I’ve always wanted to do a Development Team Six (DEVTSIX) interview and I’m lucky enough to present my very first one, on the subject of Group V – or GreyGroup. Hailing from Norway, you just know the Realsim standards are going to be off the chart.
Every team is different, but one of the characteristics I’ve noticed from speaking to a number of Norwegian Realsim outfits is that they are highly serious about serious things. Conversely, they are totally relaxed and light hearted about pretty much everything else.
This interview continues that trend and it is my very great pleasure to welcome Tall Guy, who will be representing for GreyGroup!
How did the team start out?
Well, GreyGroup (formerly TF: Wolfpack) was founded way before my time, all the way back in 2009-2010. The idea was to gather a team of guys that attended events together, where playing and tactics was more important than the gear – although a generic Vanilla SEAL-kit was the goal gearwise.
The team back then consisted of both active-duty soldiers, as well as civilians. Most of the original guys have quit the hobby or gone into hibernation since then, but the main man behind GreyGroup ‘Fruity Rudi’ still kicks with us!
How did the team become a DEVTSIX Group?
When I joined GreyGroup back in 2013, we were facing a change in the ranks – some members quit or went into hibernation, some had kids and others wanted to pursue other kits and teams. New members arrived, myself included, and the timeframe and goal was switched towards a generic DEVGRU kit. DEVGRU and Navy SEALs is not the same thing, to clarify that!
Joining Development Team Six was never a specific goal for the team, more of a distant dream where we wanted to at least have a standard close to some of their groups – an inspiration you may say. As the time has passed, we learned a lot about DEVGRU and narrowed down our timeframe and reference photos. Right now our main focus lies on the Red and Gold Squadron, the two main assault squadrons in DEVGRU, circa 2011 (post-Neptune Spear).
Attention to detail, correct gear and a more active profile on social media like IG, Facebook and over at the DT6-forum (where everybody should hang around) are some of the key factors that played a part when GreyGroup was invited to join the DT6 family as their Group V earlier this year.
What’s GreyGroup’s leadership style?
Our founding member Rudi once said, “It’s flat at the top of our pyramid.” I guess one could say that we have several ‘leaders’ that the other guys can ask for advice in terms of improving their kits or other gear-related questions. When we’re out playing, we have a general idea that everybody should be able to lead, but we usually rock the same 1-3 squad leaders, depending on how many of us that shows up.
What guides GreyGroup’s loadout?
We try our best to replicate the to DEVGRU squadrons mentioned, so we’re heavily dependent and ‘locked’ to appropriate reference pictures.
Since we’ve chosen to reenact a Tier 1 unit, there are only a handful of pictures of our timeframe available to the public. This means that we may only see parts of the kits in use, so we rely on some older pictures; as well as our common geardo sense when building our kits. “Is this something the boys would use? Would this be the correct piece for my backpanel setup?” These are all questions we discuss, fight over and unite around in GreyGroup.
As for your own loadout, where do you stand on the picture perfect vs. performance impression spectrum?
I’ve become more of a picture perfect fan, notwithstanding the lack of sufficient reference pictures. I believe that if you swap out pieces or take too many freedoms for the sake of your own performance while playing airsoft, you’re often left with an ‘inspired-by’ kit, rather than an impression.
I totally get that people want to stray from pictures for events. The usual DEVGRU Direct Action-setup with 3+1 magazines for your main weapon (and only one for your sidearm) doesn’t really work at airsoft events, besides close quarters. I tend to throw a spare magazine in each of my cargo pockets if I suspect heavier contacts. Works great, and it doesn’t mess too much with my impression!
Tell me about a piece of kit which is a Tall Guy mainstay.
Well, in the world of a tall man I must say that my extra long Crye Combat Pants are a life saver. The struggle of short pants is awful, and really something that bugged me until I came across the pair I rock today.
However, since owning a pair of the correct length Crye pants isn’t something you can brag about nowadays, I must throw in that the coolest piece I currently own is my LBT1961G in Woodland (which is pretty rare in these AOR1-gucci days). It’s NSWDG-issue. I’m a big fan of the LBT1961 rig, and owning this particular piece is something I appreciate a lot!
Tell me about a piece of kit you expected to be awesome, but which didn’t hit the mark.
That’s a harder one! I usually don’t complain about things, but I just came home from a social gathering with some of the dudes in GreyGroup. One of them recently acquired the new VFC-produced H&K HK45CT. I was really looking forward to fiddling around with it. I know I’m not the only one in the NSW reenactment community that’s been looking forward to its release. It’s said to be a well made replica of DEVGRU’s new sidearm.
While this particular piece may have been a Friday afternoon special, I felt that the overall quality of the replica was really cheap – especially when taking the 230 Euro price tag into consideration. While it looks pretty great besides some missing trades, clubfoot magazine boot and a single-side selector, it’s not something I’d be willing to spend 230 Euros on.
Does GreyGroup standardise on an Airsoft weapon platform?
We don’t decide what platform our members use, but we’ve been avid users of the TM NGRS series since they came out and have been encouraging new members to jump onto the platform. Spare mags are never far away, especially not when we attend events together with the great guys from TF EXO. That being said, we do have some GBBR fanatics in our team.
There was a pic doing the rounds recently which accidentally highlighted why you chose Tall Guy as your social media name. Exactly how tall are you?!
Hah! I knew this one was coming… My passport states that I’m 2.00 meters tall, but I believe that I am 2.02 at a good day 😉
Funny thing is that I don’t really realize myself that I am as tall as I am, but I guess I’ve become more aware of it lately. Especially after the ‘famous’ picture of me and my team-mate Smenny and his Mercedes Geländewagen. I look so misplaced in the picture, making both him and the car look like smaller replicas of the real deal. Funny thing, really!
Ola from HHK tipped me off about your tactical repurposing of IKEA bags…
IKEA bags have been noted in all timeframes of modern day DEVGRU, so it’s natural for us to use them in-game as well…
Joking apart, it was a terrible mistake from our side. We attended the famous Norwegian Operation Rudna, where communication between the organizers and GreyGroup completely failed. Needless to say, we had to bring our blue-and-yellow bags in game. Not only a living hell to pull them up and down in rough terrain, but also terribly embarrassing!
The incident resulted in a spoof from HHK/TF EXO, where one of their members sewed a chestrig out of IKEA-bags and… I believe the picture of it actually went viral! Isn’t there a saying that says all PR is good PR? 🙂
Lastly, what makes a good realsim event?
First and foremost, realistic hit and medic rules/treatment. Differentiating between a hit in your PC or your leg makes the medic role a much bigger aspect of the event than the ‘high-five medics’ you encounter at regular skirmishes and milsims.
A realistic scenario that suits the amount of players, props and AO is never bad either!
In the end, it all comes down to the people who attend the event. If someone attends knowing that following the CoC and accomplishing missions contributes to realism – rather than concentrating on who can sling the most plastic – I believe they’d be well on their way to creating a great realsim event for themselves and those around them.
A massive thanks to Tall Guy for words and pics!