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Scuffer

TMC Crye AirFrame Replica Review

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Intro

 

Ok here goes!

Firstly here is the manufacturers information from Crye Precision regarding the AirFrame.

 

The AirFrame ballistic helmet sets new standards in protection, comfort, and modularity. Complete AirFrame helmets weigh a full 20% less than complete ACH 2002 helmets while providing more coverage area. The AirFrame was developed with a mandate to dramatically reduce head-borne weight while exceeding the ACH frag threat. The AirFrame exceeds the ACH frag threat by an average of 20%. A complete medium AirFrame helmet weighs only lbs., and the large weighs a mere 2.55 lbs. The AirFrame’s unique overlapping shell design creates an integrated vent that provides passive cooling and also reduces the damaging effects of explosive blast waves. Each AirFrame helmet features an OpsCore H-Nape Head-Loc retention system for unmatched stability, comfort, and ease of adjustment. Up armoring the AirFrame with ballistic ear or face protection is as simple and fast (see our EARS and CHOPS for more info). All helmets and components are compatible with common ear pro systems like Peltors and Sordins.

Link: http://www.cryeprecision.com/P-HLMM0106LG0/Airframe%E2%84%A2-Helmet

 

Further to that, here is excerpt from the excellent Military Morons review of the real deal.

 

The Crye Precision made its public debut at the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. It was back this year at the 2011 SHOT Show; available for purchase but not heavily advertised to the public. In typical Crye fashion, Crye took a different approach when designing the AirFrame from the ground up, with its separate front and rear ballistic shells.

 

Crye is no stranger to advanced helmet systems, with their involvement in the Objective Force Warrior/Future Force Warrior programs. Crye Precision has been working on their own ballistic helmet design for quite some time before the AirFrame's public debut in 2010. My memory is a bit hazy, but I recall a helmet project being mentioned back in 2005 when I visited the Crye facility in Brooklyn, NY. Crye started out from the ground up with the helmet design, which allowed them to change the geometry and work outside of the box, to come up with a unique, modular solution. Their goal was to reduce as much weight as they could while providing the same amount (or more) of fragmentation/ballistic protection and coverage as the current state of the art helmets.

 

While helmets have been getting lighter due to advances in material technology, that doesn't mean that the overall load on a soldier's head has also gotten lighter. Like Ops-Core's FAST Helmets, the Crye AirFrame is designed to meet the requirements of today's soldiers who now have to use and integrate a plethora of headgear on the battlefield. A combat helmet may be called upon to do dual duty: perform both as protective gear and also as a load-bearing system. In addition to protective equipment worn on the head, the soldier might have to use night vision, gas masks, communication headsets, illuminators or identification devices, all of which are made by different manufacturers and need to all work together on a soldier's head.

 

Besides the challenges of providing ballistic protection and comfortable load-bearing, another contributing factor to comfort is heat and ventilation. We all know that a lot of heat loss, or cooling takes place through a person's head. A helmet prevents heat loss to a certain extent from the head under hot conditions, which can contribute to heat-related issues. It was the challenge of making a helmet cooler without compromising ballistic protection that originated the idea behind the AirFrame. As it progressed, other benefits of the design were realized.

Here’s a link to the full article, definitely worth a read: http://www.militarymorons.com/gear/crye5.html

 

 

I originally broke the news of the copy AirFrame being released by Chinese repro kit makers TMC at the beginning of November, the news thread can be found here: http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/200456-clone-crye-airframe-inbound/

Initially there has been some confusion over release dates with EBairsoft and JKarmy providing different pre-order/release dates and numbers of them available.

 

***Now before starting this quick review I must say, I’m somewhat limited by time, lighting conditions and some would say ability. But hey! I’ll crack on anyway, just forgive any errors, omissions and rubbish pictures.***

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Ordering/Postage

 

Not much to say on this point, I ordered mine here at EBairsoft http://www.ebairsoft.com/dummy-helmet-p-5229.html on the 11/12/11, it was processed and posted out on the 19/12/11 and arrived on my doorstep today (23/12/11). So congrats to EBairsoft for both getting hold of these quickly and slick ordering/postage (haters be dammed!).

 

It arrived well packaged in the standard EBairsoft large yellow padded envelope with another bag of thick bubble-wrap around it.

 

 

Initial

 

Initial thoughts…..well smeg it’s small and light! That’s about it really, once out the bag I was smiling, clearly one of the better airsoft spends of mine and definitely worth the £35 considering some of the junk copy helmets on the market for that price and often more. While I have no accurate info at hand to do a real vs copy sizing comparison, I believe this is a copy of the medium.

 

Airframe001.jpg

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Externals

Faithful to the real deal it is made of 2 moulded half-shells which are in turn bolted together with 4 screws, these are separate from the rail and retention systems which are a further 4 screws in front and behind the ears. It arrived fully assembled with the ARC rails and NV retention bungee cords set up, it is also pre-drilled in a 3-hole pattern for NV mounts/shrouds.

 

The plastic of the shells seems pretty decent, the colour/texture/thickness is consistent over all of the lid and when put under pressure it only has a tiny bit of flex which indicates to me that it won’t crack that easily nor is the movement excessive (un-noticeable under normal use) so I’m confident that the shell will stand up to the rigors of airsoft. I’m not quite as convinced by the plastic on the ARC rails, it seems a little soft and has a few seem/moulding lines, I think if I intended to hang anything heavy off them I would be replacing them with the real thing to ensure it lasts and anything mounted stays put.

 

From all of the reference pictures I have of the real this copy certainly seems accurate, I can’t see any shape/moulding/seem issues or inconsistencies, also running along the edges both inside and out are ‘lips’ or raised edging, these again are nicely done with no sharp edges on mine.

 

Now for the slight external negatives – there are 2 injection moulding manufacturing marks, one on each half-shell. I’ve taken pictures to show these, the first is on the front just above the NV mount holes and is only small, the second is on the right hand side of the back. This one is bigger and has a visible circle around it where the material seems shinier than the rest of the lid. That said, these are both still minor faults, not enough to detract from the overall quality of the externals, I suppose for me I barely count them as a fault as I plan to run this helmet with a Crye cover anyway.

 

Airframe007.jpg

Airframe008.jpg

Airframe009.jpg

Airframe011.jpg

Airframe010.jpg

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Internals

Now, internals…. Always seem to be an issue with ACM helmets, something is always off, pads are too big/small or too hard or soft, retention straps are badly made or too short (don’t get me started on this…. feckin’ Ops Core copy…. anyways). Thankfully not too much of an issue with this one for me (although I’ve got a pretty small head [57cm]), with it set up for me, I still have about an inch of potential extra length on all of the 4 straps which should allow for most people of normal sized heads to wear it (plus comms) comfortably. All of the straps seem well made, with solid reinforced stitching and no loose threads that I can see, the colour of the straps is slightly more golden then the tan real deal and the colouring of the nape pad is wrong, but these are minor points considering the quality of how it’s put together. The plastic components such as the adjusters and buckles are spot on and are even moulded with ‘Head-Loc’ on them seemingly because Chinese manufacturers know that kinda stuff gets us off or something. I’ll mention it here just in case it’s an issue for anybody, if the straps on yours are too small/badly made they can be easily swapped out for the real Ops Core ones for about £40, pricey yes, but you can’t put a price on comfort….. well actually you can, £40ish obviously.

 

While I’m rambling on about comfort I best mention the pads, now I never usually rate ACM pads and they are the first thing to be swapped out for a real deal set, these on the whole aren’t bad, certainly they are comfortable enough to wear for a game straight away without any need for replacing them, but over time and use it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t last or the glue on the Velcro attachment circles went, as that’s usually what happens. Again, not a massive issue out of the box, being more a personal choice/comfort thing over the long term.

 

 

Airframe012.jpg

Airframe014.jpg

Airframe013.jpg

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Fitment

It fits! Pretty basic really, it fits and it’s comfortable. I’m actually surprised by how well it fits and how much room there is, despite it looking so small when held in the hands. Again I have to mention it here, its light: the real AirFrame in medium weighs in at 1043gramms, this copy comes in at 768gs (copy Ops Core Ballistic show below weighs in at 982gs).

 

When on it sits better than my Ops Core copy, being slightly lower and a more fitted shape. It doesn’t feel bulky whatsoever and is stable once the straps are adjusted. I can see myself wearing this for a full weekends play without it digging in or getting too heavy, which is pretty much perfect for a airsofting helmet. I’ve done some pictures of it worn and alongside the Ops Core for comparison.

 

 

Airframe002.jpg

Airframe003.jpg

Airframe004.jpg

Airframe005.jpg

Airframe006.jpg

Airframe015.jpg

Airframe016.jpg

Airframe017.jpg

Airframe018.jpg

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Upgrade potential

I’ve talked about swapping a few bits over for the real deal stuff, so I’ll put some links in here (more for the UK users, as I know there are plenty of US shops that stock this stuff). Some bits may seem a little expensive but given the low cost of the copy helmet any upgrades aren’t that bad for a better and more comfortable end result if you do plan on using it a lot.

 

Cover - http://www.levelpeaks.com/store#ecwid:category=713484&mode=product&product=7258843

Retention system - http://www.levelpeaks.com/store#ecwid:category=713484&mode=product&product=2837164

ARC Side rails - http://www.levelpeaks.com/store#ecwid:category=713484&mode=product&product=2876596

 

 

Overall

I’m pretty made up with this to be honest, it costs the same or less than most ACM helmets, it’s a very modern and up-to-date design that’s pretty difficult for most people to be able to purchase – what more do you want for £35?! Makes me want to kick myself slightly for spending £70 odd on the Ops Core copy when it first came out.

 

I hope for everyone who has them on order/in the post that they turn up soon! Now to start the task of pimping it out like a champ.

 

If anybody has any questions or wants any further info/pictures, post away and I’ll try to help you out.

 

Happy hunting.

Scuff

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Thanks for the great review!

 

Which brand is your Ops-Core replica?

Cheers bud!

 

It's one of the first ones released under the name L.A.T.C.H bought from a UK retailer that has since shut. I'm not too sure which of the current Ops replicas it's the same as, I presume they are all similar in terms of quality/moulds etc, but I couldn't say which it is to be honest.

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Nice little review... Thx...

 

 

Seems it is not to small...

 

I'm looking forward to get my from toysoldier...

 

And i'm happy to know they are really in produce now and not in the half of 2012... :D

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Awesome! I'd been a little bit worried about the sizing, but given that your head is shaped about like mine, and measured the same (57cm), I think it should fit me just fine.

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Nice little review... Thx...

Cheers

 

Awesome! I'd been a little bit worried about the sizing, but given that your head is shaped about like mine, and measured the same (57cm), I think it should fit me just fine.

Yeah buddy if your head is a similar size/shape you'll have no problems with this. As I've said elsewhere, is a shame that they have only released a clone of the medium, would be nice if they released a large aswell to cater for everybody.

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Nice Review! but sent inside a envelope? that is pretty shoddy...Should have used a proper box for it, ive seen IBH helmets crack like an egg before with some friends, thanks to no good packing.

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Good job. Very tempting purchase these. Thanks. :)

Happy to help!

 

Nice Review! but sent inside a envelope? that is pretty shoddy...Should have used a proper box for it, ive seen IBH helmets crack like an egg before with some friends, thanks to no good packing.

Yeah one of the large padded postal envelopes, then inside another bubble-wrap bag. To be honest it was sufficiently protected, but yes a box is more ideal. That said our customs tend to like opening and charging for boxes more than packages in my experience. My lid arrived undamaged and quickly, that's the main thing ;)

 

Mine just arrived, cant really add anything else to what Scuffer has said, i normally take a medium MICH and this fits me perfectly.

 

Nice review Scuffer.

B)

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mine arrived this morning too:) in an envelope and bubble wrap bag too.

Entirely the same helmet as the rest of you guys. I have a Bert face and most helmets look stupid perched on top of my head and then spreading out a mile or two either side so am happy with the fit of this one.

 

am slouching and have a disgusting cold so not a great picture but it fits and follows round my head well.

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I also bought http://www.ebairsoft.com/plastic-mount-helmet-rail-p-4921.html when I ordered my Helmet. The butterfly mounts are nice and firm but the rail mounts are rather loose and have a fair amount of wiggle. I would worry about putting anything too heavy on there (contour perhaps) but i have enjoyed the last 30mins running around the house pretending to be a predator (GF getting stroppy now :) )

As my peq is the only thing I have to hand it has been entertaining me.

 

I think this cold is affecting my brain :s

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Well mines arrived this AM from Ebaybanned , first impressions are good and only a few points to add to Scuffer's very good review .

Agree with him on the visible moulding marks on the two halfs , but as I said a quick dusting with some krylon will solve that . I've also found exactly the same problem with the straps on this helmet that I had with my ops core copy from dragonred , there too short front to rear . Even when opened at there maximum the straps only just fit me . Now I know I haven't got a particularly 'odd' shaped head as my MK6 fits fine without any problems , so it's not me Having a wonky noggin that's causing the problem !

Only big down point for me is the three holes drilled for NV mount arn't square , when looking at the helmet straight on there off by a few mil to the right , not much BUT noticeable . I'll have to re-drill them when the mount arrives but 'hopefully' the old holes should be hidden behind the mount plate (plus I am getting a cover for it so all should be Good) .

So over all there are a few faults with it but for the price I'm very happy with it and wouldn't put any one off getting one .

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Pretty happy with this I have to say, normally I get massive mushroom head syndrome (I'm talking proper Toad out of mario in my issue Mk6) but I think I've finally found something that solves that. I wear a 58cm beret and this is just about on the edge of what fits me so if you're anything above I'd make sure to go for a L/XL when those come out.

 

The plastic of the shell's thicker than I expected, again, shame about the marks left over by the moulding but the cover or some paint will sort that right out no worries. I am particularly impressed by the suspension, the sliders actually stay where you set them, and the fact they take up the slack is a very nice change after spending so many years trying to manage the excess strap on brit helmets and MICH replicas. Those always end up looking gash and falling out of those little bungee loops.

 

The leather stuff inside the chin area and on the nape are extremely comfortable as well, I was expecting some horrible, rough, cheap material on these but again, pleasantly surprised.

 

P1020690.jpg

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