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Weekend walk-on Game, Wasilla Splatterhouse, Wasilla Alaska, 2013
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.
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
all on 47ci steel HPA tanks. They had a monster compressor out
back, and all-day air with your entry fee.
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
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.
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
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
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. :)
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
So now I had to crack open the fill nipple to bleed
the tank, so I could open up the on-off again without
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.
"Hey, where'd everybody go?"
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:
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.)
Andrew, looking blurry as usual.
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.
All text, photos and graphics
Copyright 1998- 2015, Doc's Machine & Airsmith Services. All Rights
Farcical names, jokes about players and jokes about players' mothers are all in good fun. No harm intended.