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Doc's Machine- the Mad Scientist of Paintball
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Weekend walk-on Game, Wasilla Splatterhouse, Wasilla Alaska, 2013

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In January, we all bundled into a rented Ford Extrusion and headed North. We passed through rain, snow, light ice fog,
more rain- in January- icy roads and finally hit clear dry roads just outside of Wasilla.

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The Splatterhouse turns out to be one of a row of large rental buildings, like large quonset huts. Inside, the place is well laid out
with a nice office/pro-shop, a nice selection of rentals; Smart Parts Vibes and the newish "rental" version of the Model 98,
all on 47ci steel HPA tanks. They had a monster compressor out back, and all-day air with your entry fee.

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The field itself, though, was pretty small. Scratch that, it was tiny. It was pretty much as big as they could make it in the
space they had, and I knew it was going to be pretty small, but I was still somewhat surprised.

On playing it, though, it was not bad at all. Games were quick, as you might imagine, but that worked well- several groups
showed up over the course of the day, so they'd basically just take the nearest six or eight ready-to-go players, run two
or three back-to-back 3 or 4-man games, cycle them out to clean up and reload, and run the next group in.

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The pictures aren't that great, since while it was pretty well-lit, it was "dark" as far as the cameras were concerned,
especially having to shoot through the black-mesh netting. The best my old XT could do was about 1/5th second
exposures, so most of mine came out pretty blurry- though I thought this one from one of the games that had
eight (!) players on a side, came out kinda cool. Drew's newer camera did much better, though not perfect,
and for the best pics you had to kind of had to wait for a "still" moment to minimize blurring.

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That's a Chipley S6, by the way, and the guy in camo in the background has a Tippmann SL-68 II. I knew I shoulda brought my Sniper. happy.gif

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I was fairly impressed at how clean the place was kept. Supposedly after every weekend, they pressure-wash off the bunkers,
leaf-blow all the paint together and scoop it up, and then run something like a large industrial carpet cleaner over the AstroTurf.

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There was a "hallway" of sorts, along one side, where players could get their gear ready, or watch the games- I can't fault their choice of decoration, either.

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Every Halloween, they reconfigure the building into a Haunted House, so the "tables" along the sides
are stacks of the movable panels they use to make up the mazes.

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To get ready for this trip, I'd installed an older, new-to-me Centerflag Dynaflow 4500 on my Etek.
I'd just gotten the tank in and figured I'd give it a try- especially since it was one of the
few tanks I owned that was actually still in hydro at the time.

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Naturally, when I went to fill it to 3K for the first time, the fill nipple leaked. Only slightly, but a definite leak. No biggie, I figured,
I'd just live with it. That is, 'til just after my first game, when an O-ring in the on-off blew out, dumping the tank dry in about
a minute and a half. Thankfully I'd brought a small "field kit" I'd put together over the summer, and so I had a selection of
O-rings on hand. I'd never been into the on-off on a Dyna before, however, so I had to do the usual exploratory surgery.
Did I mention it was kind of dark in there?

I popped it open, found the bad O-ring (it was almost crumbling) and put the button back together...
or at least, I thought I did. In the dim light, I'd missed how one of the spools must have flipped
as I pushed it out into my palm, so I misassembled it. And now, I could fill the tank, but no air
would go into the reg, no matter where the button was pushed.

So now I had to crack open the fill nipple to bleed the tank, so I could open up the on-off again without
risking shooting parts across the room. Or into my eyeball.

Once cracked and safely vented- which took several minutes, I didn't want to risk blowing the last thread or
two out of the fill nipple- I rechecked the button assembly (with a flashlight) found my mistake, reassembled it,
and since it was already open, I swapped the O-ring in the fill nipple as well.

In those particular sizes, I only had black rubber O-rings rather than urethane, but they got me through the day.
I filled back up, re-chronoed, and got back into play.

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"Hey, where'd everybody go?"

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Two or three games later, the reg started leaking again, just as another game was about to start.
The ref wanted to know if I was going to sit out, but looking at my gauge, I figured
I had about 90 seconds of air left. No! Just start the damn game!

Afterward, I saw that the air was coming from the adjuster, so once it was empty again- thank the Gods of Paintball
for all day air- I pulled it, the mainspring and the primary piston. It's O-ring, too, was starting to crumble:

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The little yellowish one came out of the fill nipple, the white one at the left came out of the on-off, and the larger one
came off the primary piston. I didn't break 'em getting them out, that's how they were when they were in the reg.

Again, I had a black rubber O-ring in the right size, so once again, I put 'er back together,
refilled the tank, rechronoed, and spent the rest of the day with no troubles whatsoever.
(This all took place in the first hour, maybe hour and a half we were there.)

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Andrew, looking blurry as usual.

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I'd have been fine if I'd left the tried-and-tested Flatline on the gun, but its hydro had expired and I
wanted to be safe and legal. Anyway, those minor hiccups aside, they were a small price to pay
for being able to play some good 'ball in the middle of the winter.

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Farcical names, jokes about players and jokes about players' mothers are all in good fun. No harm intended.