Monday, June 11, 2012

Making an Assault Shield for Airsoft

Most weekends will see me umbilically attached to my Kindle, sat in various spots for comfy reading. If it's not too hot I'll sit outside on sun lounger; if the sun is that bit too much, I'll head inside and take up residence on the sofa. After a week at work, I love nothing better than total relaxation with a good book.

Of course, this not good for waistlines or thighs but I'm in a low-energy phase at the moment and don't give a toss.

However, this last weekend was very different from usual. I spent Saturday purchasing materials to make an assault shield at Castorama, not for me I hasten to add (if you hadn't guessed already), but for my youngest son. He has discovered a new passion - airsoft - and wanted us to help him make the assault shield according to instructions I'd found on an airsoft forum. I must remember not to get so involved in my sons' interests because it can mean waiting in a queue to cut a wooden panel for half an hour and cost money I hadn't reckoned on spending...

Anyway, once we had the materials, we of course had to get down to it. My dearly beloved helped out with the jigsaw to cut the wood down a bit, cut out the rectangle in the middle and trim the plexiglass. My son did the painting and I held down the panel during sawing, made helpful suggestions, and printed out a template of the word SWAT to be sprayed on later in white. It'll look something like this when finished:
Assault shield
Don't I have fun?! My son's new airsoft gun arrived today. It's a replica UZI (cybergun mini) with a force of 0.08 joules that shoots plastic BB pellets. The regulations for such guns are draconian in France. Minors cannot obtain replicas that fire over 0.08 joules so my son spent a long time looking for one that was suitable. He's trying to set up an airsoft team with his brother and friends, and find some land they can play on as my garden is approximately 100m² and absolutely useless for skirmishing.

He tried it out at lunch time and was ecstatic to find it had recoil. I know nothing about guns so cannot tell you why this is important but I think it proves that it's not a crappy toy but powerful enough to jerk just like a real gun.

Unfortunately there is no ready-made team in the area for them to join. The one that did exist no longer does, probably because the boys in it became young men and joined the adults. I'll be interested to see how many local parents agree to let their kids join my sons' team, and buy a gun so they can participate. One has already said no. The boys might also have to spread the word wider than among immediate friends in order to get a good number of members. Assuming too that they have somewhere to play... (cue letter to maire to request permission to play on public land - that'll be fun!).

Anyway, it's better than sitting in front of the XBox and I'm all for encouraging (respectable) passions. Plus my son worked well in school this year, and I believe that boys who do well should be rewarded.

My eldest is supposed to be doing the donkey work of setting up and managing the airsoft team in which case he can add it to his cv if he applies to a British university. It'll look a bit better than 'Going to parties' and 'Playing XBox games'.

As for my involvement, I'm hoping to get back to my Kindle very soon.