January 9, 2005 the last building session in my article, how quickly a year goes by. Before this meeting started I managed to rewire the Mpls and get the new and improved water channeling installed in the Warspite. We had been contacted by some new people 2+ hours northwest of the Twin Cites so I had a short to do list at Ron’s because I wanted to help them out. The meeting was attended by Ron, Larry, Andy, Murray, Ben, Jason and the new guys Rick, Rick jr, and Karl. They also had a relative that could not make it. This relative already has a Lutzow on the water, but it is not combat ready. Rick and his two sons have a Houston kit. We helped them layout ribs and gave them advice on all other building items. A large snow storm was moving in so they had to hit the road early. Ron had the Iron Duke plug already sent to Charlie, I wonder how many will be at NATS. Larry had the Bell along and patched it. He then declared he was ready to battle and wondered why I was holding up the show. Andy worked on a few things on his I-boat. Grant has a real job and was at work today and could not make it. Murray had his Lutzow along and was wondering how to patch the hull. Jason had the topless Prince Eugene and was talking with Ron about finishing the superstructure. Ben was looking at the list of ships Swampy and Charlie make and trying to pick out his ship. He has it down to three of the big hitters at this point. This was maybe the biggest building meeting we have ever had. I can’t remember more people or ships at any meeting I have been to. It makes me feel very optimistic about next years battling. The most ships I have seen on the water in one battle up here is eight. We should have more than that this year. Hope you enjoyed the look at our little club. It was interesting to look back at the year and see what has changed and what has stayed the same.


I was going to stop writing the article and submit it for TF 144. But it has become a battling diary for the local club. I did not save any of the reports from February until July, they will be forever lost to memory.


8/13/05 For all of you who missed the battle on Saturday here’s a quick report. Ron, Ben, Moe & I were at the pond. Ron had the Arizona but was short a throttle switch and started out battling his St Louis. Ben had the NC, with superstructure, I had Warspite & Mpls and Moe left his ship at home. First battle was Ron & Ben vs me. Ron lost forward power after a few minuets. I shot a few sterns into him, then felt sorry for him or maybe I wanted to save some bbs for Ben… Ron pulled that CA off the water and grabbed the Mpls off the table. In the mean time I was trying to get my bow sidemount into Ben’s NC. Since the last time I battled against the NC Ben has changed the aiming point of his stern guns and they also work much better now. So here I am chasing an NC with full stern guns, not a good idea. Ben was nice enough to rip open my bow pretty good. I did get a few hits on him but not enough to hurt him as bad as he hurt me. Ron also had put a nice hole in my port side. Then I lost my rudder servo (Same one I lost at NATS in a 1on1 with Tim Becket) and got stuck in a turn to port. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was to starboard then my haymaker would have been on the outside. Ben came by and added a few bellows to me. This was too much for the Warspite and she went down. I took out the rudder servo and patched some holes 50-3-6 (The BIG holes) so I could stay afloat. Ron’s St Louis suddenly had forward power back but lost two blades on a prop so he took out the Mpls again. This time I stayed away from Ben’s sterns and was able to get my own stern guns on target and opened up a big cut in his bow. Ben and I traded bow sidemounts for a while and Ben started to settle I was able to get my haymaker into him and he sank in the same place I did. Damage was: St Louis (Ron) 12-0-0, Mpls (Ron) 16-2-1, NC (Ben) 104-16-25 (Sink) Warspite (Bob with patched damage) 134-6-18 (Sink). We all patched and went out for a 2nd battle. This was to be an everyone for themselves battle. Ron was trying to only take good shots with the Mpls and make his bbs count. I was again trying to get my haymaker into the NC and Ben was trying to stern gun me. Twice (Once in each sortie) Ron got stuck between Ben and my stern guns, this was bad for the Mpls. At the end of the first sortie Ben got stuck in some weeds and I got my haymaker into him. After he cleared the weeds he was really slow and found out he lost a prop. We were out of bbs so we pulled the ships. Ben did not have a spare prop but went out (As Finster would say) “To die a glourious death!” Ron and the Mpls again got in between the NC & Warspite’s sterns. I think he tried to do it that time. The Mpls slowly went under. Ben & I traded sidemounts again and Ben went down for a 2nd time in the same spot. After the battle we tried to find his lost prop, we know the area it was lost in but could not locate it. My wife and two kids came down to the park as we were finishing up. They drove Ron’s St Louis around for a while; it was the only ship that was kind of working. We all went over to my place to have a drink and counted the ships in the garage. Damage was Mpls (Ron) 69-4-6 (Sink), NC (Ben) 96-28-47 (Sink) Warspite (Bob) 53-2-19. As I was counting the NC I noticed a lot of dents below the penetrable window. Ben had repainted everything after the Fray so all the dents should have been from me, there were 104 of them. Guess I need to get a little closer to my target. Looks like Labor Day weekend will be our next battle. Then the big Ice Breaker battle 9-17&18. Get them ships ready.


9/5/05 Our little Labor Day building and battle meeting started at my house at 10am when Ben rang the doorbell. Renae was still in her pajamas and would not answer the door so Megan & Zach did. Ben & I started to get our ships ready. Ben patched and I put on an old prop to replace the starboard one his lost the last battle. Paul came over at 11am and started putting his ship back together. The Honolulu needed new drive and pump motors and the guns needed to be tested. I took the pump apart (The easy part) and spent the next hour trying to get the motor onto the housing. After that was done Paul put the ship back together and tested the guns, both of them still work and were tweaked. But in the middle of the testing the servo could no longer push one of the popits. We finally loaded up and went to the pond around 1pm. I check Paul’s speed with the new motors and he was at 19 seconds (Should be 23). Since he did not have dummy shafts or drag disks he just ran fast for the first battle. The first battle Paul went with one gun and teamed up with Ben against me. I tried to ignore Paul and his one gun and keep Ben’s trips off me. Paul backed in and shot at me for awhile and I got close enough to hit him with some sidemounts. I also hit him with a few sterns before he ran out of bbs. He was pumping pretty good, so almost everything worked. He went home with a list of things to fix before our Ice Breaker. Now that it was me and Ben again I tried to back in with my haymaker and he tried to triple me. Ben got stuck behind me and I opened some old patches with my sterns. Ben & I traded sidemounts until we ran out of bbs. In the 2nd sortie Paul took out the Mpls and we played the same teams. I couldn’t make my shoot the Mpls but Paul hung the “Shoot Me” sign out and I tossed a few sterns to him. I started to chase Ben, who was pumping steady, even though I know I shouldn’t. I took a bunch of trips but got my sidemount on target. When the water reached the big hole in his bow it spelled a quick end to the sortie. I chased Paul for a while and we pulled them. First battle damage was Paul (Honolulu sortie 1) 16-6-5 Paul (Mpls sortie 2) 18-0-3 Ben (NC) 63-5-33 (sink) Bob (Warspite) 66-8-10. This is where I made two mistakes. I forgot to change my batteries but did not think it would matter and I did not check my pump for junk under it. Ben patched his bellows and most of his aboves. We went out in a free for all. Since I had just resheeted there was a lot of stuff in the hull a lot of it made it under the pump and the Warspite did not look too good shortly into the sortie. She was barely pumping and not moving too good. I sank close to shore and grabbed new batteries while Ben and Paul reloaded. I also reloaded and we finished the sortie and a half. We went out for one more sortie and Ben & I decided to practice wingman work on Paul. Paul was nice enough to play and we chased him around until we sank him. I went in the water to find the ship and it was not there. Paul was shooting the guns and the bubbles were coming up 15’ from were it went under. This is the 3rd time Mpls has moved (Under water) after sinking, not to mention the bow above water trick she does. When I found the ship I pointed the stern towards Ben and Paul emptied the guns, he might have even hit him. After I got out Paul, who was holding the Warspites transmitter starting battling Ben. Not knowing what any of the buttons did he turned off the pump and sank. So I pulled it out and I battled Ben until we both had emptied our guns. Then we headed back to my place and talked while I patched my ships. Damage for the 2nd battle was Paul (Mpls) 39-5-2 (Sink) Ben 30-2-18 Bob 17-2-1 (Sink). Both the Mpls (55-11-7) and Warspite (83-10-11) had the 2nd battle damage added to the first battle damage, as we did not patch. Get ready for the Ice Breaker only 11 more days.


10/30/05 The almost Halloween battle was held at Ron’s pond Sunday. The first battle we have had up there this year. Thanks to the ton of rain we’ve had this fall Ron’s pond was full and weed free. We had scheduled the battle date to get Jason a chance to battle before winter and give Lars a chance to get the Tiger out. Jason was a no show but the Tiger made its first battle, thus ending the career of the Bell. The regulars were in attendance (Ron, Lars & I) and we also had David Siskind and Kevin McCalib attend to watch the first sortie. Kevin took the Mpls out so we had one more ship to shoot at. Teams were Ben (NC) & Lars (Tiger) vs Bob (Warspite), Ron (St Louis), Kevin (Mpls). There was no wind and the weather temp was 55 with lots of clouds and some light on/off rain. It was a perfect day for battling, when Ron has the waders on. The first battle started and I took off after the Tiger. I’m proud to say that I put the first bbs into her hull.  Ben then came around and chased me off. While Ben was busy trying to get the Mpls I pulled along side Lars and traded bow sidemounts. Lars was looking a little low and I said “You’d better turn your pump on.” He responded with the worst thing a captain can say “I did but it’s not working”. So being a nice guy I took advantage of this and hit him hard with the haymaker. I’m also proud to say I sank the new Tiger for the first time. Meanwhile Ron had pulled his ship to reload his one working gun and Kevin had run the Mpls into the grass. Normally this grass would not have water over so you can’t blame him for missing it. Ben brought the NC in and started to sidemount him pretty hard. By the time I got over there Ron was in the water getting the Tiger. I got a few shots into Ben, but if only Ron had waited... After the Tiger was out and the Mpls cleared the props we started again. The Mpls was in bad shape and sank quickly. I started chasing Ben around trading sidemounts. I should have stopped to pump out a little but was too busy paying and sank. Back up to the shed for reload and refit. I had brought what I thought was the full large CO2 tank left over from the Ice Breaker. Turns out it was the empty one. Ron had one tank that had some air in it so we started to use that one. Lars opened the radio box, very easy to do with the Otter Box. There was no water and he found the pump problem. The arm was getting stuck on the switch, a little sanding fixed that. We patch most of one side of the Tiger (30-6-36) the bad stuff on Warspite (6-2-6) and all of the Mpls (20-3-19). Both Kevin and David took off and we went back to the pond for sortie two. This time we did the Britt’s (Lars & I) vs the USA (Ben & Ron). I left Lars to deal with Ben while I went after Ron. Ben dealt with Lars by giving him many good stern shots. I chased Ron around and he sank at the far shore. This left me and Lars to go after Ben. Thankfully Ben had used most of his sterns on Lars so I was free to chase him all I wanted. We all gave and took some sidemounts and left the water pump pretty good. Back to the shed to reload, this time we ran out of air in Ron’s tank. So we decided to pack up and head home. Until Ben remembered he had a tank in his van. This saved us for one more battle. Ron left the St Louis in the shed and took Mpls out. I put the Warspite on the water and took the Mpls’ transmitter from Ron. Ben put his NC out while Lars was checking a prop. Then I heard a funny noise, like bubbles. I should have turned the Warspite’s pump on because she sank next to shore. Ron went out to get her and Ben’s NC had also gone down. This left Ron as the official best battle on the water. He doesn’t even need to battle to sink ever other ship. Ben could not get the NC to stay up so we went to Ron & Lars vs Me. Lars had a prop that had come off so he went in at a lower speed. Lars & I traded sidemounts while Ron blasted at me with sterns. I started to chase Lars and he ran right behind Ron’s stern hoping to drag me by and give his teammate a free shot. Ron had other ideas and blasted Lars. He does make a better target (lots of freeboard) than I do. This opened up a big (Thumb sized) hole under A turret on the port side. Lars had been turning his pump off to get more water in the ship so he could use it for extra speed. This was working well until “The hole” got under the water. Lars repaid Ron for his friendly fire by sinking in water that was at the top of Ron’s waders. We went back up to the shed and Ben found out why he sank. Part of his sheeting, after taking a beating all year, was peeling off the hull. We counted, found out the Vikings got crushed, but my Fantasy team did great and went home. Totals were Kevin in Mpls (1 sortie and a sink) 20-3-19, Ron in St Louis (2 sorties and a sink) 30-3-3. Ron in Mpls (1 sortie and a turret tugboat) 9-2-2, Ben in NC (Sank at start of 3rd sortie) 139-15-16, Bob in Warspite (3 sorties and a sink) 76-8-19 (Includes patching) and Lars in the New Tiger (3 sorties and 2 sinks) 182-22-59 (includes patching). Unless it gets warm or stays like this looks like building season is here. Time to get your new ship put together or fix that old one up.