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Rads 12 Mod Write-up

PETG Barrels, Improved Seal, Slightly Improved Airflow

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#1 pSyk

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:38 PM

Hey guys.

It's been quite awhile since I last posted a mod write-up, and so I decided I'd bring something fresh to the table.
I picked up the Rads 12 simply because I was intrigued by the turret rotation and priming systems of this blaster.
Seems that Buzz Bee put quite alot of thought into this, and came up with this clever idea.
12-shots with a relatively compact, small-sized turret.

However...
Stock ranges are crap. It averages about 20-25ft, using the stock Buzz Bee darts.
The darts that come along with it are the "rubber body" type of Buzz Bee suction darts. You know, not the soft foam ones.

Right. Before we begin, as always, here's a list of what you need. (Rather, what I used.)
- Dremel with Sanding bit / drum
- Hacksaw
- PETG (variable length; will be explained in the write-up)
- Small O-ring, harvested from a spoilt laser pointer
- Goop
- Superglue
- Screwdrivers. Philips and flat head.

So let's start.
The first thing to do is to remove the screws on the luger-style priming handle.
Then, find your own way of removing the priming handle.
I "eased" it out one side at a time.

Sorry, no pics of this because I didn't wanna risk stretching or breaking the plastic. You'll understand when you try it.

Then, go ahead and remove all the screws of the shell. They're all of the same size.
Now, customary internals pic.

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Here's some good news for all you paintjob fans...
There's ZERO stock paint on this blaster shell.
The different colored segments of the shell are all made out of moulded plastic, and they can easily be separated. No more masking woes! haha.

Alright here's a look at the trigger and catch mech:

"Rest" Position:
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"Squeezed" Position:
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The catch mech is pretty damn good, I highly doubt you'll need to make any changes even if you upgrade the plunger spring.

Next up, take a look at the plunger-to-turret seal area:
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The seal is honestly, pretty crappy. You can't really tell from this pic. But trust me, it's pretty crappy.
Yes, there's very little tolerance in that entire area. It's gonna be pretty hard to improve the air output of the plunger. You'll see in the next pic.
After seeing this, I was a little disappointed because it meant that any performance improvements made to this blaster was pretty limited due to all the restrictions.

Here's a look at the air output area:
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Now grab your flat head screw driver and ease the rubber seal out.
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Here's a pic of the rubber seal, alongside the small O-ring that I harvested from a spoilt laser pointer.
(I believe that you can harvest similar O-rings from spoilt laser painter modules too.)
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Next, apply some superglue just behind the lip of the stock rubber seal and slip the O-ring on, and you'll get this:
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And now, to remove the plunger assembly:
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Take note of this:
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Be careful not to lose the pin that's located just behind the trigger.

-------------Please do not post yet---------------
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#2 pSyk

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:41 PM

Now, depending on the thickness of your O-ring, you might have to shave down some plastic at the tip of the air output.
It's entirely up to you.

Then, goop the improved seal back into place.
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Here's a look at the plunger head:
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It's a typical Buzz Bee-styled plunger head, so I didn't need to pad the plunger head.
Also, stock plunger head seal is pretty good! It's 90%. I ran a check with SGNerf and his, too, had a really good stock seal.
Moreover, the stock spring is pretty damn beefy!
So, I left it all alone. If it ain't broke then don't try to fix it, right? :)

Just joking. If you wanna do the usual "e-tape under the o-ring" mod to get an even better seal, go ahead.
If you wanna change or add springs to it, go ahead. Just because I didn't do it doesnt mean you don't have to either.

Seems that this luger-style priming system really takes a good amount of load off the priming stroke.
It's a really good design! Seriously, the stock spring is really rather beefy but the blaster is still easy to prime.

Alright, turret time!

Before we carry on, DO NOT GLUE THE CLUTCH MECHANISM / SLIP MECHANISM OF THE ROTATION MECH TOGETHER.

Alright. First thing to do is to remove the screw on the front. (The one right smack in the middle.)
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Now remove the screws on the flip side of the turret.
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All the mini-turrets will fall right out.
Yes, the gears are glued shut onto the back of the mini-turrets.
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This picture is self-explanatory:
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Notice how the middle segment of each mini turret is actually hollow.
They were shouting "REBARREL ME PLEASE!"

Well anyway, I went ahead and did this.
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After that I grabbed my dremel and SLOWLY (key word) dremelled each slot till PETG could fit.
However, I only needed the PETG to sit about 1cm into each slot. This is because the ID of PETG and the stock barrels are the same.
Posted Image

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#3 pSyk

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:43 PM

And yes, I also widened the back air flow a little.
Can you spot the difference?
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Here's my finished barrels, with everything gooped into place.
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I planned for my barrels to be a total length of 6cm.
I know that 6cm is not the optimal barrel length but I was going for was the ability to accept more dart types, tagger darts included, and also, shorter barrels also means that it's alot easier to holster / carry around.

Now it's time to put the turret back into place.
You need to make sure that the green nub is aligned to either one of the black nubs.
From here, you'll always be taking your alignments with regards to the position of these two nubs.
It's a little tricky to put down in words and maybe even in pictures, but when you're working with it physically, you'll understand much better.

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Once you line those two up, they'll have to lie along the HORIZONTAL axis.
Taking cue from that, you can begin replacing the barrels onto the main turret assembly.

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Remember that since the black and green nubs are lying on the HORIZONTAL axis, the air output lies on the VERTICAL axis.
In other words, along the vertical axis, you should see "single" air flow holes, while you should see "double" air flow holes along the horizontal axis. Depending on the main gear position of your turret, your "final position" may not be the same as mine. You'll be fine as long as you remember that the green and black nubs lie on the horizontal axis, while a "single" air flow hole should be on the vertical axis.

This next picture dEffeminatets an example of the WRONG alignment:
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Horizontal alignment of the green and black nubs, and a horizontal alignment of the "single" air flow holes.
You don't want this. Yeah?

Now put the two halves of the shell together.
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Get your dremel.
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This is to accomodate the new plunger to turret seal.

----------------------Please do not post yet... I'm almost done!-------------------------------
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#4 pSyk

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:45 PM

Alright, last post for this mod!

Now you'll want to fit the internals back into place.
It's a little tricky so after some practise, I've decided that this is the best and easiest method to put all the internals back into place.

We'll start with the big chunk of the plunger head, spring, and priming bar piece.
Before you put this part in place, aim to get the spring to the correct resting position first.
Once you do that, put the pin back into the slot (it goes just behind the trigger.)
I know it's weird, but the pin will hold the entire assembly down.

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Next, just slip the plunger tube back over the plunger assembly.
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Finally, put the black priming bar piece into place first before replacing the screw. Don't forget that the screw was not screwed all the way down.
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Next, align the black and green nubs of the turret assembly like so:
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I chose to have them facing down.
By facing "down", I mean "down - away from me". In other words, "towards the left side of the blaster".
You can have it facing "up" also, it's up to you.

The rest is a piece of cake.
Of course, you have to find your own way to re-install the priming handle.

and we're done!
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Using slugs, I'm hitting at least 40 ft with each shot now, so I'm happy with this.
Honestly, you could probably get a whole lot more than I do out of this blaster.

Now, here's why I modded the Rads 12 this way.
There's NO room for rear loading slots. Sure, you can find space to cut out in the shell, but you simply won't be able to mess around with the gear system. That's why I chose to have shorter barrels.
I wouldn't need to ramrod stefans down the barrels. It can hold tagger and suction tip darts nicely.
It's alot easier to holster and carry around.

I didn't bother upgrading the spring because I see this blaster as a secondary, and also, because of the small size of the plunger tube. This also means that it takes less effort for me to prime (seriously, you'll be using just two fingers to prime this blaster), which also translates to a higher RoF.

All in all, this was a fun blaster to work with.
Very interesting internal design. I'm sure someone can turn this into a 60ft shooter, but I'm rather contented with mine being this way.

Hope this post helps you guys in one way or another.

Video demo coming soon!
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#5 Blue

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:51 PM

Great mod, unfortunate that the airflow stem can't be messed with easily. You might want to use a word other than de-picts though hehe.
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#6 Curly

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:06 PM

Very nice writeup! I can't imagine the blaster was cooperative, but your clear instructions make it seem otherwise. I can't see it being war-practical, but the endless hours watching the turret still make it a good buy. I was betting on sticking an air tank in it, but the trigger isn't suited to that.

And now the wait begins for these to arrive in Canada...I'm actually more excited for the new BuzzBee lineup than Nerf's. Unless there's a pump to be plugged on the Vortex guns the Maniac will be my choice- after this of course!
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