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Nerf Desolator
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Treezy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Nov 2016
Posts: 283
Fav. Blaster: Doomlands Desolator
Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire



Post Nerf Desolator  Reply with quote
Iíd seen the Desolator popping up in various YouTube vids around the time of its release and I knew from the moment I saw it I had to get one. Unfortunately it seems thereís no planned UK launch, so I bit the bullet and imported one from Germany via BlasterParts.

I was a little worried in the week following hitting the ďconfirm purchase buttonĒ. While most reviews had said it was a brilliant blaster, it wasnít without its flaws: very skinny profile, especially on the rear end; a little short overall; very cramped trigger areaÖ

When it turned up I could see what was meant by the skinny rear on it; itís significantly narrower than most Elite blasters and their stocks. However, itís not terrible and it still shoulders really nicely. Iím used to the Rayven as a primary, and itís a touch longer in the rear than this, so it fits me just right (Iím about 5í 6Ē). The casing is a little different to the usual Hasbro plastic, with a weird ďfrostedĒ texture to a lot of the white plastic; presumably to represent the post-apoc nuclear winter wasteland. Unfortunately this plastic doesnít feel quite as robust as Hasbroís usual stuff, and thereís a noticeable amount of flex in the shell under pressure. One could surmise this flex will help the shell absorb impacts if itís dropped or knocked, but to me it just feels like a lesser quality plastic has been used.

I spun it up with some AAs and fired off the included darts to check it was all working, then set about opening it up to remove various locks and rewire it. Now, butterflying this thing isnít easy. For a start there are a lot of screws, and some of the screw ports are a touch narrow, so you canít always use a comfortable number 1 and have to resort to a narrow electrical screwdriver. The shell is made up of a number of different pieces, with the black parts being press fitted into the white casing. These black parts donít always want to come apart too easily. With some applied force it does pop apart, so itís worth removing the screws fully from the top shell, rather than leaving them loose in situ.

Once apart itís obvious that the rear of the blaster is pretty empty, which accounts for why itís a fairly front heavy blaster. Layout is pretty similar to a Stryfe, so rewiring is fairly straightforward too. One issue that I came across is where the wiring runs through the hidden channel in the mag well, there is very limited space to use thicker wire. Even removing the three little posts for locking the standard wire in place, as soon as you replace the original cobweb-thick wiring the channel cover will no longer fit flush, and bulges into the mag well a touch. Now, this doesnít present much of a problem, because you can still get a mag in and out without issue. However, with standard wiring and no bulge a mag will pretty much drop out under gravity when released; with thicker wiring you can definitely feel the friction against the mag, and they no longer just drop out when released. Ok, you could run the wiring across the top of the blaster, but then itíll be seen through the clear plastic, which kinda ruins a lot of the aesthetic.

With stock setup this blaster is quiet; much more so than the Stryfe itís cloned from. Iím not sure if itís better balanced flywheels, different motors, the cage, or all of the above that contribute to this quietness. Even with 3x IMRs powering it, itís noticeably less screamy than other similarly powered blasters, and vibration is minimal. There looks like there is a slight misalignment from dart to cage and wheels, but itís not enough for dart tips to catch anywhere when pushed through, and they fire out straight and fast. Running it through the chrono at BB8 I got a range or speeds from low 80s to 110+ fps, using a mix of waffle tips (stacked and X) in fairly good condition, but not brand new. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say that under ideal test conditions it'd average about 90fps fairly consistently.

Iíve had to modify the shell in a couple of places already. Firstly, even though itís essentially just a super sexy Stryfe reshell, the Stryfe extended mag releases from Worker wonít fit without a little trimming of the inside of the shell. Secondly, the jam door will only open to about 45 degrees, which doesnít give much space to get a finger in and clear any jams (not that Iíve had any). You can either trim the supporting ribs from the hinge on the jam door so they donít hit the shell, or trim a bit of the outer shell to allow the jam door to open fully without obstruction. Given that the jam door doesnít have much material around the hinge, I opted for trimming the shell. It only needs 1-2mm coming off, and it doesnít leave a visible gap because the hinge is directly below it, but it makes a huge difference in allowing the jam door to open fully.

In use the Desolator has been fantastic. On its first war outing to Bristol Blast, with its very first shot it tagged its target from over 40ft away. Itís definitely one of the more accurate blasters Iíve used; though I realise that dart choice and prevailing air currents are just as influential on dart accuracy as the actual blaster. No jams as yet either, with a good 500+ darts put through it so far. The skinny, jagged profiled plastic around the base of the mag well hasnít caught on the mags when loading, as I thought it would. The clear plastic is pretty cool, and allows you to watch darts being fired; just a shame itís only on the outside (for right handed users), so you canít see how many darts are left while the blaster is shouldered.

So the bad points then. As several reviewers have already mentioned, the trigger area is a little cramped. The top of the grip is a little thin front to back, meaning a shorter distance between the elbow of your thumb and index finger and the trigger. This means that you canít really use just the tip of your index finger to pull the trigger as you would with most blasters, unless you stick your finger out at a bit of an angle. This, coupled with a fairly long trigger pull, makes firing the blaster tiring on your finger after a few hours. Mind you, I have quite long fingers and wear L/XL gloves, so folks with smaller hands may not find this as much of a problem. Some filler at the top of the grip will help to extend the front to back distance, and an extended pusher may help to reduce trigger pull. The extended mag release lever is great and all, but with the trigger area being quite small, itís easy to knock the lever and drop a mag. Thankfully the bulge in the mag well caused by thicker wiring helps to counteract accidental mag drops a little, but it still happens if youíre swinging the blaster around (I've yet to master the tacti-cool swing the blaster while hitting the release lever to fling empty mags up into the air while I slam a fresh one in from the off hand, before then catching the empty in my hand or dump pouch - yes I've tried)

What else is bad? Well, as mentioned above, Iím not a huge fan of the plastic used for the shell, but I know others like it. Similarly, the frosted texture is loved by some, but I can see it being a bugger to sand down for paining. Also, all that texture is just going to create a surface for loads of grease and grime to build up on, and with the majority of the shell being white itís going to look dirty pretty quick. The sling mount is on the bottom of the grip, which is an ok location to have it, but Iíd have preferred it right at the rear, like the Rayven. This just allows the blaster to hang on the body a bit nicer with a single point sling. It would have been nice if there was an N-strike modular barrel attachment so you could fit barrel extensions or aftermarket muzzles/flash hiders, but modding it to fit a modular barrel isnít the hardest thing in the world.

Oh, and the two tac rails on top donít allow for a very suitable scope/accessory placement; itís either right at the front of the blaster (too far away/adding more weight to a front heavy blaster), or so rearward that itís right in your face when you shoulder the blaster to aim (plus this looks silly). The only scope/optic Iíve seen that works well is the Nitron scope mounted on the rear rail, because the forward hang of the scope gives it a fairly central position on the blaster. Though Iíve seen a few people fit aftermarket printed iron sights that look pretty cool, so itís not impossible to have a useful and good looking optic/scope set up (for a given value of ďusefulĒ when it comes to Nerf aiming).

For me the minor flaws really stand out because the rest of the blaster is so fantastic. Itís like when you see a really attractive person, but theyíve got something stuck in their teeth: the tiny flaw just stands out that little more. Itís so close to perfection, but at the same time, frustratingly so far from it.

Overall though, I really like this blaster. Itís sexy as hell to look at, it works very well in use, even in stock form, and it was well worth the wait of importing it. Did I mention itís sexy as hell?! Next up is some Hooligan flywheels, a set of Rhinos, and a 3s Lipo. My goal is to have something that will consistently and reliably shoot around 110-120fps. After that maybe some cosmetic shell work and a paintjob, and then Iíll have my ultimate primary blaster!

[Edited for spelling, tweaking sentence structure, and to add extra blurb where I felt necessary]

_________________
So yeah, I like the Mega Centurion. A lot. Like, an unhealthy amount.

Last edited by Treezy on Thu May 18, 2017 2:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
Thu May 18, 2017 9:22 am View user's profile Send private message
UKNerfWar
Site Owner


Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 2439
Fav. Blaster: Swarmfire
Location: London



Post Reply with quote
Excellent review Treezy. Thanks a lot.

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Check out my YouTube Channel.

Visit the UK Nerf blog.

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[quote="OldNoob:38837"]Remember if a mod guide has no performance test figures to back it up, look for a better one![/quote]
Thu May 18, 2017 12:48 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Franksie
Nerf Hippy


Joined: 11 May 2016
Posts: 440
Fav. Blaster: Stryfe
Location: Telford



Post Reply with quote
Just be warned that there is very little room inside this blaster for modding - just ask Boff....
Thu May 18, 2017 4:30 pm View user's profile Send private message
Treezy
Veteran Member


Joined: 03 Nov 2016
Posts: 283
Fav. Blaster: Doomlands Desolator
Location: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire



Post Reply with quote
Franksie wrote:
Just be warned that there is very little room inside this blaster for modding - just ask Boff....


Yeah, wiring was a bit tight in places, and my plan for adding an XT60 before the motors to make them easier to just swap in and out fell through due to lack of space up front; unless I wanted to run loads of extra wiring upside the faux barrel.

I've seen quite a few folks fit LiPos inside the back of the stock, as that's the only real space that's in there for bigger cells. While I quite like this neat option of hiding it away it means you can't remove the LiPo from the blaster for storage or charging (without splitting the shell), which is less than ideal in my mind. I'm hoping that with a bit of internal cut 'n' shut there will be space for a 3s that can be removed through the battery tray door as normal. when I get around to going down the LiPo route.

Mind you, the folks at Hooligan already have plans for a printed length-adjustable stock that looks amazing (adjusted by an inline dial and threaded extension bar) and should have an option of adding extra cell storage space, as well as a new printed front piece that allows for N-strike barrel attachments.

The only thing I'm not a fan of is the 180 motor covers some printers are putting out. Because the motors are mounted on the left side (rather than the right as with most blasters), any extensions means bulking out the left side of the blaster; right where you want to hold it if you're right handed. So this is definitely a 130 only blaster (for me at least).



_________________
So yeah, I like the Mega Centurion. A lot. Like, an unhealthy amount.
Fri May 19, 2017 9:56 am View user's profile Send private message
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