Welcome to Milgeek.co.uk, my blog about my obsession with things military, including my airsoft hobby, family history in World War 2, military gaming, defence news and much more.
Well this has been on the cards for the past two years really as my attention has been elsewhere and this blog has withered on the vine. This will be the very last post on this blog...
It is NOT the end of Milgeek!
I set up this blog originally as I had thought that it would be a communal journal for the members of Team AKA, which was why I chose a premium blog service like Square Space on which to host Milgeek.co.uk. However that community never materialised and this project turned into a one-man past-time, albeit one I have enjoyed immensely
But I have always had other interests as well and Milgeek has had to vie with them, over the past two years my other hobbies have won out and posts here have become few and far between.
A lot of this has to do with the Square Space mechanism being a bit clunky and out of date (I still use version 5 of teh blog system, though it has been updated twice since then). Basically there is now no support for my version of this blog and I have only kept it going for the last year in order to try and figure out if I can easily migrate Migeek content to a free service like Blogger...Short story, no I can't!
The Last Post
So, this is my last post on Square Space - but I will be running a 'Milgeek Lite' on Blogger as I am still an ardent computer gamer and hope to still airsoft on the odd occasion that the fancy takes me.
I will keep this version of Milgeek running until the end of the year while I manually copy over my favourite posts to my new abode. After that it will be shut down permanently (as I have no wish to keep paying Square Space).
THE BLOGGER 'MILGEEK LITE' IS NOW UP: http://milgeekuk.blogspot.co.uk/
In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who has continued to pay Milgeek a visit - amazingly my stats for this site are very healthy indeed! - and I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings through the years.
All the very best to you,
The Milgeek - aka Steve
We AK lovers don't get the near daily influx of nifty gadgets that the Armashite boys enjoy - but, then again, that's how we like it! Still, once in a while someone comes up with an interesting accessory that makes you think 'why has nobody done this before'?
There are already a few AK mag release extension accessiories out there, but the new MARS mag lever allows you to do a 'tactical mag change' - by that I mean that your trigger hand releases the empty mag (which drops out of the well by means of gravity) while your 'off hand' is already reaching for a replacement mag.
This swift and flowing movement is much faster than the usual two-stage AK mag replacement proceedure, i.e:
1. Left hand comes up to release lever while gripping empty mag...
2. Left hand removes and disposes of empty mag...
3. Left hand then locates fresh mag...
4. Left hand inserts fresh mag.
My only concern is that this enlogated lever might get caught on clothing or webbing and thus inadvertantly 'dump' your mag. But I suppose it all depends on the tension in the lever.
Anyway, at the moment this is a Real Steel item, but I have no doubt that an aluminium clone will appear on one of teh Chinese cheap-soft sits in the near future!
One of the reasons I don't post a lot on this blog these days is simply because I have come to find the airsoft industry very, very dull at the moment. In fact it's been very dull for nearly three years now.
By now I had expected us to be using AEGs run on nuclear power, with lights and sound and realistic recoil and electronic BBs that would take the cheating out of the game. But there just does not seem to be much appetite for real technical innovation in the game. (Maybe something to do with the recession and manufacturers wanting to stick with what they know works.)
They have even stoppd trying to be imaginative about which firearms to make into replicas and returned to the old 'bang out more M16 clones' days...
So, anyway, nothing much has had me sit up and think 'Wow, I really want that'. Well, I happened to get a query on my YouTube account about a video I made yonks ago about repairing my CA SA58, the guy wanted to know if it was compatible with his new JG Mk. 58.
A what? (I said.)
A quick search revealed a very very happy bit of news - Jing Gong have made a clone of the Classic Army DSA SA58! This means - FINALLY! - there is a cheap variant of the FN FAL on the airsoft market.
Above: My beloved - but now bust - CA DSA SA58 in it's original form, but with a nifty
Razor Workz Beowulf flash hider attached. This is effectively what Jing Gong have cloned
with thier new Mk. 58.
For me it is very exciting because my SA58 has lain bust for ages because various airsoft repair shops were quoting me a small fortune to replace my fooked mech and hop-up. If JG has cloned the CA SA58 as closely as it did Mauri's G3 then it will be as cheap for e to buy one of these to swap out the whole innards of my beloved AEG. With the added advantage that my experience has been that JG - for all that it is a 'cheapsoft' brand - is more reliable than Classic Army!
(If that doesn't illicite a flame from someone nothing will!)
Also, it means I can have an affordable back-up for my SA58 - one which I can convert into a longer barrel version of the SA58 Carbine I have.
So far I haven't been able to track down any retailer who is selling the JG Mk. 58 - but as soon as someone does I will be snapping up a couple (even if I have to have them painted with that hideous lime green as my UKARA has now lapsed).
I am a very happy fella at the moment.
So far I have only found it here: Airsoft Megastore (USA) - JG Full Metal MK58 Carbine Fully Automatic AEG Rifle w/ Optics Rail - NEW 2013 MODEL
If you don't know I am a fan of the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II - and the new Royal Navy super carrier(s) - by now then...Where have you been?
A LOT of people bemoaned the disappearance of the good old Harrier and Sea Harrier, groaning at it's eventual replacement with a 'American' fighter. Now I did moan as well in the beginning, but that was more to do with the timing rather than denial on my part that the Harrier needed replacing. It did! (We should never have given up what aircraft fleet we had until it's replacement was actually ready. Can anyone say Libya?)
I was actually overjoyed that the Royal Navy and Airforce is getting the Joint Strike Fighter. The Harrier while ground breaking in it's day, was a technology that was being kept in the air by sheer will power. It was well past it's sell by date - but the Government at the time knew fine that Britain alone did not have the money to pour into the sort of R&D that was needed to make a 21st century fighter....BUT we do have the expertise.
It amazes me when people (i.e. 'the British media') still insist in talking about the F-35 as solely an American aircraft, like we are somehow buying magic beans from the wily Yanks. Well, I can think of no better response than this American video - watch it and you may notice something...
Some of those Yanks do sound a bit funny don't they?
Who would have thought that anything good would have come out of the flabby behemoth that is ArmAII? But DayZ (the mod) took the game world by storm last year and actually boosted sales of ArmAII as people bought the shambling game just so they could play the multiplayer open world survival horror mod designed by Dean Hall.
Now before I launch into any more rabid ArmAII bashing I will say that my experience of the game wasn't all negative - I remember that when I tried out ArmAII on one of my game days in 2009 I was initially wowed by the beauty of the environment. Thus far AmrAII - IMHO - has supplied one of the most realistic and submersive virtual worlds that I have played in battlefield FPS games.
...However the game itself stunk!
The DayZ mod added something very special to the basic ArmAII game - fun and playability! Basically it was like someone came along and showed Bohemia Interactive how to make a real game. :)
Check out the DayZ developers video blog...
Such was the success of the DayZ mod that Bohemia - finally showing some common sense - hired the DayZ developer and are in the process of making a stand alone DayZ game.
For me this is the stand out game of 2013 as last years drive for 'realistic modern warefare' just bored the bejezuz out of me. I am really looking forward to the DayZ release...
To be honest I was completely depressed that there hasn't been a LeftDead 3 yet, but even so DayZ surpassed teh experience by being a huge open world - not a restricted 4 player co-op game.
Fingers crossed eh?
How did I get to the 30th of January without updating this blog? Well, mostly because it's been a hectic month for 'real life' stuff (which I won't bore you with)...
Funniest thing that happened over the Xmas holiday (NOT funny at the time) was that my computer blew up! Yes, thanks to a wicked power surge - and yes, I do have a surge protector - my PC went 'Poof!' quite spectacularly during a game of World of Tanks!
Not having the money to repair it after the Christmas splurge all gaming stopped - though thankfully I had the Xbox to fall back on. But mysteriously, just last week I decided to try switching on my PC again and for some strange reason it decided to start (after a lot of BIOS complaints).
So here I am, end of January and I have just started playing again - just in time to turn all the XP I earned before Christmas into a lovely new toy...
This monster is the Tier X Soviet Tank Destroyer - the Object 268. Now if you thought my Object 704 was menacing enough then this giant brings a whole new world of pain (and yet again keeps me interested in WoT for a bit longer)!
The problem with my wonderful 704 was that the developers demoted it to a Tier IX and I think did some nerfing to it. In it's place they added two new Tier X Soviet tank killers, the horribly ugly Object 263 and the rather impressive looking 268. So I upgraded.
I moved my very well trained and skilled crew across from my 704 and - on advice from my BIG clan team mates - I switched to 'Gold' ammo for this tank (now that you can pay for premium ammo using silver). What difference has all this made?
Well, usually I would show you a nice screenshot of the after game scores to show how amazing a victory I had in my new tank, but I thought I would do something different. Just to prove having a humongous tank with a phenomenal gun on it doesn't guarantee victory (especially if you have a retarded team), here's a shot of a Loss that I had in my new Object 268...
I only killed two tanks in this dreadful game...But it so happens that both these tanks were the massive German E-100! And this was a BAD game! (Note that even with premium ammo one of these guys took 6 hits to put away!)
So am I happy, well yes and no...I am very happy with my new speed and manoeuvrability which makes my Object 704 feel like a oil tanker, but I am still learning how to use this new tank and am going through that annoying learning curve. The key tip is NOT to get carried away with your new found speed and dash in like a medium (ooops)!
Above: My new Object 268 in desert camo. I went the whole hog and bought the external camo options - this gives me a extra 5% camo ability, which is a good thing to have when you are a tank destroyer.
So - that was January...A lot of nothing much happening with a bit of a flurry at the end. Let's hope February is a bit more busy post wise!
Belated? Well, a bit but it's been a hectic Christmas for me this year (I could use a holiday)!
Well, what's on for this year? Believe it or not I bought myself some airsoft kit as an Xmas pressie to myself, including some nice mesh safty masks and goggles.
This year it is my aim to finally try out some CQB and so I added mesh protection to my classic Rainbow 6 loadout. And I also picked up some lovely Russian items I have been after for some time.
I also want to get back into visiting some museums again - believe it or not I still haven't done the Leeds Armoury!
Finally, this year is going to be an expensive one games wise - an unexpected Christmas event was my games pC blowing up! Yes, blowing up. We had quite an amazing power surge here and desite my surge protection my computer went bang. So I am on the edge of a dilema, spend money I can't afford and take the opportunity to upgrade at the same time OR finally get to grips with the Xbox 360.
In any case it should be an interesting year - I hope yours will be a fun one!
I've gotten the strategy bug again (it comes in cycles), but I wanted something that was a little more casual and didn't involve a 400 page manual to play (things like Hearts of Iron scares me!). I was looking at a oldie like "Age of Empires III', which I never did complete when it first came out, as it is approachable and has a shallow learning curve and the games are reasonable short. But then, whilst rummaging through STEAM, I came across what looks like a little gem called Unity of Command.
This is a turn based World War 2 strategy game which focuses on the Russian Front. What caught my eye was the superb graphics, which admittedly does give a certain 'cartoony' feel to it but all the reviews I have read say that it is of intermediate depth and will give someone like me (who doesn't appreciate having to look up tables to play a computer game) a challenge. Here's a trailer...
Now the easiest way I could describe the game is an advanced version of Risk! But there is a real historical element to the play of this game as supply lines - and maintaining them - is absolutely crucial.
I've played the free demo and thoroughly enjoyed it and I note that there is already new DLC for it, which is a good sign. But best of all it is cross-platform and I can play it on my MacBook. The full game is £14.99 and the new DLC expansion is £6.99.
You can find out more about the game - and see lots more of the beautiful graphics - at the developers website: 2x2 Games - Unity of Command
I'm buying this tomorrow and I really hope that it continues to develop to include other theatres of operations (would love to see a North African campaign and, naturally, a D-Day campaign). I will do a full review over the weekend.
It's very hard to motivate myself to post at the moment after the horror at Sandy Hook School, particularly when you're blog is - essentially - about shooting stuff (or stuff that shoots).
While some delude themselves that this might finally bring some form of sanity to America gun law I remain my old cynical self and think that the good intentions will peter out in a few months. Three things make me say this...
First of all there is the circumstantial evidence that seems to show that Americans have actually bought MORE guns since the atrocity at Newton, not less (as you might imagine). The general excuse seems to be that Americans feel they now need to defend themselves more than ever! (So will they arm every teacher?)
Next we have the much bantered about 'evidence' that violent crime in the US is on a downward spiral, with the NRA announcing this is due to the large amount of gun ownership. In effect every US citizen is now a vigilante.
But finally, and my most compelling evidence that points to 'no change' in attitudes to gun ownership in the US is this...On sale from today, licenced by Disney, a new range of BALISTIC BACKPACKS FOR KIDS...
"Our ballistic backpack provides built-in ballistic protection in a backpack that weighs just ounces more than a non-armored backpack. RynoHide carbon nanotube armor is lined in the back panel of the backpack. Sewn into the rear of the pack, you can always be confident that the armor hasn’t been accidentally left at home and that you or your child are protected in case of the unthinkable. The backpack can be quickly brought to the front as a shield or can serve as center of mass protection while fleeing the scene of the shooting." (www.amendment2.com/)
You tell me if you think this is a sign that attitudes will change?