About model warship combat 

Model warship combat is a rapidly growing hobby for adults and mature teenagers that involves the construction and operation of scale models of early 20th Century warships which are capable of battling and sinking each other!

The model ships are built to 1:144 scale, which means that each inch on the model equals 12 feet on the actual ship. A model of an Iowa-class battleship from World War 2 is therefore almost 6 feet 2 inches in length! Powered by battery-operated DC motors, and guided by the same type of radio units used to control model airplanes, the ships move at speeds of from 3 ½ to 4 feet per second. The “firepower” in these models is provided by an inexpensive compressed gas, common “CO2” such as that used in soft drink dispensers and in paintball guns. “Cannons” for the models are constructed of short lengths of copper or brass tubing normally found in most hardware stores. The projectiles are inexpensive .177” diameter BB’s typically used in air rifles.  The Club’s safety rules require the use of protective eye gear whenever these BB cannons are being used or prepared for use.

The Club’s rules of construction require that each model ship have soft penetrable sides made of thin balsa wood, which extend at least 85% of the ship’s length.  If the model is struck by a BB at or below the waterline by a nearby model, the wooden skin will be punctured allowing water to seep in.  Each model is permitted to have a small pump capable of expelling some of the water that enters, but multiple hits will eventually send the unlucky ship to the bottom.  The object of the game is to maneuver your ship skillfully enough so that you can put enough holes in your opponent’s hull to cause it to founder while avoiding the same fate yourself!

There are other similar clubs which build and battle model ships of different scales or ships that discharge different sizes of projectiles.  Some of these are referred to as “big gun” clubs.  The models built by members of the International R/C Warship Combat Club, Inc. are designed to rapidly discharge their BB’s as the ships maneuver close to each other in battles.  For that reason the IRCWCC version of the hobby is often referred to as “fast gun” model warship combat.