Ironfist – an interview with Fenix-DevTsix
Ironfist, one of my favorite uncompromisingly rock and roll Motörhead songs – like many reviews, interviews and spotlights, are named after favorite songs …
Strangely, despite long admired – both real steel and from a reenactment viewpoint, we’ve not covered the popular NSW/NSWDG community, or vicariously the broader collective it sits under DevTsix (Development Team Six).
A quiet, professional collective, who whilst mysteriously shrouded in OpSec and Persec, preferring to let their gear and blasters do the talking, and naturally their actions on the field at MilSim and training scenarios illustrate their passion. It’s also note worthy to recognize the charitable endeavors they’ve also contributed to in support of their Real Steel bigger brothers too, a genuine passion rarely seen elsewhere …
S23: Welcome aboard, thanks for taking time out to sit down with us, I had to track you down after Raptor 08 (in our last interview) gave you such glowing praise, you can blame him for this (laughs) – so how’d you get started with Plastic Deth (Airsoft)?
FD: Thank you! Guess I have to thank Raptor 08 later (laughs). It all started way back in 2011. I have always been interested in military history and one day it hit me that I could try Airsoft.
So I began to check different Swedish Airsoft stores and purchased my very first rifle, a G&G GR16 Commando. I got a few friends to tag along and we started to fool around in the woods (laughs).
S23: Now, whilst like any gear aficionado there’s always more to do, things to improve and replace. What I’d like to ask is when did you get the NSW bug, what really sparked it all off?
FD: First of all, when I decided to widen my view and start to visit other local games I met a group of players at a field 160 km from where I live. One of them had a NSW inspired kit which I thought was very cool and he kindly guided me through some of his stuff. After a while we decided to team up and attend a bigger game called Farmen – Red Night, and there I met Operations Team Zero. They are a NSW/NSWDG team and during that game they rocked full AOR1 kits. I thought that their kits was beyond awesome, so from that day I was hooked. So I started selling all my current gear the day I came home from the game and started my journey towards a DEVGRU kit. Started up a team called DevGroup VI with some friends.
Today a former member of OTZ who is now one of my best friends! He helps me a lot, to have someone at your six that is just as passionate and eager as myself. So we decided to start up a new team called Task Force Anchor, and run NSWDG 2011-2012 kits. Shortly after we started the team the Swedish DT6 team leader contacted me and asked if we where interested in joining forces with them to bring life back to the Swedish DevTsix team, since his team was idle, and we, naturally, of course accepted.
S23: NSW/NSWDG gears are always rapidly evolving, with many different iterations for varying AO’s, topography and tasks – does this make it complex to research and subsequently source gears ?
FD: In the beginning I had some trouble finding out what would be okay to use and what wouldn’t. My kit was a mess back then, and I bought alot of stuff that was incorrect for my kit. But with patience, research and countless hours of looking at reference pictures I started to get a better picture of what I needed to do, and what I needed to get to make my loadouts better. I joined the DevTsix forum which in my opinion is the best place to source information before building a kit. Nowadays I always choose the loadout and equipment that suits the AO and task the best, and take my time optimizing my gear for what I’m supposed to do at the specific time.
S23: I was particularly impressed by your ‘Greenside – Recce’ gears, naturally complimented by the stunning Swedish vistas, talk us through this load out, the mind set behind it and it’s application ?
FD: My mindset when it comes to my greenside loadout has always been to be light and mobile. I always make sure to pack a bare minimum of what I need to get the job done. There is no need in carrying stuff thats not going to be used. I use my greenside loadout on almost every game I visit due to the fact that AOR1 isn’t the most suitable camo out in the Swedish woods (Laughs) …
AOR2 however works really well and I am very fond of the camo. I often use a 3D leaf jacket with AOR2 to be even more sneaky.
First of all I have my beloved Crye Precision combat pants, and I alter between either a combat shirt or field shirt depending on weather, temperature etc. I always use a LBT 1961G type chestrig nowadays, and just recently got my hands on a real steel LBT 1961G in AOR2. I carry a total of four mags in the rig, plus some tools, water, a small GPS unit, MBITR PRC 148 radio and some snacks.
I use two setups of the awesome H&K 416. The first is a Systema PTW 416 with a Eotech 551 Holosight , PEQ 15, SF m600c Scout Light, Tango Down grip and AAC M4 2000 silencer.
The other one is a VFC 416 great as a Recce setup. Tac One Night Force repro scope, PEQ 15, SF m600c scout light, Tango Down grip and instead of a short barrel I use a long barrel setup. Other than that I sometimes carry a Mk 25 or HK45CT sidearm and a ‘Pirate Gun‘ …
What I normally carry in my backpack on a 48hr game
Snugpak Bivy Bag
NVG (pvs 14)
Extra socks + an extra shirt
First aid kit
S23: When starting a project, what’s the process behind it, what sort of research are you putting in to produce a finished and functional load out ?
FD: First of all I look for reference pictures and determine which year those images where taken. That way I can research what type of equipment and gear they used in that specific period. And once again, the DevTsix forum is a awesome place to search if you start a new kit. The members there have an awesome amount of knowledge about The Teams and are very helpful. After that comes the tedious process of getting all the gear. I search in forums, Facebook groups and eBay for gear and equipment. Even though I still use some repro gear I always try to get real deal stuff, and I am always switching out repro for real stuff when I can. There are good reproduction brands on the market and many think that it’s stupid to put so much money into a Airsoft/MilSim loadout, but I just prefer to get real steel gear. The feeling and history of real deal stuff is something repro gear will never get. Sometimes I drop the impression part and throw together totally freestyle kits with what I have, that best suits my needs.
S23: When we spoke with Raptor, who was passionately proud of Sweden’s MilSim scene and community, but as I understood it, as perhaps as has happened here in the UK and perhaps globally – its rise in popularity has diluted it and broaden its definition, what’s your take on it ?
FD: I agree with what Raptor said. Take the Berget game here in Sweden for example! A lot of players calls it a MilSim, but in my opinion it’s really not a MilSim, rather a massive skirmish game with some few MilSim parts. Blasting away at everything that moves and attacking objectives without thought is something that happens alot. At MilSim’s I have walked around for hours and hours doing my best to avoid a confrontation, and to not being seen at all, just focusing at the task I have been given. Even if it’s sometimes a pain in the ass to take a far longer route to make sure you stay hidden, the reward in the end is alot greater if you succeed with the task. The passion and effort some MilSim players put in at MilSim games are something that I really love. Take Raptor 08 for example! At Pandion last October my team had the role as a USSF team and Raptors team played as invading Russians. Late one evening we got attacked by them at our small camp, and they threw grenades at us and shouted in Russian! That moment stuck with me as one of the most awesome fights ever, despite the fact we got totally slaughtered (laughs).
S23: Now, I’m a huge fan of the DevTsix community, it’s grown Year on year, with such an expansive and rapidly evolving community, is it hard to keep up with everything everyone’s doing ?
FD: Not really! Most of the DevTsix teams have both Facebook pages and Instagram pages, which in my opinion is very user friendly platform. It all makes it a lot easier to follow the progress of the members and teams. Other than that the DevTsix forum is as I’ve mentioned a few times earlier, a really good organised place to hang out at if someone wants to keep up with DevTsix work.
S23: Not only have you published some great material of your ‘AOR2‘ gears, but you’ve released some incredible images using ‘AOR1‘ too, talk us through that load outs purpose ?
FD: The AOR1 loadout is what I started with in the beginning. Mostly because how influenced I became from Operations Team Zero (Stockholm based NSW inspired team) in the when I started. Today I use the AOR1 loadout at CQB type of skirmishes and games.
Unfortunately I live in a small village out in the woods with a long way to drive to get to those types of games, so don’t use it as often as my AOR2 Recce loadout. But hopefully I will meet up with my teammates down in Stockholm sometime soon, so we can conduct some room breaching/clearing training.
With the AOR1 kit I prefer to use a Plate Carrier because its a more rigid platform and I can alter it the way I want depending in what my role is and what the mission is. The Plate Carrier I chose is a LBT 6094K. A really versatile Plate Carrier that fits all my needs.
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 ?
FD: It was a honor and privilege. I think it would be a good thing if more players embraced 30 round mags. Takes a little more thought when using them and you get restricted from blasting away on full auto for several minutes. I myself an inclined towards being a semi auto kind of guy, and almost never use full auto. This is because I think the precision is way better at semi and I conserve ammo more economically.
Huge thanks to Fenix for sitting down with us, keep up to date with his exploits here:
Fenix Instagram: http://instagram.com/fenix_devtsix
TF Anchor Instagram: http://instagram.com/taskforce_anchor
DevTsix XVI Instagram: http://instagram.com/devt6group14
DevTsix IG: http://instagram.com/devtsix
DevTsix Web: http://devtsix.com/