Painkiller – Dan S from Red Troop gives an account of Ambush Adventures   Longmoor Event

Painkiller – Dan S from Red Troop gives an account ofAmbush Adventures  Longmoor Event


I had the good fortune and pleasure of befriending Dan S from Red Troop a few years back, if memory serves on the 4th or 5th outing leading TF Viper at the Ai500.
I distinctly recall talking all thing Marui and NGRS as we swapped notes on blasters and admiringly snapped a few phot’s of his awesome blasters.

Well, suffice to say over the years since Dan has not only become a good friend and a long time supporter of the blog, and I all too frequently enjoy his updates and little pieces on all things Plastic Deth on both the Red Troop page and naturally his IG feed.

He recently enquired if I’d be attending an upcoming event at Longmoor FIBUA training camp, lamentably, I was thwarted from doing so due to yet more cancelled rest days …
So we invited Dan to document his exploits, better yet whilst alongside other luminaries from the blog, Diablo, Gray Fox and Cobalt, collectively formed here as CTF226.


Getting up at 05:00 Hrs isn’t how I’d usually choose to spend my Sunday morning, but sometimes the game your attending makes it worthwhile. I was invited by a friend of mine, James (C12 from Cobalt) to play at Longmoor with Ambush Adventures alongside the collective of teams known at CTF226 or as they jokingly refer to themselves ‘The Pain Train‘. 

I’ve met a lot of the guys from Cobalt and Diablo from previous games so it was nice to have a reasonable sized group to be playing with, as I’m a firm believer that Airsoft is about those you play with and against …
A game can be whatever you want it to be if your with the right people. As for the site, Longmoor is a site I’ve been to a couple of times before and it has never failed to impress me, although its not a perfect site for Airsoft as some of the open ground can make assaulting buidings a real challenge. 
We arrived on site at around 08:30 Hrs and were shepherded into the FOB area to park up and get our gear ready, this also acted as a safezone throughout the day and was home to a small selection of stock the guys at Socom Tactical had brought down for sale.
I stocked up on a few extra flashbangs and smokes and then headed back to my car to do those final touches that never seem to get sorted until your on site …

Safety Brief

Radios programmed in, Comm’s tested and final pat downs and adjustments made to belts and straps. We grabbed our gear and headed to the safety brief. Safety briefs are something I have a love/hate relationship with …
Pretty much all the information isn’t often news to most Airsofters and generally the essential and site specific stuff is available in an event page or a warn off/pre-mission pack (as per Stirling Events) …
However, they are something you can’t really avoid and I generally try and just listen and not ask too many stupid questions. The Ambush Adventures brief was around 20 minutes long and included a few photos and videos to give examples and keep people entertained. Once the brief was out of the way we grabbed our kit and made our way to the bottom end of the village for our ‘re-gen’ point to dump our day sacks and grab bags, unfortunately we had longer to walk and either through a comms error or an eagerness to begin, we ended up being caught in the middle of a firefight halfway to our start point. 
The first game was a warm up, something i’ve not encountered at a ‘MilSim‘ game before, although I didnt have any misconceptions about this being anything more than an objective based skirmish at a good site run by a very experienced team. 

The defining characteristic for me at a MilSim is that the stucture of an event is geared towards the tension and the anticipation of a good firefight rather than just wading in straight away, this event was always quite clearly going to be a battle of attrition from the moment game on was called. 

Assaulters Up

With this in our heads, myself and the guys from CTF226 (This time made up of Cobalt, Gray Fox and Diablo) we decided that to win the day we had to deny the use of the village to the opposition – and with the buildings near the railway being key to holding the whole area, we pushed in. 

Easier said than done as it turns out, the other team had set up in the very first set of buildings and were raining fire down on us from the moment we were in range. We decided that flanking to the right and taking over those buildings would give us freedom of movement along all three lines of housing and the adjoining gardens and alleyways. 
After gaining access to these buildings a few of us pushed forward to take the furthest line of houses, although with limited access points we had to make use of the windows and hoisting guys over the eight foot walls to gain access throught the gardens. I was massively impressed by the holes these guys could squeeze themselves through and on a number of occasions we came up behind the unsuspecting enemy and cleared them out the buildings. 
Throughout the morning we moved back and forth between re gen and the contested buildings and although the hit taking wasnt perfect, there was a slight breeze that could have accounted for some of the longer shots missing their mark. The marshals were always around but never in the way. 


The weather started to get warmer and warmer throughout the morning and I managed to get though my entire hydration bladder before we were called to ceasefire for lunch at roughly 13:00 Hrs. 

I had packed a small lunch but the smell of Pulled Pork rolls wafting through the air grabbed my attention (no surprise to anyone who knows me). Lunch was a whole hour, I feel this really cut into the amount of game time we had, and although I’m sure my body was grateful for the rest and time to grab another couple of pints of water I think 30 minutes would have been plenty.
After lunch, we made our way back to the regen point and I decided to cut down on the kit I was carrying. I had barely managed to keep up with the other guys in the morning, and my plate carrier had caused a few issues getting through mouseholes etc …

Gear Change

A quick swap to a Haley Stategic D3CR and simply mounting my holster on my trouser belt really lightened to the load, although I had to make some hard decisions about what I could carry. In the end, my afternoon loadout consisted of 5 PMAGs, 3 glock mags, comms, 4 smokes and a few frags chucked into cargo pockets. It wasnt perfect but I knew it would allow me though smaller gaps and make crossing that openground a lot quicker, It would also make storming buildings quite painful unless i got the drop on them. The remainder of the afternoon we ended up being cut into 2/3 units due to high numbers of casualties returned to re gen, although having effective comms meant that we could effectively inform each other of friendly and enemy positions. 
The gameplay had slowed down a little by this point and generally we were holding buildings and denying their use to the other team, something that was pretty simple as most people had become a lot slower and I suspect a few had mild dehydration and thus were not performing as well as they could have been.


At 16:30 Hrs game over was called, this was a touch early in my opinion as with the lunch break of an hour and the late start in the morning it had cut us to just 4 hours of gameplay. Having said that, the late start wasnt completely their fault and they did try and get everyone sorted and ready to go as soon as possible. There was even a case of at least two players being turned away after the gate closure at 09:30 Hrs, very unfortunate for the guys involved but it does show that they were trying to stick to their published schedule. All in, the walk on was £40 which I feel was worth it for the game I played.  

Final Words

Would I recommend the site? Absolutely. Would I recommend the Event team – yes, but as with all events, make sure you know in your head what type of game this is and have a clear idea of what you want to get out of it. I went into the game with a simple objective …
Storm buildings, shoot people and have good fun with some likeminded people, I was happy at the end of the day because I had accomplished all three of my objectives. I dont know which team won that day, nor do I really care … 
If it was part of a storyline I had invested time and energy into such as Infiltration’s “DystopianSim” or Stirling Airsoft’s ongoing “Chadistan” conflict I might have fought harder for the greater good, but without the groundwork there I simply wanted to put all those expensive toys to use and play Plastic Deth!

My thanks to Diablo, Cobalt and Gray Fox for allowing me to join them for the day, also to Bob and Doug from Reading Gunners who it was nice to catch up with. The event staff for running in my opinion a sucessful day and finally to my wife, for not killing me after waking her up at 05:00 Hrs – Dan S

(**additional photography courtesy of Gray Fox, Diablo and Cobalt**)

Catch up with Red Troop here:

Ambush Adventures:

Gray Fox:




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Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Ai500 – The Gathering

So in less than five or so weeks we’ll be locked in combat, Plastic Deth – as we attend Airsoft International’s inaugural Ai500 – this year, held at a disused Theme Park, in the North of England …

‘The Gathering’
The eerie, disused site will be, for two days at least be our home, and host a new form of ‘entertainment’ – Airsoft
As I’m sure, I – like you have been preparing kit, gears and blasters, feverish in anticipation to once again, wage combat on a truly epic scale …

In fact, this year will see not just players from Great Britain descend on the site, but players from all over Europe to, 400 of you to be precise …
So, before I finish up the admin, and last minute briefings on the Viper teams page, for the seventh time no less I’ll lead 200 players, not as daunting as it sounds – I thought I’ll do a run through of gears, kit and blasters I’ll be using exclusively at the event …

… the AO …


Nearly over ten years old, my Systema ’08 PTW will, once again be wheeled out as my primary blaster.
Opinions and controversy aside, I’ve had the good fortune to use, own a variety of AEG’s, GBBR’s, NGRS‘ and subsequently settled for the PTW

All of these have been, individually fun, reliable and during their employ, given my level of expectation on what they can or can’t do, understanding each ones limitations makes them no worse or better than this blaster.
It’s just this PTW, meets all of my expectations with regards to desired performance and optimal operability – consistency, range, accuracy, durability and above all, reliability – that however, goes out the window if your a poor shot …

Still, shooting skill and lightning fast reflexes aside, it all comes down to the very core ethos of Airsoft, honor and honesty – and, perhaps bizarrely take just as much pride in being struck out as I do scoring a hit. It means the opposition is either a sure shot, or just got the drop on you.

To make things a little easier, this PTW has a few little accessories, an Aimpoint CCO for faster target acquisition, Surefire IR M951 Torch, LA5 DBAL for illuminating targets under the auspices of NVG’s, and of course a Troy Industries sling. 

As I’ll discuss later, I’ll be carrying eleven magazines, averaging at just over 30 Rnds, this will put me well under the in game limit of 600 Rnds at any time, but I’ll admit I get a kick out of reloads.

I invariably carry a secondary, in this instance’ – WE’s Gen 4 AWS Glock 17.

With up to seven magazines of 17 Rnds, if I get pinned down or can’t reload my primary I’ve got enough to still stay in the fight, or battle my way back to friendly lines …

First Line

Whilst not strictly true to the ethos behind 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lines, this Crye MRB ‘belt’ acts as my first line.

Essentially, equipment carried upon your person, and or belt line. Whilst essentially being essential, or equipment carried at all times, this can and invariably will carry other items, perhaps not immediately of high priority.

… 1st Line …

Here, this belt carries four magazines for my primary, and my ‘first’ admin reload for my secondary. The belt also has my dump pouch, multi tool, two ‘frag’ pouches, and of course holsters and carries my ‘secondary’ …

At the very least, with my primary, I’ve got four magazines, without, at a minimum I’ve got two pistol magazines, one loaded naturally, and two ‘frags’ to use to fight back.

Second Line

Essentially, my ‘battle gear’ – here an LV-MBAV which, also houses the attached Haley Strategic D3CR.

… Heavy Metal …

The MBAV on its own houses, not only my plates and soft armor, but additional pistol magazines, flash bangs and of course my communications systems, here a TRI PRC 152 MBITR. 

… pistol magazines …

… flash bangs …

… 152 PRC MBITR …

… more ‘Beer’ …
Whilst the MBAV carries four magazines on its own, another four if the D3CR is attached, if I’m expecting heavy resistance, in a dug defensive posture I can add a further three magazines, attaching to the MBAV’s Velcro’d front attachment point an LBT kangaroo pouch. This can be either removed and stowed in my day sack, used in conjunction with the D3CR or on its own if I’m doing light patrol or reconnaissance structured tasks. Alternatively empty of magazines, it can be left flat on the plate carrier.

There’s a lot of conjecture on the reality of Plate Carriers and their practically in Airsoft. Regardless, whatever you prefer, is up to you.

Sure, real plates and soft armor really rack up the weight, can restrict mobility and induce fatigue, but for me it adds to the authenticity of a load out, the suspension of disbelief and immersion. Plus, it’s a great work out !!!

Other items, carried here include, a neck gaiter, or face wrap – be it keeping the early evening chill out, absorbing sweat or sun off your neck it’s always at hand, as is the watch cap.

Gloves, are somewhat self explanatory. Airsoft, vicariously by nature – is a high speed past time, and therefore not with out its knocks and scrapes, plus terrain is often less than hospitable – these will afford you a level of protection for unwanted cuts, grazes, dust and dirt.

Due to the fairly complex role of running, five separate call signs, as well as an additional QRF, command cell including the five sub commanders I’ll be carrying a spare comm’s set attached to my day sack.

… send it …

Where ever I’am – be it our ‘command cell’ or out in the middle of a fire fight I can direct all five teams onto their objectives and into the action.

Keeping my head protected, supporting communications systems, mitigating low light as well as supporting other ancillary equipment -here, I’ve opted to use an Aramid Fibre Ops Core. Aside from practical applications, it offers, again an element of protection from the elements and action all generated from ‘Plastic Deth‘.

In the interim when not using this PPE I use a stand alone headset with soft head wear.

Third Line

Essentially, this is my day sack, here Hill People GearsTarahumara‘ single pocket cargo pack. This houses a hydration bladder, spare munitions, soft shell, MRE’s, batteries and water bottles, torch and of course everything I need to make a hot cup of joe …

… snivel gear …
In the unlikely event of inclement weather a soft shell, is packed away too.


… Crye or Die !!!

I’ve opted again for this event for a Multicam Set, the shirts lightweight and moisture wicking, preventing heat built up from wearing a heavy plate carrier and the pants, with their generous cargo pockets and integral knee pads prove to be invaluable as they are indispensable. 

Here, also – a good fitting, comfortable boot. This time out, due to varied terrain and topography I’ve opted for AKU’s GTX Pilgrims. Lightweight, breathable, waterproof offering a sure footed grip.

Last but not least, eye pro and ‘cool guy’ patches.

Whilst by no means exhaustive, or mandatory – hopefully this overview will give you a comprehensive idea, or at the very least put you in the mindset of what do or don’t need for the event – either way, I’m already starting to get ready in anticipation for what undoubtedly will be another exhilarating unique large scale ‘Plastic Deth‘ event – S23

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here:

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British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

It’s one of those ‘not so’ rare moments, where I honestly have to defer, and quite frankly bow to someone else’s encyclopedic knowledge and passion for their professed subject matter.

Mike B, has been an encouraging and supportive reader cheering on the blog for a few years now.

Well, despite my DIY ‘Punk Rock Hardcore’ ramblings gaining no end of notoriety, I’m always blown away at just how good you guys are – point in case, I recently reached out upon spotting his superb collection of UKSF inspired Plastic Deth weaponry laid out as a collective. I’ve suggested that this very ‘phot’ could in fact be reshot and released as a poster …

Mike has intermittently kept us informed and kept in the loop on his stunning GPMG build – there’s even page dedicated to it, and I’d highly recommend you take a look – absolutely brimming with detail, research, history and passion it’s worth several cups of coffee whilst reading f’sure …

This is the very same L7A2 that’s graced our FB page several times already …


You can read all about Mike B’s L7A2 GPMG build right here, I’d truly urge you to do so as this is undoubtedly fascinating and insightful stuff, and documents the incredible journey from start to finish:


Wait, there’s more – Mike has kindly given us a run through of his armory. Here he’s exclusively photographed the remainder of his collection and detailed custom work, real steel parts and work still yet to do …

Take a look over these stunning portrayals of UKSF weaponry, be the holster worn distress on the L1505A2 sidearm, the range markings on the L115A3, armorers marks on the L1A1 or the detailing and remarks on L85A2 including ‘weld marks’ to be added … 

L1A1 SLR (King Arms)

Mike’s L1A1 looks incredibly authentic, paying a fitting visual tribute to the venerable British Service Rifle, the L1A1 SLR. It’s the little details, which finish this – such as the yellow taped armory inventory number, as well a fair amount of real steel parts …


•Real stock

•Real foregrip

•Real carry handle

•Real top cover

•Real rear sight

•Real cocking lever (knob only for now)

•Real sling swivels and sling
Still to Complete

•Fit real release latch

•Fit real mag release catch

•Stamp right side of receiver and bolt with serial number

•Steel barrel and flasher to be made

•Steel gas block to be made (only because it is extremely weak to skirmish with)
L85A2 (ICS)

Whilst originally criticized and deluged with technical issues, here, seen in its most modern incarnation- the L85A2 is still going strong today.

Upgraded with its own proprietary Daniel Defense System Rail, LM01 and ACOG its future service is ensured for quite some time yet …

Mike references some interesting details, such as weld marks, serial numbers and corrector positioning of the selector plate. It’s passion for details like this that really bring alive a project …


•Real gripod

•Real tan rail covers

•Madbull DD rail

•Element LLM01

•Replica Surefire flash hider

•Acog riser

Unknown make ACOG (but has correct markings, working reticle and correct rear mount for wing mount)

Wing mount and red dot
Still to Complete

•Laser engrave ‘IW/LSW’ on to both sides of the acog (only drawn on for now)

•Laser engrave ‘HK A2’ on to back end of receiver

•Rear body pin to be made and stamp ‘HK’ on to it.

•Steel barrel to be made

•Dirty weld added

•Black plastic bit on the left side by selector to be moved to correct position.
L115A3 (ARES AW338)

I initially mistook this as being either painted or manufactured in a ‘sand’ colorway – better yet, it’s been ‘taped up’ cleanly replicating its real steel iteration, including ‘range’ markings penned on the side …


•Custom made accurate AW338 flash hider

•Real Harris bipod with quick release lever

•Guarder scope (for now)


Still to Complete

•Source adjustable hand stop with QD sling swivel

•Source Cosine indicator

•Night sight base to be made for scope mount

•Scope base to be altered

•Night/Thermal sight side mount to be made

•source a Schmidt & Bender PMII clone (Tac Vector Siegfried 6-25×50)

•stamp last 4 digits of serial number on bolt and bolt lever
L105A2 (Tokyo Marui P226)

Tokyo Marui, possibly one of the best producers of GBB sidearms, here has been given an upgrade with Guarders ‘frame and slide’ set. Incidentally this has naturally attracted a really natural wear and patina from being drawn and holstered …


•Full Guarder P226R kit

•Guarder steel upgrade parts

•Real Sig-Lite night sights
L119A1 (G&P base)

Last but not least based of a G&P M4Mike has turned in solid representation of UKSF’s iconic CQBR – the Diemaco (Colt Canada if you prefer) L119A1.

Nothing really more to be said, but this piece is a balanced visually stunning piece, but more to come as the ‘devils in the details’ – S23


•Real DIS carry handle

•Real Matech BUIS

•Real sling plate

•Real buffer tube

•Real stock

•Real stock pad

•Real KAC rail

•Real rail end plate (without the M203 cut outs)

•Real delta ring parts

•Real SA80 sling

•Real sling swivel

•Real front sight parts

•G&P Storm grip (to be changed to the Guarder one)


•Guarder real stock to AEG adaptor

•Army Code Steel front sight

•Replica steel barrel collar

•Mabull steel 16″ barrel

•G&P steel parts I.E trigger, selector lever, mag release, forward assist, bolt release, dust cover and body pins

•Replica TA01 ACOG
Still to Complete

•Steel barrel to be turned down to accept barrel collar

•Barrel to be stamped and also engraved with Diemaco symbol

•front sight to have a small groove machined across the underside

•G&P body to have full L119 engravings done including cast marks on upper right side.

•Rear of upper rail to have a ledge milled off

•Extra rail slot to be milled on the back of the upper receiver

•hole drilled to accept receiver pin retaining spring

•Get receiver cerakoted

•Last 3 digits of serial number to be stamped on left side of the upper receiver

•Fit the G&P steel parts

•Alter and fit the Guarder storm grip

•Source genuine Surefire M600C

Huge thanks to Mike for what, I’m sure you’ll agree is a stunning tour of his ‘active’ Plastic Deth museum, I can tell you he’s already working on a new project – an  L110A2 Minimi build going on as we speak using a G&P M249 as the base – S23

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here:
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:
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Mk III S23 ‘Beer Mat’ Patch Back In Stock

Mk III S23 ‘Beer Mat’ Patch Back In Stock

Originally produced in its original cloth variant for us by our good friends over at ToySoldier, our Mk I ‘Beer Mat’ was given away as a competition exclusive.

We teamed subsequently with none other than patch giants BritKitUSA to produce the now infamous Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ as PVC patch.

We are proud to bring that back for a short while in limited numbers, you can get yours right here:

**BACK IN STOCK – S23 Mk II PVC ‘Beer Mat’ PATCHES** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here:

Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram or send in photo’s of them in action to our Facebook page showing your S23FAMILIA pride – S23

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Invaders Must Die – Stirling’s Op Darkfire AAR with DJ Richie Cee

DJ at The Ai500’s ‘Op Lockdown’
Early last year, not only interviewing The Rejected Lens, we also brought on longstanding team mate and MilSim enthusiast DJ Richie Cee
I’d followed DJ’s exploits for some years, always impressed with his personable and contemporary takes on modern impressions, delivering his own personable take on load outs.
Not only brimming with functionality, these are often attacked with style too, making all the more for visually appealing sets ups.

and I eventually befriended each other, with my modicum of limited knowledge, when I helped him, albeit most likely temporarily unf**k his comm’s system – shortly thereafter he and Mike Zero Nine jumped onboard with last years Ai500. Despite being accustomed to more technically immersive MilSim’s – the along with another stellar TF Viper gave it their all, and really threw down and gave it 110% at this large scale CQBBattle Sim‘ – showing, despite their experience and history with MilSim that they are both more than happy to get in the mix … 

Likewise, mutual friends such a Mike Zero Nine and other longstanding stalwarts of both the gear, kit, MilSim and Airsoft scene have not only contributed and supported the blog but have regularly reached out to either talk about blasters, gear or new kit they’ve acquired – or in this instance events they’ve recently attended.

5-2 at Stirling’s Op Darkfire

DJ, Mike and a few other familiar faces went along to Stirling’s latest 36 Hr MilSimOp Darkfire

: DJ – thanks for coming aboard, to make for a slightly different interview I’ll let you set the scene – where was Op Darkfire held, and what was your role as an attending team of players ?

: Thanks for having me along once again. OP Darkfire was originally set to take place at Caerwent training area but believe it got bumped to Catterick last minute due to operational requirements. We had a real bunch of misfits this time round all rolled into one callsign. Due to my dual comms set up it made sense for me to go as RO (Radio operator). 

: So, how many of you made up the collective which formed call sign 5-2 ?
I gather you’ve been regularly playing with this loosely gathered collective for a while now, I certainly noticed you’ve become quite slick with frequent training, events and skirmishes you’ve attended, including The Mall … 

Any intentions to solidify this ‘supergroup’ into a more permanent fixture, dare I say even, team ?

: We had long standing members from Blackhawk Rangers, one from Tribe MilSim, myself and MikeZero One Nine, the other two guys here, this was they’re first ever MilSim and another two other guys who we had not rolled with before this OP. So was definitley going to make for an interesting OP from the get go.

… ready room …
… we have hit up a few events/skirmishes over the past six months or so with various people attending what they could as well as putting the time in to training and events solo within each individuals local area. There is such a wide variety of personality (and age) within the GGC2K17 clan but when we roll out together it just clicks. 

Everyone has their certain niche and skill set to bring to the table but always with the utmost fun and camaraderie as possible. In all honesty I’ve been part of various teams throughout my time playing and in my experience the minute you put a patch on it and solidify that group of people as a team thats when things come apart at the seams. So right now I think its all about friends getting together when they can be racking up the ‘body count’ wherever we step foot and hitting town for beers and medals after …

S23: Kit bag, what’s the preparation and essential kit list for you, on a 36 Hr event such as Darkfire, naturally Blasters and LBE – but what contingencies are you thinking about ?

: We were very lucky in the fact that operating as Blue Force at Catterick we were stationed from the admin block, so no hard routine/basha/bivvi required. This event was heavily based around Hostage Rescue and Intel gathering in an OBUA (Operations in Built Up Areas) enviroment. Weeks prior we were all busy conversing on the group chat with each team member carrying a mission specific piece of kit …

Bolt cutters were a must, sledge hammers and Halligan bars all must be divided up as well as SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation) equipment clear plastic bags/note pads/pocket cameras. We also made sure we had two support guns within our section as you need that fire support/suppression when pouring guys into a building …

S23: Now, years of experience under your belt, but what lessons did you extrapolate from this deployment – what worked, what didn’t ?

: Considering we had so many variables entering this OP, I feel we either got lucky or we were very well prepared as every mission we stepped out on we managed to achieve with little or no failure. Night Ops had head counts at regular intervals, TL and 2IC’s were always on point delivering the mission intel and making sure everyone was where they needed to be and knowing exactly what they were doing. Def one of the most successful OPs overall to date. 

(Op Darkfire Footage courtesy of Wigs Pushed Back)

: I always ask, as it’s turned up some cool ideas or things I’d missed or not thought about, what’s the one essential you can’t do without on a large 36 Hr MilSim ?

: Yeah always a question of much debate …

 I’ll bend the rules a little and give you two. Water is by far the most neglected piece of equipment by new and seasoned players alike. One small 500ml bottle in a cargo pocket can make all the difference when its 04:00 and you think you’re about to head back to re-sup – but you get re tasked to push on and breach two more buildings. I would also say my helmet light has been my savour time and time again. It has low level red and green LED for when you need to change a gun battery or some other admin but dont want to give your postion away. Also has white light for conduction SSE when being secret squirrel is not so important. But also has an IR light for use with NV when light discipline is a must.

: Now, whilst we enthuse about gear and kit – I’m sure all our readers really want to hear about the action. Of course, MilSim’s vary in tempo, tone and ultimately gun play can be virtually minimal to ferociously intense, what have you got to report, any cool guy AAR moments to share ?

: This was in comparrison quite a high tempo event. Every raid or search that was carried out lead to more intel being actioned upon. So teams were constantly rolling out wether it be a single call sign or multiple call signs doing a multi point breaches on a building. A good example or this was our call sign 5-2 were tasked with clearing and conducting an SSE sweep of a three storey building building 29. We pushed out single file around 01.30 Hrs Sunday morning, support gunners front and rear of the section. 5-2 took a wide berth to go as undetected as possible, guys without NV along with LMG gunners took up a cordon positions around building 29 while the rest of the call sign using NV swept the building one deck at a time. 

Happy the building was clear of all hostile activity, SSE searches where carried out. Various IED making equipment was found along with the vital piece of Intel we were after. 

As SSE was wrapping up and comms back to zero was underway updating our situation, a member of 5-2 on the third floor got eyes on a hostile roaming  three man patrol entering the compound of building 29. With no option but to engage the hostiles at a safe distance before they could enter the building we then quickly consolidated the callsign at the ground floor where we broke contact manouvered through two more buildings where we went silent till we were happy we were no longer being pursued. As  it was vital we got this piece of intel back to zero as it could be time sensitive. Us gathering this piece of intel was vital because once passed up through the command chain where zero could processes the information, This would then lead to the possible whereabouts of a HVT. Around 03:30 Hrs three callsigns were finishing up plans to enter a series of terraced houses known as the “hotel”. Slowly and silently 5-2 along with another callsign entered the building from both ends …

 With the  ground floor cleared without a shot being fired we moved to the second floor. On our way up to the second floor we could hear snoring from several rooms. (this was a good sign) After killing and identifying several members of OpFor in their beds with no sign of the HVT, contact was heard from the next room. After a very brief fire fight all hostiles were down and the HVT was in our custody, we then extracted to the next building where two Snatch Land Rovers and the Saracen APC was waiting. Ten minutes later all callsigns were accounted for back at the patrol base along with a very unhappy HVT. This for me was one of the highlights of the weekend. Teamwork, not just in the same callsign but across the whole blue force along with clear succinct comms and thorough SSE allowed for precise timed strikes getting the results needed. 

S23: So, from what I’ve heard from you and others, it was another superb turn from Stirling, what really made the event for you ?
DJ: As you well know I have played at and been part of (what I would consider) some of the best MilSim events around, however time after time Stirling always maintain the bar, they’re briefs and storylines are always immersive and the work the teams do out on the ground directly impact how the event pans out, they really give you the tools to make the OP succeed or not. This event for me was made infintley immersive when we used EMOE ‘explosive method of entry’ to breach a door. Three callsigns were tasked to make a simultaneous breach two with explosives one with breaching tools. It was down to the teams to organsie the breach between them so the pressure was really on to get it right. All teams stacked on the target building, with hand primers wired we were set to breach when two out of three breaching teams started taking fire. Sh*t really hit the fan! But again this is not a staged breach with ofpor there as cannon fodder, these guys do not want us entering thier house and theyre not afraid to let us know! This is where I feel the true MilSim players shine, everyone kept they’re cool and both teams rallied …

using each others medics to get everyone back in the fight, the breach was back on. BOOM … with dust and bits of door everywhere each team went. So many highlights to this event but being given the oppertunity to make an explosive entry just goes to show how far the guys at Stirling want to push things for thier customers. 
S23: Before we let you go, you always keep coming back for more – what keeps it all new, exciting on the MilSim scene ?

:  I would say along with other long time serving MilSim players I have been very fortunate to do some really cool stuff. Helicopter missions, being inserted into the AO at night via boat, EMOE, plain clothed surveilance. More often than not its the people that you do the MilSims with that make or break an event. If you feel the guys havent got your back or you dont gel then it just isn’t  going to work. So heading to events with different people is great, everyone has something different to bring to the table. Also im a bit of a gear whore, not to be confused with brand whore. Doesnt have to be expensive but I’m always keen to be the first to field innovative kit, especially if it will give me a combatative edge.

Huge thanks to DJ for the incredible write up – keep an eye for more events from Stirling here:

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** 

Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride …

S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23

You can get your Mk II patch right here:

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ToySoldier CP Style G3 M81 (Woodland) Shirt Spotlight

ToySoldier CP Style G3 M81 (Woodland) Shirt Spotlight

Three Years On

Almost over three years ago, way back in the very earliest and tentative steps of the blog, I ran up review of ToySoldier’s CP style G3 pants in M81.

Toy Soldier G3 M81 (Woodland) ‘Crye Style Pants’

I had every intention of doing a redux’d review – but chose not to. Suffice to say, purely because after nearly three years of wear, tear and abuse they are going as strong today as they did upon purchase …

Yup, no rips, tears – complete with functional zippers and Velcro. More importantly, after washing the material too, has not overly faded or distressed.

If I had one grumble it is that the Velcro has lightened, only ever so slightly, however it could equally be said that only further adds to its  salty charm …


Well, as bad luck would have it – ToySoldier, riding the wave of the then populist interest on MARSOC, undoubtedly inspired by their exploits in Afghanistan as thrillingly recounted in SSGT Golembesky’s books Level Zero Heroes and its follow up Dagger 22 – both G2 and G3 variants sold out in double time …

As I understand it, neither pants or shirts have yet to be reproduced. Not by any means waving a dismissive finger at other manufacturers, but from what I’d personally observed was that either the patterning was off or oversized, wrong in coloration or used incorrect colored tweave or missed features off as per the original G3Crye Originals‘ …


Now, memory has faded, and whilst I’m sure someone will possibly inform me otherwise – MARSOC prior to deployment and embedding with their Afghan National Army (ANA) Counterparts – adopted M81 to blend in with indigenous personnel, even adopting the troops ‘Afghan Commando‘ insignia …

However, perhaps to reflect the newly resurrected ‘Marine Raiders‘ who’d now become part of the United States Special Operations community, they requisitioned variants of Crye’s G3 pants and tops to be produced in M81.


That, in broad terms is very loosely how the story goes …

ToySoldier G3 Shirt

ToySoldier produced two shirts, both in M81 – both in G2 and G3 cuts.

I’ll observe that there appeared to be little difference between either, the G2 appearing to take the ‘field inserts’ on the arms and having the double vertical bars on the shoulder pockets …

ToySoldier’s G2 shirt
However, with a huge thank you to former  DOE team mate, S24 I recently acquired the G3 variant.

Features and Specifications

Made from REAL US Woodland 50/50 NYCO M81 and cotton/polyester mix torso this, quite frankly is a frighteningly faithful reproduction of the original. I say reproduction as opposed replica, as it really is aside from tags and Cryes obligatory left sleeve pocket tag, truly a stunning carbon copy. 

With its shoulders, arms and collar sporting genuine M81 NYCO and cotton polyester mix for the torso in flat olive drab – its generously,  stictched and tailored through out with accurate attention to detail. The collar is zippered using a YKK mini zipper

Cuffs sport Velcro closures, although undoubtedly they’ll get rolled squarely into ‘hero sleeves’ …

Arms are reinforced with additional M81 material, which too has a Velcro’d opening to take Crye’s ‘field inserts’.

Both left and right pockets are vertically velcro’d on the body of pocket and closure, naturally for sporting Flags, Unit Patches, IR and ID patches.

… hero sleeves …

The left pocket, has loop facing the front torso, running vertically alongside the pocket, ideal for pens or chem lights.

Additionally the left pocket closure, features a stictched slot, again, presumably for pens …
Both pockets are partitioned, a great improvement on the ACG2‘ shirt, and allows for a little more storage organization.

 The sleeves inner facing side is also gusseted, with the same cotton/polyester mix – giving a more generously flexible and less prohibitive wear as opposed the starchy M81 NYCO.

So, again a warm heartfelt thank you to S24 making this happen. Fingers crossed, ToySoldier put these into production once more, whilst I’m undoubtedly biased and loyal to years of use of ToySoldiers excellent gears and accessories. I can say with some authority and integrity these really are comparable to their real steel sets …

Already, I’ve seen these fetch a fair price on auction sites, albeit not as extortionate as the Crye or DriFire sets, but highly collectible and sought after none the less – S23 

**GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here:

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Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

You may well heard of MoeGuns.Com, I certainly have and as 51k will testify they have too …

Based in Colorado, the United States, as simply stated they are dedicated to creating the coolest products of all time. This is no idle boast, trawling through their back catalogue – they surely have an impressive catalogue of cool patches and apparel, for real steel shooters, military, law enforcement and of course fans of ‘Plastic Deth’ (Airsoft/MilSim).

By way of thank you, for our recent review of Strike Force Energy, our very good friends over at Allied Risk Equipment Consulting have sent down two of MoeGuns face wraps to try out and naturally give you an overview …

We’ve got the UK ‘Arid’ variant – made in Colorado, extremely comfortable moisture wicking fabric UPF 50+ Sun Protection One size fits all Extremely awesome Not welcome in the EU !!!
As they go onto explain, for our brothers in arms across the pond! Drink tea, curbstomp Nazi’s, and pour vinegar on everything in style!  

I’ve long been a proponent of the face wrap, regardless of the weather, which here in the UK is more often inclement, and as such often have one in my pocket or day sack, always.
Great for the biting cold and frost of winter, and as moisture wicking neck gaiter during sunnier climes.
I’ll confess, patriotic as the next man, purely out of personal choice – large items adorned with our countries flag have always struck me as a little cliched. However, here the distressed patterning, subdued mottled tones of the chosen color ways selected – here make for a more subdued and sublime affair, complimenting any other camouflage worn.

It’s always the little details that please me, and here MoeGuns have delivered in style with a concealed label print replete with US flag printed just short of the seam, a nice touch f’sure.

Both ends of the wrap are double stitched, opposed to most wraps which are just cut, and prone to becoming frayed or rolling up on themselves, this with its scissor stitched seam, helps retain its shape, form and height.

 Besides, if anyone gets too close to recognize the iconic bars of the ‘Union Jack‘ flag it’s either too late for them or they’re a friend …

These are also, available in ‘Betsy Ross‘ and ‘Blue Line‘ variants, as well as Australian and Canadian patterns – the latter with its oversized Maple Leaf looks really bad ass !!!

Comprised of 82% polyester, 8% spandex these are a lightweight, breathable option for those looking for a functional alternative to solid block colors which have traditionally dominated the market for years. Better yet, with a little added patriotic morale.
These are of course available from MoeGun’s web store (see link below) but, for those based in the UK or for that matter Europe, these are available exclusively from Huey’s Military Tactical Outdoor store. 

Huey’s deserves a special mention here, along with MoeGun’s wraps these guys are truly an overwhelmingly stocked online emporium of military, outdoor and tactical gear and equipment. Often all offered at incredibly competitive pricing supported by second to none customer service – check em’ out for yourselves.

This Union Jack variant is exclusively through Allied Risk Equipment, and available from Huey’s MTO
So, to summarize – MoeGun’s have, much to my initial chagrin, produced here a face wrap which has to my own surprise become an instant firm favorite and now sits securely in my day sack as part of Every Day Carry – in part, it’s design is actually after all quite appealing and more importantly comfortable and with plenty of stretch and give makes for an easy wear – S23


We have an MOE face wrap and three boxes of Strike Force to give away, simply head on over to our Facebook page to enter:

**GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here:

Check out more from MoeGuns here:

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