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The Veteran: THN goes shoot ’em up

Toby KebbellTo promote the DVD and Blu-ray release of THE VETERAN, Revolver Entertainment invited THN to partake in an afternoon of airsofting. THE VETERAN is set around Robert Miller (Toby Kebbell), a paratrooper returning from the war in Afghanistan to his decaying council estate. Recruited by government agents, Miller gets himself embroiled with both a local gangster and a shady conspiracy, forcing him take matters into his own hands.


THN were told to rendezvous at Bunker 51, a secret location in the heart of the dusty Thames Barrier industrial estate. Ok, it’s not that secret, they have a website and run paintball and airsoft games, which for those that aren’t in the know, are two ways to shoot things at your friends without burdening them with an unfortunate death afterwards.

The guys at Bunker 51 have gone to a lot of effort to create an appropriate atmosphere. It looks and sounds like a deserted military bunker should; missile tubes, trucks, crates, pillboxes, sirens and of course – the fabled sandbags.

The Tunnel

We were each given our equipment; a mask and an AK-47, (although to my slight disappointment my gun was devoid of the classic insurgent wood finish I had hoped for). Still though, I had my own machine gun for the first time. The private’s weapon’s name is Charlene, sir!

We then were taught how to (ironically) safely use our weapons by the marshals, following the strict code of Bunker 51. Masks were to be kept on, guns to be discharged safely before entering back into the safe zone; it all added to the mildly dangerous vibe already. Those of us that were playing were then divided into teams, and we were sent through the big metal door into the bunker. As our guns were fully loaded with small plastic pellets, no-one could resist firing off a few shots as the marshal tried to explain the rules of each game over the noise.

SandbagsAs the first game began, our team wildly charged ahead to our objective. In seconds, we went from being mild mannered journalists to gun-toting maniacs. Pot shots here and there would suddenly turn into raging firefights with white hot plastic ricocheting from all directions. It was quite terrifying at times, but it was great fun. The two hours flew by with THN’s own seasoned red squadron winning overall. Go reds.

By the end of the afternoon we all were aching, sweating and in dire need of a good sit down. It was all worth it though. I’d highly recommend a game of airsoft if you haven’t tried it, it’s much better than real war. Big thanks to Revolver and everyone that made it an enjoyable afternoon.

THE VETERAN is out now on DVD and Blu-ray. Buy it here

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