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R/C Tank Combat

British Invasion

Stress Test

Paul Pittelli & Mike Lyons

It is worth noting that our hobby represents a true battle-field "stress-test" of different designs. Based on the breakage this weekend, I believe the Panzer II Aus.J's (T77 & T79) should be considered the most reliable tanks in the hobby, given that they were the only two tanks that exited the field of battle with full functionality and armament.

While prior to the battle, news of partial functionality is protected like NFL football injury news, after the battle it is fair to report:

T001 (Tiger) - While masterfully operated by Sir Neil of Manchester, the Tiger had it's turret locked (most of the time) in the forward position because of a long-failed rotate motor. It is fully anticipated that T001 will be honorably discharged and retired (and sent to a nice tank retirement village).

Frank Notes: T001 has been officially retired as a primary weapon, but will continue to be loaned out to qualified battlers as a backup vehicle. Neil tried his best to beat it into the ground, but it ran the whole weekend with all systems working as they did before the battle!

T010 (Hetzer) - After 55 battles and who knows how many student frat parties, one of the motors finally had enough and turned into a brick. As these motors are no longer manufactured, looks like the Sommer factory needs to fire up and build the Sherman that has been in design for a couple years.

T026 (SU-100) - One of the more deadly tanks on the field now has electronic gremlins that caused lack of elevate/rotate for the weekend. This looks like a complete electronic overhaul or maybe a little duck-tape!

T039 (Comet) - Never before have we seen total and permanent failure when Marty displayed the internal broken magnets within one of the Comet motors. Luckily Marty took his tank commander knowledge and quickly established the mobil artillery brigade for foxes!

T040 (Cromwell) - After passing through the sound barrier one to many times, the Cromwell turret completely collapsed into five or six pieces. Nothing a little super glue/duck tape can't solve! We are taking up a collection and buying small sheets of aluminum for Steve to rebuild the mighty Cromwell.

T058 (Tiger) - While motor problems seem to plague the field and first thought to be the cause of T058 problems, it turned out to be a much easier chain slippage issue that brought the T058 off the field of battle. Unfortunately, the Windows OS control system isn't yet programmed to determine the real issue and continued to require reboot or blamed Apple for the failure!

T077 (Panzer II) - Worked like a champ. I will admit that once it got home for cleaning and maintenance, I was very close to losing my main drive wheel as it came lose from its bracket. This probably occurred during the victory spin-outs after being the first Fox to survive a Fox & Hound battle.

Editor's Note: Indeed T077 is a reliable and worthy adversary, but it really needs to work on it's video recording capabilities!

T079 (Panzer II) - Temperamental gun issues delayed a battle, but once the electronics were repaired, fellow Panzer II scored serious points during the weekend.

Details from John: As Paul mentioned, T-79 was having a marker problem. Was firing intermittently, and more than 1 ball was entering the gun tube. Changed out 9 volt to a fresher one, diassembled marker and found that the detent plastic frame had cracked. Luckily I had brought along another marker with the proper plate to exchange out. Tested all, was fine, install marker, intermittent problem resurfaces. Tear it down again, clean all parts thoroughly, replace spring, retest,okay, install, problem resurfaces later in the battle. After final battle on day 1, we track down problem to , the solenoid actuator pictured above. The pin above broke away from the bottom plate. Luckily Will had a replacement in another marker that I could borrow. We also found a broken wire which was cut out and reattached. Thanks Will.

T100 (Semovente) - Call Sign should be chopsaw for all the paint that exploded in the barrel! Designers were already developing the new & improved magazine feed after Day 1 morning battle.

Details from Frank: Despite the massivity of the Semovente (it's definitely a big dog), it has very little space above the gun for the magazine and feed. So, I tried something that *could* have worked, but it didn't. Over the winter that problem will be solved and the big dog will have a bite to go with it's bark.

RL001 (M20 Super Bazooka) - worked flawlessly in practice late Saturday, but fired only one shot in pre-battle practice Sunday morning. Mike replaced the marker with a spare and Bazooka Joe battled well all day in the hands of a rookie operator, running out of CO2 just before the end. John diagnosed a weak 9V battery in the original marker and supplied a new one which solved the problem.

RL002 (15 cm Nebelwerfer 41) - still in development but fired paintballs (not very far) from one tube and had functional traverse, elevation and fire controls. A small machine screw in the elevation pivot worked its way tight against the aluminum beam and caused the motor to break its mount just as the final battle was ending - lesson learned: use a washer and grease, and perhaps threadlocker or a longer screw with a locknut on the far side. The 3/16" hardboard used for the framing is not battleworthy in single layers and will be replaced with 1/8" aluminum plate.