Slaydies Series Spotlight Unicorn Leah/@thetacticalunicorn

Hey everyone! So we made it! 2015 is almost over and the last blog post is upon us! 
This is an awesome installment in my Slaydies Series of player spotlights: my Women of Airsoft battle sister Unicorn Leah. Leah is currently the most followed Slaydie in the world and is one of the very few female Airsoft content creators out there, she has a fab message about Gender Equality in Airsoft and is a true ambassador of the sport. Check her out!
So Leah, how long have you been Airsofting? 
I’ve been actively playing for a little over two years, so to most Airsofters, I’m still a n00b. However, I’m lucky to be able to play 2-3 times per week.

What got you into Airsoft and what do you love about the sport? 
I actually got introduced to Airsoft by working for an Airsoft distributor - Spartan Imports.  I played in a few games so that I could be a more effective sales person. I ended up having so much fun that I began to play every weekend and started to push the company to be more active in the community.
I love Airsoft because, to me, it’s basically like playing the Cowboys & Indians games that we used to play as kids.  Except now, we have much cooler weapon systems. We have the ability to build all kinds of crazy load outs and, personally, I think Airsoft is even more fun as an adult.
Where is your home site? 
DesertFox MOUT in Oro Grande, CA


What are the most memorable sites you’ve played? 
I’ve made a lot of great memories in Airsoft, and I don’t think it is necessarily because of the site, but more so because of the host or event organizer and the people in your squad. The most fun I’ve had has been at High Ground Indoor Arena in Spring, TX, Road to Rostov, held at Hill 559 and hosted by Milsim West, and the Direct Action Mission at American Milsim’s Faded Giant 4. Faded Giant is held in a decommissioned nuclear facility, so it makes for some pretty crazy and challenging gameplay.
Describe to us your playing style: 
I am currently working on playing more tactically and analytically. I have a tendency to be impatient and run and gun...which CAN be awesome, but it also frequently results in tunnel vision. At milsim events, I am usually the medic, which means I have to hang at the back a lot, but I’m also running a LOT in order to medic everyone. My Faded Giant 4 gameplay is going to be very medic-heavy, but in a very entertaining way. ;)

Weapons and Loadouts: What are you running? 
Eesh, this is a hard one. I really like changing up my weapon and loadout. I probably have 3 guns that I run the most consistently: my custom Unicorn Slayer, built by ThunderKiss NW, my Scorpion EVO, and my E&L AKS 74-U. I switch between crazy loudouts (I have a Storm Trooper and Princess Leia loadout), but I generally stick to chest rigs with a slick underneath. It’s more suitable for my body style and allows me to feel less clunky. I have about 5 different chest rigs, from LBX, Tactical Tailor, and Tasmanian Tiger and run all of them pretty consistently.
Being a women in Airsoft: Do you feel you are treated differently because of your gender? If so, how do you deal with this?
This is a loaded question! For some reason, women in Airsoft tends to be a controversial topic. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t care about someone’s gender in reference to a hobby.  Do some women become popular simply because they are good-looking women who also play Airsoft? Absolutely. Do some men become popular simply because they play airsoft and have a certain look? You better believe it. The pendulum swings both ways.  I know sponsored players of both sexes who might be less than valuable ambassadors of Airsoft who are simply sponsored because they have a certain look and are overly confident in themselves.  
On the field, we are all the same. A female can kill you just as easily as a male, her loadout and the color of her gun doesn’t make a difference.  Women on the field is becoming more commonplace, and I think that the more women that we get on the field, the fewer issues we will have with preferential and/or negative treatment.
I have definitely received my fair share of negativity just because I'm a female. It's been above and beyond the negativity doled out to my fiance, Jet DesertFox, who has about 6 times the following that I do. But, personally, I believe that actions speak louder than words. I hustle on and off the field to earn my keep, and I expect to be treated equally to my colleagues and friends.  Females in this hobby need to be strong, independent, educated in the hobby, and supportive of one another.
Social Media, tell us a little about your social media pages and where my readers can find you! I’ve had all of my social medias for a little over two years. I set them up when I was still working for Spartan Imports as a way to keep my eye on the Airsoft world - Airsoft is incredibly social media driven, and I wanted to be able to connect and understand it. Since I was working for a distributor, my accounts grew relatively quickly right out of the gate. I’ve been able to be independent for about a year and a half now, which I LOVE.  It’s allowed me to further diversify and grow my channels, and they’ve seen a huge spike since my departure from the corporate world to the self-employed world. Currently, I have the largest worldwide social media reach as a female Airsofter.
Your thoughts: Is there anything you would like to say to other players out there?
Be yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think. This was something that was really hard for me to come to terms with over the years. It’s one thing to say it, but it’s an entirely different thing to live it. The whole basis for my YouTube channel and what I do is to encourage people to have fun in Airsoft, firearms, and life in general.  Follow the rules, but don’t forget to have fun. That’s what it’s all about!
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Alphatech Hex Grenade review - is it all it's cracked up to be?


Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with love, laughter and pew!

 The new year is fast approaching us and there is a product that has had everyone talking about throughout 2015 and it's only right that this review hits the blog before the year is out! The product is none other than the AlphaTech 6 shot Hex Grenade - rival to the Incentive Designs 5 shot impact and the Concept Tactical Multishot TRMR. The guys at AlphaTech (the joint venture of Alpha One Airsoft and the Airsoft Machine Shop) sent me a custom etched baby pink Hex Grenade to review. after using it in a fair few game days and giving it a good run, here are my thoughts on it.

Over the course of 2015 we have seen Airsoft grenades become exponentially popular amongst players and owning 3 blank firing impact grenades myself I can say that in a CQB environment they are a useful tool for clearing rooms and taking ground. I own the original Concept Tactical TRMR in pink, the Multishot TRMR in Candyfloss Pink and now the newest in the collection the Hex Grenade in pink (there appears to be a theme here!), but how does it stack up?

The basics? The Hex Grenade is a multishot blank firing grenade that deploys .209 primers and 9mm blacks all in one device, it has room for 6 primers or blanks so you literally get more bang for your buck. Priced at £85 it is the cheapest multi shot grenade on the market. It's constructed from aluminium and stainless steel parts. 

Firstly, let's talk about the aesthetics. I personally really like how the Hex looks - the matte finish of the aluminium contrasts well with the brightness of the stainless steel parts. It comes in a range of colours including red, purple, orange, black, green, tan, pink, blue, light blue, a gun metal grey and they can be engraved with whatever you want. The colours are vibrant and there is a colour option for everyone's loadout. I love the clean, crisp text which makes it easy to distinguish which blank you're on and the free engraving service is awesome for anyone who wants to personalise their kit! The Hex has a nice weight behind it too. The only thing about the appearance of the Hex grenade that I'm not keen on is the firing pin, it looks kinda clunky but it does the job! 

Which leads me onto the size, I run a Warrior Assault Systems Shooters Belt with a double 40mm grenade pouch and because of the firing pin, the Hex doesn't fit the pouch very well - I have found that to securely carry it in my 40mm pouch I have to put the strap over the grenade diagonally or risk losing it. This also causes the firing pin to rattle so if I'm trying to be sneaky peaky I need to be conscious of that.

The system itself is pretty good, to load the grenade you unscrew the bottom plate and slide off the
chamber, fill it with your chosen bangs and put it back together - it is a bit more fiddly than other grenades out there but as it holds 6 bangs, you don't need to reload too often. The chamber is double sided with .209s on one side and 9mm on the other and there are etchings on the grenade chamber to show what you're running. It has a ballbearing system to help the mechanism turn however, and this is my only massive gripe - after just two throws in the Stan's offices, two of my ballbearings came loose and fell out. My Hex still functions but this is obviously less than ideal as now it tends to get a little stuck after a while - I've been told by AlphaTech this has only happened to two Hex Grenades so far and mine is going in for repair, the bearing plungers and springs are the only components that aren't made in house. There is no separate safety on the Hex, it's neutral position is an 'X' and after the first blank is used, you can either turn it back onto the X and remember how many times you've used it or what I do is keep the selector on the spent blank. I've found it to be reliable (despite what I've heard online), I have put around 40 .209s through my Hex grenade and it has only not gone off 6 times, so 34/40 ratio is pretty good!

Overall, I do think the Hex Grenade is a good piece of kit. It is very competitively priced being the cheapest multishot on the market and with the added bonus of having the option to run either the .209s or 9mm in the same device is brilliant and good value for money. I really like the overall aesthetics of the grenade but like I said the firing pin is a little clunky and doesn't fit in my grenade pouch - maybe a Kydex holster is in order? haha I would say as my Hex broke, I am a little disappointed but she's still functional and will be getting repaired. Does it stack up? I'd say the Hex grenade is a strong contender.

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#FFA2016Giveaway


Hey everyone! To say thank you to you all for supporting FFA throughout 2015 I'm running a giveaway on my Instagram to win some awesome Warrior Assault Systems Olive Drab Double M4 Mag pouches worth £18.95 each!

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is be a follower of Femme Fatale Airsoft on Instagram (www.instagram.com/femmefataleairsoft) and repost the image using the hashtag #FFA2016Giveaway . The winner will be chosen at random on the 16th of January 2016 (my birthday!)

Good luck! xo
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Cloud 9 Combat Smoke Grenades Review!





So a few months back I was contacted by the lovely ladies at Cloud 9 Combat regarding sampling
some of their products at the games and MilSim I had coming up - Smoke grenades and disposable pyro aren't something that I've had a lot of experience with so I jumped at the chance to give these a whirl - after all what's cooler than emerging from a cloud of pink smoke on the field? :P

Cloud 9 Combat are the newly named paintball subsidiary of the leading pyrotechnics manufacturer Octavius Hunt Ltd who have been supplying the paintball industry for around 20 years. Ocavius Hunt were also the first UK company to gain CE classification for paintball and airsoft products! Their C9 Smoke Grenades and Thunderflashes are CE certified and follow the guidelines set out by the EU - all their products are safe to use in scenarios when the instructions are followed.

Now let's get down to it, C9 kindly sent me 8 Maxi Smoke Grenades and 8 Thunderflashes (as well as a few other bits and bobs and a cute t shirt to wear, so thanks for that ladies!)

Let's start with the C9 Thunderflash! The Thunderflash emits a loud bang and a burst of light to stun your opponents. They're lightweight enough to carry a few in a pouch, or an assault pack and with their built in striker they are easy to deploy. I did have a few issues with a couple of mine - the lamination of the paper wrapper meant the striker on some of the Thunderflashes was hard to separate by hand but I got round this by hitting the striker against a wall - separated and hey presto, ready to roll! They have around a 3 second fuse and what I like best about these is that you can throw them in stairwells and through windows - something I can't do with my TRMR or Hex Grenade due to their weight.

At Warzone Battle Simulation's Operation Sledgehammer which was held at Sennybridge FIBUA training camp in Wales which for those of you who haven't been is a training village of around 25 buildings with windows galore, so these came in really handy. As CQB players, my squad Wolf 1 were in our element and these really helped clearing those buildings, throwing one in through the window and following it in lead to us taking ground quickly. I was really impressed with the C9 Thunderflashes and they turned out to be a vital tool during my Ops but I feel the packaging could be improved slightly as some of the striker caps were hard to separate whilst wearing gloves and it isn't uncommon to loose the striker plate from the cap itself.

Next up is the C9 Camouflage 90 second maxi grenade! The original camouflage smoke grenades are a high output grenade with a 90 second burn time that provides a thick covering of camouflage smoke for around 125 cubic metres. The grenades are tested, low toxicity and CE rated. They are really easy to strike, just peel the striker cap off which is easily done even with gloves on, strike, shake and throw - they even have a secondary striker because 'failure is not an option'. C9 sent me their full range of colours - red, white, green and yellow. My favourite out of all of them has to be the green smoke as it appeared to give a denser more consistent coverage than the other grenades especially outdoors in the MilSim environment. I used all of my smoke grenades that weekend to full advantage and was thoroughly impressed by them, my only complaint is that they have a very strong sulphur smell which can be a little overpowering if the smoke makes its way into enclosed spaces.

Although there are little tweaks that could be made here and there I think Cloud 9 are developing a very strong line of products and I can't wait to see what other products they bring out in future. More information can be found at: www.cloud9combat.com



Photo by John Wright.


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Armourgeddon Airsoft Site Review, Lutterworth

At the end of August I was invited to attend a relatively new Airsoft site in Lutterworth, Leicestershire called Armourgeddon Airsoft. The site was originally (and still is) home to a Museum specialising in Military vehicles, which also offers a range of unique activities from Military Vehicle driving, tank paintball battles, Tank driving experiences, clay pigeon shooting, hovercraft driving, and has recently made the plunge into Airsoft skirmishes. The site is the only one of its kind in UK as they use armoured vehicles in game.


Getting to Armourgeddon Airsoft was really easy, from my hometown the site was around 40 miles, which is about an hour’s drive. I took the A511 straight onto the M1 Southbound to London/Leicester then onto the A4304 through Walcote and the site is a mile into Husbands Bosworth. The site is signposted with brown Tourist Attraction road signs which is a great help. As I pulled into the long driveway to the site, my first impression was very good, it looked secure, tidy and the glimpse of all the Military vehicles on site filled me with excitement. There is ample car parking at the Armourgeddon site but as I arrived a little late the car park was full, but there was no drama as I parked up in the adjacent field that they use for overspill parking.

To gain entry to the site you must first walk through the museum which houses a fair few of the Military vehicles that the site owns and all the information you could need on them, which is pretty cool and definitely a must see for all those military vehicle fanatics out there. The museum itself is very impressive, boasting a large collection of 67 military vehicles including T55 Maritime Battle Tanks, troop transports and Armoured Personnel Carriers from various eras. Many of them are used in the multitude of activities the site offers. Armourgeddon is the only site in the UK to offer Tank Paintball, which from what I saw on the day looks absolutely epic – participants are allowed to drive the tanks and shoot specially made paintballs out of the canons. Something I would love to try! Another activity the site offers for those who are too young to participate in the paintball or airsoft events is a form of target practice from a troop transport, where participants shoot mannequins in the game area with a vehicle mounted paintball gun that rotates. This gives them a feel for the game and lets them get in the action.

When I arrived at the site I was warmly greeted by the staff in reception and one of the sites paintball marshals kindly walked me down to the sites safe zone at the bottom of the valley that the site is enclosed within. The safe zone, for saying the site has only been running for 3 months is better than some of the established sites that I have been to. The safe zone is a large, enclosed sheltered space filled with picnic tables ready for the players to gear up, and although the site doesn’t get have a shop yet, it does sell a variety of essentials in the safe zone, that you may need on the day such as beebs, ice cold beverages and snacks. Booking on is done via their Facebook page or by phoning/emailing the site themselves. Players have to be a minimum of 16 years and as they are a new site, they do not currently offer rentals so it is walk on only – but after speaking to the sites manager Alex, this is definitely something they are looking into providing in the near future. The site chrono’s all weapons that pass through its doors and its site limits are pretty standard, looking at 350 FPS for AEGS, shotguns and pistols, 400 FPS for DMR’s and 500FPS for Bolt Action, spring or gas Sniper rifles, and for weapons over 350 FPS there is a minimum engagement distance of 30 feet – which is around 10 metres. One rule in the safety briefing did strike me as very odd, even though Armourgeddon is a woodland site, they utilise a bang rule on site. As a CQB player, who has played full auto indoor games with no minimum engagement distances I’m not afraid of getting shot at such close range and feel that a bang rule in an environment where most engagements are long range is a little unnecessary but it is all in interests of protecting their players, so it gets a thumbs up from me. The walk on fee is £32 per person and is payable at time of booking and includes entry to the Armourgeddon museum and lunch – when I attended lunch consisted of a sandwich, a packet of crisps, a snack pack of biscuits and a juice box which was more than satisfactory. As things stand, the site can comfortably accommodate 40 players and I discovered they have plans to extend their safe zone in the near future to enable them to accommodate even more.

The site is a large woodland area of around 25 acres encased in a valley in the Leicestershire countryside. The terrain, although pretty standard as far as woodland sites go, it does have some great features – such as the missile base and bunkers situated around the site. There is also an abundance of various abandoned military vehicles dotted about the site to give additional cover and add something special to the scenery. Armourgeddon is very unique in the sense of what it can offer the skirmish customer. As a CQB player, I don’t often play Woodland and it has to offer something different or really special to intrigue me enough to play the site (simply running around in fields shooting other players just doesn’t cut it for me) and I’m pleased to say the site did just that. This isn’t any old woodland site, the armoured vehicles the site owns are incorporated into majority of the games played on the day, this definitely gave the site the ‘wow’ factor for me – it’s not every Sunday you get to ride around in APCs! We played a simple Team Death match to get everyone warmed up and in the mood for the day! My favourite game of the day had to be an ambush game where my teammates and I were deployed into the woods via an Armoured Personnel Carrier with the mission of taking the enemy bases. I was very lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it!) to be chosen as top cover for the blue team which was absolutely unreal! It’s not every day that you get to shoot out of an APC! As a twist in the game scenario our tank was disabled by the enemy team and we were subject to an ambush, none the less blue team got to work and cleared the enemy team out. Once we had the first base under our control, it was time to mount up and make our way to the next base. After taking enemy fire and our tank yet again being disabled, we dismounted to take control of the final enemy base – the bunker in the heart of the forest. After a fierce firefight, blue team took the bunker with me getting the final kill. This game was the highlight of the day!

One element of a site that is really important for me as a player is how well the games are ran and the onsite staff. The games at Armourgeddon were, in my opinion, very well ran. The safety brief at the start of the day was comprehensive and covered all the important points for the day. There were plenty of marshals in the game area to keep an eye on the players and ensure the game progressed well without getting in the way (something which is always appreciated). It is clear to see from how the staff interact with each other that they are a very close knit team that support each other and their players. I found all of the marshals to be very friendly, welcoming and happy to help. They were also very passionate about Armourgeddon which translates into their marshalling. Something that is worth mentioning is that I was very surprised to find the sites manager, Alex, is a young gun at only 16 years old (the museum and site is owned by Alex’s father) and has been playing Airsoft for around 18 months. Upon meeting Alex, I found him to be approachable, friendly and professional. Despite his young age, he is very mature and takes pride in his site. He is very strict on health safety and enforces the sites rules well. Alex’s professional demeanour and the fantastic group of marshals that support him in running the site fills me with confidence that the site will only continue to improve.
Another important element that affects how feel when I leave the site at the end of the game day is the other players on site. I will admit that initially I was a bit nervous in turning up to a site on my own but after the warm welcome from the marshals and other players I was put at ease. Even though they were all involved in their own teams and friendship groups, the players on the day were more than happy to engage in conversations with me and were very welcoming. I teamed up with a few of the guys on blue team and we were well away! From what I saw on the day, the players were an honest bunch and there was no issues with none hit taking or cheating.                                                                    

Whilst I was at Armourgeddon Airsoft, I got the chance to speak to Jason Price from the Shadow Stalkers Airsoft Team (a team that frequents Armourgeddon often) about an up and coming independent film that is being filmed at both Armourgeddon and The Block in Burton on Trent. The film is a low budget, independent production to be directed by Ian Hodges. Although Jason couldn’t reveal the name, he described the film to me as a modern day Zombie film in which the Shadow Stalkers will play British Infantry. In the film we will be able to see the degeneration of the British Army units from organised troops into cut throat, ruthless rebels out for themselves. Filming is starting in the next few months, and if all goes well, it could become a drama series. The film will also be starring up and coming actors in its cast list.

I was really pleasantly surprised with Armourgeddon as an airsoft site. Even though the site has only been established for a few months, the manager Alex and his team of incredibly supportive marshals have built a site that I can only see improving. The site itself is very unique in what they can offer their customers, from customers visiting their military vehicle museum to engaging in tank paintball, clay pigeon shooting and even using armoured vehicles in airsoft games – there is something for the whole family. It is an absolutely unreal experience being top cover and riding in an APC, so if you’re looking for a woodland game day experience, this is definitely somewhere you should try and is great value for the price of the day. The sites rules and safety briefs are in line with sites up and down the country, and they were enforced well making the day a pleasant and safe experience.


Contact Information

Armourgeddon - Leicester 
Southfields Farm,
Husbands Bosworth, 
Lutterworth,
Leicestershire 
LE17 6NW 
Games are held once a month, usually on the last Sunday of the month, bookings can be made by calling 01858 880239 (Monday – Friday 9am to 5 pm) or by emailing events@armourgeddon.co.uk
www.facebook.com/ArmourgeddonAirsoft


Hardwick, K. (2015). Armourgeddon Airsoft. Airsoft Action. October (54), 29-31.

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Femme Fatale Airsoft's Top 5 UK Airsoft Sites 2015

Hey everyone! As many of you will have seen on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter since April 2015 I have been travelling up and down the country to play different sites and meet players! And as the new year creeps in on us (I say creep, even though it only really seems like April was last month and now we've somehow time travelled 9 months ahead) I've been thinking about all the highlights of this year and thought it would be a cool to take stock of all the sites I've had the pleasure to play and decided on my personal top 5 for a short snappy post! (I've highlighted the word personal so it's clear this isn't anything official, just my own personal preference!) So let's get to it!

Number 5! Skirmish Airsoft: The Stan, Sheffield!


Number 5 in my 'Top 5 Airsoft Sites 2015' has to be the Stan in Sheffield ran by Skirmish Airsoft.
I can't say too much about this site in this post as I'm currently writing a review of the site which will be in February's Airsoft Action, but it did not disappoint. The Stan is the old Stanley tools factory in the heart of Sheffield and is pure CQB with 3/4 floors (currently) to fight through which range from room to room clearing in offices to large open factory floors to battle through.


With varied and interesting game types including VIP, infected game modes mixed in with standard team death matches and push back games. The games are well ran by enthusiastic, professional marshals.

More details can be found at: www.skirmishthestan.co.uk

Number 4! Ambush Adventures: The Billet, Aldershot!


Number 4 goes to The Billet in Aldershot that is ran by Ambush Adventures, as with the Stan I can't say too much about this fantastic site as you can read my full review in January's issue of Airsoft Action but this is definitely a site to visit if you love fast paced, hard hitting CQB goodness. 

The Billet is an old military barracks which is comprised of 2 spider buildings full to the brim with rooms and corridors to fight through with an outdoor space. The firefights are always super intense and I love that this site runs a lot of objective games with props and tech to compliment them!

More details can be found at: www.ambushadventures.co.uk






Number 3! StrikeForce CQB, Gloucester!


I visited StrikeForce CQB for the UKAC Admins annual Christmas 2015 meet up and admittedly was hesitant however I was pleasantly surprised with the site, the site is a huge warehouse with two definitive zones that include open spaces, kill house inspired structures and plenty of tight corners and spaces to work through. The games are very, very intense and fast paced! The games were a mix of death matches, infected games and attack and defend games which I thoroughly enjoyed. They were run very well by the sites team of marshals.


The facilities at StrikeForce are excellent, and the staff are friendly. I did have some issues with a group of players on site the day I played however this is not the fault of the site and I still had a fab day. I definitely plan on playing again before writing a full review!

For more info visit: www.strikeforcecqb.co.uk


Number 2! S.W.A.T Fortress, Liverpool!


You can read my full review of S,W,A,T Fortress here but the Fortress in Liverpool is by far my favourite CQB site. It's an old tobacco factory near the centre of Liverpool with multiple levels including offices, factory floors, mezzanine area and an outdoor space to fight through. The site offers a varied gameplay experience and the days are always intense.


The games are mostly objective based games including the use of electronic objective boxes which I love and the SWAT team always change it up to keep game days fresh. Their safe zone is easily one of the best I've come across and even had a shop/onsite tech. The staff really make this site for me!


More information can be found at: www.swaturban.com


Number 1! Sennybridge FIBUA Training Village, Wales!

Number one in my top 5 definitely has to be the location for Warzone Battle Simulations Operation  Sledgehammer which I played earlier this year - Sennybridge FIBUA Training Village in Wales. Although it's not strictly an Airsoft site as it is still in use by the MOD as a training facility, but the location for their second MilSim installment was amazing. It is a training village complete with around 25 buildings, subterranean tunnels and its own network of roads. You can read all about the Op in Airsoft Actions January issue.

I enjoyed this site because of its urban feel and it offered a range of gameplay options - I got a taste of both the hard hitting, CQB that I thrive on but I also got to experience urban and woodland, both of which require a totally different skill set.

For more details visit: www.war-zone.co.uk

Have suggestions for sites I should play in 2016? Let me know in the comments section! 
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JD Airsoft: Revisited.

This week I took a trip to JD Airsoft, in Cannock, which is the UK’s largest Airsoft retail Superstore. It is around an hour’s drive from my home town in Derbyshire. JD Airsoft is easily accessible from the A34 or the M6/M6 Toll and is situated amongst the industrial units of Virage Park on Green Lane. It is well signposted, and has a total unit space of 4,500 square metres so it’s hard to miss! There is ample free parking for customers located just outside the front door so there isn’t far to walk which is always a bonus. They are open 7 days a week and even stay open late on Thursdays until 8pm. The company itself has been running for 7 years, and opened the doors to their new premises’ at Virage Park in early May 2012. Since opening their new premises doors 3 years ago, they have grown and diversified their product and services line, so I thought it would be worth revisiting them to find out what’s new!
The first thing to mention, which set a good precedent for me, as it impressed me before even entering the shop was, to enter the premises you must press a button on the door and the staff press the door release on the other side, which I haven’t encountered at any Airsoft store I have visited. I really like this feature as it shows the company are really on top of their store security, which is so vital with how controversial Airsoft is and our current political climate. The showroom is clean, well presented and organised, so it is easy to navigate if you know exactly what you want, but I can guarantee, you will always leave with more after browsing because of their extensive range! As JD Airsoft have a Showroom space of 3,000 square feet, the range of products they stock is quite substantial! You can pick up everything you need for a day’s skirmishing and more, ranging from tactical clothing/boots to BBs and Gas, accessories and even a new pistol or AEG. JD Airsoft only stock products that are made from quality materials, are reliable and that have a sound warranty so the customer can feel confident in their purchase. Their aftersales care and returns system is excellent as they work closely with brands and their suppliers to ensure the customer gets the best experience possible. They stock an array of well-known brands including ASG, WE, ICS, Nuprol, Cyma, Classic Army, KWA, Helikon, 5.11 Tactical and the brand everyone in the UK airsoft scene is talking about: Krytac.
When I entered the store I was immediately greeted by Amanda and Dan from the sales team who always make me feel really welcome when I visit. The shop is managed by Phillip ‘Phil’ Corns who has 15 years’ experience in the Airsoft Industry and is a regular player at sites in and around Staffordshire, he also runs ‘Hilton Park’ Skirmish Paintball Games which is a 24 acre Woodland site located on Hilton Lane in Wolverhampton – a site I have yet to try but have heard nothing but positives reviews for. Upon speaking to Phil, you will discover he is chatty, animated and full of laughs. You can tell how passionate about Airsoft he is, which fills me with confidence for JD. The shop has 5 other experienced members of staff including their technicians who perform all repairs, custom work, servicing and upgrades in house. Phil himself is also a tech engineer and was trained by Classic Army, he is also the artist behind the laser engraving service they offer in store, which has been performed on my G&G Black Rose, WE Glock 18C and Multishot TRMR – the quality of the engraving is fantastic and was all done whilst I chatted away to the staff over a cup of tea! The staff are all experts in their fields, knowledgeable and always happy to help with anything from kit advice to improving your guns performance. They are friendly, approachable and there is always a relaxed atmosphere in store which makes for a positive shopping experience. The showroom is also equipped with a hot drinks machine, a sofa and a customer toilet as well which is a lovely touch.
In store JD have a state of the art dual firing range with interactive shooting simulation so you can try any new RIF before you buy. The shooting range JD have is definitely something to be admired! It is the only one of its kind in the UK. It features targets on an interactive screen so as soon as a BB hits the board, a red marker is displayed to show the shooter where the hit landed, but that’s not all, the system not only displays hits but is capable of displaying different targets at various distances and it can make them move/spin for an added challenge. I spent half an hour with Dan trying out the ARES Amoeba Honey Badger in the range and having a blast! The interactive screen offers the shooter a real challenge and is a lot of fun!
With the diversification of the airsoft market we have seen the rise of the blank firing grenades, and JD Airsoft are definitely leading the pack, they are the exclusive stockists of the Concept Tactical TRMR (Tactical Reloadable Maritime Ready device), a multipurpose munitions delivery system that was designed for maritime use which you can be seen being used at Skirmish sites around the country. It makes use of a twist to arm inertia recoil firing system making it the safest and fastest reloadable impact grenade on the market right now. There are currently 3 versions – the original TRMR, the multi-shot base TRMR which holds 3 bangs and the newest X4 TRMR which is capable of deploying .209s, 8mm, 9mm, 12 Gauge/Mag Flash rounds for airsoft use all in one. The Mag Flash rounds are new to the Airsoft market and have been extensively tested for safety and noise pollution regulations and they pack a serious punch! Deploying a Flash Mag round into a pitch black room of enemy players that aren’t expecting it is epic. The TRMRs are available in a plethora of colours to suit from Black, pink to even Praetorian Purple and prices start at £79.99 for the original and X4 base TRMR and go up to £94.99 for the Multishot. One of the key features to the TRMR is that it costs less than 7p per bang after the initial outlay cost of the grenade – much cheaper than any disposable pyro! The TRMRs success is down to its simplicity and durability, they have no pins or levers to lose or break, the materials used in their construction mean that they will withstand the test of time. They are incredibly easy to reload - there is no need for any extra loading tools, just unscrew, empty, reload, twist and you’re ready to go – perfect for clearing corridors upon corridors of rooms in CQB, because of this they are my personal choice for a reusable impact grenade. I will however say that you are limited as to where you can use them, because of the materials they are made of and the weight of them, you should always check with the site staff if there are any restrictions as to where they can/can’t be deployed and what size blanks you are allowed to use on site as this will vary from site to site. I hear from a little bird at JD that Concept Tactical have a few more projects in the works at the moment which will be announced at the end of this year so watch this space, we will be seeing a lot from them in the near future!
Earlier this year JD Airsoft launched the much anticipated JDBay! Which is Airsoft’s answer to eBay. It is a standalone website that like eBay has product listings which users can bid on, if you already have a JD Airsoft website account, you can log straight on and start bidding or create an account. The products on the website vary from brand new stock, ex-display products to refurbished products. It’s the perfect place to pick up a bargain. It is set out in an online auction style so it is incredibly easy to use and all the products listed are dispatched from their store in Cannock. Everything you need to know about your potential new gear is stated in the description box – so make sure you give it a thorough read before bidding!

I have been to a fair few Airsoft shops in the time I’ve been Airsofting, some very good and some not so good and JD Airsoft is definitely the top of the bunch for me personally. Their central location makes the store an easy to reach location for a large proportion of the UK’s Airsofters, and any potential customers that are out of reach, can get most of the items they stock in store through their website, or alternatively you can always give them a call as they are always willing to go above and beyond for their customers. The range of products that they stock is fantastic and they only stock brands that you can trust so you know you can be confident in your purchase. Their after sales care and support is second to none so never be afraid to pop in with any queries or dilemmas you have – you will always be greeted by a smiling face behind the counter. The staff are my favourite element to the store, as they are a great bunch of people who always make you feel welcome. They are always happy to help and are knowledgeable, offering sound advice to their customers on a range of subjects. It is clear from watching them interact with their customers in store that they are passionate about Airsoft. All these elements make the store a great place to shop, I would recommend this store to both new and seasoned Airsofters.
JD Airsoft
Unit 5 Virage Park
Green Lane
Walsall Road
Cannock
Staffordshire
WS11 0NH
Opening hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat 9am - 5pm, Thurs 9-8pm, Sun 10am - 4pm
Free parking located outside the store.
www.jdairsoft.net
www.jdbay.net
sales@jdairsoft.net
0845 600 5144
K. Hardwick. (2015). JD Airsoft: Revisited. Airsoft Action. September (52), 72-74.




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Shield Airsoft 6 Stage Accuracy Run - Krytac LMG Release Upload



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To Catch A Spider: Frontier Airsoft, Penkridge, Staffordshire.

On the Easter Bank Holiday weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to Frontier Airsoft in Penkridge, Staffordshire – an hour away from my home town to play their Easter Special game ‘To Catch a Spider’ by a member of the UKAC (United Kingdom Airsoft Community). The site is around 10 minutes outside of Cannock and is easily accessible from the A513 or the M6 Toll. I took the A516 and the site was easy to get to, unfortunately Frontier isn’t signposted so I ended up at the Farm across the road! However, I have spoken to Bill, the owner and he has assured me that this is just temporary and the signs will be going back up soon! A quick google led me back up the track and onto the other side of the road, a short drive down another track and I was there! There is ample car parking that is directed by a site marshal and as the site is popular I do recommend arriving as close to 08.30 hours as possible, so you get a good space.
A short walk from the car park leads to the safe zone, which is a circular clearing surrounded by sheltered booths and each booth was separated by material and they were equipped with a table and chairs, they also had their own theme. I really liked that all the booths were separated as it provided every team with their own ‘base’.
Booking in was incredibly easy and done via the Frontier website and payment was taken on the day – one of the things I really liked about the site management is that the communication was fantastic and my emails were answered promptly! Nothing was too much trouble. There is tea and coffee on tap and the walk on fee of £25 was reasonable and even included lunch! As it was one of the guys birthday and we informed them, he was given a lovely personalised Frontier T-Shirt, a great touch and really made him feel welcome to the site. The safe zone is also home to the office where booking in takes place and it also has a little shop where you can buy Frontier’s own brand of BBs in various weights, pyros and patches. I purchased the 0.2g BBs, priced at 2000 for £5 which was very reasonable and they fed well. Next time I would however buy the 0.25g BBs because it was quite windy when I visited and the wind did take the rounds.
 Chrono was done on the purpose built range which had lots of interesting statues and targets! Including a poor fellow who had his crotch shot out (Ouch!) The staff are very strict on the guns they allow to be used on site, 350 FPS on 0.2g BBs and no more! The comprehensive safety briefs were carried out by the owner Bill and Head Marshal Jester and were simple and straight to the point – the last thing you want is overly complicated briefs that end up confusing the players! One thing that I feel really makes or breaks a site is the site staff! I cannot fault the staff at Frontier, they were professional, friendly and made everyone feel really welcome. The day was full of banter and the marshals routinely checked that everyone was having a good day.
The only thing that I will say about the safe zone that concerned me was players dry firing in the booths – as a community we need to look after each other and even though you may be certain your gun is clear, it only takes one stray BB to cause some damage. However, I spoke to one of the marshals during a quick break in the games and it didn’t happen for the rest of the day.
The site itself is a 25 acre woodland site that is shared between Frontier and a paintball company, it is one of the smaller woodland sites that I have visited but don’t let the size put you off, it can comfortably accommodate 60-70 players and the Frontier staff utilise every square inch of the site, and have built multiple structures and ‘zones’ which offer different types of game play. Including the Fort and Team Death Match areas which are both used for attack and defend games. They offer both long distance engagements so you can play as a Sniper and a CQB element as you fight your way into the heart of the enemies defence. The site is full of different levels – high ridges that look out over the forest floor and the bowl at the heart of the site which keeps the games interesting and the players on edge!
Frontier Airsoft is a site that specialises in story arch games so if you get bored of the usual team death match or capture the flag, this site is definitely for you! All the games except the warm up death match were story based objective games. For the Easter Sunday special we played the story ‘To Catch a Spider’. The theme for the day was that two rival teams of poachers had gone to Zootopia Park to capture an arachnid creature that the parks resident evil scientist had created and whilst they were there, decided to eliminate the opposing team! What I really like about theme based games is that each one is different, it’s not a generic Team Death Match and shows that a lot of thought and effort has gone into making the day the best it can be. I love the characters and the costumes of theme based games as well! The costume Frontier Airsoft’s staff have lovingly handcrafted for their Spider based storyline is really something to admire! I didn’t quite believe the photo I saw before the game but you have to see it to believe it. Each game is played on a different part of the site to keep things fresh and I have to say my favourite games of the day were the last two of the day – a 3 stage defend/attack game in various parts of the site including the team deathmatch zone, which got my adrenaline pumping so much that my hands were shaking as I reloaded my mags in the safe zone!
And the ‘To Catch a Spider’ game – for that game we had to throw down a smoke grenade ‘pheromone’ (we were allocated 2 per team!) to attract the arachnid creature and when he knelt down we were to capture him with the ‘Spider Catcher’ prop. After 10 minutes of searching the forest and engaging the enemy team, we spotted the Arachnid and one of the guys threw the smoke and started laying down suppressing fire to cover me whilst I went to capture the creature! Once the creature was on its knees, I rushed over and put the catcher on his wrist and led him up the ridge into the ‘town hall’ whilst my team mates made it rain BBs. Only one word can describe that game – EPIC!
One thing about a site that really affects how you feel when you leave at the end of the day is the level of sportsmanship from the other players. Frontier caters for all ages and abilities so you will see a very diverse mix of new and seasoned players which made for interesting game play. I personally, didn’t encounter any incidences of non-hit taking but I did hear a few grumbles whilst walking back to the safe zone, but the important thing to remember about woodland is because of the distances involved and wind taking rounds, it can be difficult to gauge whether you actually hit them or not, if in doubt always speak to a marshal.
The site is owned and founded by Bill Newman, an experienced airsofter who has been in the industry for almost a decade, I asked him a few questions to get to know him and Frontier a little better:
Kelly - Thank you for letting me do a review on Frontier, can you tell our readers a bit more about you? What’s your Airsoft background? Bill - I started playing Airsoft about 8 or 9 years ago at a small local site near Coventry. After 2 years, I started working at another, much larger Airsoft site as a marshal for another 2 years. There I received lots of good training and insight into the business under the manager. Then in 2011, I left to start my own Airsoft company and Frontier was born. Kelly - What originally got you into Airsoft? And what do you love about it?
 Bill - What I love about Airsoft, first and foremost is getting to play with guns, as a kid we would stage mock battles and scenarios with toy guns in the local woods and I guess I never stopped wanting to do that. The other thing that makes it so awesome is the community and friendships, I have literally made some lifelong friends because of Airsoft. Kelly – What is your playing style?
 Bill - Never give up! Someone has to be the first in! But always remember never to ask someone else to do what you wouldn’t.
 Kelly - What is your weapon of choice? Bill - I mainly run big chrome Revolvers and 1911’s, but I’ve had many weird and wonderful guns over the years!
 Kelly - What loadout do you normally run?
 Bill - A cowboy hat, western holster and a smile are the only consistent things you’ll see me in.
 Kelly - Tell us more about Frontier! Bill – The site has been running since 05-06-2011, but the company was running for about 6 month prior to opening  - all the marshals I would consider to be close friends and I feel that translates into how we work as a team together, I’d never be able to have made frontier what it is without them.
 Behind the curtains there are also the unseen elves, friends and family who tirelessly spell check the game stories I write, run and control the website, build amazing props that have to be seen to be believed, edit the hundreds of photos taken on a game day down to a select album, do the accounts and generally make the gears and workings run correctly and professionally. Without all of the above, there would be no Frontier Airsoft. We have a different story every week that’s all linked into one universe, all our games effect each other and tie in characters and plots.
 Overall, I would recommend Frontier Airsoft to new and experienced players alike as I had a fantastic day – the staff were welcoming and professional, ran a great game day and used their site well. The other players were friendly and made good opponents (ahem, targets). The walk on fee is a little cheaper than some of the other skirmish sites that I have visited and as lunch was included this was a nice surprise and excellent value for money. The story elements and costumes in their games mean that this isn’t like every other skirmish – expect something special! All the games kept us entertained and wanting more! At the end of the day each player received a ‘Frontier Airsoft Easter Special’ dog tag to remember the day - a great touch. Thank you to Gaz Ward, the onsite photographer for the photos!
Games are run every Sunday and for more information you can find Frontier Airsoft on Facebook as ‘Frontier Airsoft’, on Instagram as @frontierairsoft and also at their website www.frontierairsoft.co.uk where they post all the details for their upcoming games, booking and game photos! The site is located at Lower Drayton Farm, Penkridge, Staffordshire, ST19 5RE and is owned by William ‘Bill’ Newman, contactable on 07590255914.

K.Hardwick. (2015). To Catch A Spider. Airsoft Action. July (50), 20-22.

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INSTA Q&A

So a few days ago, I asked you lovely lot if there were any questions you wanted to know the answers to, and here they are:

@spectre307 asked: If you could travel to any country other than your native country to play Airsoft, where would you go?

If I could go to any country in the world to play Airsoft it would definitely be the U.S - I see so much great content from Airsofters over the pond that it makes me wanna try out the U.S fields and Milsims for myself! It would also be great to see how different Airsoft is outside of the U.K :)

@hideadpool asked: You ever gonna come play Airsoft in Hawaii?

I haven't any plans to play Airsoft in Hawaii as of yet but there's always time!



@jayfitzyy asked: Do you pronounce tongue as 'tong' or 'tung'? <3

Being from the Midlands, it's definitely 'tong' haha

@kazzraa asked: If you had to choose one stock Airsoft rifle to use for a whole year, which make and model would you pick and why?

If I had to choose one stock Airsoft rifle to use for a whole year, I would probably say my new Krytac Arms PDW - she's full metal, the internals are sound and so far I'm really impressed with her! My first impressions are great!

@phantom_airsoft asked: What is your favourite type of Airsoft gun?

My favourite type of Airsoft gun is the M4 rifle - for the simple fact is, I think they look good, there is plenty of options to customise it and really make it your own! And of course you can upgrade them to be more than that - such as a DMR, hell you could even shove a box mag on it and increase the rate of fire and you have a support gun. They have loads of potential.

@rennle asked: Milsim or regular skirmish...And why?

I do love a good skirmish but since attending a couple of Milsim events I'm definitely a Milsim convert! I love the aspects of a Milsim you don't get to experience in skirmishes such as the storyline behind it and all the roleplay/intelligence and props used, using all sorts of pyro including flares, the camping aspect is pretty cool and in general the level of play is a lot higher. I'm really looking forward to my next Milsims in the U.K and the U.S :D

@jaygsds asked: The age old question in skirmish,,,attack or defend?

Although I'm a fan of attack and will get stuck in, my strengths lie in aggressive defence and because of that I'd definitely choose defence over attack.

@_ryanknox_ asked: What is your favourite Airsoft gun?

My favourite Airsoft gun is my old faithful G&G Armament GR4 G26 Black Rose AEG with Pneumatic Blowback, I've ran this gun for almost a year and I love her. She's been a reliable primary and now she's had some TLC with the team at JD Airsoft she's good as new!

@bkn_96 asked: What got you into Airsoft?

What originally got me into Airsoft was an ex boyfriend. My first ever Airsoft game was in 2011 for one of my best girl mates birthdays and I borrowed all of his kit - which was bulky and did not fit me at all! I enjoyed the day but being a newb in my boyfriends poorly fitting gear put me off. I played again in August of 2014 for the same boyfriends private birthday skirmish and had a fab time. He brought me my first gun - the G&G Armament FF26 AEG. The relationship didn't work out but I'm glad he introduced me to this amazing sport.

@alpine_furry asked: What is your worst Airsoft related injury?

My worst Airsoft related injury was when I did a powerslide to cover at one of my favourite sites, I slid and hit a piece of cover - my trousers became twisted in the slide and my knee hit the cover without the protection of my built in knee pad. During the slide I cut my leg on something and ended up with a very painful purple knee and a bloody leg! I'd say though, that this is almost joint with the time my lower face mask fell down and I got shot in the cheek, that definitely made my eyes water!

@cam_airsoft_98 asked: Dream Airsoft build?

My dream Airsoft build would definitely be, some sort of hot pink light machine gun. I've never really thought about it in great detail but I think a hot pink LMG would be awesome haha

@devg_ asked: Can you put together a starter Airsoft kit?

If you mean the absolute minimum to play, I would say all you really need are your own eye and face protection as site face pro can smell from a combination of people breathing onto it all day, a good pair of boots that support the ankle and the enthusiasm to go out and have a great day as you can rent vests and guns from most sites. You don't need all the gear to play and an awesome time!

@oskarengstromen asked: If you could team up with any Airsoft crew, which crew would it be? Or if you could build an Airsoft crew from scratch, which players would you recruit?

If I could team up with any Airsoft crew it would be my Women of Airsoft battle sisters in the U.S! I'm really looking forward to tearing up the field with them next year! :D

@milsimmanuk asked: Now that Airsoft is becoming more and more popular, where do you see yourself in 5 years time in the sport? Are you still going to be writing for a magazine and continuing your blog or what else is on your horizon?

In 5 years time I would like to be working full time in the Airsoft industry - as what? I'm not sure but I definitely still want to continue Femme Fatale Airsoft and writing for Airsoft Action as I'm hugely passionate about them! I want to continue being an ambassador for Gender Equality in sport as well :)

Thank you for your questions everyone! xo

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Player Spotlight: Adam Fletcher/FLeZAirsoft


Hey everyone! So I haven't done a player spotlight in a while and I've chosen a MilSimmer that I've had the pleasure to play alongside at skirmishes and who was my 1ic at my first 34 hour Op - Operation Sledgehammer ran by Warzone Battle Simulation at Sennybridge FIBUA village in Wales. Introducing FLeZ:

So who is FLeZ?

Hey I am Adam or FLeZ.  I am an Airsofter from Liverpool in the UK. I am the content creator behind the YouTube channel - FLeZAirsoft which I have been running since the first day I started playing. I am predominantly a MilSim player, so expect to see a lot of that on the channel. In my day to day life I am a HGV driver and that’s how I fund my Airsoft addiction.

How long have you been in the sport?

I have been playing Airoft for just under 1 year. Which surprises people due to the amount of MilSims/sites that I have played, My first ever games have been posted onto to my YouTube channel.

 What originally got you into Airsoft and what do you love about it?

I got into Airsoft by seeing a picture on my mates Facebook account from a Stirling Airsoft event, it was him on a .50 cal on the back of a WMIK. I remember just thinking "WOW", I got hooked straight away and wanted a piece of that. I must of asked him about a million questions, it's funny because I used to argue all the time about how Paintball was better to him - SORRY GABZ, I WAS WRONG! That’s where my love for Airsoft lies, MILSIM!!!

Where is your home site?

My home site is SWAT Fortress in Liverpool.

What are the most memorable sites you’ve played?

All my MilSim games have been at awesome sites, every one of them has had something different. The MOD sites like Stanta/Copehill/Sennybridge have all provided great experiences for me, but the most memorable has to be UCAP Sandpit for Stirling Airsoft Op Grandstand - that’s where I got a full insight to what MilSim could provide. What an awesome weekend that was!

What's your playing style?

My playing style is a more tactical approach, I like to assess situations before moving to positions or taking ground. I like to know my surroundings and where I can place myself or my squad for maximum effect. I tend to sit back and be aggressive when I need to be. I love being upfront in the fight and clearing buildings and taking control of areas on the field.

What is your weapon of choice?

My weapons vary depending on the loadout or event I am at. Currently I'm running a 416
but I am in the process of a NEW build which you can follow on my channel - KRYTAC! If I'm playing OPFOR, it’s a good old AK - probably my favourite rifle I own.

 And what load out do you normally run?

Loadout all depends on where I'm playing or what situation I can find myself in on the ground. If I'm at a skirmish I try and run what I would for a MilSim but a bit lighter, just so my body can get used to running the gear and I can switch pouches or kit out if they are not vital. My loadout is constantly changing, I do have a problem with buying gear I must admit! I have posted a few loadout videos on my YouTube channel if you would like a more indepth look at some of the gear I run. I love putting them together and sharing them to see what people think.

Is there anything you would like to say to other players out there?

If I could say anything to other players, it would be to ENJOY IT ! It’s the player that makes Airsoft what it is! If you’re more experienced, help the younger/newer players out. Remember EVERYONE has been there!

Where can my followers find you on social media?

I'm on nearly all Social Media! YouTube is where I am mainly, I do try to reply to as many comments as I can. You can reach me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. Also if you want, feel free to message me - I'll always try get back to you!








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