LBX ARMATUS II REVIEW!

Hey friends!

Welcome back to the blog!
Today I have another gear review for you - on the LBX Tactical Armatus II plate carrier! I originally came across this plate carrier completely by accident - on my second visit to the US! I needed a MultiCam Black plate carrier for the very first Desert Fox Events: Battle for Lost Angeles so my friend Josh came to the rescue and lent me his MCB Armatus II for the event, and in November last year I got my very own Armatus II. After putting it through its paces during multiple game days, I’m ready to give you guys and girls my thoughts!


The LBX Tactical Armatus II is a low profile plate carrier made of 500D Cordura. As standard, the carrier has a fast clip front panel and comes with a Triple M4 Panel from LBX and also a removable back modular panel that is compatible with MAP components (I’ve accessorised my MAS Grey Armatus II with the Banger Back Panel). Other features of the carrier include removable padded shoulder straps, removable adjustable modular mesh rib cage cummerbund, it has a reinforced drag handle and a front zipper admin pocket (that is a great fit for my iPhone XS).

The construction is sound - with clean, straight stitching and the materials feel sturdy, even the mesh in the cummerbund. As for size/fit, I chose the medium size and once adjusted (as the carrier is fully adjustable) it fits my body well and still has a little room to allow me to wear thicker layers underneath. The padded shoulders allow you to have the carrier loaded and wear it for extended periods of time without your shoulders becoming sore - it would be cool for these to have a fabric cover though. The M4 mag pouch included is really handy for those of us who run M4 platforms, but needless to say, if you want to run the Armatus II with any other platform, another front panel would be needed.


My only complaint towards the Armatus II, as is with the 0300S, is that it doesn’t come with foam plates as standard like some other carriers on the market do. This means that the carrier as standard doesn’t stand up or hold its shape too well. In both of my Armatus II carriers, I have added the PTS Syndicate foam plates to give it more stability and keep the shape when not in use.

Priced at $249.99 from the LBX website and comes in MultiCam, MC Arid, MC Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, Wolf Grey, Black and MAS Grey. The carrier also comes in 2 sizes - medium and large (to fit the corresponding plates). I have the Armatus II in both MAS Grey and MCB, and I switch these carriers in and out of a number of different loadouts - from MCB, RG and even M81 (US Woodland), the colours work for me. At the current exchange rate, $250 is around about £191 (this doesn’t include customs and shipping, so be sure to budget extra to accommodate those!).


Overall, it is a comfy carrier, has sound construction and does the job intended. The range of colour/camo options is varied enough for there to be an option for most loadouts.

Photography thanks to Stuart Manks
Patron: AirsoftPanda

MULTICAM BLACK SHOOTERS BELT SET-UP!

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I’ve been slowly building a MultiCam Black loadout and I’ve finally finished my MCB belt set-up so here’s a little post giving you the deets of what’s in my set-up.

First up, is the belt itself. The base of my build is a MCB FRV Tailoring Cobra Shooters Belt. These belts are a low profile, lightweight and affordable alternative to some of the pricier shooters belts on the market. It has an inner belt made of one layer of webbing with Velcro hook on the outside which you feed through your trouser belt loops as you would any normal belt, then you place your outer belt with all your pouches, holsters etc attached over the inner belt and fasten it with the cobra buckle. The belt is 50mm/2" wide and has 18 columns of molle. The molle loops run along the top and bottom of the outer belt and they're compatible with any molle pouches and holsters. The outer belt has a double layer of webbing to give it that rigidity and a cobra buckle that is rated up to 4000 lb's. What I love about this belt is it sits quite high up on my hips so it doesn’t bruise me or get uncomfortable even when there’s a fair bit of weight being carried, and I can have all my pouches/holsters etc set up on the belt without needing to take them off when the belt is removed. I have some of the earlier versions of this belt (my MC and OD belts) and this new belt is definitely stiffer and sturdier than the previous gen which is a bonus. You can get 10% off at FRV Tailoring using the code ‘Femmefatale'

Next up in my MCB set-up, we have the Viper Covert Dump Bag in Black! A small addition but one that makes a big difference during a skirmish in terms of stashing used mags in a flash. This tiny pouch folds out into a full-size dump pouch – so it has a good carrying capacity whilst being compact in its folded form and looks tidy. It’s really easy to deploy even whilst wearing my belt and what I really like about it is that it folds away easily too! It has a drawstring to keep everything in the pouch secure and a drainage hole at the bottom of the fold-out pouch to prevent rainwater pooling on wet game days. The only downside to this pouch is that taller mags such as KRISS Vector mags or ARP9 mags have a tendency to fall out if it isn’t securely closed with the drawstring.


Next up are the GK Tactical SG 2.0 Mag Pouches (rifle and pistol pouches). These features a sturdy construction with a balance between rigidity and expansion for many variations of magazines. It ensures the most positive retention on your magazines while still allowing instant access when sourcing your reloads. 

The GK Tactical SG Rifle Mag Pouches fit all AR series magazines, any AK magazine and all variations in the wider 7.62 style magazines. They have flared surfaces on all four sides, which allows smooth, blind insertion of the mag into the pouch.  The front torsion plate is designed to direct pressure down through the pouch, forcing its inner friction surface to make positive contact along the length of the magazine. It takes just minimal adjustment to the cord to increase the retention power of the pouch can be multiplied through the designed leverage in the system. 



As you guys and gals know, I LOVE pyro, so naturally, I need something to carry smoke grenades and my trusty TRMRs, so for this, I have 2 of the Kydex TRMR Carriers from Kydex Holster NLD – both in grey, but I have a V1 and the latest prototype. These are a Kydex carrying system designed specifically for the TRMR that has a malice clip attachment for use with molle plate carriers and belts. There’s not really much to talk about in terms of features as they are a super simple bit of kit – just moulded thermoplastic with a malice clip but their simplicity means less to go wrong. Once it is attached to your kit, the operation does take a little getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it does offer quick deployment and of course good retention. As it has a moulded back piece with a lip I found the best way to deploy it quickly is to push the TRMR base up and it will slide out. On the way back in, the best method I found was to have the TRMR at a 45-degree angle against the back of the TRMR and push down. The new prototype is a new design that Lenn and the team are testing out, in terms of the new design the retention is fantastic but it is quite hard to deploy the TRMR with one hand with this design so I do think it needs to be tweaked slightly.


Last but not least is my custom Lowrider Kydex HK45 holster, also from Kydex Holster NLD with a Safariland universal belt loop and leg strap. The Lowrider holster sits a little lower on my hip than my other holsters (more so on my outer thigh than anything else) which means it sits lower than my plate carrier so the pistol is easy to stow and to retrieve.  The only issue I’ve found with my new holster is that sometimes I’m not completely aware of how far it sticks out and I have got it caught in game on walls, holes, people, trees etc, that is more of a user error than anything to do with the brand itself. The rentention on the holster is great and it doesn't catch or get stuck when in use.


6MM ACTUAL

Hey everyone!

Welcome back to the blog! If you follow me on social media you will have seen that last week I launched 6MM ACTUAL.

6MM ACTUAL is all about giving you - the readers of FFA - more value from Femme Fatale Airsoft. I've designed 6MM ACTUAL so you can read the best of the monthly blogs and also get bonus content exclusive to our monthly downloadable. Online or offline, and for free! Whilst I love writing the blog, creating IG & YouTube content and writing for publications, I felt like something was missing and this is where our monthly downloadable bridges the gap. Truly International airsoft, from guns to gear, to events, it’s in 6MM ACTUAL.


You can check out the first issue here!

AIRSOFT ACTION | SIXMIL.COM LOADOUTS UPDATED!

In 2017 I came across an airsoft rental company that was the first of its kind - SIXMIL.com. SIXMIL had a mission - to kit out new players to the same standard as walk on players to give them a better experience of the game and to keep them in the game after their period as a rental player. Just over a year later the company has gone from strength to strength and now has more load outs and rental packages than ever before. At the end of 2018, Joe launched a collection of 9 new loadouts for players to choose from and we’re going to look at the new packages that players can rent from the SIXMIL armouries at West Midlands Airsoft: The FOB in Upper Tean and Stormforce Airsoft in Rugeley.

UK Recon

First up is the UK Recon package, this package utilises recent issue MTP camouflage and para-style modern MTP webbing to make a lightweight, British package. The loadout includes: British issue MTP weatherproof military smock and combat trousers, Bulldog para-style MTP webbing chest rig, MTP Jungle/bush boogie hat or OD green woollen bob hat, coyote tan gloves, OD green knee pads and an OD green scrim scarf. Also included in the package is either a standard M4A1 rifle or a standard L85 weapon. This particular load out is available in sizes waist 28” - 44” and top sizes S - XXL. This package is £45 for a full day hire.



PMC Black

The PMC Black loadout from SIXMIL.com is a medium weight loadout based on a modern private military contractor style. This loadout package includes: A Helikon grey lightweight hexi-fleece and OD green BDU combat trousers, Condor Operator black plate carrier, Helikon black baseball cap or black woollen bob hat, black gloves, black knee pads and OD green shemagh. Also included in the package is an upgraded weapon - players can choose from an M4A1 weapon, upgraded G36C, upgraded AK47 or an upgraded UMP45. This load out is available in waist size 30” - 40” and top sizes S-XL.



PMC Tan

The PMC Tan loadout is the tan counterpart of the PMC Black load out and is also based on a modern private military contractor style. This load out package includes: Helikon grey lightweight Hexi-fleece and coyote tan BDU combat trousers, Condor operator tan plate carrier, Helikon coyote tan baseball cap or black woollen bob hat, coyote tan gloves, black knee pads and OD green shemagh. This loadout includes the same upgraded weapon choice as the black and also comes in the same sizes. Both PMC loadouts are £50 for a full days hire.



UK Classic

The UK classic loadout is an old-school styled light-weight package that uses classic British DPM camo. This loadout package includes: British issue DPM weatherproof military smock and combat trousers, genuine British issue DPM webbing chest rig, DPM jungle/bush boonie hat or OD green woollen bob hat, black gloves and OD scrim scarf. Also included in the package is a standard M4A1 weapon, standard L85 or a standard MP5. This load out is available in waist 28” - 42” and top sizes S-XXL. This loadout is £40 for a full days hire.




US Marine

The US Marine loadout is a medium lightweight package based on the modern US Marine look incorporating a mix of MARPAT digital woodland and coyote tan camouflages. This loadout package includes: Helikon MARPAT USMC combat shirt and BDU combat trousers, Condor EXO2 coyote tan plate carrier, Nuprol adjustable Mich2000 style helmet or MARPAT Helikon USMC cap, coyote tan gloves and kneepads. Also included in the package is either the upgraded M4A1 or a standard M4A1 ( which takes £5 off the package price) This load out is available in waist 30” - 44” and top sizes S - XXL. The US Marine loadout is £50 for a full days hire.



UK Infantry

The UK infantry loadout is a medium weight package based on a modern British infantry style using MTP kit to give players an authentic British soldier look. This loadout package includes: British issue MTP UBAC combat shirt and combat trousers, British issue MTP Osprey plate carrier, MK7 combat helmet with MTP cover and camo scrim or short brim boonie hat, coyote tan gloves, OD green knee pads and OD green scrim scarf. Also included in the package is an upgraded L85 or M4A1 weapon. This package is available in waist size 28” - 42” and top sizes S - XXL. This loadout is £50 for a full days hire.



US SWAT

The US SWAT package is a medium weight load out based around a modern FBI/urban SWAT style in OD green. This package includes: Helikon OD green UBACs combat shirt and BDU combat trousers, Condor Exo2 OD green plate carrier, Nuprol OD green adjustable fast helmet with OD green helmet cover or OD green cap, black gloves and black knee pads. Also included is an upgraded M4A1 weapon, UMP45 or an upgraded MP5. This load out is available in waist sizes 30” - 40” and top sizes S - XXL. The US SWAT loadout is £50 for a full days hire.



UK SAS

The UK SAS load out is an all black medium weight package styled around the classic SAS look. This load out package includes: A Helikon black UBACS combat shirt and BDU combat trousers, Condor Operator plate carrier, Nuprol adjustable fast helmet, black cap or black woollen bob hat, black gloves and knee pads. Also included in the package is an upgraded HK416, upgraded M4A1 or an upgraded MP5 weapon. This load out is available in waist sizes 30” - 40” and top sizes S-XXL. The UK SAS loadout is £50 for a full days hire.




US SEAL

This load out is based on the iconic US Navy Seals, it is a lightweight modern load out in multicam and coyote tan with a modern operator feel. This load out package includes: Emerson Gen2 UBACS combat shirt and combat trousers, Emerson JPC, Emerson battle belt, Nuprol adjustable fast helmet with MC cover or CT cap, CT gloves and a CT shemagh. Also included in this load out is an upgraded HK416, upgraded M4A1 or an upgraded MP5. This load out is available in waist sizes 28” - 36” and top sizes S - L. The US SEAL package is £50 for a full days hire.



The new loadouts look fantastic, and it’s clear from the effort, money and time that has gone into creating each loadout, down to the details including patches and correct headgear that Joe takes pride in kitting out his rental players. He has utilised well known brands to give new players a feel for the kit and game and it’s awesome that the new loadouts all have themes so new players can pick looks they’ve seen in films and in games. Having such high quality rental kit is a great way of levelling the playing field between new players and more experienced players - no more track suits, trainers and busted old G36C’s when SIXMIL is around!


Hardwick, K. (2019). SIXMIL.COM LOADOUTS UPDATED!. Airsoft Action. 98 (March), 68-69.

LBX TACTICAL | MINIMALIST GEAR PACK!

Welcome back to the blog!

Today I have another review for you - we’re going to be looking at the LBX Tactical Minimalist Gear Pack, a 24-hour ops pack from one of my favourite gear manufacturers!


Firstly, let’s talk about the features of the MGP. It is a small backpack designed for 24-hour ops, and is split into two sections - forward and the rear. The forward opens 3/4 of the way down the length of the bag and has an opening section lined with loop velcro for attachment of hook pouches/accessories, it has an elastic hydration port and the contents are secured with 2 heavy-duty zippers with paracord pull tabs. The rear compartment has a sleeve for a hydration bladder (up to 2L) w/ built-in hanger, a lower portion lined with loop velcro for attachment of hook pouches/accessories and a pass-thru between rear/forward for hydration tube. What I love the most about the MGP is its versatility - it’s roomy enough to be used in-game but also, lightweight and compact enough to use in everyday life without looking out of place. When being used for a game, the front compartment is roomy enough for a shit tonne of pyro, BBs, gas and speedloaders, whilst still having room in the rear to carry a full 2L hydration bladder - perfect for those longer ops! I have used this pack in my day to day life and although the camo colours can look out of place with the wrong outfit, the pack serves me well, especially as the rear section of the MGP is also PERFECT for stowing my MacBook Pro when I take it out and about.



The exterior of the pack also has some pretty cool features - it has 6x6 loop modular webbing, a zippered admin pocket that has loop velcro for identification patches, each side of the pack has modular webbing for accessory pouches, padded adjustable shoulder straps w/ adjustable sternum strap for comfort, the entire back of the pack is padded, w/ air channels to promote comfort, and it has drain grommets on rear and bottom to enable drainage should the pack get wet.

The Minimalist Gear Pack from LBX retails for $99.99 (which is around £78 at the current exchange rate - not including shipping and customs, be sure to take those into account when purchasing from overseas) and is available in MultiCam Tropic, MultiCam, MultiCam Arid, MultiCam Black, Ranger Green and MAS Grey. I chose MultiCam Tropic so I could run the pack with my MCT X MC loadout and so that it wouldn’t stand out too much should I use it for everyday wear. The LBX MGP is an awesome, little pack - my only regret is not getting it in more colours!


Photography thanks to L.Sibley Photography

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