Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Killer TANK!

The Killer Tank! I thought this topic can be very interesting since many people who plays paintball often overlook this part of the game. We have been talking about which markers to use, which gears to get, what masks to buy but when it comes to tanks, most of the people are left clueless. I am not so much of an expert myself but thought it will be good to share about the mechanics of paintball tanks and the dangers involved when it comes to handling one of these...

If you have a paintball magazine at home...flipped it again, you will surely see it somewhere that there is a warning page instructing people about the hazards of mishandling a paintball tank. Yes, its true, people get serious injuries from mishandling these... I have personally witnessed at least 5 counts of mishandling. One of these misfortunate victims had to be sent by an ambulance to the hospital to get a facial reconstruction done!!!

Here's how you can get injure (some of the most common ones, in random order):

1) Screw the killer tank into the marker without realizing that the threadings do not fit. By doing this, you will not only spoil the threadings of the tank and the marker, you simply do not get a perfect fit. Usually, it tends to be harder to screw as you screw further in. By the time you realize this, you will most probably end up with a badly scratched threading. To prevent this, a good practice is to ensure that the marker is tuck in between your legs as you screw in the tank, make sure that the marker and the tank is straight before turning the tank in. Attempt to clean the threadings of the marker and tank with a dry cloth to get rid of the residues from oxidation or sand particles.

2) While filling the killer tank at the distribution outlet, ALWAYS hold onto the valve while filling and look away from the marker. Make sure that the valve unit is fitted into the killer tank. You can do a simple test by pulling the valve and making sure that it holds before filling. Most players do not hold onto the valve and when the air compressor is turn will have a flapping/swinging valve which might possibly hit you in the face! Its okay if it hits you...but if it hits another mate standing next to you...Good luck.

3) When removing the killer tank from the marker (if you do not have the luxury of having a ASA attached), make sure that you "shoot the tank off". By shooting the tank off, I mean pull the trigger while trying to remove the tank in an anticlockwise motion. By pulling the trigger as you turn the tank, allow you to remove the tank in an easier way as there is less pressure at the pin valve forcing the tank to the marker. If unsure, just invest in a decent ASA.

4) Always look at the regulator when you are turning the tank. Often, the regulator can be loosen due to prolonged usage of turning in and out from the marker. If the regulator is loosen from the tank and is stucked in the marker, by turning the body of the tank, you will dislodge the regulator from the tank. This is extremely dangerous...if done slowly, you will see the O-ring that is inside the tank bursting...if done in a fast motion, the tank might hit you directly at your face. I have seen this happen many times to a teammate of mine. Good gracious...he is still alive.

5) Take note of the tank usage... there is a life span when it comes to using a tank. Always take note of the frequency of usage and the timeout date, especially if you are buying a second hand tank. Make sure that you do a regular visual inspection of the tank (though this doesnt really help with micro cracks...but least you are doing some checks).

Lastly, do not "monkey see monkey do". You have to understand the danger and the basic handling of the killer tank. This part of the training is often until the next injury...not too sure how to fill a tank, just ask. Safety first...

SLG vs SLG 09

I thought this is one interesting thing to talk about...the SLG.

SLG is a product of Proto. The term SLG is derived from the words "Super Light Gun".

So as the name implies, its light...not only light but super light. As shown is the direct comparison of the 2 SLG markers in 2008 and 2009. I got my SLG 08 marker during the World Cup Asia 2007. It was first released in Asia to Dye vendors only and I had the previlege of getting one during the Dye tech class. A spool valve technology marker, the SLG has a loud ticking sound wherever the trigger is pulled. If I can remember correctly, I got this marker for a neat price of SIN$280.00! In fact, I bought 2 of was sold to Desmond Foo (the now so famous paintball photographer in Asia) who at that time was no longer playing for Red Sevens. Yes, for SIN$280.00. Come to think of it...I should have kept it. Not that I dont want him to get it at this good offer, just that firstly, he is not a Dye dealer so this deal should not be transfer to him and secondly, he was no longer with the Red Sevens. I was only helping knowing that he is keen to play but has no marker at that time. But anyway...its all in the past. Till this day, I am still using the SLG marker but only as a back up. Didnt really like the "feel" of it...until I was holding Kiko's prized SLG marker from winning the Division 2 World Cup Asia.

Its amazing light (now with the ultra light frame), the plastic feeling of pulling the trigger is no longer there...there is an upgrade on the feedneck...which is similar to the former PMR. The design looks more sleek on the exterior and it certainly look too good to be known as an entry levelled marker. Perhaps the only downside to the marker is the need to constantly lube the internals. Kiko has a hard time doing that... I say a good way to maintain this marker is to lube it after every 3 games.

A new year... a new beginning...and then the recession...

Couldnt find much time to blog nowadays, been busy with reservist (yes, I did try snapshooting with SAR21, hehehe), planning for paintball tournament and participating in paintball tournament. Just came back from KL participating in the MPOC with the Red Sevens gang. We did a 5th position after 10 rounds of qualifying with 15 participating teams. Qualified for the Quarters but luck was not with us. We could have clinched a couple of games but it didnt work well for us. Individual mistakes... team mistakes. We were glad to have the assistance of Kiko and Ivan. Kiko is an "old bird" in tournament, as Seburo mentioned on his blog, this guy has got more medals than us as compared to the markers we own. To date including Kiko's, we have 10 e-markers in the team, quite impressive actually... On the contary, Ivan is a "new bird"... his first game with e-markers and he certainly did well enough to earn him 5 MPOC games under his belt. In his first game, he even came back with the flag. Considering that this is the first time he is playing with e-markers, this guy is a born talent.

We did not surpassed our record of reaching the semis...but I am pretty confident that we should be able to clinch a spot before the season ends. Although we did not came back with a metal piece, I am excited about how this team is going to progress in 2009. This year, we have the inclusion of a few new faces: Jon, Edi, Kiko and Ivan. Not forgetting our 2 friends from US, Zach and Ryan. We are looking good. Time will tell... its a pity that we were unable to get Tom to join us but we'll never know. Now that we have a lot more players...perhaps the International Super Sevens? We'll see... certainly looks good.

Team Damnation is the other Singapore based team which travel to KL for the MPOC. I was hoping to see Atrox and PSG Warfreaks... but I guess the recession is hitting on everyone.

In Singapore, we are also busy planning for SPNS 2009. There seem to be a decline in the number of participating teams this year... what did we do wrong this time? Its funny because things were more uncertain previously, we had to find sponsors, we had to get the ambulance, we had to get approvals, we had to get prizes, we had to sign teams up for games, we had to conduct training for newbies, etc. We did many things to get SPNS 2008 started. 2009, we are more familiar with the proceedings, we did as many awareness clinics, workshops as before and yet, it seems like we are unable to get more teams to participate. Hmmmm... cheaper paintballs, cheaper entry fee, better prizes and prices...and yet, we have falling numbers. Its weird. So the myth of lowering prices and more people will play paintball is not true afterall. Okay okay...its the recession. Everything is the recession...

While we are planning for our local tournament. Somewhere out there... there is a group of people who are also playing competitively. It was mentioned before in Team Damnation's website of the new team known as Team Karma. Team Karma is not new to the local scene, it was a group of friends who decided to play paintball on a regular basis. They were at RD when we organized our clinic for newbies. They bought paintball stuff at our place too. If you were observant enough, you would have noticed that we even had a thread for them in our forum. (It has been removed about 2 months ago because no one was upkeeping the thread).

While the Red Sevens and Team Damnation were in KL playing our hearts out. Team Karma had a small party of their own..."Acid Test Paintball Challenge", it was held in our former training ground, Octville Country Club up in the North. It was meant to be a tournament for local boys to try out paintball and have some fun playing in competition format. Kudos to you for coming up with this idea. Surely good for promoting awareness in the game and allowing more people to love and feel the game we all loved.

On a second thought...I am very bothered by this outing. The first question that pops out from my head: "Where are they going with this?"

Okay, I know most Singaporean paintballers visit this blog of being the visionary for Singapore paintball, here's my take (and I will share with you my views later):

1) They are getting more people to play paintball thus improving the standard of play in Singapore, both recreationally and competitively.

2) They are planning on organizing paintball tournaments in the North so that more Singaporeans can play competitively without having to go through BTO.

3) They are planning to start a paintball field in Singapore. that we have 3 options, let's review them:

1) Good move...more people playing means more people are aware about the game. While they can improve in their standard of play, they can only play competitive paintball in the North, as we all know that in Singapore, we have strict rules for everything...even paintball...haiz. The centre line...So to play competitive paintball in Singapore, players who are "Poison" to the game will have to go through the BTO.

2) Not a bad move...but what's going to happen to paintball in Singapore? Let's take an example... Due to gobalisation, Singaporeans are exposed to international jobs and are all moving out of the country. They work overseas, they marry overseas, they study overseas... see where I am going. The question mark here is: What will happen to Singapore paintball? Its funny because paintball is more established in the States...but paintball in Mexico is more fun and affordable.
3) Highly possible. Hahahah....I am saying this because, one of them approached me previously and told me so. So its good for Singapore paintball afterall...but dont wait till you start and then start promoting paintball in Singapore cos by will be deem as the overseas expat who study, work and marry overseas. No offence to anyone, my dad for once is hardly at home too. Just dont wait until then...the idea here is to make the change, just like I did.