CombatShips Fun in every scale without shooting your eye out


Paintball Tank


What is WWII paintball without tanks?  With four to five sheets of light plywood and your riding lawnmower you can have a Sherman tank for under two hundred dollars.  Using the standard dimensions of plywood you can make a 1/2.375 scale simulated tank.  In two to three weekends a moderately skilled woodworker can manufacture a shell that fits over your riding lawnmower.  This would create a tank  that  travels at slow to medium speed and can turn almost as sharply as a tank with treads.  An opening at the top allows the rider to stand up in the tank.  The turret comes off and allows the tank commander to easily enter the tank .  There are slit windows with Plexiglas backing for vision and protection.  You have the main cannon and a machine gun for armament.  To delineate the difference in effect, I suggest that a color system is used.  The cannon would use red paintballs that kill anything  it hits.  I personally like pyrotechnics and would have several plates that, when hit, set off smoke bombs to indicate a kill or to disable.  But only specially colored paintballs could be used to kill a tank; say yellow for bazookas or cannon.  The beauty of this system is that a pickup truck could easily transport the tank to the nearest battle and when not in use you can still cut your grass.  This adds a new dimension to Combat with moving protection and insertion into protected enclaves.  Who will be the first to bring a tank to an infantry battle!



Xtra large combatships


Xtra large ships can be made at minimal cost and used for paintball combat including pyrotechnics if desired.   Sailing frigates can be easily  and cheaply made as well as Ironclads and WWI & WWII battleships.  For those of you who own a canoe, trolling motor and paintball guns and mask three quarters of the cost is done.  With an additional 100$ of plywood, paint etc you can be your own captain manning and fighting a warship that is cheaper than any RC model you ever made.   The standard 12-16 foot canoe in 1/48 scale is inline with most large twentieth century  battleships and in 1/12 scale for CW ironclads and sailing ships.  I like to have two people sitting in the bottom of the canoe for maximum stability and for direction control and fire control.  The top half of the commanders  with full protection and masks will stick out for better vision and safety.    This design is for safety and control.  As the old saying goes " It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt".   Unless you act recklessly you will be 100% safe.  Simple pyrotechnics can be used with minimal concern for accidents.  Your ship can have target plates  that if hit will trigger a fuse to a smoke bomb that will go off indicating a critical hit and damage to your boat.

The possibilities are limitless for combat action.  I envision a 1/48 scale surface running submarine that is Radio Controlled from your battleship and armed with a paintball gun for it's torpedo.  To sink it you would have to use a smaller 5" gun or boffers which can be simulated with the 20$ fully automatic Airsoft guns.  Once they hit a target plate the sub is sunk.  Since you are using a canoe with a plywood top you can exchange the top to carry any model you want.  You may want a Liberty ship to protect.  You can develop scenario's for aircraft carriers etc.

You may ask how do you get all this big stuff to a lake.  A trailer would be perfect but most people transport their canoes on their car.  I made a simple double wide rack that goes on my SUV that will carry both the canoe and the plywood superstructure.  Both are light enough that two people can easily lift them down to the ground.  But I must say that you will need to"securely" tie them down while traveling  at high speed or catastrophic accidents can happen.  No loose parts etc.





Paintball rifles

Since no one makes authentic CW rifles I have  modified  single shot paintball guns into rifles.  I cut off the  pistol handle and add a stock and a longer barrel. This results in somewhat  less accurate  fire but I am able to shoot a paintball over 200 feet and still hit my target.   I have tried to make  the rifle look similar the  Enfield model. Since the rifle contains no paintball holder  I am forced to  load the paintballs one at a time to simulate a slower rate of fire.  I have even toyed with the idea of a rubber knife on the end to simulate  baynette charges.



Civil War Mask and Paintball Rifle

This is an  example of a Civil War uniform and weapon that can be used in Civil War  paintball  combat: The face mask is made from Lexan plastic curved around the head and attached to a kepi which is designed for protection from  paintballs.  The head protection is not in the shape of a modern paintball mask  so that the combatant does not look like a standard 21st century  soldier.  The  clear mask enables the CW soldier's features can easily be seen.  This is a crude attempt at face protection and will ultimately be improved by professional manufacturers.  The same is true for the rifle.  I am promoting Civil War paintball combat as a new and historical hobby.  As a long time member in the SCA ,a Medieval reenactment organization, I fully understand the differences in combat style.  The CW reenactor dresses up and shoots powder into the air and occasionally pretends to be shot.  The outcomes are preplanned.  In the SCA the reenactor armors up and goes out for actual hand to hand combat not knowing if he will prevail or be killed.  Every fighter has a story and every battle is different.  In CW paintball combat the same thrill of victory and agony of defeat can be closely simulated.  You will never know when a stray Minnie ball (paintball) will have your name on it.  The Paintball rifle is very accurate at 100 feet and you can shoot up to 200 feet.  Firing at any longer distance  and your paintball is just dropping out of the sky.  Cannons can be simulated but not using  greater force than a regular gun for safety reasons.  Grape shot  and gattling guns can be easily made to add further authenticity to combat play.  I challenge any Civil War Group to try a paintball version of combat and see if they don't like it better.  Historic battles can be replayed and the outcomes altered by pure courage, skill and dedication to your cause.

Civil War Uniform



This is one of my first models, the Monitor:

I am a collector of CW Ironclads.   I used to have a  model boat company (Columbus Ironworks) that produced various Ironclads and other period models.  But the economy went bad and my vaccuform manufacturer went out of business.  I am now selling off all my existing stock.   My personal collection consists of  approximately 15 scale models of Ironclads and other types of ships.  These were initially designed and modeled after the  CO2 combat organizations that battle WWI-WWII  warships.  Their method of combat was to actually shoot holes in their opponets ships and sink their models.  These ships were very expensive and a  fully functioning  RC battleship with CO2 guns could cost 1500-2000$.   I felt  that this system was too  expensive, intricate and time consuming to maintain.  The firing systems were so complex that they frequently broke down or malfunctioned usually  in the middle of a pond or lake.  My models used a slightly different design.  I used either  CO2 or Airsoft guns for combat and  preferred pyrotechnics as a better option than putting holes in my ship and sinking it.  Since the modern battle ship combat was  well established I wanted to  try other periods and felt that  Ironclads were a better fit for RC naval  combat.  This type of ship fought in close proximity verses battleships that fought miles apart.   I tried to design my models  to be as large as possible but still fit into the back seat of a standard sedan.  If you can't get your ship in   your car you'll never get it to the lake.   The larger size ship is more stable and is easier to see at great distances.  The large size enables you to put in the electronics and guns that make them truly fun.