MBoB Presents “The Tinkers Gauntlet” 2014
This is sponsored by the Merry Band of Brothers community. This is a regional contest for those from Western / Central Pennsylvania or are willing to travel to Western / Central Pennsylvania. Contest Purpose
What is a The Tinkers Gauntlet? Simply put, a “Tinkers Gauntlet” is when a paintball player takes on a project that is a derelict, is defective in nature, or is “totaled” or is in a beyond repair state and attempts to restore the marker to full functioning and reliable glory. Typically in the past Tinker Gauntlet contest events (or MCB Poo Builds), the project markers consisted of obsolete markers from years past, old rentals, Walmart markers, or worse – Kmart markers.
This contest is meant to teach participants the art of airsmithing and maintaining paintball equipment. The concept is based upon the idea of a player being able to fix-up, and maintain a paintball marker of choice for play purposes. Moreover, in today’s horrible economy, a lot of players associated with the MBoB are unable to buy a new marker or a custom marker from Smiley or any other airsmith. The most financially and readily available markers for these players are older and sometimes obsolete gear that is either non functional or does not function well. The goal of this contest is to ask participants to accomplish two objectives over a 6 to 8 month period. Objective #1
The first objective consists of a participant using his knowledge, skill, craftsmanship, creativity and resourcefulness to restore, build from scratch, or resourcefully customize an obsolete paintball marker within certain parameters. To pass the first objective, the contestant must be able to present a fully functioning marker at the end of the established time period. The rules for Objective #1 are as follows:
1. Anyone can enter this competition. This Contest is not limited to MBoB or its associates. Players ranking from “Uck-Nuck” to Novice to Professional Airsmith can enter this contest. Participants must be present for the presentation and demonstration of the marker.
a. For the sake of funding the first and second play prize, there is a $20 entry fee for each participant.
2. Participants are not to exceed $65 value on buying the contest marker initially. If the marker is bought for less than the $65, the remaining credit cannot be used for credit towards upgrades.
a. If extras come with the marker, such as hopper and spare parts, they do not count against the budget for upgrades.
b. Airsource tank will not be considered towards the participant’s monetary budget.
3. Participants are not to exceed $100 total on upgrades for the marker. This includes all costs incurred to produce new replacement parts from scratch. Any component attached to the marker after the initial purchase
of that marker is considered an upgrade. For example, if the hopper and feed elbow does not come with the marker project, the purchase of a hopper and feed elbow will be deducted from the budget for upgrades.
4. Tool purchases made to complete the project build does not count against monetary limit.
5. Already owned markers and marker upgrades do not count against the monetary limit as long as they are owned at least 365 days before the contest announcement. (365 days prior to April 26th, 2014).
6. Already owned marker projects that fall within the parameters above (rules 2, 3, 4, 5) are permitted in the build as long as they are not “completed” (which means “fully functional” at the “intended customized/modified design”) upon the announcement date of this contest. For example, if a contestant wants to participate in this contest by enrolling his already completed “Saturday Night Special” Tiberius pistol, he cannot do this. The marker must be in a state of incompletion by at most 55%. The contestant must be able to account for the entire project status to date of entry.
7. Each participant can enter only one project marker.
8. The marker project chosen has to be a marker that is considered in a state of disrepair. Preferred markers for this project are markers that are considered obsolete; a derelict, is defective in nature, or is “totaled” or is in a beyond repair state and attempts to restore the marker to full functioning and reliable glory.
9. Participants will be given 6 to 8 months to finish the customization and restoration of their contest markers.
10. Participants are encouraged to document their project builds with photos and narrative that shows their process. This is a peer learning process. We are to learn from how a project restoration/customization build is completed.
a. Participants must show before and after photos of their project along with a detailed description of what is being repaired or customized on the marker.
11. Any paintball firing marker is eligible for this build. Full auto, semi auto, pump; mechanical, Pneumatic assisted, or electro markers are accepted. The only exception is that the caliber of the marker must be .68.
12. A minimum of 90% of the work done on the marker must be completed by the participant. The participant must do the most of the work on his/her own. Guidance is accepted, but having another complete the project for the participant is unacceptable.
13. Late entry participants will be accepted until 30 days before the presentation date, as long as they can fulfill the above rules.
14. The contest project marker must be completed within the 6-8 month window and before the presentation date to be eligible for Objective #2. Objective #2
The one major thing that is flawed about the Mcarterbrown.com Poo Builds is that the functionality of the marker is never truly tested under paintball combat situations. Some of the markers that won previous Poo Builds only won by the cosmetics. How pretty is this marker? How shiny is this turd? This is what those markers were judged upon. But in the MBoB, the kinds of paintball play we do have taught us that functionality supersedes aesthetics. The real question was never truly answered – How well does this turd of a paintball marker function? Some of the previous winners of this contest were not “reliable”, accurate, or sturdy. In a paintball game, they were more likely to get the operator eliminated.
And so, the secondary objective of this contest is to survive a series of “paintball combat situations”. Each competitor much have his/her marker functioning for the entire day or have it function as long as possible. The last participant standing with a functioning marker, wins the competition. If, there is more than one participant with a functioning marker after the “paintball combat situations”, those remaining participants will face off in participant versus participant participation duels until there is only one participant left standing. That last participant standing with his project marker will be the winner.
The paintball combat simulation will be announced at least two months before date. All contest participants are required to attend this event if he/she is to complete objective #2. Any participants unable to complete objective #2 are not eligible to complete the contest.
The paintball combat situations will be as follows:
1. Each participant can use only one marker during this time – his/her contest marker.
2. Each participant is limited to one case of paint during this time. Paintballs are BYOP at the discretion of the contestant, unless field paint is mandated by the field owner.
3. All participants must play 90% percent of all games with their contest marker. If 10 games are played, the participant will be allowed to sit out one game. If more than 10% of the games are missed by any participant, that participant is disqualified.
4. All contestants are allowed one 30 minute or two 15 minute time out windows for cleaning and maintaining their project marker.
5. The first set of games will be a general open play game where all participants will mix with other players.
6. The second set of games will be an endurance match. All participants with their contest markers will play against all other players at that field on that day. All non-participants may be given limited respawn ability. This will be dependent on the number of non-contest participants present. It is ideal to have at least 3:1 odds for the nonparticipants versus participants. All non-participants are encouraged to use any and all markers at their disposal. There is no limit to the type or function design of the non-participant marker.
a. Each participant will need to keep their contest marker functional against the enemy players. Points can be awarded for each individual elimination by the participant. Points can be used to break a tie between finalists.
b. Although the participant is confined to game play with his/her contest marker, he/she is not limited to in-game resourcefulness and guile. The art of trickery is encouraged to eliminate opposing players.
7. The third and final set of games will be sudden death duels amongst the remainder contest participants. Game format can be chosen at random by a referee. The first player eliminated by a full-break body shot (anywhere on the human body), or a non functioning marker, loses that match. The last player left standing after the duels is proclaimed the first place winner.
8. Rules for a marker to remain functional:
a. The contest marker must hold pressure enough to function consistently and reliably. Where to Find Project Markers for this Contest?
b. The contest marker must be able to shoot 70% of its ammunition without chopping.
c. Incessant jamming will be grounds for disqualification.
d. The contest marker (if semi) must be able to cycle reliably. Occasional cycle burping is acceptable. Uncontrolled cycle burping is basis for disqualification.
e. Contest markers can function on manual pressurization, compressed air, or CO2.
f. The contest marker can break parts / shed parts as long as it does not interfere with the marker’s actual functionality. For instance, the contest marker can break off or lose its cocking knob or a retention screw, but if it loses a critical part like a ball detent (that creates incessant breakage of paintballs) or a cupseal /oring seal that would affect its functionality, then it is disqualified.
g. The trigger mechanism must actuate the sear of the contest marker 98% of the time.
h. The marker must shoot between 210 FPS and 300 FPS.
i. Air source and remote line malfunction do not count towards disqualification unless either are part of the build restoration. For example, if a tank blows a burst disc or the regulator on the compressed air tank is not functioning properly, the participant will not be disqualified. Same is said for the remote line, unless the remote line is part of the marker build in which the remote is configured to convert liquid CO2 to a gas state so that the marker can run properly. At this point, if the remote malfunctions, the participant is subject to disqualification.
j. Duct tape and electric tape is permitted, especially in regards to keeping the hopper in place.
The idea is to locate a “project” marker. What is a project marker? In a traditional customizer/tinker’s sense, a project marker is like a rusty old car that needs a ton of body work, a new paint job, a killer sound system and a new engine. A project marker is a fixer upper, or an old derelict of a paintball marker that parts are hard to find for it, or a crusty, seized-up rental marker. The project marker could be a high end tournament marker that needs repaired and the electronics rewired. It could be a Walmart paintball marker that needs design flaws remedied through some extreme customization. The project marker could also be a marker that is customized to a nonstandard function, such as making a stingray clip fed, converting a Spyder semi marker to a pump.
It could be said that most project markers seldom ever come to fruition because of tinker mistakes. These mistakes can come about from poor planning, lack of understanding the technology of the marker or lack of skill in committing the custom work. Other times, the project marker is never completed due to lack of interest. Moreover, it is best to locate a marker as cheap as possible in case of misfortune of any kind.
What kinds of paintball markers are cheap markers to tinker with for this contest? Simply put, anything that falls within the $65 marker value that can be made to work and possibly upgraded within an additional $100 more is eligible. Specifically, the older and more common the marker is, the better the chances of getting a marker cheaply. Examples are as follows: old Nelson pumps (Nelspots, Trracers, etc), Brass Eagle markers (Stingrays, Tigersharks, Samurai, Talons), Kingman markers (Spyders – All Models, Hammer pumps), VM-68s, Autocockers, Smart Parts Markers (Ions, Vibes, SP1s, etc.), Automags, brass markers like Sheridans and PMI Piranhas, Mokal Mirages, anything Tippmann, as well as anything else that can be found. *Sling Shots are not eligible for the contest.
Since this contest is localized to participants that can complete Objectives 1 and 2 in Western Pennsylvania (i.e. the participant will need to present the project marker personally and demonstrate its functionality at a local MBoB game), the options for obtaining a project marker are listed below.
Pawn shops – For example, Indiana, PA has two pawn shops – Penny Pinchers and Pirranos. Both pawn shops have a pile of junk markers that are priced at the $65 or under range. These markers will most likely need parts and a thorough cleaning.
Junk Bins of the Paintball Shop – Abandoned markers can be found in various states of disrepair at the local paintball shop.
Mcarterbrown.com – check in the Sub 100 forum threads for possible project markers.
Ebay.com – Do a search for Proam, carbine, VM, Stingray, broken, junk, rental, Sheridan, project, tribal, as is. Any of those search terms in the paintball section with yield some cool results.
Smiley – See Smiley. He has a ton of projects that are under $65. And his guidance on what the marker needs is free. He might even let you use his tooling and shop if you bribe him with gummy bears. The Prize:
Each participant is eligible to win a grand prize of something fabulous. A runner up prize is also available too. For those of us that have thought up this contest, we were thinking of awarding the first place contestant a brand new stock Phenom or FXR. The runner up prize would be a BT Slice or a Tippmann Flip-Top or a Tippmann Chronos. To fund these prizes, we would need to fund raise to purchase money for these markers. We are thinking of assigning an entry fee for each participant that would go towards the purchase of the first and second play prizes. To have prizes available for this contest, there would need to be at least 10 participants paying $20 each. The balance difference needed after contest entry dues to purchase the prizes will be sponsored by Smiley’s custom workshop.
Questions? Post here in this thread.