Monday, November 30, 2009

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Women in Airsoft

Just joined the SAWA Girls forum - a forum for women interested in discussion and empowering each other through Airsoft, MilSim and other similar activities.

Speaking of women in airsoft, here is my "Tip of the Day for Women in Airsoft": buy pants that are a little large and fit loosely. This will allow for greater mobility and ease of movement in the hips. A good test is if you can do a deep lunge or squat and hold it there for a few minutes. Tight pants might look good, but it might also hamper your speed and agility. If you ever need help choosing gear that fits, feel free to contact for expert advice.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy T-day!

We hope that everyone has a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving tommorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tru-Spec Extended Cold Weather Clothing System

Now taking orders for Tru-Spec Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (Gen III ECWCS). Contact for pricing and info, or check out some of the products listed here on our Web site (I will be adding more products to the store as the cold season approaches).

I was glad I was wearing the base layers level 1 and 2 under my uniform at an event in Ohio last Feburary. There was snow on the ground and freezing temperatures for most of the day. The key to staying warm in those conditions is layering, and you want to choose the appropriate materials for each layer, as follows:

Level 1 Top and Bottom

Layer 1 goes right next to your skin, and should allow perspiration to dry quickly. Otherwise, if you get damp, you'll feel the cold right away. The Tru-Spec 3.7 oz. Performance Plus 100% polyester jersey in Gen III ECWCS level 1 base layer is specifically designed to breathe and wick away moisture. It's a smooth, comfortable, stretchy fabric, and also uses Microban For Anti-Microbial And Anti-Odor Defense.

Layer 2 should provide some insulation against the cold. The best fabrics for that purpose are wool or fleece, and it also helps if this layer fits well over your level 1 gear for easy movement. The Tru-Spec Gen III ECWCS level 2 is made of 6.6 oz. Performance Plus 93% Polyester/7% Spandex. Grid Fleece Aids In Breathability And Moisture Wicking Properties, and once again this is a soft, stretchy, comfortable fabric, with Microban.

Level 2 Balaclava

Layer 3, or your outermost layer should have some weather resistant properties, like our flight jacket. We are also taking pre-orders for any of the Tru-Spec Gen III ECWCS level 3 and H2O Proof gear. Contact for pricing and info.

Don't get left out in the cold or the rain this season!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photos/Review of Wasteland

It was in so many ways awesome, I don't even know where to begin. We arrived on site at Wayne's World of Paintball in Ocala, FL the day before the event to set up. We had trunkloads of props and equipment to put out on the field because we really wanted to capture the essence of the theme: Fallout 3.
Wasteland 002
I had never been to Wayne's before and got a chance to walk around the field. It's amazing and huge. There are dozens of plywood or concrete buildings and structures, vehicle chassis, and other installations scattered throughout the field, which is otherwise covered in dense foliage. It lends itself well to all sorts of scenarios. Check out the photos here on flickr.

Day of the event, I would guesstimate that we had around 170 players, plus a couple/few dozen staffers and NPCs. I was impressed with how many players and teams that showed up in good costumes and brought their own props to fit in with the theme. A lot of people really showed some effort. I set up the Dark Threads shop just briefly in case anyone needed anything. Surprisingly, we did make a lot of sales in that short time!
Wasteland 116 Wasteland 132 Wasteland 134

After the briefing, the players went onto the field and I took my position at "Craterside Supply" in "Megaton" as the character, Moira Brown. Sorry I didn't get any photos of myself in costume. Maybe someone else did and will share...but I did get a lot of photos of the players coming to me to purchase their weapons upgrades and trade relics for caps (the currency of the Wasteland). Players needed 50 caps to use their AEGs, and 75 to use a SAW. I also employed a mercenary or two, and gave players missions to find stuff for me. I didn't get to see much action outside of Megaton, but later in the afternoon, we were raided and there was a big firefight in Megaton.
Wasteland 081
The Enclave faction stole the "nuclear bomb" from the crater at the center of town, and some raiders looted my store. Fun times. As night fell, activity waned at Megaton, and I closed Craterside Supply for the night, and went to my tent to get some sleep.

Although we did break for lunch, the game was scheduled to go on through the night. I know that some teams and players took breaks for dinner, or to sleep, but in the morning, there was still a lot of action going on. I know there was a lot going on around "Paradise Falls," which was controlled by the Slaver faction. They occupied a three-story plywood structure, that they had lit up a like a Christmas tree, with strings of lights around the perimeter, and spotlights mounted around the compound, running off a generator that they brought into game. They even had a disco ball! From what I hear, the place was impenetrable, until someone fired a rocket launcher at the tower, and they shut off the lights to simulate a hit. Then, it was overrun.

I also heard that the Brotherhood of Steal obtained their objective - they found the GECK? - a techno device in a suitcase thingy (it was very impressive looking, actually) - in a vault-like structure on site that Mac (MGP) had rigged with a "secured" door. They had to connect some wires in an electrical box on the door, to trigger the cannon fuse, which released the latch on the door.

Of course, there were lots of Raider factions roaming about the field, harassing and robbing other players and merchants. Besides, Moira, there were other NPCs playing wandering merchants in the game.

It ended up being one of the most immersive airsoft games that I ever participated in, and a remarkable blending of an airsoft game with a post-apocalyptic themed LARP. I don't think there has really been anything else like it, and the feedback from the attendees so far has been unprecedentedly positive. Players are posting their AARs up on the Mindgame Productions forums and the Florida airsoft forums.

We are DEFINITELY doing something like this again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We're back...

...and the MGP event, Wasteland, at Wayne's World of Paintball in Ocala, was a huge success, judging by the really positive feedback and AARs on the Mindgame Products and Florida airsoft forums...but before I go into my own review, we here at Dark Threads would like to extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of the fallen soldiers at the Fort Hood tragedy that occurred last week. We also wish a speedy recovery and healing process for those who were injured, and a huge thanks to everyone who has ever served our country. Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Week: Heading down to Florida for Wasteland event

The plan this week is to leave Pittsburgh, PA on Wednesday evening after work and head down to Raleigh, NC to stay overnight at my cousin's, and then continue on to Orlando, FL, Thursday to rendezvous with other Mindgame Productions operators. We will caravan up to Wayne's World in Ocala together on Friday. Friday, we have some setup to do on-site, and then Saturday is the big event - Wasteland - an airsoft LARP based on the post-apocalyptic themed video game, Fallout 3. I've seen other events with a post-apocalyptic theme, and cosplayers and LARPers doing Fallout 3 events, but I don't think there's ever been an event like this one in these parts. This will be a unique experience for all the players, and I'm very excited to be a part of it.
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