Shutdown is Inevitable

Hi there, readers. I wish I had better news for you after months of inactivity, but unfortunately I won’t be keeping up with Derp Mods. When I first came up with this idea with a couple of friends, we had a lot of enthusiasm and hope for what this site could be. It was our (chiefly my) intention to provide a place in which beginning modders could be shown step-by-step plans and guides for some of the “hottest” mods. Basically, it was about imitation and joining the bandwagon. However, for many reasons, we simply couldn’t keep up.

Now, I won’t bore you with too many details, but I’d like to explain the major points of failure to you as best as I can. First and foremost is participation. About a week or so after launch, “Derp Three” went incommunicado. When we finally got up with her, she had decided not to go forward with it after all…and just never told us. Fast forward a few months, and “Derp Two” just wasn’t able to keep up on his builds. Too much stuff going on in his life. Understandable. However, this left me alone, and I just couldn’t keep the pace up. This would be the other major point of failure: resources. I have been fighting bad weather, failing health, and unemployment for months. I in no way have the time or other resources (especially money) that I need to constantly churn out mods and the guides to them, especially when so many advances in modding are popping up on a weekly basis (see: HIRicanes, Sentinel Union, etc.).

I thought about opening the site up to becoming something of a Q&A blog where I simply cover basic questions about paint, disassembly, and so forth, but that helps no-one. Instead, I recommend you look to the plethora of guides already out there on  YouTube and reddit. Don’t need me cluttering up the works. As such, it is with a heavy heart that I’ll be “shutting down” Derp Mods. I’ll still be contributing to discussions within our online communities, responding to emails, and maintaining the Nerf Mid-Atlantic pages, but Derp Mods is essentially dead.

I’m very sorry to the few of you who faithfully read this blog over the couple of years since I’ve implemented it. I’m sorry I “slacked off,” and I’m sorry I kept you waiting so long for signs of life. Still, there are much better guide-makers out there than I, and I will be sure to direct  you to those whom I can should you so wish. Until then, see you on the forums, maybe.

AN AMENDMENT:
The very day I “shut down,” almost within minutes, I was asked to join the Blaster Hub team. I still won’t be doing any new projects – I’ll happily redirect you to others who are – but I will be introducing a new article, “Blaster Basics.” This article will be used to refresh experienced modders as well as introduce newer modders in to techniques they may have yet to master (myself included). I hope you find it both entertaining and informative, and I’ll try to have a new article up on at least a bi-weekly basis.

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Posted in Apologies, Mods, Planning

Still alive, but definitely delayed.

Hey, everybody. No, I haven’t forgotten about you. Coming off my post from the Star Wars stuff, a lot of that is going on. I still don’t have time or money to mod these days, which saddens me. I really want to get new guides out to you, innovation or not, but I just can’t. At least not right now. I don’t want to present you with a sob story and I’m not asking for pity, but my “dirt poor” status is kind of lingering, my health’s not all that great right now, and my job and fiancee (hey, there’s the good part of things) don’t leave me much free time. I am still working on mods, but I’ve been scooped on all three I have coming down the pipe. Some day, I may get my hacked-up, ghetto-looking pump-action Apollo up and running, and I’m working on tricking out a select-fire Zeus. Also down the pipe will be my take on the Madness Pistol, but that’s just slightly out of reach for me financially right now. I really want to get my hands on another Force Awakens E-11, despite how bad it is, to “Phasma it out.” Chrome and lights need to happen. I’m amazed no-one else has done it yet.

As winter approaches, I always turn to technical modding more than cosmetic, so at least three of the projects probably will get done. I just need more time. I appreciate the patience and concerns I have received, and really, the blog isn’t dead. “Adulting” is just getting in the way, but I’m working on remedying that.

Oh, and side note: Soon there’ll be some news on the NMA blog as well. It looks like I’ve found activities for minors in my area. Not adults, sadly, but it’s a start! 🙂

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Posted in Mods, Planning

The Fourth Awakens..ed.

Sorry for leaving you guys and gals hanging all summer. A new, stressful, time-consuming job and some pretty invasive health issues kind of left me down for the count as far as mods go. Really, all I got done was an Elite-rebarreled Cycloneshock that gives me problems every now and then. On the BOOMco front, I haven’t been able to make many strides, but luckily Reddit user Zombona has. He’s doing great things, and with his permission I might make a comprehensive “uberguide” for us all to flip through.

Anyway, today’s post is a hype train one. As I mentioned when this blog first popped up, Derp Two (not currently active) and I are pretty damn huge Star Wars geeks. It had always been my intention to make myself an E-11 from a Rampage following this Nerfhaven guide (with a few minor tweaks and modernizations). However, I lacked the proper materials/tools and the time, so I never got around to it. Imagine how excited I was, then, to learn that they were putting out new blasters for The Force Awakens. That excitement soon got dashed when I learned of their sizes and gauged their performance.

Don’t get me wrong. I still own them, and they’re still fun. They just “need some love.”

First I’ll mention the pistol (DT-18?), because it’s not really in need of a lengthy mention. Ergonomically, it’s a bit small for me, but still quite comfortable. It’s easy to use and relatively a no-brainer to load. However, performance was surprisingly on par with the E-11, so that was a nice little bonus. That isn’t to say the E-11 performs well, though, and I’ll get to that in a second.

dt-18
The major thing I want to mention is that the barrel on the DT-18 is short as hell, as you can see in the above photo. I can almost guarantee you’re gonna squish and crumple your Elite-length darts eventually, and it might make holstering a nightmare. As I start work on what’s almost a Jolt re-shell (image courtesy of Reddit user trapdoordoll), chances are I’ll tighten the barrel and maybe consider finally making myself some Stefans just because of the “nub barrel.”

Now, on to the main event: the E-11. I know some people are looking forward to the bowcaster as well, but…meh. While I’m not a fan of the scale of the blaster, the blaster itself is…Ok. I probably shouldn’t have paid the $40 USD price tag on it, but oh well. “Disney tax.” Out of the box and four mags in, I’m not having too many issues with it. It’s not great, but it’s also not terrible. In fact, it might be a good stock-class CQB blaster if I decide to go that route. A “stubby killer,” of sorts.

e-11 stock
Gripes and concerns, though, are as follow.

First, there’s the length. Without the stock – which is superfluous, since it shouldn’t have one anyway – the blaster sits at around 17 inches long. The Rampage, by comparison, is about 20.25 inches. I feel like if they extended the barrel another inch and a half, the scale and general feel of the blaster would have been much nicer. Still, not the end of the world.

e-11 comparison
The mag well’s being an issue for some folks, myself included, in that any magazine put in there wobbles a bit. For some, this hinders proper loading. Luckily for me, it doesn’t. I also found that my test Rampage has about the same wobble. I never noticed it before now (probably because I never cared to really check), so something tells me this isn’t a new issue just for the E-11.

What is an issue for me is that the priming mechanism is a bit loose. It slides about freely, though not all the way, and to me that’s just annoying. It’s our foregrip, too, keep in mind. As such, it needs to stay the hell put. I’ll be working on that if and when I get to modding this thing. Still, the prime is smooth and takes very little effort. I’d equate it more to racking an EAT than a Raider or Rampage, but it’s nice.

I’m not a fan of the stock ranges, though, and this is why it has to be a close-quarters weapon in its stock form. Testing out 48 shots in my yard, the farthest I could seem to get it is about 47 feet. On average, it sat around 38-39. Given, there was the tiniest bit of breeze, but I’m underwhelmed. By comparison, my test Rampage firing the same darts out of the same mag got average ranges of around 44 feet. Keep in mind said Rampage is well broken in.

The grouping of said darts, however, was very tight. They all landed within about two feet of each other. Clearly, this fuels the argument that the Empire was letting Luke, Leia, Han, and the others “win” or escape to track their movements.

Moving forward, I would say that this thing isn’t so much a slam-fire-lacking Rampage reshell as it is a slam-fire-lacking Elite Alpha Trooper reshell with a side-loading mag well. Its range and ergonomics definitely don’t earn it a “Rampage” stamp, and the internals are a weird hodge-podgey adaptation of multiple Hasbro ideas, as you can see below. All credit to David Andrew Louder for the picture.

e-11 internals
Would I buy one if I were you? Meh, no, not really. Wait for the price to drop near the winter holidays. Does it have potential as a daily-use blaster and a possible future mod? Absolutely.

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Posted in Commerce, Planning

“Where are the mods?!”

Sorry, everybody. I know my viewership is down lately – not that I had too many people actually come to the site from reddit or FB – but that doesn’t mean I should be slacking off. Unfortunately, my full-time job does, as does our humid weather. There’s just not much painting going on. As far as internals go, I re-housed a couple more XBZ’s, but those’re old hat by now. So many other modders have much better guides for them than I can come up with on my own. I support this by the fact that my breeched one doesn’t even have a barrel that’ll stay put. Oy.

Still, I’ve got some fun things down the pipeline. Piggybacking off of reddit user Zombona’s success in modding BOOMco products (and my growing fascination), I am on a vigilant hunt for “proper” replacement springs for the Dynamag! Spoiler: Don’t use standard Nerf catch springs. They’re too strong.  I’ll also be working with one of my Farshots, really just because I’ve the three and want to see what I can do.

Other than that, another commissions window is opening and I’ll be making a separate page with simple pricing/taboos, so look forward to that I suppose.

That’s all for now. To my few loyal readers, thanks for sticking with me!

Posted in Mods, Planning

A Tale of Two Jolts: Snapfire vs. “Elite”

Well, I’ve finally gotten my hands on the “new hotness” that is the Snapfire. It’ll probably be one of the last Nerf blasters you’ll see me review or tinker with, save maybe the “ROFL-DOWN,” to be honest with you. Call me a heathen, call me a traitor, but I’m just far more impressed with BOOMco now. Seeing what they have down the pipe makes Nerf’s late summer- to winter-quarter offerings seem like total shit. (This is where I pause to duck incoming fire.)

Anyway, the Snapfire. It’s kind of nifty and has some potential, but leaves me a bit underwhelmed. Why? Well, let’s get down to it. First, size comparison.

DSCN0035

As you can see, it’s not much bigger than my ghetto-modded Elite Jolt – “Ugly Stick Junior,” as I call it. Sure, it’s longer, but it’s really not much larger where it counts. The un-tampered barrel of the Snapfire has an inner diameter of about 18/32″, which means your 17/32″ brass is going to have a very, very tight fit. As my kung-fu is weak and I nearly broke my Jolt trying to cram brass in there (hence the metallic tape), I am not eager to do so with my Snapfire – yet.

As far as the general feel of the blaster, this is where I’m underwhelmed. I, for one, think it’s awful. Like, Diamondista or Messenger-level awful. It’s just very uncomfortable to hold and fire, and the priming handle is much too close to the end of the plunger tube, making it awkward to prime quickly.

The photos you are about to see will drive many of you nuts. Improper trigger discipline galore, but as they are unloaded I don’t really give a damn. I want to show you how I think it’s uncomfortable, and that’s best done by analyzing “firing grips.”

DSCN0024

Here you see the only way that I can even remotely fire this blaster relatively comfortably. My pinkie isn’t hanging off the grip as much as it does the Jolt, but somehow my hand feels far more uncomfortable. My conclusion? The skeletonized grip – Hasbro just doesn’t learn. It’s so remarkably uncomfortable that I constantly shift my fingers and thumb to try and find a comfortable way to grip it before firing. Shame.

JoltHold

By comparison, either of these two ways to hold my Jolt seem perfectly comfortable. Yes, my pinkie dangles, but I’ve grown used to that over the years. I actually prefer the thumb-over-barrel grip for some odd reason. Call me weird. However, I cannot do that with my Snapfire without blocking the plunger rod. Hooray in-lines.

Moving on to performance, though, this is where things get interesting and you may still want to pick a Snapfire or two up. As Buffdaddy already showed us, modding one is kind of “do you have thumbs?”-level easy. With the AR removed, I’m seeing shots out of this thing with a median range of about 43 feet (out of only fifteen shots). Compared to an equal number of shots from my Jolt – median 47 feet – this is damn impressive. Why? Because my Jolt is brassed and has an OMW spring in it. Just imagine what the Snapfire could do with the right springs and barreling. Kind of nuts. Too bad its hand-feel is horrid.

All in all, I’m not saying this is a bad blaster. It’s not. However, it’s just not for me.

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Posted in Commerce, Mods

Slightly Back to Life – Allegiances Have Shifted

Well, my finances are slowly recuperating – especially since I blundered some paperwork in the first place, so things looked far worse than they are. Stupid me. Still, I’m incredibly broke. Chances are there won’t be much in the modding/review world for me for quite a bit. Everything I’ve done lately has been working with blasters I already have or simple re-barrels not worth posting.

However, you may have noticed the logo change. Why? Well, to announce that this will no longer be a site held exclusively for Nerf/BuzzBee modding. The fact is there are already dozens of good ones for that, and Nerf modding is…well…it’s getting stale. Luckily for me, BOOMco seems to hold a lot of promise if you’re not lazy or stupid. Also luckily for me, I am only half of those things – you can discuss among yourselves which half. As such, I intend to join reddit user “Zombona” in to the new world of modding: BOOMco modding.

Sure, BOOMco “doesn’t have as much modding potential.” Maybe, but that’s because we’re stuck in “astronomer mode” again and are thinking solely in terms of Hasbro’s mechanisms. There are going to be overlaps in structure and function, yes, but Mattel is doing things that Hasbro simply no longer tries, or can’t even pull off. This should be exciting to us, not discouraging or uninteresting. I, for one, welcome the opportunity. Some of BOOMco’s offerings already perform far better than their Nerf counterparts straight out of the box (Farshot vs. Firestrike, Whipblast vs. Messenger/Triad, Rapid Madness vs “yes”), so I am excited to see what we can do to make them better. There’s already been some interesting developments in making “MessengerBlasts,” integrating Farshots and Nite Finder/Firestrike hardware, and rebarreling air blasters for BOOMco darts. Now it’s time to see what else we can pull off.

Who knows? It may turns out that Nerf is still the king of the hill for superstock in general, but we won’t know until we try. As such, I am going to be one of those people trying, slowly but surely. I hope you’ll stick around to find out with me.

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Posted in Compatability, Mods, Planning

Indefinite Hiatus

It’s not like we (I) have any readers anyway, but this little blog is already hitting the Zapper. My apologies, but I just can’t do it any more. Not only do I currently lack any funding for Nerf-related projects right now, but now it seems I have one month to vacate my current place of living. At this time, I plan to give no explanation as to why and would like to ask that you respect that choice. As I write this, I am sitting in my room with a completely crushed soul, looking around and trying to decide what I can afford to take with me and what I must sell or leave behind. If and when I leave this place, I do not see it likely that I will have the tools, space, or especially funds to continue modding and tinkering.

I am not writing this for sympathy, nor as a “call for help.” This is simply my explanation – however brief and vague – and my goodbye. Derp Two has already let “adult life” cease all of his modding activity, and now the crushing harshness of my own life causes me to cease as well.

I am truly sorry. “It is what it is.”

Posted in Planning