Creeping Deth – an interview with Sandy Cam creator Raptor 08
After recently coming on board with Act in Blacks Lunox Monocular NVG, naturally I explored the world of accessories and ancillary products that could further enhance and explore the possibilities of optimizing this already incredible piece of equipment.
One name, in particular came up almost instantly and frequently too – Sandy Cam.
Whilst we’ll detail a little more later on about this device, I’ll introduce it as simply a recording device that unobtrusively sits behind the FOV on your device, whilst it’s recording system discreetly attached to the side of your device records all that you see, in high definition no less, whilst observing the world through you NV’s.
Already, I was salivating at the possibilities – otherwise unseen footage of firefights under darkness could now be recorded, play back allowing you and your team mates to debrief play post event could now be watched with ease.
Even for fun and posterity this footage easily spliced with camera footage from head borne systems. Or, alternative it’s real world application both deployed and during training would proffer a wealth of information and evidential value.
Well, who better to tell us about it in detail and offer a more technical perspective than it’s very creator Raptor-08.
S23: Welcome aboard, thanks for taking the time out to sit down with us. Now, despite your technical background, you yourself are a keen player – tell us a little about your Airsoft/MilSim background ?
R08: Thank you for having me. Well I started with Airsoft around 2008 and only played at local fields about four years before I got into the whole MilSim thing. I got caught by it immediately and quit the team I was then in as I wanted to do more Milsim and less Speedball. I subsequently joined Raptors in 2012 and started an FBI HRT/SWAT loadout. we where very specific not to call it an impression at the time as we was using a Ranger Green load out and as HRT had just started popping up in Multicam. Recently I’ve just started a second team which is an Russian FSB impression. This will be the team that goes to the more hardcore MilSim/RealSim events.
S23: And your background with regards to your expertise in developing the Sandy Cam ?
R08: (laughs) this might make people raise their eyebrows a little bit. I have no formal developing experience. I work as a Thinsmith – Sheet Metal Roofer. So I had no experience from the past for making a product from scratch.
S23: So, what was your initial design brief, the idea you had in mind to develop and ultimately deliver a cost effective Night Vision recording device ?
R08: I started the SandyCam project as I only knew about the Wilcox MHRS and the GoPro adapter. I wasn’t overly impressed by either of them. I liked the MHRS concept but the price tag is ridiculous. The GoPro looked promising but the weight and final price didnt impress me or a lot of other guys on the team. So I was on a hunt to make my own system. but I didn’t plan to start selling them to the public. I just wanted me and my friends to be able to record our nightly activites. but the key elements I had in mind :
No compromise needed to use’
With no compromise I mean that the camera mount shouldnt force you or have you choose between running a amber filter or demist shield, as many of the guys I go to events with have differrent NVG setups. The reason I started to sell them was my friends encouraged, and talked me into it. I did get alot of good feedback and people that wanted to help out.
S23: I’ve had a go with the Sandy Cam, impressive indeed, what’s the reception been like so far – any plans to improve or enhance the existing model based on feedback ?
R08: Yes, indeed! As you might have seen I released some footage from the V2. It will be a completely new mount and camera that might fill two purposes of use. what it is I cannot say yet. It will be the most robust and modular system in the price range I’m working within. Naturally I have to step up the game as there are other variants more and more in similarity to the SandyCam – and some that can be seen as copies of the system. Which, is a good thing in my opinion!
Reception has been good as I have always been honest about the quality of the camera and video recording quality. So far everyone that has bought one seems happy. With that said I’ve always said that the video quality is not better than the GoPro adapter. But the small image it captures gives a dull viewing experience compared to the price a system like that costs. But mine is rather optimized to be used with NVG.
S23: Now, I know your a passionate proponent of the MilSim/RealSim genre – what do you think of the scene as it stands today, it’s taken a battering f’sure – but, their are a few who still carry the torch to keep it going ?
R08: Absolutely! Honorable mentions to teams that I’ve had the chance to either play with or against. SOE, HADES, Valkyrie, Fenix and some other teams that I know personally.
As for event host’s my absolute favorite is Pandion, ran by a a very good friend of mine. He makes games in a class of its own to say the least. The few games I’ve been disappointed with is because of other players and not Pandion itself. You get your objectives before the event so you have the time to plan properly. Other honorable mentions would SOE and Airsoft Adventures. SOE mostly do invite only Scenario/RealSim that also is in a class of its own.
I’ve been invited to several events they have organized but I haven’t been able to get my ass in gear to attend. AA is a very good MilSim event that might be something for the guys and girls looking for an entry point to MilSim.
S23: What’s possibly the biggest misconception about MilSim, whilst many events are superb, immersive in their own right and naturally a lot of fun, they perhaps misuse the term MilSim ?
RO8: The absolute biggest misconception about MilSim is the constant fighting or action that people seems to think it’s all about. A truly immersive MilSim should be alot more focused on the things before a firefight even becomes an option. the last couple of years the MilSim scene at least here in Sweden has taken a turn for the worse. This is mostly not the event hosts fault, but rather the actual players attending. I mean on a 48Hr event that clearly states that you are ingame from start to finish, and that you are supposed to be self sustaining gives you more freedom to act during the game. Going around in cars and constantly looking for fights and having non guarded camps that look likes a family camp for the weekend isn’t really MilSim! People seem to think thats the way to do MilSim with vehicles. Walking through a swamp and the long way around an open field just to maybe stay hidden is something very few seem to have the mentality to do. Players that act like they only have one chance at survivability are the ones that makes the event a success and are the ones who have given me the best experiences from events. Take HADES for example.
I’ve been “hunting” them for the three last years during the Pandion MilSim series. Last year they accidentally walked into us whilst we where hiding and taking a meal deep in the woods. Other than that I’ve only seen them from a distance for a few seconds just to see them dissapear for the rest of the event. Sure, there is a lot of ways a MilSim can be held in terms of whats the actual backstory and situation of the game is.
But trying to stay safe and looking for the upper hand on your OpFor is something that can be applied to most of them. people need to realise there is a BIG difference between scenarios/skirmishes and MilSim games/events.
S23: RealSim requires a lot of openness to suspend reality and immerse yourself in the scenario, I get it, and enjoy – understanding how interact with others, my performance and ability to perform can influence the enjoyment and immersion of others, either way for better or worse. In many respects, it’s about sacrifice and consideration – what’s your take on the RealSim mindset ?
R08: RealSim to me is trying to give my opponents and team the best/realistic experience in terms of what seems realistic to me. with that said I have no military experience what so ever so I try as hard as I can to study whats realistic in different situations.
S23: Now, we’ve long extolled our passion for gears, kit and blasters – talk is through your load out, essential bits of kit you can’t do with out and perhaps some essential bits that should be in everyone’s gear bag, naturally the Sandy Cam for starters (laughs)
R08: Since most of your posts are covering more NATO style of players I’ll give you a run through mine and my teams Russian loadout.
I run an NPO VSS-M which is the modernized version of the iconic VSS rifle. Internally I run this with a Mancraft HPA kit. Extenally I have added a bipod, a funny Russian laser module and an ELCAN sight. The runs a A&K PKM with an Inferno HPA kit and that was all it took to make it a truly fearsome Russian beast. Finally we have AK 104 that also runs a Inferno kit inside. Externally its got an M4 stock adapter with a Magpul stock, front rail is a Troy Industries, an AK lower handguard and a railed gastube with an Aimpoint T-1.
We all run issued leafsuits. On top of that we mostly run issued Jtech Mk II (TT mk2 clone) and the gunner runs a newer SSI SMERSH. Backpacks are issued Trooper packs, standard 45L capacity.
In the backpacks for a 48h event:
NVG (mod3) w/SandyCam
… and lots of Snickers (laughs)
S23: … before we let you go, really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ?
R08: Yes I would really like to see that being more strictly applied on bigger events and Milsim’s. Too many times I’ve met players going full auto on carbines on WAY to long distances trying to get a hit. A strict magazine capacity forces people to not only shoot semi on carbines but also have them think about if its really a good opportunity to pick a fight and squeeze the trigger. Having a capacity limit also gives support gunners a bigger and more important role then ever. laying down suppressing fire falls onto one or two guys rather than having the whole team going full auto retard.
You can keep up to date to with Raptor and find out more on Sandy Cam LLC here:
RO8 IG: http://instagram.com/raptor_r08
Sandy Cam LLC IG: http://instagram.com/sandycam_official
Sandy Cam Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandyCaminfo/
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**NEW INTERVIEW – COMING SOON**