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R/C Tank Combat

Battle In The Badlands

Action Photos

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Brian takes a turn at running Joe's Hetzer. Brian travelled eight hours from Ohio to come to the event so that he could "be inspired to finish my tank". Brian quickly discovered that the fun of operating a tank in battle is worth the hard work required to get there.

The Hetzer is moving down the middle of the battlefield, which was hard-dirt covered by a layer of straw ... an excellent surface for high-speed skid turns. In fact, the entire battlefield was perfect for a tank battle, with just enough bumps and ruts to make things interesting while everyone was racing along at top speed.

Brian and the Hetzer come face-to-face with John's Panzer IV which was in a defensive position behind some large rocks. With an improved drive system using EV Warrior motors and some re-worked bicycle tracks, the Panzer had plenty of speed and turning power, so the Hetzer needs to approach with caution.

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The white framework on the right of the photo is part of a make-shift barricade put together by the Red Team to guard the area in front of their home base. In other words, Brian and the Hetzer are deep in enemy territory ... looking for trouble.

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The Red Team lines up across the battlefield on their end of the field, daring the Blue Team to send their supply vehicle into harm's way. The KV-1 (farthest away) would see the most action against the supply vehicle out on the flanks, with the T-34 and Panzer IV holding the center ground.
The Panzer IV is dug into a defensive position near the Red Team home base. From that position, John was able to lay down some mean long-range cover fire that kept the Blue Team wary at all times.

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The Tiger tries out a bunker position for a little while, but abandons it after only a few minutes. Frank prefers to keep the Tiger rolling at all times, to prevent long-range gunners like John and Steve from getting a bead on him. With much improved speed and mobility, the Tiger worked well running with the support vehicle out on the flanks.
Nathan's artillery piece, which purportedly is based on a German 88 design, is perched on a mound of dirt in the middle of the battlefield. The trigger servo failed to work properly the night before the battle, so Nathan fired the gun using a pull-string ... crude, but effective. With a little more work (hopefully), Nathan will have the rotate and elevate working under remote control in the Spring.

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The T-34 overruns an infantry position, only to find that it's about to have a very bad day. We snapped this photo just as the rocket was being fired by the infantryman into the belly of the T-34.
The soldier is Corporal Johann Simmer (Augsburg, Germany) who is reportedly a cousin of the world-famous Fred Simms. However, unlike Fred (who was unable to attend the battle because of "bad-nerves"), Johann stood his ground bravely in the face of impending doom. Johann's memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday.
Here's a close-up of the battlefield action!!

OK, so this action didn't actually take place during the battle and we faked the photo for marketing purposes. But who can blame us for staging a really cool scene by driving the T-34 into that position (yes, it drove into that position) and then putting the soldier there with a cotton ball as the rocket exhaust.

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Mike drives the U.N. "SPFOR" supply vehicle across the battlefield with a supply trailer in tow. Mike says that "SPFOR" stands for the "Stop Pittelli Force". The supply vehicle uses Kiddie Car Motors (KCMs) to power all four wheels, giving it lots of power. The rough terrain didn't bother it much, although it lost traction over some mounds of dirt that the tanks negotiated with ease. It proved to be one of the more reliable support vehicles.

The U.N. vehicle supplied all sides during the conflict, dropping aid packages with every load of ammo, which included: chocolate bars, nylons, condoms and family planning brochures written in 17 languages.

Tom operated Will's Scout Car as a supply vehicle, doing an excellent job of moving supplies as far as possible. Tom has a good knack for sneaking around the battlefield un-noticed, which allowed him to score some successful runs. The Scout Car is a little small for the rough terrain (it needs a little more ground clearance) and it gets stuck if you're not careful (it needs four wheel drive).

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Will works on getting the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (better known as a Marine Corps Amtrak) operational again after some twine got wrapped around the drive sprocket. The AAV is a sturdy, fiberglass hull made in Russia, with a molded-metal track. It ran fairly well before the twine problem and should serve as a reliable supply vehicle for a number of years. As an added benefit, it's amphibious.
The Hetzer looks dirty and grimy ... just like it should after a hard day of battling. The new camo scheme looks great on all types of battlefields, which is based on the scheme used on the rebuilt full-size Hetzer.

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The T-34 proudly displays its collection of mud and dirt which was earned in some heavy battling. With all of the dirt, it's hard to tell that the T-34 is actually painted a dark green.
The Tiger-1 has the "coolest camo scheme" according to Shain Tyng (age 14). The new track system went through the entire weekend of battling without any problems. All of the molded interior treads were fully intact and all of the exterior oak treads showed little wear from the hard dirt battlefield. Most battlers agreed that the Tiger's mobility was significantly improved since the last battle because of the new motors and tracks.

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At the end of the day, the Hetzer did a little off-roading, going through some standing water and mud on the edge of the battlefield. It didn't have any problems with the crossing, although Joe didn't like spending the extra time cleaning everything up afterwards.
The T-34 also blasts through the water to show that the Tyng Track System (TTS) with friction drive is a go-anywhere drive system. A number of people think that friction drive systems would slip if any water gets in the track, but the spongy rubber drive wheel and the flat interior treads don't seem to mind. More extensive field trials may be performed this winter in the snow to further test the limits of the design.

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A montage of photos showing what a battle's worth of damage looks like on the T-34.
After skiing down a 30 degree, 10 foot slope, the T-34 pass within a few feet of the Tiger-1 waiting at the bottom of the hill. The Tiger's turret rotated quickly and one of the shots hit directly on the external gas tank.

The secondary explosion disabled the T-34, killing everyone inside except for the commander who fled on foot. The German forces considered this payback for the death of Fred Simms' cousin, Herr Johann Simmer, who was tragically run over by the T-34 the day before.


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Mike Blattau hauls himself back to the pit area after a hard day trying to maintain peace on the battlefield. With severe funding shortages and a lack of battlefield experience, his U.N. forces were unable to bring a halt to the fighting. Instead, they focused on raising money by hauling ammo for both sides. Torn between his mission of bringing peace to the world and raising money to keep going, Mike was heard chanting "Why can't we all just get along" everytime he unloaded more paintballs.