Paintball comes to the Big Screen.. Get involved!

The Paintball Kid is a coming of age action/adventure epic that will be filmed in exotic locations worldwide from the US and Canada to China. Oklahoma D-Day Adventure Park, world's largest paintball field, will be the anchor battle ground for action/stunt filming and other paintball fields are in process to be selected as well. It marks the first joint American/Chinese effort employing paintball as the theme in a major motion picture.

Shanghai Film Studios will serve as the principle studio overseas while studios in Hollywood, Houston and Dallas, Texas will be used for principal photography in the US and Canada. The Paintball game industry, serves as background for the film’s story. Arrangement is currently being made to film on location at major paintball events throughout the world. The film’s story occurs within the context of actual scenario and tournament games that are on-going. The Paintball Kid is expected to draw enormous attention to one of the world’s fast growing sports.

Leading and major supporting actors are being cast out of Hollywood. However, one of the leading roles and several supporting roles will be selected from real paintball players. All paintball scenario and tournament players are eligible for casting and are encouraged to follow the event broadcasts, pending announcement of casting.

Look for updates and follow ups at the OKDDAY website, www.ddayadventurepark.com.


Camoflauging your paintball marker

As you pack up for your next woodsball game, you likely look through all your gear to make sure you don't forget anything. At least I do (I learned that lesson the hard way). Paint and air? Check. Cammies? Check. Mask, nicely ghillied? Check. Vest, which just happens to match your cammies? Check. (for all the grief we give each other.. none of us minds looking sharp out on the field). Big, ominous, black marker? Check.Now, for your average recreational woodsball player, having a black marker isn't a big deal. It's tactical. It looks slick. And it sure doesn't stick out as much as those guys with their neon sign flashbang markers. But for a player who is serious about his stealth, that blotch has to go. After all, you can get away with a boot often enough, it's tucked in a bush. But you've got to point that marker at an opponent. So not only will it be exposed, you'll likely be moving it. And as any good stealth-oriented player knows, movement draws attention like one of those flashbangs would.

There are a couple of easy options. The cheapest, and easiest way to subdue your marker, would be to just toss an old subdued shirt on it, tie it down at a couple of points, and let it be. It's a temporary solution, and it can snag on brush, or even any external moving parts on the marker. That said, in a pinch, it'll give you the concealment you're looking for.

The next step along that line is to full out ghillie your marker. This takes more time and thought, since you'll probably want to make a removeable cover that will last. Almost a slipcover, but more manly. Once you have a base of some sort, you can begin attaching burlap, vinyl leaf, or Action Ghillie. If you do a good job, you can minimize snags, and you'll have some of the best passive camoflauge out there for the task at hand. Goodbye telltale-black signpost labeled "Sniper here."

Oftentimes players find that a ghillie gunwrap suits their needs perfectly. However, over time, players who charge through the woods will find their ghillie snagging far too often, or falling apart. There is a more permanent and appealing option, although not for the faint of heart. Painting.I'm not talking about a rattlecan job here, although that can do a nice job in a pinch too. For the ultimate in stealth, marker protection, and let's admit it, just looking downright classy, Duracoat has proven itself to be the way to go. More durable and more customizable than annodizing, Duracoat is a chemical-based paint that "bakes" onto the surface of your marker, and is downright indestructible (and doesn't snag on brush!). With some equipment on hand, you can do a duracoat job yourself, but I'll warn you from experience, prepare to take a LOT of time to do it, and do it right. Or, of course, there are painting specialists who do it for a living, if you've got the cash.

So, if you've been looking for that edge, look into camo, from a different light.


You needed some Costuming for that Medieval Scenario?

Ok, this may or may not be really newsworthy, but it definitely caught my eye.

It's often been noted that paintball attracts a good portion of the "geek" crowd (along with other stereotype populations). There may now be solid proof for this. Chainmail has come to the paintball scene.
Yes. Chainmail. The clinky metal stuff. In this case, www.PBChainmail.com has launched, selling tank covers of all sizes. Anything from a 12g changer or 3.5oz CO2 up to a massive HPA tank can be covered in style, with a wide selection of colors and a few different weave patterns. The option is also given to have the cover made of half rubber and half metal links to cut weight, add more flexibility to the cover, and save cost.

Despite being made on a custom or semi-custom basis, and of course the time consuming process involved (I don't know how many others out there have made chainmail. It takes forever. I gave up after a few days, which coincided nicely with my mother's refusal to give me any more coat hangers), the prices for the covers are similar or slightly higher than other tank covers availiable on the market. So if you're looking for something to set your tank or marker apart and provide protection along the way, a chainmail cover might just be the ticket.
If nothing else, it makes for some nice eye candy.


SPPL 2008 California Updates

For anyone who has been following the SPPL season, updates have been posted on the SPPL website. This weekend's California Qualifier is hosting some of the most intense Elite Division matchups so far, with Forest Fire, Forest Demons, and Regime all battling for top honors. Also attending the event in the Masters and Rookie divisions are the Chupacabras and Elite Mercs. Game scores from Day One have been posted, and more results are sure to come in as the event wraps up tommorow.

California Updates:

Final Results Just In!

Elite Mercs win Sportsmanship!

Forest Demons take 1st in the Elite Division while
ForestFire takes 2nd and Regime takes 3rd.

In the Masters Division, Chupacabras take 1st and the Elite Mercs take 2nd.

I would personally like to thank each of you who attended this event. Thank you for making it GREAT! with your outstanding Sportsmanship and level of play. -- Jayson Nielson (from www.playsppl.com)


RECON Magazine at Long Island Big Game

I'm gearing up for the Long Island Big Game right now. "Gearing up" for me, this season, unfortunately, means I'm clearing off my digital recorder, packing the truck full of magazines, and printing out RECON subscription forms.

RECON Magazine will be offering a great subscription deal at THIS GAME ONLY! Buy a two or three-year subscription to RECON, and receive a FREE CD of photos from the 2007 Long Island Big Game, taken by RECON staff photographer T.J. Allcot. The CDs will be selling for $10, and include tons of great moments from last year's Long Island Big Game--the tanks, the helicopter, celebrity generals, big name scenario teams and more!

You can't lose--subscribe to RECON for 2 or 3 years, getting more than 50 percent off the newsstand price, and get FREE PHOTO CD, too!

Drop by and see me near the Blue's Crew / EMR Trailer in the vendor area. Bring me food and I'll give you 10 percent off ANY RECON SUBSCRIPTION... a pregnant girl's gotta eat... ice cream, cookies, granola bars and pizza preferred!


Try Paintball Now Launched, promises to bring new players to the sport.

On Wednesday, paintball industry giant Tippmann Sports, along with Special Ops Paintball, US Army Paintball, and the Paintball Sports Trade Association announced the launch of a new website, TryPaintballNow.com. Designed both as a way to bring new players into the sport and provide current players with a comprehensive database of fields and paintball shops, the new site features an appealling layout with featured paintball videos and links to Tippmann sponsored prize drawings and newsletters.

In a recent press release, Ron Goldblatt , the marketing director for Tippmann Sports said: “Paintball is in need of new players. And, as an industry leader, Tippmann felt the need to focus marketing resources on recruiting these players... We wanted to create an entirely new medium for less experienced players because many existing paintball sites are great for experienced paintballers, but can be overwhelming for those newer to the game. With Try Paintball Now, we have a platform in place that provides a variety of helpful paintball information in a fun and easy-to-understand format.”

Recalling my own beginnings in the sport, I honestly feel this is a great move, both for the companies involved and the players it is marketed to. The combination of resources of some of the leading woodsball companies, especially led by Tippmann (honestly: how many woodsball players start with a Tippmann 98 or A-5? I'm one of the rare few that didn't, but I've owned one since), greatly simplifies a new players search for information, gear, and local fields. All of which means a simpler, faster learning curve, and more time having fun playing the game.

A big thumbs up on this move! (gee, now I feel like Ebert and Ropert)


Tippmann Announces Its Sponsored Teams on Web

Tippmann has announced its list of sponsored teams for 2008 and Tri-State Special Operations Command is proud to tell the world that they are amongst this select group of teams. Tippmann's sponsored teams hail from Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, California, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, South Carolina, as well from Canada and Scotland.

Tippmann also recently partnered with the West Point Mil-Sim Paintball Club out of the United States Military Academy and supplied them with the the new US Army Alpha Black Paintball Marker.

"Being sponsored by Tippmann is truly an honor for TSSOC - the best mil-sim marker available in the hands of a hardcore team of operators. We are proud and excited to represent Tippmann Sports!" said James "BigDino" DiNardo, TSSOC Commanding Officer.

2008 games for TSSOC thusfar:
*Castaway Island (Oahu, HI) - Most Valuable Team for the Pirates and member Pete "Keg" Walker was awarded Most Valuable Player
*Splatbrothers' Operation Market Garden (Hopewell, VA) - Most Valuable Team for the Americans and MVP, Dave "Elff" Dietz
*Ambush Alpha-produced, Battle for Mt. Samat (Limerick, PA) – MVP, Chris "DeathX" Crawford, for the Japanese.
*West Point's Spring "Combat Classic" Korean War Scenario (West Point, NY) - Chris "Topher" Matsinger as XO for the US/UN
*Castle Conquest XXV (New Milford, PA) – Attackers, winning side in three hours and thirty minutes.

Tri-State Special Operations Command upcoming games will be the Viper Invitational in Sherwood, IN on May 24 and 25, NJ Nam 08 in Pittsgrove, NJ on June 7 and 8, Invasion of Normandy at Skirmish on July 12 and 13, San Juan Hill at SplatBrothers on July 12 and 13 in Hopewell, VA, and the New York SPPL qualifier at Cousin's in Plattekill, NY on July 26 and 27.

Tri-State Special Operations Command (TSSOC) is a team of highly motivated military-simulation scenario and woodsball players with a common goal to help shape the sport of scenario paintball while improving our team's tactical capability. For more information, please visit http://www.tristatespecops.com


RECON Announces Contest

Inspiring posts by RECON bloggers Bruce "Charon" Johnston and Ian "Lo" Ebersole have prompted me to announce a RECON reader contest! One first place winner will receive a one-year subscription to RECON Magazine and will have their essay published in RECON, while 2 runners-up will also have their work published in RECON and will receive a free copy of that issue!

The contest is simple... in a short essay of 400 to 700 words, tell us: "Why woods paintball is special to you" or "What makes you proud to be a woodsballer."

You can follow Lo's example and write about a particular day or moment, or speak in general, the way Bruce did. Have fun with it, be creative and please, use spell check before submitting your entry.

E-mail all entries to: RECONEditor (@) gmail.com. Entries will be judged by the RECON staff on the basis of creativity, clarity and quality. (That is: how unique/original your ideas are, how clearly you express your ideas, and if your essay is fun to read and shows a knowledge of basic writing ability). Contest deadline is June 15, 2008.

Writers and photographers whose work has appeared in RECON within the past year or is scheduled to appear within the next six months are ineligible to enter (sorry). Employees of RECON are ineligible to enter. LOL


A Day at the Park (ok, ok, Paintball field)

Went out and played paintball today, and I had a really, really good time. I went incognito; just pulled out some old cammies and a Tippmann 98 Custom and played.

While there were a few times I wished I was using my Phantom (snap shooting with a 3-foot long gun while laying down isn't all I remember it to be), it really was a much simpler, more relaxed day. No batteries, no pods, just pure paintball zen. I suppose with all the expectationsI usually bring to the field, I burden myself. Today, if I made a bad move, I made a bad move. It wasn't particularly important. I wasn't pressuring myself to play well, or even to really practice or learn anything. Just playing paintball.

The second thing that made it such a good day was that there happened to be a very large birthday party in attendance. There were just short of two dozen kids present, probably around 10 years old. To my surprise, they were most unlike the kids that age I've seen play before. They were aggressive and moved, they worked well with each other, and some of them were dang good shots. Beyond that, they insisted on playing together as a team against the regulars. (I can't say they ever won a game, but they came close!). They were all smiles, all day, even when they'd catch three or four balls on the way out. That's the kind of attitude I love to see from new players. Playing hard, and smiling harder.

Now, I've got a soft spot for kids. And that's part of it. But these two things combined really restored a lot of my hope in the future of the sport. During the entire day, I never saw any cheating, any swearing, anyone getting heated at all really.

Let's just say that today made me proud to play paintball.


What REALLY Makes Paintball Special?

I am an older player who has been around the game for a long time; I have the advantage of looking at the sport of paintball a little different than other people.

I have played organized sports at a competitive level my entire life: hockey, baseball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, golf and basketball. I can say that paintball players are a special breed of athlete. Perhaps that is the wrong word; paintballers are a special breed of people.

Paintball players are predominantly young men who play the game jacked up on adolescent hormones, adrenaline and energy drinks. The primary equipment needed to play the game can cause serious injury if used incorrectly and the participants play the game unsupervised, for the most part.

At the field and in online forums you can find people talking smack. Putting down other players because of the style of paintball they play or the equipment they use. When you put all of these ingredients together they look like a recipe for a brawl at best or full-out riot at worst. Yet paintball is the safest extreme sport in the world and one of the safest sports, period.

I have given a considerable amount of thought to the reason why. To the public, paintball appears dangerous and violent, but it is in fact, a true gentlemen’s sport.

The reason the game is as safe and popular as it is, is YOU--the player! Despite how it looks to outsiders, and what happens away from the field, the sport of paintball is special because of you. Each and every paintball player, in some way, contributes to the greatness of the game as a whole.

At the rec-ball field, there are neither soccer moms nor football dads screaming at their kids to play better and win at all costs. There is no external pressure on any players, so everyone can be themselves, which brings out the best in everyone.

The next time you are at the baseball diamond or soccer field take a look around. What do you see? Kids being pressured to live up to the expectations of their parents, stats and record sheets showing how this group of kids is better than that group of kids, league officials and coaches bickering over rules. In short, there is organized chaos and a distinct lack of love for the game.

Take a look around the next time you are at the paintball field. What do you see? Paintballers, that’s it -- just paintballers. A bunch of people who just want to go out and have fun playing the game they love.

Players at every field are pretty much the same. I have walked up to Team Delta at EMR, Thor Omega at Skirmish USA, logged on to a discussion forum in Ireland and have been treated with the same respect as when I am talking to the group of new players at my local field.

'Ballers are 'ballers no matter where you go. Every one of you should be proud of what you have created, a worldwide brotherhood of paintballers. A sport that is special because of the character of the participants, not because of wins and losses.


SPPL Utah Qualifier Wrap-Up

With its second event of the season, the SPPL (Scenario Paintball Players' League) is in full swing. Thirteen teams showed up to the famous Spec Ops Retribution field, home of Elite Weekend, for the 2008 SPPL Utah Qualifier on May 2 and 3.

You can check out www.playsppl.com for news, photos, and more. And of course, we'll have complete coverage of the game in the Spring 2008 issue of RECON Magazine. I'd like to share some of my personal observations about the event in this blog.

Although it snowed on Thursday evening, making the field (especially the upper "APE Rampage" field) quite muddy, it warmed up by Friday. The game got off to a late start but players and staff alike made the best of it, and by lunchtime, games were on schedule. Teams really hustled to get to their deadboxes in time. Due to a glitch with the DraXxuS paint delivery, we started the event with only 100 cases of paint. Players competing later in the day graciously waited to buy their paint, or loaned a case to teams who played in the morning. Even competing teams loaned paint so that the games could go on without a hitch.

The SPPL really reminds me of the amazing sportsmanship we see at woodsball games across the country, both spotlighting and rewarding friendly behavior. The refs--who did a phenomenal job--received the utmost respect from the players. Every team received several votes for the Sportsmanship Award, making it an amazingly difficult decision. Team Feel the Paint received the Sportsmanship Award--equal in value to the first place prize package--for their honesty, positive attitudes and helping to make the game more fun for each team they faced.

I personally want to recognize nearly every team for their behavior and fun-loving attitudes both on and off the field. Hats off to Chupacabra, (or rather, hats on), who traveled the furthest for the event, coming from Tuscon, Arizona to play in the Rookie Division. Also, special thanks and recognition to Shadow Legion, who faced some interesting travel challenges on the way down from Idaho, but arrived at the field with smiles on their faces and great attitudes in spite of their road trip difficulties.

The new divisions work well. One of the real benefits is that new teams really have a chance to compete against players of similar skill levels. This will encourage the growth of the league; Utah saw two brand new teams (less than one year old) playing in the rookie division and two teams new to the SPPL this season.

The Utah Qualifier hosted four Rookie teams, seven Masters teams and two Elite teams. The Elite teams competed in the two Masters brackets until the Finals in two brackets, giving the Masters players a chance to really stretch themselves.

Some of the hottest action took place in games where Masters players faced legendary teams like "Run." On Friday, industry legend Tom Cole of Bad Company sat in with Run, while Saturday saw Steve Paige and Dale "Pegleg" Price competing with the Utah-based Elite team.

The Winners:

1st - BlackLight Company
2nd - Suicide Kings
3rd - Feel the Paint

1st - Desert Edge Yin
2nd - Desert Edge Yang
3rd - Montana Inertia

1st - Forest Fire
2nd - Run

Sportsmanship: Feel the Paint

* Special thanks to Josh Eades of Desert Edge and Ben Haslam who photographed the event. Here's just a small sampling of Josh's thousands of pictures, which can be seen at www.playsppl.com and www.teamdesertedge.com.


Live, from the Utah SPPL

Just wanted to drop a quick note to all our RECON blog readers. I'm reporting live from the SPPL Utah Qualifier paintball event at the Spec Ops Retribution Field in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Well, actually, right now I'm in my hotel room about 3 miles from the field, ready to get some sleep for an early, early start tomorrow. Game time starts at 7 PM, and will continue until sundown.

I've also got in my hands, right now, (this part is true) the fresh NEW issue of RECON, the long-awaited issue 4:1. I sincerely hope it lives up to the hype (and the long wait.) We'll have back issues of RECON available for free at the event all day tomorrow (I can't guarantee they'll last until Saturday!) and copies of the newest issue for sale for only $5! You can't beat that price for a single issue!

Also, players with SPPL ID cards can subscribe tomorrow and receive a 10 percent discount off our regular subscription prices! If you're not at the event this weekend, but you have an official SPPL Player ID card, you can still take advantage of this offer by going to www.playsppl.com.

I think that's enough promotions for one night! Drop by the SpecOps field tomorrow and say hi and enjoy some of the best scenario paintball action around.