Any Big-Gun clubs in Northern California??

Discussion in 'Independents' started by Ironbeard, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Ironbeard

    Ironbeard Active Member

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    Looks like I will be moving to the Northern end of the state in the near future. Most likely the Chico/Paradise area. Are there any folks building and battling in that area?
     
  2. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    The only active big gun club I know of in California is the Western Warship Combat Club, based in San Jose. My understanding is there was a major dispute over club leadership after Kotori and I left for the navy, and the club is now much smaller than it once was. It is still active, just much smaller than the glory days of 20+ ships at regular monthly battles. When I was a member, they normally had gunnery and maneuvering events in March and April. May was the combat event at Maker Faire, and June, July, and August were regular battles. September had a two day G&M event and campaign battle on Labor Day weekend. October and November were regular combat events or G&M depending on weather. With the exception of Maker Faire and the Campaign Game, events were one day affairs held on the second Sunday of the month. G&M consisted of timed runs through a course, and the person who finished closest to their estimated time won. Battle days had four separate 15-minute long sorties, that pit blue-flag "allies" against no-flag "axis." The campaign game had two one-hour combat periods that allowed battlers to bring their ships in and repair and reload at any time, and was the only truly Axis and Allies battle of the year. At the maker Faire, we built an artificial pond with a protective screen around it and held exhibition battles for visitors over the two day event. I don't know how much this has changed since I left, or if the one day battles will make the long drive worth it, but it's worth looking into.

    Some of the members have shifted over to a 1/72 scale Queen's Own branch in the Sacramento area, but I really don't know much about their operations.
     
  3. Ironbeard

    Ironbeard Active Member

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    That's sad Gascan and sounds sort of like what happened to the South Coast Battle Group. Got big, had lots of fun then after I left (navy) things took a down hill turn, lots of squabbles and then gone. I remember one Labor Day weekend a large contingent of SCBG skippers drove up north to battle with WWCC somewhere around Sacramento, if I remember correctly. We had a hell of a lot of boats on the water during that event....WHAT A BLAST that was!! Ball bearings flying everywhere, lake moss was a PITA big time.....ah the smell of balsa in the morning!! A year or two later we met again on a stream or slough of some sort, not as big but still lots of fun.

    Sure wish I could locate J.C. White, perhaps we could get the SCBG back up and running. But then I'll probably be relocating to Northern California in about a year of less, so maybe I'll see what I can drum up for starting a club up in that area. I think the focus needs to be HAVING FUN....and not so much on competition. We'll see.

    Gascan, are you still in the navy? I retired as a HMC(FMF) in '98
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  4. BigGunJeff

    BigGunJeff Well-Known Member

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    I'm part of Western Warship and we are very much active. As Gascan says, the group is smaller, but we are building up and have plenty events. Most of our events are two days as we are battling at a lake north of Sacramento, so we stay overnight on Saturdays. If you're interested in joining up, contact us though our website at:

    Western Warship Combat Club - Home
     
  5. Cid

    Cid Member

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    Hi Ironbeard

    I live in the chico area and a member of the 1/72 scale group that battles out of Lincoln. The name of the group is the Pacific Model Warship Club. They are also planning to battle 144 scale in the near future. We have events current planned once a month through November. If you are interested please let me know. I currently have 2 ships battle ready, 1 1/144 scale the other 1/72 scale.
     
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  6. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Interesting. I didn't know we had a resident member of that group here. Would love to see some photos from your events here and a few of your fellow captains as well.
     
  7. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    Good to hear the hobby is still alive in California. I don't think I'll have a chance to come back and visit until probably next year or so. Once I get the chance, I'll try and schedule it so I can see both Western and Pacific in action.

    My brother Kotori and I are currently active, both electricians on submarines out of Georgia. There's a pretty strong navy presence in the hobby.
     
  8. Gary Powell

    Gary Powell Well-Known Member

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    I just joined this form, but have been doing R/C Combat in Northern California, Oregon and Washington State since 1986. I have 1/144 ships in both Big and Fast Gun styles, but currently mostly doing 1/72 Combat with Pacific Model Warship. We currently have battling ponds in Lincoln, Loomis and Grass Valley. While we are currently doing all 1/72 combat, but our plan is to start using our 1/144 ships in the very near future.
     
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  9. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    Mmmm... 1/72... mmmMMmmm <smack!> Bad Tugboat! Bad!
     
  10. irnuke

    irnuke -->> C T D <<--

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    Bad Tuggy! If you insist on joining YET ANOTHER branch of this hobby (fast gun, treaty, steampunk, AoS +1/72 now), you should be required to start with a Musashi. Only you'll need a bigger workshop 1st. :)
     
  11. Gary Powell

    Gary Powell Well-Known Member

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    While I haven't been involved in these forum's until now, I did start in Big Gun, before it was called Big Gun. At the time it was known as NASWCA and later evolved into Big Gun. In the early 1990's many of us moved on to doing Queen's Own 1/72, because we wanted less guns and more ship detail. Not a IJN Yamato, but I do have a 1/72 USS Missouri.
     
  12. Cannonman

    Cannonman Ultimate Hero :P -->> C T D <<--

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    I would LOVE to see some pictures of that beast!!!!! Something in the neighborhood of 12 feet long!?
     
  13. Gary Powell

    Gary Powell Well-Known Member

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    The events you are referring to were played at Riverland Campground, just south of Fresno, CA. That year we had joint events both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Both were truly great events, with probably 20 members each from both clubs. It was during another drought year and since water levels were down, Memorial Day we played in the west end of the lake (normally we played at the east end) and Labor Day instead of playing in the normal lake, we played in the river. In just one year, JC White had put together a club that rivaled what WWCC had built after many years. Several of us that played at those events still participate in combat today. Back then I was running a FN Richielu class battleship and because South Coast had the Queen Mary as their cargo ship, we built the Normandie cruise liner. Your comments bring back great memories of those two events.
     
  14. Ironbeard

    Ironbeard Active Member

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    Ah yes Gary....I was at both events!! IT WAS A BLAST!! My poor Repulse took her first sink after her props were fouled by weeds and she was a sitting duck for a quick destroyer or cruiser strike. You might remember the river sortie where SCBG managed to "Ice Cream Sandwich" one of your battleships between two of ours and with all three ships running and gunning hard, skippers screaming and ball bearings flying, we literally drove the enemy ship into Davy Jone's Locker. I actually have pictures of that sinking somewhere packed up. It was a most excellent battle all the way around.

    I look forward to getting together with you and other "old time balsa busters" again, once the dust settles from our pending move to Chico, which will happen sometime in the next couple of months. One great thing that I'll be getting out of this move, besides FULL retirement from the rat race (I'm giving up and letting the rats win) is a fully outfitted work shop (once I build it)....LET THE BOAT BUILDING BEGIN!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  15. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    Just got in this site. I also am part of
    pacificmodelwarshipcombatclub.com

    It's a very good group of guys. If you want to see that 1/72nd scale Yamato try this site.
    alamedanavalairmuseum.org

    A member moved to Tennessee and decided not to haul it there. So he donated it to this museum. There was a picture of it in their site. Quite a model.
     
  16. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Just to clarify: Western Warship Combat Club is alive and well, despite the efforts of some who would like to see us go away.

    We had a 2-day combat event last month, with 12 ships on the water. Yes, not as many as in the past, but with friendliness and goodwill setting the tone and spirit (at least on the beach - on the water, it's pure carnage). We've added two new members in the past month, and we are gearing up for our next event, May 15, 16 and 17th, at the California Maker Faire - our 8th annual combat extravaganza at Maker Faire. Not only is the event fully funded, but we have two sponsors as well. At Maker Faire, we run 10 battles in two days, each with 1,200 spectators in the stands. In each Axis vs Allies battle, we have 6 volunteers from the audience - usually young people between the ages of 6 and 12 - running cargo ships. The side with the last cargo ship still afloat wins.

    If all RC Warship Combat enthusiasts would support major events such as this one, the hobby might grow at a faster pace. Anyone who would like to participate at Maker Faire this year, please contact me directly at rwood@hypergold.com.

    Rob
    [​IMG]
     
  17. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Rob,

    I may be mistaken but it seems that there has been very little pictures of videos that have come out of the maker faire events you guys have put on. I haven't seen anything from last year's event and less than 5 videos overall. I think posting HUNDREDS of pictures and dozens of videos would certainly help fuel the fire to participate in an event like this. We have been asked to do something similar down in Texas but I had no reference from which to work from. Please post some info from the events, how to build the pond, perhaps a materials list to build the exact one, where you sourced the plastic for the bottom of the pond, etc.

    I think if you show folks how exciting it is... the interest level may warm up for you and in other areas. It would also help out a lot of us consider how we could do the same event. With that said... we did do a demo in a few places (Maker Fair Houston)and while we have had extreme interest at the booth.. only 3 people attended any events as a result of that show.. and 1 of the three invited the other 2 (they didn't see the booth). To be fair... Make Faire Houston was not held in Houston.. .but in a remote suburb in the extreme Southwest part of town, outside the city limits, in a tiny venue.... (it was near the home of the Host).. why it wasn't the Maker Fair Sugarland TX ... I will never know.

    I know this is a thread hijack.. sorry but it was in response. I wish you guys were closer and I would gladly help you out.

    Johnny
     
  18. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Hi Johnny,

    There are lots of videos on YouTube, and photos everywhere on the Internet. Google Maker Faire Battle Pond, or Maker Faire robotic warships, or Maker Faire warships. We've actually published articles about how to go about putting on a combat event like this one, and there have been numerous requests for help and support over the years from all over the United States, and countries across the globe. We respond to each one. We even volunteered to help set up a combat arena for the Fast Gun guys at the Detroit Maker Faire, and have done everything we can to help and support any group that has expressed an interest.

    And every year, we invite people in all of the RC Warship Combat club forums and FB groups to come to Maker Faire, to experience it first-hand. We even offer free Maker Faire tickets and the use of combat ships (veterans, only, must be NAMBA members), and we don't care what "brand" of RC Warship Combat a captain normally runs in.

    What we have seen is that no other group has stepped forward, anywhere in the U.S., to host a combat event at any Maker Faire, and follow through. NTXBG came closest, 6 or 7 years ago, and we actually shipped our first pond to Texas for that event. We never got it back, by the way, and the combat never happened. That was then, when there were only 2 Maker Faires in the entire world. There are 131 scheduled for this year, so far, all across the U.S. and around the globe! Our combat event here in California is a huge draw, and except for an incident the first year, in which a spectator got injured when a round struck his cheek bone, there have been no injuries requiring medical attention.

    Crunching the numbers, at a conservative estimated average of 10,000 spectators per year for the past 7 years, at least 70,000 people have watched us battle, with one injury requiring first aid (a bandaid), 7 years ago. Most battles are standing room only.

    So, OK, maybe we need to promote the event harder, but here's the crucial number: 30. It takes a minimum of a 30-person crew to make an event like the Maker Faire Battle Pond work. 40 - 50 is better, since not everyone can make every day. What club in the U.S. can get a commitment like that, well in advance of the event, and follow through with it? What club would want to do it? I don't see any club of any kind, other than WWCC, that puts on an event like this for the public. Yet, if we don't do it, the hobby - whatever "flavor" will never grow.

    I'm once again inviting any member of any club who might be interested in learning how to do what we do, to come to Maker Faire at the San Mateo County Event Center. We're building the pond on Thursday, May 14th. Between 1:00pm and 5:00pm the next day, we'll be teaching high school and middle school students all about the hobby, and giving them hands-on experience in operating unarmed ships, sailboats and submarines. On Saturday and Sunday, we run 1o battles, each one featuring 6 young people from the audience who run cargo ships.

    Thanks for the heads up on advertising, and we'll take your suggestions to heart.

    Best regards,

    Rob

    Here's the young man who skippered the winning cargo ship in the promo flyer. He won a tee shirt.
    [​IMG]

    Here's one of the battles on Sunday, Maker Faire 2014:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Gary Powell

    Gary Powell Well-Known Member

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    My original reply to this thread should have clarified that while PMWC is a 1/72 scale club, we are but one of two Big Gun style Club's in Northern California. I should have indicated that the 1/144 club was also playing out of the Sacramento area. While it's not part of this thread, I am also going to take the opportunity to wish the Maker Faire exhibit good luck this year.
     
  20. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply Rob!

    I did do a search and found a dozen or of so pictures but they lack context when picked out in a search like that... what year? what is going on? etc.... I don't want to have to visit 50 web pages to see the pictures if you know what I mean.

    I am thinking like an album from 2013, 2014 etc. that you could upload here. How about uploading the plans to the pond here on the forum so we can all look at it.

    That way we know which year the picture came from at the least and we can get ideas from the pond drawings. If I missed a thread where this was all posted please let me know.. I used to look for it but haven't in a long time.

    Another question, how many new members have you guys recruited from those events? How many still battle? I am curious what effect that level of exposure has had on your club?

    I declined to return to the Maker Faire in Houston for several reasons.. but for the most part it was diminished returns.. 3 volunteer guys .. 5AM (when I got up and loaded the car for the long drive to Sugarland Tx) to 8PM... not a single guy participated.