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We’ve all wondered about Systema’s ‘Spaghetti Bird’ lower receiver trades. It’s actually supposed to be a Phoenix, flying from the proverbial flames, believe it or not.

That’s one good reason to buy yourself a Prime Diemaco lower receiver and build a UKSF masterpiece. My next guest had an entirely different reason…

Pay attention because there is a massive, massive jolt of fiery reality at the centre of this excellent piece from my friend Andy B – Tactical Optician.

“This PTW project holds a particular significance for me, despite it being born of a simple desire to emulate the de facto UKSF blaster of the modern era. The seed of this was planted in August 2014.”

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“Before this, in 2013, after witnessing the wide array of accurate, well crafted personalisations in the PTW world, I wanted in. And I wanted in badly. So as the H&K 416’s star was rising in a post-Neptune Spear world, I jumped on the NSW bandwagon and got cracking. My efforts were covered in earlier entries on this blog. The C8, if it were to happen, would not be a short evolution, or an easy one.”

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“The trouble with customising is it becomes more than the means to an end. Gradually, for some of us, the journey assumes as great, if not greater significance than the destination. There is something very satisfying in the quest for information, photographs, evidence and source material. Combing the web’s numerous sites for the latest tidbit of information, pm’s to others similarly afflicted, and questions asked & answered.”

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“This is followed by the search for the correct parts. Acquisition, evaluation, dry leads, eBay sniping and ‘wanted’ threads lead slowly, tortuously to that last holy grail part to bolt on. This can in turn precipitate the need to switch or swap out another item due to an unforeseen incompatibility. And so the cycle, the evolution continues. The Grind is real, in the words of many online gamers.”

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“Far from frustrating, The Grind became cathartic, a focus, a welcome release from circumstance. In October of 2014, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer. Tests quickly confirmed that this was at an advanced stage, and would require a protracted regime of high-dose chemotherapy. By mid October this began, and as my immune system was beaten into submission along with the disease, I needed other things to focus my mind on. And so the C8 build began.”

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“Over the next year, I gradually drew together the constituent parts, starting with a Prime C8 lower receiver, and slowly my magnum opus took shape. It was a tremendous help at a difficult time to focus on the build. I also witnessed how much the airsoft & tactical worlds leant strength and gave me something to aim for, and the means to compartmentalise. I was immensely grateful for the numerous personal messages from around the world. It was humbling.”

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“By April 2015, my chemotherapy had finished, and I was clear of lymphoma. I could look forward to rehabilitation, and to the completion of my build. The synergistic relationship between the two seemed symbolic.

And so, my take on the PTW Diemaco C8 SFW.”

A massive, massive thanks to Andy B; not only for sharing such a life affirming tour de force, but for building such an awesome blaster!

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