WHY I GOT A TATTOO AT IWA 2018!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! If you were watching my social media feeds during IWA 2018, you will have seen that during the show I got a tattoo and yes, a real one! I've had loads of questions flood my inboxes on social media asking whether it's real and why I did it so today I'm going to address those questions in one swift blog post (and show you some fancy images too!)


So this year at IWA 2018, Umarex had two tattoo artists setup in their hall (Hall 7A also dubbed 'Umarex Hall' as their stand takes up the majority of the hall) who were offering tattoos to show-goers. I had walked past the booth at least 6 times on my way to and from the press room on Friday and Saturday morning looking at the 4 different designs and being super tempted.


On Saturday at lunchtime, I finally decided to pluck up enough courage to ask the artist exactly what the crack with these tattoos was and how I would go about getting one myself and he simply told me to turn up at the booth at 4.30pm ready so I went on a frantic search for a pair of trousers that both fit me (at a trade show that is no easy task where all the sample sizes are 34" waists!) and had enough room in them for me to roll up the leg as opposed to, either cutting my favourite skinny jeans or having no trousers on during the process (and a tight pair of trousers on over a fresh tatt afterwards) luckily, the guys at iWholesales very kindly let me borrow a pair of Emerson Gear trousers for the afternoon. 

I rocked up at 4.30pm with my trusty cameraman Liam and sat down to sign the form, and chat with the artist about the tatt. I chose the 'Classic' design but decided to omit the gas tube on the rifle. I then got up on the chair, got prepped and the work started. The tattoo took around 30 minutes, and during this time it felt like hundreds of people had walked by and stopped to see just exactly what the hell I was doing! Amongst these, I had visits from friendly faces like Owen at Popular Airsoft, Rebelaxa and Rep Airsoft and Jonathan from Airsoftology.


So why did I do it? There are a few things I love to collect on my travels - photos, stickers for my suitcase and memories! This is just a permanently etched memory. I have been asked 'what are you gonna do about that when you're 70?' and the answer is: I'm going to look down at that tattoo, and remember the awesome weekend that I had at IWA 2018. Life is about experiences, and how many people can say they got a tattoo at a gun show in Germany?

I also think it looks pretty dope!



FEMME FATALE AIRSOFT WINS FEMALE PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN POPULAR AIRSOFT'S 8TH PLAYER CHOICE AWARDS!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! Every year, my friends at Popular Airsoft hold their annual 'Player's Choice Awards' where you, the player get to vote for your favourite retailers, manufacturers, online content and personalities! 

For the last 3 years I have been nominated and come runner up for the 'Best Airsoft Blog (Any Language)' award thanks to your nominations and votes, but in 2017 Popular Airsoft decided for their 8th Player Choice Awards, a new award would be added to the list - the 'Female Player of the Year' and thanks to my amazing family, friends and followers I took the title home!


I started blogging in 2014, and at the time I was a complete beginner with very basic kit, an iPhone 5S and an idea. I created Femme Fatale Airsoft in November 2014 after I was made redundant from my graduate fashion job and was involved in a car accident just 2 days later. FFA is my own phoenix from the ashes story. It was originally something to pour my spare time into whilst I was down on my luck but in the short 4 years this blog has been live, it has completely changed my life enough so, that in January 2017, I was able to quit my job to work on FFA full time - which has been scary but amazing!

I created FFA because whilst I was scouring the internet for information geared towards women in airsoft I noticed a gap in the information available online and decided that needed to change! My goal is to and always will be to encourage/support female players and to get more women into the game by making airsoft more accessible through information available to them in online content!


The last 4 years have been by far the best years of my life thanks to the opportunities I've been afforded, years filled with massive professional success that has only been slightly offset by a couple of setbacks in my personal life but since that sunny August day in 2014 I have been absolutely hooked on this sport and it has gone from being my hobby to my career! From playing once a month at a local site to travelling internationally to play airsoft sites and attend events all over the globe! In 2017 alone I have visited Germany, USA, Taiwan and France to play, along with sites up and down the UK every weekend in between and it is all thanks to the support you guys and girls give me day in and day out on my content! It has also been a huge learning curve for me, going from a very, very basic knowledge of the sport to being a voice in the community. 'Growing up' as an airsofter under the communities eye has been both a baptism by fire and a privilege.


8th Player Choice Awards winners

I am also super proud to be a regular contributor and social media guru for Airsoft Action, voted 'Best Airsoft Magazine'  in the 7th AND 8th Player Choice Awards. I have been with the mag since May 2015 and it was amazing to stand next to my editor this year on that stage and collect my very own PCA.

Airsoft Action and Femme Fatale Airsoft on the steps at IWA 2018

I dedicated my award to one of my best friends and fellow nominees, Unicorn Leah who has been one of the biggest cheerleaders on my journey. She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, stay true to myself and gives me pep talks when I'm feeling less than invincible. She has done so much for the female airsoft community, so much so that without her online presence I doubt I'd be sat here writing this blog post for you.

Check out the moment that I picked up my award at the Airsoft Meet-up at IWA 2018 here:


I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, for all the support over the last 4 years. From reading my posts, following my various social media channels - every like, share, comment, engaging with me and even fighting my corner against dumb internet trolls, I couldn't ask for better people to share my journey with and FFA wouldn't be what it is without you.

BEST AIRSOFT GLOVES FOR SMALL HANDS!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! I get a lot of questions on social media asking what are the best gloves for small hands are from the ladies and younger players, so today I’m going to go through the best gloves that I’ve found on my airsoft journey. Many of you who know me and have met me in person will have observed how small I am - being only 5”3 and weighing less than 55kg, I am an airsofter of small stature and to go along with it I also have tiny hands. Most tactical gloves, even in the smallest size swamp my hand in extra fabric and make it difficult for me to do fiddly tasks such as re-arming my TRMRs etc so I’ve made it my mission to find a pair that fits perfectly.

Enola Gaye F.U.G Glove

The EG FUG (Field Utility Glove or Fuck You Glove if ya feelin’ nasty!) is a glove made for paintball, airsoft and outdoor activities from Enola Gaye that is touchscreen compatible, comes in a range of colours and has a cute little pistol/sight graphics on the first two fingers as a cheeky FU design feature. The XS size has been sized to my own hand and whilst they are a little roomy around the back of the hand they fit my fingers and wrist well.

The FUG gloves come in 6 colours - black, grey, camo, tan, digicam and olive drab, and in sizes XS-XL. They retail for £19.99 and are available from the EG website and EG retailers!

Photo credit: James Murray
Read the full review here
FUG gloves available here

Valken ZULU Glove

The Valken Tactical Zulu Glove is the most popular glove in Valken’s line of hand protection and it boasts a whole range of features that promote comfort and utility, as well as protection. They are made of a breathable lightweight material that is comfortable, quick-drying and durable, the Kevlar covered knuckles help protect against BB hits and also scrapes/scuffs to knuckles whilst playing as well. They also have some rubber and thicker fabric along the fingers which compliments the Kevlar knuckles and offers extra protection.

The 4 way stretch articulated joints on the small, ring, middle, and index fingers allow for comfortable movement whilst playing, they have a soft absorbing pad on the thumb for sweat – keeping your hands dry and silicone grip pads on the upper palm and index finger, which is a cool feature because they aid grip allowing for easier reloads, removing mags from pouches etc.
How do they fit? I was a little bit sceptical about trying out armoured gloves as I have tried them before and they've absolutely drowned my hands, when I put these on there wasn't any major fit issues. I did find that the little finger of the glove was a little roomy but apart from that, the small size gloves are true to size. The Velcro closure adjustment helps keep the gloves tight around the wrist and top of the hand so they aren’t baggy.

The Zulu glove is available in Black, Olive and Tan and in sizes S to a 2XL. As for price, the Zulu glove retails at $36.95 from the Valken website.

Photo credit: Pewpewpatriot

Photo credit: Pewpewpatriot
Read the full review here
Valken ZULU Gloves available here

PIG FDT Delta Utility Glove

When I was in the States I got the chance to test the PIG full dexterity tactical (FDT) Delta Utility glove, and I was so impressed with the fit/function that I used these gloves for all of my airsoft games/MilSims whilst I was Stateside!

The gloves boast a bunch of awesome features including touchscreen compatible forefinger and thumb, single-layer palm for tactile sensitivity, bar-tacked paracord pull loops and they even have a silicon printed grip on the palm for extra grip making them practical and usable for not only airsoft but for other outdoor activities.

Although it may be obvious, what I love the most about these gloves is how they fit! The fold-over construction on the fingers and elastic wrist for quick put on and take off sequence not only make them more comfortable for the user but it also gives them a sleeker, more sophisticated look - nothing like the purpose made airsoft gloves we usually see on the field.

They're easy to put on, quick drying after they've gotten wet and the touchscreen compatible finger and thumb is super useful! Overall, I'm super impressed with them.


The PIG FDT Delta Utility Gloves are available in black, coyote, ranger green & carbon grey and are also available in sizes ranging from a small to an xx large the size range is super inclusive. They are available from Tactical Kit for £30.95!

Photo credit: Pewpewpatriot

Photo credit: Pewpewpatriot
Read the full review here
PIG FDT Delta Utility Glove available here

Patrons: James Smith & Oskar Engstrom

LBX SMALL MODULAR PLATE CARRIER 0300S REVIEW!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! Today I’m going to give you my thoughts on the MAS Grey 0300S Plate Carrier from LBX Tactical and go through what I’m running in my set-up. Whilst in the US last year, I had access to the Desert Unicorn armoury and when I was picking out my tactical gear for my very first Stateside airsoft game, I came across a Plate Carrier that was SO small I just had to try it on! The PC was the Small Modular Plate Carrier (0300S) from LBX Tactical in a prototype Caiman camo, a year later I have my very own in MAS Grey and I’ve put it through its paces!

LBX 0300S in MAS Grey with HSGI Triple Taco in Ranger Green

 LBX are a really well-known brand in the US, but aren’t as well over the pond here in the UK! So who are they? LBX are a tactical kit brand named after their parent company - London Bridge Trading (or LBT), who is a Virginia based tactical kit manufacturer. LBX means London Bridge "X" and the X in the name stands for the unknown variable, which represents the numerous applications that their kit can be utilised for in the tactical world.

LBX 0300S in MAS Grey with Viper Modula Mag Rig in OD

We’re going to look at the ‘Small Modular Plate Carrier’ from LBX, or the 0300S as it is more commonly known in the airsoft community. The 0300S is the compact model of LBX’s popular Modular Plate Carrier. As the name suggests the carrier has 360 modular webbing, on the front panel, back panel, and the cummerbund so players can customise their carrier on all sides to their needs/preferences. The top rows of webbing on the front panel also have hook Velcro so you can show off your favourite patches.

Although it doesn’t come with plates as stock, the carrier can take 8x10 plates if players want to add a little bit of weight or help keep the shape when it isn’t in use. It features a heavy-duty drag handle which is probably more applicable in real-world application than airsoft but its there if you need to quickly drag your mates out of a firefight. It also has hydration/comms guides on the front and rear panels to keep hydration system and communication systems organised and of course to prevent any loose cables being snagged during use – after all, no one likes catching their lines on door handles!

LBX 0300S in MAS Grey with Viper Modula Mag Rig in OD

LBX 0300S in MAS Grey with Viper Modula Mag Rig in OD

Let’s talk about the fit! The 0300S is fully adjustable - the cummerbund is adjustable between 32" and 46", and as my waist is 29” it fits snuggly but still gives me enough room to wear the carrier over a softshell or hoodie as I would in the winter. As the cummerbund also has Velcro closure it can be securely fastened. The carrier also features adjustable shoulder straps which means the operator can adjust where it sits on the torso. Both shoulder straps have padded strap coverings which makes them comfortable to wear for long periods of time even when the carrier is loaded up. So we know it’s adjustable, but how does it fit? This is the main selling point for me! I’ve found very few plate carriers that can comfortably fit my small frame and contour my waist and chest but the 0300S does the job. As I’ve said, the cummerbund fits my waist pretty snug but still leaves me enough room to be worn over a light jacket or hoodie. The overall size looks/feels right on my torso and without plates, it fits the contours of my body.

The LBX 0300S comes in a fair few different colourways and camouflage patterns including MAS Grey, MultiCam, Coyote, Black and Wolf Grey. On the LBX website, it is available for $159.95, which works out at £114 to across the pond. It is worth mentioning however that us Brits do have to consider that shipping/customs charges are applicable when it reaches the UK.

My LBX MAS Grey 0300S is now my chosen flannel and green loadout plate carrier because it fits the contours of my body so well! I haven’t added plates to the carrier yet but I feel this will be something I undertaking this year, to keep the shape of the carrier when it isn’t in use. I have accessorised mine with the Triple HSGI Taco Modular Panel in Ranger Green from the LBX – the RG compliments the MAS Grey really well. The 3 x M4 mag pouches and 3 x pistol mag pouches are more than enough for a game of CQB, which is my airsoft poison of choice. The only thing left to find for my set-up is a suitable back panel! If you have any suggestions, put them in the comments below, I love discovering new kit!

Current set-up: LBX 0300S in MAS Grey with HSGI Triple Taco in Ranger Green

All in all, I am really impressed with the 0300S from LBX. From the range of colours/camo, it’s available in which is relatively extensive for a smaller-sized carrier, the MilSpec materials that make it a durable piece of kit and its overall size tick the boxes in regards to what I look for in a plate carrier. I’m also so happy to see tactical kit brands catering to smaller-framed players. I think the price is also really reasonable for the quality and fit. I would also be really keen to see the LBX brand and products more readily available in the UK!


DESERTFOX AIRSOFT EVENTS: BATTLE FOR LOST ANGELES!

On Thursday, January 11th, 2018 I flew from London to Los Angeles just in time to attend the very first Desertfox Airsoft Event – the Battle for Lost Angeles, at George Airforce Base in Victorville, California. Desertfox Airsoft Events are a new airsoft events company that is headed up by one of the world’s biggest airsoft YouTubers, Jet Desertfox who have developed their own app to revolutionise gameplay.


The Blue Fox Tracker app is downloadable from the App Store/Google Play Store and works on a 3/4G connection. Players download the app and create their own profile within the app, once they are at a DFE event they can scan the events QR code to get in the game! The app is essentially a mini-map that shows players their location, their alive/wounded/killed team-mates locations, the objectives and has features such as the app chat and medic function. The DFE games can be played if you don’t have the app or a data connection but it definitely adds another element to gameplay.


First off let’s chat about the AO - George Air Force Base! It is a former US Air Force base in Victorville, California. It was established by the US Army Air Corps in 1941 as an Advanced Flying School. It closed at the end of the WWII but was re-activated as a training base at the start of the Korean War in 1950 where it remained an active training base until it finally shut its doors in 1993. In the 25 years the base has been closed, with no maintenance the AO has naturally degraded meaning it looks more like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie – from fell trees and collapsed rooves, broken glass and missing walls, it was gnarley and the perfect setting for the Battle for Lost Angeles. It has a complete road system that spans the entire site and over 100 derelict buildings to fight through.

On Friday 12th January, we made the short drive to George Airforce Base to meet Jet Desertfox and the DFE team for player registration, the safety brief and the test game. We arrived at 3 pm PST ready for the day's activities, and whilst the players were signing in and grabbing their respective team armbands I got the chance to catch up with the US retailers and brands that had come down to support the event! There was a whole host of different vendors present to support the event including Action Sport Games, Airsoft Master, Enola Gaye, Evike.com, Airsoft GI, Glaze Sports and PTS where players could check out and test new products and also purchase supplies for the event. Once the registration period had come to an end, players were given a comprehensive safety brief which covered all the bases, from what pyro players were allowed to deploy onsite and most importantly to be aware of their surroundings because of the nature of the AO. Once the safety brief was completed, the DFE team ran the test game which gave the players a chance to see and understand how the app works before using it in game on Saturday. Players were authorised to camp at the admin section of the site over the weekend, or they had the option to stay at the local Holiday Inn that had a discounted rate for players.

On Saturday morning the day started with registering the last players and at 10 am, it was game on! Admin staff gathered the players in the staging area for another safety/game brief and to scan the QR code to enter the players into the game. For DFE there are two distinct factions – the Southern Syndicate, which are the tan team and Eastern Royal Trading with is the green/civvie team.


Once all the players were scanned in, we were led by our Eastern Royal Trading commander Unicorn Leah, and ground Commander Chris Bast to our respawn point. Our mission was simple, dominate the waypoints and eliminate the enemy team – with the scoring system in the app, the team who has the most ‘tickets’ left by endex is the winner. Every time a player logs themselves as ‘dead’ in the app, their team loses a ‘ticket’ so it still does rely on players being honest. We started on the Western side of the AO, and our Commander gave us the order to spread out and capture the objectives closest to our position to protect our respawn and then to take the other points that controlled the central courtyard of the AO. For this game we didn’t have assigned squads which was awesome because we could link up and play with players we wouldn’t usually play with and for the start of the game I teamed up with Dayton, Airsoft Hasmeen, Undead Fred and a few others. As we moved to the objectives on the map we flooded the buildings closest to our spawn point that overlooked the objective. After we checked everything was clear we started to move further into the AO. As we were moving between windows, myself and Dayton saw a flash of tan run through the opposing building – Southern Syndicate.




The hunt was on. As we went to exit the building we were in to get a better angle on the enemy, rounds starting flying into the room we were in and ricocheting off the walls. We were trapped, luckily another squad flanked the Syndicates and put down fire on them enough for us to fight our way out of the side of the building into an adjacent structure. We made our way up the stairs onto the top floor of the building where we picked off Southern Syndicate one by one so our teammates on the ground could advance. After a lull in the fire, we made our way into the main streets where the other objectives were located, after this point the firefights were intense, in and out of buildings until the end of the game. ERT brought home the Victory.

After a short lunch break on Saturday, we started the evening game at 4 pm as the light was fading pretty quickly. For the night game, there were fewer objectives to be secured – just 3 and they were being defended by Southern Syndicate, heavily. As we moved from building to building clearing out any enemies along the way, our team made a plan to take the middle objective to break through their line of defence, but there was only one problem, it was in the middle of an open courtyard with no cover. Our team posted up in buildings surrounding the courtyard to give cover and figure out a way to take it. To our surprise, our friend Mike made a run for the spot the objective was on and lay on the ground as quickly as he could, there was a fierce firefight between the players in their opposing buildings and he captured the objective! Mike bugged out in a hail of BBs, it was seriously epic. After we took the middle objective, the light had faded and the AO became really sketchy because of all the debris on the ground so players without NVGs and light sources started dropping out one by one. By the end of the night game at 10 pm, Southern Syndicate had taken home a victory as they defended the other two objectives fiercely.



On Sunday, we started again at 10 am, and this time the game was relatively short, just 4 hours so we had to put in some major work if we wanted to take home Lost Angeles for Eastern Royal Trading. For the first couple of hours, Sunday for me was spent fighting alongside Jet Desertfox and Dayton from the House Gamers. Our objective was to take the furthest buildings from our spawn so off we went, however by the time we arrived at the structures, Southern Syndicate were already set up and waiting for us. It was a dogfight to take our waypoint but we got it. We spent hours in the buildings defending with a few of our teammates including Undead Fred making runs into the buildings they were posted up in (sometimes using some impressive parkour moves!) After my second ‘death’ in game, I linked up with the ‘Inferno Squad’ which comprised of the guys from Enola Gaye USA and Instagrammers Lazer Viper and PNW Punk fighting along the main road and in its surrounding buildings for the rest of the day.



Over the course of the weekend, Eastern Royal Trading won 2/3 of the games and took the victory. At the end of the weekend, there was a huge raffle in the admin area and the admins asked for feedback on the game.

I was actually, really pleasantly surprised how well the app functioned. The only issue with the Blue Fox Tracker app that became prevalent was that the medic function wasn’t working for all players, but the admin staff counteracted this by supplying all players with bandages - the medic rule was then matched to the app, but in a physical manner. The only downsides to the app, in my opinion, are: it requires good 3G/4G phone and mobile data to work and of course there is obviously a risk that your phone could get shot out if you are looking at the map and haven’t checked if your surroundings are secure but out of the 140ish players and staff onsite, no phones were damaged and this is because you aren’t required to have your phone out at all times.

Having access to the app completely changed the gameplay from your regular Battlesim to a fierce firefight! As there was set capture points, the gameplay was focused on these areas and because your alive AND dead teammates markers were visible on the minimap you could work out where the action was so there was no annoying walking around for ages trying to pick a fight, or you checked the app chat for enemy locations reported by in-game players. The ability to communicate with your teammates and commanders using the apps chat system instead of radios was also invaluable. The teams, especially ERT who used their chat more, were better-organised thanks to having that communication with other players.



Overall, I had an amazing time at the Battle for Lost Angeles! The AO was a really cool location for an airsoft game that offered both close and long range engagements, the game ran well thanks to the admin staff and the players, it was a constant firefight thanks to the app which made it really fun and there were some awesome loadouts amongst the teams. I am really looking forward to the next instalment of Desertfox Events! Who knows, we may even see them in the UK shortly!

Hardwick, K. (2018). Battle For Lost Angeles. Airsoft Action. 86 (April), 48-51.
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