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Over the years, I’ve written a lot about tube front-ends in this blog. I’ve owned a lot of them, too.

In a very short space of time I’ve seen them go from civilian 3-Gun innovation to Tier 1 essential.

Left to right; UKSF using the IUR, CAG using the SMR, DEVGRU using the RAHG:

And where Tier 1 goes, airsoft is sure to follow.

Tubes are now a mainstream choice, along with lashings of Krylon and Multicam (anyone else remember how difficult the latter was to get hold of, in the early 00’s?)

I was talking to my mate Rob, recently, lamenting that I don’t see so many dedicated civilian blaster builds around any more. In fairness, a lot of them were shit, but that made finding the true gems even more rare and exciting.

As we were discussing this, it became clear that one reason for the demise of the civ build is there’s so much variety out there, embodied by military blasters in the wild.

Milciv is now the the norm and you can express yourself quite adequately through a modern SOF impression. Plus, Kryloning blasters is just too much fun not to indulge in.

Contrast the mainstream with the surge in popularity of Micro Retro impressions. Retro used to mean that Vietnam era impressions were about the most modern you’d find.

Things have moved on and the chronological scope has narrowed: some hardcore impressionistas are now specialising not on an era, but on a particular year! And perhaps one only ten to fifteen years ago. That’s Micro Retro.

And, ten to fifteen years is long enough ago to build RIS’d up, unpainted blasters and wear something other than Multicam.

I suppose my point is: coming back to airsoft after a decent break, in many ways things have really progressed.

And it’s great to see.

Incidentally, the ‘Nam blasters in the pics is owned by my friend, Pier, and featured here. I’m hoping to do an update with Pier, soon.