Friday, 1 March 2013

Step this way for your Nerf pSyk evaluation 101

Some Internet celebrity (not limited to Nerf) you just love instantly. They might be on the other side of the world, you might not ever need to meet them in person, but you connect with them in a way it's an unsaid rule of mutual respect. This interview is in the same league like the many others I've done so far :)

You guys should know the drill by now, I am a self confessed movie nut, and watching this actor actually inspired me to take a deep breath and approach for some face time - and I know you guys are gonna be mad Jelly, but chill, and read on!

The movie marathon that I mentioned I was watching was by the awesome director John Woo - 'Hard Boiled (1992)'. It's very roughly about someone who has a hard time, and despite many chances to quit, carries on and pulls through. 

The second movie was by a personal favourite - the brilliant director Ang Lee - 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)'. It's a much the same story about a skilled craftsman with a healthy edge of experience, attention to detail and an accuracy few can pull off in his trade.

These guys have a special quality, and a uniqueness to not only their approach with the projects they undertake, but they way they captivate their audience.

This individual is very much the essence of what I talked about.

 
Now I got to be honest, when I saw his YouTube channel, I was inspired...


 - but even I have to admit, i'm far from being anywhere good as this guy.

Very far.

Like next universe far.

From his funny videos to indepth first-time reviews, we have come to respect his tinkering and modding even at risk of breaking his own blaster - this guy take blasters to the edge! When it comes to his mods, he has inspired many in a confident way to take the project on, and see it to the end.

If there is a fraternity of Modfathers where Bobololo is the head, then surely this guy is the Asian Mafia Don connection :) Folks without further ado... step this way for your pSyk evaluation 101

He is The One, the only.... pSykSG

Ok! so hold on to your pants guys, I take a unique look into the thoughts and opinions of pSykSG - and uncover some talents Nerf some fans may not be aware of:
MyLastDart: Please can you please introduce yourself and where you're from, for Nerf fans that are not already aware of the awesome work you do?
pSykSG: Hi, my name is Ben, and I'm an avid Nerf enthusiast, but more of a modder than anything else. I hail from a small sunny island named Singapore. I hail from a now-defunct Nerf clan named "Foam Fanatix", and I am known as the "Blastersmith" of the group. Haha. 
 
 
MLD: How did you get in to Nerf and can you remember your very first blaster?
 pSykSG: My very first blaster was the Nerf Maverick. I used to be really into Gundam plastic modeling (In short, Gunpla) especially applying custom paint work, and one day a friend of mine told me to take a look at the Maverick because it looked a little like "Big Baby" from Hellboy, and asked me to give it a gunmetal paint job. While I was at it I decided to perform some mods since I already had the Maverick all opened up. It was some really simple mods (AR removal, penny mod, russian roulette mod) but the results really impressed me. That was when I began my journey into modding.
pSykSG's first blaster mod

MLD: Can you tell fans which blaster currently sits proudly on top of your fireplace?
pSykSG: There are no fireplaces in Singapore because we're located near the equator, and it's a tropical island.  However, I do have a little "Wall of Fame" next to my bed and there are currently a few blasters hung up there:
Red Recon + Shotblast Scope & Stock
"Big Yellow" - Hoppered Longshot + Barricade integration
Modded DT3
Octoshot (Blue Simba shell)
"8 x Jialat Jialat" - Firefly turreted LAHB
Overhauled AT3k
"VTMB" - Vortex Tornado + Master Blaster air-tank integration
just to name some of them.
I know I've attached a picture, but almost everything's wrapped up in plastic bags because there are 2 major construction sites just around my vicinity causing dust to collect in layers like mad... So yeah. The modded DT3 is getting some fresh air because it’s just been opened for the usual routine maintenance. 


MLD: So what's pSyk about - how did the nickname come about?
pSykSG: Well, rewind about 13 years ago and I was hooked onto a game called Beatmania. I know some of you out there are probably familiar with this game.
I used to frequent the video arcades alot back then and Beatmania was one of my absolute favourite games (simply because it was the first "music / dj simulation" game ever).
High-scores would always get reset at the end of the day so it was easy to earn yourself a placing. However, the game only allowed you to input 4 characters... so pSyk.
Why pSyk?
Well, my surname is Koh... so pSyk-Koh. :)
(ps: to that one particular idiot who thought calling me 'pSyko' was funny, har har har har the joke's on you, fool.)

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 plain u-g-l-y-p-S-y-k-got-no-alibi? Do you have a pic of artefact pSykMark1? :)
pSykSG: Like I mentioned earlier, the modding started very soon after my Maverick. This was about 2-3 years ago.
I used to work with only "manual" tools like a hacksaw and files.
However, it wasn't any particular blaster that inspired me to pick up a dremel, it was just friendly advice from SG Nerf (I'm sure all of you know who he is) to add a dremel to my tools and I so I did.
I have a couple of pics of older blasters that I worked on, so take a look at that.
See below the "Firefly Priming Indicator mod" picture & video, and also my Raidor Pistol. Yes, I made one way back then.

 Firefly Priming Indicator Mod:
Raidor Pistol aka Raidol:
MLD: What is your current arsenal like?
pSykSG: I don't have a huge arsenal because I live in an apartment. My parents' apartment, to be exact. The culture here in Singapore is vastly different than most European / American cultures. Almost all of us still live with our parents. Therefore, I mod, buy and sell blasters, mainly due to the lack of space at home. I keep only those that are particularly sentimental to me, or if I really want them for collection purposes.
 
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?
pSykSG: Generally, I'm an aesthetics-centered person. If a blaster looks good to me, I'd probably get it.
The "fun" factor is also ranks pretty high up there to me. If you realised, I'm not all about firepower or range; I'm more about things that are unique and functional.
If I find that a blaster looks REALLY good but it's stock performance sucks, I’ll still probably give it a go.
pSykSG Raider pistol mod

  
pSykSG Raider pistol mod


MLD: How do new blasters Hasbro release impact on your gameplay/mods you do? Is there any area currently lacking in your opinion?
pSykSG: I don't get to war much because of my hectic schedule, so I shan't comment in regards to that.
However, speaking of mods... Honestly, the newer blasters have yet to have any particular impact on the direction of my mods.
I just want to "flip the sh*t" on older mods that have been done, or create something "brand new". For example, ever since Solscud007 made a retrofitted the Retaliator internals into a Recon, I followed suit but also pushed myself to see if I could do the same for other older N-Strike blasters to give them the "elite" treatment and I have been successful thus far with the Raider, the Alpha Trooper and the Longstrike. I also recently put my own twist into a Longshot+Recon pump integration, and from time to time I'll create a mod like the "Duo Force".

pSykSG's Duo Force blaster

MLD: Of all the NIC games types you have played - do you have a favorite scenario?
pSykSG: My favourite right now is a game type known locally as "Royal Rumble".
Basically, you just need 1 or 2 referees and everyone else gets split evenly into 2 groups.
Then, everyone gets numbered so you'll end up with a pair of players holding onto the same number, but from opposing teams.
Each team stands on a respective side of a playing field, and when the referee shouts a number, the respective players enter the playing field.
Any player that gets hit or tagged has to leave the playing field, while the survivor stays inside.
The referee calls out any number at any given time as he / she pleases, and the game ends after a set amount of time. The winning team is the one who scored the most hits.
 
MLD: Have you ever played a HvZ game? How was it? Can you help paint the picture for anyone who has never tried HvZ?
 pSykSG: Nope, sorry... However, I imagine it to be really fun
Firefly Priming Indicator Mod

MLD: Can you tell fans what your loadout consists of? Why have you chosen what you have?
pSykSG: My loadout changes quite a bit each time, depending on what type of war I attend.
If it's a big open field, you'll find me with my overhauled 3k, my Shotgunned R3 or my hoppered Tripleshot, and a pistol (that has to be modded to accept stefans).
I carry a pouch filled with about 100 stefans with me at any point.
During games like these, it's all about stefans and reloading on-the-fly, so it makes sense because the overhauled 3k has rear-loading slots, and the R3 and Tripleshot are fitted with hoppers.
If it's a CQB type of war, I'll have my "war" longshot (recently fitted with the Remedy Metal Power Train Kit), my "Elite" alpha trooper or "Elite" Recon, and a pistol (and I'm planning to make this pistol my modded Triad, simply because it's fun). I also carry at least 3 x 18-dart stefan clips, 3 x standard 18-dart drums, about 6 x standard 6-dart clips and a small pouch carrying about 30 assorted darts.
I'll start the game with the a stefan clip loaded into the longshot (and one more in the stock), while having one more on me. I'll have a drum loaded into the secondary, and the rest is used for reloading.

The reason why I carry 2 "main blasters" is because I've had my primary act up on me twice before, and having a secondary is always great.
The pistol is for times when I need to put the primaries down and just run with it, because holding a pistol gives you a lot more mobility that you'd think. Plus, you just grab darts from the ground and use them with your pistol. It's great fun, really.

MLD: How do knock-off blasters affect the work you do?
 pSykSG: They don't at all! :)
Firefly Priming Indicator Mod
MLD: Which path do you see next gen Nerf blasters going down? Where would YOU like to see them evolve?
pSykSG: I see one of two things...
Either they're going to improve barrel / breech seals to attain higher ranges / better accuracy, or they'll all go back to using air-tanks (yay for most Nerfers).

MLD: Not  many fans will know this, but you run another YT channel - 'pSyk's vids' - can you tell fans a bit more about that?
pSykSG: I started that channel over 8 years ago to document my experiences in terms of my dance life. I created that account way back when YouTube wasn't too popular as a way to keep an archive of videos of myself, and as a motivating factor to myself to make sure that with each new video I upload of myself, I'd have to be of a better standard than how I was in the previous one.
However, Nerf came along and I started documenting some mods there, and as I grew more passionate about Nerfing, naturally, more videos about Nerf were uploaded.
It came to a point in time where I realised that my viewers didn't appreciate those mod vids as much, and by mixing up the two hobbies, I made my own channel lose it's identity and direction.
Thus, I decided to set up the pSykSG YouTube account and used that primarily for Nerf related videos, and slowly nudging the original pSyk channel back into showcasing only dance-related videos.


MLD: I have spent a lot of time going thru and watching these videos - where/who do you get inspiration for the music you write? The tracks really makes me want to move - get up and dance!
 pSykSG: I grew up surrounded by music; my parents were huge on music. All kinds of genres. I also took Piano lessons when I was 4; Learnt the guitar and drums when I was 14 and even at one point in my life, I wanted to be a Singer. haha!
So yep, music has always been around me, and my inspiration is drawn from anything, anywhere, anytime. I'm glad it makes you want to move.
I've got a very "varied taste" in music, so generally I try to put that into the music I make. Most importantly, a track I make has to sound good to me before I call it "finished".
To be honest, the music I make is not particularly for any single person or group or target audience; the music I make is for me.
I have to want to make a track before I can make it; And although I've been making tracks for years, it still surprises me that people actually like my music. I find it very encouraging and very heartwarming! To all my supporters, I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big "thank you", I really appreciate it. And now you all know why I can take the longest time to release any new material, haha.
Firefly Priming Indicator Mod

MLD: If a sick hook or beat comes in to your head - what do you do to note it down? Have you got to get straight home and develop it?
pSykSG: I whip out my phone, fire up the Voice Recorder app and make vocal notes. I might hum, I might beatbox a little, then sit on it and let it brew for awhile.
I'll only further develop it when I get hit with about bout of inspiration.


MLD: You released an LP - "As and When" (2010) (http://psyk.bandcamp.com/) - what drove you to write and collaborate on this?
pSykSG: It's called "As and When" simply because of the way I create and release tracks; As and When.
Whenever I want, whenever I feel like it, completely to my convenience, zero pressure.
That album features 3 years worth of work.
It was during the period of O School's dance recital (O School is the studio where I'm currently teaching dance) of the same year when the creative director, Mr. Kenny Low, approached me and asked me if I wanted to sell my music. It wasn't for profit though, it was more of a platform for exposure.
I already had those tracks on hand, so I decided to go ahead and compile them into an album.
I originally printed 100 CDs and to my surprise they completely sold out at the event. People were still asking me where they could get my music so I set up the Bandcamp page. If you realised, the music's actually free, but if you want to make a donation, I'd be more than grateful!

MLD: You're a pretty hot dancer - where did you learn to dance? What is your favorite genre? (Street? Hip Hop? Bodypop?)
pSykSG: It's a really, really, REALLY long and emotional story so I'll just cut it short. I picked up dancing from watching videos and reading up on forums (back then there was no YouTube). My favourite genre of dance is Popping.

MLD: Do mind my asking (tell me to go jump if I am being intrusive..) - why is it an emotional journey?
pSykSG: It really is long, but to summarize it, dance saved my life.
As a young teen I got embroiled in the wrong company and ended up taking a pretty "dark" path of life. Dance (and the friends that came along with it) put me back in the right track.



MLD: Are you still writing and collaborating? Can we expect any new material in the future?
pSykSG: Yes, I am. Just like my album name, "As and When". You can expect new material in the future; the way I see things right now, music is still a very big part of my life so new material will surface whenever I'm inspired. Just a little nugget though; I'm currently working on a cover collaboration with a local singer.
 
MLD: Any chance we will see you on MTV as a presenter?
pSykSG: Damn, I wish! I actually think that's a pretty cool job.

MLD: What can fans expect from you and mods in 2013?
pSykSG: Honestly, I don't know! I can't pinpoint any mods in particular but I can definitely say that I strive to keep things interesting for everyone :)
I guess you could say that it’s very much like the way I make music… I don’t really plan, I just suddenly get an idea or get hit by inspiration and then I’ll work on it.
Oh, by the way, I recently obtained a Firestrike. It’s mad heaps fun! But it’s a tad small. Why am I telling you this?
Because I woke up this morning with the sudden craving to make an updated version of the “Furyfinder” mod using a GI Joe Furyfire and the Firestrike! Hmm. Thanks to this interview, I shall embark on this as my next mod.
pSyk's first LS mod

MLD: Where do you get inspiration for your mods? Any comics, movies, tv shows, books?
pSykSG: My main source of inspiration for my mods comes from other modders and older write-ups. Reading through as many write-ups as I can, watching as many videos as I can and trying to understand as many different "systems" of blasters as I can, to combine / innovate / create something.
 
MLD: What projects are you currently working on? Anything that you are really excited to see the end result of? (can we get a pic of your workshop?)
pSykSG: I don’t have a workshop. The computer table you see behind me in all my videos is where I perform most of my mods. In some videos you get a shot of the bathroom…and the bathroom is where I take all my dremelling / sanding / sawing / grinding work to. Haha. Also, I just mentioned earlier that I’m about to embark on trying to create the updated version of a Furyfire… so… Let’s see how that goes yeah?
(I've attached pictures of the bins and all my junk that's scattered across my room... so yeah. That'll probably give you an idea of my "workshop" haha)
Crates of junk :)
Pile of junk continued :P
 
MLD: As a modder, what are the staple tools of the trade? Is there any tool you could not live without?
pSykSG: Wow. Staple tools of the trade!
A variety of screwdrivers, wire-cutters (aka nibblers), an x-acto knife / penknife, a tube cutter (doesn’t matter if it’s the rotary styled or ratcheting styled ones), a hammer, some assorted pliers and a hacksaw. Those are the “tools” you’d need.
If you have the luxury, then of course, the inclusion of a dremel and a bunch of assorted dremel bits: Sanding drums, Grinding bits, Cutting discs… you know the deal.
Other things I’d mention as staples would be Epoxy Putty, Superglue and Plumbers’ goop. Oh and of course, hotglue and a hotglue gun.
A tool I cannot live without? My screwdrivers! Haha.
Apart from that (since it’s pretty darn obvious), then I’d say… it’s probably my tube cutters. I always face problems getting nice straight cuts done on any tubes or pipes and one of the most essential thing about my mods is rebarrelling… so those things are lifesavers.

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?
pSykSG: To be honest, I didn’t mod a Nitefinder until I was about a year in to modding. My first mod was a Maverick, followed by a Deploy (which is known for being a bitch to work with), then a Longshot. It really depends. I would say that this argument stems from the lack of research done (or ignorance, as some might call it) by newer modders. I didn’t perform any of my first few mods till I read at least 2 write-ups and watched at least 2 videos on them to get a basic understanding of each blaster’s internal systems. It’s kinda like going to another country. You’d probably read an article or watch a show about the country to get a rough idea of where you’re going before you actually go there.
It’s usually the na├»ve newbies who want “T3H B35T BLAST3R EVAR” that screw up the biggest.
 
MLD: What do you get out of the Nerf hobby?
pSykSG: The biggest thing I got out of this hobby besides the sense of satisfaction would definitely be friends. One of the best friends I have is Ahtanie, and if not for this hobby, I don’t think our paths would have ever met.
 
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?
pSykSG: Well it seems that the Elite line features internals that might prove a little tricky even for the seasoned modder. Look at the way the Firestrike’s internals are all crammed up together… plus that weird shaped (and probably structurally weak) catch plate. Look at how intricate the internals of the Rough Cut or the Strongarm are.
So! I’d say, take it back to the old skool (before stocks run out) and work with a Maverick. Why? Indeed, it’s a reverse-plunger system, but hear me out:
You can perform: Air Restrictor Removals, a basic penny mod / spring replacement, basic plunger-to-turret seal improvement, plunger o-ring improvement, Russian roulette mod, drop-clip (or drop-turret) mod, rebarrell the whole turret… and heck, if you wanted you could even single and coupler the fella!
Also if you look at it from a “new to Nerfing” point of view, you get a pistol sized 6-dart rotating turret blaster. Most people I know pick the Maverick over the Nitefinder as their first blaster. I did.
Modified RFSG/ Doomsayer By pSykSG

MLD: Can you tell me what the first 5 tracks are in your favourite playlist? Any particular reason you chose these tracks?
pSykSG: Uh... That's honestly a little biased!
I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many favourite tracks and being "first 5" are in no particular order. I mean c'mon, we sometimes sort our playlists in alphabetical order of the song / album right? So here's 5 of my absolute favourite tracks:
Skalp - Funkin' For Jamaica.
The original song is by Tom Browne. This song just makes me feel good every single time I listen to it. Seriously, it puts a smile on my face even if I'm faced with the worst of days. Take a listen! You'll know why.
Zomboy feat. Belle Humble - City 2 City
I'm huge on dubstep, and this has got to be one of the best. Zomboy, to me, has some of the best production skills in the game, and then we have Belle Humble whom I personally claim has the best "dubstep vocals". Put those two together... Mmm.
Shakles - No Sleep (Savant Remix)
I've been a fan of Savant for quite some time now, in particular his complextro work but this track struck a chord with me due to the sheer production quality. I love how he completely flipped the shit on this one... I personally don't care much for Shakles, but Savant really put a whole new perspective on this.
Hill St. Soul - For Your Love
R&B is a big part of my life... and this is one of the absolute "must listen to" for me. At the end of a long day or a long week, this track is one of those that I'd bump to just relax, unwind and chill to.
Two Fingers - Vengeance Rhythm (KOAN Sound Remix)
This is another one of those "match made in Heaven" tracks for me. Two Fingers and KOAN Sound are two staples in my playlists to listen to, to dance to, and to drop at a gig. Being a music producer, I especially like how KOAN Sound took this track and really made it their own with the trademark KOAN Sound twist, but without losing the original Two Fingers flavor. It's crazy, and it's hard for me to explain it in words, but that's what it is. :)
 
MLD: I have seen you rock some sick 'pSyk' tshirts - where can I pick one up? Any plans for baseball caps?
pSykSG: I actually have about 4 custom made baseball caps… but those are more personal than anything else. I got those made in NYC… and let’s say they weren’t cheap. I might make a bunch for sale if I ever chance upon a reasonable deal.
Well just for the record, you’re not the first person to ask me about getting a pSyk t-shirt. To be honest, I’m surprised that anyone would want to rock a tee with my nick on it. I printed those tees so that I could wear them when I’m DJ-ing at a gig, y’know, for the identity and marketing / awareness purposes. One of my other personal hobbies is t-shirt designing, and I have a little label on the sideline called “All Day Every Day”. With that said, those pSyk are custom made under my ADED branding and currently they’re not for sale, although if I get enough requests I just might consider making more and putting them on sale.

MLD: Is there a site for your brand where fans can commission you design Tshirts like they do with blasters?
pSykSG: Unfortunately, no. I, for one, don't accept commissions. Nerf is a hobby... and I've experienced how it feels like when a hobby becomes a "job" and I don't want that to happen with Nerf. That's also why I make videos, sometimes tutorials, and write-ups. I also hope that by doing so, it'll inspire more people to pick up modding.
As for T-shirts, I run a sideline brand called "All Day Every Day" as I mentioned earlier, and from time to time I'll release a new design and put them up for pre-order.

MLD: Do you watch The Walking Dead? Thoughts for season3?
pSykSG: HELL YES I watch The Walking Dead. I don’t usually watch TV shows but this is one of the rare times I actually look forward to each next episode.
I don’t read the comics so I’m not all that into it, but…
I predict that there’s gonna be an even further twist in the storyline where they realize that the zombie virus might get activated even on living humans, and maybe even some of the key characters might end up being human-zombie hybrids where they are zombies and they can’t die by minor wounds but they still can speak and control their thoughts and behaviours. Hahahahahahahaahahah.

MLD: The Walking Dead - is no mainline character sacred? (i.e Lori)? Why is Herschel still alive and kicking? Could he have a cure in his blood...? Can you rate how kick-ass Daryl is on a scale of 1-5 (1 being die already!)
pSykSG: No. Nobody's sacred.
Hershel is still alive and kicking only because he deserves it. This man lost way too much... almost his entire family and his farm, this man gave life back to other people, got his legs sawed off, is a staunch believer in God, and on top of all, he's not an asshole. *ahem*Rick*ahem*.
Daryl????
Do you really need to ask?
He's only a 58617209481982 out of 5.

Quick-fire round:
Fav soft drink?
pSykSG: Heaven & Earth’s Osmanthus flavoured Green Tea.

Dialling a takeaway, what do you want?
Chinese / Sushi / Pizza / Curry / Subway
pSykSG: PIZZA FOR LIFE!

Egg or chicken?
pSykSG: Chicken. They taste so good when roasted right.

Rock, Paper, Scissor?
pSykSG: Lizard, Spock.
 
 Slam-Fire, Flywheel or N-Force?
pSykSG: Neither. Just regular springer.
 
Best movie of all time & Best super hero ever?
pSykSG: The best movie of all time to me is a stupid old show called Mystery Men. Awesome. Absolutely Awesome.
I don't have a favourite superhero, but if I had to say "the best" it would be Iron Man.
That dude is just... IMBA. It's not fair. Haha.
Wow. A massive Thank You to pSyk for his time, and I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did! It's funny how you can never meet someone, but instantly feel a connection - or something. That's the power of Nerf huh! The internet, funny but funky stuff eh?
With all this said, I'm feeling like a Mod coming on - anyone got a guide for a Stryfcut Masterkey? :D

Ooooh hell yeah! It's modding time!
Check pSyk's music FB page - hit that 'Like' button he's so talented!

Images and videos used with full permission from pSyk 

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