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Sunday, 25 April 2010

THE FORT the AI500 and Star Trek...

I went up to the reopening of The Fort on Sunday the 25Th April, The Fort is owned and operated by Airsoft World, due to issues with the local council the site had been closed for fourteen months but it reopened with a bang, well that's not exactly correct as they have had to stop the use of all pyro for the moment because the bangs were upsetting a local or two which is odd when you consider that The Fort is located right next to a clay pigeon shooting range which bangs a way all day.
So there were eighty players on site, which I did not expect because the weather here was terrible, it was raining as I left the house to go and pouring down after a few minutes drive, by the time I was halfway there I really thought about turning back as there seemed to be no way I was gonna take a camera out in this weather, but I kept going.
When I got to the site I found a dry spot to hid my gear, grabbed a coffee which is provided free for players and spent an hour catching up with people that I had not seen since the last Fort game day, then the games kicked off, the first hour of so of play was spent in the rain and just as a few players started to mumble about heading home the sun came out and it turned into a pretty good day.
I caught some decent action on the HD camera for you and I gave my helmet cameras to video regular JAi, JAi is moving to Canada in May and he has already found a site to play at there via the Canadian Airsoft forums.
I spoke to Airsoft World owner Steve at The Fort and he was telling me that they are teaming up with Airsoft International magazine to host a very big UK Airsoft event called the AI500, as far as I know its to be held way down in the south of England in early September and I promised Steve that I would be there to capture some video of the event for them, I guess it would also be good PR for me to get out and meet some of my viewers.
So once the full details are announced in AI magazine I will re post them on here and via a YouTube video then you can figure out if you wanna go and if you do make it be sure and come over to say hello which means I will remember you and you may well make it into one of my videos.
It seems like its becoming a trend that I put two videos up on a Friday, one on each channel, if I can manage to keep doing this I will, however time is not always on my side.
This week I had more spare time to do a little editing, unlike the previous week which was spent following my two year old daughter around the house as she tried to respray as many areas as possible with at least a few mouthfuls from her near constant projectile vomiting, oh the joys of being a proud parent.
Last Sunday at POW my camera took a stack of hard direct hits, most to the side of the lens and body you can hear some of them on the latest video on the main channel, I had a hard time getting the video off this camera, it took five trys and two computer reboots before I got it all off the memory cards, so before it dies on me I took a look around for a new camera, a few Canon Cameras are on the top of my wish list, first up is a DSLR much the same as I already have but at a little higher price, its the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the UK retail price for that not including a lens is $2600, then there is the latest Canon XF300 HD Camcorder which is about $17000 I have a feeling it will be the 5D I will be getting unless Canon wanna sponsor me, which I doubt as I don't even have any Airsoft sponsors.
I must admit that Tachyon do sponsor me for the headcams and they have been fantastic help, not only with sending the cameras but with technical support, a great American company.
Did you know that Scotty for Star Trek is gonna be born just a few miles from my town in 2222 and there is a plaque in the town (Linlithgow) celebrating his birth, strange but true, I don't expect to be around for the birth and no I am not a Trekkie, I just noticed the plaque when I was in the town the other day.


John

Monday, 19 April 2010

Facebook

Facebook... If your a member of the fan page for Scoutthedoggie that is on there then please be aware that I have nothing to do with it in any way and was never asked about setting it up or having any involvement with it, last week I did post a message on the page pointing people to this blog and I got messages from people saying things like "Stop saying your Scoutthedoggie" A few sent friend requests but to be honest my facebook page is private, its for friends that I know in person, people I grew up with and family only and I have to keep it that way so if you did not get a reply to your request you will know why.
I spoke to POW regular JAi just yesterday at POW and one thing we spoke about was Facebook, he told me that he had to close his own Facebook page because he had allowed so many people to be come friends without really having any idea who they were that it became a big problem and I don't want my own account go the same way.
Using my YouTube Name..People have taken up the name Scoutthedoggie on many things such as Xbox Live etc and its not me, someone also recently bought the .com domain which forced me to buy up others such as.CO.UK .Org .Eu .Org.CO.UK etc I will never use them, I think, but if I did not buy them then no doubt someonelse would and perhaps use it.
I got two videos uploaded on Friday 16th, one on each channel as promised, the one which went onto my Scoutthedoggie2002 account was a rush job, both my kids have been very sick this week, my son was ill from 12th until 14th and my two year old daughter since the 14th and is still very ill, both could not even hold down water, my daughter went into hospital on Saturday after bringing up a little blood, she was not kept in and though still ill is getting a little better. Why am I telling you this, well just incase people don't like this weeks videos you can now understand that it was a miracle that I even made any videos with a serious lack of time.
I was at POW on Sunday the 18th and played for most of the day, I set up a cycling helmet with two of my 2010 Tachyon XC headcams, which sit on either side of the helmet just above by eye line, the recorded view is fine and though I was in some action, I seemed to miss most of it so did not get a great deal of usable footage.
POW is a massive site and with 70+ players on site the action was spread all over the place, always seemed to be hearing fighting from somewhere in the distance, however on what turned out to be the last game of the day I got the HD camera out and got some very good video for you.
I took my AGM MP40 and my new Cyma Kalashnikov AKS 74U which Landwarrior Airsoft sent me, I use low caps with the MP40, six of them in fact and since I am used to not using lots of BBs I took just one Hi Cap for the Kalashnikov, I used less than 500 BBs throughout the full day.
I will try and locate some mid caps for the AK as the rattle from a hi cap is not that great for sneaking around in the forests, the Cyma is a rock solid little gun, most of its made of metal and wood, a few of my friends have these and I always liked them, there is a version with blowback but I decided to take the none blowback version instead and it worked a treat with better range than the RealSword Type97 that I bought a few months back which cost more than twice the price of the Cyma.
Tokyo Marui have a lot of nice new guns out with blowback and recoil but I feel they are over priced, if you live outside of the UK then you can pick these guns up for decent prices but here in the UK they can cost a fair bit more, for example here in the UK a Tokyo Marui AK102 with blowback and recoil costs $636 inc shipping from a well known retailer, but if I was in the USA the same gun inc shipping costs $495 or less.
I got the latest edition of Airsoft International magazine last week and Im still picking it up to reread day after day, its a good looking magazine and I always find sections that interest me but TBH I'm fed up reading the "So you wanna be" section where they give readers info on styles of uniform to wear which in this issue is how to get the "Ghost" from "Modern Warfare 2" look, every month its like a rehash of previous kit used, I now just skip that section altogether, with so many new guns appearing on the market there is plenty of room in the magazine for more reviews and less padding out, they could also do with using two pages for readers letters,
some months they have just one letter on that page, they must be getting at least a ten or so decent letters from readers every month that could be printed.
Im off to The Fort this coming Sunday for their first game in fourteen months, it should be a good day, I heard they are hoping for at least one hundred players to be on site, I would imagine that its gonna be about that figure, it will be nice to play in some natural woodland instead of plantation forest.
Well gotta go edit some video for you guys and girls, well 9% of views are from girls, if you see me at The Fort on Sunday
be sure and say hello.
Best
Scoutthedoggie

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

MissionX and Scottish Screen RIP

So I made it to Section8 on Sunday (11Th April) I got there at 10.30 and I knew it was busy before I even set foot in the safe zone because the car parking area was full and cars were overflowing onto the main forest road, I heard later that there were over sixty players on site plus a few games marshals and a photographer from New Zealand.
The first warm up game had already kicked off by the time I parked and got the camera gear sorted out, most sites do short warm up games which run for around twenty minutes or so, then its onto the main games which can be anything from sixty to ninety minutes. My plan was to stay until they took a break for lunch which is usually about 1pm, but as it was a beautiful day and the games were running very well they played until about 15.30 and planned to play on until about 19.00 So I ended up staying until they broke for lunch which is why there was no video posted on Sunday as I had promised on the blog. But you got two videos on Monday, one on each channel in case you never noticed.
Talking of cameras the main camera I use is a Canon SX1is, it looks like an SLR stills camera but as with so many cameras these days it also records video, 1080 HD in this case, most cameras like this record with Mono sound or as its sometimes called Monaural the Canon is one of the very few that has Stereo mics and that's why I use it, it cost me at time of release about 500 UK pounds though I think you can pick them up for 380 or less now, I just read that is now discontinued, hopefully there is a replacement because I will be buying another this year.
Before I got the SX1is I used another Canon camera the Powershot S3is which again has stereo sound and looks like an SLR it does not do HD video but the video quality is very good, you can pick these up on Ebay for around 100 pounds with a stack of extras.
I also carry a little JVC mini DV camcorder as a back up just in case the canon dies on me, its a GR-DX107EK got that from Ebay for I think 50 UK pounds boxed in mint condition, most people buy camcorders and seldom use them so if you are buying on a budget just buy a decent second had camera from Ebay.
I don't normally do this but my pal Ricky who you saw in one of my recent videos from Section8 is in hospital for a week, so get well soon mate and I will catch you at S8 soon!
Did you know that Airsoft is illegal in Holland? The Dutch Airsoft Interest Association there asked me to plug a link to a petition which is trying to make the Dutch government legalise Airsoft, anyone can sign it so if you can spare a moment to give them your support
click here and sign the petition.
Talking of support last year I was asked by film Director David P Baker to shoot some behind the scenes video on the set of his latest project an action movie which is a fully independent movie production, I went along and ended up in the movie, just a bit part, but it looks good on my C.V should I want to try more acting work, which I might well do in the future. The movie can now be bought as a download and if you click on this link to MISSIONX you can watch a trailer for it and buy a very low cost download, this was the first movie ever filmed in Glasgow city center where the police allowed the use of real machine guns, of course they were firing blanks but they were still fun to use, my ears are still ringing from the noise.
When David told me about the movie he was going to make and for how much I doubted it was even possible, but his enthusiasm and energy has no bounds, he made the movie as he said he would and for that I have to give him my backing via this blog, I hope you will take the time to look at his trailer and help him out.
David also made a movie called Pasty Faces and acted in both as well, David got no backing from anywhere to make this movie other than from friends and family even though here in Scotland we had an outfit called Scottish Screen who were supposed to back movie and video production in Scotland with financial aid and I have to be honest that if your a movie maker here and you didn't dance to their tune then you got nothing at all from them, not even any advice, zero. Scottish Screen boasted that it invests around £7m in the development and promotion of Scotland's screen industries each year which was usually arty doom and gloom crap, if you want to make anything else you had no chance of help from them.
Scottish screen have a YouTube Channel, it has.. three Subscribers and its award winning videos have a total of three hundred and twenty five views in twelve months, that is pathetic, Can you tell that I dont like Scottish Screen? They are having a name change in June 2010 and will from then on be known as "Creative Scotland" I have little doubt that the same people will be employed at "Creative Scotland" as were at "Scottish Screen"
OK back to YouTube, hopefully this weekend I will have two new videos up, again there will be one on each channel, both should have no edits and both will follow single players who then tell you which guns they use at the end, I just did this style for a change since people are always asking what guns the players are using, it also saves me a lot of time on editing, but a few hours work does still go into each video sorting out titles, on screen info etc.
Last week a viewer sent me a PM via YouTube pointing me in the direction of a few "Tribute" videos, some viewers have been downloading my videos editing them and adding music, I think this one is my favourite the music is not something I would have chosen but it does work well with the footage, leave the guy some comments please I'm sure he would appreciate it.
OK am off to work on some action videos for you lot.
Best
Scoutthedoggie

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Fort is Back with a Bang

Some good news for Airsoft players in Scotland, The Fort reopens on Sunday the 25th April its been closed for about fourteen months due to bullshit from the local council, I will certainly be there to catch all the action on what should be a very busy day.
Its been a busy week, Saturday I took my son to Megazone laser tag in Falkirk which was brilliant fun, we have played here a good few times even though there is a new and much bigger laser tag arena in Falkirk but my son hated it, so we returned to Megazone which is way better.
On Sunday the 4th I made it to POW but only for about two hours half of which was spent talking to people, I had to leave early do go to a birthday party so I did not catch a great deal of video, but I did manage to put one video together from the second game of the day and I guess another will make it onto my Alternative channel for the weekend.
Yesterday (7th April) I was up at the Apple Store in Glasgow where I had booked to do an iMovie + iDVD instore Workshop, I knew most of what was shown for iMovie but very little about iDVD there were five other people on the course and for me it was good to meet other people with an interest in these programs, even though we were sat around a desk in the middle of the packed store I was so focused on the workshop that I seldom noticed that there were often ten or twenty people just standing watching us going through this course.
if you have a Mac and have never done these free courses then I do advise you try them out.
This Sunday (11th April) I will be at Section8 which is located not that far from Glasgow, I will probably only stay until lunch time then get back here and try and get a video on for you guys on the same day its been filmed.
Thanks to all the readers who left comments regarding the Echo1 guns and to the ones who sent me messages via YouTube about them, it seems that most who own them do seem to think that they are straight forward re branded Chinese guns, which is a shame because when I first read about Echo1 somewhere the article said the guns were "all American made" this seemed like a good business idea to me, an American made gun, with a very good spec at mid range pricing which I guess most patriotic people would buy, so its a bit of a disappointment to now realise that they were not all I had imagined.
A lot of people have asked what camera I am using, so do you really wanna know what camera I am using?
A few people have asked how big the sites we play at are, I think POW have the run of 60 or 70 acres of forest which is set in the middle of a 1000 acre forest, Section8 is using pretty much the same amount of land in a similar type of forest, NCIS uses about ten acres of natural woodland, The Fort has around 40 acres of natural woods and last but not least is The Hill which is set in ten acres or less of natural woodland and they use every inch of that site.
There are other sites in Scotland that I could film at but these are the ones I am always at.

John

Friday, 2 April 2010

Echo1

I'm always looking at new guns and caught a video on YouTube for the Echo1 Red Star Covert
Now this may be easy to pick up in the USA but over here in Europe they are almost impossible to locate.
I seem to remember seeing a big advert from Echo1 in Airsoft International Magazine looking for European retailers to become Echo1 dealerships but I guess they had no takers because I sat this morning and Googled for about thirty minutes looking for a Euro dealer with no results, before that I went to the Echo1 website and tried the store locator but it just goes blank once I type in my address details so that was no help.
I then went to my favourite retailers in Hongkong who have pretty much everything but again nobody stocked anything from Echo1, so instead I bought the "Band Of Brothers" Blu Ray boxed set, it may not shoot BBs but it certainly made me smile at a bargain 17.50 inc postage from Play.com
There's a two part video interview over at the Airsoft Gi YouTube site with Hendrix from Echo1, as I type the first part is already up with the second soon to come.. I hope. Im looking forward to seeing the second part because at the very end of the first part Hendrix from is asked about the re branding that Echo1 have long been rumoured to do and I really want to see what his answer is, but from the first part of the interview it does seem that he has already said they do some thing along the lines of re branding because its mentioned about them getting guns from manufacturers checking them over for things that could be improved and then telling the manufacturers what they want improved which is fine but I do think that many people will still see this as re branding.
Maybe if I can locate an Echo1 one gun I will have to have a rethink, do any of you guys have Echo1 guns? How do they compare to other guns of the exact same model but from another maker? Maybe if I can pick up a few Echo1 guns I will do a review on here, I would like to hope they are as good as claimed.
So did you hear me speaking on camera at the end of the latest video at my alternative channel, I thought it was perhaps time to start talking and be seen on camera, my old YouTube mentor asked me to do this a few times but I never did as I feel a total fool talking to a camera, I told my current YouTube Mentor that I would start to up my visual profile on my videos and she told me in short that if I did appear on screen then the video would be pretty well certain to get featured, that means YouTube promote the video on their main page, now that terrifies me LOL as I am not sure I want that level of interest.
I caught CrazyNCmans live show again last Saturday, its a good show, he's a good presenter, I really could not do a four hour live show as he does, since the clocks have changed here in the UK it now starts at midnight here where as it had a start time of 1am UK time before which I struggle to stay awake until, its not that late for many people but when you have a two year old and an eight year old as I do you will find it difficult to stay up late at night.
I was Section8 filming last Sunday, it was a really good day with a great turn out of players on site even though another site close by was running a free day, in case you don't know all sites here in the UK charge anything from 15 to 35 pounds per player to play, this covers site insurance, land rental, running costs etc, any site running free days is simply trying to pull new players to their site, but even with this free day going on Section8 still pulled in about sixty paying players and a new video from that day will be on my main channel tonight.
Well gotta go, my kids are almost up and I'm making breakfast.
Later
John AKA Scoutthedoggie