Digest Issue 11

FoamFest’s makeover

After COVID-19 cancellation, UK’s largest Nerf convention rises from ashes as online event

Story by Lanyx Desalia

The new logo for the Foam Fest Live streaming event.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, several high profile Nerfing events have been cancelled or postponed. 

Jared’s Epic Nerf Battle 5 was forced to change dates from mid-March to August 8th. Socal Nerf Wars was cancelled altogether, along with countless other smaller California events. Not least of our fallen events was the UK’s largest Nerf gathering, Foam Fest. 

Acting on the advice of the UK Government, the University of the West of England in Bristol had no choice but to cancel all events for the foreseeable future. Without a venue, and with no recourse for another on such short notice, it appeared to be the end of FoamFest this year… or was it?

Foam Fest will now be a live streamed event hosted by several Nerf Community personalities including Tom from Foam Data Services, our very own Adrianna from Foam Blast and the Nerf Vampire himself, Drac. To fill in the time the staff is currently looking for exhibitors, Nerf community groups and other Nerf-related personalities to talk about their part in the hobby. 

If you would like to take an audio or video interview or demonstrate a product on the air, you can leave a message for the event staff here.  If you’re a bit more camera shy or don’t feel up to perfoming live, you can always pre-record something of up to 25 minutes, and they will broadcast it out for you. If you have any ideas for a segment, talk to the staff and they’ll be happy to talk it through with you.

FoamFest is a charity event, and this year’s charity was for Off the Record Bristol. OTR Bristol is a mental health service which helps people ages 11 to 25. This is a truly important charity, especially considering the recent events facing the world. People of all ages are sure to need some counseling to deal with the loss, fear and panic engendered by this crisis. The event staff for Foam Fest was determined that the charity should survive.

Foam Fest is also looking for short advertisements for community groups. Produce an ad of up to 30 seconds, and they will use it during breaks on the stream. The last thing staff is looking for is ideas for challenges for the hosts to do; they would like to try to advertise having the hosts compete in X challenge for Y amount of donations.

All submissions for Foam Fest Live streaming event can be entered on Foam Fest’s official Facebook page.

Ansuzalgiz’s master of masterkeys hits Etsy, Thingiverse

Compact HPA Microburst fires shotgun blasts in mini form factor

Story by Danny Ryerson

The Microburst mounted to the bottom rail of a Worker Dominator. The Microburst is compatible with Picatinny rails. (image courtesy of Ansuzalgiz)

Hummingbird and Falcon designer Ansuzalgiz released his single-shot CO2 Microburst LPA blaster on March 20. The Microburst fires standard Spring Thunder shotgun shells and is designed to be mounted as an underbarrel attachment, or masterkey. 3D files are available on Thingiverse while a fully assembled blaster can be purchased for $650 on Ansuz’s Etsy.

According to Ansuz, the Microburst gets approximately 95 FPS at 30 PSI of air pressure and 170 FPS at 140 PSI, though an increase in pressure reduces the number of shots the blaster can fire before the cartridge is emptied. 30 PSI equals about 30 shots, while 140 PSI only makes 10.

In his firing demo, Ansuz was able to hit a target at 50 feet with every pellet from both a triple BOOMCo straw shell and a triple Rival shell at 140 PSI. Spring Thunder shells can also fire a variety of other ammo types, such as half darts, Elite darts and cut-down Mega darts, but only the above were demonstrated.

The Microburst detached from a blaster. While designed to be underslung, it can be fired separately with a 3D printed pistol grip. (image courtesy of Ansuzalgiz)

The Microburst is powered by SpectreNerf’s SPEXBZ and 12-gram CO2 cartridges instead of a more common HPA bottle, though it can be configured to use 33-gram cartridges instead. According to /u/NIR0DHA, who has designed several air-powered blasters, cartridges can be more easily mounted to a blaster, while HPA bottles are often so large that they need to be mounted to a belt or backpack and use a remote line to power the blaster.

However, the downsides of CO2 cartridges are that they contribute to additional weight on the blaster itself, compared to a remote air bottle, and, unlike HPA, CO2 cartridges lose power as they are emptied, which means lower FPS over time.

Due to the machined parts it requires, the Microburst costs $650 for a complete blaster and a bit under that to purchase all of the parts separately and build it oneself. Some in the community have balked at this price, but Ansuz has not announced any plans to reduce its price by changing the system to use a cheaper mechanism. Others, however, are excited for the release.

“I will buy this when it’s available. Awesome sauce!” Facebook user Andu Mijomee commented.

Nerf Alpha Strike Uppercut leaked

Story by Danny Ryerson

Both colors of the Alpha Strike Uppercut in and out of packaging. (photo courtesy of /u/some_glassy_boi)

Images of the Nerf Alpha Strike Uppercut and its packaging were discovered by Nerf Wiki user Amer1ciuM on March 17. According to these images, the Uppercut is a single-shot air-powered HAMP blaster reminiscent of a Nerf Jolt. No release date has been confirmed at the time of writing.

The Uppercut operates similarly to other HAMP blasters, such as the Demolisher missile launcher. HAMPs contain no spring; a projectile is fired entirely with the power of the user’s muscles. For the Uppercut, simply slam the plunger rod upward in an ‘uppercut’ motion to fire one dart.

/u/UtterTravesty originally found a listing for the Uppercut on ACD Distribution with a $2.49 price tag, which is the same price as the Alpha Strike Stinger, the line’s Jolt reskin.

Many in the community are already speculating on the other features of this blaster, although none are confirmed at the time of writing.

/u/DartMagnet theorized that, in addition to its lack of a spring, the Uppercut would not be assembled with screws, either. This would be in line with other Alpha Strike blasters, which use much fewer screws than other Nerf offerings — or none at all — as a way to cut costs.

Even more in the community are disappointed by the Uppercut; both by the blaster’s packaging and design. 

How can you possibly aim accurately if you’re literally slapping the blaster as hard as you can with your other hand, [sic]” Nerf Wiki user Elliotw wrote. “…whacking your point shooting hand is a terrible idea.”


Community Spotlight

Mod of the Week: Nintendo Blasters

Story by Lanyx Desalia

Clockwise from top left: a Nintendo Zapper, a Nerf Rival Kronos, and a Nerf Rival Charger. Each of these two blasters was painted to match the color scheme of the Zapper. (photo courtesy of j.dacollector)

Instagram user j.dacollector recently released an image of cosmetically altered Nerf blasters which, for some, are a fond throwback to our childhoods.

Using a Nintendo Zapper as a color palette, j.dacollector painted his Rival Kronos and Charger to match. The color scheme is amazing and accurate, even down to the triggers and accents being colored Nintendo red. Each blaster also bears the iconic Nintendo logo.

As a child playing outside with my friends, one of my favorite toys was a Nintendo Zapper I had cut the connection cord off of, and I’ve even seen several mods on the internet where an old Nintendo Zapper was modified to a single barrel dart blaster.

The Kronos truly looks like a product Nintendo might have produced, and the Charger evokes nothing so much in my mind as a memory of the Super Nintendo Super Scope blaster. These recolors would be a great addition to any Nerfer’s collection who also enjoys gaming.

Featured Mod: Murica

Story by Korital Drathir

Murica and all of its attachments. The blaster was designed to use a Magnus masterkey but can accept any Nerf barrel attachment. (photo courtesy of /u/theomc12)

Reddit user u/theomc12 has modded a Newisland Motorized Blaster (a knockoff of a Nerf Modulus ECS-10). Some Amazon users have had good things to say about the Newisland motorized blaster, and less people have had not such good things to say about it. Some people have stated that they like that this blaster doesn’t have jam doors; I was informed afterwards that this blaster does actually have a jam door, it is just really difficult to open and get to.

This blaster can use any Nerf N-Strike attachments, mags and darts. Most of the critical reviews are about the fact that the blaster didn’t work out of the box because it jams badly; the top slide is what gets stuck. Also, this blaster doesn’t fire straight at all. Reddit user /u/theomc12 replaced everything internally in this blaster with a 2S Lipo battery, Meishel 2.0 motos, and Insutanto wheels. 

The Murica blaster now fires just under 130fps; it has a simple barrel attachment that can drop the fps to around 100 for lighter games. They also added a Nerf Mega Magnus as a masterkey. /u/theomc12 has stated that they are planning on adding a functional missile launcher at a later date. 

They have painted everything to match the original blaster; the red, white and blue scheme is very nice and matches the name of the blaster very well. With all of its accessories painted in the same colors, it all looks really good. It would be really fun to use in a war. 

Featured Mod: Custom foam melee

Story by Lanyx Desalia

Two of the boffers designed by Damian D. (photo courtesy of W-NERF-iony)

Gone are the days of N-Force melee line, and it is true that most Nerfing events do not allow melee combat. Not all Nerfers are socially responsible or know how to pull their strikes so as to not to cause physical damage to others. However this doesn’t prevent most people from wanting a decent foam melee weapon.

Facebook group W-NERF-iony member Damian D. has produced a line of safe, soft melee weapons of a post-apocalyptic style titled (Loose English translation) “when the arrows run out and the enemies mnogoooo.”

The series, which is split into two volumes, contains a number of beautifully crafted foam boffers any Nerfer would be proud to call their own; from swords to hammers and even frying pans and faux-metal-studded baseball bats.

We cannot show all of the items here due to space issues, but if you want to take a look you can view Vol. 1 here, and Vol. 2 here. Great job Damian D., and thanks to W-NERF-iony for featuring these.

Mods for Quarantine

Four minimal-skill, minimal-material projects for nerfers stuck at home

Story by Ryleh_Yacht_Club

It’s a troubling time for the world at large, and our hobby is no exception. Many of us are doing our civic duty and staying home. We at the Digest want to encourage that behavior and give you some ways to scratch that Nerfy itch from the safety of your home. We have curated some projects of increasing complexity that you could likely do at home with supplies you may have on hand. Simply click the included links for a full guide on each project.

The higher the level of difficulty, the more complex the project is — more unique parts and tools will be required. The difficulty levels aren’t just about skill, they are also about the materials which that level of modder will likely have on hand. Give one a shot this week if you find yourself mourning a cancelled war or mod party.

Cat food can lid targets. These should prove better targets than pillows, walls or family members. (photo courtesy of Blakhawk from History of Nerf Modding)

Cat Food Can Targets (Beginner Level) by Blakhawk
Most Nerfers in isolation are going to be left plinking boxes and pillows. This is a janky design for a more responsive and dynamic target. The design uses cat food can lids — though any lid with a pull tab will work — and wire to create a clattering target. It’s simple and satisfying; something a Nerfer of any level could build and appreciate.

 

A Nerf Zombie Strike Longshot with added decoration. The decorations are painted cardboard held on with hot glue. (photo by Ryleh_Yacht_Club)

Janky Shell Mods (Intermediate Level) by Ryleh_Yacht_Club
This is a temporary mod that really only requires hot glue and cardboard. If you have ever wanted to try some crazy redesign of an existing Nerf shell but lacked a 3d printer or modelling abilities, this is the project for you. It creates an easily customizable surface to draw or paint on that can be removed with no lasting impact to the blaster. Your designs may require some X-acto knife work, so this project wouldn’t be appropriate for a very young Nerfer to do alone.

 

A completed SNAP pistol. This pistol was built with an RSCB magazine, but can be fired with many other barrel options. (photo courtesy of jboynerf343 on NerfHaven)

Your First SNAP (Advanced Level) by jboynerf345
The SNAP pistol is a classic homemade blaster design. SNAPs use a clothespin trigger and catch mechanism that used to be more common in the homemade scene. Nowadays, the rainbow catch has largely replaced it, but, unlike a rainbow, the supplies for a SNAP are very affordable and easily available. Any Nerfer that has done some homemade design in the past will likely have the required materials on-hand. We recommend they take a trip into history by building this classic but powerful pistol. The build linked is from a few years ago on Nerfhaven — the user is no longer active, so ask questions about the build on Reddit or within your Nerf community chats rather than in the linked thread.

 

The Mark 8. This blaster was designed to use a length of surgical tubing instead of a spring. (photo courtesy of Meaker IV on NerfHaven)

Meaker’s Mk-8 (Expert Level) by Meaker IV
Meaker is a fixture in the modding community and has modeled his own version of every type of blaster we have, from homemade springers to 3D printed flywheelers. This SNAP-derived design uses some classic techniques of the homemade community, including an RSCB-style magazine. The materials required are a bit more specialized and less likely to be easily available in an average Nerfer’s workshop unless they are heavily into the homemade scene already. It also requires some more unique skills and tools than our other projects. Nonetheless, if you have the materials, the Mk-8 is a formidable primary with enormous potential. It may not be a build anyone could do, but it is a build worth trying.

 


Opinions and Editorials

Woody’s back; PSA: Don’t steal

Story by Korital Drathir

The Woozi. (image courtesy of Woody7070)

Woody7070, the maker of the Woozi, is back on Thingiverse. Woody completely deleted his Thingiverse account and disappeared for a couple of months. The main reason that we can figure out he left is because people would buy his designs and then give them away to their friends and family without purchasing them again for the other people. 

As a community we need to be supporting each other in our hobby; that means we don’t use others’ ideas or change them without the owner’s permission. 

Most sites that we use for our hobby have a MToU and a User agreement. Thingiverse has a section in their User agreement that states: 

“You shall not license, sell, rent, lease, transfer, assign, distribute, host, or otherwise commercially exploit the Sites or Services; you shall not modify, make derivative works of, disassemble, reverse compile, or reverse engineer any part of the Sites or Services except as may be expressly allowed in accordance with Section 3.2; you shall not access the Sites or Services in order to build a similar or competitive service; and except as expressly stated herein, no part of the Sites or Services may be copied, reproduced, distributed, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted, or transmitted in any form or by any means.”

In layman’s terms, that means you cannot, in any way, shape or form, share or sell anything that you get from Thingiverse, nor can you try to figure out how something works and make it yourself, nor claim that you made it yourself. When people buy or download plans from the internet that they did not make themselves and try to claim them as their own, it makes it hard for our hobby to be taken seriously. 

We should be giving credit to the people who are better than ourselves at making parts for our dart blasters. I know I would feel really guilty about trying to play someone else’s work off for my own.


A statement from the editors

We apologize for last week’s lack of an issue. Due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic, neither of This Week in Nerf Digest’s senior editors were able to contribute to an issue. We urge our readers to observe proper quarantine and safety procedures during this time and comply with government directives to the best of their ability. — Ed.


Credits

Owner/Operators – FoamBlast Adrianna & Meishel

Editor-in-Chief/Main Story Boarder – Lanyx Desalia

Co-Editer – Danny Ryerson

Reporter, columnist — Korit’al Desalia

Reporter, columnist – Ryleh_Yacht_Club