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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.

History of IRCWCC

In the 1970’s a small group of hobbyists who were familiar with constructing and operating radio controlled model boats and airplanes began experimenting with the concept of building model warships which could actually engage each other in combat. The challenge was to build reusable models with systems capable of inflicting controlled amounts of hull damage on an opponent’s ship, and eventually sinking the model. yes” These individuals, now known as the “founders” of the hobby of model warship combat, were the first to place small gas operated BB-firing cannons on semi-scale model R/C warships. Spread over five states and working over the telephone and through the mail, this group shared their experiences and refined the first cannons, gas systems and pumps that were needed to make functional warship models a reality Perhaps more significantly, however, these individuals began creating and refining the rules that were needed to provide uniformity in both the construction and the battling of these new models so that the hobby could be enjoyed by others safely and expand.
Since those early years a continual process of incremental development has resulted in the reliable, cost effective and safe BB cannons and gas and radio systems which are used today throughout the hobby. Remarkably, the current Rules of the IRCWCC follow very closely the originals in intent, and of the changes that have been made, most have been introduced to account for newly developed technologies. Along the way, eco-friendly compressed CO2 was mandated to replace Freon as the gas propellant. Starting in 1991 all newly constructed models had to be built to 1/144 scale. Single-shot cannons were developed, and then mandated, to fire one BB at a time from a magazine of 50 or 75. The offensive and defensive power of each ship’s guns and pumps was allocated based on an analysis of the historic combat power of the prototypes. To help eliminate disputes over historic ship dimensions and speeds, a comprehensive `ship list’ fixing the scale speed and size for models was established.
Throughout the 1980’s and ‘90’s, membership in the IRCWCC increased up and down the east coast, in the mid-west, on the west coast and in Canada.  In 2004 the IRCWCC was incorporated as a non-stock membership corporation. Along the way, the IRCWCC has given birth to other semi-scale model warship combat clubs. There are now similar clubs that utilize gas-propelled 1/4 inch ball bearings as projectiles; clubs that build ships in the larger 1/96 and 1/72 scales to facilitate the modeling of smaller vessels such as destroyers and PT boats; and other variants. But for us, the original is still the best: the IRCWCC!
The purposes of the International R/C Warship Combat Club, Inc. are: 
  • Provide interested persons with the opportunity to associate with others interested in the hobby of radio controlled semi-scale model warship combat;
  • Promote safety, good sportsmanship and fun in semi-scale model warship combat competitions;
  • Make information available to members and others concerning the history of early 20th Century warships, and the construction and operation of semi-scale models of those ships in simulated combat activities.
To accomplish its purposes the IRCWCC does the following:
  • Offers membership to any interested person who is willing to abide by the Bylaws and Rules of the Club.
  • Maintains a web site which provides access to information on the construction and operation of scale model warships equipped for R/C combat.
  • Maintains and publishes guidelines for the uniform construction and operation of model warships which serve as Rules for its members and anyone wishing to construct a model warship in accordance with IRCWCC Rules.
  • Sanctions events in which the participants agree to conduct R/C model warship combat in accordance with IRCWCC Rules.
  • Organizes and sponsors at least one week-long “international” Annual Championship event open to all members.
  • Encourages the formation of local groups interested in pursuing the construction and operation of scale model warships equipped for R/C combat in accordance with IRCWCC Rules.
Many model warship events are conducted at the local level. Although it is possible to join only the IRCWCC, most members also join with others in local groups so they can battle more frequently. Local groups can also provide opportunities for “rookies” to learn from veterans the variety of skills needed to successfully build and battle a model warship. Some local groups host building parties where novices can get hands-on training and one-on-one help with specific construction problems. Local groups also provide an informal opportunity to meet with others interested in the hobby.

Why is the bulged Nagato 24 seconds?

The original cutoff point for 26/24 seconds was 740 feet, changed in 1991 to 720 feet, which sped up both the Nagato and North Carolina at the same time.  [Hullbusters August and October 1991]. Deal for Nagato exception to 6 units was made in 1992 when the membership voted to specify the bylaws were supposed to override the shiplist ( stuff was really inconsistent back then, if I recall right the shiplist already had it listed at 6 units ).  Hullbusters December 1992.

Why is the Hood 6 units?

Probably the First Attempt to give Hood 6 units was in 1993 and failed.  Hullbusters December 1993. Second attempt to get Hood to 6 units was in 1996 and failed.  Hullbusters October 1996.  Sometime in the early 2000s the Hood actually got bumped to 6 units in the ircwcc.

Molding Flexible Foam and Source

by Peter Kunisch

I do not make any recommendations at any time. I have used this material and I am satisfied. Others make molding silicone as well and I have tried them. It should be noted that Micro-Mark had a molding flexible foam but no longer stock it. I have talked to the Rep and was told that they may at a later date have it again but to date it is not in their catalog. A good instruction sheet on “How to build a mold” is included with each Silicone set.

  • #82083 Liquid Silicone Rubber for making molds: I use this stuff, it works well and has a 4 hours cure time.
  • #80475 Rubber to Rubber Mold Release: needed to make 2 part molds, first you make one half and after curing you paint it with this mold release and pour and cure the second half.
  • #82664 Rubber to Resin Mold Release: needed so that the resin or foam doesn’t stick. Other companies have it as well.

FlexFoam-it X flexible foam is from Smooth-On. It will expand up to 10 times its volume. In an open mold, I use a topper plate (Plexiglas or Lexan) with a vent hole. Make sure that you use a mold release spray. First I pour the mix until it fills about 25% of the mold but the full length of the part. Then I place the topper plate on the mold, holding the vent hole shut (use a pencil) until I see the foam expanded to fill the mold. I now open the vent and let the excess foam bubble out of the hole. To hold the topper down during curing, I place 1lb. lead weights (2) on the topper. Do not open too soon rather give added time. After removing from mold but attached to the topper, let it be for one or two hours. I you touch it too soon, it will shrink and shrivel like a soufflé. After full cure, I use a knife to lift the part of the topper cutting the vent (sprue).
It is good for many applications but I wish it would be more dense. In a high pressure mold it could be cured to a much higher density but I do not have the equipment or the patience.
I have used many different moldable plastics and for different uses Smooth-on has many and a good example is my Arado airplane. The body and floats are flexible foam, the wings are light weight rigid foam, the prop and struts are solid resin. 1-800-225-1066 1-610-252-5800

2015 Nats Results

10 Years in a Row!! Axis win NATS!!

Final Score: Axis – 173,150    Allies – 79,330
35 ships fought it out in the summer heat of North Carolina for bragging rights for the the year. Shredded balsa flew and boats went bow up before sinking below the waves but everyone had a blast.

Von FluegelCarl CamuratiSMS Nassau
Brian SpychalskiRob Arena
Alien Award (Most Damage Not sunk)Brian LambHMS Iron Duke (3,180 pts)
Allied Most FearedBob HoernemannHMS Warspite
Allied Spirit AwardKen Arena
Axis Most FearedMark LideIJN Mutsu
Axis Spirit AwardBryan Finster
Ball Breaker AwardKas Gaigalas
Best of Scale CombatChase HargraveHMS Duke of York
Best of Scale ConvoyBarry TigheGlinda E.
Best RamBob Hoernemann
Class 3 AwardRandy StiponovichIJN Furutaka
Class 4 Award (tie)Carl CamuratiSMS Nassau
Class 4 Award (tie)Tom TannerSMS Ostfriesland
Class 4 Award (tie)Barry TigheSMS Von der Tann
Class 5 AwardJohnny AdamsSMS Baden
Class 6 AwardChris KesslerDKM Bismarck
Class 7 AwardN/A - no entries
Fire StickN/A - gone missing
Fleet AwardAxis
Individual Combat AwardChase HargraveHMS Duke of York
Life Line AwardDavid RanierT2 Tanker
Most Spectacular SinkChase HargravesHMS Duke of York
Really Super SwimmerTrey Schultz
Ring of DeathNot held
Risk TrophyN/A - not played this year 🙁
Rookie of the YearZack HoernemannHMS Bermuda
Swiss Chesse (Most Damage sunk)Steve AndrewsUSS Arkansas (5,900 pts)
Tech AwardRick Schultz