Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Interview with the Nerf 'in Modfather

When I write Nerf interviews, the most important ingredients to find are love, respect and passion the individual or group shows for the hobby. Without that, there is little reason to look any further. I would like to share with you a piece I am equally proud of to have done so far for you :)

 One of my favourite movies of all time is the Peter Jackson movie 'King Kong (2005 film)'.  It's one of those movies you love to hate - because you love Kong and hate his inevitable doom. 
One of my all time actors is Marlon Brando. An amazing actor who shows it no where better in The Godfather.
So what happens when you mix the two together with a healthy amount of foam and Powerglove? The fate of Beastly Nerf blaster mods end up in the hands of The Modfather.

So who is The Modfather?
Between his mead making, ManVsFood, suped-up Nerf shenanigans, we have grown to love the honest fun-fuelled YouTuber.  One of the few genuine modders who take time to comment on feedback.

Guys n Gals... HeIsBobololo !
I can't tell you how long I have spent watching Bobo's videos, and taken tips, inspiration and advice worth it's weight in gold. So sit back, get the popcorn peeps I give to you a unique behind the scenes insight to The Modfather:

MyLastDart: Please can you please introduce yourself and where you're from - for Nerf fans that are not already aware of the sex Bob-omb-awesome* work you do?
Bobololo: Firstly, I like the Scott Pilgrim* reference. Secondly, I am Bobololo/Bobolol0/IAmBobololo and I hail from the city of Atlanta, GA. 
Credit: Melissa Brown.
Bobololo quickly learnt that loose locks give higher air resistance = bad for running

MLD:  How did you get in to Nerf and can you remember your very first blaster?
Bobololo: When I was little, I had a bunch of nerf blasters (Supermaxx 5000, BlastFire, Ratchet Blast, old school RF20, etc). I don't remember how they got into the home as I don't remember seeing any boxes for them or buying them myself, but they were there. I also don't remember the first one I got, but I think it might have been the Bow N Arrow. Not entirely sure, but I liked the Bow N Arrow a lot, made me feel like Robin Hood.
 MLD: Can you tell fans which blaster currently sits proudly on top of your mantel piece?
Bobololo: My favorite-est one I have is probably the NiB Oozinator I recently got. I've been wanting one for so long and now I have it >:) Second would be the stampede I'm currently working on. If it comes out like I think it will, it will be marvelous haha.
MLD: So what is Bobololo - and how did the nickname come about?
Bobololo: Not the most interesting story, but I'll try and zazz it up. Back in the day when the first Medal of Honor game was out (Allied Assault) in 2002, I was trying to come up with an online name for myself. My friend was with me and as we were trying to think of something, he pushed me aside and typed in "Bobololo" while saying it outloud. Before I could give my opinion, he hit enter and I've been using it ever since. To be honest, I'm glad I've kept that and didn't try to come up with one for myself or change it, cause it probably would have been a horrible one like "Awsumkid90" or something seeing how I wasn't too great with screen names back then. From what I've heard "bobo" is "idiot "in Spanish and "grandpa" in another language if I remember right. I don't know if my friend had it out for me or if it's just coincidence, but I'm not changing it. (MLD: Bohboh means Enlightened One or Great Teacher in Hindi)

MLD: Can you tell us when all the modding started and do you remember the first which blaster inspired you to pick up a dremel? How did it go? Was it good, bad or #u-g-l-y-Bobo-got-no-alibi# ? Do you have a pic of artefact BoBv1? :)
Bobololo: When I went to college, HvZ started freshmen year. When I went home for break before the game started, I was asking my mom where all my nerf guns were, and she said she had given them away! I was shocked, but went out to Target and bought a Longshot. I don't remember how I found modding, but I did and the first blaster I modified was that Longshot. I gave it a horrible pink paintjob which cracked and chipped off. The only hardware store in Savannah that I knew of was this broken down shack of a place with weird Chinese made crappy plastic things and a horrible array of o-rings, lubricant, and springs *shivers*. It's still in business somehow! The pink LS still exists, but I tried single-ing it and now it's a pile of plastic. I don't have a picture, but you wouldn't want to see it anyway haha. I didn't get a dremel until like 2.5- 3 years ago. Dremel 200 aka The Banshee cause it makes a horrible high pitch noise when at full speed. Made a HUGE difference with modding. Making an angel breech with a dremel compared to a hacksaw was at least 3 times easier, but still a pain since they are finicky. 
MLD: What is your current arsenal like? (pic?)
Bobololo: My arsenal is mixed in with my working area, but here's some pics of everything:
Bobololo's Vintage Blaster Table - how many can you name?
Bottom left looks like a grapple hook... is Bobololo Batman protecting the City at night?
Bobololo: The table contains:
NiB- Oozinator and ooze refills, 2 ball refills, PAS, Creamsicle BBBB, Sm750, 3k twin pack, 2k twin pack, 2k, yellow magstrike, yellow longshot, and Lanard Big Salvo.
Everything else- Master Blaster (ball version), blast-a-ball, 2 Ballzookas, arrowstorm, 2 triple strikes, sneakshot, Expand-a-blast, 4k, sm500, 2 lightning blitz, rip cord, blue 2k, Defender T3, 2 commlink II, roto track, stinging scarab, whiptail scorpion, 2 sharpshooter IIs, pulsator, ratchet blast, sm 1500, cyclotron, complete blue longshot, 2 firestorms, tornado, vorex X2, 2 motorized ballzookas, sawtooth with clips, gyrostrike, Wayne Tech Tri-Fire blaster, Razor Beast, and 2 powerclips. I think that's all of it in just the table area *phew*

The trunks are all 99% filled with stuff. Bottom one is for old/crap projects/ones that I might get back to. Grey one is filled with stock stuff, Black one is for NIC wars and HvZ. The top one is for other stock stuff.
MLD: How do you go about choosing a new blaster? Does it have to match a certain style? are there certain requirements it has to meet?
Bobololo: For new stuff, I usually try and get all the ones coming out before the release dates to do reviews on. After that, I put the ones I don't like in one of the trunks or sell them and the ones I like I use/integrate. Biggest factors are RoF, distance, and comfort. Comfort is really important to me and I'm a range whore, especially in NIC wars, which is why I run with a singled tank expanded Big Blast with ball pump that I deem "The LulCannon".
Bobololo's Big Blast LulCannon
MLD: How do new blasters Hasbro release impact on your gameplay/mods you do? Is there any area currently lacking in your opinion?
Bobololo: It's lacking an elite longstrike!!!!! Just kidding. My NIC loadout hasn't changed much for about a year now but the new stuff usually causes changes in my HvZ loadout. An overvolted barricade is no match for an overvolted stryfe and those still using a barricade should just join the horde haha. As for gameplay, my HvZ gameplay doesn't change almost at all. The squad I'm in uses a nice combination of SWAT tactics and maneuvers that has been super effective, so there's no point in going to something else. If there's a better blaster released, we switch out to it and go with what we already do.
MLD: In your opinion - where do you see Nerf heading? What is the next evolution we could expect? What would YOU like to see in the next gen Nerf?
Bobololo: More tacti-cool stuff or blasters based on modding. It's hard for me to think of where they could go cause they outdo themselves every year it seems in a way I'd never expect. I would love to see more gimmicky blasters or ones like the stampede.
MLD: Of all the Nerf games types you have played - do you have a favorite scenario?
Bobololo: Awfuls. Awfuls is probably the greatest game type ever created. It's so much fun and everyone seems to enjoy it. Nothing better than using crappy blasters to kill each other with. Awfuls Rules: Blaster can shoot any ammo you want, but cannot shoot more than 15ft. Whether that be angled or flat is up to the Host. No barrel tapping and the area is usually smaller than the regular playing field. 3:15 rules, 3 lives, 15 second count once hit.
Credit: The Chicken Soup.
Rogue vs the Pulsator
MLD: You were pretty big into HvZ games until you announced (*sniff*) your retirement. Was it because you took a BBB arrow to the knee? Rumour has it it was NoM.
Bobololo: HvZ was the most fun I had in college. It's an amazing way to meet people and get exercise. I'm getting too old for it, and the people that I do still know at college are going to be graduating soon, so yeah. There's also the reason of last years moderation and higher ups not having done the best job they could have, but that's a completely separate story for different time. Let's hope this game goes well and that my schedule lets me go *crosses fingers*
MLD: Can you remember your first HvZ game right? How was it? Can you help paint the picture for anyone who has never tried HvZ?
Bobololo: The first game went really well for being a first game. The OZ was a girl named Elizabeth who set up a military-esque system. She was the Dictator, under here were generals who controlled officers who controlled a group of 'minions'. There was one guy, Daniel, who would were nothing but shorts and douse himself in fake blood every day, scared a lot of n00bs.  I was a very competitive person back then, and not in a good way. I learned a lot from that game and it changed me in a positive way, thankfully. I'm much better now, trust me. There are some golden moments from the first year. The Leader of MESSIAH (huge group that were very loud and boisterous about what they did) got tagged out by the OZ from a back massage haha. Then at Final Stand, he and one of the officers of MESSIAH did this horrendous skit which I will link 
(MLD: Forget Humans, i'd rock being a Zombie any day, that guy got owned!) 
Bobololo: I had to beg Neil for years in order to get this video. Also, I was the last person in my dorm area, which led to many zombies standing outside my door trying to get me. My favorite moment from that year was telling them to go away or I'd show them some really nasty videos online. They didn't leave so I started playing some 'shock' videos from a website... they didn't like that XD If you want a great showing of a first HvZ game, you can't beat Neil Butler's ZDay: http://vimeo.com/album/264332. I also appear in some of his other work :P
The Communist Stampede - For the Motherland!

MLD: Are all the rules set in stone for HvZ or is there room for innovative ideas? Holy Water Super Soaker? Anything stopping me from going full holy-melee Dusk Till Dawn style?
Bobololo: Every college/campus is different in some way. Some places put blaster regulations like "can't use automatic blasters until day 2" or something and no melee. We have special zombie and human types which adds a bit more fun to the game. My favorite was The Engineer perk. You get a set of pylons that when set up, zombies can't cross or tag over. We used that to barricade ourselves on a one-way-in balcony for 6 hours. Many zombie kills and lolz were had. Meat Shield is a plastic sled covered with foam painted to look like intestines that can be used to block darts. Another favorite is The Hunter: Human perk that gives the wearer a tac-vest with a tag football flag on the back. The only way they can be killed is by removing the flag. Two stories with this one. First: 2 Hunters were cornered and running out of ammo, so they stood back to back and linked arms with the bigger guy lifting the other hunter onto his back and running out of the area(picture in attached folder). The other was my friend: he went outside of his dorm with the hunter vest on and was tagged by a Juggernaut (zombie perk that makes the user unstunnable except by socks, which only stun them for 5 minutes.)... my friend turned and looked at the guy, casually said "I'm the hunter BITCH', gracefully lobbed a sock at the Juggernaut and walked back inside. Back in topic, I'm sure most HvZ committees are open to hearing new ideas, so they aren't very restrictive.
Credit: Melissa Brown.      Hunter perk back2back tactic

Credit: Melissa Brown.   Clearer shot of the Hunter perk back2back tactic
MLD: Do you have game marshalls? or players manage themselves? Where can I find a good reference of rules to help avoid disputes?
Bobololo: 99% of the time there are moderators. They patrol the areas during game play and help moderate what's going on. General rule for help is: Leave the game area and settle dispute or question. If you do this in a play zone, you can be tagged. Rules are usually on the game's HvZ website. Either that, or there will be an overview of the rules before the game.
MLD: What is the best formula to help keep HvZ games fresh and motivated for both Humans and Zombies?
Bobololo: Best way is to make it even for both sides. Change it up every year so it doesn't stay the same old story of "oh, zombies are real and are attacking... hop to it". I find that story based games are the most interesting because of the creativity you can have. Here's the story from the 2011 SCAD game:

Bobololo: Some fun facts: The guy who plays Mortimer Veritas is the Dean of Students and the scientists were the guys from Team Scientist, the best squad SCAD ever had. 
Perks are also a great way to get people excited. One thing that I find is a must are missions that aren't all the same or don't involve staying one place. Last year we had a mission where we had to guard stations and wait for the station before us to be unlocked, before we could unlock ours. Problem is, in order to unlock the station, you had to solve a puzzle (like a rubix cube). This led to use staying at this one station for about an hour and a half doing nothing. Escort missions are a great mission type (perfect example in ZDay on Chapter 4 part 1) so are any involving going into the horde's main living area. Those can get so intense.
MLD: What is the Bobololo loadout for a HvZ game? Why in your opinion?
Bobololo: My old loadout was a Magstrike with 5-7 clips and a stampede with 5 jungle clips + 1 in the stampede. Extremely bulky but fun cause I felt like a badass haha. This year's loadout will probably be one of my new stampedes and either the overhauled nitron or stryfe. I'm trying to lighten my load this year so I can be faster but still output tons of ammo. That magstrike secondary has saved my ass many times. Run out of stampede ammo? Whip the magstrike out and spam a charging zombie with 10 rounds that they can't say they weren't hit with.
The infamous Fenrir Stampede mod blaster by Bobololo
MLD: Is modding a big importance to HvZ? Or can Stock do just as well?
Bobololo: I like modding and making things much more powerful, but there are stories of people lasting to Final Stand with just a tek3 or stock nitefinder. Really depends on your playing style.
MLD: You are a Moderator over at www.humanvszombie.org - can you tell us a little about what the community is about?
Bobololo: The HvZ community is all about being helpful, if you ask me. We try to be friendly and responsive to questions, even if they have been answered many times before. Unlike NerfHaven, the environment is more casual and less hostile towards n00bs and people who have never picked up a Nerf blaster before.
MLD: What projects are you currently working on?
Bobololo: The current project is a stampede/Rough Cut integration plus some goodies... I'm really excited about it. I've said it will be a "brother" to the Communist stampede and I think a lot of people will like it. It's more of a joke than anything, but I'm taking my time with it so it comes out perfect. The workshop is just a foldable table from Wal*Mart that has all my work stuff on it. That's about the cleanest it gets when I work.

Bobololo's magic workstation

*scream* HAROLD ???!! *scream*
MLD: As a modder, what are the staple tools of the trade?
Bobololo: For me: Dremel, pliers, plastic snipper, drill, superglue, hot glue, EPOXY!, epoxy putty, canned air/duster (I use this for so much), various screws and springs, soldering iron (for electronic modders), and music or show in the background.
MLD: Where do you get inspiration for your mods? Any comics, movies, tv shows, books?
Bobololo: My biggest 'inspiration' is from other modders. I put inspiration in quotes cause sometimes it's just me wanting to out-do what someone has already done. Boom's Overhauled Nitron, for example. He put 36volts into it, I wanted to see if 45v would make it better.... and it did. Other than that, it mostly comes from my brain and maybe a funny back-and-forth with NoM. Now that I'm getting into painting, we'll have to see where I take inspiration for that.
MLD: A pretty big debate between Modders is the whole "Simple shell blasters like a Nitefinder are best to mod" vs "More complex firing mechanisms/internal blasters = step up your game" - where do you stand on this?
Bobo: I just mod whatever I feel like. Don't think it should be a debate, mod what you want even if it is a simple as dropping an OMW kit into something.
MLD: For anyone thinking of starting a Mod project, what advice do you have for them? Is there a basic first-time friendly blaster that you should start with?
Bobololo: Don't be afraid to fail. I destroyed 5 stampedes in a little more than a month trying to do different stuff. I found the Longshot to be super simple, but others would disagree with that. Mavericks are as simple as putting a few pennies behind the spring and punching out ARs and leveling the back of the cylinder. Also, I feel like this needs to be said cause people still do it- DO NOT STRETCH SPRINGS!
Use writeups and internals pics to help you out and don't be afraid to ask questions to modders you look up to. Most of them will be willing to help out as long as you don't writ liek diz askin bot a automtik recan
If you can't buy a BFF like Paris Hilton, make your own! Say 'Hi' to Mr Fellini
MLD: Do "Take me to your BoboloLeader" tshirts exist?
Bobololo: No :( I'm trying to find someone to make me a NIC shirt to wear to wars though. NoM, Drac, and others have their own and I want one for myself. (MLD: any designers want to design one for Bobo?? Get in touch!)
MLD: What do you get out of the Nerf hobby? (friends, new experiences, free beer?)
Bobololo: Gives me something to do within a really great community. Allows me to be creative without falling back on things like drawing and painting which art school kind of ruined for me (we did it so much it lost it's appeal). That and being able to give people welts with things you made is super fun.

Quick-fire range:

Fav soft drink?
Bobo: I love diet Mountain Dew Code Red and diet 7up (I drink diet, whatcha gonna do about it). If they made a diet Hawaiian Punch that tasted like the regular kind, I would be drinking the crap out of it.
Dialling a takeaway, what do you want?
Chinese / Sushi / Pizza / Curry / Subway
Bobo: I have been eating a lot of subway lately. Don't know why. Tuna on 9 Grain wheat, double cheese, with lots of onions, some lettuce, lots of red wine vinegar, and a small line of mayo. SO GOOD!
Egg or chicken?
Bobo: Both... cooked together in some fried rice (MLD: I would love to see some 'In the Kitchen with Bobololo' videos soon)
Rock, Paper, Scissors?
Bobo: Scissors? I honestly don't know haha
Slam-Fire, Flywheel or N-Force?
Bobo: Flywheels at the moment because of the RC Helicopter motors :P (MLD: wait - did he just MOD a question??)

Looks like I tired him out with all those Questions...
Many thanks to Bobololo for taking the time out from his workshop wizardry and popping zombies. I can't wait to see the outcome of his current mod projects, so feel free to hit the 'Like' button to stay up to date with him if you aren't already - and more importantly him working his magic on the future gen of Nerf blasters to come!

If you want to commission any work, feel free to get in touch thru his Facebook site.
Since I am from the UK, I would if I could, bestow upon him an honour of the Realm.
For unending service to Nerf, Dremel & Epoxy, I dub thee Bobolo Knight of Epoxy, arise Sir Bobololo
Full photo Credits & Permissions:
Melissa Brown- Hunters2, HvZ LS, Back to back hunters
The Chicken Coup- Pulsator (aka Rogue vs. Pulsator)
'+' Everything else was taken by me, Bobololo

1 comment:

  1. Always fun to watch Bobololo videos, My fav is the "no sniping in nerf" vid. His vids are fun, creative and informative...what more could you ask for!