Since Star Trek-style “Holodeck” technology is still probably many years off, Trekkies had been content with recreating their favorite battle scenes via airsoft weapons systems. Where no one has gone before?
By: Vanessa Uy
Ever since the release Star Trek-based shoot-em-up type video games like Star Trek Elite Force and it’s subsequent incarnations, Trekkies lucky enough to possess airsoft weapons systems had been replicating their favorite battle scenes found in Star Trek episodes for sometime now. Noting that Star Trek: The Next Generation style holodeck technology - based on photons and force fields - is for all intents and purposes probably centuries off, then airsoft military simulation battle scenarios will have to suffice.
Presently, the leading manufacturer of replica Star Trek weapons and official Starfleet Armory – Masterpiece Models – haven’t yet licensed their Star Trek-based weapons for airsoft use to the major manufacturers of airsoft weapons systems. Like the Type III Phaser Rifle used in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Compression Rifle used in Star Trek: Voyager would be great as a platform in airsoft design given their somewhat large internal volume in comparison to contemporary infantry weapons. Given that the M 41 A Pulse Rifle used in the movie Aliens by the US Marine Expeditionary Force accompanying Lt. Ellen Ripley is already widely available in airsoft gaming world, the dearth of Star Trek based airsoft weapons systems needs to be addressed. Maybe it’s high time for us Trekkies who are airsoft enthusiasts to contact them at www.masterpiecemodels.com on their views about our requests.
Even if most of us will have to settle with contemporary limited production infantry weapons systems that are already manufactured as airsoft replica guns – like the P90 and the XM8 – it does pass muster as a “science fictioney” military simulation a few years before the Captain Archer-era Enterprise. Though, to me at least, the airsoft version of the XM8 is probably the one with the closest resemblance of a Next Generation period Type III Phaser Rifle.
Maybe it is churlish to complain, because even airsoft models that are ubiquitous – like the Operation Iraqi Freedom-era M-4 Carbines can be used in simulating Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict’s Sino-Indian War flashback scenarios. Or if airsoft gaming Trekkies can’t wait a few centuries, they can develop their own holodeck technology right here and right now. All they need is probably a few years of intellectually taxing hard work and countless millions of dollars burning a hole in their pockets.