A New Level – The S23 2016 blogs a year in review

A New Level – The S23 2016 blogs a year in review

So to round out the year, we thought we’d collate all the interviews in one single post. It’s been a hugely successful second year for the blog, with over 41k reads of all the interviews, articles and reviews.
We’ve had some incredible opportunities, and with you, the S23 Familia helping the blog prosper and flourish it wouldn’t of been possible …

As we march closer to our third anniversary we’ve a few surprises up our sleeves yet, and already 2017 is shaping up to be a new and exciting time for ‘Plastic Deth‘ (Airsoft)

January 2016



… the beginning of the year opened with not one but four interviews, and straight off the bat garnered considerable readership from new and old fans alike.
We sat down with Canada’s Direwolves

Winter is Coming … an interview with DW07 and DW01 of Canada’s Team Direwolves https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/winter-is-coming-an-interview-with-dw07-and-dw01-of-canadas-team-direwolves/

… the UK’s Gray Fox

THE COWBOYS FROM HELL – an interview with Gray Fox’s GF03 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/the-cowboys-from-hell-an-interview-with-gray-foxs-gf03/

… our first double bill from very good friends Bravo 46 and OPFOR

Thicker Than Water – an Interview with OPFOR’s OF01 and Bravo 46’s BR01 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/thicker-than-water-an-interview-with-opfors-of01-and-bravo-46s-br01/

… This rounded out by an interview with The Cage (V01 from TF Copperhead).

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop – an interview with The Cage’s Echo Charlie https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/cant-stop-wont-stop-an-interview-with-the-cages-echo-charlie/

February 2016

We opened up with a biggest interview yet from Robbo Murray no less, who sat down with us to talk us through Stateside Airsoft, MilSim, gear, blasters and much, much more …

Nuestra Familia – an interview with Robo Murray https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/nuestra-familia-an-interview-with-robo-murray/

Without barely taking a pause for breath, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary with our original first two interviewees GH05 and GH07 from Gun Ho.

‘First Blood’ 1st Anniversary Interview – with GH05 and GH07 from Team Gun Ho https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/first-blood-an-interview-with-gh05-and-gh07-from-team-gun-ho/

This was then hotly followed by a further quartet of interviews, including Florida’s G.S.R. and Kevgru from New Mexico, Team MLD from the Netherlands and one of the original founding members of the ‘Wannabe ForumsZero Positive.

Swamp Thing – An Interview with G.S.R.’s G01 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/swamp-thing-an-interview-with-g-s-r-s-g01/
Legacy – an Interview with Kevin T aka Kevgru https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/legacy-an-interview-with-kevin-t-aka-kevgru/
Cold Truth – Interview with Lex (M02) from Team MLD https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/cold-truth-interview-with-lex-m02-from-team-mld/
Plastic Deth … an Interview with Zero Positive https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/plastic-deth-an-interview-with-zero-positive/
March 2016



This month we headed over to Italy, to interview and spotlight the fantastic reenactment group Marine Force Recon Italy, some of the most screen accurate kits we’ve seen all beautifully illustrated with exquisite photography …

Teufelhunden – an interview with Umberto M from reenactment group MFR Italy https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/teufelhunden-an-interview-with-umberto-m-from-reenactment-group-mfr-italy/
… rounding out this month, and the end of this years anniversary celebrations not only saw the release of our now infamous Mk IIBeer MatS23 Familia patch, produced by none other than BritKitUSA – but a brief spotlight behind its origins and history …

Hardcore Lives – Mk II Anniversary ‘Beer Mat’ S23 Patch https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/hardcore-lives-mk-ii-anniversary-beer-mat-s23-patch/

April 2016



Back from a brief hiatus, The Reptile House announced his return, with this, stellar, gargantuan interview.

Voltron vs Reptile House – an Interview with The Reptile House https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/voltron-vs-reptile-house-an-interview-with-the-reptile-house/
… this was kindly reciprocated, with me being put under the spotlight – giving my top ten rundown of blasters featured on The Reptile House. This was the first of several collaborations between S23 and The Reptile House. I have know doubt, they’ll be more in the future …

Voltron’s Blaster Guest List https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/voltrons-blaster-guest-list/
… fresh off the field F23 from Gray Fox gave us his own inimitable account, an AAR if you will of Combat Airsoft GroupsOp Eagle Fury‘ an event that took the scene by storm, MilSim was never to be the same again, we’d witnessed the birth of RealSim

By Demons be Driven -Combat Airsoft Groups Op Eagle Fury after action report, an interview wit… https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/by-demons-be-driven-combat-airsoft-groups-op-eagle-fury-after-action-report-an-interview-with-gray-foxs-gf23/

May 2016



We opened with a collaboration with the blogs longtime sponsors, and friends – reviewing ToySoldiers incredibly authentic replica, or reproduction of the popularized LV MBAV, it certainly didn’t disappoint, surpassing expectations in fact.

ToySoldier LV-MBAV Review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/toysoldier-lv-mbav-review/
Later in the month, whilst a huge departure in style and content, we graciously got to interview guitarist Jeff Pogan from Hardcore Punk legends, the kings of Thrash/CrossoverSuicidal Tendencies. As a lifelong fan from way back when this was not only a very proud moment, an honor, but a lot of fun too …

Possessed to Shred, an interview with Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Jeff Pogan https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/possessed-to-shred-an-interview-with-suicidal-tendencies-guitarist-jeff-pogan/

June 2016



We steamed ahead with a veritable plethora of reviews, spotlights and interviews in what was one of our busiest months. Seeing a huge uptake in traffic. It was a truly profound moment.

Tribe MilSim
, Stirling Airsoft and Florida’s S.O.G. all delivered great interviews.

Stay Cold – an interview with Tribe MilSim’s Olly C https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/stay-cold-an-interview-with-tribe-milsims-olly-c/
Behind The Lines … an interview with Stirling Airsoft’s Matt B … https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/im-behind-the-lines-an-interview-with-sterling-airsofts-matt-b/
Switchback – an interview with SM02 from S.O.G. https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/switchback-an-interview-with-sm02-from-s-o-g/

This was rounded out by reviews on what was on our reading list, Elements IR functional LA5 and newly acquired USGI Multicam FR pants.

From Out of Nowhere – USGI FR Multicam ACU’s Review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/from-out-of-nowhere-usgi-fr-multicam-acus-review/
When Two Worlds Collide – A Review of The M16A1 Rifle Operation and Preventative Maintenance M… https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/when-two-worlds-collide-a-review-of-the-m16a1-rifle-operation-and-preventative-maintenance-manual/
Light Comes Out of Black – Element LA5 PEQ 15 Review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/light-comes-out-of-black-element-la5-peq-15-review/
Just before we closed out the month, we spotlighted long time friend of the blog, Kevgru’s Airframe cover Ops Core helmet hybrid. 

https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/in-the-meantime-ops-core-maritime-with-crye-airframe-cover/
Again, fortune struck, offered the opportunity to appear on the hallowed pages of The Reptile House was too good to miss, and was quizzed on all things ‘Plastic Deth‘. 

DethSOC: A Loadout Interview with S23 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/dethsoc-a-loadout-interview-with-andy-of-s23gearmonkey75/
Time was finally called with a look inside my Gear Locker …

Hardcore! (The Definition) – Inside My Gear Locker https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/hardcore-the-definition-inside-my-gear-locker/

July 2016

As we reached the height of summer we again collaborated with our sponsors ToySoldier – reviewing their iteration of the CVC Plate Carrier.

Skeleton Heads – ToySoldier ‘Paraclete’ Style CVC Plate Carrier (Smoke Green) Review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/skeleton-heads-toysoldier-paraclete-style-cvc-plate-carrier-smoke-green-review/



We got hands on with ACT in Blacks stunning Lunox NVG.

As The Last Light Fades – ACT in Black Lunox NVG review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/as-the-last-light-fades-act-in-black-lunox-nvg-review/



Interviewed members of CTF 226, comprising of teams Diablo, Cobalt, Gray Fox, Copperhead and Black Scorpions.

United Forces – An Interview with Combined Task Force 226 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/united-forces-an-interview-with-combined-task-force-226/

PTW ‘Smith’ Tackleberry jumped into the interview chair

Alpha – Omega, an interview with PTW ‘smith’ Tackleberry https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/alpha-omega-and-interview-with-ptw-smith-tackleberry/



Reviewed Hill People Gears Tarahumara Pack.

Carry on My Wayward Son – review of Hill People Gear’s Tarahumara Pack https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/carry-on-my-wayward-son-review-of-hill-people-gears-tarahumara-pack/



Before rounding out the month with a spotlight on FMA’s functional replica Blast Gauges.

Codes – a ‘post’ load out review of FMA’s Blast Gauge https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/codes-a-post-load-out-review-of-fmas-blast-gauge/
 

August 2016

Saw us return with a brand new interview, here we sat down spoke with the collective The Rejected Lens. 

Lights, Camera, Revolution – an interview with The Rejected Lens and DJ Richie C https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/lights-camera-revolution-an-interview-with-the-rejected-lens-and-dj-richie-c/

Ran a spotlight on TF Copperhead VO2’s CAG inspired Ops Core.

Crazy but Proud – Spotlight on TF Copperheads VO2’s CAG inspired Op’s Core Maritime https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/crazy-but-proud-spotlight-on-tf-copperheads-vo2s-cag-inspired-ops-core-maritime/
Hotly followed by an overview of all the exclusive S23 articles published thus far, monthly, in Airsoft International.

The Underground in Plastic Deth – Airsoft International  https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/the-underground-in-plastic-deth-airsoft-international/

We concluded with yet another collaboration with The Reptile House – detailing preparation for the upcoming MilSim Op Darkwater. This saw two variants released across both blogs, a High Definition mix and rough demo form …

Reality Unfolds – Original ‘Demo Mix’ originally released in High Definition on The Reptile Ho… https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/reality-unfolds-original-demo-mix-originally-released-in-high-definition-on-the-reptile-house/
September 2016
We returned with our AAR on the truly superb and memorable Op Darkwater. In good company, Voodoo, Spear and RCT 13 we spent 36 Hrs waging a truly immersive MilSim against the 90 + strong RusForThe Bolsheviks‘ 

MilSim Mania – Op Darkwater – Team Bolshevik Anniversary Event Report https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/milsim-mania-op-darkwater-team-bolshevik-anniversary-event-report/
Sadly, due to technical difficulties not all interviews are completed, some remain incomplete in demo form, gathering dust possibly never to see the light of day. However, in this instance we salvaged what we could here to showcase the incredible VBSS FSBE gears of Norways Devil Norseman.

Underneath Everything – an Interview with Devil Norseman (VBSS FSBE Gears) https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/underneath-everything-an-interview-with-devil-norseman-vbss-fsbe-gears/
Also, not long off the back of Op Dark Water, we interviewed fellow team mate on his return to MilSim

The Scum Dog’s of the Universe and Pirate Raccoons – an Interview with Jon A https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/scum-dogs-of-the-universe-and-pirate-racoons-an-interview-with-jon-a/

October 2016

With the onset of Autumn, or The Fall as I prefer we opened up with a short piece on Ferro Concepts ludicrously named D*****r which I set upon renaming as the FC-MEDCP.

Walk Through Exits Only – Ferro Concept Kit Spotlight https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/walk-through-exits-only-ferro-concept-kit-spotlight/
We then returned to business proper, sitting down with Militaria illustrator extraordinaire Marc Lee

The Art of Shredding – an Interview with Coffee & Perspectives Marc Lee https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/the-art-of-shredding-an-interview-with-coffee-perspectives-marc-lee/

This was hotly pursued with an interview with Cobalts C02 who talked us through his new HAO 416D PTW – this featured before and after, post Krylon exclusive photographs.

Self Bias Resistor – A spotlight on Cobalt’s C02’s new 416D PTW https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/self-bias-resistor-a-spotlight-on-cobalts-c02s-new-416d-ptw/
Thereafter, we dropped our report on the blisteringly explosive Ai500 ‘Op Lockdown’.

War Ensemble – Airsoft Internationals Ai500 Op Lockdown at HMP Blundeston October 22nd – 24th https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/war-ensemble-airsoft-internationals-ai500-op-lockdown-at-hmp-blundeston-october-22nd-24th/
Rounding out the month with Pop Culture Crew Rogue Print Co.

Against the Grain – Rogue Printing Company spotlight  https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/against-the-grain-rogue-printing-company-spotlight/

Before sitting down with a long overdue interview with Templar Airsoft’s Mike W.

… For Victory – an interview with Mike Templar https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/for-victory-an-interview-with-mike-templar/

November 2016

We sat down and interviewed good friends, contemporaries and MilSim communications experts Tactical Associates.

… Heard it on the X – an interview with Tactical Associates UK https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/heard-it-on-the-x-an-interview-with-tactical-associates-uk/

Before smashing out a great interview with Swedens TF Hotel Sierra.

Disco Sucks, F**k Everything – an Interview with TF Hotel Sierra’s HS02 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/disco-sucks-fk-everything-an-intetview-with-tf-hotel-sierras-hs02/
December 2016



We finally rounded out the year with reviews of PIG’s new FDT Multicam Gloves

PIG FDT – DELTA Multicam Gloves https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/3413/
A spotlight on Level Zero Heroes MARSOC display at the USMC museum.

… Today will be different – Spotlight on Dagger 22 MARSOC’s Marine Museum display https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/today-will-be-different-spotlight-on-dagger-22-marsocs-marine-museum-display/
An absolutely astonishingly great interview on JW01’s UKSF gears. Which, I’m rather proudly pleased to say proved to be a real surprise hit with you the readers.

Good Guys wear Black – an interview with UKSF Impressionista JW01 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/good-guys-wear-black-an-interview-with-jw01/
Christmas saw new gears arrive, and new reviews, here in the form of AKU’s Pilgrim GTX boots.

Iron & Stone – AKU Pilgrim GTX ‘Mids’ review https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/iron-stone-aku-pilgrim-gtx-mids-review/
Finally, our 100th article, rounded out by another excellent guest turn from LT07 on his ACT in Black DTNVG’s.

When the Smoke Clears – ACT In Black DTNVG review – by LT07 https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/when-the-smoke-clears-act-in-black-dtnvg-review-by-lt07/

So, as the year draws to a close we look forward to new  interviews, reviewing new kit and gears and getting out to events and skirmishes. We’ll continue to publish not just content on here, but our exclusive articles each and every month in Airsoft International.

The Ai500 looms already on the horizon.

Not forgetting that in few months we celebrate our third anniversary, we are already working on several projects to celebrate the occasion.

So, a very heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you for all the incredible support, encouragement. To all the interviewees and players we’ve fought alongside or against – it’s been a blast – cheers, see you in 2017 – S23

S23 Familia Vinyl Sticker Sets Available Here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322367018063

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

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