also have visual treats as well.

    Now held in November, instead of during the Summer Season when the first Tokyo Marui Festival was held, this event showcases everything about what Tokyo Marui offers to airsoft players as well as introduces the company and their products to those who are not familiar with what airsoft is all about. In fact, it is more of the latter that the company is interested in as they want more interested in airsoft which logically means more customers for them.

    If you intend to go to the event, here is what you can expect at the event:

    NEW PRODUCTS SECTION

    This is where the airsoft players around the world would be interested in when we make a report. For this Festival the company intends to announce a number of new next generation products for the first time. The products that were announced at the 57th All Japan Model & Hobby Show that took place last month will be on display too.

    In this section, visitors will also see airsoft models that are under development as well.

    SHOOTING EXPERIENCE CORNER

    A permanent feature for the Tokyo Marui Festival is the Shooting Experience Corner. People queue up to get the chance to shoot some of the new products of the company at the shooting range specially erected for this purpose. For those new to airsoft, they will be given a quick lecture on safety before they are allowed to shoot.

    LUXURY ILLUSTRATION SPECIAL EXHIBITION

    If you noticed some of illustrations showing the products of Tokyo Marui hanging up at the Festival venue in the previous years, they will be back again for this year. “Girls & Airsoft Gun Version 4” will again showcase the works of some of the Japanese illustrators.

    The 4th Tokyo Marui Festival will take place once again at the Belle Salle Akihabara located at 3 - 12 - 8 Gaikokuda 3-12-8, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo which is just 4 minutes away from the Akihabara Station on foot. Opening hours will be from 1000H to 1800H on the 11th of November and from 1000H to 1630H on the 12th of November.  Visitors must be at least 18 years old to be allowed entry to the event.


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    MOA Exhibition 2017

    Taiwan is getting to be a hotspot in terms of hosting trade fairs for the airsoft and tactical gaming industry. As the island is host to the most number of well-known airsoft companies these days, these companies are very active in marketing their products overseas as they are seen in two of the most well-known trade fairs that the airsoft industry participates in--- the SHOT Show (Las Vegas), and IWA Outdoor Classics (Nuremberg).

    Taiwan itself has two trade fairs that showcases the industry: the Hooha Show that is hosted by Combat King Monthly Magazine, and the Camo Festival that is organised by the Taiwan Airsoft & Gun Association.

    Now, another publication wants to cement that leadership by having a vision of trade fair that they want to grow as big as the SHOT Show and IWA Outdoor Classics and able to invite the countries in the Asia Pacific region to check out what they have to offer. Called the Military, Outdoor & Airsoft (MOA) Exhibition, it is set to take place on the 1st to the 3rd of December 2017 at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.

    QRF Magazine, a monthly publication that covers history, military affairs, toys, and outdoor events, are the main organizers for the event. Here is what they describe about the event:

    For long time, there are two exhibitions, Shot Show at every January in Las Vegas, U.S.A. and IWA Classic at every March in Nurnberg, Germany, which the airsoft gun manufacturers join those exhibition to present their new products. During these exhibitions, demonstration of airsoft products are very small part in it but for those manufacturers, they need to take huge amount of time, cost and staff to attend it. More than that, as the cargo transportation cost lots of time, they might not be able to show all the product instead of choosing some are very important to them. And that’s a not good thing to manufacturers and show visitors. As the situation develops, to have a professional and formal exhibition platform for airsoft industry is the priority thing to do.

    Since Taiwan is located at the center of Asia pacific, it doesn’t took long time to travel from Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia etc… Therefore we can use this advantage to invite press media, sales agent and purchasing responsible around the world to Taiwan. Not only make those manufacturer to attend the exhibition with less cost, but also for those local sales agents are able to seek more business opportunities. Let manufacturers can focus on oversea customers, accompany with local sales agents who focused on domestic customers, creating a “Win-Win” situation.

    Hosting in Taiwan this year, “MOA” military, outdoor, airsoft exhibition sincerely invite all the sales agent and manufacturer in Asia region to join this exhibition. Step by step make the MOA a world leading military, outdoor and airsoft related exhibition, creating infinity opportunities for this industry.
    QRF Magazine has already a good list of exhibitors for the event, with almost 80 companies from the region, mainly from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and Japan confirming of their attendance. A good number of these are airsoft companies with global reach as well as companies well respected in the tactical gear and accessories industry.

    If curious which companies will be there here is the list:

    If you are the owner or purchasing manager for an airsoft retail company, on the lookout for new suppliers for tactical gear, airsoft guns, weapons accessories, and the like, the MOA looks like a trade fair to check out. Many exhibitors in the list are not seen at the SHOT Show nor at the IWA Outdoor Classics. This is a good opportunity to meet them face to face in one place and try to strike business deals.

    The MOA Exhibition will be open from 0900H to 1700H on all days, 1-3 December 2017. Tickets are now on sale at the MOA Exhibition website.


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    Call Of Duty: WWII “Reassemble”

    The release date of Call of Duty: WWII is getting closer and in the tradition of promoting any latest Call of Duty title, a live action commercial usually gets released. For COD: WWII, they want to call you squad back together in “Reassemble”.

    “Reassemble” differs from previous COD live action commercials as there is no reference to the game itself. Just normal guys going about and calling their mates back to form squads for the virtual battle ahead when the game gets released with the sound track being Royal Blood’s "Figure It Out." The videos may remind of Ocean’s 11 (or perhaps the A-Team) and the squad members coming from different backgrounds and genders.

    Some have noticed the squads assembled are either 8 or 5 when someone pointed out the Call of Duty squads are usually 6 members though it will be enlarged to 9 with COD WWII. But others have also pointed out that for Playstation Party Size is limited to 8, it might be capped to 8 players per squad.

    Another thing for the “Reassemble” live action commercials which are basically released with UK and French versions, is that there is no celebrity in these commercials. Perhaps some savings here whereas before big name celebrities appear in their live action commercials.

    If you have not been playing the beta version of the COD WWII which was released last August, it is time prepare for the worldwide release in just over a week’s time. The release will be on the November 3, 2017 and the game will be playable PC, PS4, and Xbox One.


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    G&G Show Yourself 2017 Photo Contest Winners Announcement

    One of the longest running airsoft photo contests online has finally concluded its 2017 edition. The G&G Armament Show Yourself 2017 Photo Contest, already on its 9th year, announced the winners of their photo contest early this month. Contest winners get to win airsoft guns made by the company and one lucky winner gets to bring home a cash prize of US$1,000.00.

    The event took place last August with contestants submitting photos before the 12 September deadline. The voting period took place from the 17th to the 24th of September 2017 with the winners revealed on the 3rd of August. Official announcement at the website of G&G Armament was posted last 6 October.

    Our congratulations to all the winners and selected prize winners for this event:

    GOLD PRIZE:
    LAST SHOT PRODUCTION & SCOIATTOLI TEAM
    (TEAM PRIZE)
    ITALY
    Prize: Any 3 Pre-Selected G&G Airsoft Models

    SILVER PRIZE
    ALEXANDER DERUGIN
    RUSSIA
    Prize: Any 2 Pre-Selected G&G Airsoft Models

    BRONZE PRIZE
    MOUNTAIN TROOP-PIRIN TEAM
    (TEAM PRIZE)
    BULGARIA
    Prize: Any 1 Pre-Selected G&G Airsoft Model

    CREATIVE PRIZE
    MIHAIL YURIEV
    UKRAINE
    Prize: US$1,000

    SPECIAL PRIZE
    LAST SHOT PRODUCTION & SCOIATTOLI TEAM
    ITALY

    SELECTED PRIZE WINNERS:

    Bartosz Bielicki (Poland)
    Cerberus (Russia)
    Andres Felipe Cuartas (Colombia)
    Aaron Amort (Usa)
    Panama De Oliva Airsoft Team (Russia)
    Racoon Squad Airsoft (Austria)
    Valery Barinova (Russia)
    Diego Tabisz De Freitas (Brasil)
    Joker Airsoft (Colombia)
    Pincen Garden Team (Chile)
    Dmitry Balykov (Russia)
    Marty And Alyona (Russia)


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    Kalashnikov Automatic Pistol (APK)

    There is one thing that Mikhail Kalashnikov is known for, the iconic AK-47 rifle. But now, we get to learn that he actually designed a pistol as his entry to the competition for new pistols for the Soviet Red Army. In a video released by Kalashnikov Concern last 19 October, we finally get to see the prototype pistol he built for the combat pistol competition.

    Called the Kalashnikov Automatic Pistol (APK), it was designed in the 1950 as after World War II, the Red Army called for a combat compact pistol that officers can use, and another pistol that can be used as a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW).

    Kalashnikov decided to enter the competition with the APK. Using the 9 x 18 cartridge, the magazine has a capacity of 20 rounds. Fire modes are full-auto and semi-auto with the fire selector doubly works as a safety. The pistol itself is a straight blowback action. He designed the holster to be used as a detachable stock which we see as a neat design allowing the soldier to use the APK with the holster as a stock for a more stabilised shooting. As a PDW, it is intended for use by operators of vehicles, artillery crews, and law enforcement which probably is the Military Police or the Voennaya politsiya or VP.

    The pistol showed on the video below was not fired and we do not know if actually can still fire a bullet. Only a few prototypes are remaining and the one in the video is probably a museum piece.

    As mentioned in the video, the APK lost to the Stechkin Automatic Pistol (APS). Designed by Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin, at that time a new graduate in 1948 from the Tula Mechanical Institute, it is like the APK in a way that is a select-fire weapon, uses the same 9 x 18mm Makarov Cartridge, also uses its holster as a detachable stock, and is a straight blowback pistol.

    Stechkin Automatic Pistol (Source:Wikipedia)

    It was adopted in 1951 after completing tests by the Red Army successfully. However, it was phased out later due to costs, longer production, issues in ergonomics, too heavy and big, as well as it had frequent stoppages.  It was used by the FSB and Spetsnaz. The AKS-74U took over the APS as the main PDW weapon in 1981. According to Wikipedia, the OTS-33 Pernach is a derivative of the APS.

    If anyone is interested in making an airsoft version of the APK, they better get a licence from Kalashnikov Concern as the company is now aggressive in protecting its intellectual property worldwide.


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    Operation Amari Soleil "Riley" Palad Rising

    It always takes a community to help someone out in need. In this case, it’s a group of Filipino airsofters linking arms to help one comrade whose newborn daughter is right now in a hospital NICU or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature newborn infants.

    Getting sick in the Philippines is expensive. There is no universal healthcare and hospitals are mainly dominated by the private sector. Whilst there are public hospitals, the best care are usually provided by the private hospitals, and you stay confined for longer periods due to illness, the bills rack up that even a well to do family would find itself broke by medical bills. There is public as well as private health insurance but the latter is usually provided via employers and can only cover much, but not always the full cost. Many private hospitals are up to Western standards, but command Western prices too and salaries and savings (if there are any) in the Philippines cannot easily cope with medical expenses.

    For RJ “Wancho” Palad and wife Inna, it is the worry of being able to pay for the medical bills for their first born daughter Amari Soleil with “Riley” being her nickname. Born premature and confined at the hospital NICU, the parents have put a Facebook Page to raise funds for their expenses that they expect to incur for the duration their doctor expects the baby to be in the hospital:

    Amari Soleil "Riley" Palad came out at 7:49pm on October 19, 2017, weighing 3 pounds and measuring 40cm. She gave out loud cries and brought tears of joy to her parents' eyes. Her parents saw her briefly before she was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

    Riley had to be placed inside an incubator and had to be hooked to a ventilator right away to help her with her breathing. She was exerting a lot of effort to breathe, and her ventilator had to be adjusted every now and then as her oxygen saturation levels kept on fluctuating and would not hold at a stable level. I work as a nurse, and it broke my heart to see all those tubes and machines around her. She also had to be given antibiotic medication for pneumonia at her first day of life.

    Riley’s neonatal pediatrician told her parents that she may have to stay in the NICU for a period of 3-4 weeks. Her parents want to have Riley to have the best medical care in order to give her the best chances of survival and recovery, however they need financial assistance in order to be able to do this. It's only 3 full days since Riley was born, and her medical bill is already at around Php 196,000 (around US$3,800 or £2,900)... she has to stay there for 3-4 weeks, which means that during the first few weeks of her life, her medical expenses could easily end up at around Php 1M (around US$19,500 or £14,700) or more.

    We would like to reach out to your kind hearts and ask if you can help our little warrior in whatever way you can. Riley has already endured and survived through so much ever since she was conceived... This perfect little angel deserves the best medical care so she can get well the soonest and be able to come home with her loving family, as a perfectly healthy and happy little baby.

    Amira Soleil "Riley" Palad in the NICU with parents Inna and RJ "Wancho" Palad looking over her

    Wancho is an active and well-respected member of the Philipine airsoft community. One of the best guys to talk about gear and airsoft and can expected to be in Milsim events in the country.  He has helped Popular Airsoft with the Ratratan Series we held in the Philippines during the early years of the publication. A dependable guy, right now Wancho will need to depend on the airsoft community to help out.

    RJ "Wancho" Palad. Riley's Dad.

    Groups of airsoft players in and around the Metro Manila region are organising fund raising events for Riley. As fast as they can, they will be hosting events at game sites, big or small, and raise whatever amount they can to help out. If you are in the Philippines and want to be part in the fundraising airsoft events for Riley called “Operation Soleil Rising:, here are the initial schedules:

    4 NOVEMBER 2017
    Hukuman Game Site
    Marcos Alvarez, Las Pinas City
    Hosted by: Milsim X
    Call Time: 0700H
    Game Fee: Php250.00

    5 NOVEMBER 2017
    LOMA Game Site
    Barangay Loma, Binan Laguna

    For interested players, please get in touch with the management of these game sites and for other scheduled games of Operation Soleil Rising, they can check at the following Facebook Pages:

    If you are not in the Philippines and would like to help out by giving some financial contributions, a GoFundMe Page called “Your Help Can Change Riley’s Life” setup by Inna’s sister, Izza Banadera, who is based in the United Kingdom. Whatever amount that you want to send can go a long way and the Palad family will greatly appreciate the help.

    Updates on the condition and progress of Riley and the fundraising efforts can be found at the mentioned Facebook Pages and the GoFundMe Page. Even if you are not an airsofter, your help is still very much welcome. If you cannot make it any of the fundraising events and want to give help please do get in touch with RJ and Inna on how you can send your contribution.

    All help, big or small, will be welcomed.


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    WAAC Supanova Perth 2017

    We go back to the issue of helping our friends in the Land Down Under as they continue the push for the legalisation of airsoft in Australia. In recent months, the efforts have been graining traction with politicians starting to listen to what advocates for sport/hobby have to say and some agreeing to support such.

    These new developments have been due in part to an increasing and louder voice of organised airsoft enthusiasts in the country such as the Western Australian Airsoft Club and the Australian Airsoft Council. They are leaving no stone unturned, working at the state level all the way up to the federal level. The more politicians to start noticing them, the better, as airsoft advocates should be visible and more vocal in order to be heard.

    Western Australia Airsoft Club at Supanova Perth 2017

    Apart from the efforts at the local and national levels, they have started to build up links, especially with the cooperation established with the United Kingdom Airsoft Players’ Union (UKAPU). The UKAPU are spearheading the international pressure on the Australian government, especially with the Australian Parliament, to enact laws that will legalise airsoft and allow for the importation of airsoft guns. Australia is perhaps the only country in the Western World where airsoft is illegal.

    Now, the UKAPU want to enjoin every airsofter in every country in the world where it is legal to help sign the petition that has put up at the Australian Parliament. It is always a numbers game, the more petitioners; the more the proponents get heard:

    AUSTRALIAN AIRSOFT NEEDS YOUR HELP!

    As part of ongoing efforts to legalise airsoft across Australia, Australian airsofters have created a petition calling for an amendment to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 that controls the importation of airsoft replicas into Australia.

    The problem with this particular set of regulations is that it places massive restrictions on the importation of airsoft replicas into Australia, based purely on their resemblance to real firearms and their select fire capabilities. On top of that they are required to satisfy a number of safety tests that are entirely disproportionate to the risk they pose. Airsoft replicas discharge BB’s at a far lower energy than paintball guns yet paintball is legal in Australia. Go figure!

    The petition can be signed by anyone, whether they live in Australia or not. The only requirement is that you have a valid e-mail address.

    ClICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

    We, as airsofters, should all get behind this so get signing and sharing. Lets help our brothers and sisters down under bring our great sport back to Australia!

    The petition is easy to sign and it won’t take much of your time. Wherever you are, whether in the airsoft field, out on a holiday, or just sitting on the sofa at home, open your computer or smartphone and click on the link the UKAPU have provided. Share this to your team mates or airsoft group on Facebook.  Have everyone sign the petition. Please do make sure that the email address is valid and no spamming is tolerated. The airsoft player is a sport of honour and airsofters are players of honour.

    Let’s get going, help UKAPU and the Australian Airsoft Community get the international support needed to finally have airsoft listened at higher levels of the Australian government.

     

    Top photo:Cosplayers signing their support for airsoft at the Western Australia Airsoft Club during the Supenova 2017 in Perth. (Source:Western Australia Airsoft Club Facebook Page).


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    8th APCA Pre-Event Teaser

    As always, the biggest airsoft event that will mark the end of the year and start the new year will not happen on any airsoft field nor on inside an airsoft CQB facility. It will take place online involving thousands of airsoft players from around the world nominating and voting for the favourites.

    Yes! It is 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards and for this year, it has been expanded again to include two more categories due to readers' demand:

    Best HPA Airsoft Engine. The HPA Airsoft market has grown significantly over the years with more product offerings and vendors. We’re sure you have an engine or two in mind.

    Special Airsoft Player Award Female Category. We are seeing more women getting active in airsoft and we hope that this category will encourage more female airsoft players to be more active on the field and even online. It is high time to recognise the efforts of those who are paving the way for more participation of women in airsoft. Apart from that, we are getting tired of seeing just men posing for photos during the awarding ceremonies and having a woman there would surely brighten things up.

    Just like in previous years, this awards period will be a two month period and it has two phases:

    Nomination Period (27 November to 29 December 2017)– Airsoft players from all over start nominating for their favourites in the various awards categories. The top 5 nominees in each category will advance to the Voting/Finals Period.

    Voting/Finals Period (8 January to 5 February 2018) – The period that will determine who will be the best in their categories. The nominee with the most number of votes gets the prize.

    The Awarding Ceremonies will take place during the Airsoft Meetup at the IWA Outdoor Classics 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany.

    Some of the winners of the 7th Airsoft Players' Choice Awards at the Airsoft Meetup, IWA Outdoor Classics 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany last March.

    Here is the list of the official categories for the 8th Airsoft Players’ Choice Awards:

    • Best Airsoft Retailer for North America
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Europe
    • Best Airsoft Retailer for Asia
    • Best Gear Retailer for North America
    • Best Gear Retailer for Europe
    • Best Gear Retailer for Asia
    • Best Airsoft Magazine (Print or Digital)
    • Best English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Non-English Language Airsoft News Website
    • Best Airsoft Blog (Regardless of Language)
    • Best Airsoft Community/Forum
    • Best Airsoft Video Posted Online in 2017
    • Best Airsoft Event (Over 500 Players)
    • Best Airsoft Podcast or Video Channel
    • Best Airsoft Upgrade/Parts Maker
    • Best Airsoft KABOOM (Grenade/Mine/Mortar/Rocket/Pyro) Maker
    • Best HPA Airsoft Engine (New)
    • Best Airsoft Pistol
    • Best Airsoft Gas Blowback Rifle
    • Best Airsoft Shotgun
    • Best Airsoft Sniper Rifle
    • Best Airsoft Automatic Electric Gun (AEG)
    • Best Airsoft Manufacturer
    • Special Airsoft Player Award (Male)
    • Special Airsoft Player Award (Female) (New)

    You’ve got until the 26th of November to do your homework and come up with the list of nominees for all the categories. The next day, the 27th of November, it will be all systems go.


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    No Airsoft Guns On Halloween 2017

    It’s Halloween and many of you are probably excited for that scary costume party that will be taking place tonight or go on trick-or-treating. Halloween is probably that part of the year when a big part of the world’s human population dress up to look scary.

    If you are looking for props to go with your costume, we would rather advice that you go out without your airsoft gun, or even any kind of gun whatsoever. The airsoft community has been working very hard each year to inform airsoft players not to go out on Halloween displaying their airsoft guns in public to go with their costumes.

    Just like in normal days where you need to keep your airsoft stored in a gun bag while in public spaces, Halloween should also be airsoft guns should be put away and left at home. Airsoft guns are always mistaken for the real thing and people may just call the police on you if you bring one for trick-or-treating.

    So keep safe, leave the guns at home today unless there is a Halloween-themed airsoft game you want to go to.

    We’ll let UKAPU tell also their Halloween PSA:

    Getting dressed up for Halloween this year?

    Lots of us enjoy dressing up for Halloween and to some the addition of a RIF to their outfit might be the cherry on the cake, but if you are planning on going out please consider that the sight of someone strolling around in public or at a party, carrying what most people would consider to be a firearm won’t go down well.

    You may not realise it but you are all ambassadors for our sport and as such you have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that no harm comes to it from preventable incidents.

    So save yourself and everyone else the hassle and leave the RIF at home!

    Also we’ll never tire of reposting these Halloween PSA videos posted in the past years:

    Happy Halloween!


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    B.E. Meyers GLARE RECOIL

    Sounds like something from Star Trek? Sort of, but it is something that U.S. Marines want to bring with them on the field --- a device that can warn or visually suppress opponents or unidentified people who are approaching without the need to fire a shot or cause damage to their eyes that powerful green lasers do.

    Part of the Ocular Interrupter System (OIS) Program, this system is a permanent replacement for the GLARE MOUT 532P-M and LA-9/P Green Beam Dazzling Laser Systems. It is either weapon mounted or hand-held and can dazzle an approaching person from a good distance.

    Adopted for this purpose is the B.E. Meyers GLARE RECOIL Non-Lethal Hail and Warning device. Whilst the Marine specification for this device is an effective range of 500 metres, the GLARE RECOIL is effective up to 25 kilometres far exceeding the requirements. The GLARE RECOIL will replace the Glare Mout 532P-M and the LA-9/P Green Beam Dazzling Laser which have been in service with the Marines for over 7 years.

    The GLARE RECOIL gets the Joint Electronic Type Designation System (JETDS) identifier LA-22/U with an NSN of 5860-01-657-3893. B.E. Meyers got the US$49 million contract to supply the LA-22/U.

    Whilst its main purpose is a 250mW maximum output green laser dazzler, it can also be used as laser rangefinder. As it is a dazzler, the green laser cannot cause blindness and is considered safe for the eye. It can only disorient and frustrate the target when approaching the Marines.

    B.E. Meyers, in their press release posted at Soldier Systems, further describes the GLARE RECOIL/LA-22/U:

    Fitted with B.E. Meyers’ groundbreaking and patented SmartRange™ technology, the GLARE RECOIL™ integrates laser range finding, near-field detection, and a 3-axis gyroscope into the unit’s safety controls. This technology allows it to detect objects/persons entering the proximity of the beam, and self-regulates the power output to maintain controlled EyeSafe™ Class 2M irradiance while ensuring maximum permissible exposure on target.

    An initial 144 units will be delivered in the following months and a total of 1,848 units are expected to be fielded in 2019, according to the Marine Corps Times.


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    IWI Tavor 7 AR

    We need more Tavors in airsoft. Ever since Ares Airsoft released their TAR-21 AEG in 2009 that was well received by airsoft players, no other variant of the IWI Tavor has been released for the airsoft market and mainly we see clones of the Ares TAR-21.

    So far, there are already several Tavors released by IWI: TAR-21, GTAR-21, CTAR-21, and the MTAR-21 that was eventually replaced with the X95 series, the most compact amongst the IWI Tavors.

    Now, another Tavor has been added, and those who prefer the 7.62 round, then they will rejoice that the new Tavor is chambered with the 7.62x 51mm NATO round. Honestly, I would take a 7.62 Tavor anytime over a 5.56mm. Perhaps due to it being a more effective round that the even the U.S. Army are contemplating a rifle that will fire the 7.62mm round.

    Called the Tavor 7, this new bullpup rifle if fully ambidextrous with the charging handle and charging port can be switched from one side to the other. Just like the X95, it has ambidextrous magazine release, safety lever, and bolt catch. It also includes M-LOK fore-end (2 M-LOK slots at 3 and 9 o’clock) as well as MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail at the 6 o’clock position for attaching weapons accessories. It also has replaceable chrome-lined, hammer-forged, free-floating barrels that come in two lengths 17 inches and 20 inches.

    In a press release from IWI, Shlomi Sabag, IWI’s CEO said, “We are pleased to expand the TAVOR family – the world’s most popular battle-proven bullpup rifles – with the new addition of a 7.62X51mm caliber weapon, based on requests from our customers. The IWI TAVOR 7 enables users from the military and law enforcement markets to operate in a wide variety of scenarios at short and medium range with enhanced firepower – efficiently, safely and easily, with only minimal maintenance. Based on what we have already heard from the field, we expect the IWI TAVOR 7 to become a leader in its category. The weapon will be available from the first quarter of 2018.”

    Once the Tavor 7 is released next year, customers can choose from different colors: Sniper Gray, OD Green, Black, and Flat Dark Earth. No MSRP yet.

    Now, we just need somebody in the airsoft industry who will just make more Tavors apart from the TAR-21.


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    4th Tokyo Marui Festival Teaser

    What we have been missing whenever Tokyo Marui announce that they will be attending or a holding a major exhibit is now back. For the 4th Tokyo Marui Festival, they finally started teasing us again showing a quick peek of partial photos of the products that they will reveal at the event next week.

    So far, there are only three products in the teaser and we have our own guesses, but we won’t tell you so you can make your own guesses:

    The teaser show what looks like to be new gas blowback pistols, though they could be something else too. Remember that in the teaser they say that there is more that will be revealed and that means a week more of waiting until they finally reveal their new products which we hope would surprise and excite us all.

    Visitors who are new to airsoft or curious on what it is all about can try the airsoft guns on display at the event. They can check out the New Products Section, Shooting Experience Corner, and the Luxurious Illustration Special Exhibit. They also announce the Merchandise Section where visitors can purchase merchandise that is usually found at the Tokyo Marui webstore.

    If interested, visitors ages 18 and above are allowed to enter the Festival as it will take place once again at the Belle Salle Akihabara located at 3 - 12 - 8 Gaikokuda 3-12-8, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo which is just 4 minutes away from the Akihabara Station on foot. Opening hours will be from 1000H to 1800H on the 11th of November and from 1000H to 1630H on the 12th of November. 

    Now, let’s begin the guessing game.


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    U.S. Modular Scalable Vest

    U.S. Army soldiers can look forward to using the new combat vest next year once tests are complete. The 71st Ordnance Group and 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company conducted the final set of tests for a new body armor designed to be modular, customizable and lightweight.

    Called the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) is a modular, scalable system built to protect the soldier that is lighter than the existing PPE. The MSV is part of the U.S. Army’s Soldier Protection System (SPS) which is part of the next-gen Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) system, and the tests were conducted last 16-20 October 2017 at Fort Carlson in Colorado.

    "We have been working on this vest for the past five years and have since have gone through four versions of the vest and an additional two versions of the Soldier plate carrier system," said Stephen McNair t est manager for Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment, a division of Program Executive Officer Soldier at Fort Belvoir who was onsite to observe the tests according to a news report at the Army.mil website.

    A medium-sized MSV weighs 11 pounds with no ballistic plates and when it is fully configured, the it will weigh in at around 25 pounds, which is still 5lbs lighter than the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV). Many soldiers noticed the weight difference.

    "Compared to my IOTV, this vest is lighter and cooler, has a greater range of motion, and a better fit," said 1st Lt. Dawn Ward, a platoon leader with 663rd Ordnance Company and officer in charge during the evaluation. Further adding that, "It is a huge improvement over previous body armors."

    Apart from being even more lightweight, the MSV is also scalable and can be configured to meet the requirements of the mission. There are four tiers with the first tier that enables the wearer to pull out the inside soft armor to be used as concealable body armor. The second tier is the soft armor with plates. The third tier is the vest with ballistic plates and soft armor.  The final tier is the addition of a ballistic combat shirt that has built -- in neck, shoulder and pelvic protection and a belt system designed to relocate much of what Soldiers affix to their vest to their hips.

    Since there are different body sizes, the U.S. Army allowed for sizing options.

    The report also says that the testing was done with the soldiers going through an obstacle course, do weapons training, conduct don and doffing procedures, practice tactical vehicle access capabilities, and a ruck march.

    Once the evaluation is complete, production will come next. The first batch of the MSV is expected to be ready by summer 2018.

     

    Photo Credit:  U.S. Army photos by Staff Sgt. Lance Pounds


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    Varec Soldanic's Airsoft Deathkart

    It’s Monday and we’d rather keep our feature story short and light to let the photos and video speak for themselves. Someone got time to build an airsoft deathkart and looking at the results, we like what see.

    The Airsoft Deathkart was built by Varec Soldanic, who calls himself a "Foul mouthed, booze swilling, ex military wastelander, blackfinger and junksmith." We still do not know the components such as the engine that he used for his deathkart, which looks like a buggy that uses a Beetle engine (we have not gotten in touch with him).

    The airsoft components are two cheap UZI AEGs that were bought for US$20 each and given the rust treatment. Both are fired simultaneously with a switch that is mounted on the steering wheel and they work. So far most of the testing are inside his garage, we hopefully we get to see this in action next time.

    If you have some airsoft vehicles, drop us a note so we can feature yours. For now see the photos and video below (from Varec’s Facebook Page):


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