February 2015 After Action Report

All Hands:
Six members attended a battle at the Star Brand Ranch on Saturday. We had a fun time sailing, shooting, BS’ing, planning, and checking out Hank Mill’s Yamato battleship and Michel’s new Go lo transport.

The weather started out tolerable and ended up beautiful, sunny and calm. It was overall a pleasant afternoon. The pond was very useable. The breeze made for rough seas, but it calmed down to almost glassy. The weeds had been blown off to one side and caused no problems. The dock needed only minor adjustment. More on the dock later. The john boat was available but was not made ready.

Jerry had his Lutzow on the water first. My Missouri was next, but was glitchy. Michel was in next with his John Brown, which looked great as always and sailed well, too. Jerry was exercising his guns on the water but had some pump hose issues. The Missouri was just out of a major refit and was not fully mission capable, but sailed out to maneuver against the Lutzow. The Lutzow took a few shots and made a few hits on the Missouri. Jerry worked out a gun problem on the Lutzow and the Missouri had an ESC failure. She went full reverse into the shore damaging one propeller but not sinking. The Lutzow ruled the pond.

Wes attached a micro camera on the Missouri and maneuvered the Missouri using only the camera and a sunglasses type viewer headset. He was able to maneuver and follow the Lutzow using only the camera view, but docking or aiming the guns would not be possible without slewing the camera, which we could not do. The camera was attached to the bridge of the Missouri giving a very realistic captain’s eye view with waves breaking over the bow and the forward turrets in sight. Perhaps mounting the camera on a turret would allow a gunner crewman to aim and fire in battle. Very cool.

Hank showed the progress on his Yamato, which is huge. He has propulsion and rudders installed and is building his own guns. He is arming secondary guns, so watch out for this behemoth, it will be hard to sink, just like the Musashi.

Michel’s Golo seemed to be almost complete. It has a two screw propulsion system and his deck and superstructure were mostly finished. It is a French ship and is looking very nice.

We discussed the possibility of building a transportable floating dock. It would be handy to be able to move it around the pond or drag it out. With this thought in mind I checked with Tractor Supply today. They had a large amount of styrofoam blocks that they use to pad small trailers during shipping. They were happy to give me a Pathfinder full of them for free. Maybe a wooden frame around the foam blocks. With two segments and some lawn mower wheels at the right place we could fold it over and wheel it around. Does anyone know how to calculate how much styrofoam is needed to support a ship captain and a ship? Anyone have other ideas?

We also discussed the idea of having a club meeting at Maker Space. We hope to get that set up soon. I think an early spring meeting at Maker Space could generate interest for the summer battles. I heard they have 3-D printers. We could be printing props, rudders, superstructures and many other parts. Maybe structures inside the hull? 3-D image making will be an essential skill. A laser scanner would be handy.

Our next scheduled event is the club meeting on Saturday, 14 March. I will not be back to work by then, so I will help set it up.

The next club event after that is a battle at noon on Saturday, 21 March. The location is Star Brand Ranch.

It was a fun and pleasant day in the country. It doesn’t get much better than that. I wish you all could have been there and I hope to see you all at future club events.

Don Payne