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R/C Tank Combat

Danville Museum

Spring 2005


Photos courtesy of Art "Sorry, I Only Took 589 Photos" Tyng



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A motley bunch from Maryland arrived in Danville ready to talk to anyone and everyone about R/C Tank Combat.

Left to Right: Art, Steve, Frank, Karl, Will
Front: John

The display tables, videos, firing range and driving course are ready to go on Saturday morning ... now we just need some people to arrive. The museum provided the very large tarp seen on the right to serve as the backdrop for the firing range. Over the course of the weekend, over 2,500 rounds would be fired by the spectators and participants.

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Karl's most excellent 1:8 scale King Tiger kit was on display showing everyone what large scale tanks are all about. Karl won't be equiping this model with a paintball marker, but he's got another kit on the way which will be on the battlefield one day.

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James Miller from North Carolina also showed off his work at the booth, including these beautifully crafted wooden wheels that he produced using a CNC machine. Sitting to the right of the road wheels is one layer of a cogged drive wheel that he is producing in conjunction with Steve Tyng for his upcoming Cog-Drive Tyng Track System (CG-TTS). James is using the CNC to produce a complete wooden tank kit that fits together with minimal fasteners.
 

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John explains to a potential recruit one of the many details of R/C tank construction, using the T-34 and Panzer IV to demonstrate the various alternatives.
Steve has his latest creation on the table ready to show recruits the stages of construction and various detailed parts.
 

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Steve can't pass up the opportunity to show how the T-34 handles a steep hill next to the building.
I'm the king of the world ... albeit a small world. The T-34 successfully climbs atop its perch.
 

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And down the other side.
The spectators get a peek at the inner workings of the T-34, which generally evoked the response "wow" or "cool" from the younger crowd.
 

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The 1/16 scale guys have a pretty nice indoor battlefield in Danville, complete with farm houses, bridges, hills and even a railroad tunnel. Every time we see it we wonder what it would be like to drive our large scale tanks through (or over) it!!!
Some of the beautiful work done to enhance the 1/16 scale battles.
 

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The town is the sight for many close-in combat. Perhaps one day a 1/6 scale town will be devasted by paintball combat ... a dream that may come true in time.
Navarone One, modeled after a 16 inch naval shore battery in 1/12 scale, is prepped and ready to go for a weekend of on the firing range. Spectators would control rotation and elevation as they attempted to hit 6 targets and avoid an ambulance. Over 2,500 rounds would be fired without a failure ... a good first outing for the naval gun.
 

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A number of scout troops came to the event and there was no doubt that they'd like shooting the gun, which could be heard throughout the building. Of course, some of the fastest perfect scores were earned by the younger crowd.
The shooting range was open to all ... young and old. Here, one guy's mother-in-law takes aim and scores better than he, as did his wife ... something he'll hear about the rest of his life no doubt.
 

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The owner of the Danville Museum is happy to hear that we ran out of score sheets early in the day and that the shooting range was constantly busy. He said that over 800 people attended the show and that hundreds of them said that they loved the "hands-on" displays.
In addition to the shooting range, we set up a steering course with a collection of orange cones. Spectators could choose between the Stuart provided by James Miller or the UN Support Vehicle provided by Mike Blattau, both of which performed well throughout the day.
 

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Steve observes as one of the younger spectators steers the UN Support Vehicle flawlessly around the course. Hand-eye coordination at this age is nearly perfect after they adapt to the "non-Nintendo" controls.
The Danville Museum is truly a wonderful place for tank ethusiastics. This is just one of the indoor bays housing dozens of vehicles from many different eras. Throughout the show, the museum staff was conducting live demonstrations of APCs, tanks and flame-throwers ... a bit hit with the crowd.
 

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Here's an example of some of the fine work done by the museum staff (mostly volunteer) to restore WW-II vehicles, such as this Panzer-IV.
The M1015A1 would be a good choice as a support vehicle on the battlefield. The tracks would allow it to go virtually anywhere and the boxy, wide-open design makes it easy to build and maintain.
 

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An operational full-scale T34-85 is one of the show pieces of the museum and the staff proudly drove it around throughout the event.
The M1917 is one of the true gems of the museum and is in excellent condition. Not very powerful by modern, or even WW-II standards, but plenty of character to make up for that.
 

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Two of our members, Karl and John, are writing the definitive book about the M1917 and they jumped at the opportunity to climb all over the real thing and exam all of the details.
It's a tight squeeze as John and Karl prepare for battle. The turret is rotated manually by shifting your weight around and the main gun is just inches from the drivers head.
 

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The museum staff demonstrates one of their operational flame throwers by shooting a fiery blast over 40 feet which generated loud cheers from the large crowd.