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    Stars & Stripes: Deployed Troops Taste Test Pizza MRE

    Have you been eyeing to get the new MRE Pizza when it becomes commercially available so you can bring it your milsim or airsoft weekenders? Perhaps you are still unsure if you will like the taste of the new menu and think that it’s a Meal Rejected by The Enemy? Well, don’t worry as the valiant troops in Afghanistan are trying it out to find out if it is edible to eat and taste like the pepperoni pizza they’re used to back home.

    Promised as a “day after pizza” which always brings to mind the pizza left in the fridge, the MRE Pizza is comprised of the following:

    • Pepperoni Pizza
    • Cherry blueberry cobbler
    • Cheese spread with cheddar and jalapeno cheese
    • Italian bread sticks
    • Cookies
    • Chocolate protein drink powder

    But of course, the most important component is the Pepperoni Pizza, as pizza is the holy grail of the U.S. Military’s food technologists. While it is already a big achievement being able to have an MRE pizza, will it really pass muster among the troops who are in the field? Stars and Stripes tried to find out by having their reporter in Kabul to see if the troops at the NATO Headquarters if they would have it in their bags when on missions or would rather face an incoming bullet from the enemy than eat it.

    Luckily, the MRE pizza, despite initial criticisms on its appearance, seems to be get their approval and does taste like a day old pizza as promised. Even men from the land of pizza and pasta, Italy, were made to suffer eating a piece but they actually did like, meaning a pizza in the frontlines, it actually tastes good. Maj. Gianluca Cinque of the Italian Alpini Mountain Troops said that, “Taking into consideration where I’m going to eat that kind of pizza, yes, it’s good, in the middle of the s---.”

    There you go folks, it’s safe, it’s edible, and yes it will be the pizza you will happily welcome when you’re in a hostile environment teeming with enemy troops after your neck. Just don’t forget to bring the beer.


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    Capcom Biohazard/Resident Evil RE:2 TGS 2018

    September is a very busy month for Tokyo Marui as they will be at two big events this month. The first one is the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2018 on the 20th to the 23rd of September and to be followed right after by the 59th All Japan Model Hobby Show on the 28th to the 30th of September. For this feature, we’ll delve into the TGS 2018.

    The TGS is the biggest video game show expo in Japan that is hosted by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) showcasing the most popular video games in Japan and around the world. Video game developers in the country promote their upcoming titles and they are joined by other game publishers from other parts of the world.

    For TGS 2018, CAPCOM will be promoting the latest in the Biohazard/Resident Evil video game franchise, Biohazard/Resident Evil RE:2 is a remake of the Biohazard 2/Resident Evil 2 in which rookie police officer Leon S. Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield attempt to escape from Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse. The remake will be released worldwide on January 25, 2019 and will be available on the Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

    Tokyo Marui’s strong partnership with CAPCOM continues with their Biohazard/Resident Evil collaboration. Tokyo Marui develops the airsoft versions of the guns from the game as well as contribute gun designs that can be used in the game, such as the Thor’s Hammer, based on the Marui SGR-12 AES. Their collaboration extends to supporting CAPCOM at the TGS where the airsoft company puts up a gun range for visitors to try and immerse themselves as characters in the game franchise and shoot targets based on the game using the Biohazard airsoft guns Tokyo Marui provides at the TGS.

    The shooting range that Tokyo Marui will setup at the TGS 2018 will be called the Gunshop KENDO (ガンショップKENDO Gan shoppu KENDO). Visitors at the show will be able to shoot at zombie targets in the dark using tracer BBs. They will be able to use the Tokyo Marui Samurai Edge Gas Blowback Pistols, especially the newly released Albert.W.Model 01P Gas Blowback Pistol.  Only visitors 18 years and above will be allowed to shoot at the range, and they will need to show a ID proving their age upon entry at the range.

    The Kendo Gunshop is based on the game's Kendo Gun Shop in Raccoon City owned by Robert Kendo who was good friend of Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) member Barry Burton. He is the character who helped create the custom guns for Barry and the other S.T.A.R.S. and with the airsoft versions produced by Tokyo Marui.

    A limited edition Survive Magazine will be given away to visitors, subject to availability.

    The Tokyo Game Show 2018 will be open only to industry/business visitors on the 20th to the 21st of September and then will be open to the public on the 22nd to the 23rd of September.


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    SIG Sauer P320-M17 "The Chosen One"

    Much has been reported and written about the Modular Handgun System (MHS) program of the US Army in which SIG Sauer’s entry, the P320, won over strong competition from Glock, FN America, and Beretta, and became the M17, the U.S. Army’s latest service pistol.

    With the release of the video series called “The Chosen One”, SIG Sauer chronicles the MHS program and is a four-part series that ends wanting you to keep a “piece of history” and get the P320-M17 pistol that the company made available for the civilian market.

    In a press release from SIG Sauer, Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. said, “The selection of the P320-M17 as the handgun for America’s soldiers was a historic moment for the U.S. Army, and also for Sig as a company. This video series tells the story of the P320-M17 and archives the comprehensive selection process that was undertaken by the U.S. Army. It’s a tremendous honor to support the mission of the U.S. Army and provide the handgun that protects those who serve our country in harm’s way.”

    You can watch all the episodes below:

    Episode One– The Search Begins: A historical review of the U.S. Army’s sidearm leading up to the search for a new modular handgun system to meet the demands of the modern battlefield.

    Episode Two– The Chosen One: The search for the U.S. Army’s new sidearm begins and SIG SAUER develops the modular handgun system that would become – The Chosen One.

    Episode Three– The M17 Enters Service: The M17 is officially placed into service with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

    Episode Four– Own a Piece of History: The M17 is bringing a new level of capability and adaptability to the battlefield helping to keep America’s soldiers safe, and now civilians can own a piece of history with the P320-M17.

    SIG Sauer also have the whole series on their website with even more information about the pistol in photos and in text.

    We just wait for Cybergun to announce that they will be releasing a version of the airsoft market. We know that WE Airsoft are working on the SIG P320 Gas Blowback Pistol, it’s just a matter of tweaking the design make it look more like the M17 and even better, add the compact M18 to the airsoft offering.


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    Masada Armour Protective Backpack

    With school shootings looking like common occurrences at U.S. schools, it has come to a point that parents are worried about the safety of their kids that they think bulletproof backpacks are now a necessity likes books and pens. With the opening of the new school year, an Israeli company stands to benefit from this new development.

    Masada Armour, a company based in Israel that makes protective equipment is a certified supplier of the Israeli ministry of defence Israeli police, international defence industry companies and civilian companies, got the product they need --- a bulletproof backpack that can be easily deployed in two seconds.

    The company has brought out the bulletproof backpack in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting in Florida early this year and aware of the mass shootings that occur at U.S. educational institutions. They design, which is simply called the “Protective Backpack” transforms into a front and back bulletproof vest.

    The company describes the product as is designed for regular college student, like carrying books, laptop and other stuff. The vest part is closed in separate section of the backpack and it cannot be seen during regular use.

    As for the options, the basic Protective Backpack which costs US$500 weighs around 3kg and this can stop 9mm rounds. For higher level of protection an option that costs U$700 can protect rounds fired from rifles such as the AR and Kalashnikov rifles and weighs around 5kgs.

    At present the Protective Backpack is too heavy for children. The company is working on a lighter model that can be carried by younger students together with their books.

    According to the Times of Israel, the company is getting hundreds of orders and they are now ramping up  their production to 500 units per month.

    It is disheartening to note that parents in the U.S. will need to spend more for the protection of their children rather than devote the money for their educational needs. It is a situation that can be avoided, but for now that is the reality in the U.S., schools are magnets for shooters and students the easy targets.

    Masada Armour are not the only makers of a bulletproof backpack. Previously, we featured the Leatherback Gear bulletproof backpacks that are more affordable than the Protective Backpack.


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    Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

    It looks like the Nazi hunting spree will continue if reports are to be believed, and we really want to believe that it is true. Whilst the developers are focusing on spinoff called Wolfenstein: Youngblood,  according to Metro, they will definitely be doing the next Wolfenstein title after the much acclaimed Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus.

    In the Metro report, Bethesda Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications Pete Hines, was quoted as saying, "Absolutely we're making a Wolfenstein III. They said on stage that they're taking a break from the larger story to do. But we all have to see how that ends."

    But for now, there is still not much information on how the Wolfenstein 3 will unfold, if it will still be a continuation of B.J. Blazkowicz ensuring that the world will continue getting rid of Nazis. The development group will still be MachineGames, the game studio based in Uppsala, Sweden.

    Now with the revelation of Wolfenstein: Young Blood at the E3 2018, the twin daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz will be continuing the fight. Jessica and Sophia Blazkowicz will embark on a mission to Paris in the 1980s to find their father, who has gone missing. The Nazi’s remain in Europe even after they were kicked out of the USA during the Second American Revolution in 1961 in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

    The game can be played coop, but anyone can play it in single player. It is a standalone spinoff from the main Wolfenstein franchise and is scheduled to be released in 2019.

    Wolfenstein: Youngblood is not the only spinoff. Another is the first Wolfenstein VR game called Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot which is also being developed by MachineGames for a 2019 release. The player is also set in 1980s and is sent into hacking Nazi robots, turning them against their evil masters and is said to be a straightforward Nazi-killing game.

    There you go, as you wait for Wolfenstein 3, there will be two appetizers for you to take next year.


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    Epic Games Fortnite

    If you are married and an avid Fortnite Battle Royale Game player, you might want to put some reminders in front of your screen to take time off from it. You might not realise that your partner may have just slammed the door carrying off his/her things, never to return. If it already happened to you, then you just blame the game for causing a breakdown in your marriage.

    Yes, Fortnite is said to be causing divorces in the UK, if reports are true.

    According to divorceonline.co.uk, it has received 200 divorce petitions since January 1st 2018 with Fortnite addiction and other online games are cited as one of the reasons for divorce.

    According to the company, apart from the usual reasons of alcohol, drug addiction and gambling, there are new addictions that are caused by being being glued to the screen such as pornography, social media, and online gaming. Even if the person is at home, not paying attention due to being engrossed in online games can lead to non-communication and neglect of the partner. Games such as Fortnite give out rewards for playing longer, and as such are being blamed for divorces.

    The company says this number is around 5% of the 4,665 petitions that they have handled during that time frame.

    Apart from game addiction being a probable cause for divorces, gamers might want to look up the fact that even the World Health Organization (WHO) have added recently gaming addiction to its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems as reported by Esquire. Too much gaming can damage the physical and psychological health of the gamer through sleep deprivation and causing damage to the eyes.

    We have not heard of cases of airsoft being cited as a case for divorce or legal separation, especially since it is can be an expensive hobby and can put a strain on relationships especially on issues of finances. But one thing that is always recommended is to play together as couple, it’s a good guarantee of a healthy partnership.


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    Biolite Headlamp

    Perhaps something that is overlooked by many airsoft players, but for those who go into long weekend games, they find that having a headlamp helps them free their hands when they navigating at night or looking for stuff in the dark. While there are lots of choices of headlamps in outdoors market nowadays, Biolite promises a revolutionary headlamp that may just blow away the competition as it is also affordable.

    Simply called the Biolite Headlamp, the company claims that the 330 lumen headlamp with four lighting modes is comfortable to wear and is also rechargeable.  The company are raising funds now on Kickstarter and with funding goal reached on the same day it was launched, those from Canada and the US who have pledged funding may just receive theirs by the holiday season.

    “We have an amazing community on Kickstarter, which made it the perfect place to launch the HeadLamp,” says BioLite co-founder and CEO Jonathan Cedar. “The Kickstarter environment invites people to really dig into what makes our design so different and create space for a truly unique offering in a historically crowded category.”

    To achieve this design for a headlamp, Biolite credits their proprietary 3D SlimFit Construction:

    That unique design is anchored by BioLite’s proprietary 3D SlimFit Construction; by integrating the electronics and fabrics together into a seamless unit using a custom, composite molded housing, the HeadLamp’s 9mm front sits flush on the forehead and eliminates bounce. Through redirection of the Li-Ion power source to the back of the head, BioLite creates a gravity-friendly design, allowing users to enjoy a near weightless feel without worry of slippage. Moisture-wicking fabrics keep users cool and dry while internally bonded layers protect electronics from sweat. With 330 lumens and four lighting modes, including strobe and red night mode, the BioLite HeadLamp provides top-tier lighting performance.

    The Biolite Headlamp weighs 2.42oz (69 grams) with a 3.5 hour run time on high power and 40 hour run time on low power. The beam throw can reach distance of 16 meters on flood and 75 meters on spot. As for the lightning modes:  it has Dimmable White spot, Dimmable White Flood, Dimmable Spot/Flood, Red Flood, and Strobe.

    The  Biolite Headlamp will be available in four colors: four colours midnight grey, sunrise yellow, ember red and ocean teal. For those backing the product on Kickstarter, they will receive eceive a light-diffusing stuffsack. They can put the Headlamp into it, transforming it into a hangable lantern as well as a storage sack for transport.


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    Cody Wilson (Ghost Gunner Instagram)

    The founder of Defense Distributed and 3D-printed gun activist, Cody Wilson, is back in the news for the wrong reason. He has been charged yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a child. The girl is said to have met Wilson via the SugarDaddyMeet.com.

    The girl, who remains unnamed as she is under the age of 17 according to the arrest warrant, was paid $500 when she had sex with Wilson at a hotel in Austin, Texas.  In Texas, a person younger than 17 is considered to be a child. The actual charge is a second degree felony count of sexual assault and this carries a sentence of two to twenty years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

    An Austin-based reporter, Tony Plohetski, posted a portion of the Affidavit for Arrest Warrant filed in Travis County on Twitter:

    According to the Austin American Statesman, the girl is said to have told the authorities that she met Wilson on the mentioned website using the username “Sanjuro” which is probably based on a Japanese movie directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1962. The two started exchanging text messages and he identified himself as Cody Wilson and that he is a “big deal.” They then met up at Archer Hotel on August 15.

    Investigators say that hotel records and surveillance footage corroborate the story.

    Wilson has not been arrested yet. As to his whereabouts, the same Austin American Statesman report, he is in Taipei, Taiwan where he frequently travels to for business. He has missed a flight back to the U.S. and may have fled the country after he was informed by a friend of his victim that the police are investigating him.

    Before this case, Wilson was in the news regarding the release of downloadable designs of firearms parts that can be 3D printed on DEFCAD, a website he maintains that is a library for printable designs as well as marketplace for downloadable designs. The website has been ordered to be shutdown by a federal judge in the Western District of Washington in a posting at a Defense Distributed. He also owns Ghost Gunner 2 which is an open source hardware project for CNC mill to make receivers and lower frames.

     

    Top photo: Cody Wilson (Source: Ghost Gunner on Instagram)


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    Tokyo Marui Lightning Hawk .50AE GBB

    The gaming world has its eyes on Tokyo this weekend as the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2018 is in full swing. Featuring the latest gaming titles from the big game publishers in Japan as well as from around the world, it is Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., it is the largest video gaming conference in this part of the world.

    But for most in the airsoft community, the interest is more on the collaboration between CAPCOM and Tokyo Marui which has been going strong over the years. Whilst Tokyo Marui supports CAPCOM for the Biohazard/Resident Evil series developing airsoft versions of the guns used in the game as well as design the guns that will be used in the game, the company also shows up to support CAPCOM at the TGS by having the shooting range setup for fans of the game franchise and try the airsoft versions of the guns in the game.

    For this year, Tokyo Marui raised the level of their attraction at Biohazard/Resident Evil in preparation of the Biohazard/Resident Evil RE:2 which is a remastered version of Resident Evil 2 and slated to be released in January 2019. At the TGS 2018, they setup the Kendo Custom Gun Shop that  is based on the game's Kendo Gun Shop in Raccoon City owned by Robert Kendo who was good friend of Special Tactics And Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) member Barry Burton. He is the character who helped create the custom guns for Barry and the other S.T.A.R.S. and with the airsoft versions produced by Tokyo Marui.

    Before the Tokyo Game Show 2018, the company told us that they will not mention which gun will be shown at the TGS as it is going to be surprise. So now, here at the TGS 2018, they finally revealed their latest creation for the Biohazard/Resident Evil RE:2, the Kendo Custom Shop Lightning Hawk . 50AE 10-Inch Magna Port Custom Gas Blowback Pistol.

    Presented in a wooden box, it is basically a customised Tokyo Marui Desert Eagle .50AE Gas Blowback Pistol and the original Marui Desert Eagle slide comes along with the package in case you want to convert it back to its original look. The Lightning Hawk has a Picatinny rail on top and a compensator.  There is also a under rail for mounting a weapon accessory such as a weaponlight or laser with the grip having a wood-like texture.

    The Lightning Hawk will be on display at the Tokyo Marui booth at the 59th All Japan Model Hobby Show that will take place next week.

    Now back to the Kendo Gun Shop at the TGS, this is a reproduced version of the store seen in the game and visitors of the show get to airsoft guns produced by Tokyo Marui. Some banners at the display show a funny side of Tokyo Marui with their play on names and logos of Surefire, calling it “MaruiFire” and FN Herstal calling it “TM Herstal”. Also on display is the new Godhand x Biohazard airsoft maintenance tools.  The Kendo Gun Shop is beside a Raccoon City Police Department (RPD) station and inside it is the shooting range.

    Visitors 18 years and above can to shoot at the shooting range and for this year, Tokyo Marui prepared a Desert Eagle GBB Pistol equipped with a Tracer Unit and Microsight.  With the pistol, they can get to shoot at zombies appearing on the screen in the dark with the Tracer BBs having a good effect showing the shooters where their shots go.

    Also at the TGS 2018, CAPCOM released another RE:2 trailer showing the Ada Wong demo. The video below shows the reaction and first impressions of those who watched it:

    The TGS 2018 is ongoing right now until the 23rd of September with the show being open to the public tomorrow and Sunday.


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    GoPro Hero 7 Black

    If you have put off purchasing the GoPro Hero 6 to replace your GoPro Hero 5 Black since you were not impressed with its improvements, you might just consider replace it now with the release of the GoPro Hero 7 Black as it has even smoother stabilization and livestreaming features.

    GoPro released three versions of its world-leading action camera, the Hero 7 Black, Hero 7 Silver, and Hero 7 White. All are very capable action cameras that will meet your budget, but for the airsofter who is heavily into social media, especially sharing videos of the airsoft action on YouTube or Facebook and very much particular about quality and stabilization, then he/she must prepare a budget for the Hero 7 Black, or better yet a pair of Hero 7 Blacks for mounting on the airsoft gun as well.

    The Hero 7 Black is powered by a custom processor that GoPro revealed last year. With 4K videos now a standard since the release of Hero 5 Black, Hero 7 Black now captures 4K video at 60 frames per second and  240fps on 1080p for slow motion video.  Other features are livestreaming, timewarp hyperlapse and Hypersmooth stabilization that you might just ditch that gimbal that you use for better stabilization with your old GoPro.

    I believe that Hypersmooth is very important feature for the airsofter player who is very particular with stabilization, especially when mounted on the helmet. Some use gimbal heads that can be mounted on helmets but they are bulky and add an extra weight. With the Hero 7 Black’s Hypersmooth, they can rest easy as they are assured of a higher level of electronic stabilization not seen in other action cameras as it uses the predictive smarts of its custom processor called the GP1 processor.

    With video capture, it can also do vertical videos and photos (12MP HDR). Now if you have a good data plan with your smartphone, then you can stream live by connecting the Hero 7 Black to it. For now, you can stream to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or Vimeo. This means you can stream the airsoft action live either from your helmet or from your gun mounted Hero 7 Black.Other good news is that the Hero 7 Black uses the same batteries as the Hero  5 Black and Hero 6 and can use the same case. It can be used in the water to a maximum of 33 feet also has a touchscreen at the back which is now a standard since the introduction of the Hero 5 Black.

    The Hero 7 Black together with Silver and White editions will be released on the 27th of September internationally and on the 30th of September in the U.S. The Black will retail for $399, the Silver for $299 and the White for $199.